Canadian research project reveals stark inequalities in music education across our country

Would you be surprised to learn that one of our largest provinces last updated its primary music program the year B52’s Love Shack was a hit (1989)? »

— Stacey Sinclair, Executive Director,

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, Feb. 28, 2022 / — The report, Everything is Connected: A Music Education Landscape, was led by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada in partnership with others organizations including MusiCounts, Music Canada, Canadian Association of Music Educators, People for Education and the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning.

The principal investigator was Dr. Adam Con from the University of Victoria with assistance from Dr. Betty Anne Younker and Kyle Zavitz from Western University.

The objective of this study was to map the current structural, economic and social ecosystem that influences music education in Canada and to provide baseline data that can be used to inform future investigations.

Launched before the pandemic in 2019, the study was not designed to describe music education, but rather to reflect the current situation within provincial education systems. Acknowledging the demise of music education through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, the report is hailed as an important expert resource for those developing education policy and rebuilding cohesive and valued music programming in the basic program.

The report exposes large inequities across jurisdictions, noting that in many cases children in the same school district, or even adjacent schools, have different access to music education. The report raises many issues of concern. For example, why do some schools dedicate one period per week to teaching music while others have three? Why do some schools offer access to a variety of instruments while others lack even basic equipment? Why do some jurisdictions have specialist music teachers and others instead rely on the classroom teacher to deliver the music curriculum?

Some of the key findings of the report highlight:

● Inequalities in music education curriculum requirements across the country.

● Inconsistent access to music education and resources, including relevant and current curricula, instruments, technology, equipment and materials.

● Gaps in programming based on urban versus rural access.

The Coalition has created provincial infographics showing many results. For example, the authors used Billboard Music’s hit songs as a reference for when each province’s music schedule was last updated. Would you be surprised to learn that one of our largest provinces last updated its primary music program the year B52’s Love Shack was a hit (1989)?

Advocating for inclusion, diversity, equity and access, as well as the richness and cultural significance of music education in Canada, we hope this report will serve as a pathway for future policy development and will focus on implementing “policy into practice” in classrooms across the country.

For more information or to read the report, please visit our website. Media can access our media gallery here.

To speak to one of our spokespersons, Dr Eric Favaro (ENG) or David Peretz-Larochelle (ENG/FR) about the report and/or the impact of music education on future generations, please contact : Colleen McCourt, PR & Media Relations, Front Door PR, 705-358-2006, [email protected] Stacey Sinclair, Executive Director, Coalition for Music Education in Canada (905) 399-9732 [email protected]

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada exists to increase awareness and understanding of the role music education plays in Canadian culture, and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people.

The Coalition is made up of parents, students, educators, and business and community partners from diverse backgrounds who support music programs in schools and highlight the importance of music education for all young people in Canada.

For more information, visit

Colleen McCourt
Front door PR
+1 705-358-2006
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