ABC Academy of Music

ABC Academy of Music

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Natalia Soltes2021-08-04T04:40:26-04:00

Project Description

B. Mus. (UofT)
M. Ed. (OISE UofT) 

Natalia is a pianist with many years of teaching and performance experience. Her teaching interests include, elementary music methods, multimodal approaches to learning and making music, and improvisation. Natalia has participated in the World Music Ensemble program at the University of Toronto where she performed with a Balinese Gamelan and Klezmer ensemble. She has also been involved with community music programs and has volunteered as a piano teacher at after-school children’s music programs.

Natalia received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto where she studied piano with Lynda Metelsky. Natalia is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is also taking piano pedagogy lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music and working towards getting a certificate in Elementary Piano Pedagogy.

Natalia believes in a flexible manner of instruction, and is attentive and responsive to each learner. Regardless of musical background, skill level, or artistic goal, she aims to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to explore their own connection to music. Natalia’s areas of specialty include piano, music history and theory, and the Orff Approach, which combines music, movement, speech, and drama.

Get to know Natalia…

Hobbies: Reading, embroidery, and colouring

Musical influences: Right now, I am listening to Bill Evans, Beethoven sonatas, and different Spanish composers like, Joaquín Turina (his chamber music) and Isaac Albéniz.

Favourite food: Schnitzel

Least favourite food: Grits?

Favourite music: Slovak folk music

Favourite song: Takin’ It to the Streets – The Doobie Brothers

Favourite movie: The Little Mermaid, Pulp Fiction, and The Sound of Music

Favourite movie music: The Sound of Music

Favourite musical theatre/opera: Saint François d’Assise – Olivier Messiaen

Best quote from your teacher: “Here’s your checklist: put the music first. And from now on, you need to lean back and check your right elbow looseness.”

Favourite quote: “Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!” – Dr. Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Favourite book: “Green Grass, Running Water” – Thomas King

Best thing about teaching at ABC: The wonderful and talented students and teachers!

Latest Homework from Natalia

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  • 2 notespelling sheets from Cora Ahrens’s Rudiments of Music. These two pages focus on treble clef (also known as the G clef) line notes (E G B D F) and space notes (F A C E). Get to know where the notes live on the treble staff! This will help you with the note reading you’ll be doing in your piece “Firefly”.


“Firefly” (p. 8):

  • This is our review piece! In our lesson we reviewed the three different note values you’ll find in your piece: quarter note, half note, and whole note. This week, practice “playing” the rhythm. This mean, tap a steady beat with your foot while you clap and say the rhythm using those fancy rhythm syllables we learned.

Rhythm syllables:

  • quarter note: ta
  • half note: ta-ah
  • whole note: 1-2-3-4.

Then, once you’ve practice playing the rhythm, go through the piece and name each note. Once you’ve done this, try playing through the piece paying careful attention to the rhythm and the note. See how far you get this week! We’ll review some more in your next lesson.

Reminder!: Make sure you find a tote bag for your music books! 


Re-posting homework from last week (lesson on April 13)


  • Theory book, pp. 10-11 (continuing with transposing).
  • Sarnecki notespeller, p. 15


  • New piece!: “Fiesta España” – this week, focus on R.H. only. Figure out the rhythm first! Then visually read through your notes before you try to play. Make sure you’re counting aloud when you play. In order to do this, play s-l-o-w-l-y!
  • “Energico” – Focus on dynamics and articulations (we’ve highlighted these in your music!). If you’re having trouble playing and following dynamic and articulation markings, make sure you practice hands separately.

Also, Claire – start thinking about a piece or two that you’d like to play at the Spring recital! See you next week!

Happy practicing!

*Make sure you’re setting aside at least 10-15 minutes every day to practice!

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