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Everybody knows that the word, “Enjoyment” in the Toronto Institute For the Enjoyment of Music is just a fancy synonym for the word, “Love”. The former contains that valuable vowel to make the acronym, TIFEM, more convenient to pronounce and overall rolls more effortlessly off the tongue than the latter. However, it’s no big secret that when it comes down to it we are here not only for Enjoyment, but for Enjoyment via Love.

Love is a many splendored and multi faceted phenomenon. Just as Homer’s sweet Duff is the cure and solution to all ailments, the same may be said about this cocktail of emotional bliss, turmoil and sometimes indifference that we call love.

For every ascention, every plummet, every plain of dispassion there is a song, a piece of music, an album, or an entire artistic career that deals with all the possible configurations that the valves of the heart must pump through. 

Indeed, love is a stranger, but here at TIFEM we are no strangers to love. Across the board, the whole gang shares a deep affinity for music. Our enthusiasm and passion will no doubt inspire those who are also seeking to fall in love with music themselves.

Through our Private Lessons, Drop-In Group Classes and TIFEM KIDS programs, among many others, we are fostering the opportunity to harness a love for music and transform that love into something expressive, creative and fulfilling.

TIFEM All Time Love Jams Part II

TIFEM All Time Love Jams Part II

Many concepts about love are deeply rooted in tradition. There is an imprint of the past and it’s customs in the strain of every culture’s DNA when it comes to matters regarding the L-Word.

In the name of adding to an already rich tradition of TIFEM bringing you the jams, we introduce year two of TIFEM’s list of the best love songs ever cut.

True to tradition, we don’t recommend playing ALL of these at your romantic, candle lit dinner on the eve of February 14th. There are some numbers in here about the murky waters and overcast skies that love can sometimes throw in one’s path.

Whether you're knee deep in quicksand or ankle deep in rose petals, Music will always be there to compliment, comment, confuse and finally confound.

01. Pale Blue Eyes - The Velvet Underground
02. My Body - How To Dress Well
03. Say It Isn’t So - Hall and Oates
04. 1985 - Paul Mccartney and Wings
05. Happy Together - The Turtles
06. Wouldn’t It Be Nice - The Beach Boys
07. Wonderwall - Oasis
08. X-Factor - Lauryn Hill
09. Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol
10. Haitian Divorce - Steely Dan
11. Bound 2 - Kanye West
12. Since I’ve Been Loving You - Led Zeppelin
13. Something - The Beatles
14. I Want To Talk About You - John Coltrane/Red Garland

Matches Made In Musical Heaven

Matches Made In Musical Heaven

In order to properly raise the glass to the month of love, we pay homage to some of the great musical collaborations where the artists were much more than friends.

Many a spark has been ignited as two recording artists stare at each other across a TLM 49. All those sappy lyrics, mixed with a coupla pretty faces with beautiful voices blowing air at each other is a recipe for love that has no doubt yielded some bountiful feasts for the eyes and ears.

1. (SG+BB) Serge Gainsbourg+Brigitte Bardot -

Possibly the most famous of Gainsbourg’s collaborations, and the most successful Bardot musical effort, this coupling was born out of a late 1960’s love affair between the two. Bonnie and Clyde, is heralded as one of the pinnacles of Parisian pop Music, as Hey Jude is to England. In subsequent decades, the music has continued to sound fresh and proves that long after the love affair is over, the music still holds up.

2. Fleetwood Mac -
Perhaps one of the most well known examples of a musical group who knew how to mix business and pleasure, Fleetwood are on the list because of the soap opera like internal relations that eventually led to the demise of the band. Before things got too complicated, Fleetwood Mac managed to stake a claim in music history as one of the great bands of all time. One could speculate that all of the lover’s tension and turmoil added a visceral and emotional depth to their recordings.

3. (JC+AC) John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane -
Coltrane’s second wife provided an emotional stability and security that the artist had been without for quite some time, according to author Peter Lavezzoli. Coltrane had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for a large part of his adult life. In Alice, he not only found a friend and lover, but also an apposite musical collaborator. “(Alice) continually senses the right colours, the right textures, of the sounds of the chords.” It seems that the kinship and connection two lovers feel offstage can be translated and channelled into their musical expressions as well.   

