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We all got bruised, battered, broken, and beaten down by the crushing winter of 2013-14. Owned. PWND even.

To say we are cautiously optimistic in the fight for spring would be cautiously optimistic. There have been a few teases of the coming season here and there, but winter is proving a formidable opponent.

The best way to go to war, if we can’t seize the enemy, is to seize the moment. To enjoy those rays of sunshine when they do come around.

Seizing the moment, or being in the moment, is what good music is all about. The artform is always moving in real time and if you miss a beat, you gotta jump back in to where the music is NOW. No time to hesitate, or to dwell.

The movement is always in motion and if you stay with it you will be taken on a journey that may or may not inspire euphoric feelings and a need to celebrate. Even when it snows in April.

How do you seize and celebrate the moment most effectively? Of course, with music.

This month we’re looking forward to doing so at TIFEM’s Open Mic (April 26th) with the door flung wide open, shooting the cool breeze with the warm breeze.



We’re delighted to introduce a brand new TIFEM drop in class for the parents of children studying music.

Designed to enhance the process of learning for your child, the class will educate the parent about the basics of music and it’s fundamentals.

In order for them to engage, motivate and have an active part in the child’s musical growth, we feel that it’s important for adults to have a certain level of musical understanding.

This is a fun, enlightening and low pressure situation where adults with children who study music can learn how to better follow and therefore accelerate their child’s progress.

We have seen, overall, a steady and exciting pace of development in children whose parents and caregivers are even somewhat active in their musical study. We feel most definitely, that this is an exciting enhancement to our unique and inclusive approach. 

Every Monday at 7pm, only $15 per session. Sessions last between 45min to an hour.  Hope to see you there!



Here’s a quick burst of info about some important TIFEM features that some of you may have missed in previous newsletters.

As a TIFEM student, you have access to some great musical resources, and there are some illuminating supplementary courses offered as well.

TIFEM has an extensive in-house musical library and an almost boundless digital library, available to all TIFEM students, free of charge.

Feel free to leaf through some of the repertoire and technique books on the shelf, or ask one of our staff if there is a musical piece you are looking to play. There’s a good chance the TIFEM Digital Library has what you are looking for. Also included in the digital library are exercises on scales, arpeggios and many other technical studies that will sharpen up your musical chops.

The ever-useful TIFEM website (enjoymusictoronto.com) also has many helpful resources, such as staff paper and TAB paper, links to a list of fantastic musical websites, and a guide to some of the most handy educational musical apps out there.

Now, with the introduction of our new and exciting Drop-In class for Parents, we should mention that we have growing list of Drop-In classes including Ukulele Levels 1 and 2, Adult String Ensemble, Group Guitar, TIFEM Choir, and of course the Drop-In Thursday night Theory Class.

Be sure to check out some of TIFEM’s performance opportunities for you or your child. Namely, the monthly Open Mic, which takes place April 26th, and our Children’s Music Festivals which happen regularly throughout the year.

One of the main points of our musical philosophy here at TIFEM is the concept that no matter how far you have travelled on your musical path, you are essentially, “never done”, meaning that music is the type of pursuit that constantly offers it’s pursuers new horizons and infinite opportunities for achievement.

Even in the most basic and rudimentary sense, this is true.

For example, a student masters 1 scale, 8 notes to be played in succession. Fingering and technique are impeccable, tone and timbre are of the deepest possible depth and leave nothing to be desired. The tempo is set at a reasonable rate. By all accounts, the student clearly shows an understanding of this scale, these 8 notes, backwards and forwards.

At this point, the student may say to themselves, “That’s it, I couldn’t possibly go any further hereā€¦”

This is where the infinite rears it’s beautiful head and suggests to the student that although they have achieved a certain level of mastery with the scale in question, there are many other elements to consider and what’s more to be challenged by. 

What about bringing the tempo up, or taking it down to such a slow pace that a new level of listening and anticipation is required to stay on time? How about playing the scale without looking at the instrument, playing the scale in thirds, fourths and furthermore? One can see where the infinite stands in this challenge.

This is true for everyone, regardless of their technical or musical ability, knowledge of theory, if their musical path is straight and narrow or jagged and multi faceted. All musical paths will lead to the same place, which isn’t really a place at all, but a constant shuttle towards the next attainable objective.

There is always another variation, another level of technical achievement, another opportunity to become more comfortable, more akin to the instrument, and feel more effortless doing it, and this is what makes making music something to enjoy for life, for ever, for infinity.



