...there are many paths
Established in 1918, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music offers a vibrant and welcoming learning environment to a diverse and talented group of students. The U of T provides exciting opportunities to study composition, performance, music education, music history & culture, and music theory with an internationally renowned and dedicated faculty. We offer a rich array of courses and programs rooted in inclusive excellence that prepare students for a variety of careers. Our beautiful concert halls, superb music library, and student-centred teaching offer an exceptionally strong educational experience in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Ellie M. Hisama
Dean, Faculty of Music
Professor of Music
University of Toronto
You will find support everywhere on the University of Toronto campus, starting with the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar's Office at the Faculty of Music is your "reliable first stop" for information and advice on academic, personal, and financial issues. The office is also responsible for the administrative operations of the undergraduate program, including registrarial and student records, course administration, convocation, examinations, marks, information on scholarships and bursaries as well as policies on academic regulations.
If you are a current student, you can access our Portal for access to detailed information and often requested forms, information on Student Services and Resources as well as important information on Rules and Regulations.
Check here for often requested Contact information.
If you are a current graduate student, you will find more information here.
Check out Ulife - your one-stop website listing a large and diverse directory of student clubs, organizations, activities and opportunities on all three campuses.
You can also build your supporting cast just by getting out there. Explore the campus. Try something new. Meet new people. Be active. Contribute something to the community. The more you explore, the more friends you’ll make, the more you’ll know about the services, and the more you’ll know about how to get what you need when you need it.
Browse the important websites and discover the many services that will serve as your advocates and as your cheerleaders. They’re here to hold you up when you struggle and to help you grow when you’re ready.
Someone you know and are close to is following up on a dream…and we are here to support and enhance his or her future.
Your words and presence are invaluable in their thoughts and in their lives.
More than educators, we also live and breathe music – performance, research, education, and new areas of opportunity.
We are privileged to have bright, passionate and talented students to colour our world and we invest ourselves in furthering their ambitions and helping them to realize their potential.
While you are with us, we hope you will experience our music with us by attending one of our many concerts and events.
Please also check out We Live Here for more on things to see and do in Toronto.
We hope to see you around…we’re the ones with music on our minds
The Faculty of Music hires Sessional Lecturers to deliver some of its undergraduate and graduate courses. Teaching positions for individual courses are posted below. Decisions concerning hiring are made in June for Fall or Winter courses. Some decisions may be made earlier or later depending on enrolment and unexpected vacancies. Persons who submit applications and CVs will receive emailed job posting information for specific positions for the subsequent 24 months.
We create new music through programs in Composition, Jazz, Film/Media and Large Ensembles. We create new music through our composer-in-residence programs, our Electronic Music Studio and our Contemporary Music Ensemble. And we celebrate new music annually through our New Music Festival with its Distinguished Visitor and our Karen Kieser Composition Prize.
We produce new music through our Opera program. New stagings of classic and contemporary operas that train professional singers, instrumentalists, stage directors, repetiteurs, and coaches. And we celebrate annually with a new fully staged, orchestrated opera on an original libretto through U of T Opera and our Opera Student Composer Collective.
Many languages make reference to the ludic qualities of music making: play in English, jouer en français, spielen auf Deutsch.
Do you play an instrument? Are you interested in performing at the highest level?
Our goal is to give you the best foundational technical and finest advanced artistic training possible through private studio teaching with many of Toronto’s top professional teachers and players. While with us, you will play in well-coached U of T chamber music ensembles (strings, winds, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, contemporary music, Klezmer) and perform in U of T’s renowned large ensembles (opera, orchestra, winds, and choirs).
And you can also get professional playing experience through our Music Booking Office.
Schoenberg introduced his 1911 Theory of Harmony text with the words “I have learned this book from my students.”
At U of T Music we believe that the Teaching / Learning relationship is a powerful dialogue where enthusiasm meets experience and together we act in the service of musical creation, expression, and understanding.
We love teaching and we’re still learning.
Our award-winning professors, lecturers, and professionals work with undergraduates from day one. Our graduate students are mentored by outstanding professionals in their fields.
One of the added-values of being at a great music school inside a great university is the level of thinking that goes on.
