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Our Awesome Program

What is The Big Sound?

El Sistema Grey Bruce - The Big Sound is an after-school program that will inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential. The program is founded on a very simple concept - inspiring excellence through music.

Read more about our mission and vision.

How Do I Register?

Children and their families interested in becoming involved in the program are encouraged to complete a registration form and/or attend a community information session. There is no cost to participants - but commitment is required.
Find out how to register your child.

How Can I Help?

We welcome support from the community.
From donated instruments, sharing your time and talents as a volunteer, making a cash donation, and/or attending our events, we need your help to make The Big Sound a success.

Find out how you can help.

About Us

Inspired by a program developed in Venezuela in the mid 1970s, The Big Sound creates opportunities for children and youth who, for various reasons, are often excluded from extra-curricular musical activities, such as playing in an ensemble or orchestra.

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We’re Hiring

El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound


Title:                                           String Instructor

Program:                                  El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound

Reports to:                               Human Resources Committee

Hours:                                        9 hours/week

Dates:                                         To: June 2022

Starting Hourly Wage:       To Be Negotiated

El Sistema Grey Bruce – 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 positive change in their community. El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound will focus on children with the fewest resources and greatest need and is delivered at no cost to participants.

Position Summary:

This position will collaborate with an exciting team of Sistema instructors and volunteers to facilitate both ensemble learning and individual progress, in alignment with El Sistema’s ideas of musical excellence and social inclusion. The instructor will be responsible for leading beginner, intermediate, and senior string classes. The instructor will ensure the highest quality string experience; create curriculum and pedagogy in collaboration with other instructors, nurturing each child holistically. The instructor will support the Mission and community of El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound, and have a strong commitment to excellence in artistry, pedagogy and advocacy.


  • Post-secondary degree (Bachelor or Masters) in music and/or a combination of education and equivalent experience in the field.
  • Experience teaching strings (especially violin), particularly in a group setting, to children from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrate excellent musicianship and artistry as a performer and educator.
  • Strong commitment to El Sistema philosophy of social change through music and the Mission of El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound.
  • Ability to work and contribute in a team environment.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to multi-task effectively.
  • Commitment and ability to be a motivational mentor and role model for students, parents, and peers as an artist, educator and citizen.
  • Willingness to travel for performance and professional development opportunities.
  • Provide a current (less than 6 months) Criminal Record Check, including a Vulnerable Sector Search.

Please Note:

As a condition of employment, Proof of Vaccination against COVID-19 is required.

El Sistema Grey Bruce – The Big Sound is an equal opportunity employer. Upon request, accommodations for interviews and assessments will be provided to qualified candidates/applicants.

Applicants should submit their cover letter, resume, and their salary expectations to by December 10, 2021 at 4:00p.m.

We would like to thank all applicants for their interest however only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

The Big Sound @ The Harmony Centre

Dear Parent:

In previous years, The Big Sound (TBS) has been able to offer its after school program 3 days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) immediately after school at Hillcrest Elementary School.

Since we find ourselves in the 4th wave of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, we are not able to operate our Program at Hillcrest.  As a result, we are considering running the Program at The Harmony Centre (THC) in Owen Sound (890 4th Avenue East).

In order to gauge interest in this opportunity we are conducting a brief survey to determine if a sufficient number of families are interested.  If your child is interested in participating, please complete the following questionnaire and return it to The Big Sound at



Would your child be interested in participating in this no cost after school music program?  (circle one)

Yes          No

Can you ensure your child’s safe arrival at THC?

Yes          No

If the answer is no, please tell us why:  _______________________________________________________________________


Would your child only be able to attend if transportation was provided from the school to THC after school?

Yes          No

Would you be able to pick your child up at the end of each day (Tues, Weds, and Thurs @ 6:00 p.m.)?

Yes          No

If the answer is no, please tell us why:  _______________________________________________________________________

Would your child only be able to attend if transportation was provided from THC to your residence at the end of the day?

Yes          No

Would your child be able to participate in the program if one of the weekly sessions was offered on Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)?

Yes          No

Would you be interested in your child attending a full day program at no cost on designated P.D. Days?

Yes          No

If you would like more information and/or would like your child to be considered for the program, please provide us with your contact information (below) and have your child return this form to the office at their school or your child’s classroom teacher.


Your Name:  ___________________________________________________________________________________


Child’s Name:  _______________________________________________________  School: Hillcrest    Alexandra    East Ridge

(please circle one)

Home Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________


Email:  ___________________________________________________________________________________________


Phone:  Cell: _______________________________________                 Other: _________________________________________


If you prefer, you can send your reply by email to:

Phone:  519-372-9715



Please note:


Requirements for new applicants:

New applicants are accepted to the program through recommendations received from their school and/or by lottery.   Even though we would like to accept every child that applies to participate in The Big Sound, space is limited.

Children who participate in the program are expected to attend all 3 sessions held each week for the entire school year (except for legitimate absences such as illness, medical appointments, etc.).

Everything your child needs to participate in the program is provided at no cost, including snacks, music, use of instruments, etc.

In addition, strict COVID-19 protocols will be enforced, including frequent hand washing, masking, and social distancing.