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Year XXI, No. 11 (November 2017)



Catherine S. (piano)
Jelena G. (piano)
Athena C. (piano)
Jaid B. (guitar)
Steven L. (piano)
Shopika T. (piano)
Brianna S. (piano)
Luca S. (piano)
Dante S. (piano)
Giulia S. (piano)
Kamakshi S. (voice)
Tanvi V. (piano)
Ahesha S. (piano)



Skandkha F., Arian N., Jack L., Alex R., Elizabeth Y., Subani M., Christian S., Paulo I., Debbie S., Rex H., Ragul S., Lucas L., Theesik A., Garrett K., Ajay P., Branavan J., Clara F., Jashvir R.




November 1 Kiwanis Music Festival Registration deadline
November 11 Remembrance Day
November 24 PA Day (YR). IMA is open.





    The Winner of the IMA Drawing contest is 5 y.o. LUCAS LIN. He will have his drawings published on the IMA Facebook and Twitter. He 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, Lucas!



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.



14, 1719 - MOZART, Leopold (father of Wolfgang)
14, 1778 - HUMMEL, Johann Nepomuk
14, 1900 - COPLAND, Aaron
18, 1786 - WEBER, Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst, Freiherr von
18, 1860 - PADEREWSKI, Ignacy Jan
22, 1710 - BACH, Wilhelm Friedemann
22, 1913 - BRITTEN, Lord Benjamin

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.




Piano Studies, Music Theory

Ms. Suzanne Marfise has graduated with honours from the University of Toronto, after earning an ARCT in piano performance and music theory from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has taught piano and theory in the Greater Chicagoland in the Illinois (USA) where she was also an Accredited member of the Chicago North Shore Music Teacher's Association. After moving to Toronto in 2004, Ms. Marfise has established herself as an expert in teaching piano to all ages. She strives to develop and interpret teaching concepts as required, in order to maintain the student's interest while, at the same time, keeping the required curriculum at the forefront. She has taught piano of different genres including, classical, jazz, blues and pop/Broadway, as well as music history, harmony, and voice. She provides a well-balanced learning experience that focuses on building strong technical background and flourishing self-expression. Her students are consistently prepared to graduate with 1st Class Honours and Honours with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music, from the early beginners to the Associates of the RCM (ARCT).

Mrs. Marfise was happy to answer a few questions for our students and parents:

1. What do you like most about teaching? Teaching is exploring the true inner values of the student, as well as sharing in valuable times together learning through a window of colour and being inspired. It's a wonderful and exciting experience as an instructor to help the student set long and short-term goals, while flourishing in areas of creativity, critical thinking and self-discovery. I enjoy helping students to learn and understand their most complex of tasks by communicating very clearly on the different ways of learning and believe we all learn from different angles according to ones personality. When we share and observe growth expansion together, my students experience excellence and joy in class, thus driving a more upward spiral that won't quit.

2. How do you inspire students to practice more? As a role model and instructor, it's valuable to develop a great relationship with my students. This naturally puts them in a position in wanting to please such as a more desired feeling about practicing. A very important point I will say here is, teach the student how to practice. I go through teaching a piece the same way that I would expect them to practice. Duplication of the minds. It's quite specific with each and every student. Offer to them a piece to practise ..of choice.. as long as all other materials are practiced as expected. I truly believe in the reward system, as it's human nature to feel you are the best and on top of things. I offer the point system and stickers, which initiates the student to excel in practice time and build solid habits. Another motive that I truly find challenges the student are practice logs, given to them either on a weekly or monthly basis. This is an inspiration in keeping track of their progress, plus it's brought to class each week, usually with confidence. A reward is in place. Music students have great imaginations, so why not put it to good use by preparing there own little composition or write a musical story each week. More pats on the back!

3. What roles does performance play in student’s development? When the student performs, it's a great opportunity for them to be noticed by as many people as possible. After all, we have studied our pieces so much and are so proud of our accomplishments and limitations. This is an opportunity to be appreciated by friends and family. Given to their success, confidence now leads the way from that final applause.

4. Who are your favourite composers? J.S. Bach, J. Brahms, Christopher Norton, Claude Debussy and Elton John. Each composer is quite different and lends itself to interesting colours and depths of listening, playing and learning.

5. What was the last piece of music (sheet music or a recording) you purchased for yourself? It is called "Jeux d'eau" (Water Games), by Maurice Ravel, known as "Fountains", describing a scene of water games. It was introduced in the mid 16th c. It was composed in the form of a joke, as the Italian water garden jets would turn on suddenly. By playing this composition, it hinges onto this surf of water using colourful chords, arpeggios and cadenzi on the very high notes. I love the sound and the feeling of water moving, through the progressing trail of harmonic passages.