Our academic programs in music—from Theory and Composition, to History and Culture, along with your training in Education and Performance—develop your critical thinking abilities to an exceptional level.
So that you not only do music, you think music.
Your undergraduate music degree program also includes opportunities to take a range of courses in Arts & Science or other subject areas from the greater U of T and its distinctive College system. And you have access to a Music Library that ranks as one of the best in the world.
As you build your fluency and expertise relation between Think and Do, between thought and action becomes seamless.
Established in 1918, UofT Music is Canada’s leading institution for higher education in music and is a growing global presence in musical training, interdisciplinary research, and digital media content development.
UofT Music is committed to preparing our students for successful careers in and beyond music in a swiftly changing global environment. We embrace the global challenges of building culturally informed, healthy, sustainable societies, and preparing global citizens for leadership roles.
Space for UofT Music includes 3 sites:
(1) The Edward Johnson Building (EJB) (1964) with its MacMillan Theatre (MT 815 seats) and Walter Hall (WH 490 seats) performance spaces, large ensemble rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and studio offices, and its renowned Music Library (1990 additional wing).
(2) The Faculty of Music South (90W), a satellite building at 90 Wellesley, a converted dormitory built in 1955, used by Music since 2007 and partially renovated in 2011 for Jazz, graduate student offices, and other Performance functions.
(3) The transformative new major New Building Project now in the planning stages for 90 Queen’s Park (90QP) in partnership with other university and external stakeholders, which will connect the EJB directly to the 90QP facility and will include a New Recital Hall for Music as well as other related spaces for performance, conferences, and special events.
With one of Toronto's largest stages, an orchestra pit for 50 musicians, and a full fly-tower, UofT Music's MacMillan Theatre is the city's busiest stage.
The MacMillan Theatre seats 815 people and has complete lighting and recording facilities.
Designed to present operas, orchestral works, and recitals, MacMillan Theatre is ideal for guest productions, conventions, filming, and private events.
Named for Arnold Walter, Dean of UofT Music (1952-1968), with 490 seats, Walter Hall is Toronto's finest small auditorium. Designed for chamber music and solo recitals, Walter Hall also has a Casavant Organ.
The intimacy of Walter Hall makes it an ideal venue for your event. To make rental arrangements please contact our Concert Office Manager, Mary Ann Griffin our Building Manager Joe Lesniak.
Walter Hall General and Technical Information
Exciting news - we are building a new recital hall located in a new facilty at 90 Queen's Park Crescent. If you are interested in a naming opportunity for our new hall at 90QP, please contact Don McLean, Dean of the Faculty of Music.
U of T Music is the privileged host of many Resident & Visiting Ensembles. Hosting ensembles is another way we provide rich experiences for our community. The ensembles bring scholarship, performance, and mentorship to our stages and classrooms...we bring the opportunity to work with students.
Our partnerships extend to all of the major performing ensembles and arts organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Proximity to great sounds and organizations is one of the best features of our location in Toronto—a world city for music.
Our students are among the very best. Their talent and passion is reflected in their music and in their expression. They are professionals that we are justly proud to have here at UofT.
We actively support our students through our Booking Office by promoting and coordinating opportunities for them to perform at public and private functions.
For information as to how you can elevate your special occasion with their exciting musical performances, please contact us.
UofT's Faculty of Music is the engine that drives the performers, composers, scholars, and educators who will shape tomorrow's musical experience and sustain Canada's cultural economy.
Intensive classroom teaching and performance coaching by distinguished faculty and visitors pushes our students to explore new possibilities. Not a day goes by without lectures, master classes, and performances of special note. Our mentorship program connects alumni with current students helping them make the transition from the academy to the working world.
We rely on donors like you to ensure that our exciting programs continue. Donors like you ensure that our young musicians have the financial support necessary to be able to focus on their studies to achieve their artistic and academic goals.
The University of Toronto Boundless Campaign
In his previous position, Dean McLean was in part responsible for the largest naming gift to a performing arts faculty in Canada’s history. The Faculty of Music was not named in UofT’s previous campaign. What a Boundless opportunity for a visionary philanthropist! It is now Toronto and UofT’s turn.
