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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, April 4th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: “ya ya ya” 3-note warmup, Night Begins to Shine, Beyblade Burst Evolution

How to practice it most effectively: The “ya ya ya” warmup is for singing, but you will also play the notes on the keyboard. Start in C position (so RH – right hand – thumb on C). Then play C-D-E-E-D-C on piano only first so you can hear it once, then sing along with it. Then, move your hand up to D position and repeat. When we move positions remember your finger 1 (thumb) still has to be on the bottom note. Take this warmup up until around G position, then go back to C and this time shift your position down to B position then A position. For Night Begins to Shine we talked about the “form” of the song – how we have a verse and a chorus. Your verse guide note is the B right under middle C; this is the first note you start on. In the chorus, your main guide note is E above middle C – the words “when” and “night” with the G above that being the goal note for “shine”. Use these guide notes to help you stay on track. I’m attaching below a good youtube video to use for the Beyblade Burst Evolution song: please focus only on the right hand from 0:33 to 0:55, and slow it down to 0.5 speed to start.



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: E major scale (hands together), Runaround Sue

How to practice it most effectively: In E major, we use the same fingerings, just adding a sharp (D#). The sharps in this scale exist in groups of 2 side by side, which is handy (F# and G# and C# and D#). The 3rd and 6th degrees where our finger 3s line up are G# and C#. For Runaround Sue, please play bars 1-8 and 17 to the end hands together – be extra careful with what octave LH plays in (the second time is 1 octave lower for everything). RH, continue noticing your intervals and which note is moving from one to the next versus which is staying. Whenever you are unsure of a note just use your sayings to double check. Bars 9-16 should still be kept hands separately – RH is only ever playing a third or a fourth; notice what the difference is visually on the staff between these two intervals. You can start adding staccatos in to make the character of the piece bouncier!



Recommended minutes to practice: 5 minutes a day

What to practice: Scavenger hunt of all piano letters,  C position 5-finger warmup, thumbs on middle C warmup

How to practice it most effectively: For the scavenger hunt, start with finding all the Cs (in front of the group of 2 black keys) on your piano – use your left hand (LH) for the lower half notes and right hand (RH) for the upper half. Then find all the Fs (in front of the group of 3 black keys). After that try to find all the other letter names. When playing our warmups, please remember to bend from the finger knuckle, and keep your wrist in line with your arm. It should be as if you’ve got a small ping pong ball under your palm. C position means that LH finger 5 (pinky) and RH finger 1 (thumb) are on C, then the other fingers spread out one per note. Walk up in order then back down. The thumbs on C warmup has both hands finger 1s on middle C, with the other fingers spread out one per note again. Start on C then play the 2s together, then 3s together, etc. walking out then back in.

The book I recommend is the Alfred’s All-in-One Course Book 1, which can be found here:

April 4th, 2021|

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: Rain Rain, finishing as much as you can of the worksheet on pages 36-37

How to practice it most effectively: Today we learned about reading music on the staff. In Rain Rain we are playing with left hand in the bass clef: the two dots on the clef symbol surround the 4th line which is always the letter F. LH will be in C position, with finger 2 on F – at the start of the lines you have 6 Fs in a row! After that watch how the notes are stepping downwards then back up to F.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: “na na na” warmup (3 note scale – start on ‘C’ on a piano app), Dynamite, Do a Deer

How to practice it most effectively: When doing your warmup, start at a middle/low part of your range and work your way upwards on the syllables “na” – the N will help you access a nasal tone. Once you’ve worked your way up, go back to that medium/low part of your range and then go downwards. For Dynamite, please be especially careful on the “shining through the city with a little funk and soul” line. To avoid straining, switch to that more nasal-y tone on the word “with” for the higher part of the line. When going down on “soul”, add a little H in front of the second note. In the breakdown section (dy-na-na-na-na…) do your best to keep the jaw still, using just little tongue movements between syllables since it’s so fast! Please continue to sing Do a Deer with the first part of the verse, we will start with that next week.

