Royal Conservatory of Music shares details of Oscar Peterson Program for underserved youth

The Royal Conservatory has announced the details of the new Oscar Peterson Program, which provides comprehensive, tuition-free musical training for youth in underserved communities in the Toronto area.

The program begins this October. Students will receive instruction from “inspiring and dynamic faculty” and will have the opportunity to attend concerts at Koerner Hall by world-class musicians from diverse backgrounds and musical genres. The program will provide students with instruments, as required.

The Oscar Peterson Program is split into two streams: orchestra and scholars. The orchestra is the flagship performing ensemble of the Oscar Peterson Program, providing students the opportunity to perform a wide variety of music. The scholars program will identify especially talented and committed students who will study the full Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum over several years. The program will also add a choir stream next September.

Young musicians in Grades 6 through 9 are invited to apply before the Sept. 17 deadline. Space is limited, and students are encouraged to apply early to have an opportunity to jumpstart their learning over the summer.

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“Music has the power to change lives. It provides a proven gateway to improved self-confidence, discipline, creativity, and the acquisition of learning and social skills needed for school success,” said Colin Clarke, artistic director of the Oscar Peterson Program. “Music classes in public schools have been diminishing over the past few decades. By removing financial barriers, this new initiative strives to address the inequality of access while reflecting Oscar Peterson’s strong belief that music education should be available to everyone.”

Application and audition details are available at

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