Saturday, 4 December 2010

New survey reveals more than half of Ontarians feel music enhances everything they do

A surprise TTC musical makes for melodic morning commute as TVO launches Music Week

TORONTO, December 2, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - A surprise live musical in Toronto subway stations during morning rush hour yesterday kept TTC riders humming just as new insights from TVO reveal that Ontarians are willing to make sacrifices to keep music as a vital component of daily life. Almost half (47 per cent) would give up beer or wine, and four in 10 (36 per cent) would forsake their cell phones for a month in order to keep the music playing. TVO joined in an Angus Reid Strategies poll to gauge the importance of music in the lives of Ontarians in an effort to raise awareness for Music Week, which begins on December 5th.

The impromptu performances by an undercover professional chorus aimed to inspire, delight and entertain unsuspecting audiences and help to demonstrate the positive influence music has on the daily life of Ontarians.

"These new insights from Ontarians and the response we saw from commuters during our surprise live performances tell us that music is not just an important part of daily life, but it inspires conversation," says Steve Rayment, Director of Marketing, TVO. "Interestingly, Ontarians told us that music, more than any other art form, has had the most influence on their learning and this is the driving force behind TVO's Music Week, and TVO's goal to inform, inspire and encourage all Ontarians to fully engage with the world around them."

In an effort to engage people in a new and compelling way, TVO enlisted a 30-person professional chorus, who were disguised as commuters to hand deliver a memorable musical message by infiltrating subways and surrounding TTC riders with song. Vocalists and street percussionists spontaneously performed renditions of Stevie Wonder's classic, Superstition, as a human experiment to explore music and what it means to so many people.

The power of music

The power of music to enlighten, empower and heal is evident in TVO's Music Week line-up, which includes the world premiere of Listen to This, on December 8. In this inspiring documentary, filmmaker Juan Baquero documents a unique song-writing class at Firgrove Public School in Toronto's Jane-Finch area that uses music to build self-esteem in inner-city kids. The program was created by jazz pianist Thompson Egbo-Egbo who, along with three other musicians, works with students one-on-one to help them open up about what's going on in their lives and work towards achieving a positive goal.

As the subjects of Listen to This may attest, TVO's survey revealed that younger generation Ontarians, aged 18 to 34, are more inclined to believe in the extent to which music is a powerful social and cultural influence. More than half (54 per cent) believe music has the power to inspire trends in pop culture, while 50 per cent think it informs us about other cultures and more than four in 10 (42 per cent) believe it's a catalyst for change.

Similarly, the notion that music is intrinsically tied to the spirit of youth is captured beautifully in the TVO documentary Young @ Heart, which profiles an unorthodox chorus of senior citizens who channel a youthful passion in their interpretation of edgy and influential rock from the modern era. Featuring songs from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Clash and Radiohead, Young @ Heart, has inspired audiences young and old around the world.

"Music is a powerful cultural and social influence, and this notion is explored through a variety of engaging programs to air during TVO's Music Week," says Rayment. "We hope that these programs will not just delight and entertain, but will also inspire and fuel conversation around the integral role that music plays in all our lives."

Encore performance: music and memory

It's no surprise that music is on the minds of Ontarians. 91 per cent say they always or sometimes get music stuck in their heads. But, music is also a powerful tool for Ontarians to unlock memories and past experiences. Seven in 10 believe music is important in their ability to recall past experiences or relationships, even more so with women (75 per cent).

These results may inspire yet another conversation among Ontarians: if music helps to unlock memories, then what are Ontarians destined to forget without the aid of music to remind them?

About TVO Music Week: December 5 to 11

Music Week starts the month off on an up beat with a number of documentaries, current affairs programs and films that will have audiences tapping their toes and looking at the art and science of music in new ways.

Featured programming includes:

Young @ Heart, Canadian premiere on December 5, encores December 6 and 31
Music of the Brain, North American premiere December 7, encore December 9
Listen to This, world premiere December 8, encores December 12 and 31

For more Music Week listings and program previews, visit

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. Celebrating 40 years in 2010, TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and supported by thousands of donors. For more information, visit

Where to find TVO
Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Rogers HD channel 580, Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.

About the survey

Methodology: From November 15 to November 16, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 808 randomly selected Ontarian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

TVO Music Week: survey results at a glance

What would Ontarians sacrifice for a month to keep the music playing?

...Almost half of Ontarians (47 per cent) would give up wine or beer for music.

...Women are even more likely, with 56 per cent saying they'd give up wine or beer for music.

...45 per cent of Ontarians would give up their daily newspaper, this number is significantly higher (58 per cent) among 18 to 34 year olds.

...Almost four in 10 Ontarians (36 per cent) would give up their cell phone for music
16 per cent of Ontarians would sacrifice sex for music.

Music enhances life:

More than half of Ontarians (52 per cent) said that music enhances everything they do, be it exercising, home or school work, spending an evening out on the town or watching tv/movies.
This is even truer amongst younger generation Ontarians. Fifty-five per cent of Ontarians aged 18 to 34 believe music enhances everything they do; and seven in 10 think it enhances exercise.

Music and the mind:

...Seven in 10 Ontarians said music is important in their ability to recall past experiences or relationships. Even more so with women (75 per cent).

...91 per cent of Ontarians always/sometimes get a song stuck in their head. For most, it's typically a song frequently played on radio (62 per cent).

...Of all art forms, music has the most influence on learning amongst Ontarians. 48 per cent ranked music the number one influence.

Music and community:

...70 per cent of Ontarians believe music unites people through shared tastes or experiences.

...Half of Ontario women said music is an important cultural influence because it can be created by anyone, regardless of ability.

...61 per cent of GTA respondents believe that music's cultural/social importance lies in its ability to demonstrate creativity.

...More than half of young Ontarians, aged 18 to 34 (54 per cent), believe music has the power to inspire trends in pop culture, while 50 per cent think it informs us about other cultures and more than four in 10 (42 per cent) believe it's a catalyst for change.

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