Schools Again Alive With the Sound of Music (

July 8, 2023

Winnipeg music teacher Jewel Casselman is back in her element, leading elementary-aged students in song and guiding them on musical instruments after three years of pandemic restrictions and adapted lessons. Her students are finally getting their hands on ukuleles she purchased back in 2019, for instance, and they’re having a blast.

“You get to make music. You don’t really get to do that in math class,” noted 11-year-old Arun Sharma, a Grade 5 student.

“When we couldn’t do [music class] in the pandemic, I was a little upset,” added Grade 4 student Anna Lockerby, who’s nearly 10.

The pandemic silenced traditional music education with a raft of restrictions — no singing, no playing of wind instruments, limits on indoor sessions and no instrument sharing, among others.

Even after other subjects and activities returned to normal, school music classes, bands and ensembles hadn’t, with some only back this school year. That interruption has had a definite impact, say music educators: a gap in music skills, a swath of deteriorating, unplayed instruments and multiple cohorts who haven’t experienced or have let music class fade from their lives.

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