4. (P+SE) Prince and Sheila E -
At a concert in 1978, while performing with her father, percussionist Sheila E. was greeted backstage by an admiring Prince, admitting to her that he had made a bet with his friend about who would be the first to be her husband. Impressed with the abilities of the young and attractive musician, Prince recruited Sheila for a spot in his band during the sessions for Purple Rain. Although under Prince’s wing, Sheila E. became a popular recording artist in her own right, scoring a #7 Billboard hit with a song called, “The Glamourous Life”.

5. JAYZ and Beyonce -
Dating since Beyonce was just 19 years old, the romance between these two has made them the most powerful and well known power couple in music. In parallel to another Match Made in Musical Heaven, Jay and Bey’s first collaboration was ‘03 Bonnie and Clyde and was quickly followed by Crazy in Love amongst a list of other successful offerings. Combined, the two form a well of talent that is pretty unstoppable. A truly great illustration of how lovers can flourish alongside each other and enjoy one another’s achievements.

TIFEM Ukulele 101: Intro to Note Reading Workshop

TIFEM Ukulele 101: Intro to Note Reading Workshop

Have you ever wanted to learn to read Music?  Ever wanted to learn to play the Ukulele well? TIFEM is very excited to offer its first ever three week Ukulele workshop with a main focus on learning to read music. The workshop is divided into three sessions. Each session will run every Sunday starting Feb 16th through to March 2nd. Beginners are welcome!

In this course you will be given all the tools to start you on the path of reading music for the Ukulele.

Curriculum covered:
- Note reading
- Rhythm reading
- Time signatures
- Scales
- Intervals
- Ensemble and solo playing

Session Duration: 1hr 20 minutes
When: Every Sunday from Feb 16th - March 2nd. 2-3:30PM.
Price: $30 per session (3 sessions in total) 

Give the Gift of Music To the One You Love

Giving the Gift of Love to the one you love sounds like an idea that makes sense, and here at TIFEM we have many gift options that all pretty much translate to, “I Love You’.

In store for you are a colourful variety of ukuleles for all skill levels and price points. Truly a lover’s instrument, the ukulele enables the beginning musician to have access to thousands of love songs for mastery of the art of the serenade. Beautiful chord progressions set to touching lyrics made simple by the magic of the uke.

Purchase one of our ukuleles on the 14th or beforehand, and receive a FREE introductory uke lesson in our bright and friendly TIFEM Environment.

Leading up to Valentines Day, we are offering a Lovers discount for Private Group Lessons at a discounted rate. Show your partner that you really care and that you believe in their ability and commitment to Enjoy life and love through the power of music. Contact the school for further details. 

It Is Up For Interpretation: Little Wing

It’s Up For Interpretation: Little Wing

In this series we examine how one piece of music can be so differently re-interpreted from artist to artist, as new parameters in musical approach, orientation and instrumentation are introduced and imposed.

Little Wing is a song written by guitarist and composer, Jimi Hendrix. The song first appeared on the album, Axis: Bold as Love and is ranked #366 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All time.


Little Wing, originally performed by Hendrix and has been interpreted by many artists including Cassandra  Wilson and the late, great, Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Between each of the three aforementioned versions of Little Wing, there are many striking differences.

Stylistically, Hendrix’s version is equipped with an intro full of quintessential Hendrix-isms, before Mitch Mitchell rolls in with the drums and sets up the classic Hendrix vocal. Jimi’s vocals are classic Jimi, half spoken and half sung, as a story unfolds about an enchanting and mysterious she.

No Hendrix track could be complete without some groundbreaking guitar work and this is no exception. The solo that follows the verses and eventually fades out the song is possibly one of his most recognizable of all time.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's interpretation of Little Wing is aesthetically very similar to Jimi’s version, with the focus being on solo guitar work, in the context of the blue. SRV takes the instrumental aspect of the tune even further as he rips through instrumental chorus after chorus, constantly inventing new variations.

Executing the vocal of the song with the guitar, and not the voice is potentially the most drastic difference between the Hendrix and SRV versions. The SRV version is purely instrumental, although Vaughan does a fine job in emulating the feel of a vocalist as he explores the song’s melody.


Cassandra Wilson’s version of the song is quite a departure from both the Hendrix and the SRV adaptations.

The focus is more towards the ensemble, and highlights include the textures of the fretless bass and soprano saxophone, giving the music a texture that recalls the sounds and rhythmic feels of a more traditional African music.

Quite a bit slower tempo-wise, the choice allows Wilsons voice to be at the forefront of the piece, her swooping and soulful flourishes colouring her delayed phrasing and making for a very interesting rendition.