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Year XXII, No. 3 (March 2018)



Haylie S. (piano)
Jaemie M. (guitar)
Bryan Z. (viola)
Bijo S. (violin)
Sophie S. (piano)
Howard S. (piano)
Zack Z. (piano)
Laura C. (piano, voice)
Christine A. (piano)
Annabelle A. (piano)
Eleni A. (piano)
Brandon Y. (piano)
Maksym B. (piano)
Hermes C. (piano)
Louis C. (piano)
Terry A. (guitar)
Elizabeth S. (violin)
Valentina C. (piano)
Sabatino C. (guitar)
Dematagoda D. (piano)



Dilan B., Henry Z., Rohan K., Ani B., Czarina G., Bijo S., Alexander W., Max Y., Savannah D., Daria P., Laura C., Deven C., Patrick H., Micah M., Manvir P.




Mar 8: Happy International Women’s Day
Mar 10-18: March Break. School is open.
Mar 19-April 1: IMA Spring Contest
Mar 19-April 21: Peel music festival
Mar 30: Flato Markham Theatre. Kindred Spirits Orchestra. Tchaikovsky and Liszt.
March 30: Good Friday. School is open.
March 30-April 7. Passover. School is open.

Over the past year to mark the centenary of women’s right to vote in Canada, the Coalition has been gathering stories and playlists, to compile a catalogue of Canadian female musicians and artists.  We are thrilled to announce our new learning and teaching module for middle and high school years titled: Finding Your Voice. This incredible resource created by remarkable music educators Allison Kenny-Gardhouse and Catherine West, showcases the importance of women’s artistry and its powerful contribution to the social justice movement.

The resource involves four modular units; Bread and Roses, Music Industry Trailblazers, Finding a Voice, and In Our Own Voices. Each unit includes teaching objectives and a lesson overview, a compilation catalogue on female Canadian musicians and artists, links to audio and visual materials, activity templates, and an additional resources guide. While this resource is recommended for middle and high school years, it may be adapted for students in other grade levels.

This is fantastic opportunity to honour our Canadian heritage by celebrating the importance of female musicians and artists who have paved the way for us all in Canada. Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate these trailblazing women past and present, and their remarkable efforts, achievements, and powerful dedication to music.

Discover this resource for FREE on musicmakesus.ca

Happy International Women’s Day!






The magazine WS On The Road has published an article about IMA – Stouffville. View front page and full page 12 at http://www.townofws.ca/en/explore/resources/Documents/OTR/OnTheRoad_Feb18_Webedition.pdf



Description: http://www.tomleemusic.ca/learningcentre/images/rcm_logo.jpgThe Royal Conservatory of Music January session examination results have been announced. Congratulations to the IMA students achieving considerably higher than the Provincial average marks, with distinction.


Subject, Grade



Theesik Aravinthan

Level 2 Piano


Ms. S. Marfise

April J Wei

Level 9 Piano


Ms. S. Marfise

Jenny Wang

Level 1 Piano


Ms. S. Marfise

Thivya Jeyapalan

Level 7 Piano


Ms. A. deWolfe

Edwin Dong

Level 3 Piano


Ms. S. Marfise

Alex Reyes

Level 8 Theory


Ms. A. deWolfe

Jonathan Wong

Level 6 Theory


Ms. S. Marfise

Nancy Peter

Level 8 Theory


Ms. A. deWolfe

Renee White

Level 7 Theory


Ms. A. deWolfe

Carter Kawabata

Level 8 Theory


Ms. L. Imastounian



This year there were over 1,000 young musicians performing at the GTA Kiwanis Music Festival. Competitive as ever, the Festival was a great opportunity for our students to receive feedback on their studies from internationally renowned artists.

Three of the International Music Academy (Markham) students have received the highest recognition and has been awarded First Place in the following categories:

Aaron Cheng – Clarinet (RCM Grade 8)
Patrick Hu – Clarinet (RCM Grade 7)
Jeffrey Su – Clarinet (RCM Grade 4)

Patrick and Aaron have also been selected to compete at the Ontario Provincial Finals in June. Congratulations to them all and many thanks to their teacher Mr. Leonid Sprikut for his continued dedication.



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, March 24.  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.



