Welcome Ms. Viv!!!!

We are thrilled to welcome Vivian Bignell, Program Assistant to our program this year.  An experienced Educational Assistant “Ms. Viv” is on-hand to ensure that everyone has a successful and rewarding day at The Big Sound.

We’re back!!!!

We are very happy to welcome our second year students back to The Big Sound @ Hillcrest.  Not only that, but they have all been very busy learning new things about music!!

JOB POSTING – Violin Instructor (Re-posted with new closing date)

Title:              String Instructor

Program:       El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound

Reports to:    Board President

Hours:           9 hours/week

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. following the BWDSB school calendar

Dates:             October 2019 – June 2020

Pay rate:        $35.00 Hourly

El Sistema Grey Bruce (The Big Sound) ( is seeking an enthusiastic, highly-motivated, and compassionate violin instructor who is committed to working with and motivating children from priority communities in a group environment.

The Big Sound is an inclusive after-school music program that seeks to affect social change through the pursuit of musical excellence. This program helps children and young people achieve their full potential and create social change in their community. The Big Sound focuses on children with the fewest resources and greatest need and is delivered at no cost to participants.

Position Summary:

The String Instructor is part of a team of instructors who collaborate to facilitate both ensemble learning and individual progress, in alignment with El Sistema’s ideas of musical excellence and social inclusion. The position will be responsible for leading beginner string (violin) classes.

The Instructor will ensure the highest quality playing experience, create curriculum and pedagogy in collaboration with other instructors, and nurture each child holistically. The position will support the mission and community of The Big Sound, and have a strong commitment to excellence in artistry, pedagogy and advocacy.

Instructing Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with other instructors
  • Lead groups of 15-20 students (Grades 4-6).
  • Instruct ensemble sessions two days a week and provide small group coaching sessions one day a week
  • Cultivate and maintain a positive classroom environment
  • Implement successful strategies for behaviour management with a large ensemble
  • Deliver curriculum, solo pieces, non-instrument exercises such as team-building and creating community.
  • Prepare materials and learning space prior to ensemble rehearsal
  • Present a dynamic and exciting energy that will push students to higher levels of achievement.
  • Be creative and engage the students musically as much as possible.
  • Choose pieces that are age/ability appropriate and that teach fundamental playing skills including material from various cultures, genres, and countries.
  • Attend music pedagogy and professional development sessions
  • Prepare for and participate in The Big Sound performances
  • Communicate with other instructors regarding student’s participation and progress including attending meetings and writing reports
  • Prepare and distribute repertoire, exercises and other music materials Provide curriculum support to other instructors in the program to ensure proper progress is made
  • Assist with full orchestra rehearsal of up to 60 children with a focus on providing support to your respective student group. This focus includes assisting with set-up, playing with their section, actively ensuring that each child in the section can participate and has the support they need during the full orchestra time.


  • Possess a B.Mus. or M.A. in Music or Music Education
  • Skills and ability to manage student behaviour and communicate effectively
  • Demonstrate excellent musicianship and artistry as a performer and teacher
  • Strong commitment to El Sistema philosophy of social change through music and the mission of El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills, with the ability to be flexible and work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community
  • Ability to problem solve and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Experience teaching strings, particularly violin in a group setting
  • Experience leading groups of young children, including an understanding of constructive behaviour management skills
  • Knowledge of string repertoire, curriculum and pedagogy
  • Experience working with children from diverse backgrounds; experience working with underserved communities
  • Interest and ability to be a motivational mentor and role model for students, parents, and peers as an artist, teacher and citizen
  • Ability to work independently as well as under frequent observation
  • Provide a current copy (less than 6 months) of a Criminal Record Check and Child Abuse Registry.

Applicants should submit their cover letter (~2 pages) and resume by 5:00 p.m. on October 15, 2019 to

See You In September

It is hard to believe that school starts again in just a few short weeks!

As much as we will be sad to say goodbye to summer, The Big Sound is very excited to announce that not only will we be continuing our in-school, after-school program at Hillcrest Elementary School, which means inviting the students from last year to return, we will be inviting new students from grades 4 and 5 in Owen Sound to apply to join the program as well!!!!!!

This means that we will have two groups:  First Year Students who will begin their studies and the Year Two “Big Sounders” who we look forward to seeing again and having them help us welcome the “newbies”.

Stay tuned for more information on how to Register and other exciting announcements.


End of Year Concert

It’s hard to believe that our first year has drawn to a close.  It was a joy to see and hear this group of hard working young people perform a selection of the pieces they have learned.  WELL DONE!!!!

The King of Instruments!

Thanks to Ann-Marie and St. George’s Anglican Church, we were treated to a tour of a Casavant Frères organ today.