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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 25th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Runaround Sue (specifically the A sections)

How to practice it most effectively: Today we decided that for Runaround Sue we would just play the 1st A section then directly into the 2nd A section. LH’s staccatos are important for timing and feel in bar 8 and again in the second last bar. Please watch out for which octave LH is meant to be playing in: in the first A section we are up near middle C, but in the second A section it’s an octave lower. This will help distinguish the two. The most important part of any song or performance is the ending – practice getting to your final chord multiple times in a row so it becomes a familiar shape you can land on confidently.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: 2 warmups, Batter Up, My Clever Pup, The Zoo

How to practice it most effectively: In the thumbs on C and C position warmups, please connect between the notes. Keeping your fingers bent will help with this. Remember that C position has RH finger 1 on C, and LH finger 5 on C. For Batter Up, My Clever Pup, and The Zoo, the hands are in thumbs sharing C position. Continue to say the letter names out loud while you play. Please watch the stem directions and “RH”, “LH” labels to know which hand’s turn it is to play. The double bar line with the two dots at the end of some pieces is a repeat sign, meaning we go back to the start of the piece and play it one more time.

April 25th, 2021|

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: A Happy Song, Gee We’re Glad, and Up to the Moon

How to practice it most effectively: Please focus the most on Gee We’re Glad this week, paying extra attention to repeated notes. Use your LH to help you point along on the page so you can really see the directions. You can also continue saying the letter names as you play them. Remember that middle C for RH is always floating under the staff with a line going through it.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: 2 warmups, Do a Deer, listen to My Favourite Things

How to practice it most effectively: The first warmup I’d like you to do is, on a single note, sing “woo, woo, woo”, using the “w” to keep your tone light and avoid any crackling. The second part of the warmup is going from a C to C singing the major scale on do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do. Also try saying these syllables backwards, as if you were going down. For Do, a Deer,  you are definitely ready to try singing with just the karaoke backing track. I’ll link that down below, as well as a lyric video of My Favourite Things:



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Warmup, Life is an Adventure

How to practice it most effectively: Please always do a warmup before your start your practicing! You’ve got a few to choose from (C scale, G scale, skips warmup, etc using either letter names or the syllables “na” or “ya”). For Life is an Adventure, here are some performance tips: Before starting to play, position your hands and take a couple of deep breaths. Look over the music once, then give yourself your starting note (the LH Bb – you will play this once and listen). Only after taking these moments to prepare yourself should you begin playing. This will help you feel more calm and confident. The biggest thing musically is that you really pronounce your lyrics – be really clear with the consonants so we can understand what you are singing!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Changing Moods warmup, The Queen’s Royal Entrance, Aardvark Boogie, and Whirling Leaves

How to practice it most effectively: The Queen’s Royal Entrance and Aardvark Boogie are our recital pieces; especially in Aardvark Boogie please be careful with your rhythms. The eighth note tie in bars 2, 4, 6 etc. is no faster than our eighth notes in bars 1, 3, etc. Good work holding through those ties, though! Whirling Leaves uses an eight-eight-quarter (1+2, 3+4) rhythm in the LH. The whole song is in our new A position.  Pay extra attention to bars 7 and 8 – both hands are doing a step then a fourth, using only fingers 1, 2, and 4 of both hands.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: This Old Man (RH and LH), and Spring

How to practice it most effectively: This Old Man is our review/warmup song this week. Remember that D position will always use F#. Try to be really precise with your rhythms. In Spring, the correct counting is written underneath the melody for the first half – in your head please do this counting with “ands”.  Please play hands together from the start, since LH is just holding down through the tied notes. Once notes and rhythms are comfortable, add articulation and dynamics!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Canon, Porcupine Dance

How to practice it most effectively: Canon is our review song this week. Please try playing it with a piano dynamic – this song is a slow lullaby, so it should be played nice and quietly. For Porcupine Dance, let’s continue to play only bars 1 to 4, but this time adding in the staccatos – imagine touching a porcupine’s prickly quills! The starting notes (on beat 1) for each hand are labelled. Remember that the pattern for rhythm is 1+2+, then 1+2 (rest).



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Relay Race, Pyrenese Melody

How to practice it most effectively: Please focus on Relay Race this week. You are ready to put bars 3-4 and 7-8 hands together with the rest of the song. Notice how RH and LH’s thumbs are always one step away from each other. Since the song is in 6/8 time, the quarter notes always get 2 counts. For Pyrenese Melody, only play the first half of the song hands separately. We are in A major, meaning the song has F#, C#, and G#. Always double check RH’s intervals, since it’s very likely there will be a sharp! Please distinguish your legato parts from your staccato parts, since this is part of the song’s character.


