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Year XXIII, No. 1 (January 2019)


Catherine M., violin
Annaka P., piano
Imeth I., trumpet
Maria M., flute



Aaron Dutta, Aaryan Kabani, Aditya Agadi, Angela Zhao, Atharv Agadi, Brigitte Bantoc, Caleb Yang, Catherine James, Celina Mekhail, Charlotte Lee, Daniel Yu , Dante Morra, Derek Price, Dhiren Pooran, Diego Naranjo, Ella Schoep, Elle Zhou, Ethan Javier Wong, Evangeline Lam, Genevieve Lau, Jake Xia, Jatynne Raj, Jennica Cai, Joanne Jaison, John Ning, Labros Spandonidis, Lucas Alfonso, Lucas Wang, Olivia Wan, Poojitha Korimilli, Priyanka Ragunathan, Renee White, Rida Aftab, Samiyah Sewani, Sebastian Salmon , Serena Sung, Shania Wang, Shreya Ratnam, Sophia Gao, Summer Dove, Trevor Tseng




January 1 - New Years Day. School is closed.
January 7 - Orthodox Christmas
January 15 - Markham Music Festival registrations deadline
January 15 - Noth York Music Festival registrations deadline
January 14-26 - RCM practical examinations
January 18 - PA Day (YR elementary schools)



January examinations

Many IMA students will be taking their examinations in the second half of January. Under the guidance of their inspiring teachers, students have worked very hard to prepare long and demanding programs. We wish them success!

January examinations

Many IMA students will be taking their examinations in the second half of January. Under the guidance of their inspiring teachers, students have worked very hard to prepare long and demanding programs. We wish them success!


If you are ready to purchase a high quality pre-own piano through one of the IMA commercial partners, 3 of your lessons at the IMA will be free. Call our Office or e-mail Office@InternationalMusicAcademy.ca for more information. Pre-own piano is a great investment that comes at an attractive price, with a free tuning and delivery.



We have been very pleased with the continuous success of our students. They have improved a great deal and we share their excitement with their families, friends, neighbors, and schoolmates. We appreciate your interest towards our programs and services. We are always very happy to welcome new students of all ages, levels, and instruments to the iMA. Please tell your friends about your experience with the International Music Academy.

Do you know someone who is thinking of taking music lessons or who has children who may be interested in getting their hands on a musical instrument or singing? Do you know a teenager who needs a high school OAC credit? Do you know an adult who has wanted for a long time to learn how to play a musical instrument but has never had the time or inclination? Please tell them about the IMA.

As an appreciation for your referral, we will give you a $30 credit for each new student who registers at the International Music Academy as a result of your referral. As we value your friends as much as we value you, we will offer to each referred student a $30 credit as well.



Stay in touch and follow the IMA latest news on Facebook. Visit Facebook and become a friend of the International Music Academy.



The IMA offers personalized Gift Cards that could be used as thoughtful birthday, holiday, bar/bat Mitzvah, graduation gift or for any other occasions as well as to encourage someone to start learning a musical instrument or singing. The card can be used for any products or services.

The gift card is available for any amount. As cards are personalized with the name of the person who will receive it as well as with the name of the person who purchase it, requests have to be made 1 day in advance. Cards can be ordered in person, by phone at 905.489.4620 or by e-mail at info@InternationalMusicAcademy.ca. At the time the card is ordered, a non-refundable $5 deposit is required. The full value of the card is paid upon pick-up (and the deposit is credited towards the purchase price). Payments can be made by any major credit card, cheque or cash as well as through the accounts of the IMA Clients.



4, 1710                     PERGOLESI, Giovanni Battista
4, 1874                     SUK, Josef
6, 1838                     BRUCH, Max
6, 1872                     SCRIABIN, Alexander
7, 1899                     POULENC, Francis
25, 1913                   LUTOSLAVSKI, Witold
27, 1756                   MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus
31, 1797                   SCHUBERT, Franz Peter

Where you born or do you know someone who was born on the same day as these famous composers? Drop us e-mail at info@InternationalMusicAcademy.ca to let us know.



Ms. Suzanne Marfise, M.Mus., B.Mus.