No matter how much or how little forethought goes into composing or performing a piece of music, there is always an instant where time and space overtake the performer. The music takes on a quality of being alive and breathing, the musician not knowing if they are in control, or just along for the ride.

The only thing to do in this case, is just hold on and enjoy the moment. Take the ride, and surrender to that moment where music and musician are one: NOW!

Here’s a playlist of songs that inspire one to live in and seize every moment like it’s the last.

01. Start Me Up!-The Rolling Stones
02. We Travel The Spaceways-Sun Ra
03. Moment to Moment-Henri Mancini
04. Tomorrow Never Knows-The Beatles
05. Lithium-Nirvana
06. Traffic-Dear Mr. Fantasy
07. Jump!-Van Halen
08. You Only Live Once-The Strokes
09. Live Your Life-Rihanna ft. T.I.
10. Lively Up Yourself-Bob Marley and the Wailers



Every summer at TIFEM things seem to just get busier and busier. This summer should be no different as TIFEM will offer some delightful new classes specially tailored for the nice weather and for those of you who are off school but want to continue your musical growth.

One class we will be presenting is the Summer Rock Band Camp.

Led by TIFEM’s Reenie Perkovic, who also teaches the TIFEM Youth Band, the Rock Band Camp will last roughly 6 weeks during the summer months and will be taking place in our Environment at 821 Queen St. West.

Many different musical styles will be explored and some of the repertoire will be chosen by the students themselves. Students will play games and participate in activities that will help them take their private music studies to the next level.

Some topics covered will include:

- Improvisation
- Performance Techniques
- Rhythmic concepts
- How to play in a group situation
- Soloing concepts and approaches



From the 427 to the River Rouge, Lake Ontario on up to Steeles Ave, we bring you the city’s best, past present and future.

Noah Mintz is one of those guys who, although you may not know him by name, you’ve definitely heard his work in some form or another.

He has contributed much to the Canadian music scene, whether it’s in the field of performance or production, and he is definitely a full fledged Hogtown music staple.

Noah founded one of the first Canadian indie rock bands EVER, called hHead with Brendan Canning in 1991, years before Broken Social Scene came on the scene.

hHead gained a respectable following and steady play on radio and Muchmusic. They were soon signed by IRS records to do the follow up to their debut album. After a brief stint with IRS, they moved on to release their 3rd and final album, “Ozzy”, on Handsome Boy records.

Shortly after the breakup of hHead, Mintz continued to make music and formed a solo project called Noah’s Arkweld, which featured Leslie Feist on bass, another BSS connection.

Noah’s relationship with BSS continued to yield some very high quality Canadian music, notably his mastering work on The Broken Social Scene album.

Mintz has turned his knowledge and expertise in the field of recorded music into one of the most popular mastering houses in the city, if not the entire country, Lacquer Channel Mastering.

Noah and Lacquer Channel have mastered work by such exciting acts as The Constantines, Death From Above 1979, The Arkells and Rheostatics, to name but a few. LC continues to be the go-to place for mastering for many Canadian and international artists.

We’re proud to call Mr. Mintz a Hometown Hero. We’re thankful to have such an influence impact our city’s musical history. Noah is a talented musician with a great ear who will undoubtedly help shape the future of our music scene by making Toronto/Canadian bands sound just that much better.



We know it’s important to have an active and creative musical faculty in order to constantly generate new ideas and approaches to musical education.

In order to foster this idea we make it a practice to check out some shows put on by our own amazing educators.

Hope to see you at one of these great shows this month:

Frank Evans
May 18 2014 | Frank Evans and Rosalyn Dennett CD Release | Tranzac Club | 7pm-10pm |  Toronto ON

Irena Perkovic
May 15 2014 | Reenie DC Release | The Garrison | Doors at 8pm | Toronto, ON

Lea Kirstein
Apr 25 2014 | KC Roberts & The Live Revolution | The Mod Club | Doors 9pm | Toronto, ON

Lydia Persaud
Apr 25 2014 | KC Roberts & The Live Revolution | The Mod Club | Doors 9pm | Toronto, ON
May 03 2014 | The Soul Motivators | This Ain’t Hollywood | 9pm | Hamilton, ON
May 09 2014 | The Soul Motivators with The Slackers | CMF: Lees Palace | 9pm | Toronto, ON

Matt Giffin
Apr 25 2014 | KC Roberts & The Live Revolution | The Mod Club | Doors 9pm | Toronto, O