Press

Music travels to
higher grounds
by Radhika Panjwani

Brampton Guardian: June 6, 2011

A passion for music and a love of teaching prompted Andrea Currie Jefferson to start music classes in a Brampton highrise building.
Her initiative, Music At The Towers, set up in the cluster of apartment buildings located at 85 Charlois Blvd., near Steeles Avenue and Hurontario Street, has been offering affordable music lessons to children between the ages of 8 and 18.
Recently, Jefferson’s first batch of students– after just 14 weekly lessons– performed their first concert. At the concert, the budding young talents had an opportunity to watch and hear eight students from Queen Elizabeth Public School in Mississauga and their teacher David Rehner perform.
Jefferson, an associate concert master of the Brampton Symphony Orchestra and a former concert master of the Etobicoke Philharmonic, said Music At The Towers was set up to encourage and develop thinking skills and enrich the lives of young children from Brampton.
“Music has the power to transform lives,” Jefferson said. “This program is an echo of the highly successful El Systema program which is sweeping the world, elevating the lives of marginalized children everywhere it goes. It is a class orchestra program offering a balance of violin, viola and cello and bass to residents of several highrise buildings adjacent to Shoppers World Mall.”
Jefferson charges $25 for six classes. The idea is to not only to make music lessons affordable, but help families save on transportation costs and other logistics of dropping off and picking up children from classes.
The dedicated music teacher has spent what she calls a “lifetime” teaching the violin, viola, cello and bass to junior high and high school students, she knows too well, making music lessons affordable means more and more youngsters can enjoy and share the experience.
The classes are run in the building’s party room. Jefferson spends her own money to support the program.
“We found our first eight students by standing in the basement lobby on a freezing February day talking to people as they came home from work and school,” she recollected. “Personal contact works. Some children and parents are instantly attracted to the idea, however we figure we have only managed to reach just 5 to 10 per cent of the highrise complex population with this method. Our biggest problem is to get the word out to interested families in Brampton. Although we hope to attract many more of these apartment dwellers, children from anywhere in the area can join as well.”
For more information, call 905-459-9606 or e-mail pc_chamber@hotmail.com.