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Instrumental Music at ESA

music at esa

Students in Instrumental Music at Etobicoke School of the Arts experience all aspects of music creation and performance. The program balances ensemble performance, solo/small ensemble performance, technical skill, musicianship, composition and the study of different styles of music.

All students perform in large co-curricular ensembles. Students have the opportunity to be part of Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Strings, Jazz Band, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Symphony, Percussion Ensemble and Fiddle Club. We believe strongly that playing in a large ensemble not only  nurtures and develops a musician  but promotes focus, teamwork, listening and leadership opportunities.

Part of ESA’s enhanced curriculum provides opportunities to share solo and small ensembles. This allows students to develop their independent musical, interpretive and performing skills while also catering to their specific interests.

We address the technique and skill development of our students consistently and regularly. Students have the opportunity to work with professional visiting artists on their instrument. Students also have the experience of guest clinicians in music production, songwriting and industry leaders.

Please check out the following:

A day in the life of ESA music:

Opus Music Concert 2021:

Opus Spring Music Concert 2022:


Course Descriptions

Spotlight Course:
AMR 1OP – Instrumental Music
With an emphasis on strings or band based instrumental performance, this course develops the basic skills required for large and small ensemble performance both in-class and for the public. In addition, through its exploration of diverse musical genres and their cultural context, the course refines the students’ musicianship and musical appreciation. 
Elective Course:
AMC 1OP – Music for Creating
Explore the art of music creation in this dynamic course that combines exploration of composition/arranging with live performance on your chosen instrument.  Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a beginner, this course caters to all levels of experience.  Students will explore the world of melody and harmony, and develop their own unique voice as a composer/arranger and musician. Students will also have the opportunity to  refine their instrumental skills and stage presence, with opportunities to showcase in live performances. Whether your passion lies in classical, jazz, rock, or any genre in between, Music Creation will empower you to express yourself through the universal language of music. 

These courses are designed for those students whose interests include performance in the areas of instrumental music.  The basic skills in these areas are developed through class instruction.  Students will perform in both large and small ensembles.  Students will perform in class as well as public performances.

These courses explores through investigation, diverse musical genres, the elements of music, composition and production.  Students explore a variety of music genres developing an understanding of music and its cultural context.  Creation is developed through various composition activities, and enhanced by the use of technology.  Performance is an integral part of this course.

The Contemporary Music Elective stream focuses on student-created music. Students cover arranging, writing and performing music as well as the study and exploration of modern commercial music genres. They are introduced to basic methods of notation applicable in those modern genres; and to aspects of music production in both the live and studio setting. Collaboration is encouraged both within the classroom and in a variety of showcase venues. Students are encouraged to continue to explore the possibilities for creativity on different instruments.

If you have any questions please contact Kevin Johnson, ACL of Instrumental Music, at