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ABC Academy of Music

Lessons & Classes for All Ages

Adina Vlasov2020-12-31T12:43:57-05:00

Project Description

B.Mus (Humber) in-progress

Adina is a singer-songwriter based in Toronto completing her Bachelor of Music degree at Humber College in vocal performance. Trained classically in piano since the age of 5, she has branched out into pop and jazz as well.

Vocally she is well-versed in many genres including jazz (she loves to scat!), musical theatre, pop, singer-songwriter, country, R&B, and acappella. She has 7 years of choir experience in both chamber and jazz styles. Adina has been writing and singing original songs since the age of 12, and has two singles as well as an EP out on all platforms under the artist name Adina V.

She has performed all across southern Ontario singing with the Toronto All-Star Big Band, as well as at various venues in the GTA with her own jazz duos and trios. As a member of the Cawthra Park Chamber Choir she performed at Roy Thompson Hall with the TSO for two years in a row. At Humber College she is part of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble led by Lisa Martinelli; this group performs advanced repertoire at events like the Ontario Vocal Jazz Festival.

Adina has been teaching music for the past 7 years and loves helping students meet their personal goals while fostering a love of music that lasts forever!

Get to know Adina…Beyond the Bio!

Hobbies: reading, puzzles, video games, painting

Musical Influences: Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Doris Day, Joni Mitchell, Taylor Swift, John Mayer

Favourite Food: Pad Thai

Least favourite food: eggplant

Favourite music: Indie rock and folk

Favourite song: All I Need by Jacob Collier ft. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign

Favourite movie: Matilda

Favourite movie music: The Pirates of the Caribbean theme

Favourite Musical: Dear Evan Hansen or The Last Five Years

Best Quote from your teacher: “It’s an amazing and wonderful experience to be able to be intentional about, in the moment, making music”

Favourite Quote: “Even as we are, we are becoming”

Favourite Book: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy – Stieg Larsson

Best thing about teaching at ABC: Sharing and fostering a love of music with students of all ages

Latest Homework from Adina

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Sunday, June 20th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Beyblade Burst Turbo (piano and singing), March on D-E-F, Mister Bluebird

How to practice it most effectively: For March on D-E-F and Mister Bluebird, we are introducing treble clef notes D, E and F. Note which of these letters are in the spaces (D and F) and the lines (E). When we are stepping, like in these songs, on the staff notes will move from line to space or space to line. On the piano we just play the very next letter (up or down). These songs are just for RH! For Beyblade Burst Turbo, please try playing the chorus (“Gonna take the victory…”) with both RH and LH. The LH chords are:\

  • “Gonna take the victory” C major, G major
  • “Bursting out in overdrive” E minor, D major
  • “The warrior will take the lead” C major, G major
  • “Beyblade burst turbo” A major, B major

Then it repeats for the second half! Please remember that LH’s C major and E minor chords come in before the RH melody. You can try singing the melody with lyrics along with the RH melody (take LH out while singing just so you don’t have to focus on 3 things at once!).



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu

How to practice it most effectively: You can start off by playing this song hands separately – there is a lot of repetition in the melodic ideas! LH does the same 5th – step up pattern for almost the entire piece, you just have to check if the bottom note is G or low D. Remember that your accidentals last for a whole bar. G is the home note and our key for this piece – RH is often coming back to that 2nd treble clef line. There are many semitones in this song (like from A# to B, or F#-G-G#-A). As always, please try to follow the written fingerings, and use your clef sayings for the lines and spaces if you need help figuring out a note! Feel free to revisit songs like Rockin’ Robin or Bye, Bye, Love over the break. Thank you for your hard work and have a great summer!



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Old Uncle Bill, Love Somebody, reading ahead in your book!

How to practice it most effectively: For Old Uncle Bill, LH is playing together intervals (either a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th) while RH has the melody. RH make sure you hold your dotted half note while LH plays underneath. For Love Somebody, be really careful with the direction each hand is moving in when they play together. RH, do your best to play connected under the slurs. You’re absolutely ready to read ahead in your book this summer, as you move into playing with intervals like 5ths. Thank you for all your hard work and enjoy your summer break!

