Canadian Musician - November/December 2021 - Page 56

The Highly Specialized Route

Our 2021 Focus on Music Education

The Highly Specialized Route

The Harris Institute ( Toronto , ON )
John Harris : President & Founder
TORONTO ’ S HARRIS INSTITUTE
CM : Tell me about the beginning of the Harris Institute . How and why did the school come to be ?
John Harris : The goals of the school were based on my 25 years in the music industry . I witnessed almost everyone having relatively short careers because they didn ’ t know enough and couldn ’ t adapt . It was very painful watching people go from doing something they loved to having to get a job for a paycheque . I wanted to create an educational experience that gave students the skills , knowledge , and confidence to have lifelong careers . I also wanted to help strengthen the Canadian music industry . Today , 32 years later , our grads are still doing what they love while winning countless awards because they are in leadership roles in all areas , they have and are continuing to strengthen the industry .
CM : Why would you recommend a specialized school like Harris Institute to future students who have any specific goals in mind ?
Harris : Because our programs are purposely broad-based , graduates are equipped for a wide range of opportunities . For example , the audio production program includes music recording , game audio , broadcast audio , audio post for film and television , sound design , sound effects , and all the major digital audio workstations including Pro Tools , Logic Pro , and Ableton . The arts management program similarly covers all aspects of the business of music . Most schools tend to have a focus and tend to specialize in one area or another , and usually , it ’ s based on the background of their faculty or the background of the administration . Because the primary goal from the very beginning was to give people the knowledge and skills to go the distance , I knew it
JOHN HARRIS
was critically important to introduce them to areas that they may have absolutely no background in and absolutely no interest in , where the possibility that five years later , 10 years later , 15 years later , they would know enough about that to be able to have the flexibility to get into a broad range of activities related to music . And that ’ s exactly what ’ s happened .
CM : What about the school ’ s learning and teaching approaches separates the Harris
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