The ‘Magic Pill’: How Music Helps Kids Escape a Stressful World (30 minute radio documentary)

Young people live increasingly stressful lives these days. One way of alleviating this stress is by taking music classes. In fact, researchers agree that studying music has all kinds of benefits for kids. Despite these benefits, most schools in Ontario don’t have a qualified music teacher with a musical background. Many parents therefore put their children into private music classes, but these can be expensive. Advocates argue that a robust musical education should be provided by public schools so that everyone has access. Nick Ashdown reports in Ottawa.

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OrKidstra (radio documentary)

She calls it the magic pill.

Tina Fedeski believes music can have positive benefits on a child’s confidence, self-discipline and patience.

However, musical programming in schools is less than ideal and private classes can be expensive.

That’s why she started the Leading Note Foundation. The Foundation’s OrKidstra program offers free classes for parents who can’t afford to pay.

Nick Ashdown paid Fedeski and her students a visit.

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Recipient of experimental Multiple Sclerosis treatment doing remarkably well (radio Q&A)

Five years ago, medical student Alex Normandin made a decision that could have helped his Multiple Sclerosis, or could have killed him. He decided to let doctors in Ottawa use chemotherapy to destroy his immune system in an effort to reboot it.

His gamble had unexpectedly positive results, and his treatment stopped his condition in its tracks.

Normandin is now a doctor in Montreal. Nick Ashdown reached him in his clinic over the phone.

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Professor Jane Dickson-Gilmore discusses Aboriginals in Canada’s correctional system (radio Q&A)

Canada’s prison system just flunked a big test.

Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers released a scathing report last Thursday condemning the system for failing Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The Aboriginal inmate population has jumped forty three percent in the last five years.

Carleton law professor Jane Dickson-Gilmore is an expert in Aboriginal justice issues.

Nick Ashdown talked to Dickson-Gilmore about Sapers’ report.

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Advocates criticize Canada’s refugee policies at Refugee Night (radio documentary)

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wasn’t very popular at last Friday’s Refugee Night, held at the University of Ottawa.

Doctors and lawyers told a packed auditorium what they think of Canada’s new refugee laws, and they didn’t mince words. They are concerned about a new measure cutting medical care to refugee claimants.

Nick Ashdown was at the event.

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Tessum Weber, arctic adventurer (radio Q&A)

Tessum Weber was raised for the cold.

The twenty three year-old Wakefield native recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest person to ski to the North Pole.

Weber’s family operates the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Canada’s most northerly resort.

He tells Nick Ashdown about his family’s long history in Canada’s far north.

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Local organization teaches children Ghanaian drumming (radio documentary)

It’s often said that children should be seen, but not heard.

Kathy Armstrong wants to shatter this belief, and she’s doing it with West African drums. Her organization Baobob Tree teaches children how to play Ghanaian drums.

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Ottawa cop awarded for saving lives during Haiti earthquake (radio Q&A)

As the world literally came crashing down around him, Martin LeBlanc became a hero.

The Ottawa police sergeant found himself in the epicentre of the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Despite the risk to his own safety, LeBlanc saved several people’s lives that day.

He recently received a medal for his actions.

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Local foundation supports young classical musicians (radio documentary)

The Young String Performers’ Foundation supports young classical string musicians in Ottawa.

Violinist Joan Milkson started the Foundation a decade ago to help performers under the age of 18 develop their skills.

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, they had their first performance of the year at the First Unitarian Congregation on Cleary Avenue.

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