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Year XXII, No. 12 (December 2018)


Afolabomi O. (piano)
Afolarim O. (drums)
Artharv A. (piano)
Austin F. (violin)
Caiden H. (piano)
Chrisha A. (violin)
Christina V. (violin)
Elle Z. (piano)
Ethan H. (piano)
Felix Y. (piano)
Goldwin T. (piano)
Jenny Y. (flute)
Jessie C. (piano)
Julia V. (piano)
Leah C. (piano)



Priyanka Ragunathan, Olivia Wan, Daniel Yu, Linda Liu, Renee White, Joanne Jaiseon, Jelena Garvey, Rida Aftab, Sophie Sio, Emily Li, Shreya Ratnam, Kai Caceres, Derek Price, Aaron Duttam Lucas Alfonso, HAylie Sio, Catherine James, Brigitte Bantoc, Samiyah Sewani, Aditya Agadi




Dec 1: Peel Music Festival registration deadline.
Dec 2-10: Hanukkah
Dec 7-8: RCM Theory examinations.
December 15: RCM April session applications deadline
December 15: Markham Theatre. Kindred Spirits Orchestra. BRUCKNER’S 4th SYMPHONY
December 18: iMA- Mid-Year Progress Reports
December 24-Januray 4: Winter Break
December 25: Christmas Day. School is closed.
December 26: Boxing Day School is open.



December 8-9, 2018

It has been already two months since the beginning of the school year and we have already had many opportunities to celebrate our student’s success. Now we look forward to preparing well for the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations in January and for the prestigious Kiwanis Music Festival of the GTA in February. In the mean time, the Holiday Season is fast approaching and we will celebrate it with the traditional iMA Winter Music Festival that will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9, 2018.

The festival will consist of ten separate one-hour concerts (on Saturday – any instrument; on Sunday – only piano and guitar). Book your calendars for this exciting event – together with the iMA Summer Music Festival, it has always been one of the most significant moments for many of our students. The iMA Faculty, staff, and I, we are looking forward to encourage, support, and rejoice our students’ performances.

The iMA Winter Music Festival will take place at the recital hall of the International Music Academy in Stouffville located at 50 Innovator Avenue in Stouffville ON L4A 0Y2. The hall has an excellent grand piano, large screen connected to an HD camera that will allow you to see the finest details of each performance. The Stouffville location is only 10-15 minute drive from the Markham location. A free parking is available in front of the school as well. Detailed information about the Festival will be sent by the beginning of December. Students who have their lessons on Saturday will perform on Sunday and vice versa.



The Winner of the IMA Drawing contest is 5 y.o. THIVYA JEYAPALAN. She will have her drawings published on the IMA Facebook and Twitter. She will also receive a pair of tickets for a concert of the Kindred Spirits Orchestra at Flato Markham Theatre (value of $80). Congratulations and keep up the good work, Thyvia!

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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!


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, December 22.  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.



2/12/1990 American composer Copland died

4/12/1976 British composer Britten died

5/12/1791 Austrian composer Mozart died 

7/12/1863 Italian composer Mascagni was born

8/12/1865 Finish composer Sibelius was born

8/12/1890 Czech composer Martinu was born

10/12/1822 Belgian composer César Franck was born

10/12/1908 French composer Messiaen was born

11/12/1803 French composer Berlioz was born

16/12/1770 German composer Beethoven was born 

16/12/1921 French composer Saint-Saëns died

22/12/1858 Italian composer Puccini was born

25/12/1871 Russia composer Scriabin was born

28/12/1937 French composer Ravel 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.



Mr. Maciej Bujnowicz, M.Mus., M.A.

Voice studies and interpretation, Piano, Guitar and Music Theory

Mr. Maciej Bujnowicz has earned a M.Mus. in vocal performance degree from the University of Ottawa, Artist Diploma in vocal performance from the Glenn Gould Professional School and a M.A. in vocal performance from the Bacewicz's Music Academy in Poland. He brings several years of teaching experience at the Musaic School of Music, the Wandering Minstrel, the Heritage Music Academy and other private music schools in the GTA. Mr. Bujnowicz has also performed as a soloist at the International Chamber Music Festival and the Niagara Music Festival as well as a chorus member of the baroque opera company Opera Atelier. He is the Recipient of the National Arts Center Music Bursary for International Students and of the Thomas Logan and Elisabeth Thomas Scholarship. Mr. Bujnowicz is the prizewinner of the North York Concert Orchestra Mozart Competition, the Brahms International Competition, and the International Chamber Music Competition.

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

1. What do you like most about teaching? In my teaching, I really enjoy moments when students become passionate about music. It usually takes some time before it actually happens. This usually does not happen at the first lesson. It takes time and students should come to lessons and practice regularly.

2. How do you inspire students to practice more? I try to inspire students to practice more by asking them to listen to good recordings and videos of songs they are working on. Great recording or performance can be a great inspiration and thanks to them students work much harder.

3. What roles does performance play in student’s development? Performance is very important for each student. It is opportunity to share great music with the audience and to show students' talents. It is also a great experience for performing students to share a stage with other performers. Thanks to this, students can learn about each other and are able to see and listen to all kind of musical instruments.

4. Who are your favourite composers? I like many composers, among them both classical and contemporary. If I would have to choose one classical composer, it would George Frederic Handel and from more contemporary I would choose Samuel Barber.

5. What was the last piece of music (sheet music or a recording) you purchased for yourself? The last score I have purchased for myself at the music store was Handel's Oratorio-Messiah HWV 56, Vocal score.



Elizabeth Yeoh

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:Kristian:Desktop:Elizabeth Yeoh.jpgWhat instrument do you play? –  I sing, but I also know how to play the piano, guitar, and trumpet.

