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Google Translate Frequently Asked Questions


Music education and providing students with access to effective music programming is a priority at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). 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 Curricula. Expectations within all of these arts (Dance, Drama, Music, Media Arts, Visual Arts) are framed by the creative and critical thinking processes. Music specific objectives are separated into three main strands:

  • Creating and Performing
  • Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing
  • Exploring forms and Cultural Contexts (elementary) and Foundations (secondary)  

Music Frequently Asked Questions

Music in Secondary Schools
Secondary Music Classes 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. Secondary music is delivered by teachers who have Ontario College of Teachers qualifications in Music and usually takes place in a dedicated music classroom, depending on the needs of the program. Students can enroll in multiple credits in music from Grade 9-12, but to graduate, students are only required to take one secondary Arts credit (Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, or Visual Arts). 

Music courses in TDSB Secondary schools include:

  • Guitar
  • Instrumental (Band)
  • Keyboard
  • Music for Creation/Composition
  • Music and Computers
  • Music Theatre
  • Orchestra
  • Steel Pan
  • Strings
  • Vocal
  • other locally developed courses

TDSB music educators value what musical performances can offer both the students 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 searching for ways to use music education as a anti-colonial practice.  In TDSB classrooms, festivals, concerts, resources, and partnerships all musical practices are welcome

TDSB Music Opportunities
The TDSB offers a variety of enhancements to the music curriculum such as music festivals, artist in the classroom projects, concerts, and camp. These opportunities include:

  • Band and Strings Festival
  • Choral Festival
  • Panfest
  • Spring Festival Concert (Gr. 4-8)
  • All-City Ensembles (Gr. 6-8)
  • Sounds of Toronto Concert (secondary)
  • Music by the Lake Camp (Gr. 6-8 Campers, Grade 10-12 Leaders) 
  • New Music Works Project in partnership with Continuum New Music Ensemble
  • Community Music Artist in the Classroom Program

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.

Principals can apply to the TDSB Music department to be assigned a Staff Development Itinerant Music Instructor who supports the learning of a classroom teacher through co-planning and co-instructing Grade K-6 Music lessons for one half day per week.

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.  Partners on this directory follow a fee-for-service model.  


For more information, please contact:
Mary Moynihan, Program Coordinator, The Arts: Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts or 416-394-7281

Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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