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Catherine West

Catherine West
Catherine West Photo
  • Faculty, Oscar Peterson School of Music


Early Childhood (Smart Start), Pedagogy, Teacher & Artist Training

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Education/Ontario Teacher’s Certificate – Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • Post Level III Certificate in Orff – RCM/Humber College and University of Manitoba
  • Orff Certificate – York University, University of Kentucky
  • ARCT (Piano, Teacher) – RCM
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) – Queen’s University at Kingston

Catherine West is the Pedagogy Leader for The Royal Conservatory of Music where she provides program leadership for Smart Start, a research-based initiative aimed at developing music and cognitive skills in young children. She also develops, coordinates and teaches Orff Teacher Education and Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses for the RCM across Canada and internationally. 
Ms. West is a senior associate with Connexionarts, an arts-in-education consulting company, and has an international reputation as an author, workshop clinician, and course instructor. Her client list includes the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, the GRAMMY’s Leonard Bernstein Foundation, Opera Lyra (Ottawa), the Victorian Orff Schulwerk Association (Australia), the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the Bermuda Union of Teachers, Orff China, many school districts and universities, and the Ontario Ministry of Education. She is a founding director of the International Centre for Excellence in Music Education, a non-profit organization providing support to teacher education programs in international settings.
Catherine recently retired from a long career with the Toronto District School Board as a music specialist and Instructional Leader in Music, and from many years of coordinating music AQ courses for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education (OISE). She has authored numerous books and curriculum resources, including co-authoring How The Gimquat Found Its Song for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Let’s Go Mozart andVivaldi and the Four Seasons for the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In 2013 she was granted an Honorary Life Membership to Carl Orff Canada (COC) for her many years of service to the organization as National Editor of the COC journal Ostinato.