The Royal Conservatory of Music will be launching a major initiative to spread online learning in music to young children across Canada. This initiative is backed up by $5-million in seed funding donated by the Thomson family. Their plan is to venture into the world of digital education apps and online learning by creating tools to assist parents and teachers immerse children in music during their formative years. This will help to develop both their brains as well as their abilities even before they enroll into schools.
This initiative along with the donation was announced on Friday at a timing when most public schools in Canada have cut back on music education, despite there being growing evidence of its benefits. These new digital resources for early childhood music is only the first step towards a larger strategy to broadcast the institution’s expertise and curricula to computers as well as tablets in homes around the country and globally. “It’s transformational as a gift because it allows us the resources to embark on a direction that is really important, not only to us but we think to Canada. Our intention is to build on this gift,” stated Peter Simon, the president of the Royal Conservatory.
David, Peter and Taylor of the Thompson family have named the new Marilyn Thomson Early Childhood Education Centre after their mother, who is also an alumnus and former board member of the Conservatory. The goal of the centre is to aid parents in inspiring their children with music before they turn six years old. The online tools, which is soon to be developed from the Conservatory’s existing Smart Start program, will be on an exclusive subscription-based. As of now, the cost has not yet been determined. However, vice-president of academics Angela Elster mentioned that the price will be kept low to encourage more young families to subscribe. Angela also has hopes that early childhood educators will be able to spread the resources to more underprivileged children.
The Conservatory also has an aim to reach 50,000 subscribers within the space of five years. They also intend to take additional profits and invest them back into their programs. “[We are] placing, as much as we can, our faith, our confidence in the Royal Conservatory to join with kindred spirits around Canada and beyond, and to bring to young minds the potential to live lives that are able to transcend even expectations of parents and professionals,” said David Thompson. For the rest of the story, you can read here.