Welcome to the Wise Voices for Music – London Action page. Information on this page reflects work that was started by participants at a meeting in October 2015 at Aeolian Hall. Participants shared community successes, began to identify solutions to address gaps and determined key priorities to help guide an Action Plan.

Here’s what you’ll find:
– How we would like you to recognize London
– Key ingredients that we think make London a vibrant music community
– Our Successes – (not an exhaustive list but it’s a beginning!)
– Our Strategic Priorities

This is how we would like you to recognize……. London

“Thoughtful – Lifelong – Available”

A movement is happening which is making music accessible to everyone in our community.

Many musical opportunities both in and outside of schools are free to students.

Music education is alive and well here.

London residents are attending university here and continuing their musical pursuits in this community, with 80% of the people at this discussion graduating from a London university institution.

We have many specialists teaching in some very fine programs in London.

There are over 300 kids in the cadets program in London playing in bands alone.

We have more choirs per-capita in this city than anywhere else.

“London is a very rich cultural area”

We think these key ingredients make London a vibrant music community

  • We are a special community helping to bring music to all ages, levels, and areas within London
  • The diversity of opportunity is remarkable
  • Attraction of quality musicians to London
  • The right climate for participation in a variety of ensembles
  • Established venues and recording facilities for music production
  • Musicians committed to the growth of the musical community in London

Call to Gather

The George Laidlaw Quartet, played lively jazz music at the beginning of the event . Musicians included George Laidlaw (saxophone), John Kenny (string bass), John Griffiths (strong bass), David Laidlaw (drums).

Our Successes  – This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list but it’s a beginning!
Kindergarten to Grade 12 Successes
  • Some music programs have survived despite the lack of music teachers in the elementary system

·         Excellent music school programs

o   Wilfrid Jury Public School

·         Arts4Kids

·         Brio Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral reaching out to school aged children

Post-Secondary Successes
  • Western University’s music education department is doing a fantastic job equality its quality with other music education programs across the country, drawing students from all over the country, and internationally
    • Successful professors instilling new concepts
    • A new building and venue for performances
    • Development of the Musical Futures program
Community Successes
  •  Community Outreach
    • Ability to get involved in music programs such as Ukulele (S.O.U.P), which is making music accessible at little or no cost to players
Music Community Successes
  • Many informal music learning opportunities (church, choir, bands, community orchestra)

·         Ukulele (S.O.U.P)

o   accessible to anyone and everyone

o   reaching out to the young and old

o   rebirth, renaissance of an art form

·         Street music

·         Concert Halls / Recording Studios

o   Aeolian Hall

o   House concerts

·         Historical significance

o   Aeolian Hall

·         Strong early music education

o   Young Horizons

·         World class arts presentations

Partnership Successes
  • Excellent relationships with local organizations and using their resources including recording facilities, venues, and continuing the inventory
Opportunities ·         London Music Club and London Music Hall are accessible performance facilities

Our Strategic Plan


  1. Cultural inventory of all London’s musical resources and organizations.
  2. Create opportunities to meet more often in person to discuss issues and support one another
  3. Show the value of music as a core subject in school with supportive scientific evidence


  1. Increased communication on all levels about the benefits of music education
  1. Identify values and integrated vision
  2. Approach influential supporters both inside and outside of the musical world for support
  3. Create conversation with government for accountability for music education programs
  1. Bring music to people, and people to music
  1. Wider general participation by making opportunities to hear music accessible
  2. Better advertising for concert opportunities in London
  3. Appoint informed coordinators and join resources for affordable concerts
  1. Advocate for music as a core subject in schools
  1. Show the lifelong value of music and how London supports it already within the community
  2. Argue the benefits of music education through a fact basis
  3. Enforce a unified curriculum policy across schools

Action Plan 

Action plan is under construction….more to follow.

To get involved or find out more information about our plan, contact…
Kim Eyre

Clark Bryan

Catherine McInnes

Patrick Schmidt


“It’s not just about teaching them music, but what it does for them as human beings.”

“We strive to create a model outside of the ‘system’, and have it work so that everyone else wants to be a part of it.”

We exemplify lifelong learning from our strong early children programs to university level to older adults. Music takes them right through to life’s end.


Dr. Patrick Schmidt, Assistant Professor (Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario)

Brad Merrison, Director of Music (614 Air Cadets)

Sue VanDyunhoven, Ventriloquist

Gillian Laidlaw, Music Educator

George Laidlaw, Musician

Catherine McInnes, Education Coordinator (London Arts Council)

Rudy Frommhold (Southern Ontario Ukulele Players (S.O.U.P.))

Rita Frommhold (Southern Ontario Ukulele Players (S.O.U.P.))

Dr. Carol Beynon, Associate Vice Provost (Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario)

Gywn Beynon, Conductor (Encore)

Jayden Beaudoin, Music Educator

Bill Bettger, Music Educator

Eva Bettger, Music Educator

Rosemary Bannerman, Music Educator

John Lam, Music Educator

Alice Leys (Western Mustang Band

Angela Leroy (Western Mustang Band)

Kim Eyre, Music Educator

Clark Bryan, Musician, El Sistema

Cathy Benedict (Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario)

Coalition for Music Education

Holly Nimmons, Executive Director (Facilitator)

  • Anah Shabbar, Youth Coordinator
  • Ashley Boychuk, Administrative Assistant
  • Darryl Ayles, Videographer
Currently the highlight report is only available in English. Please contact info@musicmakesus.ca if you have any questions.’