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Providing students with access to excellent music programming is a priority at the Toronto District School Board. Music education is an important part of a student’s school experience and we are proud of the strong music programs across our schools.
Music is a strand in both the Elementary (Grades 1-8) and Secondary (Grades 9-12) provincially mandated Ontario Arts Curriculum . Expectations within all of the arts disciplines (Dance, Drama, Music, Media Arts, Visual Arts) are framed by the creative and critical thinking processes.
Music in Elementary Schools
The elementary music curriculum is intended to help students develop an understanding and appreciation of music, as well as the ability to create and perform it, so that they will be able to find in music a lifelong source of enjoyment and personal satisfaction. An interesting and challenging program in music not only develops practical artistic skills but also enables students to sharpen their ability to reason, to think critically, and to explore their emotional responses to the music. Students develop musical literacy through singing, playing, moving, performing, creating, and listening actively.
Itinerant Music Program (Grades 1-8)
Some elementary schools in the TDSB are assigned an Itinerant Music Instructor to provide instruction on instrumental and vocal music in grades K-8. IMIs enrich the music curriculum taught by certified teachers and support teacher professional learning.
Music in Secondary Schools
Secondary Music Courses in the TDSB enhance student understanding and appreciation of music through the development of practical skills and creative work. Students extend their creative problem-solving skills, individual and cooperative work habits and knowledge of themselves and others. They develop a sense of personal responsibility and connections to their communities, as well as explore future careers (adapted from front matter The Arts: The Ontario Curriculum).
Music in TDSB schools takes many forms and can be unique to each school and broader community. Music focus courses in TDSB Secondary schools include: Guitar, Instrumental (Band), Keyboard, Music for Creation/Composition, Music and Computers, Music Theatre, Orchestra, Steel Pan, Strings and Vocal music.
TDSB educators value what performances can offer both the learner and the broader school community. They are also very committed to non-performance based learning in the music classroom including the facilitation and inclusion of student creativity and critical thinking, student voice, mental health and well-being for all, as well as practices that explore social justice in the classroom. TDSB educators are committed to exploring ways to use music education as a anti-colonial practice. In TDSB classrooms, festivals, concerts, resources, and partnerships.
The TDSB offers a variety of enhancements to the music curriculum such as music festivals, artist in the classroom projects, concerts, and camp. See the events page for details.
Professional Learning for Teachers
All TDSB Teachers can access professional learning opportunities in music such as exploration classrooms and learning modules throughout the year. Opportunities are posted to the Music AW site.
All TDSB board wide projects, festivals and concerts are embedded with professional learning, and are rich growth opportunities for teachers as well as students.
Schools are welcome to invite Artists from the TDSB Educational Partnership directory to their schools to enrich their music program with performances and/or workshops.
Music by the Lake
With the current labour sanctions in place, we are unable to complete the significant planning required to run a successful Music by the Lake camp in 2020. This was a difficult decision to make and we know that this is disappointing news for families and students. Camp Timberlane has been selected as the new location for Music by the Lake. We look forward to having Music by the Lake at its new location in upcoming years.
If you are interested in music summer camp opportunities, you are encouraged to explore the variety of TDSB Summer Music Camps available to students this summer, including Toronto Summer Music Camp, Summer Sounds and Downtown Summer Strings. Visit the TDSB Summer Music Camp website for more information.