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About The Hammer Band:
Offering school kids in priority neighbourhoods the unique opportunity to learn life skills through music lessons. Founded in 2007 by world-renowned Canadian violinist Moshe Hammer, The Hammer Band provides free violins to 300 students in 15 Toronto public schools. Instruments, teachers' salaries, and all other expenses are funded by individuals, corporations and foundations. Initially the program provided only violin lessons, but now also includes cellos classes, a summer music programme, and master classes.
Through fun-filled music lessons, students develop respect for self and others, and learn the value of teamwork and personal responsibility. They take pride in their accomplishments and in the care of their instruments. Studying music has been shown to improve self-discipline, lower school drop out rates, and improve overall academic performance. This is an intensive program which teaches children both music AND life skills. Their goal is to help them change their tune. To that end, they endeavour to stay with the young musicians through secondary school.
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About Yosvani Castañeda:
Originally from Cuba, Yosvani Castañeda was just seven years old when he first picked up the violin. A graduate of the prestigious Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana, Yosvani has an affinity for integrating the beautifully classical sound of the violin with hip hop, jazz and latin music.
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