News / Blog

ToMA Online Summer Choir Program 2021

When: July 6-August 20
Cost: $350 per child
Where: Your living room!

ANNOUNCING THE 2nd ANNUAL ToMA SUMMER CHOIR ONLINE PROGRAM FOR 2021!

It's back! Developed by Meredith Wanstall (vocal teacher, conductor with Bach Children’s Chorus), this online holistic program covers many musical foundations. The program is geared towards all children ages 6-12, regardless of instrument they are studying

Goals

Our goals for the program are to:

  • Connect the children of our community through a group music class. 
  • Support each child’s individual musical progress through group activities. 
  • Increase each child’s knowledge of music theory concepts (e.g. note naming, intervals, scales, key signatures, rhythm reading, sight-reading, etc.).

Activities 

The class will largely be based on singing activities, but will also incorporate theory games and movement activities.
  • Vocal Warmup: We will target specific vocal techniques and discuss healthy singing goals. 
  • Ear Training: We will use solfege syllables and hand signs to support the development of the musical ear, as used in the Kodály method. 
  • Musical Skills: The children will learn to sing/recognize various scales and exercises. 
  • Repertoire: The choir learns new songs throughout the summer, and discusses the different musical challenges found in each song. 
  • Theory Games: We will play musical guessing games, theory bingo, and flashcard games to learn musical terms. 
  • Movement Activities: The children will be encouraged to incorporate movement through listening activities, songs, and games. 
  • Sight-Singing: The children will be introduced to basic sight-singing concepts through the use of solfege syllables. 
  • Social Activities: We will incorporate some social time through themed classes, fun poll questions on zoom, and a weekly show-and-tell time (one child per week).Virtual Concerts: We will be assembling recordings of the kids into one large virtual choir, so everyone can share and  enjoy all their amazing work

Dates and Cost

The program is scheduled to run from July 6 to August 19 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9:30-10:30, with a maximum of 12 kids per session. Should we have a large enrollment, we will be adding a second session on Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-12. We will be using Google Meet, so no additional software or sign-up is needed. The cost for the entire summer program is $350, including materials.

Sign Up!

If you would like  to sign up for the program, or if you have any other questions, get in touch with us, and we can help get you started. We look forward to sharing music in the summer with you!

ToMA Children's Choir Starting September 12!

Our ToMA Online Choir - for children ages 6-12 - is gearing up to start rehearsing on Saturday, September 12. The cost for the choir is $270 per term, with two terms during the school year. Rehearsals run from 10-11 Saturday mornings, and rehearse via Google Meet. Feel free to contact us for the link to our rehearsal room, and join in the musical fun! You can join us starting anytime, even partway through the season (we will made adjustments to the fee for later starts).

To see just a small sample of what they do, click Read More to see one of the videos from our Summer Virtual Choir program.

Why Online-Only Lessons?

We've heard from many of you asking both when we will be able to return to in-person lessons, as well as why we are working only online with our students. The first answer is, we don't know. But the second answer is simple: safety. And we have the science to back it up.

The chart you see is from the British Medical Journal, documenting the COVID-19 transmission risk relating to different activities. That bottom row of each part shows musical activities - singing, shouting, projecting your voice. According to the BMJ, music is the riskiest activity right now. The room is an enclosed space (you want to have a closed door to prevent sound leaking out) and we are in contact for a prolonged time (30 minutes at a minimum, often much longer). We also encounter dozens of different people in our building common areas and studios. Each family has its own social bubble and delicate balance, with family members who may be at greater risk for illness. This is in addition to lots of shared equipment (pianos, our digital music production facilities, studio string instruments) which would not be able to stand up to wear-and-tear of constant sanitizing.

At the end of the day, the health of our faculty, students and community is our top priority. We know a lot of you want to see us in the same space; we do too!  But right now, we want to keep everyone safe. Our Online Academy has been incredibly successful for all our students - even the ones starting from scratch during lockdown!

We promise that as soon as it is safe to resume any of our lessons in person, we will. And in the meantime, we promise that your music education will never be compromised.

Original BMJ is available here.

ToMA Interview on The New Classical 96FM

Recently, our Director David Stone was interviewed on The New Classical 96FM's afternoon show The Oasis with Mark Wigmore. The discussion was about continuing music education during the pandemic. Our Online Academy is thriving, and we were proud to share some of our experience and expertise with listeners. Thanks to The New Classical 96FM, Mark Wigmore, and Paul Thomas (program director) for the opportunity to promote awareness of the importance of music education!

Take a listen to the interview on their website.

Ensemble in Residence: Millar Piano Duo

Formed by piano faculty (and husband-and-wife team) Greg Millar and Lisa Raposa, The Millar Piano Duo have been wowing audiences for years, Their music ranges from beloved classical works, to modern compositions, to Broadway, and everything in between! Toronto Music Alliance is thrilled to not only have such wonderful faculty members, but to support innovative and talented ensembles. Click on Read More to enjoy a beautiful performance of Milhaud's Scaramouche!