Canadian Music Class Challenge

Canadian Music Class Challenge: FAQs

Get the answers to all your questions.

Get the answers to all your questions

Want to know something about the Canadian Music Class Challenge? Take a look at our list of frequently asked questions to find out the answers to our most common queries.

How do I enter my class?

Choose a song from the song list, to teach to your students once classes commence in fall 2020. Once your registration has been submitted, a CBC Music producer will contact you with a link to a Google folder where you will upload your finished class video performance, a class photo and the description of your class/video, which will appear in the description field of your video on our YouTube page.

Does my music class qualify?

The contest is free, and open to music classes at a recognized Canadian educational institution (traditional music class, music club or after-school program) as well as community music programs (community centres, private music schools, refugee centres, etc.) Classes must consist of at least six students no older than age 18, with a supervising teacher. 

My class will not be gathering to perform. Can we create a video based around people performing from home?

Yes, we highly encourage those who are not able to gather to record videos of their performances from home and edit them together into one video. You can see some examples of this type of video here.

My students are learning from home and cannot record a video. Is there a way I can still participate?

Yes! This year we have worked with our partners at MusiCounts to create the Canadian Music Playlist Challenge. We are asking students to create a playlist based on this year's theme of the 50th anniversary of the Juno Awards. You can find out more about how to enter the Playlist Challenge here.

Can a class enter both the Music Class Challenge and the Playlist Challenge?


Can I, as a teacher or instructor, accompany my class in the video?

Yes, accompaniment is fine. We understand that, especially at the elementary level, kids sometimes need musical support, but the spirit of the competition is to showcase the kids' performances  so make sure your performance is heard and seen as support only, and that the kids are the focal point of the video. For the junior and senior categories, teacher support should be minimal, if at all. 

Does my class need to perform a specific song?

Yes. Only the following songs will be accepted. Medleys are fine, but they need to be these songs:

  • "We Find Love" by Daniel Caesar.
  • "We're All in This Together" by Sam Roberts Band.
  • "Crabbuckit" by k-os.
  • "Hand in my Pocket" by Alanis Morissette.
  • "Oqiton" by Jeremy Dutcher.
  • "Robots" by Dan Mangan.
  • "You're Still the One" by Shania Twain.
  • "Il ya a Tant à Faire" by Daniel Belanger.
  • "These Hands" by Digging Roots.
  • "Hold On" by Catherine MacLellan.
  • "Everything You've Done Wrong" by Sloan.
  • "Sing you Home" by the Ennis Sisters.
  • "Dirty" by Dean Brody.
  •  "Like a Flower to the Sun" by Jack Grunsky.
  •  "Seed in the Ground" by Connie Kaldor.
  • "Building a Wall" by Shawnee.
  • "October" by Alessia Cara. 
  • "Hymn to Freedom" by Oscar Peterson.
  • "Sun Rise" by Dominique Fils-Aimé.
  • "Outside Looking In" by Lyndon John X.
  • "Call me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.
  •  "L'amour a pris son temps" by Marie-Elaine Thibert.

Check out videos, song information and sheet music here.

Can my class do a mashup of multiple songs?

Yes, as long as all the songs are from the official song list.

Can my class perform a song that is not on the official song list?


Can I change the lyrics of the song to suit my class?


Can a class submit more than one video doing different songs?

Each class entered should submit only one video.

Do you need anything other than a song uploaded?

Yes. In order to finish your submission, you need a class photo for promotion and a brief description of why your class is so great.

What file format should my video be in?

MP4 or .MOV format (most smartphones shoot in this format).

What are this year's categories?

Upon registration in the fall, you'll be asked to choose which category your class will enter. There are eight main categories. Choose the one that best suits your music class, and will give your students the fairest hearing. Canadian schools are grouped differently in every province, so if one of these categories doesn't perfectly suit you, choose the one that is closest. 

