OverviewOur Programs

OrKidstra’s free after-school programs appeal to children of all ages, offering a progressive musical study that is inspiring, engaging, and fun! Led by professional Teaching Artists, OrKidstra works to create a harmonious community with a focus on singing and playing together. 

OrKidstra’s after-school programs provide a safe, beneficial, and creative environment for students to thrive. Research continues to show that music education helps improve academic and social skills, promotes discipline, increases teamwork and problem-solving skills, and boosts self-esteem! 

OrKidstra currently offers after-school programming to kids living in and neighbouring the Ottawa communities of Centretown, Vanier, and Heron Gate. 



KiddlyWinks is an energetic music and movement program that’s great fun for children ages 5 to 8 years old.


KidSingers is an upbeat choir program that celebrates the beauty and joy of singing together for students 8 years and older.


Get ready to play an instrument! Using singing, percussion, recorder, and other instruments, KidStarters sets students up for instrumental success. (8 years +)


KidPlayers explores the joy of playing wind and brass instruments in a group, proper technique and the basics of music theory. (8 years +)


KidStringers explores the joy of playing string instruments in a group, proper technique and the basics of music theory. (8 years +)


Orchestras, chamber ensembles, masterclasses, improv & composition, and a youth group. (8 years +)


Centre Hub

Click here to learn more about our COVID-19 safety response .

OrKidstra’s Centre Hub is located at the Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa) and provides after-school programs Tuesday-Friday for the under-served areas of Centretown, Centretown West (Chinatown) and Lowertown. OrKidstra’s Centre Hub opened its doors in 2007 and currently serves up to 175 children and youth. OrKidstra’s main offices are also located at its Centre Hub.

Get Directions

Scroll through to find information on our other locations!

Vanier Hub

Click here to learn more about our COVID-19 safety response.

OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub is now located at Rideau Community Hub (815 St. Laurent Blvd.) and provides after-school programs on Monday and Wednesday for the under-served areas of Vanier North/South and Overbrook-McArthur. OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub opened its doors in 2016 and currently serves up to 150 children and youth.

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ScheduleTimes and Locations

We’re proud to say that OrKidstra has over 3,000 hours of programming per year! Led by dedicated professional Teaching Artists, find out when and where OrKidstra classes are happening.

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AwardsOrKidSTARS: Shining bright in our community

At OrKidstra, we celebrate each and every student for their achievements! Created in 2020-21, our OrKidSTAR awards honour the students and mentors who have reached for the stars and gone above and beyond with their kindness, commitment, respect, musicianship, helpfulness, and love. Please join us in congratulating these shining stars in our community!

2021-22 OrKidSTAR recipients

Oyindamola Peters (KiddlyWinks)
Oyinkansola Peters (KiddlyWinks)
Koby Vic-Elmi Jean (KiddlyWinks)
Dima Barkay (KiddlyWinks)
Annika Chang (KidSingers)
Andrew Rose (KidSingers)
Jeannette Ezechiel (KidSingers)
Sophia Lada (KidStarters)
Aleksander Sanchez (KidStarters)
Kevin Lin (Junior KidStringers)
Moyra Kenward-Park (Intermediate KidStringers)
Ben Uch (Intermediate KidStringers)
Maya Pasionek (Intermediate/Senior KidStringers)
Ricky Tan (Senior KidStringers)
Shaveen Silva (Junior KidPlayers)
Rose Greaves (Junior KidPlayers)
George (Yiou) Wang (Intermediate KidPlayers)
Sam Yu (Senior KidPlayers)
Kelly Lin (Senior KidPlayers)

Ariana Choudhury (Musicianship Award)
Mobashera Mohsin (Musicianship Award)
Naomi Hagedorn (Volunteerism Award)

Ariana Choudhury (Musicianship Award)

“OrKidstra is such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and even after you graduate, you’re still a family here. – Ariana, 2022 OrKidstra Graduate

Watch more of Ariana’s story in this CTV News Ottawa interview

Sam Yu
(OrKidSTAR – KidPlayers)

Hear more from Sam in this KidComposers video

TeachersHelp change a child’s future

OrKidstra’s Teaching Artists are extraordinarily talented musicians and music educators who are passionate about OrKidstra’s social mission of success through music.

Our Teaching Artists care deeply about the well-being of their students and guide them towards making positive life choices by encouraging commitment to musical and personal excellence. OrKidstra Teaching Artists are deeply engaged in the community as well as their musical craft.

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Our Teachers

OrKidstra’s Teaching Artists are highly skilled musicians and music educators with their own unique experiences and expertise. 

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Become a Teaching Artist

Are you interested in exploring how your skills as a teacher and as a musician intersect? 

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Experiential Teaching Artist Program (ETAP)

In partnership with the University of Ottawa, OrKidstra offers a 3-credit course to undergraduate and masters level students. 

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MentorsA safe and welcoming place to learn and grow

We encourage and foster mentorship with all our students, along with peer-to-peer teaching, which breaks down barriers and fosters friendship. As the late Maestro José Antonio Abreu said, “A child who knows five notes can help a child who knows only three!”

