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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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Assignments for the Week of May 6-12

Hi everyone,

With the transition to ZOOM video lessons, I am no longer able to write down notes and musical material in the students’ books/binders. Instead, I have created PDF documents for each of you and dropped them into a Google Drive folder. The link to your documents is listed in the What to practice heading under your name below. You should be able to access the documents simply by clicking on the link. Here are your practice assignments for this week:


Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice playing the comping rhythms we have worked on with the backing track on Youtube (link provided below):

How to practice it most effectively: Listen to this backing track for drums and practice playing the jazz ride pattern along with the music. After you feel comfortable doing that, then try playing the comping rhythms from the page that we’ve worked on together with the recording. I have provided a new page of comping rhythms in your folder if you want to explore that too.


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes per day

What to practice: Review the guitar solo section and verse 3 of Smoke on the Water and then practice playing all the way through the song with the recording:

How to practice it most effectively: Take a look at the tricky drum fills in the guitar solo section and verse 3. Read the rhythms carefully and then work them out on the drums. After you have practiced these sections, go back to the beginning of the tune and try to play all the way through. Then, work on addressing any other spots that might give you trouble. Next week we will start with playing through the whole song.


Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice the three main beats from “Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin:

How to practice it most effectively: Work on the ghost notes in the first beat and then try to get the whole thing up to speed. After that, work on the second main beat and try to connect it with the first one. This is a tricky transition, but if you listen to the song a bunch of times, you’ll be able to hear how the beats connect. Finally, work on the accent pattern in the third main beat.


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice accent patterns #53-56:

How to practice it most effectively: Work through these accent patterns slowly. Don’t try to go fast right from the beginning. Focus on accuracy and consistency before increasing the speed. Once you get to #56, practice moving the right hand accents around the drums in different way. You can even try moving the accents onto the cymbals in combination with the drums. Be creative!

Nate M.

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: *Please* print the sheet music for “Red Barchetta” by Rush and focus on the section starting at letter “E” to the end of the tune:

How to practice it most effectively: Practice the 7/4 section slowly until it feels comfortable enough to play faster. Once you get it up to the speed of the song, then practice it together with the recording. After that, continue working through the rest of the song. Pay close attention to the fourth-last line on page 4 which we worked on in your lesson.

Nate O.

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice the main beat and the other sections from “Ride” by 21 Pilots:

How to practice it most effectively: Practice the main beat with both hands playing the 16th notes on the hi-hat. This means that the bass drum notes will connect with the notes played by both your left and right hands. With the section that begins with “I’ve been thinkin’ too much,” remember that the “drag” on the snare drum should be played as close as possible to the following bass drum note.

May 6th, 2021|

Preferred Books for Katie’s Students

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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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