After a very busy start to the year, we’re back with updates for you and your family!

In this issue:

We Want Your Stories!
Welcome New Teachers
Winona School Kick-Start
Local Martial Arts and Reiki Seminars at Tiger Dragon
Fun Musical Game
Referral Update
Important Upcoming Dates (recital update)
Coming Soon – Teacher Emails! (Beta)

We Want Your Stories!

One of the ways in which we hope that we set ourselves apart from other schools and activities in the city is through our personal connections with you, our students and families.  This is really important to us, and we hope that even though we are quite busy, that you get the right amount of attention from us whenever you need it.

This fall we’d like to start building a part of our website that is devoted to sharing individual family stories of how we’ve been a positive addition to your routines, and those of your children.  If you think you have a story, and would like to share it with us, please just leave us a call us!  We would love to put your story up with a photo of you and/or your student to tell others about your experience.  Thanks!

Welcome New Teachers

This year we’ve added some great new teachers at ABC, enhancing our roster, and the students’ experience.  We are delighted to welcome Brenna McLane (Violin/Viola), Asha Pieper (Vocals), Cynthia Peyson Wahl (Vocals), Eric Wagner (Acoustic, Electric, Bass Guitars), David Potvin (Piano), and Dylan Maddix (Trumpets).  We encourage you to visit their teacher pages to find out about them, they’re great!

headshotAsha Pieper2

Cynthia Peyson WahlDSC_0270DSC_0265 Toronto Trumpet Teacher Dylan Maddix








Winona Kick-Start

For the 4th year in a row, ABC Academy sponsored a kick-start event for roughly 200 beginner band and string instrument students at Winona Sr. Public School.  For the first time, these Grade 7 students were able to get a full day of specialist instruction from our Faculty at ABC, learning their instruments from scratch, going from opening the case to making good sounds and playing notes – on their first day!

This kick-start is essential to ABC’s mission of promoting music for life.  By giving these kids the ability to get a lot of specialized information on the first day, they get to save over 1 month of class time, and get to playing songs a lot faster.

We could not do this without the generous encouragement of Mr. Ullmann, the Band Music Teacher, and Mr. Leibovitch, the Principal.  A good administration that is open to music and external collaboration is rare, but it is also one of the reasons that Winona has a long and successful history of bringing music to children’s lives.  We are grateful to having such a good partnership, and look forward to a long future of collaboration to enhance the student musical culture in our area.

Seminars at Tiger Dragon

ABC recently partnered with Tiger Dragon Martial Arts Centre to offer weekday Music Together classes.  Tiger Dragon is offers a number of events every month, which are open to a variety of ages, and a great way to have a family educational activity as the weather turns colder and more indoor-oriented.  In November there are the following:

  • NOVEMBER 16:  Real Self-Defence Series 1:00 p.m. (1.5 hours, $10 in advance or $15 at the door – 8 years old and up)
  • NOVEMBER 23:  Reiki Share 1:30 p.m. (2.5 hours, $10 – adults 18 years and up)
  • NOVEMBER 30:  Jeet Kune Do Seminar 1:00 p.m. (2.5 hours $25 in advance or $30 at the door – teens and adults from 16 years and up)

All of the events are interactive, and it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in easily.

Fun Online Game

We aren’t really big at advocating for video games as a good activity, but we recently stumbled on this fun game which coordinates cymbal and canon crashes to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  At the very least it will expose you to some classical music!  It is best for smartphone or tablet.

Referral Update

We’d like to thank those of you that have referred families to ABC this fall.  A special thanks to those families which referred more than one other new family.  Our current record for most discounts received is 40% off the rest of the school year.  That is a great savings, and it means a lot to us to be so highly regarded.

Want to save more?  Well, you can still refer people.  We’d never say no to that, and will continue to honour your referrals for the time being at 20% off for you (one set of lessons) and them (1st year for all sets).  If you had a referral card and the card has expired, just give it to your friends, anyway.  We’ll honour them!  If you don’t have a referral card, you can get one at the desk, or just make sure your friend drops your name!

Important Upcoming Dates

While there are no holidays in November, the holiday season will soon be upon us, so it is good to plan ahead.  Please review these dates so you can be aware of the important things going on at ABC in addition to your other scheduled activities.

  • December 14 (date changed!) – FALL RECITAL (registration available mid-November at the front desk)
  • December 14 – Last Regular Day of Lessons
  • December 15-21 – Make-up week (we’ll email and/or call you with times!)
  • January 3, 2015 – LESSONS RESUME on your regular day and time

About the recital

Please note that the date on our printed schedule is incorrect.  We are now targeting December 14th for our Fall Recital.  This is one week later than originally planned.

Our recitals are optional for participation.  HOWEVER: if you or your child decide to not participate as a performer, it is strongly encouraged that you bring them to participate as an audience member.  Being exposed to live performance of different kinds of music is a vital part of a well-rounded music education.  Here are some things to think about:

  • Our recitals are short and sweet, so you don’t have to worry about being bored to tears.
  • Our recitals are free, no tickets necessary, so it only takes your time
  • When you bring your kids to live music, you send the message that it is a normal thing to do, and that there is value to it
  • Our recitals are low-key, and family oriented.  It is OK to not know how to behave, you’ll figure that out over time (check with your seat neighbour).
  • When you bring your kids to our recitals, they get to see other kids, and even adult students of varying ages perform, showing that it is OK for them to do it next time.

Coming Soon – Teacher Emails! (Beta)

For a long time ABC has avoided having emails for our teachers.  Our primary reason for this has been to make sure that we keep accountability for scheduling at the front desk.  This will remain a key policy as we test using teacher emails.  We will update you on this shortly (hopefully this month), and you will be able to have more direct contact with your teacher throughout the week.

Some teachers like sending materials for practice, or study-related videos and information to their entire studios as the week progresses.  We think this a worthwhile endeavour, and a great way to stimulate a greater level of engagement at home.

During this beta period, you will have an email address to which you can send emails to teachers, but teachers will be using a single outgoing email account to reply to you.  This means that you will need to take care when composing emails, so that you are addressing your emails to your teachers, and not the ‘outgoing’ account.