Education Front TOSS MUSIC BLUES Last month I pointed out that this is the time of year when school principals put · together their "staffing models," so therefore a vecy gocx:l time for parents to ask questions about where inusie will fit into your child's rext school year. Well, by now most staffing models are in - class size, the number of split grades, and the number and nature of teachingpooitio!l'lare, ifootcastinstore, at least setting in rapidly dcying ceirent. Judging by the evideOCe coming in from around the Toronto District School Board, it seems that this year it was open season on music specialists, Let's get something straight once and for all (she said for the hundredth time). Music in Ontario is,aMinistry-mandoted subject just like Math, Science and French. It wouldn't matter if evecy parentinaschoolsaid "We don't think music is important." The curriculum must be delivered in full: That is the child. So, here are some guidelines to Parents must be the watc!Xlogs fortheir making sure your child is getting the children's education. When the music purpose oflegislatively-maIXlated cur- music education he/she is entitled to. position at our local school was downriculum. Children's achieveirent can:. 1) Ask your principal how the music siz.ed, I asked what the plans were to mt be linked to the value that music has curriculum is being delivered. If there ensure curriculum delivery. wren the in the hearts and minds of their par- is a music specialist on staff, ask if it is , principal didn't know, I asked the suen!S, their principals or their Boards. .a full~time position or part-time . Ask perintement, and kept 3sking. I still They mtist achieve what the Ministcy if the music specialist teaches all chi!- haven't had a satisfactocy reply, s0 I says they must achieve. dren in fut; school. will keep asking. So should you. You c'an download the music cur- 2) How many minutes of in-class in- Need more infonnation or support? riculum for Grades 1-8 from The Ans struction are there. per week? (lunch- E-mail us: TDmusic@sympatico.ca. document on the Ministcy of F.duca- time, before- and after-school sessions CynthiaDann-Beords/.ey tion's website: www.edu.gov.oii.ca( don'tcount) eng/document/curricul/arts/arts.html. 3) What are the perfonnance opportu- a.BE'M-IERE Look at the document and you will see nities-music nights, assemblies, Tell us. Is the music-in-the-schools that it is impossible for classroom teach- camps and festivals? scenario Cynthia paints here troe of ers without music specialist qualifica- 4) If there is no specialist, or just a part- your school, different in your school tions to deliver that curriculum unas- time ore, how is the principal. ensuring · board? E-mail us at sisted. Hence, if there is to be no mu- the complete delivery of the curriculum firstname.lastname@example.org; sic specialist on staff to teach all chi!- and ensuring proper assessment of studren, it is up to the principal to imple- dent achievement? Refer to the above- EDUCATION ••. BACK! WholeNote's education-related ment a specific alternative delivecy mentioned government document, and model for the music curriculum. ask for details: e.g. how will Grade As we know in these days of rewly .Fives "create musical compositions that empowered School Councils, parents show appropriate use of various elehave the right to know exactly how the ments of music (e.g. tempo, dynamcoverage and advertising continue on page 41, following the concert listings curriculum is being delivered to their ics, melody ...) and perform them;" _ ._____________ Love To Sing? Breathe new life into your voice with a unique and sensible kinesthetic approach to vocal pedagogy. This is a method which focuses on influencing and improving the co-ordinative process of the vocal muscles. It brings them into equilibrium, thus eliminating muscular interference. Great for Everyone! • All styles •All Levels • -Beginners and Children welcome • Excellent for public speakers, actors, etc. Call Pattie Kelly for private lessons at 905-271-6896 24 The Bishop Strachan School INSl'lllE TIJE MINI>. NllllTUltE THE SPIRIT. 298 Lonsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario M4V I X2 Erin Gilmour ARTS WORKSHOPS Your child's key to the magic of art. Summer Workshops: July 2 - A~gust 15, 2003. '1P . - Musical Theatre Voices in Song Full String Ahead (credit course) (choir) . with Ian Guenther with Wayne Strongman, Also Offering: Film Editing• Senior Film arid Video• Junior Film and Video• Acting for Stage and Screen• Art and Dance• Hip Hop• Senior Photography• Alternative Media• Shakespeare For KidZ •Comedy! Comedy!! Comedy!!! •Kid prov• Design Practice• Loca_tio,n Sketching · Ages 7-18. Co-educational. Scholarships available. -Enrolment is lin11ted. Book Now. For further information contact: Mari Drexler, Administrative Assistant, 416-483-4325 Exten.sion 1164 www.bss.on.ca www.thewholenote.com May 1 - June 7 2003
