Tackle the achievement gap through music education

Dixon Hall says that for far too many young people from low-income neighbourhoods in Toronto, income inequality and the resulting achievement gap negatively impact their chances for success. Dixon Hall Music School says it is committed to addressing this gap by providing high-quality music education to kids in Regent Park.

Studies agree: music education is one of the best ways to put kids on a path to success and enable them to achieve their fullest potential.

Learning music positively impacts language development—children who study music tend to have a larger vocabulary and more advanced reading skills than peers who do not participate in music lessons. Children who study a musical instrument are also more likely to excel in all of their studies; to work better in teams; to have enhanced critical thinking skills; and to stay in school and pursue further education. Students who participate in high-quality music programs consistently score higher on reading and spelling tests.


For 38 years, Dixon Hall Music School has offered a world-class musical education to children in Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods. The school has positively impacted the lives of thousands of young people. Dixon Hall is a one-of-a kind school that provides students with high-quality musical education, along with opportunities to grow, to develop and to achieve their fullest potential in music and in life. (More info at www.dixonhall.org/musicschool)

The music school teaches more than 300 children and youth a week, ages 3 to 22 and offers instruction for 21 different instruments. Students are doing more than just learning to play an instrument; increasingly, students are creating their own music: learning to write, record, and produce. Last year, 100% of Dixon Hall students who graduated high school went on to pursue post-secondary education.

“We believe that every child, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances, should have the chance to learn music,” says Neil Hetherington, CEO of Dixon Hall. “We see the difference music can make in the lives of young people, and we want to give the gift of music to all children and youth in the Regent Park community.”

On Dec. 1, Dixon Hall Music School will host its annual fundraising gala, Music for Life, at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St. E.). Presented by the Slaight Family Foundation and RBC, Music for Life is an evening of dinner and entertainment in support of the Music School. This year’s event will feature performances by current and former students, along with Juno-award winning singer-songwriter Tomi Swick. (More at www.dixonhall.org/musicforlife)

Proceeds from Music for Life will ensure that Dixon Hall Music School can continue to offer music lessons at rates that community members can afford. DIxon Hall Music School currently offers private lessons for only four dollars, instruments to rent for as low as five dollars a month, free music and arts camps and free tickets for students to attend cultural events.

SOURCE Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services