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Music is making a difference

Music is key to unlocking potential in everyone

Joe’s Music Mill is helping people unlock the potential and benefits that music can bring to their lives and to their communities by putting the ability to play music directly into their hands. We offer a diverse library of quality music instruments that span across all musical styles and tastes and bring music education and mentorship through our supported partnerships to schools and community programs.

Learning: Music enables and improves the development of cognitive skills
Creativity: Music unlocks human potential through play, imagination, and exploration
Belonging: Music is for all people and promotes inclusivity and diversity
Community: Music builds respect, empathy, and teamwork
Sustainability: Music contributes to the building of thriving communities

Why is Joe's Music Mill focused on education

Learning to play a musical instrument offers numerous benefits across cognitive, academic, emotional, and social domains. It enhances memory, attention, and spatial reasoning skills while boosting academic achievement. Music serves as an outlet for emotional expression, reducing stress and promoting well-being. Additionally, it fosters social connections and community engagement. By nurturing these various aspects, musical instrument education enriches individuals' lives and contributes to the cultural vitality of communities.


Supporting articles:

Sistema Kingston

In 2015, we began a partnership with Queen’s University and the Limestone District School Board, to launch Sistema Kingston, an intensive after school music program for at-risk children that focuses on positive social change through the pursuit of musical excellence. 


Through free, group-centred music instruction, Sistema Kingston emphasizes inclusivity and teamwork, builds personal persistence, and fosters creativity and personal responsibility in all of its activities. Beginning at Molly Brant Elementary School, in the winter of 2023 Sistema Kingston expanded to the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board currently at St. Thomas More Catholic School.



Getting youth involved in music in their community is a big focus for Joe's Music Mill. We are building programs to make it easy for youth involvement beyond school.

Ukulele Jams

Joe’s Music Mill runs a weekly after school program with free music (ukulele) instruction and jam session - focused on youth aged 12 and older. We provide the instruments as well as basic one-on-one instruction followed by a fun jam session. Instruction will be provided by Sadie McFadden - a professional musician experienced in education with focus on Arts and Learning. See dates and details


Joe Chithalen was first and foremost a musician who had deep roots in the music scene both in Kingston and beyond working with a great many musicians.


Joe’s Music Mill is dedicated to the support and encouragement of local musicians and musicians who are passing through. We strive to benefit the musician community through:


•  Song Circles

•  Exposure through our network of musicians and resources 

•  Instrument lending

•  Multicultural Jam Sessions


2023 at a glance

Extended Reach

Joe’s Music Mill is conducting weekly Pop-Up Library with free ukulele jam session at Rideau Heights Community Centre, and is working to add additional pop-up locations in the future.

Access to Music

In 2023, Joe’s M.I.L.L. processed over 5,000 instrument loan transactions, and over 150 tuition-related loans to students in music programs in the Limestone District School Board and to students taking private lessons across Kingston.


This free program supplied an aggregate of 1,300 months of instrument use and represented over $37,000.00 in equivalent rental costs.  


Loan transactions (>250% increase from last year)


Registrations (10% increase from last year)


This year:

18 pop-up events at Rideau Heights branch of KFPL

Strategic Plan

The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Library promotes, facilitates, and encourages community enrichment through music education and appreciation. 

“Wouldn't it be great if everyone had the opportunity to play an instrument.”


  • Creativity: We believe that unlocking human potential begins with play, imagination, and exploration. 

  • Belonging: We welcome all people and work to make music accessible to everyone. 

  • Community: We build respect, empathy, and new potential by bringing people together through music. 

  • Sustainability: We support a thriving community by being fiscally and environmentally responsible. 

  • Learning: We foster personal and community growth by supporting learning and education.

Joe’s Music Mill Forward Looking Strategic Objectives 

  1. Expanded Services: To expand the delivery of Joe’s Music Mill’s services city-wide.

  2. Education & Learning: To provide education/learning opportunities as a  component of the MILL mandate.

  3. Operational & Financial Excellence: To be operationally and financially sound with an increased operating budget to facilitate programs.

  4. Community Awareness: To increase awareness of Joe’s Music Mill and its programs and showcase the Mill as a Kingston charity of choice and a community music partner.

Permanent Loans

Joe’s Music Mill is currently supplying instruments on a “permanent loan” basis to: 

  • The First Nations Technical Institute-Tyendinaga, 

  • Peers of the Roundtable Kingston Support Centre-Queen St. Mental Health

  • Martha’s Table, Providence Care Hospital

  • Cargo container bound for Pamoja Tunaweza Boys and Girls Club in Moshi, Tanzania

  • Also supply instruments for programs such as 

  • RKY Guitar Camp 

  • Kingston Symphony Instrument Petting Zoo, 

  • and supporting fundraisers for other non-profit organizations.

Thanks to Our Supporters

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