We also proudly extend this philosophy to our partnerships with local universities and high schools. Since our beginning in 2007, mentors have made a profound and positive impact on OrKidstra’s students – and it’s a two-way street, as there’s no better way to learn about your playing than by teaching it!

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OrKidstra encourages mentorship with all our students, along with peer-to-peer teaching, which breaks down barriers.

Learn more

A photo of two young flute students being mentored

Become a Mentor

Do you want to make a difference in a child’s life? Do you have musical skills you would like to share? Think about becoming a Mentor with OrKidstra!

Apply now

OrKidstra is the best part of my day and the place that I can really be myself…

When Shan was two, she escaped on foot from Eritrea to Sudan with her mom. It was a big transition coming to Ottawa, but now OrKidstra is the best part of her day!

Read the Story

OrKidstra is the best part of my day and the place that I can really be myself…

“I was born in Eritrea [a country on the horn of Africa]. When I was two, we escaped to Sudan on foot because there was a lot of violence and fighting in Eritrea and it wasn’t safe anymore. My mom wanted a better future for me. My Dad’s Uncle (I call him Grandpa) helped my mom, my dad, my little brother and me come to Canada in October 2011 when I was six. We speak the language Bilen at home and before I came to Canada, I didn’t speak any English except for knowing a few words like ‘crayon’ or ‘paper.’ It was a big transition coming here, but I really like being in Ottawa now.”

Shan’s father Melake says “I didn’t really know what OrKidstra was at first, but when I came to the Bronson Centre [Centretown Hub] I saw the kids performing music and I was very inspired by that. Shan really likes it at OrKidstra. She doesn’t want to spend any time away from the program! She’s a little bit shy sometimes, but she loves the music and that helps her make friends here. OrKidstra is really good for my family and for the community.”

Shan feels very at home at OrKidstra. She says “I can really be myself at OrKidstra. Here, I can have fun and be with my friends, but at the same time, I am learning. OrKidstra makes learning music fun! I learn many life skills at OrKidstra: I’ve learned to be enthusiastic, to be caring and to work well as part of a team. I learn both music and life lessons from my teachers like Mr. Gareth. I love playing the cello and music really helps me express my feelings. Whenever I get angry or frustrated I pull out my cello and I play all my emotions! OrKidstra is my home away from home.”

Shan and her family are very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of OrKidstra… “I want to say thank you everyone who helps support OrKidstra,” says Shan. “You have really made a difference in my life. By supporting OrKidstra, you are helping me. When I grow up, I would like to be a biochemist; I also want to continue being a musician for the rest of my life. OrKidstra is the best part of my day and the place that I can really be myself. Thank you!” Shan’s father Melake says, “The program will help my children go further in their lives. Thank you very much for this opportunity.” – Shan, OrKidstra student, age 12 – KidStringers (cello) and KidSingers

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MusicTeach the children the beauty of music and music will teach them the beauty of life.

Timeless pieces. Modern classics.

At OrKidstra, we choose music that excites our students and resonates with different cultures. We’re proud to say that our students come from over 62 different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and our program includes music from classical, jazz, world, pop, folk and other traditions.

Teaching Method

All OrKidstra Teaching Artists are professional musicians and music educators. While they focus on teaching music, they also deeply care about the well-being and social development of the child.

Under the guidance of their Teaching Artists, OrKidstra’s Kid-Powered levels allow students to determine their own level of commitment.


Music education has proven benefits on the cognitive and emotional development of children and these benefits last a lifetime.

“What you have done in the past has a legacy…Older adults who have had music training in childhood…have stronger sound processing in the brain of these particular details…that are so important for communication.” – Dr. Nina Kraus, Ph.D. and Professor at Northwestern University

Anne Taylor Summer ProgramRemembering Anne, strengthening the future

The Anne Taylor Summer Program (also known as CAMP OrKidstra and OrKidstra @ Home: Summer Edition) enables Beginner, Junior, Intermediate, Senior, and Dedication students from all OrKidstra after-school programs to benefit from individual lessons and ensemble rehearsals throughout July and August. The Program, established in memory of Anne Taylor, also gives students the opportunity to strengthen their role in the community.

Anne Taylor was a member of OrKidstra’s Board of Directors who passed away in the summer of 2014. For Anne, OrKidstra was a perfect fit, combining her abiding passion for children’s education with her deep love of music.

Wisdom & Compassion

The late Anne Taylor was at heart an educator, teaching in Montreal, Alberta and Pakistan. Anne was also responsible for bringing a wealth of films from the National Film Board into Canadian classrooms. As well, she founded and co-directed MediaSmarts, an online media literacy site for kids. Anne was a much-loved volunteer in the Ottawa community; she is truly missed by all those who knew her.

Summer fun & music

We are honoured to dedicate our OrKidstra summer program (CAMP OrKidstra) to the memory of Anne. OrKidstra students benefit from individual and group music lessons as well as special workshops, community service events and recreational outings during the summer months.

Apply to OrKidstraBring music into your child’s life

OrKidstra offers free after-school programs in Centretown and Vanier for kids ages 5-18. Parent Marie says, “I really like that my kids can be involved in music; it’s a very beneficial place for them to be after school.” Help your child grow their potential through music!