You can start singing Dynamite with a karaoke track as well:



Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: C and G major scale warmups, skips warmup, Shake it Off, Life is an Adventure

How to practice it most effectively: In the C major scale warmup, please sing on the syllable “na” instead of the letters – keep your jaw nice and long especially when you get to the higher notes. In the G major scale warmup still say the letter names. For the new skips warmup, start in C position and play/sing C-E-G-E-C on any vowel (ah, oh, ooh, ee, etc.) and then do the same in F position. In Shake it Off‘s prechorus and chorus, A is the guide note – when singing along to your video please be at the keyboard so you can play this note for yourself to stay on track. Make sure you enunciate and really pronounce your consonants during the chorus.

**please print out this lyric/note sheet and practice the whole song top to bottom for Life is an Adventure: 



Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: B major scale (hands separately), Spring, Pirates of the North Sea

How to practice it most effectively: In B major we use all 5 black keys (5 sharps) – RH fingering stays the same, but LH uses 4-3-2-1-4-3-2-1 (finger 5 never plays). For Spring, please be extra careful with the staccato vs. legato articulation. RH should play the melody a couple of times alone before playing a third time through with LH. Remember that LH has ties, so you don’t play the second set of notes, you just let them hold. In Pirates of the North Sea, I’d like you to make all your staccatos as crisp and bouncy as possible. Use the sayings for bass clef (Good Birds Don’t Fly Away and All Cows Eat Grass) to help you with reading the bass clef notes.



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Chromatic scale (hands separately), Our Detective Agency

How to practice it most effectively: When playing the chromatic scale, remember that finger 3 always goes on the black keys. For RH going up you will do 1-3-1-3-1-2 when there is a white key semitone. For LH going up you will do 1-3-1-3-2-1. Our Detective Agency is a sneaky song with both staccato and legato articulations – try to really differentiate between these. Remember that flats last for a whole bar (so they won’t be labelled the second time in the same bar). Please watch out for the whole steps when you go from F to Eb, then Eb to Db.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Habanera, Porcupine Dance

How to practice it most effectively: In the Habanera, remember to do the sneaky staccatos for LH’s part in the first half of the piece – it really adds to the character. RH continue reading beyond the first page; towards the end there will be some intervals which are either 3rds or 6ths. Please use the sayings Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE in the space to help you read treble clef notes. For Porcupine Dance, please read just the right hand. Remember that in every bar we are always playing skips with fingers 1-3-5. The easiest way to sight read this piece is to just find the bottom note at the start of each bar, and then play the skips from there.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Blinky the Robot, Porcupine Dance, and finishing pages 64-64 in the theory book

How to practice it most effectively: In Blinky the Robot, try your best to make staccatos really short and crisp (especially on the first page). For the top half of the second page, really notice your patterns and repeating shapes. For Porcupine Dancestart hands separately but work towards trying it hands together before next class. In every single bar in this song there is a position shift (only by one or two steps, though). Once you figure out your bottom note, the rest is all skips. Continue playing crisp staccatos in this piece as well.


April 6th, 2021|

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Gorilla in the Tree (LH song), March on D-E-F, Mister Bluebird

How to practice it most effectively: LH please continue to play Gorilla in the Tree as a review piece – remember your F is below middle C. Middle C is always the note above the staff on the little line. March on D-E-F and Mister BlueBird are RH songs, using all the notes in C position. C, E, and G are line notes, and D and F are space notes. Always watch which direction the notes move in or whether they are repeating.



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Saying musical alphabet forwards and backwards, C 5-Finger Position Warmup (p.5), C position to B position 5-4-3-2-1 vocal warmup, and A Million Dreams

How to practice it most effectively: For the C 5-Finger Position Warmup, play one hand at a time, and say/sing the letters out loud while you play. A 5-finger position means that each finger has a home, and you don’t have to move from that spot. Notice what stepping vs. skipping looks like on the page and in your hand. You can always use the sayings for lines and spaces to help you find notes if you’re unsure. The vocal warmup starts with your hand on C position, playing fingers 5-4-3-2-1. The syllables are “ee-ee-ee-ee-ah”. First play the piano notes alone, then focus on finding your first note, and finally play and sing the exercise together. Please move up through all the positions! C through to B. For A Million Dreams, remember that verse guide note is C, prechorus guide note is A, and chorus guide note is D.

