Canadian Music Class Challenge

Here are the songs for the 2022 Canadian Music Class Challenge

Check out the great Canadian tunes your music class can learn for this year's challenge.

Check out the great Canadian tunes your music class can learn for this year's challenge

The Canadian Music Class Challenge is back for 2022. (CBC)

CBC Music in association with MusiCounts is proud to announce the song list for the 2022 Canadian Music Class Challenge, which returns this fall! That's when we challenge music instructors to teach their students a song from our list and send in a video of the performance for great prizes and an amazing experience.

Here is this year's incredible list of songs to choose from — so far (be sure to check back later this summer for more additions to the list): 

  • "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young.
  • "Go Get It" by Dominique Fils-Aimé.
  • "Nikamo" by Burnstick.
  • "Paper Heart" by Jeremy and Jazzy.
  • "Lost Together" by Blue Rodeo.
  • "Tell me Something" by Tanika Charles.
  • "Oublie-moi" by Coeur de pirate.
  • "The Girl" by City and Colour.
  • "Breathless" by William Prince.
  • "Back In Your Head" by Tegan and Sara.
  • "L'Amour" by Karim Ouellet.
  • "The Rest of my Life" by Sloan.
  • "Little Spruce" by Rachelle Van Zanten.
  • "Need You" by Emanuel.
  • "Where I'm From" by the Reklaws.
  • "Sucker" by Mo Kenney.
  • "Debout" by Ariane Moffatt.
  • "Bird Song" by David Myles.
  • "Wintergreen" by the East Pointers.
  • "We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)" by Trooper.
  • "Canadian Kid" by Brett Kissel.
  • "End of Me" by Billy Talent w/ Rivers Cuomo.
  • "Banner" by Lights.
  • "Somehow, Someway" by Chad Price.

Choose a song from the list, then teach it to your students once classes commence in fall 2022. 

If you're a teacher of an elementary, junior or high school, after-school class, music club, or community music program, or know somebody who is, be sure to share this song list with them. If you're a music student or parent of one, be sure to alert your music teacher. The challenge is open to students at the primary, elementary, junior-high and high-school levels.

Find out more about the songs below. Links to sheet music and lyrics still to come!


'Heart of Gold' by Neil Young

This 1971 classic is one of the most beloved Canadian songs of all time — and it remains Neil Young's only No. 1 hit single. The feel-good harmonica riff is instantly recognizable and could be reworked for strings, woodwinds, brass or anything you can imagine. 

Get the sheet music.


'Go Get It' by Dominique Fils-Aimé

A Music Class Challenge favourite for the past few years, this Juno-winning Montreal artist returns with a bilingual French-English song of female empowerment, urging women and girls to go get it! Great for choirs, vocal ensembles and percussion groups.

Get the lyrics.


'Nikamo' by Burnstick

This beautiful lullaby sung in Cree is our featured Indigenous languages song for 2022, and your chance to teach an Indigenous language through song to your students. Manitoba singer Jason Burnstick spoke some Cree as a child, but his language was lost after being apprehended by Manitoba Child and Family Services as a child. Now, as an adult, he's learning Cree again, and has used his language in song on "Nikamo." (We'll be adding a lyric video with phonetic pronunciations and sheet music soon.)

Get the lyrics, sheet music, phoentic pronunciation, and more here.


'Paper Heart' by Jeremy and Jazzy

We're very excited to be including this charming children's song from Jeremy and Jazzy, a new animated television, music, and multi-platform show from CBC Kids. It's all about how feelings become songs, songs become stories and how music and friendship creates joy. The series brings to life children's music written by three-time Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher. The series stars Jeremy Fisher (Jeremy) and award-winning artist Aiza Ntibrarikure (Jazzy). We can't wait to hear your version of this song!

Get the lyrics and sheet music here.


'Lost Together' by Blue Rodeo

This perennial sing-along took on new reverence during the pandemic, even resulting in CBC Music's Great Canadian Singalong. We can't wait to hear your rendition of this roots-rock classic from 1992! 

Get the sheet music.


'Tell me Something' by Tanika Charles

Recently nominated for the 2022 Polaris Music Prize, Tanika Charles was set to become a farmer in Northern Alberta when she made an abrupt change in her life, up and moving to Toronto to become a full-time musician — and she's never looked back! This sultry, funky, R&B tune is great for any jazz, R&B or hip-hop ensemble.

Get the lyrics.


'Oublie-moi' by Coeur de pirate

This is an absolute gem of a pop song with a soaring chorus from one of Quebec's most popular artists. "Oublie-moi"/"Carry On" was an international hit in both French and English. Great for bands or choirs!

Get the sheet music.


'The Girl' by City and Colour

This platinum hit from 2009 has proven to have incredible staying power, and it's a heck of a lot of fun to perform when it really kicks in at the 2:30 mark with the double-time strumming and the call-and-response back-ups. Have fun with this one!

