Trowsdale Report

The Trowsdale Report. A 274-page document commissioned by the Canadian Music Council and assembled by G. Campbell Trowsdale. Its full title is Independent and Affiliated Non-Profit Conservatory-Type Music Schools in Canada: A Speculative Survey.

Trowsdale Report

The Trowsdale Report. A 274-page document commissioned by the Canadian Music Council and assembled by G. Campbell Trowsdale. Its full title is Independent and Affiliated Non-Profit Conservatory-Type Music Schools in Canada: A Speculative Survey. Inspired by the public outcry which greeted the announcement by the University of Toronto that the national role of the RCMT in music education was to be reduced, the CMCouncil decided to undertake what was to be its final major project: a national survey of conservatory-type music instruction. A committee was established (Lorne Watson, chairman, with Keith MacMillan, Arlene Nimmons Pach, and Gloria Saarinen), questionnaires were circulated during the 1984-5 academic year, and Trowsdale was invited to join the board of the CMCouncil and to act as research co-ordinator for the project, which began in earnest in January 1987. Funding was provided by the Canada Council, the MAC, the OAC, the McLean Foundation, and the governments of British Columbia and New Brunswick.

Trowsdale, with the assistance of a regionally-based study team (Arlene Nimmons Pach, Atlantic Canada; Anna-Marie Globenski and Peter C. Simon, Quebec; Robert E. Creech, Ontario; and Lorne Watson, Prairies; Trowsdale himself was responsible for British Columbia), gathered a mass of informative data relating to the administration, financing, curricula, inter-relationships with the community, with private music teachers, and with the public school system, and so forth of conservatories and conservatory-type institutions (eg, community music schools, church-based colleges, larger Suzuki Talent Education schools).

The Trowsdale Report follows logically upon the study of Helmut Blume (A National Music School for Canada, 1978) in which the lack of governmental support for preparatory music training was decried, and it also filled a major gap left by the Applebaum-Hébert Report, in which the whole area of preparatory musical training was overlooked. Although the problem of funding was not the main concern of the report, economic considerations play a major role. Intended as an evaluative and historical study, the report included no recommendations but rather was intended as a basis for discussion and information for future working groups. With its nationwide data which has never before been available in such detail, the report represented an important step towards gaining that general understanding (on the part of those who control funding) that it is not possible for a conservatory to operate a full music curriculum on the basis of cost-recovery. The Trowsdale Report was published by the CMCouncil (Ottawa 1988).

In draft form the Report was used as a basis for a conference of the Association of Colleges and Conservatories of Music held in Calgary in 1987. With the assistance of the RCMT, a workshop was held in Toronto in February 1989, at which time it was decided to proceed with a meeting at the RCMT 3-6 Jun 1989, based upon the report, to be co-sponsored by the ACCM and the CMCouncil. 'Partners in Music: A National Conference on the Role of Conservatory Training in Canada' was attended by 8l delegates from virtually every organization involved in music education, and by representatives of provincial arts councils. Seventeen major resolutions were adopted and outlined in the conference report prepared by Creech.


Further Reading

  • Blume, Helmut. 'The condition of music training in Canada is analyzed,' Mcan, 62, Winter 1988-9