Here are the 2020 categories:

  • Category 1: primary instrumental (K-3).
  • Category 2: primary vocal (a cappella or with instruments) (K - 3) 
  • Category 3: elementary instrumental (grades 4-6)
  • Category 4: elementary vocal (a cappella or with instruments)  (grades 4 - 6)
  • Category 5: junior instrumental (grades 7-10)
  • Category 6: junior vocal (a cappella or with instruments) (grades 7-10)
  • Category 7: senior instrumental (grades 11-12)
  • Category 8: senior vocal (a cappella or with instruments) (grades 11-12)

My class is between categories. Which one should I enter?

We recommend entering the category of the age of the eldest child in your group.

How are the winners chosen?

The winners will be chosen by our panel of judges.

What are the prizes?

The top three classes in each category will win $1,000 and a plaque. Additional prizes will be awarded, including $3,000 for the top auditioned arts class, and top community class.

How are the songs chosen?

We begin our song selection almost as soon as the contest closes the year prior, as it takes months to clear the legal rights for many songs. With consultation from music teachers across Canada, as well as CBC Music's knowledgeable staff, we try to choose a list of Canadian songs that will appeal to as many students and teachers as possible, and most importantly, will be fun to learn and perform!

What is an "off-the-floor" performance?

An off-the-floor performance is a single take, live performance that features no editing or multi-track recording. We want to see your music class perform the song live, as if we were sitting in the crowd watching, and an off-the-floor performance is the best way to do this. Yes, if you want to mic different instruments for the purpose of creating a balanced live mix, that's fine. We're trying to avoid the use of multi-tracking, which would create an unfair advantage.

Can I cut in scenes from my school into the video?

Yes, you can cut in as many images of the class or school in video post-production as you wish, as long as we can see your class predominantly performing the song live off the floor.

Any tips for shooting and audio recording of my video?

Please shoot your video horizontally, landscape style, as opposed to holding your smartphone vertically. Gyms are fine for large groups but can be the cause of a lot of reverb and echo, and to try to use curtains or baffles to absorb sound. Smaller rooms with absorbent surfaces can create the best sound results.

As this year will be different for many students and teachers we ask you to follow your province's guidelines around COVID-19. Recording your video outdoors is a completely acceptable option.

Is sheet music of the songs available?

For most of the songs on our 2020 list, links are provided for sheet music and chords on our song list.

Once I upload my song can I replace it?

No. Once a teacher has uploaded a video file to their designated folder, it is considered their final entry to the contest. Please only upload a file once you are satisfied it is finished.

Why didn't I get a link to my folder yet?

The registration process is not automated. We only process entries during business hours, from Monday to Friday, and during those days there is a waiting period of up to 24 hours. If you have not received your link by then, please send us an email at  Please register as early as you can! 

Why did my intro and outtakes get edited out of my entry?

Your entry should consist only of the performance of your song and run no longer than six minutes in total.

In what format should I submit my class description and bio?

Please upload your class description and bio on a DOX, DOCX or PDF format to your folder.

Who can I contact if I have a question not addressed in the FAQs?

Email and a producer will get back to you shortly.

Is there a newsletter I can sign up for to keep informed?

Yes! Please register for our newsletter at:

Is there a hashtag I can use to promote my class video?

Yes, #CBCMusicClass.

What are the other benefits of participating in the Challenge?

You could have a high-profile Canadian musician visit your music classroom, CBC Kids could visit your class, we could highlight your performance on local and national CBC Radio, TV and digital platforms, plus you could get yourself featured in media beyond the CBC.

Do I need to provide a student permission form to the CBC?

No, the CBC does not require permission waivers. You own the video and should make sure all the kids are participating with parental permission.

My class video is finished, when can I send it in?

The submission period for completed videos begins Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT.

When is the last day I can send in my class video?

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET.

When are the winners announced?

Winners in the eight winning categories and three bonus prizes will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at approximately 8 a.m. ET on CBC Music Mornings and on all other CBC Music platforms.