This semester, for the first time, The YMCA Academy is offering a music class. As part of the learning experience, the class welcomed two special guests in the first weeks of the semester: singer-songwriters Luke Correia-Damude from the band PEERS, and Graydon James of the group The Young Novelists.

Luke shared with students his approach to writing songs, and demonstrated how a song starts as an idea and builds into a finished product. “I liked the songs he sang,” says Lita, a student in the class. “They were real.” Ben, another music student at the Academy, agrees. “I liked the music that he made,” he says. “I’d never seen that before.”

Graydon focused his visit on the experience of being a live performer. He discussed stagecraft, and explained how musicians set up tours and make a living through their art. “He was a pretty cool guy to have,” Ben says. “I didn’t know you can travel to different cities. This was new for me.” Lita adds, “I just liked hearing stories about how he toured.”

Inviting people from the community into our school is a vital way to provide authentic, experiential learning opportunities. This is especially important in the arts; hearing a wide variety of creative voices helps our students shape their craft and discover their inner artist.

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Toronto musicians visit Academy music class

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