News / Blog

Jazz Improv 101

The second of our Pizza & Workshop series, Jazz Improv 101, took place last Friday. We spent three hours talking shop, sharing ideas and, most importantly, playing some great music.

Although many people who RSVPed were sick, we still made some amazing music. Some people had never really performed a jazz solo before, while others simply weren't aware of what the other instrumentalists were doing. Throughout the evening, we touched on what makes an effective solo melody, how a pianist alters chords to make them "jazzier" as well as how a bassist makes a solid walking bassline.

We also discussed how each instrument interacts with the other: the relationship between a bassist and pianist; the role of the soloist against the other player; and what the heck do the drums do anyway? Finally, when all was said and done, we spent some time playing all together, trading solos as well as some laughs.

At the end of the session, guitarist and pianist Avi also showed us all a bit about slide blues guitar - a very nice addition to the jazz perspective.

We're definitely planning many more of these events for both classical and non-classical students alike. Hope to see you at our next Pizza & Workshop event!

Lots of stuff!

Boy do we have lots to tell you. No fancy intro: head past the break for info on the upcoming Jazz Improv 101 Workshop, the date of the Spring Recital and other cool news.

Jazz Improv 101

First things first: This Friday, May 4 at 6:00 we're having our second Pizza & Workshop all about Jazz Improv 101! Pianists, bass players, violinists... everyone is invited! $20 gets you three hours of learning, playing, fun, and pizza. The first workshop we held was a great time. Response has already been big, so it's looking like this one will be another evening to remember. Let us know you're coming in person, by email, or on our Facebook page!

Spring Recital

Our Spring Recital will take place on Sunday, June 10 at 11:00. It will be held at the Women's Art Association Gallery, located at 23 Prince Arthur Avenue, near Bloor and Avenue Road. 

The cost is $10 per student.

The Women's Art Association Gallery is close to the St. George subway station, with lots of street parking and a large Green P lot within a block or two of the building. Coffee and tea will be served.

The last recital was standing room only, so we promise to bring more chairs this time. (Boy, what a problem to have: too many supporters at a recital!)

Click this link to View Map.

Online Registration

Finally, why we weren't updating for so long: We've implemented online registration! While current students of Toronto Music Alliance don't really need to take advantage of it, new students will be able to enrol with us much more easily than ever before. It was a big job with a lot of back-end changes that prevented us from easily updating for a while. A growing pain, but a very important one.

Thank you all for the support. Stay tuned for some other amazing announcements - and the upcoming Birthday Contest results when David Stone's son arrives! (Hey, if you haven't entered the Guess The Birthday Contest, what are you waiting for? Get in on a chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card!)


Guess the Birthday Contest!

Toronto Music Alliance director David Stone is becoming a father all over again! To celebrate, we're launching our first contest! Click through to learn more about the Guess the Birthday contest and how you could win a $25 iTunes Gift Card!

The new bundle of joy is due May 16, but we all know that babies never arrive on their due date (or do they?). All you have to do to win this contest is to go to our Facebook page (either by clicking the blue Facebook button at the top of the page, or by clicking here to visit our Toronto Music Alliance page), "Like" us, and go to the contest post on the Wall. Leave your best guess in the comments. One guess per person!

If multiple people correctly guess the birthday, the winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries. If nobody guesses the correct date, all entries will be entered into a random drawing. Contest closes... well, whenever the baby comes! Good luck to everybody out there.

(And if you aren't on/can't be on Facebook, let us know in person and we'll give you the super-secret email address you can use to enter too!)

Bassfest: The Aftermath

Toronto Music Alliance's Bassfest was a rousing success! We've got a few pics here, but the rest are on our Facebook page. Check some out below and find out how you can join our interactive online community.

Friday, March 23rd was a special day for us. We've used the word "community" before, but we would finally show what that word meant. Not only did we have some bassists, but we also had drummers, a cellist (!) and some pianists, all wanting to come together to support each other, and learn about bass. And pizza. Awesome pizza.

This should give you a good idea of what we were doing. Having a great time, learning from one another. Each student was in a different place: beginner to advanced, classical to blues. And yet, we all played together. We spent time learning about how to play together and work as a team, as well as some form and improv.

We've got plenty more pictures from Bassfest, but you'll have to go to our Facebook page in order to see them. Just click the blue Facebook button at the top-right of the page, or click here for a quick link.

We hope to see you at our other community events, and interacting with us on our Facebook page. (We'll have a nice surprise there next week, too!)

Welcome, Amy O'Neill!

Toronto Music Alliance is thrilled to announce our new flute teacher, Amy O'Neill. Amy will be bringing her wealth of experience and musicianship to ToMA, but she'll be offering something a little bit different as well.

On top of her great playing history and teaching experience, Amy is a specialist in Irish trad music. Very shortly, we will be announcing the first of what will hopefully be several Irish trad workshops coming soon to ToMA. 

You can read more about Amy on her teacher page.

Welcome, Amy!