MusiCounts Helps Keep Music Education Alive in Canada

MusiCounts Band Aid Program Overview

What: The MusiCounts Band Aid Program provides up to $15,000 worth of musical instruments, equipment and resources to any type of school music program. Grants are awarded in allotments between $5,000 and $15,000. Funds from the MusiCounts Band Aid Program may be used to support any approach to music education, and purchase any kind of musical instruments.

Who Can Apply: All public, separate and First Nations schools in Canada are welcome to apply. Schools can apply for support with an existing music program, or schools with no music program may apply to build a music program at their school. Teachers, administrators and/or school support staff may prepare an application on behalf of their school.

When: Applications for the 2020-21 application cycle open on September 15, 2020. The final application deadline has been extended to December 11, 2020. 

  • Early Bird Prizes: Applicants who submitted prior to Oct. 20 were entered for a chance to receive 1 of 2 Peace Paragon Stage II Maple Drum kits, each valued at more than $3,000. These kits were generously donated by Heartbeat Distributors in Surrey, BC.

How: If you wish to apply, you must complete and submit your application online via the MusiCounts Grant Portal. There are two stages to this application. Both must be submitted for your application to be considered for funding. Please consult all the details below for clarity on this process. 

Information On This Page

  • How to Start Your Application
  • Key Dates
  • Information Needed to Apply
  • Equity Priority Policy
  • How Funding Decisions are Made
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Application Support and Accommodations
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Materials & Information You Need To Apply

View the sample application here for full details.

1. Information about your school, and your music program.

  • If you do not yet have a music program, you will be asked to outline your plans for implementing this.

2. A broad overview of your school’s current inventory of musical instruments and equipment.

  • You will enter this information directly into the online application.

3. Musical Instrument Wish List

  • A wish list of what instruments and equipment you plan to purchase, should your application be successful. You will enter this information directly into the online application. It is expected that you conduct research and provide approximate costs for what you hope to purchase. Providing a retailer quote is not necessary.

4. Supporting Documents.

  • You may submit up to 4, 2-page documents with your application. These could be letters, testimonials, photos, etc

5. Information on your school's student population, and the need for the instruments & equipment you are requesting.

6. Information on how you plan to utilize the instruments and equipment you are requesting.

7. Information on the impact that receiving this grant will have on your school's student community.


Band Aid - Sample Application

MusiCounts' Equity Priority Policy

MusiCounts is proud to support all music education practices and teachings in Canada. In MusiCounts’ 20+ year history of investing in music education, however, the majority of our resources have been allocated to music programs that reflect a Western colonial music education tradition. In an effort to promote equal access to music education, and to foster a more diverse and inclusive music education landscape in Canada, MusiCounts is committed to investing in music education programs that empower young people to celebrate their cultural identity, as well as music programs that support BIPOC youth and other underrepresented communities.

How are funding decisions made?

Every application submitted to the MusiCounts Band Aid Program undergoes a thorough review process. In addition to considering our Equity Priority Policy, we evaluate applications on the following core criteria: 

  1. Need level: is there an urgent need for the instruments and equipment requested? 
  2. Program framework: is there a strong plan in place to ensure the instruments & equipment will be regularly used by your school’s students?
  3. Impact potential: will receiving this grant have a significant impact on your school’s music program, and your school’s community of students?

Application Process

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Applications Open

September 15, 2020
JR 4 – 1

Evaluation Period

November 26 - December 10

Early Bird Deadline

October 20, 2020
Junos 2008 Stampede Band @ Sat Gala

Applicants Notified

February 2021

Applications Close

December 11, 2020

Post Reports & Content Sharing

Starting in March to April 2021

Eligibility Criteria

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is open to all public, separate and First Nations schools in Canada. Schools that charge tuition are not eligible to apply. The music program may be curricular or extracurricular, but the instruments and equipment received through this program must be owned by the recipient school and must be used by the school’s students on a regular basis.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Community music programs, but don’t worry we have another program for that! Please visit the MusiCounts TD Community Music Program page.
  • Schools that have received a grant from MusiCounts in the last five years.
  • School music programs outside of Canada.
  • Individuals
  • Other groups or organizations including private music studios, private music instructors, social groups, research organizations, universities, scholarship organizations.
  • Schools that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or religion.

