About the Program
With the establishment of the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community (LCMC) in 2008, the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University served notice that exploring the musical activities of people in our community and beyond is a priority for the University. Symposia, town hall forums, concert events and a variety of research projects all point to the significance of music in the daily lives of practically everyone. Our community, a cross-section of Canada’s diverse demographic, includes an eclectic musical palate with myriad formal and informal music opportunities available to all generations, faith practices and cultural traditions. A logical progression, then, from the launching of the LCMC, is a higher degree program where research, study and skills development would result in the recognition of skilled leadership in a wide variety of community music settings.
Music in the Community has many meanings and manifestations depending on several variables: (a) the people involved (e.g., "community music workers" and/or musicians, clients, or students); (b) the communities and institutions involved; (c) the aims, purposes, or needs that a Community Music program intends to achieve; (d) the relationships between a given Community Music program and its geographical, social, economic, religious, cultural, and/or historic circumstances; and (e) the financial support a Community Music program receives, or not. Music in the Community may or may not be formal. Leadership in community music may be volunteer (uncompensated) or professional (compensated). Music in the Community may be part of a larger institution or may be a grass roots private enterprise. Accordingly, this degree is premised on an open concept of Music in the Community and the advancement of such musical practices; it is designed as a part-time degree study.
Community music “workers” are labelled in various ways, depending on the region in which they work. We prefer the term “practitioner” to embrace a variety of other monikers such as specialist, facilitator, director, etc. Trained community music practitioners can build the arts communities and independent educational centres in Canada to new heights of excellence. Internationally, CM characteristically addresses societal need by providing skills to:
- ensemble leaders and administrators;
- classroom and studio teachers;
- adult education teachers and support staff;
- arts councils administers;
- administrators and managers of arts-based businesses, schools, and music camps;
- music/leisure coordinators at seniors residences;
- prison and probation support workers;
- day care workers;
- occupational therapists;
- community youth leaders;
- church/worship/faith-based leaders;
- multicultural arts leaders and creators;
- interdisciplinary arts creators;
- media and technology creators and technicians.