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Grande Prairie Public School Division
Every Student Succeeds
Student Testimonials

Testimonies from current GPPSD students and parents

"I love that in Music [class] everyone works together. 

My favourite memory of Music this past year was playing 'Conquest' at the College and learning that turning the mouthpiece on the flute makes a few notes sound better. I'm doing pretty well. I've noticed that I've improved a lot, with playing, memorizing, hand placements etc." 

 - Kristine, Grade 8 Music Program student at Roy Bickell Public School

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"I love that we get to play and try all the instruments and then we get to choose which instrument we like best. 

I really like when we get to learn a new song or when Mrs. Penner plays YouTube videos of the instruments being played so we can hear what it is suppose to sound like. I also loved when the Grade 1's came to our music class to listen to us play. I think they really liked it!"

- Kiersten, Grade 6 Music Program student at Aspen Grove School


"I really love and enjoy the music program because there are so many things we are able to do. We participate in school concerts and music festivals like our school Fine Arts Night and the Grande Prairie and District Music Festival"    

" [During performances] Mrs. Penner tells us take deep breathes before playing, this helps you to do your best." 

 - Tae, a Grade 7 Music Program student at École Montrose

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"I was in music growing up and it's one of the biggest factors of my youth that I miss. 

Music is therapy. It makes your brain work in another way with sound, cause and effect and provides a sense of accomplishment. I love that they are being exposed to public performance and learning what can be achieved as both an individual and a group with practice. 

My kids are exposed to another friendship group and have a sense of camaraderie with their music peers. It's enjoyable and fun 'break' from school while still learning valuable skills. 

I would recommend the program because it's an exposure to creativity and a lifelong skill while giving kids a sense of belonging and pride."

 - Kristen, parent at Roy Bickell Public School

"As part of the grade 6 Muisc Program, my daughter had the opportunity to explore a variety of band and orchestra instruments before choosing one band and one orchestra instrument to try for 2 or 3 months.  Having the program set up this way allowed her to try a bunch of instruments, see which one she liked, and then decide. 

My child is often quiet and doesn't always want to try new things, however this is not the case in the Music program. Her confidence has grown, and she has found a new passion. She has really connected with her Music teacher and looks forward to music days. "

 - Serge, parent at École Montrose


Testimonies from former GPPSD students and staff

"I've moved a lot as an adult, and a place only truly feels like home once I've found a musical ensemble to play with. My bands become my family in a new city, and it all started in GPPSD classroom. I couldn't imagine when we were taught those first few notes that I would end up on stage at venues like the Winspear Centre or the Jubilee Auditorium."                                                 

                                                                                                                                      - Alison Brown, former GPPSD Band Student, 2003-2011

"I made life-long friends through being in band class in school both in GP and the other places I lived. I learned the value of practicing something and taking feedback to improve at it, Music or otherwise; And even though playing Music is not something that is a part of my life anymore; I never lost my love for finding and listening to new Music and still make friends at music festivals and concerts to this day."  

                                                                                                                                      - Ian Anderson, former student at Derek Taylor Public School


"Being a part of the GPPSD music program gave me a sense of community. When I was in high school, it was the highlight of every day for me. The orchestra I was in felt united, especially when playing music together, and it was my most enjoyable class.

I also believe it makes my brain stronger, because of how many parts of the mind it uses at once - coordination, multitasking, comprehension of deeper meanings, and of course actual musical skills. 

Most people I meet in my university program were part of a music program in high school, which to me only further proves that learning music expands to positively influencing all parts of life. I haven't met anyone who regrets being in the music program. It created a vibrant sense of meaning in everyday life and it still affects my way of seeing the world."  

          - Keiran Nicholson, B.Sc. student in Honors Astrophysics, and
2020 Principal Violinist in Charles Spencer High School's Orchestra

"Having grown up with strong, inspiring, and compassionate music teachers throughout my K-12 schooling in the Grande Prairie Public School Division, I learned to love Music! 

I learned to play clarinet in bands and sing in choirs. I learned the language of music, learned to work with others, and I learned to follow directions so that our final musical product was beautiful. My musical abilities were stretched through practices, adjudications, and solos.

Many of my best memories of school are singing in Music Class with Mrs. Larter at Parkside. Using our instrument cases to clap out the heavy beat of 'We Will Rock You' while riding on the school bus from Parkside to our band class with Mr. Donkin at the old Grande Prairie High School downtown. Junior high music trips to Peace River to play at the Correctional Facility. Getting to leave regular classes to attend the music festival at the College. Music provincial competitions in Edmonton and Calgary with Mr. Hafso and Mr. Townsend. High school music trips to compete in festivals in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, and Texas with Mr. Galbraith, Mrs. Galbraith, Mr. Bray and Mr. Townsend. 

Our school music teachers inspired us to be our best selves. They understood our passion for creating. They helped us find gifts and talents for music and leadership that we did not know we had. They made learning fun and encouraged us to practice to be our best!

My own children were blessed to be part of elementary, junior high and high school Music Programming in GPPSD. Orchestra, band, and choirs have given my children experiences to create, support and encourage others and to learn talents that have, and will continue to, bless their lives. They were able to travel and experience many national and international competitions and through them have seen the world. Music was and continues to be part of their lives!

As an elementary teacher, although not formally trained in music, I use many of the songs and activities my amazing teachers used when I was a student, in my own classes each week. I hope I can instill a love for music in the children I am fortunate to teach.

Music education builds student character, talents, and lifelong friendships. I highly encourage parents to consider Music Education for their children." 

- Leslie Whipple Teacher, GPPSD

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Music Program Grades 5-8 - Grande Prairie Public School Division (