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Music School Programs

Youth Inside Opera Program

Youth Inside Opera is a free summer program for ages 9-13. Participants are trained and mentored by our faculty that includes specialists in dance, spoken word, rap and graffiti arts to create stories and music that is their own. They are also coached in singing, drama and music and are the driving creative force behind the stories, music and scene design that they perform. There is a final performance for family and friends at the end of the program.

When: Monday-Friday, July 16-27, 2019 2pm-5pm
Where: West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Ave. (at Dundas)
Ages- 9-13
Cost: Free

Click here to download a registration form: Youth Inside Opera Registration Form

Or to pick up a form in person or learn more, please call Sherry Squires at 416-532-4828 x127 or email

After-School Opera Program

Canadian Opera Company Logo

This partnership with West Neighbourhood House and the Canadian Opera Company is open to children grades 2-7.  Maximum 25 students.  we offer three, 10-week sessions. Children are exposed to all aspects of opera including singing, acting, lighting, directing, make-up and set and costume design through hands-on experiences and workshops with guest lecturers.  Students use what they have learned and apply it to a new opera written by head teacher Chris Thornborrow in collaboration with the class.  The final class is the world premiere of new work performed for family and friends. Classes take place on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 in the Stan Meek Community Hall at West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Ave (at Dundas).

The cost is $15.00 per student per session.  All fees are paid through the West Neighbourhood House receptionist who will issue a receipt upon payment of cash or cheque.  Credit card payments go through the Music School Coordinator.  Bursary is available through the Canadian Opera Company.  Please go here for more information and to download the application.

The next registration date starts September 2019. Registration forms will be available through the Music School office, on the web site or reception at that time.  To register, you must complete and sign a registration form (one per child) and pay the registration fee.  You may leave the complete forms with the receptionist who will return them to the Music School Coordinator.  You will receive confirmation through the Music School Coordinator.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program there are limitations on enrollment for the winter and spring terms.  To ensure that ALL children get a chance to participate, a student can register for one of the three sessions.  The same child may be put on a waiting list for the other sessions.  Children who have never done the program will get priority over those on the waiting list.

Music Lessons

The Music School offers individual classes in piano, guitar, violin, voice.  People of all ages and abilities are welcome (7+).  The Music School operates Monday to Saturday and lessons usually occur between 4:00pm and 8:30pm and on Saturday from 10:00am to 4:30pm.  We don’t offer every instrument each day.   All music lessons are taught by professional musicians with degrees in music. Traditional classical styles of music are taught and alternative music styles may also be available.  Lessons are generally one half hour per week but longer lessons are also available.

Students commit to one term at a time.  All classes are held at 248 Ossington Avenue in the Music School.

Individual lesson fees are $20 for half hour, $30 for 45 minutes and  $40 for an hour.  For more detailed information on lesson fees section below

New students must fill out a registration form, and if applying for subsidy, provide a copy of proof of income.  To download this form, please click here: Music School Registration Form 2016-17

At the end of each term music students are invited to participate in the Music School student concerts which allow the students a chance to showcase their talent to the community.

Click here for music lesson policies: Music Lesson Policy


Common Thread Kids Children’s Choir

Common Thread Kids is the result of a partnership between West NH and Common Thread Community Chorus.  This is a non-auditioned children’s choir for children 6-13 years old.

With conductor Leanne Piller, students will learn a wide variety of songs that build a sense of belonging, respect for diversity, and positive social change from a youth perspective. Rehearsals are Monday from 4:30- 5:45pm in the Community Hall at 248 Ossington Ave.

Cost is $2.00-$7.00 per week (sliding subsidy scale).  Fees paid by cash and cheque are processed by reception who will issue a receipt upon payment. Credit card payments are made through the Music School Coordinator.  We will be accepting new singers for the fall term 2019. Interested singers welcome to observe a rehearsal at anytime.

Toronto Song Lovers Adult Choir

The Toronto Song Lovers is an adult community choir (ages 14 and up), that sings a wide range of music from spiritual and show tunes to world music and folk.  There is no audition and all are welcome.  Rehearsals take place Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:45 in the Stan Meek Community Hall at 248 Ossington Avenue.  The cost to participate in the Toronto Song Lovers is $2.00 to $7.00 per week (based on a sliding scale).  The Toronto Song Lovers perform at Music School events and concerts and perform several times a year at community events and seniors homes.

The choir accepts new singers in September and January.

Suite Life Arts For Youth

Group of Youth from Suite Life program

Founded in 1995 by Denese Matthews, Suite Life Arts for Youth is a multi-disciplinary program for 14 to 24 years olds interested in all aspects of music and performance.  Through a series of classes offered by guest artists, the participants explore vocal and percussion music, dance and drama culminating in the creation and performance of an original show at the Harbourfront Centre in March.

An audition is required for admittance into the program and takes place in mid-October.  The program runs for 16 weeks following the audition process and is held at 248 Ossington Avenue.  This program provides a greatly needed creative outlet for inner-city teenagers.  This is free for participants. Free lunch and TTC tickets are provided as well.

For more information please contact Denese Matthews at 416-691-3629, email her at or check out