Ms. Suzanne Marfise has graduated with honours from the University of Toronto, after earning an ARCT in piano performance and music theory from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has taught piano and theory in the Greater Chicagoland in the Illinois (USA) where she was also an Accredited member of the Chicago North Shore Music Teacher's Association. After moving to Toronto in 2004, Ms. Marfise has established herself as an expert in teaching piano to all ages. She strives to develop and interpret teaching concepts as required, in order to maintain the student's interest while, at the same time, keeping the required curriculum at the forefront. She has taught piano of different genres including, classical, jazz, blues and pop/Broadway, as well as music history, harmony, and voice. She provides a well-balanced learning experience that focuses on building strong technical background and flourishing self-expression. Her students are consistently prepared to graduate with 1st Class Honours and Honours with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music, from the early beginners to the Associates of the RCM (ARCT).
Mrs. Marfise was happy to answer a few questions for our students and parents:

1. What do you like most about teaching? Teaching is exploring the true inner values of the student, as well as sharing in valuable times together learning through a window of colour and being inspired. It's a wonderful and exciting experience as an instructor to help the student set long and short-term goals, while flourishing in areas of creativity, critical thinking and self-discovery. I enjoy helping students to learn and understand their most complex of tasks by communicating very clearly on the different ways of learning and believe we all learn from different angles according to ones personality. When we share and observe growth expansion together, my students experience excellence and joy in class, thus driving a more upward spiral that won't quit.

2. How do you inspire students to practice more? As a role model and instructor, it's valuable to develop a great relationship with my students. This naturally puts them in a position in wanting to please such as a more desired feeling about practicing. A very important point I will say here is, teach the student how to practice. I go through teaching a piece the same way that I would expect them to practice. Duplication of the minds. It's quite specific with each and every student. Offer to them a piece to practise ..of choice.. as long as all other materials are practiced as expected. I truly believe in the reward system, as it's human nature to feel you are the best and on top of things. I offer the point system and stickers, which initiates the student to excel in practice time and build solid habits. Another motive that I truly find challenges the student are practice logs, given to them either on a weekly or monthly basis. This is an inspiration in keeping track of their progress, plus it's brought to class each week, usually with confidence. A reward is in place. Music students have great imaginations, so why not put it to good use by preparing there own little composition or write a musical story each week. More pats on the back!

3. What roles does performance play in student’s development? When the student performs, it's a great opportunity for them to be noticed by as many people as possible. After all, we have studied our pieces so much and are so proud of our accomplishments and limitations. This is an opportunity to be appreciated by friends and family. Given to their success, confidence now leads the way from that final applause.

4. Who are your favourite composers? J.S. Bach, J. Brahms, Christopher Norton, Claude Debussy and Elton John. Each composer is quite different and lends itself to interesting colours and depths of listening, playing and learning.

5. What was the last piece of music (sheet music or a recording) you purchased for yourself? It is called "Jeux d'eau" (Water Games), by Maurice Ravel, known as "Fountains", describing a scene of water games. It was introduced in the mid 16th c. It was composed in the form of a joke, as the Italian water garden jets would turn on suddenly. By playing this composition, it hinges onto this surf of water using colourful chords, arpeggios and cadenzi on the very high notes. I love the sound and the feeling of water moving, through the progressing trail of harmonic passages.



Nicole Huang

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:Kristian:Desktop:Nicole Huang.jpgWhat instrument do you play? –  I play the piano

How long have you taken lessons? – I have been taking lessons at IMA for about 3 years.

Who are your favourite musical artists? – My favourite composer is Mozart!

What are your other hobbies, besides music? – Besides music, I like rock climbing and skating.

Favourite food? – My favourite food is potatoes and chocolate (not together, of course J).

What is the coolest thing you’ve learnt in your lessons in the past three months? I found it fascinating that in past in some countries the piano keys were made out of elephant tusks.

Do you have any performance coming up? – Nothing coming up, just practicing for my weekly lessons.

E-mail to info@InternationalMusicAcademy.ca a photo of yourself (or your child) together with the answers of the questions above. The deadline for submissions is the 15th of every month. We will feature you in one of the next issues of the newsletter.



Send a photo of your pet together with following information and we will publish it in one of the next issues of the IMA newsletter. What is the name of your pet? How old is he/she? What kind of breed our pet is (if applicable)? How long have you had him/her for? Any special circumstances around getting the pet (i.e. a gift, foster pet, etc.)? The funniest story about you pet? Any special skills or abilities?



