Welcome to the Heart of the City Music Program (HCMP) website. This website is for the Edmonton, AB chapter of HCMP and is designed to provide you with information about the program.

The Heart of the City Music Program (HCMP) provides a way for members of the community to share their love of music with children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument.

Volunteers provide weekly music lessons to elementary school children throughout the school year. The program culminates in our annual Year-End recital, where students have the opportunity to perform in front of their parents, peers, music instructor, and school teachers.


Volunteer registration for the Fall 2019-2020 is now open here.

Also remember to have your reference fill out a reference form located here.

Student Registration and FOIP forms have recently been updated. If you have misplaced your forms, it can be accessed here.. Please return these to your student's music teacher when completed.


We are currently updating our ability for parents to register their children in our program. Please come back lat

Upcoming Events:

About Us

The Mission

To enhance the lives of and learning opportunities for at-risk youth through a structured music program that continues throughout the school year. The Heart of the City Music Program encourages students to make positive lifestyle choices.

To proactively address the social issue of poverty and social justice by the advancement of a more equitable opportunity for disadvantaged youth to participate in music lessons.

The Volunteers

Volunteers are high school students, post-secondary students, or community members who provide one-on-one music lessons to students in inner city schools at no charge.
HCMP is open to offering a wider breadth of lessons on instruments other than piano and guitar and in 2019, we started a pilot violin program. If you are interested in expanding the types of lessons we offer, please contact us at hcmp.edmonton@gmail.com.
Get Involved in the upcoming 2019 -2020 season.



Saskatchewan Origins

HCMP, originally called the Heart of the City Piano Program (HCPP), started in 1995 under Richard Dube, the music teacher of Pleasant Hill Community School in Saskatoon, with the goal to enhance the lives of at-risk youth through a structured music program. Richard believed that involvement in the HCPP would help students make positive lifestyle choices and prevent them from becoming involved in drugs, alcohol, and violence.
In the fall of 1999, the HCPP expanded within Saskatchewan to include schools in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, and Regina.

Alberta Bound

In the spring of 2002, the HCPP expanded to Edmonton AB, thanks to Chantal Chauvet, a former volunteer piano teacher at King George Community School in Saskatoon.


In January of 2005, the HCPP expanded to Ottawa, Ontario thanks to the hard work and efforts of Bettina Choo and the Circle K Kiwanis Club from the University of Ottawa.

In November of 2007, the Montreal chapter of HCPP was created by students at McGill University.

In September 2008, Chris Cheung and Pauline Voon, former executives from HCPP Edmonton, along with UBC student David Leung, founded the HCPP Vancouver chapter at the University of British Columbia.

To learn more about the HCPP in other cities, visit our National Website.

HCMP Edmonton

Here in Edmonton, the HCMP is registered as a Student Group at the University of Alberta. It is run by U of A students with the invaluable support of the Edmonton  School Boards and the music teachers and principals of the various schools.

Program Directors

Since 2002, the Heart of the City Piano Program Edmonton has gone through many directors including Vanessa Sands, Annika Nordhagen, Yang Li, Jennifer Au and Jennifer Shi . Chris Cheung, Shaughnessy Fulawka, Michelle Casey, Sonali Khurana, and Grace Mah.

The current Program Directors for 2019-20 are Joefy Huang and Celeste Kwok.

City Center Education Project

HCPP was revamped in 2007 with the beginning of the collaboration with the City Center Education Project (CCEP). Headed by Chris Cheung, David Cinats, Joyce Fung, Anthony Lott, and Pauline Voon, expansions included volunteer events, fundraising commitments, and the first annual year-end recital at Muttart Hall, Alberta College Conservatory of Music. The contribution of everyone's hard work has allowed the HCMP to expand and evolve into the program it is today.

Music Library, Performance Troupe, and SHINE Youth Clinic

In 2009, two new exciting additions were made to the HCPP: the formation of the Music Resource Library and the Performance Troupe. Led by Cian Hackett, the Performance Troupe consists of talented musicians who share their talent by performing at events to raise funds for and awareness of the program. Also, a collaboration with the SHINE Youth Clinic began, with volunteers from the HCPP taking turns teaching piano to patients at the clinic every other Saturday.

Guitar Lessons

Beginning September 2011, the HCMP commenced a guitar lesson pilot program at Norwood Elementary School and John A. McDougall School. As well, the partnership with the CCEP developed into a further collaboration with the Edmonton Public School Board. In January 2012, a partnership was formed with the Old Strathcona Youth Society after the SHINE Clinic closed.

Saturday Program Starts

In the fall of 2013, the HCPP was able to start a Saturday program at the NCFRC with the help of MusiCounts TD Community Music Grants program.