“Through the study of blues traditions in any curriculum, educators can address educational issues like diversity, multiculturalism and interdisciplinary studies in a way that engages all aged students.” W.E.B. Dubois

BITS Program

“Gary Martin’s Blues in the Schools Program”

Gary Martin is a blues musician committed to giving back to his community. He partners with non-profits, educational institutions, and government organizations in making a difference in our communities through his Blues in the Schools program.

Music is the most influential force in the lives of young people today.

“BITS” helps students explore how they can use music: to empower and invigorate their minds; to get in touch with their emotions; to define their self worth; to work with discipline and in harmony; to transform themselves into confident and compassionate individuals.

or the past 30 years Gary Martin, an ethnomusicologist, has been providing “Blues in the Schools” to students from elementary schools to universities across Canada through the Black History Foundation of Canada and its’ partners.

“BITS” is a music outreach educational program for schools and the community that promotes, preserves, and perpetuates the art, culture, and heritage of blues music and its’ influence on other genres. The program offers a unique and inspiring opportunity for students and adults to draw on the experience of authentic blues musicians through presentation workshops and hands-on instructional techniques.


“…Gary has the skills and professional expertise to work well with both students and adults. He is an eloquent presenter at workshops and conferences and has an impressive background and knowledge from which to draw.”


“…I have had ample opportunity to observe Mr. Martin’s unbounded willingness and ability to provide support, guidance and leadership to individuals within our community. I believe that he is strongly motivated to use his tremendous talent and skills to bring fulfillment to others around him and within the community.”

Student (11yo)

Student (11 year old) “…you are what I call a living legend in the flesh. I now know that with music I can express my emotions and feelings without using violence…”

Student (12yo)

“…before this program I had no idea music could be so powerful and meaningful. Now I have a new perspective on how music is so important to others and ourselves. Everything you have done has helped me to realize who I am…”


“… Gary’s style and mannerism contributed to a caring and “safe” environment that engaged students encouraging them to be open and honest. Under Gary’s guidance, students were willing and able to take risks, to question who they were, what they wanted to become, and how they would get there using positive means.”