Description: Macintosh HD:Users:Kristian:Desktop:Caleb Yang.jpgWhat instrument do you play? – I play the clarinet – I love its ability to express my emotions. 

How long have you taken lessons? – I have been playing the clarinet for nearly three years.

Who are your favourite musical artists? – My favorite musician currently is Lin Manuel Miranda - an American musician who composes and preforms on Broadway.

What are your other hobbies, besides music? - Besides music, one of my favorite pastimes is playing badminton. It is a thrilling sport, which requires a great amount of skill. 

Favourite food? – My favorite food is pizza.
What is the coolest thing you’ve learnt in your lessons in the past three months? - The coolest thing I've learnt in the past three months was probably my current piece. It is filled with expressive melodies and has a very difficult key signature.
Do you have any performance coming up? – Not yet.

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 Scientific Benefits of Music

Did you know that listening to music is good for your health? Crank up the tunes and blast those beats, because the results are in– music is good for you.

We know the healing power of music. Bad breakup? Cue “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift. Powering through a long run? Jam out to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.
Music can soothe the brokenhearted, motivate runners and kickoff the most epic dance parties, but it also has some serious scientific benefits for our health and overall wellbeing.

Listening to music has been shown to improve memory functioning, increase rate of healing, improve your workouts and more.

And now… a crazy science fact:

#1 Music Improves Memory

Patients with memory loss can often remember songs and specific song lyrics. Doctors will often use music and lyric recall to help individuals retrieve lost memories. Certain music can trigger particularly unique memories- music from a specific time period will trigger memories from that time period. Want to remember something from the past? Listen to songs you listened to during that time!

Music and its effect on memory has been a heated debate in the scientific world, but researchers now have evidence that the processing of music and language, specifically memorizing information, rely on some of the same brain systems.

Researchers have also uncovered evidence that suggests the music we heard as teenagers has a greater emotional bind to our brain than anything we’ll listen to as adults. This idea of musical nostalgia is a fun exercise for anyone, but is most impactful for people suffering from memory loss, including those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Here’s a story about the transformative power of music from one man whose father has Alzheimer’s:

“As a family, we didn’t know what to do when our father was diagnosed with this Alzheimer’s disease. We have been through so many stages and now he seems to just be deteriorating to nothing. However, the music seems to have brought back some of his brain to him!”

Music and musical training have also been shown to protect the aging brain and keep it healthy.

University of Kansas Medical Center researchers conducted an experiment where they divided 70 healthy adults, ages 60 to 83, into three groups based on their amount of musical experience: no musical training, one to nine years of music lessons and at least 10 years of musical study.

The participants, who had similar fitness and education levels and were free of Alzheimer’s disease, were given several cognitive tests: 

  1. Those with the greatest amount of musical experience did best on these tests of mental acuity, followed by those with less musical study followed by those who never took music lessons.
  2.  Compared to non-musicians, the individuals with a high degree of musical experience had much higher scores on the cognitive tests, including those related to visual and spacial memory, naming objects and the brain’s ability to adapt to new information

The really cool part? The benefits of musical study and training were still apparent even in participants who no longer played an instrument.

Bottom Line: You can now tell your mom that those hours of trombone practice for high school band were totally worth it.

#2 Music Improves Workouts

StairMaster got you down? Feeling sluggish on the treadmill?
Grab your earbuds and get jammin’!

Not only can music distract you from “bodily awareness” aka the aches and pains of working out, it has a health effect too.

Listening to music releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins give us a heightened feeling of excitement. In addition to feeling euphoric, endorphins quell anxiety, ease pain and stabilize the immune system. With high endorphin levels, we have fewer negative effects of stress.

Turning up your tunes can also up the effort you exert during exercise. In one study, researchers found that cyclists worked harder and biked a further distance when listening to faster music as compared to music with a slower tempo. When the tempo slowed, so did their pedaling and their entire effect. Their heart rates fell and their mileage dropped. They reported that they didn’t like the music much. On the other hand, when the tempo of the songs was upped 10 percent, the men covered more miles in the same period of time, produced more power with each pedal stroke and increased their pedal cadences.

For pace-based exercises like running or weight-lifting, music can help regulate rhythm and signal to the the brain when the body should move. This signal helps us to use our energy more efficiently, so we’re not exhausting ourselves too soon.

Got the groove? In scientific terms, groove is often described as a musical quality that can induce movement in a listener. Basically, you can’t stop yourself from moving! The next time you hit the gym, channel your inner diva and get groovin’!

Bottom Line: Make a playlist just for the gym or for working out. Need some ideas? Check out this list of the 100 best workout songs from FITNESS.

#3 Music Helps You Heal

A study from Austria’s General Hospital of Salzburg found that patients recovering from back surgery had increased rates of healing and reported less pain when music was incorporated into the standard rehabilitation process.