State-of-the-art when it opened in 1964, this home venue for our renowned UofT Opera and large ensemble programs, with its still awesome stage and fly tower, is overdue for a transformative renewal that will return it to world-class status as a theatre for opera production and related performing arts presentations, training, and digital presence.
In September 2014, UofT announced exciting plans for the transformation of the 90 Queen’s Park site in partnership with multiple stakeholders inside and outside of the University. For the Faculty of Music, the 90QP project will create a “New Recital Hall” (a world-class space and high-profile naming opportunity), and will provide direct connection from Philosopher’s Walk to Queen’s Park Crescent and Avenue Road through the Edward Johnson Building and into the Atrium of the new complex with its New Recital Hall and related spaces for performance and conference activities.
UofT’s Music Library collection is a national treasure and one of the top four music research libraries in North America. Moved to a largely subterranean new wing in 1990, the Music Library offers a stellar naming opportunity for an enlightened donor. Renovation plans focus on creating a modern teaching and learning environment to complement our ongoing responsibility for the preservation and development of this amazing collection.
Established in 2012, MaHRC is quickly moving to create a global leadership position in the emergent interdisciplinary field of music and health, to enhance our understanding of the role of music and sound in individual and societal health and wellbeing. With already over 50 researchers from Music, Medicine, and other faculties, the UHN (University Health Network), other clinical research teams, and partners for other universities, MaHRC is seeking support for its innovative mission, projects, and collaborative programs. A transformative naming opportunity for someone, a target for directed support from several individuals already.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary season this past year, since its inception soon after WW II UofT Opera has been Canada’s pre-eminent university-based opera training program. Over the years UofT Opera has been the training ground for many of Canada’s greatest singing, coaching, conducting, directing, and theatre design talent. Today our graduates continue to win major competitions and to move on to professional companies and young artist programs. UofT Opera: a legacy naming opportunity for some great philanthropist and a popular direction for support from our loyal annual donors.
Many Areas in performance, teaching, and research at UofT Music have outstanding potential and they need to attract and retain high-profile faculty in an increasingly global talent pool. Support for Faculty Leaders helps secure and sustain excellence.
As part of the University of Toronto the Faculty of Music is committed to providing access and opportunity to the best and brightest students regardless of means. Graduate Fellowships are absolutely essential to attract the best national and international prospects. Though our students do quite well in securing limited available external research funding, we need major philanthropic support to provide graduate fellowships across all program areas at the master and doctoral levels. UofT Music has benefited from significant scholarship support (both endowed and annual) from many donors over several decades. But to remain competitive in a global context we need to be able to offer more substantial Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships, and to provide deeper Program Support to enhance student experience, notably to assist individuals and ensembles with travel to competitions, conferences, master classes, international exchanges, and summer programs.
In addition to the Alumni Annual Fund, the Dean’s Discretionary Fund provides resources to take advantage of opportunities as they arise: to provide ‘seed money’ or start-up funding for a new course, program, or research project, to purchase instruments and technical equipment, to ‘match’ other partnership sources. We hope to grow this fund substantially through direct funding and endowment.
Music students are inspired by the sounds around them. The noises and rhythms of UofT and of Toronto are written into song.
The world premier of a composition becomes a sold-out event. Performance takes flight.
For our students, it is another great musicial achievement, perhaps their first.
And people like you helped to make it happen...
Truth be told, giving sometimes goes unrecognized...
At other times, it is acknowledged...beautifully.
At UofT Music we want to work with you to support our students and programs and we make every effort to acknowledge and thank our donors.
At this year's season launch/welcome, Dean Don McLean shared this story about the emotional and relational importance of philanthropy from higher-education fundraising legend Don Gray:
Never Forget the Rose to the Widow and the Drum Serenade...
A middle class family who enjoyed the music of their local University gave a modest donation to its Music Faculty in memory of a late father and husband. The Dean immediately thanked them for their kind generosity and suggested that they might like to meet the beneficiary, the young student that their scholarship would support. They had the opportunity to meet her and to hear her graduating recital.