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Canadian Doctors Will Soon Be Able to Prescribe Museum Visits as Treatment

By Meilan Solly

An afternoon of art may offer serotonin mood boost, welcome distraction from chronic pain. Montreal doctors will soon be able to prescribe free museum visits for patients and a limited number of loved ones or caregivers

A stroll through the galleries of Quebec’s Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) places individuals face-to-face with works of art by the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco and Rodin, as well as some 43,000 artifacts ranging from Chinese ceramics to Inuit sculpture. Visiting is undoubtedly an elucidating cultural experience, but a new initiative posits that a trip to the museum is more than just intellectually stimulating: As Brendan Kelly reports for The Montreal Gazette, beginning on November 1, a select group of local physicians will be able to prescribe museum visits as treatment for an array of ailments.

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 “We know that art stimulates neural activity," MMFA director Nathalie Bondil tells CBC News. "What we see is that the fact that you are in contact with culture, with art, can really help your well-being."

Thanks to the campaign, members of the Montreal-based medical association Médecins francophones du Canada (MdFC) can hand out up to 50 museum prescriptions enabling patients and a limited number of friends, family and caregivers to tour the MMFA for free. Without a prescription, admission can cost as much as $23 Canadian dollars, or roughly $18 U.S. dollars.
Speaking with the Gazette’s Kelly, MdFC vice president Hélène Boyer explains that museum visits have been shown to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter colloquially known as the “happy chemical” due to its mood-boosting properties. But creativity’s healing powers aren’t limited to tackling mental health issues; art therapy can also help those undergoing palliative care for severely life-threatening diseases or conditions, like cancer, or suffering from diabetes and chronic illness.

According to Boyer, the uptick in hormones associated with enjoying an afternoon of art is similar to that offered by exercise, making museum prescriptions ideal for the elderly and individuals experiencing chronic pain that prevents them from regularly engaging in physical activity.
CBC News points out that the museum visits are designed to complement, not supplant, more traditional methods. As Bondil notes, spending time with loved ones—the prescription is valid for two adults and two minors—in a peaceful environment can provide a welcome distraction.
“What is most important is to have this experience which is to help them escape from their own pain," she tells CBC. "When you enter the museum, you escape from the speed of our daily life. It's a kind of modern cathedral."

The program is the country’s first of its kind, according to the Canadian Press. It’s far from the MMFA’s first foray into art therapy, however: The institution is home to a number of art therapy-focused facilities, including a workshop, a medical consultation room and an Art Hive, which the museum’s website describes as a “creative community studio” overseen by an art therapist.
In addition, the MMFA is currently participating in 10 clinical trials designed to assess the impact of art on health. These studies encompass patients with a diverse array of medical issues, including eating disorders, breast cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

The museum prescription pilot initiative will run for one year, CBC News reports. Doctors will make follow-up appointments with patients to gauge if the therapy has influenced their condition, and at the end of the testing window, will prepare a report detailing their findings.

“I am convinced that in the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century,” Bondil said in a statement. “Cultural experiences will benefit health and wellness, just as engaging in sports contributes to fitness. Skeptics would do well to recall that just a hundred years ago, sports were believed to distort the body and threaten women’s fertility. Just as doctors now prescribe exercise, they will be able to prescribe a visit to the MMFA.”


Text Box: International Music Academy GIFT CERTIFICATE for new students only  ONE FREE LESSON Call the IMA Office at 905.489.4620 (Markham) or 905.640.6363 (Stouffville) to schedule your first lesson. Once scheduled, the lesson cannot be rescheduled. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No refunds, no exchanges.

Text Box:   Music is sooooooooo beuatiful!  Register for lessons by January 15, 2019 and receive $50 off New students only. 1 offer per family Cannot be combined with any other offer.

 Text Box: REFER A NEW STUDENT and GET ONE FREE LESSON!  When you refer a new student to the IMA, who registers for lesson, you will get one free lesson for every new student. So, if you refer the IMA to 2 new students, we will give you 2 free lessons; for 3 new students – 3 free lessons etc. Fill in the coupon below and leave it with the IMA Office administrator.   Your name: ______________________________  Name of the new student: __________________  You can print or photocopy this coupon as many times as you need. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Call us in Markham at 905.489.4620 or in Stouffville at 905.640.6363 to start your musical journey today!

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