Recent grad Ricardo Ferro receives Governor General's Silver Academic Medal

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Ricardo Ferro, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, has received the Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal for 2022.

The Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal is awarded to an undergraduate student who has the highest academic standing upon graduating from a bachelor’s program at a Canadian academic institution. Three Silver Medals are awarded at U of T, one to a student at each campus.

Ferro, who graduated in June with a Bachelor of Music specializing in composition, is a Venezuelan-Canadian Toronto-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. His passion for composition is embodied by his research in artificial intelligence and its use for composition and performance. He is also the head of composition studies at Sistema Toronto, a guest lecturer and researcher for the University of Toronto Faculty of Music History and Theory Department and has performed as a conductor and pianist for many North American groups including the University of Toronto Contemporary Music Ensemble. He continues to make meaningful contributions to his field as a co-founder and artistic director of the Green Room Sound Collective, a contemporary music and arts organization which gives young artists the opportunity to collaborate, create and perform dramatic and multimedia works of music.

“Above all, a good student is a complete human being.”

- Ricardo Ferro

To celebrate his achievement, Ricardo shared his five best academic practices:

  1. Approach everything from the perspective of having a genuine curiosity for learning, regardless of whether you’re initially interested in it. Connect the material to things that you are engaged by. This will let you spend more time on your work and ultimately enjoy and do better at it.
  2. Learn to prioritize your commitments. Time is your most valuable resource, and assignments/commitments pile up more quickly than you anticipate. Start what you can early and figure out what’s most important in any given moment.
  3. When learning something new or studying, start big and then focus in later. You’ll be surprised at how many of the smaller details fill themselves in once you really understand the broad picture.
  4. Be aware of your resources. Professors, TA’s, counsellors, and even your peers are there to help, not to mention libraries, online studying resources, etc. Get to know them all well and learn to reach out for help when you need them.
  5. Above all, a good student is a complete human being. It’s important to have time for activities outside of school. Not only will you be able to return to your work with a clearer mindset, but you will be able to apply what you learn outside of school.

To keep up with Ricardo Ferro, visit @rferromusic on Instagram.

To read more about Ricardo Ferro and The Green Room Sound Collective, visit

To read more about the Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal, visit

Article by Britney Doopan, University of Toronto