Statement of Values & Community Guidelines

Statement of Values and Principles

Inclusion and Belonging

We value empathy, dignity, equity, and belonging for all. This includes:

  • Celebrating unique individual experiences, skills, and identities within our communities while appreciating the power of making music together.
  • Endorsing the importance of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, keeping empathy and wellness in mind as we connect and work with each other.
  • Acknowledging our individual and collective responsibilities to contribute positively to our communities and our professions.
  • Responding to concerns about equity, diversity, and inclusion with sensitivity, and acting on such concerns in ways that demonstrate accountability and enhance access, belonging, and wellness.
  • Acknowledging and valuing the work done by students, staff, librarians, and faculty to strengthen our Faculty’s ability to provide meaningful, equitable, and inclusive educational and professional opportunities.
  • Working to ensure that our policies, practices, education, and programming actively support these values.

Reflexive Engagement with Cultures & Communities

We are committed to respectful curiosity, diligent research, academic freedom, and cultural humility in our creative and scholarly endeavors. This includes:

  • Deepening our understanding and appreciation of the land the Faculty of Music is situated on, and honouring the stewards that protect it: the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit.
  • Recognizing the presence and musical contributions of diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island within our Faculty and beyond.
  • Valuing diverse musical traditions and cultures, understanding that we are learners when we engage with music and cultures different from our own, and acknowledging those who came before us in the creation of art forms.
  • Acting to diversify educational offerings from the Faculty to reflect global artistry and creative cultural traditions.

Integrity and Accountability

We are committed to a culture of integrity and responsibility. This includes:

  • Identifying and working on removing barriers for all community members, including those who belong to equity-deserving groups,1 to education, professional development, and opportunities to engage in meaningful scholarly and artistic work.
  • Maintaining learning and working environments in which all persons treat each other with dignity, courtesy, and respect throughout all activities and communication.
  • Understanding how aspects of our individual, intersecting experiences and identities impact our communications and actions.
  • Recognizing that the degrees of power and precarity we hold within communities may influence how our actions and words are perceived.
  • Providing and receiving guidance, education, and feedback with the intent of enhancing equity and inclusion, as well as the prevention of harm.
  • Providing respectful, constructive feedback when necessary; bearing in mind intent vs. impact and engaging in challenging, necessary dialogue as circumstances require.
  • Ensuring those who need wellness or EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) support can find it and connect with appropriate services and programs.

1In his 2019 Installation Address, UTSC Principal Wisdom Tettey “challenge[d] all of us to start by thinking of, and relating to, those who are marginalized or are constrained by existing structures and practices as ‘equity-deserving groups’ and not ‘equity-seeking groups’ – a concept which, while well-intentioned, perpetuates a perception of these groups as interlopers.”

Process and Innovation

We are committed to artistic, pedagogical, and professional practices that foster individual and collective growth within class and performance spaces, and other community spaces. This includes:

  • Cultivating transformative musical and cultural experiences that connect diverse communities of scholars and artists.
  • Supporting pedagogies and practices that create nurturing opportunities for critical reflection, along with positive change, growth, learning, and relationships.
  • Providing equitable opportunities to participate and thrive to all members of our communities, supporting each other to maximize our individual and collective creative potential.
  • Demonstrating leadership and innovation in our academic and creative endeavors.

This document may be considered a companion document to the Faculty’s Community Guidelines. All members of the community are strongly encouraged to review both documents in tandem carefully. Feedback and questions about this document may be shared with the Faculty of Music’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director.

Community Guidelines


The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto is a world-class institution for artistic and academic excellence in music creation, performance, education, and research. This standard of excellence is dependent on ensuring that its entire community can study and work in an environment that is safe and inclusive, an environment in which the entire community can thrive and realize their individual and collective potentials. Promoting the success and well-being of its community is, and must be, central to the Faculty’s mission.

These Guidelines are intended to support this mission and commitment by establishing best practices and providing guidance to community members on appropriate interactions, particularly in contexts that are unique to music education and scholarly work. These Guidelines also serve as a wayfinding document to direct community members to appropriate resources, supports and institutional offices.

These Guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive as additional best practices are likely to exist. They also attempt to avoid unnecessary repetition of content found in University-wide policies, guidelines and standards, many of which are referenced and linked below. In the event of conflict between these Guidelines and those University-wide documents, the latter shall govern.

These Guidelines may be considered alongside the Faculty’s Statement of Values and Principles. All members of the community are strongly encouraged to review both documents carefully.


The University is committed to supporting wellness. There are wellness resources available to you as a community member of our Faculty of Music. (Students) (Staff, Faculty, and Librarians)

Additional Wellness Resources are available here.