1/03/1810               Chopin was born
2/03/1824               Smetana was born
4/03/1678               Vivaldi was born
5/03/1953               Prokofiev died
7/03/1875               Ravel was born
8/03/1869               Berlioz died
16/03/1736            Pergolesi died
18/03/1844            Rimsky‐Korsakov was born
21/03/1685            JS Bach was born
21/03/1839            Mussorgsky was born
25/03/1881            Bartok was born
25/03/1918            Debussy died
26/03/1827            Beethoven died
28/03/1881            Mussorgsky died
28/03/1943            Rachmaninoff died
31/03/1732            Haydn was born

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.




Guitar Studies and Composition, Music Theory

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:Kristian:Documents:IMA:IMA Stouffville:Photos:Faculty:Michael Lukaszuk.jpgMichael Lukaszuk is a multifaceted musician with interests spanning composition, guitar performance and music technology. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. He studied guitar in Toronto with Eli Kassner and at the University of Western Ontario with Wilma Van Berkel. As a guitarist he participated in master classes with internationally renowned artists such as Graham Devine and Patrick Roux. As a composer, his interests lie in the use of computers in music, and extending the classical guitar literature. His music has been performed at international festivals and conferences across Canada and the United States, and in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and China. Michael has served on faculty at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).

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

1. What do you like most about teaching? What I like more about teaching is that it helps me become more open-minded about music. Students come from many different backgrounds and they have different tastes and values. I feel that there are many shared fundamentals of technique and musicianship, regardless of style, but at the same time I also believe that as a teacher you need to be able to relate to a student and try to reach them according to their own experiences with music. Once you start to build bridges, you’re in a better position to guide their development. 

2. How do you inspire students to practice more? I feel that making students aware of their own progress is the best inspiration to keep practicing and to practice more.  The more things improve, the more options you have for learning all sorts of music and finding out what you really enjoy and which styles, genres and composers really resonate with you. Being able to play an entire piece from memory for the first time, and realizing that things that were once a challenge now seem easy – these kinds of milestones are going to compel a young musician to keep moving forward. Yes, you definitely need to take time to correct certain technical problems and to take a critical look at how to interpret a piece of music. But it’s also important to take time to celebrate achievements and to help students think about where new abilities are going to lead them as they continue to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the music.

3. What roles does performance play in student’s development? I feel that performance offers a student the chance to take all of the ideas and approaches that have been floating around in lessons and in the practice room at home, and find out what’s working and what isn’t. It provides an opportunity for students to interact with friends, parents and other music lovers. Performing in concerts together also allows fellow musicians to appreciate each other. Playing for others comes with many emotions – it is often exciting and rewarding, but there are also going to be moments when it feels daunting. I feel that performance teaches a student a lot about the realities of being a musician. There are going to be mistakes – even the top players aren’t bulletproof, but playing for people allows you to say something that you otherwise might have never said. I think that’s is helpful not just for music but also in many aspects of life.

4. Who are your favourite composers? I love Bach (J.S. Bach to be clear, although I don’t mind C.P.E. Bach so much…). It’s really some of the most impressive and inventive music that guitarists get to play. Another favourite is Henryk Górecki. He is known for a commercially successful symphony recording (Symphony No. 3 “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”), but his choral music and string quartets are also really wonderful. He passed away not too long ago. I am also a fan of the Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi. He is best known for scoring some fantastic animated films by Hayao Miyazaki such as “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”.

5. What was the last piece of music (sheet music or a recording) you purchased for yourself? The last piece of music I purchased was an arrangement of “Here Comes the Sun”, by The Beatles. It’s a really fun song to play, and also great for teaching guitar as it uses the instrument in all sorts of ways, combining aspects of lead and rhythm guitar.   



Angelique Erry

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:Kristian:Desktop:Jessica Wang.jpg What instrument do you play? –  I have been playing the Alto Saxophone and also I take vocal lessons.

How long have you taken lessons? – I started taking lessons 5 years ago at the International Music Academy.

Who are your favourite musical artists? – My favourite artists are Ed Sheeran and Selena Gomez.

What are your other hobbies, besides music? – I love snowboarding and playing volleyball.

Favourite food? – My favourite food is poutine and sushi!

What is the coolest thing you’ve learnt in your lessons in the past three months? I have learnt a song in French

Do you have any performance coming up? – I don't have any major performance coming up, but I just finished my school performance for Anne of Green Gables/ Anne des Pignons Verts Musical - World premiere in French. I played young Anne.

