Doane Uschool is a registered charitable organization dedicated to making music education accessible to children regardless of their financial circumstances


It all began in 2009, when Melanie Doane agreed to teach ukulele to 9 kids at Wilkinson Public School




Melanie Doane,
Founder & Executive Director

A Juno Award, multiple top 40 singles, gold albums, a Broadway run and thousands of shows in Canada and the U.S. are some of the highlights of Melanie Doane’s long career.

9 years ago, Melanie added another dimension to her work. She created a school music program which would carry on the work started 40 years ago by her father; celebrated music educator and Order of Canada recipient, J. Chalmers Doane.

Doane Uschool is now a registered charity serving 900 children each week in 55 classes.


J. Chalmers Doane,
Doane Method Founder & Advisor

In the 1960s, 70’s and 80’s Chalmers was the supervisor of music for the Halifax City Schools. He created a ground-breaking program with one of his main innovations being the use of the ukulele in the classroom. As Director of Music Education for the City of Halifax, Chalmers Doane created a comprehensive music program designed to produce students who were musically literate by the end of grade six and would ultimately involve hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students across the country.


James Hill,
Doane Hill Method Founder & Advisor

James Hill, a third generation Canadian uke player,  is an educator, songwriter and “a serious virtuoso upon the ukulele… truly amazing” (Canadian Folk Music Magazine).  He grew up in Langley, B.C. learning ukulele from classroom teachers Jamie Thomas and Peter Luongo, both former students of J. Chalmers Doane.  In 2003, Hill and Doane began meetings in Nova Scotia to discuss pedagogy and to start work on what would eventually become the acclaimed Ukulele in the Classroom method book series.  James serves on the advisory of Uschool while also running the JHUI Teacher Certification Program, the only initiative of it’s kind in the world. When he’s not traveling the globe performing or training teachers, he is recording critically acclaimed albums and being a YouTube sensation.  The Old Silo, his latest album, was produced by Joel Plaskett.


Board of Directors

Laura Bullard
Jane Chapman-Klein
Rachel Hilton


Chalmers Doane – Method Founder, Musician and Educator
James Hill – Method Founder, Musician and Educator

Steve Coady – Vice President, Warner Music Canada
Jim Creeggan – Musician, Barenaked Ladies
Aishling Cullen – AVP Corporate Communications, Sun Life Financial
Gill Deacon – CBC Radio, Host of Here and Now
Suzanne Doane – Classroom Music Specialist
Andrea England — Special Projects/Fundraising
Mary Evered – Instrumental Music Specialist
George Fowlie – Fundraising/Business Development
David Gill — KPMG
Mitchell Hunter — Online and Social Media
Dr. Bina John – Music Professor, University of Toronto
Julie Norden — Corporate Fundraising
Lorraine Quartaro — Public Relations
Hamida Sachedina — Community Relations, TD
Avery Swartz – Founder and CEO, Camp Tech.