About Me

I'm Aaron, a violinist from Toronto. I'm an experienced arts administrator, educator, and performing violinist. I believe in the transformative power of music and music education. I'm the Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Contact Details

Aaron McFarlane
150 Booth Ave.
Toronto, ON M4M 2M4

(506) 647-9979


Rice University

Masters in Music Performance May 2007

McGill University

Bachelor in Music Performance May 2005


Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Director of Education & Community Engagement July 2018 - Present

New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

Sistema NB Centre Director August 2011 - July 2018

Oversaw the launch and development of Sistema New Brunswick’s second centre in Saint John, Canada. Was responsible for programming a daily after school program for socio-economically disadvantaged children. Led a team of teachers, educational assistants, and volunteers.

Community MusicWorks

Fellow August 2009 - June 2011

Worked in a tight-knit, collaborative team of teaching artists, using music performance and education as a tool for social change. Performed a variety of day-to-day operational roles within the organization. Coordinated Community MusicWorks’ summer camp lists and applications, researching information and negotiating scholarships for prospective summer camps for students, and communicating that information to staff.

Houston Youth Symphony

Operations Manager August 2007 - May 2008

Worked with staff to coordinate the weekly activities of one of the United States’ largest and oldest Youth Orchestras. Acted as a liaison between artistic and administrative staff and organized weekly rehearsals involving four orchestras and over 300 students.


Private Violin Teacher

2000 - Present

Taught students ranging in age from 3 to adult. In 2015, guided 2 advanced high school students through successful auditions for undergraduate music programs.

New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

Teaching Artist August 2011 - July 2018

Violin instructor and string orchestra conductor in a daily after school program for at-risk children. Taught large groups of students using a variety of teaching techniques to establish a solid musical foundation. Taught solfège, bucket band, string sectionals, and conducted a full string orchestra. Coordinated the work of 9 other string teachers, helping to establish curriculum goals and arrange music to reach those goals. Used diverse approaches to meet needs of students with learning disorders, including students with ADHD or those on the Autistic Spectrum.

Community MusicWorks

Teaching Artist August 2009 - June 2011

Participated in 2-year fellowship program in an organization whose mission is to build community through residency of classical musicians in a predominantly low income, urban neighbourhood. Violin instructor for ~15 students ages 6-19. Group class leader for small ensembles and orchestras.

Mount Kenya Academy

Director, Strings Department May 2008 - May 2009

Violin/Viola/Cello instructor for ~70 students ages 6-19, grades 2 through 12. Coordinator and sole strings teacher at the largest string program in East Africa. Taught classroom theory, small and large string orchestras, and private and small group lessons. Was orchestral director for a production of Fiddler on the Roof.


Symphony New Brunswick

Section Violin January 2012 - Present

Member of Symphony NB and Camerata NB.

Port City 5

Violin/Viola February 2015 - July 2018

Founding member of Clarinet Quintet dedicated to performing classical music alongside popular music. Helped develop programming, marketing, and collateral for concerts.

Red River String Quartet

Violin February 2009 - July 2009

Founding member of the String Quartet. Resident String Quartet for the Grand Teton Music Festival in 2010. Prepared and presented a series of half-hour outreach concerts in collaboration with the National Park Service through their Music in Nature series.

  • From the moment a child begins to play an instrument, they are no longer poor.

    Dr. Jose Abreu, Founder of El Sistema
  • Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything... Without music, life would be an error.

  • Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful.


Get In Touch.

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