Music in Toronto vs Vancouver


Hello everyone! I realize its been a while since the last post. I’ve moved to Toronto and applied to as many piano teaching jobs as I could. Before I arrived in Toronto, I had one reply – they would put my resume on file 😦
Anyway, it did take much patience but finally my week is getting filled with teaching piano again! In the meantime, I’ve attended an opera, a harpsichord performance, volunteered at auditions held by the Ontario Music Teachers Association, played the harp at a recital, attended a Masterclass with Peter Longworth, and a seminar with Darlene Irwin, creator of the Student Music Organizer.
On top of that, my roommate is a fellow piano and theory teacher who has recently began dabbling in the world of gigs. She’s picking up the guitar and ukulele, which means I have lots of invitations to open mics!

Here’s a brief comparison of the similarities / differences in Vancouver and Toronto in the “music world” on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least and 10 the most (yes this my a rough estimate except for the number of students in the music faculty – info I obtained from the UBC and U of T websites)

Number of open mics throughout the city on any given night
Vancouver : 3
Toronto : 8 (many pubs/cafes will have open mic opportunities)

Number of concerts occurring on a daily basis
Vancouver : 4 (as far as I know there isn’t a magazine devoted solely for concert listings)
Toronto : 9 (there is a free monthly magazine devoted solely to listing all the classical concerts and another magazine for all other concerts)

Number of music studios/companies
Vancouver : 3
Toronto : 7 (in my neighborhood alone I’ve passed by 3 or 4)

Number of students in the music faculty at the university’s main campus (2012/13)
Vancouver : 267
Toronto : 847

Amount paid for music lessons
Vancouver : 5 (the studio I worked for charged $25 per half hour but my personal rate was $18-20/ half hour)
Toronto : 7 (the places I work at range from $21-31per half an hour)

Number of in-home lesson companies :
Vancouver : 1 ( I know of only one company that offers this service in Vancouver, not counting private teachers who travel to their students home )
Toronto : 5 ( I currently work for three different in-home music lesson companies)

Number of music festivals
Vancouver : 2
Toronto : 8 (there is at least a music festival every week in Toronto and the greater Toronto area during the summer…there’s pretty much music everywhere)

Number of buskers on the street
Vancouver : 5
Toronto : 5
Yup, pretty much similar in this regard.

As you can see, Toronto seems to have more going on in the music world. It’s also a bit of an unfair comparison because Toronto is a much larger city, and they place much value and resources into developing musicians and the music culture. Music is very much appreciated and celebrated. In fact, one of the music studios I work at does not open on Fridays so that the gigging teachers who are also performers can prepare and perform. I’m excited to learn more and hopefully attend more performances and maybe even perform more? 🙂

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