8 years ago

Volume 6 Issue 4 - December 2000/January 2001

  • Text
  • December
  • Toronto
  • January
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
  • Orchestra
  • Choral
  • Singers


POSTSCRIPT: THE GIFT OF MUSIC Spreading the wealth to all of our tomorrows BY MASHA BUELL Every year, in this season of gifting, parents and students wrestle with the difficulty of trying to find yet another totally original musical gift for "the best music teacher in the world." Sometimes we admit defeat and go the route of a thoughful little (pick one) bar of scented soap, pretty handkerchief, bottle of jam/ wine etc. One way or another, many teachers find their (often small) studios and homes awash with lovingly chosen knick-knacks. This past year, though, my youngest child's music teacher came up with a gifting suggestion that went straight to the heart of the matter. So I thought I'd pass it on to you. Sophie Bell teaches Preparatory Music (babies through to children aged 5/6). Little chldren explore pitch, tempo, volume, rhythm, and musicianship - listening, cooperating, ensemble and solo singing and playing. Playfulness is central to the philosophy: each class is a celebratory manifestation of her belief in the innate musicality of all children. And every year her students validate her faith .. So how is it fair, then, Sophie wondered, that only some children have the privilege of exploring their musicality in early childhood, and so many more do not? And that brings us back to the gifts. Sophie's request to all of us was this: "Instead of giving me a holiday gift, won't you please instead bring a musical gift that I can pass on to another child Something that will encourage a little person to have fun in a musical way?" She explained that these gifts could be for toddlers on up to about the age of eight (the tag should indicate a suitable age), and that the United Way would help her to identify a child-care facility or community organization whose children are truly in need. Last year's musical gifts went to the Bond Street Nursery for children from the Regent Park/ St Jamestown neighbourhoods. Sophie, her daughter Lauren, and two huge bags of giftwrapped musical fun were welcomed into a warm and enriching place where the gifts delighted a broad range of children. Imagine if every family from every teacher's studio gave some thought to a child other than our own this year -­ a child right here in Toronto. Consider small rhythm instruments, a harmonica or pennywhistle, audio cassettes, or book-and-cassette combinations for older children. Involve your own child in the choosing. "Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes -- she should have music wherever she grows!" If you 're not sure where you would send gifts you gathered (or if you have suggestions for where gifts people gathered could go), contact me through the WholeNote (416) 603-3786. 54 Wholenote DECEMBER 1, 2000 - JANUARY 31, 2001

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