Guiding Principles

These Guidelines are informed by and adopt the following principles:

  • Empathy, dignity, respect, equity and belonging for all;
  • Reflexive engagement with cultures and communities - respectful curiosity, diligent research, academic freedom, and cultural humility in creative and scholarly endeavours;
  • A culture of integrity and accountability;
  • Artistic, pedagogical, and professional practices that foster individual and collective growth within class and performance spaces, and other community spaces; and
  • Upholding the importance of well-being in musical and academic activities.

Interactions among and between all community members should always be guided by these principles. Effective communication requires understanding that community members may experience interactions differently as related to differences in lived experience, intersecting aspects of personal identity, and diverse learning goals and needs. 

Power Dynamics

Differential power dynamics exist within the Faculty and the University of Toronto more broadly, and they are inherent to institutions of higher learning. A person may be in a position of power when they can confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to another person. In addition, individuals may have positions of trust or authority relative to others, which can create perceived power imbalance even where actual power is absent. These power imbalances, both perceived and actual, can exist between and among faculty members, librarians, sessional instructors, teaching assistants, administrative staff, and students. These power imbalances are recognized in University policies and guidelines related to conflict of interest, including the Policy on Conflict of Interest – Academic Staff and the Provostial memorandum on Conflict of Interest and Close Personal Relations.

Sexual Violence

The Faculty fully endorses and is bound by the University of Toronto’s commitment to achieving an environment free of all forms of sexual violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, as set out in the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment ("Policy").

Sexual Violence is defined in the Policy as “any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, gender-based harassment or violence, cyber sexual violence, and sexual exploitation.” Definitions of many of these terms (e.g., cyber sexual violence) are available in the Policy.

The Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre (the “SVPSC”) is an institutional office established to support survivors of sexual violence, including helping them navigate the processes and procedures under the Policy. Individuals who Disclose to the SVPSC can be supported with confidential, non-judgmental, client-centred services, including assistance in navigating available supports such as counselling, medical services, academic or workplace accommodations, financial aid, and legal aid.

There is a difference between Disclosing and Reporting an incident of Sexual Violence.  A Disclosure means sharing an experience of sexual violence with a member of the University community. Speaking with the SVPSC about an experience of sexual violence or the reporting process does not automatically initiate a report. It does not launch a formal process to look into an incident of sexual violence.

Reports of Sexual Violence by any community member are appropriately made to the SVPSC or, in emergency situations, to Campus Safety. Initiating a Report means telling a designated member of the University Community about an incident to initiate a formal process, such as an investigative process through the University, which could result in disciplinary or other corrective action. The SVPSC can assist individuals with understanding the University’s reporting process and with making a report under the Policy, if they choose.

24/7 crisis supports for survivors of sexual violence are listed here.

Bullying, Harrassment, and Discrimination

The Faculty also fully endorses and is bound by the University of Toronto’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment in which all members of our community feel they belong, are respected, and can thrive. Harassment, discrimination, and bullying in any form are unacceptable and unwelcome at the Faculty and the University.

The University’s commitment is found in a robust policy framework, including the following resources:

There are multiple pathways for having concerns related to bullying, harassment, and discrimination addressed. The specific pathway can depend on the relationship of those involved to the University (faculty, staff, student, etc.) and the nature/context of the conduct in question.

Concerns by undergraduate students may generally be brought to the:

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Associate Dean, Academic & Student Affairs
  • Dean

Concerns by graduate students may be brought to the:

These pathways are not rigid. For example, students may speak to a supportive member of the community who is able to help bring the concern forward. They may share their concerns with an instructor or divisional coordinator/performance area head if they are comfortable doing so. Students may alternatively bring concerns to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director.

For administrative staff members, faculty members, and librarians, it is normally most helpful to bring concerns to the attention of the person to whom the staff member, faculty member, or librarian immediately reports (e.g., Manager, Supervisor, Dean’s Office) or the next higher level of authority, as necessary. Administrative staff members, faculty members, and librarians may also raise concerns and complaints with:

  • Professional Faculties Human Resources Office (which supports the Faculty of Music)
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director

Alternatively, a community member may wish to raise their concern with a University official outside of the Faculty. The following offices may be contacted directly without proceeding through the pathways described above and are available to any member of the Faculty, including students:

Use of Intoxicating Substances

The Faculty strongly encourages and supports responsible decision-making about the use and non-use of alcohol and other intoxicating substances, which prioritize the safety and health of the members of our community.

As set out in the Human Resources Guideline on Fitness for Work, Faculty and staff are reminded of the University-wide prohibition against using any intoxicant in the workplace (except pursuant to the Alcohol Policy and except for appropriate use of a medication).

Students are similarly reminded that the Code of Student Conduct is concerned with a wide variety of activities and behaviours including, but not limited to, conduct related to the use or misuse of alcohol and other intoxicants at the University.

