Our paper violins are nearing completion!

Today we added the tailpieces, including strings, and bridges to the violins.  Everyone has done a truly amazing job not only constructing, but also painting their violins, learning the parts, and how challenging they can be to build.  These are true works of art.  Everyone can be proud of their perseverance, patience, and accomplishments.  Thanks again to the Tom Thomson Gallery for hosting us.  @tomthomsonartgallery

Singing happens on Wednesdays

At The Big Sound we appreciate that learning to play the violin is hard work.  It is not easy to produce the proper tone, you have to be very precise.  Singing is another way to make music.  Some think it is easy, but it also takes concentration to keep the right rhythm and pitch, especially when you are singing in parts.

When you have a great song to sing, however, the fun makes the work easy!


It’s more than music!

The violin is one of the most difficult instruments to learn how to play.  Not only is it challenging to hold in the correct position when you play, it also lacks frets to guide you where to place your fingers. 

Here, Audrey demonstrates good posture and concentration as she gets ready to start using her fingers.  Way to go Audrey!!! 

Look at all those straight backs and excellent posture!

Thanks MusiCounts @MusiCounts @TDCanada @YamahaCanMusic @LongMcQuade for supporting The Big Sound.

Music is great, but art is too!

Today was Day 2 of creating our paper violins at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery  @tomthomsonartgallery.

Overheard on the way to the gallery:

Q:  “Why are we going here to make our violins?”

A:  “Because the gallery is where art is celebrated and art is made.”

Making your own violin poses a number of challenges, but persistence, innovation, and team work helped the students take their creations to the next level.

Every artist needs some inspiration, so the Tom graciously let us tour the gallery in small groups while the paint and/or glue was drying.  Today we were fortunate to take in Carl Beam: Dreaming Ourselves as Each Other: Guest Curator Anong Beam and a several wonderful pieces from the gallery’s permanent collection through the Community Curators Select program.

Snack Time

Nutrition is an essential part of life.  After a long day at school, The Big Sound students are tired and hungry, so before they start their work at The Big Sound, a break and a healthy snack are in order.

Thanks to the financial support of the United Way Bruce Grey @Unitedwaybrucegrey and the students of the Culinary Arts Program at Owen Sound District Secondary School, TBS students receive a healthy snack every day before the program.

“Humm … that looks good Audrey.”

Making our paper instruments.

There is a long history in Sistema inspired groups of making paper violins. Initially, there weren’t enough instruments to go around. Now, the process continues, but for different reasons. By investing their time and energy and working together to create art, the students learn how fragile their instruments are, they learn to respect and care for them, and they come to realize that they are part of something larger.

Thanks to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery @tomthomsonartgallery for hosting us.  What a terrific space to create.

It is also a lot of fun!!


 Putting the pieces together is hard work,

 but painting is fun, and

 much to our surprise, jumping is also an integral part of building a violin!

A BIG day for The Big Sound

Today marked the first day that our first students received their first violins.  Here are a few pictures we hope that you enjoy as much as we do!  @MusiCounts @TDCanada @YamahaCanMusic @LongMcQuade

 Thank goodness it wasn’t raining!

I’d say Georgia looks happy!

 Opening up your first violin is serious business.  Anastasia carefully opens the case.

 And the work begins!

Our instruments have started to arrive!!!!

Thanks to a generous grant from MusiCounts and the kind support of Yamaha Canada Music and Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Owen Sound, our students will soon be able to get started on learning how to play the violin. @MusiCounts @TDCanada @YamahaCanMusic @LongMcQuade

“Why the violin?” you ask.

The violin is one of the more expressive, moving, and enjoyable instruments to play, but that is only scratching the surface. Although one of the more challenging instruments to learn, the violin offers numerous other benefits.

Studies have discovered that learning the violin benefits:

  • mental function and health
  • attention span
  • social skills and a sense of belonging
  • communication skills
  • self-esteem
  • self-awareness
  • posture
  • upper body strength, and improved motor skills



Today was Choir Day

Today was our second day at Hillcrest.  Many thanks to Keith, Anne, Alicia, Leslie, and Amy and everyone else at Hillcrest Elementary for welcoming us to their school.  We were amazed to hear everybody singing in not one, but two parts!!!  It sounds like we are off to an amazing year.