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Year XXIII, No. 3 (April 2019)


Liangsi W. – piano
Suyas V. – piano
Jeffrey Z. – piano
Sharalia R. – piano
Ayana C. – piano
Earnest Z. – piano
Kurt N. – piano
Ivana C. – voice
Jianna J. – piano
Olivia Y. – voice
Aaliyah Y. – voice
Deeksha P. – flute



Mathias T., Carl C., Vivian T., Hugo Q., Christopher D., Caiden H., Julianna Z., Clarisse L., Christina V., Nikola R., Ashmita R., Akilini J., Terrence N., Hermes C., Gabriel F., Andrew S., Emily J., Daniel R., Bryan Z., Katrina K., Jenny Y., Ryan S., Dia P.




April 8-13. RCM practical examinations (piano only).
April 19. Good Friday. School is open.
April 19-27. Passover. School is open.
April 21. Easter Sunday. School is open.
April 22. Easter Monday. School is open
April 28. Easter Sunday (Orthodox). School is open.




The IMA is offering to all students who are registered for RCM examinations an opportunity to play their entire program prior to their examination. The mock examinations for the upcoming RCM Winter session is scheduled at the IMA – Stouffville recital hall on Saturday, April 6 at 3 pm.  There are many advantages of playing the examination program in public prior to the examination. Students gain more confidence, become aware of passages that still need more practicing and perform better at their examinations.



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.



01/04/1873 Rachmaninoff born

01/04/1917 Scott Joplin died 

03/04/1897 Brahms died

06/04/1971 Stravinsky died

08/04/1848 Donizetti died

14/04/1759 Handel died

18/04/1936 Respighi died 

27/04/1891 Prokofiev born

27/04/1915 Scriabin died

27/04/1992 Messiaen died

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.



Leonid Sprikut, Ph.D., M.Mus., B.Mus. 

Woodwinds and Brass, Music history and Theory

Mr. Sprikut holds a MMus in Music Education from the University of Toronto , as well as Master of Music in Performance Diploma cum laude from the Moscow P. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music in Performance Diploma cum laude from Moscow State Conservatory Music College. He also holds a Bachelor Degree in Wind Ensemble Conducting from Moscow State Conservatory Music College. As a professional clarinettist and saxophonist Mr. Sprikut has been affiliated with many symphony and chamber orchestras around the world, such as Moscow State Ministry of Education Symphony Orchestra (Principal Clarinet), Moscow State Academy of Music Opera Theatre (Principal Clarinet), New Jerusalem Symphony (Principal Clarinet), Israeli Operetta Theatre (Principal Clarinet), and was a member of a Moscow State Conservatory Woodwind Quintet.

As a soloist, Mr. Sprikut performed in Russia , Israel , USA , Canada , and has taken part in various International Music Festivals, such as International Klezmer Music Festival in Zfat , Israel. Among his teachers were the internationally renowned Vladimir Sokolov (Principal Clarinet for The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Clarinet at the Moscow State Conservatory) and Dr. Scott Bridges (Professor of Music and Clarinet at the Alabama University School of Music). Mr. Sprikut started teaching in the early 1980’s, while a student at the Moscow State Conservatory and was one of the founders and first teachers at the Special Music School for Woodwind Instruments in Moscow , Russia. Later, in Israel he worked as a teacher for a Music Project of the Municipality of Jerusalem and was a Music Director of The Youth Jerusalem Wind Orchestra, where his duties included selection of repertoire for the Orchestra, auditions, public relations, and foreign tours. He has taught wind instruments, piano, and music theory privately and in groups at his studio, at varous schools and at the Music College. Mr. Sprikut has been affiliated with iMA since 2006. He is experienced and successful in teaching students at different levels and ages from 7 to 70. Mr. Sprikut is also the conductor of the iMA Jazz ensemble, which successfully performed at the IMA summer music Festival in 2009. His students constantly win local and international music competitions, hold principal positions in students’ and professional bands and symphony orchestras, and participate in a variety of musical activities in Canada and abroad.

