So many courses, so little time — and so many kids dropping music from their timetables.

With art, music and drama getting the squeeze under Ontario’s packed new four-year curriculum, Toronto music teacher Paul Adams came up with a brain wave three years ago.

He would tell his Grade 9 music students at Brébeuf College School to take their compulsory Grade 10 history course in the summer before Grade 10, which would free up a period for taking band music during the year. Otherwise, many dropped music.

It worked, and word has spread. This year 350 students are taking Grade 10 history from the Toronto Catholic District School Board — almost twice as many as last year. Other GTA boards say history is also a popular summer school subject.

“I’m a bad guy — I’ve created my own boom in summer school to help students take a broader range of subjects, including the arts,” said Adams, who is now principal of Brébeuf’s bustling summer school on Steeles Avenue East.

Grade 10 student Mary Chiu is taking Canadian history this summer so she can fit in a visual art course this fall at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School.

“I wanted to take more arts courses and I also want to fast-track and finish early,” said the 15-year-old. “Besides, I wasn’t going to be doing anything this month anyway.”