Get the sheet music.


'Breathless' by William Prince

When this two-time Juno Award winner from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba sang "Breathless" during the 2017 Juno Awards in memoriam presentation, CBC Music's Holly Gordon wrote, "It's little wonder why it held everyone's attention: Prince's voice gently reaches back in time, pulling out memories of things both tangible and intangible that are so personal, you feel as if you're living within each verse."

Get the lyrics and chords.


'Back In Your Head' by Tegan and Sara

This song contains simply one of the catchiest keyboard riffs ever. A song that is lots of fun to learn, play and perform from the powerhouse musical twins from Calgary.

Get the lyrics and chords.


'L'Amour' by Karim Ouellet

This song was a beloved and brassy upbeat pop hit in Quebec, and the record it comes from won the 2014 Juno Award for francophone album of the year. Tragically, in January 2022, Karim Ouellet died at age 37 in his hometown of Quebec City. His legacy lives on through joyous songs like this one.

Get the sheet music.


'The Rest of my Life' by Sloan

"One thing I know about the rest of my life/ I know that I'll be living it in Canada!" It's a lyric that has sent many a patriotic shiver up the spine of listeners from coast to coast to coast  and now you get the chance to sing it — loudly and proudly! 

Get the sheet music.


'Little Spruce' by Rachelle Van Zanten

This beautiful sing-along children's song by Northern B.C. artist Rachelle van Zanten teaches heartfelt messages of taking care of each of other, taking care of your place in the world, and showing love for another over hate. Tear-inducing for sure! Highly recommended for the K and primary grades.

Watch Rachelle teaching you the lyrics and chords of 'Little Spruce.'


'Need You' by Emanuel

This rising Canadian soul and R&B singer broke into the music world in a big way with "Need You," his debut single, a musical message of love and hope, driven gently but powerfully by piano, strings and vocals.

Get the sheet music.


'Where I'm From' by the Reklaws

This certified platinum country duet hit is all about where the Reklaws are from: rural Canada, "backroads, bonfires, cornfields and country music," according to this hugely successful brother-sister duo from tiny North Dumphries, Ont.

Get the chords.


'Sucker' by Mo Kenney

This incredibly catchy debut single for Halifax indie singer-songwriter Mo Kenney won the 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize for the best song by an independent Canadian musician, sponsored by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. That's quite the honour to kickstart a career with, and the song still stands up.

Get the sheet music.


'Debout' by Ariane Moffatt

Dig into this big electro-pop hit from the award-winning Quebec City star on this song all about loudly proclaiming the strength found in pure love. The video alone has racked up an incredible 1.3 millions views! 

Get the sheet music.


'Bird Song' by David Myles

New Brunswick singer-songwriter David Myles is usually known for his upbeat and positive vocal songs, so it came as a surprise to many that he released a jazzy instrumental album — but he clearly knew what he was doing since the record won the 2022 Juno Award for instrumental album of the year! Myles will kindly be providing full band arrangements for "Bird Song," from winning album That Tall Distance.

Get the sheet music.


'Wintergreen' by the East Pointers

Tragedy struck the Maritime music scene in January 2022 when we found out that Koady Chaisson, the banjoist of beloved Charlottetown contemporary folk band the East Pointers, had died. It is in Chaisson's memory that we include this jubilant and beautiful song this year. 

Get the chords.


"We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)" by Trooper

One of the most enduring Canadian classics ever, the message carried in the lyrics and melody in this 1977 radio hit continue to resonate today. 

Get the sheet music.


'Canadian Kid' by Brett Kissel

This feel-good Canadiana country hit comes from one of the nicest guys in the business: the Northern Alberta-raised Brett Kissel, who is now a multi-platinum-selling artist with four No. 1 hits to his name. Fun fact: he cut his first album when he was 12 years old! 

Get the chords.


'End of Me' by Billy Talent featuring Rivers Cuomo

When Billy Talent were writing this rock song, they thought it had a major Weezer vibe, and so they approached the frontman, Rivers Cuomo, who agreed to sing on the track! The result is Billy Talent's biggest hit to date, a 2021 smash that remained at number one on the Canadian Rock chart for twelve straight weeks.

Get the chords.


'Banner' by Lights

An absolutely epic tune from Lights with a soaring singalong chorus. The song came out ten years ago but its troubled-times themes seem more relevant than ever. 

Get the chords.


'Somehow, Someway' by Chad Price

Chad Price and his beautiful throwback RnB song about perseverance and getting through hard times won the grand prize in CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2022 for the best undiscovered artist in Canada. Undiscovered no longer! This song gives love and deserves love.


Which song, or songs, will your class choose? Fantastic prizes will be up for grabs including new musical instruments for the classroom and framed plaques for the trophy case, as well as lots of exposure on CBC TV, radio, and digital.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at musicclass@cbc.ca, or register for our newsletter in the box below. 

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