Sil Sit Down: Sound of MacMusic

Ruth Moon Lopez
February 8, 2024
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

This McMaster club is dedicated to fostering community and providing accessible music lessons

In today's economy, having a hobby can seem to be a privilege. Especially when doing what you love comes at a high financial cost, maintaining your passion When Sally Tsoi, a fourth-year student at McMaster University become aware of this barrier within the music world, she was inspired to found the Sound of MacMusic.

Offering free music lessons to McMaster students, the club is dedicated to making music more accessible. Currently, the club is recruiting new students and volunteer instructors and organizing a group trip to Long & McQuade, Canada's largest music store. Sally spoke with the Silhouette to share more about what Sound of MacMusic has to offer.

The Silhouette: Before we begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sally Tsoi : I am the founder and president of Sound of MacMusic and I'm currently in my fourth year of Health Sciences at McMaster. I’ve played piano for around 15 years but I’m still trying to improve.

Why did you start SOM?

SOM was founded because our team believes in two things: that music is a universal language and that education is a fundamental right. In the past, [music lessons] were seen as more of a prestigious thing. Nowadays, music education has become a bit more widespread, but we still see a lot of barriers, like cost, that are preventing people from accessing music education. Our club is trying to address these two constraints by offering free music lessons that are taught by student volunteers at McMaster.

Our team believes in two things: that music is a universal language and education is a fundamental right.

Sally Tsoi, founder and president, Sound of MacMusic

What can students gain from joining SOM?

Along with free music lessons, club members will receive an online seven-page guide with information on instrument rentals, practice spaces on campus and the surrounding Hamilton area, as well as other music related resources, such as sheet music. We're also trying to promote less mainstream, Westernized music and musical instruments by providing students with more diverse instruments from different cultures.

Why do you think music is so integral to university students? 

There really isn't a barrier in music itself in terms of how you can express yourself. You can consider music as simply sounds and melodies and harmonies and rhythms. You don't even technically need an instrument to make music, so there's a big variety of ways one can interact with and enjoy it. For students, who often live in very stressful environments, I think music is a great way to help relieve stress and to reflect on how we can enjoy our life even more.

To become a SOM member, sign up for a membership here. For the latest updates, visit the club’s Instagram page @som.mcmaster.

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