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

Throughout eight-weeks, students will delve right into learning to play a cover song on their instrument of choice before moving on to writing their own 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

After participating in the introductory workshop at least twice, students must demonstrate excellent attendance, hard work and a more advanced level of skill and dedication before moving on to this session.

Youth will be guided through the process of collaboratively writing an original song. As time permits, a more focused objective will be to delve into many of the finer details of crafting a powerful song. Participants will explore what type of instrumentation will most effectively communicate the content of the song. We will look in depth into HOW we want OUR music to make people feel, and how we can achieve this.  Youth will have the opportunity at the end of the session to perform their song as a part of the final performance of the intro session.  This will act both as a way to inspire youth in the intro program, as well as help to create a more rich and diverse event.

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.




Bryden Chernoff

Bryden Chernoff is a Canadian-based drummer who is passionately working in Toronto. He has studied with some of Toronto’s best drummers, exposing him to genres that implement groove, afro-cuban, samba, jazz and Latin folk. Upon completing his Bachelors of Music, Bryden has been introduced to the world of production management. Bryden is the C.E.O of TaySound, a management company geared towards helping artists with marketing strategies, promotion and production.

In 2014, Bryden became co-founding member of the up-and-coming Latin folk group Tayua. He has had the opportunity to perform all around Ontario, promoting a new generation of folklore music that combines traditional Latin folk music with contemporary music styles. In addition to Tayua, Bryden is also member of Tofu Stravinsky, an indie rock group that has gained popularity across Canada.

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.

Erik Schramek

Erik is a multi-instrumentalist performing musician who has been involved in a handful of projects as a bass player and percussionist. He has also taught various music programs for youth, including a weekly beat box workshop in cooperation with the Toronto Institute For the Enjoyment of Music, and an extra curricular music program in a Northern Quebec school in the James Bay Cree Nation. He is now highly dedicated to leading his self-titled trio in which he plays the role of bandleader, songwriter, lead singer, and guitar player. Erik is excited to offer his knowledge and experience to the continually growing and evolving PACT program, which he says is a great source of inspiration, both on a personal level, and for the communities to which we are reaching out.

Liana Rose

Liana Rose is a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter with additional skills on the guitar, ukelele, and the dulcimer. With a degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University, experience as a host foster sister since childhood and a lifelong passion for community service, Liana has been involved in the special needs field for over ten years in both professional and volunteer capacities. Her roles have included camp counselor (Camp Winston for youth with complex neurology), respite care worker, music therapist, listening therapist (, music educator, behavioural therapist, special needs academic educator, and friend. In the music sphere, Liana has been involved in many music endeavours since her music education began at age 6, including classical music performances as a solo pianist, choral groups exploring many styles, (including classical, gospel, and African genres), popular music bands in various styles as vocalist and keyboardist, and experimental/improvisational ensembles as multi-instrumentalist (including percussion and saxophone).

Currently, she is a recording artist with voice and keyboards for a published songwriter, and a professional songwriter for a popular Israeli recording artist. Liana is thrilled to be a part of PACTRocks as it both reflects her belief that music and creative expression are some of the strongest tools for health and growth, and allows for a deeper expression of her commitment to wellness through community support.


For more information about PACTMusic or to make a referral, please contact Ben Marshall at 416-656-8824 or