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Katie Thurman2020-07-14T11:22:06-04:00

Project Description

Bachelor of Fine Arts (York University)

Katie Thurman is a singer, pianist, accompanist, and teacher based in Toronto. Her passion for music has been with her since childhood, and she is excited to have recently completed her undergraduate degree in music at York University.

Trained classically in piano, she continues to explore other styles including pop and jazz, as well as write her own compositions. Her vocal training is in both classical and musical theatre styles, as well as lengthy choral experience both in and out of school.

Katie spent 6 years singing with WIBI A Cappella, a collegiate-based group, during her time at York, and is proud to have competed with them twice in the ICCA (the very competition the Pitch Perfect films were based on!). Currently, she sings with the Toronto-based That Choir.

Katie loves all types of music, but spends most of her time listening to pop, indie, and alt-pop records.

Katie also writes her own songs and is working towards putting together an EP. Aside from music, Katie’s other passions include baking, film, and psychology. She loves teaching and is always pushing herself to grow pedagogically and musically!

Get to know Katie…Beyond the Bio!

Hobbies: baking, watching movies/TV, writing, yoga, hiking

Musical influences: Classical: Natalie Dessay, Maria Callas/Pop: Arcade Fire, Lana Del Rey, BANKS, Florence & the Machine, Rhye

Favourite food: Pasta

Least favourite food: Seafood

Favourite music: pop & alt-pop, indie/folk, dance, and all things Celtic

Favourite song: currently “Favourite Boy” by Half Moon Run

Favourite movie: Eighth Grade

Favourite movie music: A Single Man, music composed by Abel Korzeniowski?

Favourite musical theatre/opera: Les Misérables

Best quote from your teacher: Vocal teacher: “Just go for it! We want to hear ‘Katie-and-a-half'”.

Favourite quote: Motivation comes from work

Favourite book: The Handmaid’s Tale

Best thing about teaching at ABC: I like sharing my knowledge with students, and I learn from them too!

Latest Homework from Katie

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2021


Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: 5-note major warmup (going up), 3rds sliding warmup (going down), Loyal Brave and True (karaoke), Half-time Show

How to practice it most effectively: This week for your 5-note major vocal warmup, try using just the vowel “ah” (no consonants) and go up and back down. Please keep your vowel and throat nice and open to avoid any strain. The new warmup starts on E and C, with the top note playing first. You’ll start on “ya” then slide down to the lower note on an “ah”. Each time, the two notes move down by a semitone to the next closest note. For the beginning of the verses in Loyal Brave and True, your starting note is an A flat below middle C (pretty low! Try your best). Please play yourself this note before those sections. A section to isolate is on the word “loyal”, since there are many notes on the same vowel. This starts on middle C; try to sing this word/phrase slowly a few times before singing the full karaoke. Anytime there is the “wa-ter” or “ar-mor” melody, make sure you flip from your chest voice to your head voice for the full effect. Our one piano piece will be Half-Time Show so we can get all the details like holding whole and half notes their full values, playing those 3 notes all together in bars 3 and 7, and doing the down-up staccato articulation in the last line.



Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: C 5-Finger Warmup (page 5), and Firefly

How to practice it most effectively: The C 5-Finger warmup uses both hands playing together in C position – see if you can look mostly at the music, trust that your hands and fingers are in the right spot! The first two bars are steps while the third starts skipping. As the week goes on, you can try to speed the warmup up little by little. For Firefly, the melody goes between the two hands in C position. Please be extra careful watching your steps versus skips. The bass clef saying we learned this lesson was: Good Birds Don’t Fly Away – these are the 5 lines from bottom to top (G, B, D, F, A). See if you can have this saying memorized for next week!



Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Ferris Wheel (review song), and Young Hunter

How to practice it most effectively: For Ferris Wheel, the last detail to work on is really connecting between skips in bars 1-2, 5-6, and 13-14. There should be a split second where both notes/fingers are playing at the same time before the earlier one lets go. For the ending, see how it sounds when you hold the pedal down for the whole last line (the entire length of the bracket). For Young Hunter, start this piece hands separately – RH please use your Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE sayings to help; you are in a new position (E position). For this piece, let’s do the repeat. The middle line is a back and forth pattern for both hands, and the last line is just like the first! Once notes are feeling comfortable, please add in the bouncy staccatos.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Minuet in A Minor, Bb major chords of the scale, and I’ll Be Seeing You (melody)

How to practice it most effectively: For the Minuet in A Minor, be on the lookout for recurring patterns with certain intervals and notes. This one just needs a bit more time to become fluid between bars. As a warmup, please play all the 4-note chords of the Bb major scale – a good way to do this is to think of the letters first (all white keys), then cross-reference with the key signature (Bb and Eb). The qualities of the chords will always be: Imaj7, II-7, III-7, IVmaj7, V7, VI-7, VII-7b5 (we prefer to use Roman numerals when labelling because too many numbers would get confusing!). Once you’ve played through these chords of the scale, go through I’ll Be Seeing You and mark which chords in this song are of the scale (diatonic) – you’ll notice a fair number of them are not, not because of the roots, but because of the qualities not aligning with the Bb major key signature. When playing the melody of this piece, don’t worry too much about fingerings or rhythms, it’s more about the notes and intervals.



Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: F major scale hands together, Interval warmup (page 19), 7th St. Blues, and Land of the Silver Birch

How to practice it most effectively: Keep it up with the F major scale hands together – please remind yourself of your key signature/accidentals before beginning the scale! On Bb, RH plays with finger 4 and LH plays with finger 2. For the Interval warmup, you can do the transposing into G and F major, as well as even try putting the hands together if you’d like! 7th St. Blues is a short song which you can slowly speed up throughout the week. Bar 2 and 6 have syncopations with accents on them. The main song this week is Land of the Silver Birch: please start this piece hands separately (especially for RH) paying close attention to the rhythms. The repeat sign takes us all the way back to the 2nd line of the piece. Towards the end of the week you can try this one with the pedal for a cool sound.

July 29th, 2021|

Preferred Books for Katie’s Students

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

Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book Primer Level

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book Primer Level

The 2nd Edition Primer Lesson Book introduces the keyboard, note values, and the grand staff. Students play in C 5-finger scale patterns, develop recognition of steps and skips, and learn letter names independent of finger number. Musicianship is built through the use of dynamics and coloristic experimentation with the pedal. The book is organized into units which represent the major concepts and skills. As new units are introduced, earlier concepts and skills are constantly reviewed.

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Music for Little Mozarts

Lesson Book 1

Cover of Music For Little Mozarts, book 1

Lesson Book 1 is pre-reading. Concepts taught are: How to sit at the piano; Correct hand position; High and low; Loud and soft (forte and piano); Keyboard topography; Bar line and measure, Quarter, half, whole notes and rests; and Repeat signs.

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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.

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RCM Voice Repertoire

Prepratory Level

Cover of RCM Voice Preparatory Level

A Comprehensive Voice Series serves as the official resource for voice assessments of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. Featuring an outstanding selection of voice literature and supporting materials, this series offers a truly enriched learning experience to help ensure student success. As in previous editions, Resonance encompasses a rich and varied selection of Repertoire, Vocalises and Recitatives that students of all ages and voice types will find appropriate to their musical interests and level of technical ability.

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Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer

Cover of Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer (Berklee Press)

The vocal workouts in this much-anticipated follow-up to Peckham’s The Contemporary Singer are based on Berklee College of Music’s highly effective vocal method. This volume will help vocalists develop the voice through good vocal health, warm-up exercises, advanced techniques, stage performance advice and more. Includes companion online audio for ultimate interactive education!

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Alfred's Teach Yourself to Sing

Cover of Alfred's Teach Yourself to Sing

Learn to sing and open up a brand new world of musical knowledge with this exciting method from Alfred Music. Beginning with the fundamentals, you will learn about equipment used by singers, vocal health, and getting acquainted with reading music. You will then move right along to breathing, vocalizing, proper warm-ups, and singing songs, lesson by lesson, all while continuing to increase your knowledge of reading and understanding music. You will learn to sing an array of musical styles including pop, jazz, classical, and musical theater. Near the end of the book, you will be introduced to the idea of individual interpretation, which will help you color your songs with your own unique style. The book features a chord and scale chart for reference during and after your lessons.

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