The Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian Music Educators' Association have undertaken a joint project on Canadian music for schools, as a continuation of the John Adaskin Project begun by CMC in the early 1960's. The present project is designed:
1. to acquaint music educators with Canadian music currently available and suitable for student use;
2. to promote the publication of additional repertoire;
3. to encourage composers to add to the repertoire.
Phase I of the project has involved the preparation of a selective Guidelist of recommended published Canadian music suitable for performance by student bands, choirs, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. Published by the Canadian Music Centre in 1978, Canadian Music: A Selective Guidelist for Teachers includes a one-page evaluation of each piece of music selected. These evaluations provide the teacher with specific guidance as to the musical elements (e.g., style, mood, form, compositional techniques), degree of difficulty, technical challenges and useful pedagogical aspects of the selected compositions. A French version of the Guidelist (Musique canadienne: oeuvres choisies l'intention des professeurs) was published in 1982.
Phase II of the project involves the preparation of selective, annotated lists of unpublished music suitable for student performers. We hope to be able to encourage the publication of the best of the manuscript material. An annotated guidelist of unpublished Canadian string orchestra music was published in 1986, a guidelist of unpublished Canadian music for band was published in 1987, a brass chamber ensemble guidelist was published in 1989, and a jazz ensemble guidelist was published in 1994.
Phase III of the project involves commissioning Canadian composers to write additional music for schools, particularly for age levels, grade levels or types of performing medium which we have found in Phases I and II to be most neglected.
In addition to preparing guidelists of Canadian music for large and small choral and instrumental ensembles, the John Adaskin Project has also undertaken research into Canadian music suitable for solo performers. To date, annotated guides to Canadian music for solo trombone, french horn, free bass accordion, violin, flute, and clarinet have been published.