Toronto’s Marian Cheney awarded music teacher of the year

Toronto citizen Marian Cheney has received the teacher of the year award from MusiCounts, a musical education charity.

For the past 20 years, Cheney has taught at Queen Victoria Public School in the Parkdale neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end. Her policy is that children should be able to join band or choir regardless of musical aptitude or financial situation.

She’s also credited with co-writing the school’s current theme song. Hard-rockers Billy Talent presented Ms. Cheney with the award at an occasion on Thursday.

Ms. Cheney and her school each received $10,000, sponsored by the band.

“Having lived in the west end of Toronto … this is extra special,” Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz said in a release. “Having teachers like Marian gives us all hope that the kids of tomorrow are in good hands.

“Our music class in high school [where we met 17 years ago] had a huge impact on the band as we got to meet like-minded people and start the creative process of learning our instruments.” 

Said Ms. Cheney: “Music has the power to change lives.”

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