8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 1 - September 2005

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How I met my Teach er

How I met my Teach er personal reflections on formative relationships compiled and edited by Masha Buell Musical Life Goes Back to School This section of WholeNote consists of stories that reflect the lifelong teaming involved in a musical life. They are contributed by individuals in our music community, and individuals who visit us. Today's accounts both involve the sharing of gifts of spirit and skill with younger people, in ways that resonate Jar beyond musicianship. (Brian Blain 's TMA column on page 33 has another account like this.) But with funding for school music at an all time low, it 's time to start asking: why are stories like these the exception to the rule? The first interview is with a very young musician: how he has been spending his time, including half of his school vacation. The second is with a teacher and peiformer, who will enrich the musical lives of many lucky students during the school year. My School. .. I have been playing the cello for seven years. I'm a high Brenton Chan 'cellist school student at Etobicoke School of the Arts where I major in music. This will be my fourth and final year at ESA. At ESA your major (dance, drama, music, music theatre, visual arts) gets as much attention as your other classes, if not more - music as a "must", like English, not a special privilege. We don't have a mixture of students who experience the arts and students who don't. Private Lessons .... Mr. Karl Toews is the teacher whom I'd like to talk about. I was 12 when I met Karl and studied with him for about 5 years. I have moved on to Simon Fryer, but still take lessons with Karl now and then. What made Karl stand out is his open and bright personality. He liked to converse which was great since I' m such a chatterbox. He talked about concerts he played, what he was practising, stories or just random facts. He told me about Napoleon' s cello. Napoleon took lessons on a Stradivarius. Everyone knows that Napoleon was short, so his boots scratched the back of the baroque cello. Mstislav Rostropovich now owns that Strad with Napoleon's boot marks! Karl wants you to succeed without feeling pushed or forced . In my first year he'd set a goal: if I passed, I'd be rewarded. Even in my final year with him, preparing for grade 9 RCM, he wrote notes so my practice time would 52 Back to Ad Index be well spent. He helped me with school theory homework and made fun of my stupid melody and harmony mistakes. piano instruction vocal & instrumental coaching and accompaniment Boot Camp .... One summer I wasn't practising every day or catching concepts as fast as usual. Karl thought that I should go to "cello boot camp". I lived with Karl and his wife for almost a week. I woke up at 8:30 and practised alone from around 9 to about 12:30. He practised too. I'd go to his room for a little help, then back to my room to try it myself. Lessons were after lunch or before supper. Then I did whatever he did: swimming at the river with his dog, chores, going to the beach, listening to music, or more practising . Before lights out, we would watch a movie about a composer or a performer. It was great. I finally understood that a musician must work hard, every day . Karl introduced me to many other musicians.This is how I met Simon Fryer: Karl said we should get another opinion so he scheduled a lesson with Simon Fryer and I had a one-man master class. Downtown Summer Strings When I was in grade four, my mother discovered that there was a Toronto School Board summer strings camp. I had been playing bass, (which my mom carried home most of the time). My school strings teacher gave me a cello and told me that I would like it. I was nervous and trembling walking in - a bass player in a room full of cellists. In the "Big Room", where everyone gathers, the squeaking of all the instruments upset my stomach. I sat there, looked at all the different faces , and wondered if I was the only clueless one there. Then the coordinator, Ian Gunther, came in. He introduced all the staff and staff aides, and said everyone was here to learn and get something out of these few weeks. I soon found that some kids couldn't even read notes, settled in, made new friends who helped me. The wicked nice teachers helped me realize the cello is like a bass with different fingerings. SummerStringsexperienceisexcellent. The wide range of teachers - some are students at high schools and universities - relate to the children, helping build up confidence. The teachers I met at camp have become my friends. Their years of experience help me to be a better performer and now, instructor. I've been involved in the camp for eight years. I show up every summer to help, the way that I was first helped. I'm learning how children react to different teaching, which improves my understanding of how I learn too. What advice above all, would you give to someone looking for a teacher for a young person or for themselves? My advice is to see how your Dr. Christopher Burton (Doctor of Musical Arts, Eastman) announces the opening of THE MUSIC ROOM theory, history instruction all ages, all levels welcome Conveniently located in Danforth Baptist Church 60 Bowden St.,Toronto, Ontario (adjacent to Chester Subway) Call ( 416) 570-6524 or visit us at WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM chemistry works. My strong relationship with Karl is what helped me improve so much. If you communicate well , you will be able to relate to each other, take and acquire his/her skills, and achieve higher goals. Andrew Timar performer & educator When you asked me about significant teachers I was puzzled how to answer. My list ... I put "My Teachers" at the top of a page and filled it. I counted 38 teachers on my list, but was even more surprised that I could have continued, in 10 chronological categories, from 1958 to the latest experience, last summer. People ... Family legend says that my parents bought that upright piano be- CONTINUES ~ UJOAlDS OF MUSIC TORONTO World Music Workshops Autumn 2005 Musical workshops in global traditions for singers, drummers, dancers and instrumentalists of all abilities SINGING from Swaras to Scat P F d Suba Sankaran ortuguese a o G k S Catarina Cardeal + Mike Siracusa ree ong Jayne Brown SakMtvelo Polyphony Andrea Kuzmich + Shalva Makharashvili DRUMMING & PERCUSSION Pan·African Rhythms L , A . Rh h Waleed Abdulhamid at1n mencan yt ms Rodrigo Chavez C , MOVEMENT apoe1ra Marcio Mendes w/ Muiraquita Belly Dancing Roura Said w/ Toronto Belly Dance INSTRUMENTAL Canadian Fiddling Anne Lederman w/ RCMCS Latin Jazz Ensemble Luis Mario Ochoa Chinese Music Ensemble .John Gao (flutes) + Grace Huang (erhu) Klezmer Ensemble Eric Stein w/ Miles Nadal J.C.C. 10-wk workshops start end of Sept Downtown locations in fo@wo rl ds ofm us i c. ca 4165888813 www. worldsofmu sic. ca S EPTEMBE R 1 - O CTOB ER 7 2005

\' cOSlno> L .nusic Fine quality instruments & accessories to suit any budget - Woodwinds, Brass, Strings & Percussion Expert Instrument Repairs in one of North America's largest and best-equipped facilities Comprehensive Band & Orchestra Rental Program with over 9,000 instruments in inventory York Region's Largest Music School serving over I ,200 students SALES • RENTALS • REPAIRS • LESSONS • PRINT MUSIC OYAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL Celebrating over 50 years internationally for students age 2 to Seniors! PIANO KEYBOARD GUITAR I BASS VIOLIN FLUTE SAX CLARINET THEORY Now regt.sterLV\,g for Ftil LL ! Private Instruction: Piano, Voice, Guitar, Strings, Winds & Brass Group Programs: Music for You & Your Baby (0-3 yrs) Orff I Kodaly I Dalcroze Eurhythmics (3-8 yrs) Creative Drama & Speech (ages 6 & up) Music Theory & History (RCM Grades 1-5) The Kingsway ~ • 416-234-0121 Conservatory ~ ~ 3086 Bloor Street West . Toronto, Ontario M8X 1C8 of Music • • Two blocks west of Royal York Road Sharon M. Burlacoff ARCTB.Mus MA MFA, Executive Director S EPTE MB ER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2005 Back to Ad Index WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 53

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