News / Blog

Winter Recital: January 29th

Our Winter Recital is fast approaching! Read on for all the details.

 

RECITAL INFORMATION

Winter Recital: Sunday, January 29th at 11:00 a.m.

The recital will take place at the Women's Art Association Gallery, located at 23 Prince Arthur Avenue, near Bloor and Avenue Road. 

The cost is $10 per student.

The Women's Art Association Gallery is close to the St. George subway station, with lots of street parking and a large Green P lot within a block or two of the building. The facility is a beautiful space, perfect for a morning concert. Coffee and tea will be served.

We hope to see lots of friends, family and performers showing off what they have learned! The best performances are given to packed houses, so let's come together and make it a morning to remember.

Click this link to View Map.

Playing Strong and Wrong

There's an old saying: The only difference between a professional musician and an amateur is that a professional isn't afraid to make mistakes in front of other people. There's a lot of truth to that.

When first learning anything - a new instrument, or a new piece - it's natural to approach it with trepidation. However, in the long run, this fear will ultimately hinder student progress and motivation.

As teachers, it's important to be able to hear what students are doing and help improve what was prepared for that lesson (assuming you practiced, of course...). Students often suffer what is lovingly referred to as Teacheritis: a 10% or more drop in the quality of the performance because it's being done in front of another person, not to mention another person you know is likely scrutinizing your every move. But remember, that's what we're here for! Know that most of us build in this golf handicap-like measurement when we first hear something from an unsure pupil.

But if confidence isn't instilled into the student early in the process, many songs can come across as meek, timid or worse, just plain boring. Music is about expressing something, like any language. If you're a wallflower about communicating, it reflects poorly in the pieces you play.

Rather than worrying about mistakes - and honestly, if you didn't have any mistakes, why would you be taking lessons to improve? - present what you have with joy and pride. Most of us would much prefer Strong and Wrong to Weak and Right. It's easier to correct mistakes than improve strength. Without it, we have to move from Weak and Wrong, to Weak and Right, then finally Strong and Right. Better to skip that extra step sooner rather than later.

Taking music lessons is often an exercise in courage. We recognize that, and appaud each and every student who plays their instrument for us, week in, week out. But let's try to make it weak in, strong out instead.

Lots More Coming Soon!

We're off to a roaring start, and it's definitely thanks to all of our community. But we're not done yet. Here's some of the exciting - at least, to us! - things happening soon at Midtown Music School.

Stuff for the Site

We're really proud of this website (thanks, Utan Media!) - and with good reason. It's easy to navigate, clean, and full of content. But there's some great stuff coming soon, including:

Comments

We're always looking for feedback. As the MTMS site grows, we're looking to not just be a place to check us out (though, while you're here, you definitely should if you haven't already!), but for interesting stories, perspectives and happening from the musical community in our city, country and from around the world. So, coming soon, we're looking to allow you to interact with our stories. Let us know what you think, or if there's something else we should check out. 

Filling in the Blanks

We're working to get the last of our content up as quickly as we can. Things like more photos showing our facilities and community around us are coming as quickly as we can. And when we say that Registering Online is coming soon, we mean it!

Prettying Things Up

We'll be adding more finishing touches to our site, making it even more rich and dynamic.

More Stories from You

We're looking to highlight achievements from our students, as well as our supporters and the musical community at large. You probably noticed the Holiday musical treat on the front page (with hopefully another one coming next week). We'd like to feature more of our students this way, so let your teacher know you'd like your online fame!

And believe us when we say this is a very short list of some amazing things to come. But we have to stop there in order to actually do the work! More details and unveilings to come, and it'll only get better from here. 

"You Can't Play That"

“You can’t play that yet.”

At times, they are the worst words you can hear as a music student. But there’s always a reason – even if it isn’t obvious at first.

If you’re learning to play an instrument, chances are you started because either a) your parents forced you, or more likely b) because there was some song that inspired you to pick that instrument. That’s a wonderful thing to have: inspiration. The only problem is that achieving that “goal piece” takes more than inspiration; it also takes perspiration.

What you want to play and what you need to play are two distinct things. For example, in a piano lesson, there will typically be some finger exercises, scales, repertoire and then, finally, something for “fun.” You may want to play the Harry Potter theme, a Beatles tune or something elegant by Chopin, but if your fingers are still tripping over a C major scale and triads, this isn’t going to happen yet.

The difficulty comes in when what you want and what you need are very far apart. Especially for beginners, this is disheartening. A lot of the time, students feel that their teachers don’t understand what they want, or worse, that they don’t care.

If you have a caring, professional teacher, then you must remember that we most definitely care about your well being as a musician, along with keeping you on a path we know can lead you to the success you want. Sometimes that path involves things you may not expect, or necessarily like at first. Please know that your teacher truly does want what’s best for you in the long run.

So the next time you ask to play that Adele song, or that Beethoven sonata and we say, “Not just yet,” remember: it’s not forever. We’ll get you there. We promise.