What is it? Professional Development is meant to highlight the opportunities for people in the music industry to grow and learn, both in their craft and in the business of music. This includes music education (broadly speaking), business specific activities, helping people be aware of opportunities in the industry, and support for entrepreneurs and artists
What it looks like according to folks we talked to…
Specialized music residencies
Supportive arts councils providing opportunities
Funding available for professional development opportunities (e.g., artist development grant)
Private and public music programs available for children, youth and adults
Mentorship opportunities available (for both artistic and business skills)
Keep scrolling for ideas and examples of bringing professional development to life in your corner of Alberta.
Not sure where to start? Look for ideas with the colour associated with your role in the music industry:
Access professional development resources online. This can be a great way for remotely located musicians and businesses to get connected with the industry and learn key skills
Resource:Trickle Down Music (a free, evolving resource intended to help independent musicians get the most out of their upcoming album release)
Provide funding to local music industry professionals to access professional development opportunities and attend industry conferences outside your town (expanding their networks while letting others learn what is happening in your town).
Resource: Alberta Music provides travel grants to support music industry companies, artists and and individuals cover career related travel (e.g., artist travel as well as business travel)
Resource/Info:Breakout West (music conference that brings together national and international delegates in various cities across Western Canada)
Resource/Info:Music Conference Alberta (offers professional development opportunities for music teachers, choral conductors, band directors, and studio instructors)
Support music education across the lifespan, helping people of all ages reap the benefits of music.
Local Example: Banff Elementary School has hosted their holiday concert at the Banff Centre for the Arts—introducing elementary students to a professional performance setting.
Local Example: The Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie provides performing arts programs (including musical theatre) for children and youth
Local Example:Jube School, a program offered through Alberta’s Jubilee Auditoria, offers single day field trips and online classes to ensure their programs can reach rural and small city students
Local Example: Support in the midst of challenges: owing to low enrollment, Northwestern Polytechnic in Grande Prairie recently closed their music program. This has encouraged local music champions to explore how post secondary music programs can be made more applicable to the interests and concerns of music professionals in small town settings, in hopes of seeing a resurgence of the music program.
Example: The Alberta Music Festival Association has 37 local member festivals across towns and cities in Alberta—does your town host a festival, are local school/music groups sent to participate in nearby festivals?
Resource:Alberta Music Conference (Alberta’s premier professional development opportunity for music teachers, choral conductors, band directors, and studio instructors)
Resource:Arts Alive of the National Arts Centre provides a collection of teacher resources, including music focused resources.
Resource:MusiCounts (Music education charity that has funding resources to develop music education programs—also offers a learning resource for teachers bringing Indigenous voices, perspectives, and music into classrooms here)