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Year: 2008 – Province: British Columbia

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

School: Mount Baker Secondary School
1410 Baker Street
Cranbrook, British Columbia
V1C 1B2

Principal: Debra Empson
School Telephone: 250-426-5241
School Fax: 250-426-6673
School Website:
Subjects and Grades Taught : Choir, vocal jazz, music composition/technology, jazz band and concert band in Grades 10 to 12

Teaching Approach:

  • Combine traditional performance-based music training with courses in computer-based composition and recording technology.
  • Use the attraction music has for some students who underperform in other areas of the curriculum to help them improve their broader academic performance.
  • Make sure students never lose touch with the joy of performing and hearing music.
  • Involve adult musicians in student performances and invite them to speak to students and lead projects.

Outstanding Achievements:

  • Led pilot program called Music Composition and Technology, which teaches computer-based music composition and recording arts skills and has become the focus of the school's music program.
  • Has created such interest in music education that approximately one out of four students take part, up from less than two percent.

Rave Reviews:

"No longer was I coming to school because I was forced to but because there was something enjoyable for me there. The music room became my home away from home." Student

"His instruction has resulted in student compositions of amazingly high standards. As they have performed the music they have written, these students have achieved something which they will not forget, and which may inspire them long after they have left high school." Colleague

"Probably the only class students don't skip." Student