News / Blog

Ensemble in Residence: VC2 Cello Duo

Toronto Music Alliance is proud of our faculty. We have some of the finest musicians in the city on our faculty. These great performers perform in a range of groups in the city, including the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic and many more. We are thrilled to be able to host some of them in our Ensemble-in-Residence Program. Click on Read More to see the VC2 Cello Duo (with cello faculty Amahl Arulanandam along with his duo partner, Brian Holt) perform an arrangement of Romber's Sonara in e minor...

ToMA Online Summer Choir Program

When: June 29-August 21
Cost: $250 per child
Where: Your living room!

Like you, most (if not all!) of our summer camps and programs have been cancelled. We’re here to help!

ANNOUNCING THE ToMA SUMMER CHOIR ONLINE PROGRAM

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 June 29 to August 21 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 $250, 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!

Coronavirus Update, An Open Letter

This is David Stone, Director of Toronto Music Alliance. As we all have seen, circumstances have changed dramatically. All schools in Ontario will be closed for three weeks, all major sports leagues are cancelled, Broadway is going dark until April 12th.  It is important during these uncertain - and unprecedented - times that we do our part to continue to live our lives as normally as possible.

With this in mind, the staff and I at Toronto Music Alliance are going to do our utmost to help keep music as a regular part of your lives. In advance of these upcoming weeks, I wanted to help get everyone on board with how we will be able to keep the music going.

At this time, we are not planning to stop lessons. We have been working together on a plan that will ensure lessons continue with as little interruption as possible. Lessons can continue at the school until we hear otherwise from Health Canada, WHO, or other science or government organization.

If we are forced to close down the building, we will be implementing an online lesson structure via Skype (instructions for Skype are in this email). We feel Music continues to be a positive, constructive force for everyone, doubly so in trying times. We know our community will rally with us as we navigate these unknown waters.

NEW IN-SCHOOL PROTOCOLS

In the short term, given the new information from Health Canada and the WHO, we are temporarily enacting the following protocols:

- There will be no waiting room at the school. Only students (or in the case of very young/Suzuki students, a single parent or guardian) may enter the building. Please do not arrive early for lessons, but right at the scheduled time and go straight to the lesson room. Any pickup after the lesson will happen on the front stairs. Students will be released from their lessons to wait outside, so please be waiting if you are picking up any student from their class.

  • If you do not feel comfortable coming in for your lesson, please speak with your teacher so we can prepare the online lesson for you.
  • If you are exhibiting any symptoms, please do not attend the lesson in person. If you are up to it, we would be happy to teach you online.
  • None of the staff will come to the school if we are exhibiting any symptoms. Like you, if we are up to it, we will teach you online.

ONLINE LESSONS: DOWNLOAD AND SET UP SKYPE

We are preparing for the possibility of having to teach you all remotely for the next couple of weeks. To help expedite the process together, we are asking everyone to use Skype for our remote classes. Here's how to set it up:

If you have not done so already, please go to The Skype Website  and download Skype for your PC or Mac. Alternatively, you can download it on any iOS or Android device by searching for Skype on the App Store or Google Play. Once you have downloaded the app, you will be able to set up a free account. We will be able to work with you via videoconferencing, and even share our screens, documents and more! While it is not quite the same as an in-person class, they are still very effective. I have been teaching on Skype for over 10 years (I even took a student through the complete Film Scoring Major program at Berklee College of Music - 12 years ago!) and know that it works.

Your teacher will be in touch with you regarding their Skype username and arranging lessons as things become clearer in the days and weeks ahead.

******

We are hoping these protocols and changes will only be necessary for the next 2-3 weeks, and will adapt as the situation evolves.

I am happy to answer any questions you have. (If I take a little longer to get back to you, I appreciate your understanding.)

I apologize for the inconvenience these changes will cause for the time being. On behalf of me, my wife, my two sons, and all the staff and their families here at Toronto Music Alliance, I want to thank you for sticking with us. Once we get through these historic times, I hope to look back on it remembering the strength we all showed in the face of adversity.

Thank you all,

~David

 

ToMA Day at the Toronto Marlies 2020!

Toronto Music Alliance is honoured to continue our partnership with the Toronto Marlies Hockey Club! The Marlies have a long history of developing professional talent to prepare players for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. We have been invited to perform the national anthem at the Scotiabank Arena (formerly Air Canada Centre) on Family Day, which is Monday, February 17. Tickets are available online through the Marlies ticket website, and use promo code MIDTOWNMARLIES to access the tickets. Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Winter Recital: February 1, 2020

Our Winter Recital is fast approaching! Read on for all the details.

 

RECITAL INFORMATION

Winter Recital: Saturday, February 1st at 1:00, 2:20, 3:30

The recital will take place at Bayview Family Church, 2570 Bayview Avenue, at York Mills.

There is no ticket cost!

Bayview Family Church is close to York Mills subway station, with lots of parking right at the venue. The facility is a beautiful space, perfect for a winter concert. We also have tons more seating available, so bring as many friends and family as you want!

We hope to see lots of friends, family and performers showing off what they have learned! The best performances are given to packed houses, so let's come together and make it a dayto remember.