Mr. Sprikut gives master classes and adjudicates music competitions and festivals in Israel , Russia and Canada. He is a member of Ontario Music Teachers Network and a Teaching Assistant in the instrumental class at the University of Toronto. Currently, Mr. Sprikut is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto where his research interests include music pedagogy and culture. His research papers were accepted and presented at several international conferences, such as 2010 international Conference in Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and the ISME World Conference 2010 in Beijing , China. Mr. Sprikut possesses strong knowledge and excellent skills for teaching the classical style, as well as the jazz, folk, and music of modern composers. Determined to bring out the best of his students, Mr. Sprikut is one of the most highly recommended teachers in the GTA. He has been teaching wind instruments, piano, and music theory for over 25 years. Mr. Sprikut is a registered teacher with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCME 60140) and is fluent in English, Hebrew, Russian.

Mr. Sprikut was happy to answer a few questions for our students and parents:

1.What do you like most about teaching? There are two statements that serve as a point of reference and a guiding principle for me as a music educator. The first is made by a famous Russian educator Vasily Sukhomlinsky: “Music education does not mean educating a musician‐it means first of all educating a human being”. The second is the following passage from the “Upanishads”, one of the most important set of texts in Hindu scriptures: “Give your best in learning and teaching. Give with faith. Give with love. Give with joy”. These statements, in my opinion, capture the very essence of a concept of music teaching as a complicated, multi-faceted enterprise. As an educator, I teach the whole person; as a teacher, I love and enjoy what I do. The choice of these two statements is not accidental. As a performer and music educator, I consider myself fortunate to be able to travel and work in different parts of the world, gain knowledge of different cultures, learn several languages, study with great teachers and teach great students. I’m really passionate about teaching. While teaching requires a lot of creativity and imagination, it also involves analytical skills, as well as the ability to be flexible, thoughtful, patient, and understanding. At the same time, a teacher has to be determined and persistent. Many of our students at IMA are complete beginners, and one of the best aspects of my job as a teacher is the opportunity to help my students develop not only technical skills but also deeper, stronger and long‐lasting relationship with music, the ability to understand and appreciate it.

2. How do you inspire students to practice more? As a teacher I always strive to build strong relationships and establish a sense of cooperation with my students and their parents. It is very important to let the students know and feel that their work is essential and vital for the collaborative process. It is also important for me to let my students feel that I trust them, that I’m always ready to help, and we always work together and rely on each other. As a music educator who had a chance to work in different cultural and social environments, I always strive for a greater flexibility of my teaching approach, employing a variety of methods with a “dialogue” as a key aspect of my concept of teaching. My responsibility as a teacher is to create a safe, constructive, and dynamic learning environment in which my students ‘efforts, hard work and willingness to study are deeply appreciated and supported. My task is to encourage them to participate actively in the learning process. I am constantly searching for better, more efficient ways to approach my students, to involve them into this process, and to arouse and maintain their intellectual curiosity.

3. What roles does performance play in student’s development? As a musician and music educator I realize that performance is an essential part of the music education process. I strongly believe that being able to perform is important for anyone who plays and studies music. It helps the students become more mature, and develop self-confidence, self‐discipline, organization skills and sense of responsibility. On the other hand, however, as teachers, we also have to be flexible, and realize that different students have different learning styles, different approaches to study, and different learning pace. Therefore, one of our most important goals should be to help them develop greater degree of confidence by providing them with constant support, positive reinforcement and encouragement.

4. Who are your favourite composers? My favourite composer is Dmitri Shostakovich. I admire not only his creative imagination but also his determination, strong will and ability to overcome unimaginable political, social and cultural obstacles and hardships to become one of the most important and original composers of the 20th century. He managed to express in his music the feelings, state of mind, and emotions of the modern human being. His ground‐ breaking musical compositions and innovative musical language inspire and influence generations of the contemporary composers.

5. What was the last piece of music (sheet music or a recording) you purchased for yourself? Just recently I have bought a couple of recordings by Charlie Parker, who is one of my favourite saxophone players. However, most of the recordings and sheet music that I purchase are for my students, as I always strive to make the learning process more creative and interesting for them.



Shopika Ananth

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What instrument do you play? –  I have always had an admiration, and passion for music and wanted to learn some many musical instruments. The piano was one that had always struck out to me the most. 

How long have you taken lessons? – I started piano lessons for around a year now, and I am very happy about making such a decision. I am still just a beginner but with my instructor Lily, I am learning something new every lesson.

