Kwantlen Music Students Association Coming This Fall
Culture / May 29, 2017
New club will be open to all music-loving students
Kyrsten Downton, Contributor
Despite the small size of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Music Department, students enrolled in the program will soon be able to connect with each other in a big way.
Earlier this month the Kwantlen Students Association approved the formation of the Kwantlen Music Students Association, a club which hopes to bring music students at KPU together starting in the fall semester.
“Like any faculty-focused clubs, it [will be] a really good way to network,” says Jay Reedy, Vice President Student Life for the KSA. “As far as I know, there hasn’t been a music students-focused club and it’s never really been an engaged part of the KSA, so to have this avenue for student participation in that faculty [is] great.”
While some members of the Music Department at KPU have been trying to form the club for years, it was Emma Dotto, a first year student, who started to push things forward. The urge to form a club for the music students came to her when she was struggling with back pain in her first semester.
“It sparked me on the issue of musician’s health,” says Dotto. “I started researching the kind of things that musicians go through that are not just music-related. Through this research, I discovered that the University of McGill has a Musician’s Health Club. I saw that and wondered why we didn’t have that at Kwantlen.”
Dotto, the president of the club, along with treasurer Amy Wack and vice-president Jeremy Laity, brought the idea of the Kwantlen Music Students Association to the KSA, who approved the creation of the club at a meeting of the executive committee on April 20. Dotto says that one of the early goals of the club is to provide a support system for students in the music program at KPU.
“It is a very hard program,” she says. “There are a lot of demands and the students need as much support as they can get.”
In addition to helping foster connections amongst the student body, Dotto and her team want to use the club to provide funding for musicians who would otherwise not be able to attend certain events, such as concerts or festivals.
Another important aspect of the club will be to help tend to the mental and physical health of students. Dotto says that issues relating to musicians’ health are not often talked about, and that she wants the association to be able to provide that knowledge to its members.
“We take theory classes. We take lessons on our instruments. But we don’t learn so much about who we are as musicians, and a big important part of that is just learning how to take care of yourself,” says Dotto. “Athletes have physiotherapists on hand and will get that kind of attention. It is not so much noticed in music, but it’s there.”
While the club does focus on music students, it will be open to all students at KPU who have a passion for musical performance.
“You don’t have to be in the music program to be a passionate musician,” says Dotto. “The idea [for the club] stemmed from the music department needing a student-led voice to support the issues that are not necessarily talked about.”