ABC Academy of Music

ABC Academy of Music

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Virginia MacDonald2020-07-30T15:46:28-04:00

Project Description

B. Mus. (Humber) in-progress

Virginia has established herself as a respected musician/performer across Toronto, playing at numerous venues such as the Rex Hotel, Jazz Bistro, Gate 403, and also performing at events such as the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Beaches Jazz Festival. She has shared the stage with musicians such as Seamus Blake, Rich Perry, Peter Bernstein, Dick Oatts, Lorne Lofsky, P.J. Perry and Pat LaBarbera.

Virginia works as both a sidewoman and a leader, frequently performing with her own trios and quartets in Toronto. She also has recording experience, recently appearing on her first album “Common Ground” by the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra, where she played in a horn section with some of Canada’s leading jazz musicians. In addition to performing,

Virginia loves teaching students of all levels. She believes in an approach which encourages a solid knowledge of music rudiments along with an individual approach that caters to each student’s needs and musical aspirations.

Get to know Virginia…Beyond the Bio!

Hobbies: Music, Reading, Swimming

Musical influences: John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, The Beatles, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown

Favourite food: Pizza

Least favourite food: Onions

Favourite music: Jazz

Favourite song: How Deep is the Ocean

Favourite movie: Mean Girls

Favouirite movie music: Star Wars

Favourite musical theatre/opera: Rent

Best quote from your teacher: “If at first you don’t succeed, you can always blame the reed”

Favourite quote: “There are only two kinds of music, good and bad.” – Duke Ellington

Favourite book: Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace

Best thing about teaching at ABC: Watching my students progress and grow as musicians.

Latest Homework from Virginia

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It was wonderful working with you all this week! Good work. See you in two weeks.


  1. Practice all major modes and their 7th arpeggios transposed to C. Practice along to a metronome at a reasonable tempo and work up.
  2. Continue Galper #26
  3. Work on Galper #27, #28.


  1. continue Eb and A major scales along to the metronome at 60bpm. Practice legato tongued (tenuto) on the way up and staccato (detached) on the way down.
  2. Moonglow:
    • Check out some recordings of the melody on Youtube
    • Practice grace note approach from D# to E on its own: practice in front of a mirror, starting with long notes and working shorter.
    • Work on the rhythms of the tricky bars with a metronome at 120 bpm. Remember, both start on the upbeat of one; wait for one, and come in right after.
  3. Check out the Galper Clarinet Method.


  1. Continue legato tongued Eb major scale, two octaves up and down.
  2. Continue Sherele
    • make sure to play short notes very short, with a tongue stop.
    • Isolate triplets at bar 18 and practice along to a metronome at 50 bpm, slowly moving up in tempo.
  3. Blue Monk
    • Practice arpeggiating all chords along to the playalong (one octave) for Blue Monk on iRealB Pro (or a Bb blues playalong on youtube).
    • Try playing certain notes an octave up as the first octave becomes easier.

Preferred Books for Virginia’s Students

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

For Clarinet

For Saxophone

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