Friday, November 26

(Highlight Reel): An Educator Looks at JON STANCER and his Pedagogy on Climate Change and Toronto Music Scene

Contributor’s Note:  Welcome to the brand new Scholastic Perspectives where “We Gon’ Learn.”  In this “Highlight Reel” edition, we took a few minutes to talk to Toronto artist Jon Stancer about climate change and the Toronto music scene along with a tinge on mental health awareness.  In his work, Jon created a song that will create awareness about the issue of climate change. According to BBC, climate change could cause many areas to be inhabitable. Scientists and politicians around the world are making concerted efforts to combat climate change. We are seeing more extreme weather events, more wildfires and species dying off at a faster rate than at any point in recorded history. Jon Stancer’s song “This Cannot Wait(Until Tomorrow)” highlights that.  In today’s Highlight Reel with Scholastic Perspectives, Jon Stancer talks about the Toronto music scene and climate change.  Fans can find Jon Stancer on Facebook, Twitter, his official website and Instagram.

Scholastic Perspectives: How has climate change impacted your world and your consciousness on creating music?
Jon Stancer:  It hasn’t begun to impact me, relative to other people in other parts of the world, experiencing floods, hurricanes, massive fires and extreme heat. I think I’ve been kind of freaked by how real it’s become though. Enough so, that some of that distress and angst has seeped into some of my writing. But climate change is really just one issue and this is just one song. These are extremely turbulent times. There’s plenty going on to have all kinds of neurosis about. 

Scholastic Perspectives: What role should we play as citizens to end climate change?

Jon Stancer:  I’m not an authority on any of it, but I would think, a responsible and proactive role… One that involves listening carefully to the scientists and experts, trusting them and following their lead, and electing sensible leaders and governments who also believe and trust in them… Perhaps it also involves a wider-spread effort to further educate ourselves and others, and presumably, a more committed, more consistent execution of whatever is in our respective powers to do, day-to-day, big or small… I would guess, that ending or reversing its impact would necessitate taking both climate change and the role of ‘global citizen’, extremely seriously.

Scholastic Perspectives:  Take us into the Toronto music scene. What is your favorite venue to play?
Jon Stancer:  I’m probably not the best person to ask. I haven’t been too much on the scene as of late. My last show in Toronto was almost 4 years ago. But historically, I have always liked the Rivoli on Queen Street, both as a performer and as a fan. And I believe they’ve completed a renovation at Massey Hall, which has long been considered one of the top venues around, anywhere. I also liked playing Hugh’s Room in Toronto, but sadly, it is no more.

Scholastic Perspectives:  What is your favorite thing to do in Toronto?

Jon Stancer:  If I can catch a Maple Leafs game, then that might be up there. I enjoy walking through certain pockets of the city, meeting up with people… Kensington Market, the Distillery District, Queen West, the Beaches… It’s a very active and vibrant city. There’s no one favourite thing.

Scholastic Perspectives: What is your mindset when you make music?

Jon Stancer:  It really depends. I don’t really go into it with one consistent, set mindset. I’ve been in all kinds of various states and moods when working on music and am unpredictably motivated. I probably get more diverse results that way.

Scholastic Perspectives:  What helps you get through when times get difficult?

Jon Stancer:  I have wonderful family and friends… an extensive support system. I have any one or combination of any of them to talk to or lean on. But I also covet alone-time to sort through my shit… as a means to clear my head, or to write, or perhaps exercise or take a walk… Some kind of outlet, depending on the nature of what I’m dealing with, helps me. I have experienced and felt all kinds of low, and doing nothing, I find, makes it all feel that much worse.

Scholastic Perspectives:  What is the soundtrack to your life?

Jon Stancer:  I really like most music, save for a couple of styles that have never quite hooked me. But there would be too many artists and tracks to list. I’d say it contains the obscure and the distinct, and everything from muzak to merengue, and from Sigur Ros to Sparks.

Scholastic Perspectives:  What is some music you turn to when times get difficult?

Jon Stancer:  I don’t necessarily turn on music to help me through difficult times. I might deal with those in other ways. I may turn to making music as a diversion or as a release or outlet, but a lot of the music that I gravitate to probably wouldn’t serve as an effective remedy for the blues. The stuff I like would probably get me more upset.
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