Here are youtube lyric videos for both Do, a Deer and My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music:



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Firefly (transposed), Little River, and Sailing in the Sun

How to practice it most effectively: For Firefly in G position, make sure you use the exact same finger numbers, and follow the steps and skips carefully – the song should still sound the same. Little River is a warmup song to help us practice playing legato, or connected. When playing legato, you have to hang on to the previous note until the next note plays – there will be a split second where both are playing at the same time! In Sailing in the Sun, there are slurs between the hands as well. Really count those quarter rests, since they add a lot to the fun character of the piece!



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Thumbs on C warmup, My First Waltz

How to practice it most effectively: Please always double check that your thumbs are on C and not accidentally on D! From there all the fingers have their spots. The warmup starts with both finger 1s on C and steps outwards first with finger 2s, then 3s, and so on, then steps back inwards. For My First Waltz, there are a lot of repeated notes and patterns – line 1 and line 3 are exactly the same, and the pattern in bar 2 comes back again and again. Please pay extra attention to whether notes are moving in steps or skips in lines 2 and 4.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Diminishes 7 chords and inversions (hands separately), Marching Trumpets, Playful Puppy, Pure Imagination

How to practice it most effectively: When playing the diminished 7 chords, start with the familiar C# diminished 7 shape then move up inverting it – notice how the intervals and quality of the chord stay exactly the same regardless of which note is on the bottom. For Marching Trumpets, the final piece of the puzzle will be to add dynamics in, especially making the p andsections stand out against all the medium levels. Playful Puppy can also see some dynamics added in, as well as a gradual speeding up to make it cute and, well, playful! For Pure Imagination, we crossed out any extensions that aren’t needed in the chord shapes. When there is the Bb diminished 7 chord, you can continue to play the C# diminished 7 shape in RH, just with LH taking the Bb as the root. Try adding in LH on single notes as you play through it this week.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20-25 minutes a day

What to practice: F major scale (hands separately), Scherzo, Piano Man

How to practice it most effectively: In the F major scale there is a Bb; LH fingering is regular, while RH plays 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4. For the Scherzo, please play through the three LH minor shapes back and forth a few times before starting the piece to really solidify them. LH plays eighth notes on beats 1 and 4, but has rests for the rest of the bar; make sure to lift once RH moves to beats 2 and 5. You can play the whole piece hands together now! In Piano Man, please isolate bars 53-54 with RH only first, then play bars 51-54 RH only, then finally play 51-54 with RH and LH. The idea here is to be very accurate with the RH rhythms. When we reach the ending, do a dramatic rit so it really feels finished.



Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day

What to practice: Eb major scale (hands separately 2 octaves), Dance of the Dragonflies, Canon

How to practice it most effectively: In the Eb major scale we have 3 flats: Bb, Eb, and Ab. RH’s fingering rule will be like last time (finger 3 on Eb, finger 4 on Bb), but LH now will play finger 3 on Eb, finger 4 on Ab. For the new song, Dance of the Dragonflies, please go hands together up until bar 16. From the get go, be super aware of all articulation; keep your hand and wrist bouncy and light for the staccatos. Remember that for the first two lines the hands are never actually coming in together at the same time, they’re always taking turns. For Canon, really start the beginning nice and piano so you have somewhere to grow. In lines 4 and 5 we talked about eliminating the 4th note from each group of LH’s eighth notes so you’re only playing root-5th-root like in lines 6 etc. Please remember that on the F# chord it’s all black keys (F# and C#). I think you can try to play the whole song with pedal!

April 7th, 2021|

Preferred Books for Adina’s Students

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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

Buy on Amazon

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.

Buy on Amazon

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.

Buy on Amazon

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.

HIGH VOICE Buy on Amazon
LOW VOICE Buy on Amazon
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