中文 |  Русский |  Français        

Programmes and courses

The International Music Academy offers a high quality private music education to individuals and corporations who believe in the changing power of music and arts. Focusing not exclusively on traditional market, the Academy has designed unique programmes for various groups:

Children | Adolescents | Adults | Seniors | High school students | Parents of a newborn child | Expectant mothers | Musicians | People with special needs | At-risk youth | Music teachers | People interested in music therapy

The International Music Academy programmes are approved by the York Catholic District School Board.

The International Music Academy also offers the following complimentary services:

  • Assessment to determine which instrument and what type of lessons will suit you or your child the best.
  • Preparing of a customized programme that fully reflects your needs and addresses your goals.
  • On site tuning of all string instruments and piano tuning at home (for a small fee).
  • Monthly recitals and two large scale music festivals (Winter and Summer).
  • Upon demand, a letter of recommendation to the RCM Young Artists Performance Academy.
  • Upon demand, a letter of recommendation to Colleges, Universities, and Governmental Organizations.
  • Review of Royal Conservatory of Music Examination Papers (Theory, Harmony, Counterpoint, Music History, Piano Pedagogy).
  • International Music Academy monthly newsletter.
  • Music magazines for on site reference.

Individual lessons are offered for the following instruments and disciplines:

Piano | Violin | Guitar | Voice | Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bassoon | Saxophone | Tuba | Trumpet | Trombone | French Horn Viola | Cello | Double bass | Drums and Percussion Recorder | Suzuki Piano | Suzuki Violin | Music Theory | Harmony | Music history | Counterpoint | Music analysis | Orchestration | Conducting | Composition | Chamber Music

All programmes and courses are given by highly inspiring and motivating professionals. Each teacher has a Master degree in Music and a minimum of 15 years teaching experience. Most of our teachers have also a degree in music pedagogy and are certified to teach in Ontario. All teachers are also registered with the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Our tuition fee is the same for all instruments, all levels, all teachers, and all students.

All programmes, courses, and services are offered in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Russian, and Bulgarian.

Our facilities include spacious and sound-proof state-of-the-art teaching studios, a MIDI and sound recording lab, and a chamber recital hall for our regular recitals. The reception area offers a large choice of the weekly magazines, books, and other media. Complimentary refreshments are available for our students, their parents and guests.

________________________________________________________________________________

WHAT DO YOU LEARN IN YOUR MUSIC LESSONS?

Our teachers make it a priority to get to know you on a personal level and to become familiar with your personal musical needs and goals. We do not treat every student the same in terms of what and how we teach. For example, a seven year old having their first guitar lesson will have very different needs than a fifty seven year old taking up piano for the 2nd time after having had lessons as a child. The main reason to choose the International Music Academy as your music lesson provider is that we are sensitive to the fact that every student is an individual. If you enroll here for lessons, we will work with you to make a plan that will fit your needs and musical preferences. At the first lesson your teacher will ask you about your favourite type of music, and set goals to help accomplish whatever musical aspirations you have for yourself or your child.

WHAT STYLES OF MUSIC DO WE TEACH?

We teach all styles from rock, pop, jazz, country, and blues to classical, Broadway and opera.

ARE OUR INSTRUCTORS QUALIFIED?

Our teachers have received their education from prestigious music institutions such as the Moscow State Conservatory, the St Petersburg State Conservatory (both in Russia), the Music Academy in Salzburg (Austria), the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart (Germany), as well as the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, USA), the Peabody Conservatory at John Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA), the Oxford University (UK), the Boston University, the McGill University (Montreal) and the University of Toronto. Many of our instructors have gone on performance tours of the US and Europe and have over 25 years of professional performance and teaching experience. In addition to their teaching credentials, our teachers have warm personalities, are extremely friendly and strive to get to know each student and their parents on a personal level.

WHAT IS IT INCLUDED IN A…

… GUITAR LESSON
Our guitar instructors teach rock, blues, metal, country and classical guitar lessons on electric, bass and acoustic guitars. Beginner students can expect to work on chords, simple songs and melodies, sight-reading and theory. We balance musicianship and fun by making sure that each lesson you are challenged with a new technical or theory concept, but always end with something fun such as your favourite riff or song. We use a variety of guitar method books to accomplish this and encourage students to bring CDs or their iPod to their lesson to learn their favourite tunes.

… PIANO LESSON
Our piano teachers teach a variety of styles from classical to popular music, including the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum. Whether you want to learn Bach or Alicia Keys, our teachers are happy to help you become the pianist you want to be. Our piano faculty will show you the fundamentals of sight-reading, technique and theory, but they will also incorporate your favourite songs into your lessons. You do not have to have a piano at home to take lessons. A simple full size electronic keyboard will suffice for the first 6 months. Our piano teachers have warm personalities and enjoy sharing their love for the piano with you.

