Canadian kids sing out for music in education

On Monday afternoon close to two million children across Canada will be singing the same song — at the same time.

Juno-award winning artist Serena Ryder's Sing Sing is theme of Music Monday 2009

On Monday afternoon close to two million children across Canada will be singing the same song — at the same time.

They'll be singing, shouting, hollering and chanting Sing Sing, an existing song written by Juno-award winning singer-songwriter Serena Ryder. She added a new verse for children for this year's Music Monday's festivities that aim to highlight the importance of music in education.

The Toronto-based artist said she was honoured to be asked by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada to "donate" a song for Music Monday 2009.

"Music is so important as we all know," she told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"It's one of those things that doesn't need a language, it doesn't need a sex, it doesn't need a race, it doesn't need anything. It's one of those things that bursts all bounds. And less than 50 per cent of schools in North America have music programs … It's preposterous."

She said the first consideration is for kids to have fun with music.

"I want them to feel free in music. I want them to feel like it's something they can have a lot of fun with and they can express their feelings through," she said.

"That's what music is for me," she added.  "It's a place where you can go and just feel absolutely free to literally just feel what you are feeling."

Selected lyrics from Sing Sing by Serena Ryder

You gotta sing sing sing sing sing out loud

Don't matter if you stay on track.

You gotta sing, sing sing sing sing out loud

Don't you dare hold nothing back.

It's not about the way you look or what you do

As long as you are having fun.

Because you know we're here together in the world

You'll never be the only one.

Who's gotta sing sing sing sing sing

You gotta sing sing sing sing sing out loud

Don't you dare hold nothing back.

Sing Sing's upbeat, joyous lyrics are accompanied by clapping and stomping of feet.

"For me, it helps me ground into my body as well," Ryder said. "It's a celebration and it's just a lot of fun."

Kids across Canada will sing out at 10 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. MT, 12 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. AT and 2:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada launched Music Monday in 2005.

"The benefits of music education go far beyond the classroom," CMEC executive director Ingrid Whyte said in a statement.

"Music fosters imagination, creativity, discipline and achievement in our young people. The skills they learn through music and the arts in our classrooms today will help create our caring and compassionate citizens of tomorrow."