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Bridge to Music Program

KW Symphony Bridge to Music Program

We are currently accepting applications to begin lessons in September 2017.

The KWS is encouraging youngsters in a low family income bracket to start music lessons! The program is geared to ages 6-13 with no previous music experience necessary. The student can choose to study an orchestral instrument from the strings, woodwinds, brass, or percussion families, such as: Violin, Viola, Cello, Clarinet, Oboe, Trombone, Euphonium and others. The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony provides the following:

  • Connections to a professional music teacher
  • Subsidized lessons that cost the student on $5 for each ½ hour lesson
  • An instrument for only $20 for the length of the teaching year
  • Tickets to specific KWS concerts for the student and family
  • Opportunities to participate in the Kiwanis music festival, and RCM examination program.
  • Performance opportunities with other Bridge to Music students
  • Long-term opportunities to play with other young musicians in the Youth Orchestra Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I'm eligible?
The Bridge to Music program is for low income families who have young members willing to commit to taking up an orchestral instrument and studying it seriously. Financial eligibility is based on total household income – all income before taxes. Proof of eligibility may be required with submission of the application. The following chart indicates the maximum annual income cut-off points depending on the number of family members:

1                           $ 24,600
2                           $ 30,625
3                           $ 37,650
4                           $ 45,712
5                           $ 51,846
6                           $ 58,473
7+                         $ 65,101

Statistics Canada, 2017

Some consideration is given to extraordinary expenses that impact on the family's net income.

Which instrument do I choose?
If your child isn’t already begging for a particular instrument, it is strongly encouraged that you spend some time with them watching videos of orchestral performances (live is even better!). The Bridge to Music program encourages a long range study of an instrument so finding the right one is important. Some instruments are dependent on age (see application form), if you are unsure, please reach out to us and we will be happy to recommend something for your child’s interests.

How do I find a music teacher?
Most musicians in the KWS teach on their instrument, at universities, independent music schools and privately in their home studios. We will connect you with one of these teachers to ensure there is a good fit. Our teachers are enthusiastic and promote learning through positive encouragement. The student only has to pay $5 for each lesson.

Where do I get an instrument?
The KWS will help supply you with an instrument through its instrument bank or through our partnership with Long & McQuade Music. The cost to the student is only $20 for the length of the teaching year (fall through spring). Extension through the summer may be arranged for an additional fee.

When and where do the lessons take place?
Lesson time and location scheduling is determined between your teacher and yourself. All lessons will take place within Kitchener-Waterloo. It is encouraged that you declare your typical lesson availability with your application form so that we can match you with an appropriate teacher.

How can I apply?
Please download the Application form below, and once completed, sent a copy via email to – . Or as a hard copy to the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts (36 King St. W. Kitchener, ON. N2G 1A3) Attn. Laurie Castello.

Application form

Click here to download the application form. Please fill in the applicable sections and return via email or fax to the contact information below. We are currently accepting applications to begin lessons in September 2017.

Contact Us

Director of Operations and Education
Phone: 519.745.4711 x 282
Fax: 519.745.4474




Bridge to Music Sponsor:

sunlife financial making the arts more accessible

KWS Bridge to Music Program