At the end of four years the family was also invited to attend convocation. As the young student stepped up to receive her diploma, she also received, as was custom at that school, a single rose. She turned, crossed the stage, and handed her rose to the widow who had made her graduation possible through that funded scholarship... a beautiful and graceful moment.
Years later, that same family made another donation to the marching band drum corps at another school. On a particular game day, the drum corps met the donor in front of the football stadium gate, surrounded her and, without any words exchanged, performed a drum serenade salute for her and then peeled off into the stadium.
When you are thinking about the power of philanthropy, particularly philanthropy in Music and performing arts:
Never Forget the Rose to the Widow and the Drum Serenade.
Imagine visiting a parent in a seniors' home. Today he may be withdrawn, confused, and agitated, he may have lost the ability to communicate, perhaps even recognize you. It is hard.
But, suddenly, when he listens to music...his toes start to tap, he calms down, and he begins to sing along...
MaHRC (The Music and Health Research Collaboratory) brings together experts in music, medicine, and clinical practice. MaHRC's researchers study diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, chronic pain...and how music can and does make a difference.
Through UofT Music, UofT, UHN (The University Health Network), and other external partners, we are quickly moving to a global leadership position in this emergent field. You can support MaHRC and Music Research.
At UofT Music we are a national leader in Music Research in composition, performance, theory, musicology, ethnomusicology and education, and we offer a wide range of respected and renowned performance programs in many domains: classical, jazz, early music, contemporary, opera. Our humanities-based research on music & society, as well as our groundbreaking work in music & health, and our national leadership through the Institute for Canadian Music (ICM) need your support to sustain our award-winning efforts.
UofT's Boundless Campaign provides many high profile and transformative naming opportunities for Music.
For more information on Naming Opportunities or other ways to give, please contact our Interim Director of Advancement, Tyler Greenleaf.
UofT Music offers numerous undergraduate scholarships and graduate level fellowships annually. The need remains far greater than our remarkable current capacity. At the present time, and notwithstanding our students' extraordinary levels of success in receiving outside scholarly grants, we still need to fund too many of our graduate students through scarce operating resources. Supporting graduate students annually can have an extraordinary positive impact on them personally and on the Faculty's overall ability to carry out our mission.
Every annual gift has an impact on UofT Music students...the Faculty of Music trains performers, scholars, composers, and music educators for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The Annual Fund and the Dean's Discretionary Fund together help support many student and program activities, and are often used to leverage additional outside resources that help us realize projects that would otherwise be impossible. You can support our Annual Fund and Dean's Discretionary Fund online, or please contact our Director of Advancement, Jennifer Bremner
We are privileged to be teamed with several corporations and foundations who support our students and our programs, often by providing matching gifts. With help from your employer, your generous gift can double or triple in size . To find out how we can work better together, contact our Director of Advancement, Jennifer Bremner.
Leave a lasting legacy by including UofT Music in your estate planning. A gift by will or bequest provides you with the opportunity to support UofT Music once your needs and those of your loved ones have been met.
For more information, please contact our Director of Advancement, Jennifer Bremner .
...a tour. Our city, our campus, our faculty...
…in a concert… over 600 annual performances plus lectures and masterclasses…many of them free…talent, passion, insight
…a moment – our ongoing story, highlights of our year and a taste of what is yet to come
…some magic…our booking office proudly represents our talented students… from solo performers to ensembles…we can help create that memorable event.
by Josslyn Johnstone
Researchers at the University of Toronto and Unity Health Toronto have demonstrated that repeated listening to personally meaningful music induces beneficial brain plasticity in patients with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease.
Changes in the brain’s neural pathways correlated with increased memory performance on neuropsychological tests, supporting the clinical potential of personalized, music-based interventions for people with dementia.
The multi-modal study was published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“We have new brain-based evidence that autobiographically salient music — that is, music that holds special meaning for a person, like the song they danced to at their wedding — stimulates neural connectivity in ways that help maintain higher levels of functioning,” says Michael Thaut, senior author of the study and director of U of T’s Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory, who is also a professor at the Faculty of Music and Temerty Faculty of Medicine.
