What We Do

The Hammer Band organization currently runs its program in the classrooms of 42 schools in the high risk Toronto neighbourhoods of  Jane and Finch,  the Regent Park area, Northeast Toronto and in Brampton.

Believing in the power of music and music instruction to help foster inclusivity, he walked into a public school in the Jane/Finch corridor and offered to teach there. Today, with eight other professional musicians, The Hammer Band reaches more than 1,100 children in grades four through high-school.

Students take free lessons on donated violins in classrooms within the safety and security of their own school settings. Many of them have been with the program since its inception, with more joining every year as resources allow. Plans are to expand to numerous Toronto schools (and beyond) to introduce hundreds of kids to violins, other instruments, musical performances and the power of team-work.

Through learning music together, students learn the art of listening, focus, self-discipline, tolerance, working towards a goal and working together in harmony as a community.

Inspired by the strong desire to make a difference in underserved neighbourhoods, Moshe Hammer and his team of music teachers hope to offer students opportunities and help them work towards a bright future.


Looking Ahead

Students have shown us that they are more eager than ever to continue learning online, and our teachers have risen to the challenge. Our primary goal remains to provide our services to as many students as possible.

Whether you are a volunteer, supporter, donor, student or parent, we encourage you to reach out to us at [email protected] for more information on what we are doing to keep our teachers and students safe while continuing our important work.

The Hammer Band is Featured on CityNews

We are thrilled to share that we were featured in a wonderful TV spot on CityNews in Toronto during the summer of 2020. Check out the video for yourselves:

What We Did During Lockdown

They were confusing, anxiety-filled, and uncertain times for all of us. But this doesn’t mean that our important work stopped. Our services just look a little different during this time of uneasiness and uncertainty. Here’s what we did:

  1. Connected with students and encouraged them to use music and art as an outlet.
  2. Providing one-on-one and group lessons to any students that were willing and able to do so.
  3. Came up with creative ways to operate in a virtual environment, and
  4. Planned ahead for the years ahead to ensure we are able to continue our work both online and in-person.

These program changes were not easy, but our staff, teachers and students were incredible at adapting. Check out the following video of one of our teachers, Praise Lam, reaching out to her students with a positive message.

Finally, we would like to let you all know that we welcome donations of any size to help us prepare for the school year ahead.

December 2015

We are now teaching  at 35 schools to over 700 children!  We are also excited to announce our first Hammer Band Orchestra under the direction of Ross Inglis.  For a complete list see  Our Schools.

A Successful Summer!

The Hammer Band Summer Jam 2020 was a huge success. Over the 8-week Summer program, we had nearly 200 students participating in online classes and lessons. We also hosted a weekly zoom party where we had 50 students in one virtual session taught by a different Hammer Band teacher each week. In these parties we learned new songs, played games, had fun trivia sessions and more.

Finally, we sincerely thank our generous donors and supporters for making this Summer possible. Through our 2-month GoFundMe fundraising campaign we raised over $27,000 of our $30,000 goal, and we cannot be more thrilled. To show you just how much this Summer meant to our students, here are a few quotes:

“Since a young age, it has been an aspiration of mine to be able to play the violin. I heard it was good for the mind, I liked its repertoire the most, and it looked like a lot of fun. But, because of how costly it was, I wasn’t able to. Through the Hammer Band alone was I able to fulfill this dream. I also made quite a lot of friends through playing the violin, and the experience of learning together with my peers is invaluable to me.

I am most glad that I was able to spend the summer continuing lessons and attending jams, especially during this era. It made my time at home feel a bit less depressing, and for that, I am grateful. The quizzes were one of my favourite parts, might I add.”

“My favourite part of the summer jam was to connect with all of the Hammer Band Students through out the GTA in a time where we can’t meet one-another in-person.”

“My favourite part of the Summer Jam was learning new songs and working with different students and teachers. I also liked all the jokes that everyone shared. I am excited for our next Hammer Band Lesson!”

“My favourite part about the Hammer Band summer jam was learning new songs like ode to joy with amazing teachers who are so talented. I am truly blessed that I got a wonderful opportunity to learn from these awesome teachers. Also it’s so cool how even through the challenging times we still came together and learned a beautiful instrument 🎻 . I am so sad that the summer jam has come to an end but I look forward to learning more. The summer jam was for sure one of the best things this summer and I’m glad that I took part in this. Thank you :)”

Summer 2014

The Hammer Band is offering Summer Classes at GTA area schools.

Summer 2013

The Hammer Band again offers full week camp during the first week of July at Firgrove in the Jane and Finch region and Crescent Town in East York.

Summer 2012

Summer camp is offered at two schools during the first week of July.  One was at Topcliff Public School, located just south of Jane and Finch, and the other was at George Webster, located to the north of Danforth and Main.