“Music is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being, ever since we were babies in our mother’s womb listening to her heartbeat and breathing rhythms.” – Lead clinical psychologist of Austria General, Franz Wendtner.

Music connects with the automatic nervous system (brain function, blood pressure and heartbeat) and the limbic system (feelings and emotions).

When slow music is played, the bodily reaction follows suit– the heart blow slows down and blood pressure drops. This causes the breath to slow, which helps release tension in the neck, shoulders, stomach and back. Listening to slow or calming music on a regular basis can help our bodies relax, which over time, means less pain and faster recovery time.

Finnish researchers conducted a similar study, but with stroke patients. They found that if stroke patients listened to music for a couple of hours a day, their verbal memory and focused attention recovered better and they had a more positive mood than patients who did not listen to anything or who listened to audio books.

These findings have led to a clinical recommendation for stroke patients: everyday music listening during early stroke recovery offers a valuable addition to the patients’ care by providing an “individually targeted, easy-to-conduct and inexpensive means to facilitate cognitive and emotional recovery,” says Teppo Särkämö, author of the study.

With brain-imaging techniques, such as functional MRIs, music is increasingly being used in therapy for brain-related injuries and diseases. Brain scans have proven that music and motor control share circuits, so music can improve movement for those with Parkinson’s disease and for individuals recovering from a stroke. Neurologic music therapy should become part of rehabilitative care, according to this group of doctors. They believe that future findings may well indicate that music should be included on the list of therapies and rehabilitation for many disorders.

Bottom Line: Adding music to a standard rehabilitative process helps patients heal.

#4 Music Reduces Stress and Eases Anxiety

Music has a unique link to our emotions, and research has found that it can be used as an extremely effective stress management tool.

Just like listening to slow music to calm the body, music can also have a relaxing effect on the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Since music is so widely available and inexpensive, it’s an easy stress reduction option.

So, what type of music reduces stress best? Here’s what we found:

  1. Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums and flutes
  2. sounds of rain, thunder and nature sounds
  3. light jazz, classical and easy listening music

You must be the ultimate judge, however, of “relaxing music.” If Mozart isn’t quite doing it for you, explore other options that help you naturally relax.

HelpGuide.org, a nonprofit mental health and well-being organization encourages individuals to practice a healthy sonic diet. They suggest that “when choosing locations to eat, hold business meetings, or visit with friends, be conscious of the sound environment, including the noise level and type of music that is played. Loud noisy environments, as much as we try to ignore them, can contribute to unconscious stress and tension build-up without us even knowing it.”

Just like junk food increases stress in our system, a poor sonic or listening diet can do the same. Choose quieter environments and settings to prime your body to relax and recharge.

Making music can also release tension and relieve stress. Dana Marlowe, a technology accessibility consultant, gets relief from her daily work challenges in her toddler’s playroom:
“I just jam out with his toys — the xylophone, the baby piano. I almost have ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ down.”

Research has shown that casual music-making can short-circuit the stress response system and keep it from recurring or becoming chronic. WebMD tells us that “stress starts in the brain and then kicks off a chain reaction that switches on the stress response in every cell of our bodies. Over time, these cellular switches can get stuck in the ‘on’ position, leading to feelings of burnout, anger, or depression as well as a host of physical ailments.”

Bottom line: Both listening to and making music can alleviate mild and chronic stress.

#5 Music Improves Sleep Quality

Insomnia and other sleep deprivation issues can wreck havoc on our lives. What if music could help?

According to one study conducted by Harmat, Takács and Bódizs, 94 students (ages 19 to 28) with sleep complaints were brought into the lab. Participants were split into 3 groups. The first group listened to classical music at bedtime for 45 minutes for 3 weeks. The second group listened to an audiobook at bedtime for 45 minutes for 3 weeks. The control group received no intervention.

Sleep quality and depressive symptoms were measured using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and the Beck Depression Inventory respectively. The results?

The participants who listened to music showed statistically significant improvements in sleep quality and a decrease in depressive symptoms. There were no statistically significant results found for the audiobook or control group.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes claim that “an estimated 40 million Americans annually live with chronic sleep disorders, while 20 million more have trouble sleeping from time to time.”

In one meta-analysis of 10 randomized studies, researchers tracked 557 participants with chronic sleep disorders. They found that sleep quality was improved significantly with music and concluded that “music can assist in improving sleep quality of patients with acute and chronic sleep disorders.”

Get even more tips on a good night’s rest in our article The Science of Better Sleep.

Bottom Line: Sleep better, longer and with fewer disturbances by listening to music at bedtime.

The next time you crank up the music in an impromptu dance party, remember all of the health benefits too. Music has been proven to help our bodies heal, improve memory, alleviate stress and more. And that is most certainly, music to my ears.



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 November 15, 2017 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