SOME SING FOR EVERYONE by Pattie Kelly Whether you Jove to sing, like to sing or merely consider yourself an avid singer in the shower, there has never ,been a more opportune time to breathe new life into those pipes. Now is the time to consider and to ,reconsider what, you are doing with your voice or what you might like to do with it. Singing is a protoundly satisfying actjvity. It is as in,tensely personal as it is social. All people at all levels and ages can enjoy this engaging and uplifting experience. Exploring and opening out voices brings us in touch with a deeper level of our humanity an_d provides us with a very practical vehicle for selfexpression. There are multitudes of reasons why people love to sing and the most compelling one is the sheer joy of it. This issue of Wholenote offers a very special and valuable feature. The index of choirs and vocal groups contained in these pages is a fairly comprehensive representation of organizations in the OTA and beyond. Do yourself a great favour and take the time to peruse these listings. There surely is bound to be some sing for everyone! Those of you who have no formal experience with a choir may be surprised to discover that you really are capable of shopping, you're sure to find the group that's right for you . . One must not forget that one of raising your voice in song along the best places to find music with other folks. Just remember and community is in church! that we all have the same You will find listing upon listing muscles sitting in our throats; - of wonderful music programs the same' vocal equipment. It and parish choirs. Associated may be true that some people's with this are the junior choirs voices are in better shape than for the children. These proother's but that by no means grams often offer rudimentary precludes a person from open- musical training. If you are ing up and exercising their own considering enrolling your child voice through the act of singing in a vocal music program, this itself. There are a vast number may be a great place to start. of community choirs that welcome newcomers and beginners (of all ages). These organizations' provide wonderful and fulfilling social and musical outlets, as well as offering some basic education in choral singfog. And best of all, there are NO AUDmONS! , Apart from anything else, community choirs are what they sound like - a community. To that end, there is quite a variety: women's choirs, seniors, gay and ·lesbian groups. There are also mixed choirs, large and small (SATB). The Etobicoke Centennial Choir offers a larger taste of the classics with orchestra. The newly-formed Davenport-Perth, a modest community choir, embraces music from various vocal , traditions and sings at community events. ff you do a bit of As for children's and youth choirs, there are at least 10 in the OTA alone, and many more associated with churches. These groups encourage, train and develop children from ages 5 to 17. Some of these, the most renowned being the Toronto Children's Chorus, can be exceedingly demanding but the· results do speak for themselves. Do have a look in Toronto (including Riverdale and York Region), Etobicoke, Mississauga, an~ Oakville. There's bound to be something that suits. If you'v~ been singing for some time and would just like a change or a new challenge, you might consider auditioning for one of the numerous chamber choirs around the city. Groups like the Vocal Point Chamber Choir and the North 44° Vocal Ensemble offer a variety of music - from the mor.e standard repertoire to the eclectic. For the women, there are a number of fine chamber groups to con-, sider: Cantores Celestes and Penthelia Singers being only a couple. If it's time for a bigger leap, you may even give the likes of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir or the Elmer Eisler Singers a shot! As for the larger choirs offering the choral classics with orchestra, don't forget to check out the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Amadeus Choir. Jurgen Petrenko's Toronto Clas_sical Singers is also a tempting choice, with JOO voices. Slightly smaller but equally attractive is the Pax Christi Coorale. · I'd like to point out that there are also a number of ethnic choirs that specialize, for example, in music from the Ukraine and Russia, Armenia, Chi~a. Georgian Republic and more. It is impossible to make reference to all the fine offerings in this choral index (and.l'v~ exceeded my word count!). So please have a good look at what the OTA has to offer. It's very impressive. If you're still not convinced that you'd like to join a choir, perhaps you would just like to have a few singing lessons. I'm sure someone would be happy to accommodate you!! Happy Singing!