PACTMusic is a weekly urban music workshop specifically designed for at-risk and under resourced youth, ages 13-21.

It’s an opportunity for youth to to express themselves creatively and communicate around important issues and challenges that they’re facing in today’s urban environments.

About the Program

Through individual and group instruction from four professional musicians, PACTMusic provides a supportive, nurturing, non-judgemental and collaborative environment that allows youth to explore any musical genres. Students learn the basics of an instrument of their choice and take part in performing one or two cover songs, as well as collaborate on writing and crafting one original song. Each session culminates in a community performance.

The value of learning through music

We believe that through the process of learning music, many important life lessons can be transferred in a safe and supportive environment.  Our instructors feel very passionate about the opportunity to enrich the lives of youth in a context that pushes them outside of their comfort zones, while simultaneously helping them feel safe, heard and at home.  When people feel they are in a safe space and are able to let their emotional defenses down, this is when the true power of creativity allows them to blossom.

Location: PACTMusic takes place in the PACT studios at 101 Portland Street, South Etobicoke.

Introductory Urban Music

Over eight-weeks, students will work together and build relationships through learning to play a cover song on their instrument of choice before moving on to writing an original song. This project culminates in a community performance and workshop graduation concert where parents, family, friends, funders and referral agents from probation, schools, and other related community agencies may attend.

Go here for upcoming start dates, contact and referral information.

Songwriting Session

Over a span of six-weeks with two days of recording, youth will be guided through a process of collaborative writing by looking at the finer details of crafting a meaningful song. Participants will explore ideas like strong and weak lyrics, instrumentation, song structure and more. We will look in depth into HOW we want OUR music to make people feel, and how it can be achieved. Youth will have the opportunity at the end of the session to record the song in a professional recording studio as a part of the final performance. This will act both as a way to inspire youth, and for us to help promote their artistry.

Digital Beats (Coming Soon)

This program is the latest addition to PACTMusic, and will provide the other side to song writing, which is digital composition.

Over eight-weeks, our focus will be to provide knowledge on how to make ‘beats’, one of the most current methods to writing music in a digital realm. Most of today’s popular music is created digitally via computer and synths, and in turn, has created a way to provide knowledge of expression through modern technology for those youth who want to develop a sense of growth in a modern way.

Song Recording Session

Participants will spend a considerable amount of time on pre-production before going into the studio, where they will learn about high-quality sound mastering and recording.

  • Youth who are interested in learning the engineering side of the industry will have the opportunity to gain exposure to the skills needed to complete this type of project, particularly in the pre-production stages.
  • Youth will have the opportunity to go to a professional-quality recording studio (SKETCH’s Slaight recording Studio) to record their song.
  • Participants will then take a trip to the Lacquer Channel to see our track taken to the next level at Canada’s forerunning mastering studio.  This will be an incredibly inspiring experience for the youth to hear themselves in such a professional and high quality context.
  • Participants will be able to invite friends and family to a listening party to hear what we have been working on.

For more information about PACTMusic or to make a referral, please contact Andrea Black at 647-967-9991 or



Bryden Chernoff

Bryden Chernoff holds a Bachelors of Music and has studied with some of Toronto’s
best drummers, exposing him to genres that implement groove, afro-cuban, samba, jazz
and Latin folk. Upon moving to Toronto, Bryden has become a multifaceted artist and
engineer through the world of production, and is currently working as a music
education specialist for public and private school systems. When not teaching, or
helping teachers, Bryden can be found playing and recording around the city.

Christian Bridges

Christian Bridges is a multi award-winning songwriter based out of Toronto, Ontario. Due to complex challenges at home, Bridges was made a Crown Ward by The Children’s Aid Society at a very young age. He grew up in a diverse range of foster families across the province up until the age of 18. While attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Christian began to discover music & visual arts as a vehicle to bring more positivity and fulfilment into his life. Since then Bridges has taken his music to new levels by playing shows for the benefit of charities, women’s shelters, high schools, yoga studios, the Occupy Toronto Movement. He has also played in concert halls and venues all across Ontario, as well as in the U.S and Japan. Through creative expression, Christian has found a sort of inner freedom that he continues to pursue and strives to perpetuate as a spiritually uplifting artist, activist, and mentor.