Tuition-free program makes music accessible to Toronto Community Housing youth

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Making music accessible to children from all walks of life
WATCH ABOVE: Cellist Judith Manger has created Axis Music, a tuition-free music program specializing in violin, cello and piano lessons and workshops for children and youth living in Toronto Community Housing – Jan 11, 2017

It’s been said that music makes the world go-round.

Music lessons can be expensive, which prompted cellist and teaching artist Judith Manger to create a program that is accessible to all students.

“I founded Axis Music as a means to provide those resources and those opportunities to young people who are interested in developing their skills in music like the violin, cello and piano, but would not otherwise have the opportunity to do so,” Manger said.

“I feel fortunate … plus I can play the piano for free” Axis Music participant Raphael Gebremedhin said.

The tuition-free music program is designed for children and youth living in Toronto Community Housing.

“Honestly, we are so lucky to have Judith in our life, in our community, to come all the way to be a founder of Axis Music,” parent Zufan Keleta said.

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“So it’s like a dream come true.”

Judith holds a Masters of Music Performance from Northwestern University in Chicago and is a certified Suzuki teacher. As a cellist she has performed in Canada, the U.S. and beyond. She has received numerous awards and because of all that she has achieved, her students are learning to set the bar high.

“We require that participants practice five days a week at home, that they attend all workshops (and that) they are punctual,” Manger said.

“We hold end-of-the-year playing exams which determines their enrollment in the following year.”

The instruments are also free, but to maintain enrollment in the program Judith has set the bar high.

“I am very inspired, I love it,” Manger said

“I definitely want to continue doing it and just working with the participants is what keeps me going. Working with the families is what keeps me going.”

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