Who are your favourite musical artists? – I listen to all sorts of music from all around the world, as well as like to adapt different languages and incorporate different genres in my singing as well. I really don't have a favourite artist, as I love how talented and unique they are from one another. To list a few: AR Rahman, and Sid Sriram.

What are your other hobbies, besides music? – A few hobbies and interests other than also learning south Indian classical music (Carnatic music), would be photography, learning languages, and travelling.

Favourite food? – I enjoy many different cuisines and love to try new variety of dishes. But to list a few; Indian, and Italian cuisines would be my favourite.

What is the coolest thing you’ve learnt in your lessons in the past three months? I am very happy to be on this path of music with piano and continuing to learn and practice, improve on my current flaws and look forward to more performances and works.

Do you have any performance coming up? – I currently do not have any performances coming up for piano, however here is a photo from my June 2018 concert where I performed two pieces. It was new and made me a little bit nervous but still a wonderful experience for me, as it was my first ever performance playing the piano in front of an audience. I have done different performances on stage before as well, however that was for singing.

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?



The 2019 Federal Budget and the arts

The federal budget, announced on March 19, is the last before this fall’s general election. The budget document included acknowledgment of the importance of the cultural sector, stating:
Across the country, Canada’s artists and their supporters bring people together, to appreciate and celebrate the diversity and creativity that Canadians are known for the world over. Our cultural industries are also an important source of jobs—employing more than 650,000 Canadians—and are a key contributor to our economy, worth nearly $54 billion each year. To continue advancing the cultural sector, Budget 2019 announced:
$20 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Canada Music Fund.

The Canada Music Fund (CMF) helps the Canadian music industry meet new challenges. A wide range of musicians and entrepreneurs who create, produce and market original and diverse Canadian music are eligible to apply. The CMF is the primary tool implementing the three major objectives of the Canadian Sound Recording Policy, From Creators to Audience, which are: to enhance access to a diverse range of Canadian music choices through existing and emerging media; to increase the opportunities available for Canadian music artists and entrepreneurs to make a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian cultural expression; and to ensure that Canadian music artists and entrepreneurs have the skills, know-how and tools to succeed in a global and digital environment.)

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$16 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series (arts presenters) and organizations that offer support to arts presenters. Through the CAPF, Canadians have access to a variety of professional artistic experiences in their communities. Each year, the CAPF supports approximately 600 professional arts festivals and performing arts series, as well as other activities related to art presentation, in more than 250 cities or communities across Canada.

The CAPF has two main components – Programming and Development. The CAPF Programming component has two streams: Professional Arts Festivals and Performing Arts Series Presenters; and Presenter Support Organizations.)

$24 million over two years, starting in 2019–20, to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, the Celebration Program, and the Commemoration Program

Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program was created to help you celebrate your community – both its past and its present. This program increases opportunities for local artists, artisans, heritage performers or specialists to be involved in their community through festivals, events and projects. It also allows local groups to commemorate their local history and heritage.

Celebrate Canada provides funding for activities organized on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21); Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24); Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27); and Canada Day (July 1).

The Commemorate Canada program provides funding to initiatives that commemorate and celebrate historical figures, places, events and accomplishments of national significance. The program favours commemorations and celebrations marking 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th anniversaries and subsequent anniversaries in increments of 25 years.

In addition, support of $1 million is being provided over two years to Canadian Heritage’s efforts to integrate Gender-based Analysis plus (GBA+) in program design. More broadly—but still of potential value in the arts and culture sector—the budget includes provision for a doubling of work placements for youth through the Canada Summer Jobs program in 2019–20, and new funding to modernize the Youth Employment Strategy. Budget 2019 continues measures already announced in previous budgets, including staged funding increases to the Canada Council for the Arts, which will double the Council’s parliamentary appropriation (from a 2016 base) by 2021.

The budget’s positive references to the social and economic impact of the arts represent good news for the arts and culture sector. Further, the continued, sustained increase to the Canada Council for the Arts was Orchestras Canada’s number one priority, as put forward in our 2019 pre-budget submission. This looks to have been achieved. Each of the other program increases that we’ve cited may – in very different ways – offer opportunities for Canadian orchestras, and Orchestras Canada will be keeping you apprised of what we learn in the coming weeks.



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 April 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.