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Canadian Music Class Challenge: frequently asked questions

Editorial Staff
The Canadian Music Class Challenge is a co-production with MusiCounts.

How do I enter my class?

Registration for 2018 is now closed. Once your registraton has been submitted, a producer will contact you with a link to a Google folder where you will upload your class video performance, class photo, and the description of your class/video, which will appear on our YouTube channel.

Does my music class qualify?

The contest is open to any music class at a recognized Canadian educational institution, traditional music class, music club or supervised after-school program consisting of at least six students up to the age of 18.

Can I, as a teacher or instructor, accompany my class in the video?

Yes, accompaniment is fine. We understand that, especially at the elementary levels, kids sometimes need musical support, but of the spirit of the competition is to showcase the kids’ performance so make sure your performance is heard and seen as support only, and that the kids are the focal point of the video.

Does my class need to perform a specific song?

Yes. Only the following songs will be accepted. Medleys are fine, but they need to be these songs:

"Stay" by Alessia Cara
"There's Nothing Holdin' me Back" by Shawn Mendes
"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
"Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell
"What I Wouldn't Do" by Serena Ryder
"Knocking at the Door" and / or "People's Champ" by Arkells
"If I Had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies
"Giants" by Lights
"The Unforgotten" by Iskwé
"Must be Santa" by Raffi
"Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane
"Sure" by aquakultre
"Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive
"Carry it On" by Buffy Sainte-Marie
"Mon Pays" by Gilles Vigneault
"Mummers Dance" by Loreena McKennitt
"Charmed Life" by Diana Krall
"I Went to the Market" (traditional)
"Je Veux Tout" by Ariane Moffatt
"Weighty Ghost" by Wintersleep
"Rien a Faire" by Marie-Pierre Arthur
"C Okay" by LGS (Le Groupe Swing)

Check out videos, song information and sheet music here.

Can a class submit more than one video doing different songs?

Each class entered should submit one video.

Do you need anything other than a song uploaded?

Yes. In order to finish your submission, you need a class photo for promotion and a brief description of why your class is so great.

What file format should my video be in?

MP4 or .mov format (most smart phones shoot in this format).

What are the six categories I can enter my class in?

There will be three different groups for entry (elementary, junior high, high school) and within each of those, there will be a choice of entering as an instrumental group or a vocal group. Vocal is any arrangement that includes singing (acapella, choir, or singing with a band or orchestra). Starting from Elementary Instrumental and going up to High School Vocal, the categories are as follows: 

  • Category 1: Elementary Instrumental
  • Category 2: Elementary Vocal
  • Category 3: Junior High Instrumental
  • Category 4: Junior High Vocal
  • Category 5: High School Instrumental
  • Category 6: High School Vocal

How are the winners chosen?

The winners will be chosen by our panel of judges.

What is an "off-the-floor" performance?

An off-the-floor performance is a single-take live performance that features no editing or multi-track recording. We want to see your music program perform the song live, as if we were sitting in the crowd watching, and an off-the-floor performance is the best way to do this. Yes, if you want to mic different instruments for the purpose of creating a balanced live mix, that's fine. We're trying to avoid the use of multitracking or mixing which would create an unfair advantage.

Can I cut in scenes from my school into the video?

Yes, you can cut in as many images of the class or school in video post-production, as long as we can see your class predominantly performing the song live off the floor. 

Any tips for shooting and audio recording of my video?

Please shoot your video horizontally, landscape style, as opposed to holding your smart phone vertically. Gyms are fine for large groups, but can be the cause a lot of reverb and echo, so try to use curtains or baffles to absorb sound. Smaller rooms with asborbic surfaces can create the best sound results.

Is sheet music of the songs available?

For most of the songs on our 2018 list, links are provided for sheet music and chords.

Who can I contact if I have a question not addressed in the FAQs?

Email: and a producer will get back to you shortly.

Is there a hashtag I can use to promote my class video?

Yes, #CBCMusicClass

Are there any prizes?

Yes, this year all winning classes will receive $5000 of musical instruments and equipment of your choice. Also, a commemorative plaque for your trophy case that reads “Winner: Canadian Music Class Challenge 2018." Additionally, our partner MusiCounts will provide an additional $5000 music instrument prize for one more lucky class that shows the most passion.

What are the other benefits of participating in the Challenge?

You could have a high profile Canadian musician visit your music class room CBC Kids could visit your class, we could highlight your performance on local and national CBC Radio, TV, and digital, and you could get yourself featured in media beyond the CBC.

Do I need to provide a student permission form to the CBC?

No, the CBC does not require permission waivers. You own the video, and should make sure all the kids are participating with parental permission.

My class video is finished, when can I send it in?

The submission period for completed videos begins Oct. 2, 2018, at 3pm ET / noon PT.

When is the last day I can send in my class video?

Nov. 27, 2018, 11:59 p.m. ET.

When are the winners announced?

Winners in the six winning categories will be announced Dec. 18, at 8 a.m. ET on CBC Music Mornings and on all other CBC Music platforms.


What is the Canadian Music Class Challenge? 

Check out the 2018 song list for the Canadian Music Class Challenge

Canadian Music Class Challenge: key dates