June 21st, 2021|

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: various warmups, My Girl, Butter, reviewing any old songs we’ve done as well as singing other favourite songs with lyric videos!

How to practice it most effectively: The warmups we have done include:

  • “ooh” unpitched slide (just start on a comfy middle note, and slide gently up and down, getting a little higher & lower each time)
  • “na na na” C-D-E, E-D-C warmup (then moving into other notes as the bottom note)
  • “ooh-ah-ooh” sliding warmup (can be small, C-E-C; or big C-G-C)

For My Girl, try to have a little, almost silent “H” before the “I”s so it’s gentler on your voice. In the chorus, the lead singer only does the first “My girl”, the other echos are background vocals. Note that the “hey, hey, hey”s are slightly different the 2nd time. If you do want to sing Butter along with the lyric video, just make sure you do a warmup that extends a few notes beyond C4 since that high note comes back again and again. Have a great summer break and thanks for singing with me!



Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: various warmups, Do a Deer, So Long Farewell, revisiting songs like Monster, If I Can’t Have You, Shake it Off as well as any others you enjoy, and songwriting!

How to practice it most effectively: The warmups we have done include:

  • skips warmup (C-E-G-E-C, then moving around to other notes as well) on “na na na” or “ma ma ma” (make sure the vowel is nice and open).
  • sliding down warmup (can do G to C, then moving down in your range) on “Hah” – the “H” at the beginning is important to achieve an open/forward sound quality.
  • singing a C major and G major scale (saying letters or saying do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do).

For Do a Deer, continue to sing the ends of phrases (like “sun”, “run”, etc) with open vowels. Make sure you end these long notes early enough that you have time to breathe before the next phrase. For So Long Farewell, please use the video I sent you so you also have the verse (the beginning part) of the song. The word “auf wiedersehen” is pronounced “aw-vee-der-sen”. For all those long tones near the end on “good-bye“, please make sure you get a nice big belly breath in before singing them. Thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm in class – have a great summer!


June 22nd, 2021|

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Half-Time Show, major 5-note warmup (C to A), Loyal Brave and True (karaoke)

How to practice it most effectively: For Half-Time Show, remember your FACE in the space saying – RH is only ever playing in these spaces doing repeated notes or skips. In bars 9-12 the hands are playing the exact same letters and rhythms. Please make sure you stay in F position so the finger numbers line up. For the warmup, continue playing major positions from C to A major. When you get to A major, you can take it 1-2-3, 2-3-4, -3-4-5 instead of the full 1-2-3-4-5, focusing on keeping the vowels long and open. I’ll link a karaoke below to try with Loyal Brave and True. Next class we will start Reflection, so you can start singing along to a lyric video.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: The Bugle Boys, Happy Birthday

How to practice it most effectively: The Bugle Boys is the last song in this book! Watch where the hands enter at the exact same time (the notes will line up vertically on top of each other). LH has many long ties (holding for 8 full beats!) – we crossed off the second pair where you continue to hold instead of playing again. Note how RH is only playing 3 notes – C E and G. As a bonus exercise you can try playing Happy Birthday with G as the bottom note, and compare it to the version with C as the bottom note!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Classic Dance, Ferris Wheel

How to practice it most effectively: In Classic Dance there are a lot of smooth legato moments to watch out for, as well as the staccatos in lines 1 and 3. Try the first two bars a few times practicing keeping one finger hanging on until the next one plays – there’s a split second where both are playing at the same time, and this is how we get the connected sound. For the new song Ferris Wheel, it is all  legato, sometimes with the melody jumping between the hands. There are many skips in this piece as well as repeated notes to watch out for. Try doing the dynamics in the last line as you move up the octaves!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: Minuet in A minor, Cool Groove, I’ll Be Seeing You

How to practice it most effectively: For the Minuet, any time there are dotted quarter notes, try counting with all the “ands” to really solidify the rhythms. You can try at least the first two lines hands together this week, going slow to account for syncopations between the hands. For Cool Groove, aim to try is at 85bpm – if this is too slow please feel free to try 95, then 90, etc. – the gradual slowdown we had spoken about. The biggest thing is leaning into the long part of the swung beat and delaying the “and” after beat 1 to make it really groove. Great job with the numbers in I’ll Be Seeing You the next step is thinking about the qualities of the chords (so maj7, mi7, 7 – which we also call “dominant” – etc.). You can try singing and playing the vocal melody this week!



