A huge shout out to the CCI music program:


A couple of years ‎ago I was very concerned about my son. He seemed disinterested in anything other than gaming on his computer. He was lazy, his room was a disaster. That summer he was constantly wanting to go off to bush party’s at all hours. Trying to stop him nearly ended in fist fights between my son and I. At school his marks were in the low seventies and low eighties, I was at my wits end on what to do with him and thought very seriously about sending him to military school.

His mother decided to put him in the CCI music program. I remember when he walked into the house with a trombone, he said “all the cool instruments were gone so  I ended up with this”. I had no illusions on how this was going to go, the bubble above my head said “I’ll give him a month”.

The weeks passed by, and to my surprise my son persevered. The sounds coming from his room went from being toneless and annoying to having a semblance of something sounding like music in a fairly short period of time. A month passed by and he was still playing his trombone. His gaming was at an all time low and the people he was starting to hang with were other kids from the music program, decent well-spoken kids from good family’s. By December it was time for the CCI Christmas concert. I normally hate those things. I am not one those parents that thinks anything my little snowflake does is perfect, in fact I am probably a little too critical of my kids at times (which is something I am working on).
I was expecting very little from this concert. My son was in C jazz and C band with all the other newbies they had been practicing from scratch for three months. ‎So I sat with a sense of trepidation waiting for the concert to start. After C band started I was shocked, they not only sounded like a real band, they sounded rather good.

By Easter the following year, my son had been bumped from C jazz and C band to B jazz and B band. The next concert was a jazz set at the New Life Christian Church and was very enjoyable. By the beginning of the next school year Rory was getting mid nineties in his music and the rest of his grades were in the mid to late eighties. He had now been bumped up to A Jazz the only grade 10 kid in that group. Another Christmas concert came around this time with my son in the top stream of music at CCI again his progress was unbelievable. This past year I have seen him and the other A jazz group play probably four times and thoroughly enjoyed every performance. He is now getting in the very high nineties in music and low nineties in his other grades, he is also working towards starting a band up with a few of his buddies.

Last week I attended the 2015 Christmas concert a highlight for me was below:

A word of explanation: He dropped the slide from his trombone and bent it one hour before the concert and had to use an instrument he wasn’t used to so he  missed a couple of notes.
In this space I am normally berating teachers. This time around I want to offer a very warm thank you to Mr. Hamlin, Mr. Bell and Mr. Clayton also volunteer Mr. Chambers. I don’t think I can overstate this enough, your hard work and dedication has changed my sons life.

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5 thoughts on “A huge shout out to the CCI music program:

  1. Classic.
    Colin, this is not directed at you, because I do not know your politics well enough. But is directed at your ilk, those whose persuasion leans to the right.

    I’m reminded of the US congressman who despise gays, until his son comes out of the closet. Or the senator who loathes socialized medicine until his wife is diagnosed with cancer. Until it happens to ‘them’ they haven’t a fucking clue.

    And how many of these ignorant righties have I heard sing the scorn of support for a liberal arts education. “Go ahead loser, get an English degree, major in music – then best of luck spending your life serving coffee in Starbucks”. The advice of the right; Greed is Good, you won’t need to think, just get yourself an MBA.

    This is my disappointment with the right, until it happens to them or the ones they love there is little thought given to the ‘other’. Just look at the power Music has had in this example, who’d have thought? Well let me tell you who would – the Greeks knew what was important in order to take an active part in civic debate, and learning how to think for oneself, it was an education in the liberal arts.

    • Thanks for the comment Bill, nice rant BTW.
      Firstly you are a lot smarter than your comment would seem to suggest, being that you contradict yourself. You ease into your passive aggressive “slap down” by saying “this is not ‎directed at you, because I don’t know your politics ” and yet it clearly is directed at my “ilk” meaning “kind” or “type”. So do you know my politics or not? And, your comment is posted on my blog so I can only assume it is directed at me.

      My son and I have talked extensively about him having a career in music‎. I did not sway him in any way, but he has come to his own conclusion that a liberal arts music degree, in terms of a career path, is a “waste of money and time”. His words not mine.
      Your comment/rant completely ‎missed the point of my post, being that music and the professionalism of the music teaching staff at CCI completely changed my sons outlook in life, for which I will be eternally grateful

      • Thanks Colin, ranting is one of my favourite things!

        Sorry to disappoint, but no contradiction here. I was pretty clear, this was directed at the right but because I do not know your politics it was not directed at you. Conservatives in general, yes.

        For example, most conservatives (I’ve met) believe in the wonder-working power of Jesus, but I happen to know there are a smattering of – intelligent conservatives – out there who know the notion of God is delusional and silly. I would never assume to know which congregation you belong to.

        I know conservatives who would love nothing better but to quash the artsy-fartsy programs offered by schools, music being one of them. I do not presume to know which pack you run with. So, I hope you see, no contradiction on my part.

        I would like to address your second paragraph, but delicately.
        – Music. . . changed my sons outlook in life.
        – a music degree. . . is a “waste of money and time”

        I trust you see how absurd these two statements seem to me. If music can change a life, might further music not benefit even more?

        I was not proposing a degree in music, I know how tough the life of an artist is. But as we grow we do learn there is much more to life than success and money. An educated, intelligent, creative human being isn’t a bad way to go.

        And should your son decide to pursue a career in music, I assume you’d have a room in your basement where he could live.

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