… WOODWINDS/BRASS INSTRUMENTS LESSON
Our woodwinds/brass instruments (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba) teachers teach a variety of styles from classical to popular music, including the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum. Whether you want to learn Mozart or Kenny G, our teachers are happy to help you become the musician you want to be. Our woodwinds and brass faculty will show you the fundamentals of sight-reading, technique and theory, but they will also incorporate your favourite songs into your lessons. Our teachers have warm personalities and enjoy sharing their love for the woodwinds/brass instrument with you.

… VOCAL LESSON
Our voice teachers primarily focus on popular music but also teach the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum. If you have always wanted to be a better rock, pop, country, jazz, gospel or R&B singer, then we have the right voice teachers for you. Voice students spend time each week doing physical exercises to improve their vocal range, ear training, breath control, vibrato, tone production, enunciation and more. All voice students set goals with their teacher to work on sounding like their favourite recording artists, or if they prefer, to develop their own unique voice. We not only teach singers, but also local TV and radio personalities who want to enhance their speaking voices.

HOW YOUNG IS “TOO YOUNG” – WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO START LESSONS?

Adults can start any instrument at any time.  Their success is based on how willing an adult is to commit to practicing.  We teach many beginner students in their 60’s and 70’s. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons.  Some people will tell you “the sooner the better” but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative.  If a child is put into lessons too soon they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons.  The last thing you want to do is turn a child off music just because they had one unpleasant experience, which could have been prevented.  Sometimes if a child waits a year to start lessons their progress can be much aster.  Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well.  The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.

3 year old
If a pre-schooler has a keen desire and wants to start music a group preschool music class will give them a good foundation in music basics, which will be helpful in later private lessons.  At this age, private lessons generally do not work as the child has not yet experienced the formal learning environment of kindergarten or school and learns more effectively through the game oriented preschool environment.

Piano/Keyboard
At our school 4 year old is the youngest age that we start children in private piano lessons.  At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.

Guitar – Acoustic, Electric and Bass
8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons.  Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings.  Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable.  Bass guitar students generally are 10 years old and older.

Voice Lessons
7 years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons.  Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development o the vocal chord and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the rigors of vocal technique. 

Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone
Due to lung capacity (and in the case of the saxophone the size of the instrument), we recommend that most woodwind beginners are 8 and older.

Violin
We accept violin students from the age of 4.  Some teachers will start children as young as 3, but experience has shown us the most productive learning occurs when the beginner is 4 or older.

Trumpet
The trumpet requires physical exertion and lungpower, so 9 years and older is a good time to start the trumpet. 

ARE PRIVATE LESSONS BETTER OR AS GOOD AS GROUP CLASSES?

Group classes work well for preschool music programs, and theory lessons.  However, when actually learning how to play an instrument, private lessons are far superior since in private lessons it is hard to miss anything, and each student can learn at their own pace.  This means the teacher does not have to teach a class at middle of the road level, but has the time and focus to work on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses.  For that lesson period, the student is the primary focus of the teacher.  The teachers also enjoy this as they do not have to divide their attention between 5 – 10 students at a time and can help the student be the best they can be.

PRIVATE LESSONS AT A MUSIC SCHOOL OR A PRIVATE TEACHER AT HOME?

Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is focused on music education.  In a professional school environment a student cannot be distracted by a TV, pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else.  With only ½ to one hour of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music.  Students in a school environment are also motivated by hearing peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments.  In a music school, the lessons are not just a hobby or sideline for the teacher but a responsibility, which is taken very seriously.

HOW MUCH PRACTICING IS REQUIRED?

As with anything, improving in music takes practice.  One of the main problems with music lessons is the drudgery of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice everyday.  Here are some ways to make practicing easier:

  • Time – Set the same time everyday to practice as it becomes part of a routine or habit.  This works particularly well for children.  Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice.
  • Repetition – We use this method quite often when setting practice schedules for beginners.  For a young child 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity.  Instead of setting a timeframe we use repetition.  For example, practice this piece 4 times everyday, and this scale 5 times a day.  The child then does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing their instrument, but knows if they are on repetition number 3 they are almost finished
  • Rewards – This works very well for both children and adult students. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing.  In our school we reward young children for a successful week of practicing with stars and stickers on their work.  Praise tends to be the most coveted award – there just is no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done.  Sometimes we all have a week with little practicing, in that case there is always next week.

WHAT METHODS AND BOOKS DO WE USE TO TEACH MUSIC?

There are some excellent materials developed by professional music educators that are made for students in a variety of situations.  For example in piano, there are books for very young beginners and books or adult students that have never played before.  There are books that can start you at a level you are comfortable with.  These materials ensure that no important part of learning the instrument can inadvertently be left out.  If you ever have to move to a different part of the country qualified teachers and institutions will recognize the materials and be able to smoothly continue from where the previous teacher left off.

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

Follow us on