“Typically, it’s very difficult to show positive brain changes in Alzheimer’s patients. These preliminary yet encouraging results show improvement in the integrity of the brain, opening the door to further research on therapeutic applications of music for people with dementia — musicians and non-musicians alike,” says Thaut, who also holds the Tier One Canada Research Chair in Music, Neuroscience and Health.
The research team reported structural and functional changes in neural pathways of study participants, notably in the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s control centre where deep cognitive processes occur. The researchers showed that exposing the brains of patients with early-stage cognitive decline to autobiographically salient music activated a distinct neural network — a musical network — comprised of diverse brain regions that showed differences in activation after a period of daily music listening.
They also observed differences in the brain’s connections and white matter, providing further evidence of neuroplasticity.
“Music-based interventions may be a feasible, cost-effective and readily accessible intervention for those in early-stage cognitive decline,” says Corinne Fischer, lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at Temerty Medicine, who is also director of geriatric psychiatry at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto.
“Existing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have shown limited benefit to date. While larger controlled studies are required to confirm clinical benefits, our findings show that an individualized and home-based approach to music-listening may be beneficial and have lasting effects on the brain.”
For the study, 14 participants — eight non-musicians and six musicians — listened to a curated playlist of autobiographically relevant, long-known music for one hour a day over the course of three weeks. Participants underwent structural and task-based functional MRI before and after the listening period to determine changes to brain function and structure. During these scans, they listened to clips of both long-known and newly composed music. Heard one hour before scanning, the new music was similar in style yet held no personal meaning.
When participants listened to the recently heard, newly composed music, brain activity occurred mainly in the auditory cortex, centred on the listening experience. However, when participants listened to long-known music, there was significant activation in the deep-encoded network of the prefrontal cortex, a clear indication of executive cognitive engagement.
There was also strong engagement in subcortical brain regions, older areas minimally affected by Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
The researchers reported subtle but distinct differences in structural and functional brain changes associated with music listening in musicians relative to non-musicians, though further studies in larger samples are needed to verify these findings. Repeated exposure to music with autobiographical salience improved cognition in all participants, regardless of musicianship.
“Whether you’re a lifelong musician or have never even played an instrument, music is an access key to your memory, your pre-frontal cortex,” says Thaut. “It’s simple — keep listening to the music that you’ve loved all your life. Your all-time favourite songs, those pieces that are especially meaningful to you — make that your brain gym.”
This paper builds on a previous study in the same participant group that first identified the brain mechanisms that encode and preserve musical memories in people with early-stage cognitive decline.
Next, the researchers plan to replicate the study in a larger sample and institute a strong control condition to investigate the role of musicianship in moderating brain responses, and whether it is the music or the autobiographical content that induces changes in plasticity.
Photo: Ron Lech/Pexels
The University of Toronto is a world-renowned university in a celebrated city where knowledge meets achievement, history meets future and ambitions meets inspiration. Leading academics and employers from around the world have rated the University of Toronto as #1 in Canada and among the best in the world. Our undergraduate students have an exceptional range, choice and depth of study; they can choose from 700 academic programs, learn from the best minds, get involved with research, and take advantage of smaller learning communities across our three campuses, which span the Greater Toronto Area. Each campus offers a wealth of opportunities across multiple disciplines. To the west, the University of Toronto Mississauga combines advanced research with an intimate academic experience. The University of Toronto’s St. George campus features diverse college communities within Toronto’s vibrant downtown core. And to the east, the University of Toronto Scarborough leads community-engaged research, hands-on learning and co-op programs both locally and internationally. Working with faculty and other students in close-knit communities, our students tailor their experiences to their interests and develop passions that help them make their mark on the world.
Home to Canada's largest number of musicians and venues, Toronto is a creative and business hub for music in Canada.
There's music around every corner.
We are very proud to be part of U of T—a vibrant university community located in an amazing city with global reach.
U of T is a leader in research and teaching, an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth.
The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto brings together creative and motivated students with outstanding educators. With extensive curricula in fields such as classical and jazz performance, music education, composition, music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology, the Faculty of Music also offers courses that explore music’s intersections with health sciences, technology, and humanities.
Our commitment to artistic and academic achievement, the vast possibilities of the University of Toronto campus, and the vibrant and diverse cultural life of Toronto provide an exciting and inspiring learning environment.