Claire Speed


Claire Speed

Claire Speed has worked for the National Arts Centre since October 1994, and became the first Education Manager of the NAC Orchestra in March 2000. Claire was promoted to the National Arts Centre's Director of Music Education in September 2004.

Claire supervises three full-time staff, oversees the more than 25 distinct programmes undertaken by the Music Education Office, and produces the educational component of the NAC Orchestra's annual tours. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in music and education from the University of Toronto and Queen's University. Prior to joining the NAC, Claire worked for the Association of Canadian Orchestras in Toronto, and taught instrumental and vocal music in Toronto and in Bogota, Colombia.

In recent years, educational programming at the NAC has expanded into three distinct areas - young audience development, teacher resource production, and artist training. The programs of the Music Education Office now reach a young audience of over 57,000 through a variety of in-house and in-school programmes, including student and family concerts, open rehearsals, and ensemble performances in the schools. A larger audience still is reached through the educational outreach on annual NACO tours, and through an innovative and kid-friendly music education site on the NAC's Artsalive website.

A substantial educational outreach component is built into the Orchestra's national and international touring schedule, with over 75 teaching activities that include master classes, composition workshops, question & answer sessions, innovative broadband music classes, student matinee concerts, and in-school ensemble performances. Artsalive.ca, the NAC's performing arts education website, was launched in early 2002 with a highly-developed music module, to support teachers and engage young people in the teaching and learning about "classical" music. The Music Education office has produced four Teacher Resource Kits to date on Vivaldi in 1999, Beethoven in 2000, Mozart in 2003, and a remake of Vivaldi in 2004. These kits have been distributed free-of-charge to elementary schools in Canada and abroad, and have included complimentary CDs of Pinchas Zukerman and the NAC Orchestra. The NAC Summer Music Institute with artistic director Pinchas Zukerman is highly regarded internationally, with students attending from all over Canada and the world. The Young Artists Programme has run annually since 1999, with the Conductors Programme and Young Composers Programme joining the Institute in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

Articles by Claire Speed:

On Tour with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra: Reaching Out to Aboriginal Children
June 15, 2019