Since its foundation in 1934, the OSM has always supported youth. The Orchestra’s first Youth Concert took place in November 1935, and such events were an absolute requirement for its first Artistic Director Wilfrid Pelletier. Throughout its history, the OSM has combined daring and imagination in putting young people at the heart of its mission. Thanks to generous, innovative initiatives, the Orchestra has made it possible for successive generations to make music a lasting part of their lives.

November 20 is World Children’s Day, and the OSM has chosen the month of November to celebrate its steadfast and sustained commitment to youth. The following are some of the youth-oriented initiatives of the 2020–2021 season.

The OSM Competition

This year, from October 16 to December 12, 2020, the OSM Competition is adapting to current circumstances by presenting an entirely digital edition on a specially dedicated web platform. Focusing this year on woodwinds and brass instruments, the competition maintains its usual high standard of quality by offering generous cash prizes, artistic and training opportunities, and by featuring highly qualified jury members and a wealth of written, audio and video content for audiences to learn more about the musician’s craft. All these elements are designed to ensure lasting support and recognition for Canada’s emerging music professionals from coast to coast to coast. Visit to follow each step and all the highlights of this 81st edition.


This project allows children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children in regular classes to experience the benefits of dance and to discover the instruments of the orchestra and the symphonic repertoire through adapted workshops given by OSM musicians and specialists. At the initiative of the OSM and of philanthropist Michel Phaneuf, the OSMose project, in collaboration with the dance-therapy component of Les Grands Ballets, took place in 2019 at Montreal’s Saint-Étienne school and continues until 2021. As soon as conditions permit, the project plans to bring the students together for a concert at the Maison symphonique.

Euphony Project

The OSM is proud to present Goldilocks and the Three Bears on November 2, via Zoom to several elementary schools in Montreal. In this concert broadcast live with actress Laurie Gagné and three OSM musicians, students can vote to change the course of the story … and its music! The event also incudes a guide for teachers as well as pedagogical material to enhance the exploration of music by Ibert, Milhaud, Ange Flégier, and Jacques Hétu. This project also supports cultural exchange and sharing, and is made possible thanks to a donation from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.



Thanks to the invaluable support of the Azrieli Foundation, La musique aux enfants welcomed its fifth cohort of young students beginning on October 14. This music education program for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten kids in the Montréal-Nord neighbourhood enables 200 children to spread their wings and reap the benefits of intensive music instruction each year (piano, violin, choral and rhythmic singing). In today’s current circumstances, it is essential to support the musical education of young children, fostering their development, encouraging openness and sharing the dynamics of joy and well-being.

La musique aux enfants is a special programme implemented by the OSM in partnership with the Université de Montréal and the Pointe-de-l’Île school board, in the borough of Montréal-Nord


The OSM’s Education Department is proud to present two new interactive teaching guides. Available free of charge on, these valuable tools for elementary and secondary school students provide a wealth of information on the orchestra’s professions, instruments, and musical history. They include numerous excerpts from works, videos, and games to complement the learning experience, all of which is sure to awaken musical vocations in the classroom and even at home!


Year after year, the Youth Concerts are not-to-be-missed events that bring together schools and the OSM. They let children discover the different aspects of the Orchestra. Because it is currently not possible to attend these concerts at the Maison symphonique, this year the OSM is offering elementary schools the chance to register for a virtual Youth Concert! More details to come soon.

All these initiatives are made possible thanks in great part to the support of our loyal donors. Their gifts allow the OSM to pursue its mission of accessibility and education and to develop initiatives that promote the benefits that music can bring, so essential for young peoples’ development. If you too would like to make a donation:

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