For 30 years, Jean Miso has taught music in different capacities with students within the Toronto District School Board. The students have ranged in age from Junior Kindergarten to grade 9. Specifically, in the past 10 years, her work at Seneca School has centred on providing music curriculum for students who have developmental disabilities. The majority of students are non-verbal, so Jean takes every opportunity to pair sign language with the songs she teaches. At Seneca School, staff apply a variety of communication strategies in order to support student learning and success.
When Jean moved to Seneca School, she recognized, when preparing for Remembrance Day, that the songs available were too complex for her students. She composed a song, “We’ll Never Forget”, for them, to support their learning and allow them to participate each year in a Remembrance Day service at their school.
“We’ll Never Forget” developed into a book that has been translated into French. The song has since become the official theme song for the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France. Proceeds from this book, have purchased a small monument that stands on Hill 70 in France. The monument honours soldiers who fought in the Great War.
Now, Jean have four titles to her collection, and each book paired with an original song: We’ll Never Forget / N’oublions jamais; Their Duty, Our Pride; Legacy & Tradition, 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group; and Vimy! Valour! Victory!. Proceeds from book sales have been directed to organizations that provide support to Canadian military initiatives. For example, donations from the sale of her books have supported Canada Company’s MET program; several Legion Poppy Funds; Last Post Fund; Juno Beach Centre; building of the McCrae statue in Ottawa; True Patriot Love Invictus Games Toronto 2017; Military Family Resource Centre; Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and the Hill 70 monument.
In 2012, Jean received a Commander Commendation for connecting Canadians with our Canadian Armed Forces through her books, singing performances and speaking engagements. In 2014, she received a second Commendation from Veterans Affairs Canada.
Jean believes that the Coalition for Music Education event has provided a venue to give her students a voice. She was thrilled to produce the sign language video for the Music Monday Anthem.
To learn more about Jean, visit her website at www.jeanmiso.ca