The Sarah McLachlan School of Music celebrates 10 years at the heart of the Mount Pleasant community in partnership with the Wolverton Foundation and with support from the City of Vancouver
The coveted program strengthens the well-being of children, youth & adults 55+ by providing barrier free access to the transformative power of musical learning, expression and community
Since moving to its permanent location on East 7th Avenue in September 2011, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM) has been a staple in the Mount Pleasant community and beyond, offering a full spectrum of music programming and learning resources to those it positively impacts most.
On September 16, 2021 SoM Vancouver will recognize its 10th Anniversary and host donors, friends of the school, alumni and special guests for an evening of celebration and performance, reflecting back on the musical growth and impact on the community that has been achieved in the past decade. Sparked by the influence of music in her life, award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan had long dreamed of opening a free music school for youth facing challenges in their lives and to give others the opportunity to explore music too.
“Music is like medicine to my soul,” says Founder and Chair, Sarah McLachlan. “It has transformed my life, and has always been where I go for comfort and support and where I feel most connected to something bigger than myself. To give kids an opportunity to connect with themselves and others through music in a place where it’s ok to be open and vulnerable is what drove me to open SoM.”
SoM Vancouver opened its doors as an outreach program in partnership with Arts Umbrella in April 2002, and incorporated as a stand alone charity in September of 2011. In partnership with the Wolverton Foundation and with support from the City of Vancouver, who recognized the importance of this initiative from the onset with a contribution of $150,000, a permanent location was solidified at Main and East 7th where the school has thrived ever since.
“SoM is more than just a music school. It’s a place where kids can come to build life skills that enable them to go out into the world as fully successful citizens of Canada and beyond,” says Lisa Wolverton, President of the Wolverton Foundation.
SoM is focused on strengthening the well-being of its students by providing barrier free access to the transformative power of music, learning, expression and community. With locations also in Surrey and Edmonton, over 750 students come through their doors every year. SoM is also currently expanding their alumni offerings to include a number of paid internship opportunities to alumni who will assist in all areas of program delivery, in collaboration with the talented teaching artist teams.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to experience SoM Vancouver becoming such an integral resource to our kids and their families over the last ten years at our East 7th location,” says Jen Rose, Interim Executive Director at SoM. “SoM is a really unique and welcoming space where children, youth and adults 55+ across a wide range of ages and abilities can connect through music while developing their confidence and self esteem, exploring their creativity, growing emotionally and intellectually and building lifelong relationships.”
100% of SoM’s administrative costs are covered through The Sarah McLachlan Foundation, so every dollar raised supports the program directly with funding going towards lessons and materials, in-class instruments and access to the instrument loan program, healthy snack program and transportation program. Get involved online at www.sarahschoolofmusic.com to help provide innovative, adaptable music programs where it can really make a difference. While the majority of students access programs through our community partnership, student applications are also accepted online via SoM’s website.
About Sarah McLachlan School of Music
The Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM) unleashes the potential of at-risk and underserved youth through the transformational power of free music education and long-term mentorship and currently operates in Vancouver, Surrey and Edmonton.