Music Matters
Music Matters

Core Principles

Below is a comprehensive account of the focus and benefits derived from Music Matters programs

Who we are

Kevin Martin - Musician/Music Educator - B.Ed, M.Ed

  • 1996 B.Ed (Secondary )University of Alberta

  • 2017 M.Ed (Master of Educational Studies) University of Alberta

  • 25+ years as an educator in alternative, outreach, First Nations and adult education

  • Multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter

  • Creator/instructor - PACE Outreach School music program

  • Creator/instructor - Alexander First Nation music program

  • Creator/instructor - Atikameg School music program

  • Performed across western Canada both solo and in groups

  • Completed Sound and Vibrational Healing - John Stuart Reid

  • Private instructor for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele

  • Drum circle facilitator

Leanne Nightengale - Vocalist /Musician, Breath and Sound Practitioner

  • Private Classical and Contemporary training at Grant McEwan College - first place awards and scholarships, call backs from talent agencies incl Sony

  • Private voice instructor 20+ yrs

  • Shamanic Healing Practitioner utilizing rattles, drums, crystal bowls and vocal toning

  • Certified Conscious Connected Breathwork Practitioner

  • New Apostolic Church Adult and Children's choir Director 20+ yrs - including time as Alberta rep, writing and directing children's musicals

  • Kokopelli Choirs 7 yrs - feature solos and engagements with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

  • Principal Big Band vocalist (saxophonist) - Trocadero Orchestra 16 yrs, Edmonton Swing Band 8 yrs, Barefoot Big band 8 yrs and many others for feature performances

  • Harmony Staff Musical Theatre Group - Lead vocalist and co-writer 10 yrs

  • Currently singing and playing for the Centre for Universal Enlightenment, and with Heart Song Trio and duo Nightengale and Martin

Core Principles of Music Matters  

  1. Inclusion

  2. Community Building

  3. Positive/Affirming Message – Social awareness and change

  4. Indigenous Pedagogy

  5. Sharing/Listening

  6. Sum of the parts is greater than the whole

  7. Differentiation by skill, interest, readiness

  8. Music as therapy/healing

  9. Cultural infusion/proliferation

  10. Creativity

1. InclusionWe believe in building community through accepting everybody who has a passion or interest in music. Age, ability, prior experience and skills will not be barriers to the program. We will start from where you are. All are welcome.

2. Community BuildingMusic serves to break down cliques and social groupings, thereby reducing bullying and anti-social behaviours within communities. Music can play an important role in mitigating violence, substance abuse, and isolation. While many projects with a common focus serve a similar purpose, music is particularly well suited to these ends because of its universal appeal and acceptance.

3. Positive/Affirming One of the main tenets of our music education program is that all lyrical/visual representations be uplifting/life affirming and positive. We are staunch advocates of accepting all musical styles or genres however we will not accept misogyny, inequality, hatred or violence directed at anyone or group of people. We believe in using music as a tool for social awareness and change.

4. Indigenous Pedagogy - The maxim “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve (in love) me and I learn” is a foundation of our program, as is it a key underpinning of traditional First Nations teaching methods. MM creates an emotional learning experience which  serves to address many issues around learning style, engagement, motivation, and confidence.

5. Sharing/Listening - One of the key skills developed in music education is the ability to not only listen to yourself, but to listen to others and find your own place within the group. When this happens you move from individuals making sounds together, to making music.

6. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts - While skill development is an important part of music education, We maintain it is more important to be a good listener, to understand the subtleties of music (dynamics, harmony, rhythm) and to work in cooperation and collaboration with others rather than be “the star.”

7. Differentiation- Not everyone develops at the same rate. Not all participants have the same interests or abilities. Not all people are comfortable in performing in front of others or sharing things they have created. By recognizing this and adjusting teaching to meet these differences all participants have the chance to feel engaged, respected, and valued.

8. Music for Healing/Therapy - Music is unique among activities/subjects because of its therapeutic qualities. It is among the best therapies for healing emotional trauma. Many musicians attest to the ability of music to get them through difficult times in their lives and support when little else would. Music has other assets such as collaboration and integration which help when dealing with depression and other mental health issues.

9. Cultural Infusion Music plays an important role in cultural proliferation and representation. It connects people with a common past and encourages adherence to the ways of those that have come before. It is a powerful tool in advancing culture and allowing outsiders to experience particular cultures and their values through songs and stories.

10. CreativityMusic is the language which expresses that which words cannot.” Many scholars believe developing musical creativity increases learning abilities in other areas and subjects. For me the development of creativity not only enhances the types of learning associated with cognition and brain function, but emotional balance and stability as well. It also produces intense satisfaction and accomplishment when something comes from an idea to a concrete work of art.