Students team up with Music Counts to give back


Bolthouse music celebrated its fourth annual Music Counts event, Beat For Beat on Jan 27.

Beat For Beat is a campaign in affiliation with Music Counts, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of music education. Music counts has a staff of only 10 people but has helped a countless number of young adults across Canada.

Guest speakers included Canadian singer Suzie McNeil, Blake Carter and Lindsay Stafford from 93.5 The Move. Carter and Stafford hosted this event and provided live Snap Chats throughout the evening, using a special filter made for the Beat For Beat event, created by Ryerson students.

Blake Carter and Lindsay Stafford from 93.5 The Move.
Fourth-year Ryerson Journalism students who created this event. (Photos by Samantha Russell/Sheridan Sun)

Seven Journalism students from Ryerson University developed and coordinated this event. They got into contact with all the guest speakers, host and performers, and worked on the event for five months as their final project for school.

“Music is the most important thing in my life. It has always been with me, even before I knew I wanted to be a musician. My experience with music in my school was a special one. I had the most inspiring and cool teacher,” said McNeil.

There were musical performances as well with each performer doing three songs to showcase their talents.

Suzie McNiel spoke about what music means to her and why she supports this event.

“Having an event like this where it gives back to kids and it can make their dreams happen, is a great thing. It is truly incredible to watch people’s dreams come true just by a simple thing like music,” said singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony.

Anthony, who began to tear up during his performance, had to stop midway and wipe his eyes. He was so emotionally attached to the meaning behind the event and what music means to him.

Performer Vanessa Lu, a former student of The Remix Project, performed her original songs and showcased what Music Counts has allowed her do with her talents.

“I had joined The Remix Project and through that I found a lot of opportunities and I was able to find who I was as an artist. I think this event is amazing because it gives back to music programs. I don’t think people realize that in Canada there aren’t many music schools and programs,” said Lu.

An Oakville band called Valley performed at the end of the event. Two of its four members are currently enrolled at a music school called Metal Works.

“My life has changed because of music and my music teacher. This event really speaks to me because of how much appreciation there is for music programs and music teachers. I’m doing music full time with the band so I am living the dream,” said Mike Brandolino, guitar player for Valley.

Oakville band Valley performed last at the event. They left the crowd speechless.