How long have you taken lessons? – I have been taking vocal lessons at IMA since 2014, so 4 years.

Who are your favourite musical artists? – Some of my favourite pop artists include Ariana Grande, Lauv, and Panic!AtTheDisco. I also enjoy singing and listening to Puccini, Vivaldi, Schudel, and a number of artists in musical theatre.

What are your other hobbies, besides music? – Besides music, I enjoy running and reading. Last summer, I ran RBC’s race for the kids to raise money and awareness about mental health. Running is also a great stress reliever. When I don’t have schoolwork, I love to get lost in a book, reading just takes me away from reality.

Favourite food? – My favourite food is chocolate, white chocolate to be exact. White chocolate isn’t too sweet like milk chocolate, or too bitter like dark chocolate; it’s right in the middle of the two, creating a perfect flavour to savour.

What is the coolest thing you’ve learnt in your lessons in the past three months? Over the last three months I’ve been working on how to sing high C, something a soprano (like myself) is required to do and I know it might not sound cool to you, but to a music major who has almost every day of the next 4 years learning about and singing music, it is extremely cool.

Do you have any performance coming up? – I have 2 winter concerts taking place next week, a solo the following week after that, and of course IMAs winter recital.

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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Edward R. Howe | Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University

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Montreal-born pianist Oscar Peterson waves after playing at the Montreal Forum in July 1984. The Coalition for Music Education is inviting schools and communities across Canada to sing “Hymn To Freedom,” written by Peterson and Harriette Hamilton, on Music Monday 2019, a day to celebrate music.

Full self-disclosure — I’m a “bandie!”

In junior high school, band provided me with a safe haven during the challenging years of adolescence. Band was essential to my emerging identity and to building my self-confidence.

But wait, didn’t I become a physics teacher, and then a teacher educator in a teaching program focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? Double yes.

Music helped me gain the confidence and grit to pursue my dreams and to reach my full potential. I came to realize that science and music are complementary, not contradictory.

Verge of extinction
But band is on the verge of extinction in many schools. Students, parents and administrators increasingly see band as a “frill.” Music education is being drastically cut and is not valued by many as it once was.

The trend can be traced to the “back to basics” movement fuelled by neoliberalism, and in particular the seminal 1983 U.S. report A Nation at Risk.

In Canada, we don’t have to look far to see the impact of misguided government policies framed by the rhetoric of “back to basics” movements in education. In many regions, the education pendulum has swung decidedly back to “traditional” ways of learning that in effect has narrowed the curriculum.

Amid a neoliberal/neoconservative climate of “practical” and “evidence-based” schooling, even The Royal Conservatory of Music highlights neuroscientific research demonstrating the many benefits of music.

But efforts to encourage music lessons may largely stand to benefit students from wealthier families whose parents can pay for extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, the recent changes to our British Columbia curriculum might not happen in time to save our music programs in schools.

‘There is nobody judging me’

That’s a shame. In Canada, we pride ourselves on providing excellent public education for all, regardless of socioeconomic status. A recent comprehensive meta-study clearly shows that fine arts education positively influences child development. If music is a “frill,” and not accessible to all income brackets, children from poorer families will not have the opportunity to benefit from what may be music’s boost to literacy, fine motor skills and spatial reasoning in the early years.

For youth, music contributes to development of an individual’s emerging self-identity, and can shape mental health and our future. This could be one reason the Coalition for Music Education says that as much as we learn to make music, music makes us.

Most importantly, as demonstrated in my research, music education has made a huge impact on the lives of many individuals. In an age of scrutiny, music offers a host of other benefits and a safe space for children.

A 10-year-old participant in our study said:

“[Going to music camp] is better than school. At school I am quiet and reserved because I get bullied for being different. When I am here, I can express myself easily because there is nobody judging me. We are all the same and share a love for music which makes it easy to interact with others.”

Another participant (aged 13) said:

“[Going to music camp] helped me to keep an open mind to trying new things and helped to build my confidence, especially as I navigated a new role for High School Musical where I was unsure my role…I think it will help me be a better student next year.”

Yet what I’ve seen in my own son’s school mirrors larger trends: A band program completely relegated to outside the regular timetable. Students are opting out of band because it is not offered during regular school hours and it is seen as a “frill.”

The rationale is that the fine arts are not as important as academic subjects such as English, math and the sciences. But without the social, psychological, cultural and self-regulatory benefits of music or other arts, what kind of students are we raising, and how to we expect them to thrive in the world?

Teaching to the test
British Columbia has only recently shown signs of holistic thinking with the introduction of a new K-12 curriculum. The focus is on core competencies like thinking and communication rather than an exhaustive list of learning outcomes.

While some Canadian provinces are mandating “teaching to the test,” B.C. is doing away with exams measuring a limited amount of knowledge and moving towards a more balanced approach to learning. These educational reforms are based on current educational research and best practices.

What can be done to support and encourage music education for all? I hope the discussion is not marginalized by STEM, but can develop alongside our concerns for STEM education. Because just like gaining digital skills, music matters.



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 December 15, 2018 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.


Dr. Teresa Suen-Campbell
DMA in Harp Performance (Northwestern University)
Studio located in Oakville (Dundas St and Bronte Rd)

  • Now accepting students of all ages; lever or pedal harp
  • Some music background is preferred but not required.
  • Former students won top prizes in various International Harp Competitions.
  • Aural and sight-reading skills training also available.
  • Free consultation on rental/purchase of instrument

Phone: (647) 222-3349
Website: www.teresasuen.com
E-mail: teresasuencampbell@gmail.com