Eligible Uses of the MusiCounts Band Aid Program

  • At least 50% of your grant funds must be used to purchase any kind of musical instruments and equipment. This includes, but is not limited to: 
    • Music production and recording equipment, including software, tablets, microphones, etc.
    • Traditional instruments that belong to a particular culture and/or raw materials to build these traditional instruments. 
    • Standard band and orchestra instruments
    • Adaptive musical instruments, and instruments for use in a music therapy context. 
    • Orff instruments
    • Guitars and ukuleles
    • Amps and speakers
    • Whatever instruments are needed by your school. 
  • Up to 25% of your requested funds may be allocated to repair instruments currently in your school’s inventory.
  • Up to 25% of your requested funds may be allocated to the purchase of music accessories & resources, including music stands, storage, sheet music, and online music education resources. In light of COVID-19, you may also purchase air filters, plexiglass, or other materials to make music education at your school more safe and sustainable. 
  • *New* For schools that are requesting Indigenous musical instruments: up to 40% of your grant may be used for costs associated with having a community member, elder, knowledge-keeper or clinician introduce and/or build these instruments to your students.

Band Aid Impact Numbers

Million Dollars


Band Aid Program - Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about your application or require any accommodations, please email [email protected] or call 647 952 8149.

MusiCounts is Canada’s music education charity. The MusiCounts Band Aid Program provides instruments and equipment to school music programs in Canada that are in need of instruments to ensure their sustained growth.
The MusiCounts Band Aid Program supplies instruments to curricular or extracurricular school music programs in Canada.
You can access the online MusiCounts Application Portal through this page on the MusiCounts website and begin your application starting on September 15, 2020.
Anyone can apply for the MusiCounts Band Aid Program on behalf of the school music program, however applications are typically submitted by the school music teacher, principal or member of parent council. Please make sure the music teacher and the principal at the school are aware of the application. To find out if your school is eligible to apply, please review the eligibility section above.
We are looking for information on any factors that identify the need level of your particular school and school community. Each situation is unique but some factors may include: number of students from low-income families, number of students from single parent households, number of students who would be classified as English language learners, geographic isolation, barriers students face to accessing music education, assistance programs at the school such as breakfast or lunch programs, special needs students, etc.
The MusiCounts Band Aid Program should be used to purchase musical instruments and equipment that will be actively used by your school’s music program. Up to 15% of your estimated wishlist may be used to purchase music stands, sheet music, guitar hooks, cases and other instrument related equipment. Up to 35% of the instrument grant can be use to fund instrument repairs. The MusiCounts Band Aid Program will not pay for teacher salaries, travel costs, music room renovations, etc. Should your application be successful, MusiCounts pays the instrument supplier directly.
Yes. A separate application must be submitted for each school music program.
Schools are selected based on criteria such as socio-economic need; inventory and condition of instruments; number of students; dedication of school staff; and overall impact the grant would make within the school community.
We encourage you to submit your applications prior to the Early Bird application deadline of October 20 for your chance at prizes (more details soon). The final application deadline is December 11, 2020 at 5pm EST.
The MusiCounts Band Aid Program provides up to $15,000 worth of musical instruments and equipment to school music programs. Instruments provided are awarded allotments between $5,000 and $15,000. The amount of schools selected as MusiCounts Band Aid Program recipients and the amount of instrument funding they receive varies from year to year, depending on available funds and the number of applications received. Currently MusiCounts is able to help about 1 in 5 schools who apply to receive instruments.
Absolutely not! This program supports school music programs that include all instruments and various different musical genres. Orchestral programs, rock bands, Orff programs, DJ/ recording programs, cultural programs and everything in between are eligible to receive support from the MusiCounts Band Aid Program and are encouraged to apply.
MusiCounts will let you know the status of your application by no later than the end of February 2020. Should your application be successful, we will also let you know about the public announcement plans.
Congratulations! We will contact you with all of the information that you need to submit. This includes a maximum of 3 quotes from your preferred suppliers. Once we approve them, we contact your suppliers to have the instruments shipped to you directly and we take care of the invoices. We also require our recipients to keep us up-to-date on their program and submit stories and photos.
Due to the limited funding available every year, schools that have received support through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program in the last 5 years are ineligible. Past recipients are welcome to apply again after the 5 year period. For example, in 2018-19 schools who received instruments in 2012-2013 are eligible to apply, but schools who received instruments in 2013-2014 are not eligible to apply.
Once you submit your application online, you will receive a confirmation email stating that we have received it.
If this happens, please reach out to [email protected] Please note that adjustments cannot be made following the final application deadline.
Please contact the MusiCounts team at [email protected] Due to the volume of questions we receive, it may take us a few days to respond.

Previous MusiCounts Band Aid Program Recipient Schools