Pedagogical Best Practices


Effective music education requires that interactions between faculty members/instructors and students be conducted with respect, integrity, and trust. All faculty members/instructors should take special care to respect and protect the dignity of their students, and to communicate with them in a way that acknowledges their diverse individual needs. This includes using a professional tone without unnecessary and gratuitous derogatory or demeaning language of any kind, including language that targets equity-deserving groups. It also includes using a person’s pronouns as identified by them (see: “All About Pronouns”, Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, University of Toronto).

The Faculty strongly recommends that all communications between students and faculty members/instructors and other staff (including Teaching Assistants) be conducted through official University of Toronto email as a way of maintaining professional boundaries. The Faculty strongly advises against contact through social media accounts and SMS/text messaging; this includes communication channels such as but not limited to WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok. University of Toronto email should be used in accordance with the Provostial Guideline regarding Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology.

Faculty office hours should be held on campus, or virtually if necessary. Faculty members are not to hold in person office hours in sites off-campus such as homes, restaurants, or bars.

Faculty members/instructors should also avoid favouritism and treat all students in a fair and equitable manner, ensuring appropriate opportunities and supports are made available to each of their students. 

Change of Teacher in Applied Music

While specific instrument areas of the Faculty of Music are best served by a shared teaching model, it is pedagogically sound for students to receive their full annual complement of lessons from one instructor. This allows for a monitored and supervised arc of development, and effective grading and feedback for students. When a change of applied music teacher is necessary, students should contact In most cases, they should consult with and obtain a signed consensus for the change by both their current and proposed faculty member/instructor, as well as the Area Head, and then submit that signed agreement to the Performance Office for approval.

If it is not reasonable for students to consult with the faculty members/instructors (e.g., due to interpersonal conflict or concerns about teaching practices), the request for a change of studio may be brought to the Associate Dean, Performance and Public Events or the Performance Office, which will directly contact the relevant instructors.

Students are encouraged to update their current teacher and Area Head regarding proposed changes in instruction. Students should also openly communicate with their applied teacher regarding any regular or occasional lessons or coaching with other faculty members or external instructors.

Consent and Touch

Respecting personal space during any and all interactions is crucial to ensuring all members of our community feel safe and comfortable. Personal space should be respected in all teaching, learning, and performance spaces including classrooms, during masterclass and repertoire classes, on stage, and during one-on-one teaching sessions.

Appropriate touch may be an effective tool in instrumental and vocal teaching where positioning, posture, and somatic awareness are crucial elements of skill and performance development but can sometimes defy precise verbal description. Some faculty members/instructors and students experience this kind of touching as a natural part of instruction while others, for any number of reasons (including but not limited to culture, gender, disability, faith, and past experience), find it uncomfortable.

If a required change in position or posture can be communicated without touch, this pathway should be followed. When touch is consented to and employed, it must always be the minimum amount of pressure and time required to make the necessary physical adjustment and must never extend to sensitive areas of the body (including but not limited to the face, chest, pelvis, thigh).

To ensure a safe one-on-one learning environment, students must be asked for consent before every instance of touching, even if consent has been obtained in the past. Students may decline without any further discussion or clarification and may decline at any point during the process of touching. Faculty members/instructors are encouraged to remind students of their right to decline touch at any time.

Should touch be considered a possible effective tool for teaching and learning, a daily check-in with students about situationally specific touch is strongly recommended. It should be framed in a way that makes clear the purpose of the suggested touch; i.e., identifying the skill it may assist with developing.

Instructors should have an alternative way to teach when a student declines touch. If they do not have an alternative method available, they should let the student know and research alternate methods in time for the next lesson. Instructors may consult with the appropriate person within the Faculty (e.g., Area Head, Associate Dean).

Faculty members/instructors should foster an environment, notwithstanding the power dynamics present, where students feel comfortable expressing and revoking consent.

Here are possible ways of asking students for their consent to touch:

  • “May I move your left wrist into the preferred position? This could help with… Or would you rather I demonstrate using my body so you can just observe?”
  • “May I indicate which area on your right shoulder is holding too much tension? This may assist you to… If you prefer, I could demonstrate in some other way that does not involve touch.”

Here are possible ways for students to respond to invitations to learn through touch:

  • “May I move your left wrist into the preferred position? This could help with…” 
    • “No, I’m never comfortable with touch. Can you demonstrate this skill for me in a different way?” 
    • “Not today, it’s still tender from my injury. Can you show me how to improve another way?” “Yes, I’m comfortable with a brief adjustment today.”
  • "May I indicate which area on your right shoulder is holding too much tension? This may assist you to…”
    • “No, I don’t want to be touched. I’d appreciate you showing me how to do this some other way.”
    • “Not today. Please demonstrate for me without touch.” o “Yes, a brief touch for learning is okay today.”

More information about consent is available here. Faculty and instructors are welcome to connect with the EDI Director for consultation and further discussion. Students can connect with the EDI Director any time to discuss issues around consent and touch.

Questions and Feedback

Questions regarding these Guidelines may be directed to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director: Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park, Rm 121; 416-978-3782