April 27th, 2021|

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: Ode to Joy, My Invention, Let’s Play Ball

How to practice it most effectively: For Ode to Joy, we decided to do the first 2 lines medium loud (mf), the middle part loud (f), and the last line back to medium loud (mf). In My Invention, the first time through is f, while the repeat is p. Please make sure it’s one tempo (speed) throughout – the loud part should not be faster than the soft part. You have put in lots of practice and are definitely in great shape for Saturday! For the new song Let’s Play Ball, LH has a new note B. Please make sure you’re holding all your half notes full volume.



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: do-re-mi C major scale warmup, Do a Deer (karaoke), Firefly, and start listening to My Favourite Things

How to practice it most effectively: Please continue to sing your do-re-mi scale starting on C as a warmup. After doing it with the piano once, sing up the scale in one breath, then try singing down the scale too! For Do, a Deer, you are ready to sing along with the karaoke – the one we used today is the karaoke cloud version. Use the low melody on the intro/verse part to help you! In Firefly, we put the whole song together this week. Use your sayings to help you if you’re ever unsure of the notes. The new last line starts off with C major broken triads.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Mexican Jumping Beans, Sailing in the Sun, Haunted Mouse

How to practice it most effectively: Mexican Jumping Beans is our warmup song this week – play it once before your practice sessions. In Sailing in the Sun, please make sure LH is lifting for the rests. You can try to gradually speed it up a little so it feels more energetic! In Haunted Mouse, watch out for RH’s change of skips from C and E to D and F. The last line is a little tricky for RH – really follow along with the melody’s directions. Remember to always do your counting – quarter notes get 1 but half notes get 2!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: The Rainbow, Good Morning

How to practice it most effectively: For The Rainbow, please continue playing the whole song hands together. The last line has a few curveballs with the D and A flats. Use your sayings to help you anywhere you are unsure of the notes. B is a LH note that we cannot use sayings for – it is right above the staff. For Good Morning, you can start looking and reading the first line hands together nice and slow – watch out that your bottom note is always G (we never play low F in this song).



Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: Little Do You Know, Attention, A Joke For You, Football Game

How to practice it most effectively: For Little Do You Know, please continue to sing along with the lyric video. In the 2nd verse (where it’s the boy singing), be careful with the “Little do you know I’m trying to make it better piece by piece” lyric since he goes down lower – try to match where he’s singing. In the choruses, your guide note on piano is E above middle C. It’s helpful to play this while you’re singing, especially in spots where there are two harmonies. Please continue to practice Attention – we will start with this one next week. For piano, we have A Joke For You and Football Game – LH has new notes! We play in C position, which means low C is played with finger 5. From there, find D-E-F-G by looking for steps vs. skips. RH is still playing in its regular C positions (finger 1 on C).



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Major scales in sharp keys (from G to E, hands separately), New Shoes, Cry Me a River

How to practice it most effectively: For the major scales, we are using the cycle of 5ths, which means starting from C, and each jump of a 5th we add a sharp (so G will have 1 sharp, D will have 2, etc.). When going from one key to the next, we keep the old sharps and add a new one on the 7th degree. The fingering stays the same for all these scales. New Shoes is sounding super solid – next step is to add dynamics and speed it up just a little (try giving yourself the tempo with your metronome on the higher end of the range). For Cry Me a River, work on feeling out the chords with your right hand. We spoke about how minor 7 b5 chords are just a minor triad over the root (this is especially helpful for F#-7b5 and C#-7b5 since these can be translated to A-/F# and E-/F#.



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Bb major scale, Piano Man

How to practice it most effectively: For the Bb major scale, continue playing it hands separately for one octave. Remember that RH finger 4 plays on Bb and LH finger 4 plays on Eb. For Piano Man, please isolate bars 44 to 47 a few times to practice the crescendo and rit; the C chord in bar 47 is the goal and should be the loudest/most powerful part. Please also spend some time with bars 59-60; RH’s finger switch there will help you smooth this out. Before performing, make sure you take a few deep breaths and prep your hands – trust that your hard work will shine through!



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Ab major scale, Canon, Dance of the Dragonflies

How to practice it most effectively: For the Ab major scale, continue to go hands separately for 2 octaves; remember that Rh plays with fingers 2-3 on the group of two, while LH plays with 4-3. For the Canon, just make sure you keep it relatively soft for the first page so you have room to grow dynamically. Consciously tell yourself not to rush in bars 21-28, and remember the note you are moving to is always C# in resolutions like bar 20 and bar 32. You are absolutely recital ready and the hard work on this piece is clear to hear! For Dance of the Dragonflies, continue to play the first 2 sections hands together, paying extra attention to bars 15 and 27’s RH staccatos. Play the last section hands separately for now, but you may put it hands together as the week goes on.


April 28th, 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

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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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