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: F major scale hands together, Yellow Bird (rhythm review), Morning

How to practice it most effectively: The F major scale has slightly different fingerings than the other ones – in terms of fingers that line up you’ll have finger 3s playing together on A and finger 1s playing together on C, both on the way up and on the way down. For Yellow Bird, there are a couple of rhythm things I’d like you to review: on the first page, RH’s bar 4 and 8 rhythm is the same as the main LH rhythm – you can go back and forth between these to get the feel of it. On the second page, please make sure you’re holding the beat 1 quarter note for the full longer beat, with the quick part actually being the 2 and between hands. For Morning, note what triads each hand is playing when it’s its turn – we start off in F major but then switch to A major. LH has a few clef changes throughout the piece to look out for. Please take your time finding all notes of chords – no need to guess, just take a moment to use your sayings and any helpful intervals. Later in the week you can try adding some dynamics.


July 21st, 2021|

Preferred Books for Adina’s Students

Click to buy them here, and they’ll come right to your house! What could be easier?

Alfred's Basic Piano Library Lesson Book 1A

Cover of Alfred's Basic Piano Library Lesson Book 1AThis easy step-by-step method emphasizes correct playing habits and note reading through interval recognition. Lesson Book Level 1A begins by teaching basic keyboard topography and fluent recognition of white key names in relation to black keys. It focuses on simple rhythms and prepares students for intervallic reading with entertaining songs that focus on “same,” “stepping up” and “stepping down.” It then introduces lines and space notes in treble and bass clefs, melodic and harmonic intervals of 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths, and graduates to reading on the grand staff. It also introduces the flat and sharp signs. This course is most effective when used under the direction of a piano teacher or experienced musician. Songs Include: Balloons * Batter Up! * The Donkey * A Friend Like You * Hand-Bells * A Happy Song * Horse Sense * Totem Pole Song * It’s Halloween! * Jingle Bells! * Jolly Old Saint Nicholas * July the Fourth! * Just a Second! * Love Somebody * Merrily We Roll Along O’er the Deep Blue Sea * Mexican Hat Dance * My Clever Pup * My Fifth * My Robot * Old MacDonald * Old Uncle Bill * Play a Fourth * Raindrops * Rain, Rain! * Rockets * Rockin’ Tune * Rock Song * Sailing * Sea Divers * See-Saws * Skating * Who’s on Third? * Willie and Tillie * Wishing Well * The Zoo

Alfred's Adult Basic All-In-One

Book 1

Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Cover

Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course is designed for use with a piano instructor for the beginning student looking for a truly complete piano course. It is a greatly expanded version of Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course that will include lesson, theory, and technique in a convenient, “all-in-one” format. This comprehensive course adds such features as isometric hand exercises, finger strengthening drills, and written assignments that reinforce each lesson’s concepts. There is a smooth, logical progression between each lesson, a thorough explanation of chord theory and playing styles, and outstanding extra songs, including folk, classical, and contemporary selections.

The Brown Scale Book

The Brown Scale Book

This essential resource includes all major and minor scales, triads, arpeggios, dominant sevenths, and chromatic scales organized by key. A favorite for decades, The Brown Scale Book belongs in every student’s library.

The Real Vocal Book


Cover of The Real Vocal Book

The Real Vocal Book has many of the selections from Volumes 1 and 2 of the instrumental Real Books, but now with complete lyrics added to the pre-existing melody line. This edition features 300 essential songs arranged for low voice, including: Alfie * All of Me * Autumn Leaves * Bewitched * Bluesette * Don’t Get Around Much Anymore * Fever * Georgia on My Mind * Misty * Moon River * My Funny Valentine * Satin Doll * and more. Looking for a particular song? Check out the Real Book Songfinder here.


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