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.



9 of the biggest clichés in pop music
By Fraser McAlpine
March 2018

There's no getting away from the fact that while music is often about finding new ways to tell universal stories, some things just work. And songwriters, video makers and pop stars all know that in order to get their music to the widest possible audience, it helps to use some familiar tricks that have been proven to work in the past.

Call it inspiration, call it lineage, here are a few things that pop stars do a lot, because pop fans seem to like them a lot.

1. Calling a song Let It Go

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Some song titles crop up frequently. Crazy, for example, is listed in Wikipedia as the title of 42 different songs, from artists as wildly different as Aerosmith, Gnarls Barkley and Willie Nelson. I Believe is even more popular, being used as a title by 53 listed artists, including EMF, Bon Jovi and R.E.M.

Let It Go sits somewhere in-between at present, with some 45 notable songs being listed under that title. Def Leppard, Alexandra Burke and Keyshia Cole all have songs with that name, and there are the recent hits by James Bay and Idina Menzel, suggesting that a new wave of songs about acceptance might even oust the sturdy surety of I Believe from its lofty perch.

Ever the revolutionary in terms of pop spelling, Prince's version was entitled Letitgo.

2. Dramatic key changes

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Hallelujah is a song that is commonly believed to be difficult to improve. It was before Alexandra Burke recorded her cover version as the winner of the 2008 series of The X Factor, and it still is now. However, one trick missed by both Leonard Cohen - when painstakingly writing it - and Jeff Buckley in his celebrated 1994 cover, was the addition of a key change in the latter stages, just to pep things up a bit. Granted, it robbed the song of some of its understated sense of grace, but you can't have everything.

Modulation is an astonishingly effective trick. A song as giddy as Reach by S Club 7 may have found itself running out of steam without that last-minute sugar rush to try and maximise the excitement. And it doesn't necessarily have to take place just before the last chorus. My Generation by The Who jumps up a key four times in just three minutes, and that includes the extended fade-out where the band play like a set of house keys in a blender.

3. Mic checks

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Modern pop likes to minimise the amount of time spent between vocal noises, and one way a singer or rapper can grab the spotlight before they are due to start work is to make some kind of noise during the song's introduction. There are two common ways to do this. The first is to make a nonverbal noise - a rhythmic grunt, a laugh, or a melismatic run of vowel sounds - just to reassure everyone that the performer is at the mic and they're ready to start. The second takes that idea and adds verbal communication, so a performer might insist on their headphones being turned up, to create the illusion that this is all happening in one take. Or they might quickly say (or even sing) their own name.

Producers have also seen the wisdom of staking out this valuable stretch of sonic real estate, and will happily insert some vocal trademark or other during a song's opening beats, although few are as dogged as DJ Khaled, who rarely lets a song out of his studio without adding the shouted "ANOTHER ONE!" and "DEEJAY KHHHHHALED!" clips that are his hallmark of quality.

4. Vocal fry

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There is probably a scientific study underway that seeks to work out whether vocal fry - that croaky noise at the back of the throat that sounds a little like the scooter motor in your voice has just been switched off - has had a greater impact on the way people sing or on the way they talk.

What's undeniable is that it has become a key part of the expressive arsenal of both speech and song. Britney Spears uses it a lot, as does Justin Bieber. And while some voices just have a natural grain to them, to anyone attempting to convey such a high state of emotion it sounds as if their voice is being torn apart by raw feeling, risks awakening the lizard.

5. The emotional journey

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Life is tough, and sometimes it's helpful to hear from people who've had to weather more than the occasional storm in order to offer hope in bleak moments. Whether it's because of unsettling times or simply because of the unsettlement of the core audience at which they are aimed, pop songs that look back on an emotional journey are a hugely popular thing at the moment.

And it doesn't matter if the artist looks back with as much consideration and rueful grace as Drake does in Started from the Bottom or youthful bewilderment as Lukas Graham in 7 Years, so long as you've done a thing, it took a while, and you're emotional about how it went, it's pop music.

6. Slowmo video

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This comes up a lot, and it doesn't really seem to matter if the song is fast or slow. When filming a video, the way to add visual gravitas to a lyric, especially one that is audibly delivered with great emotional emphasis, is to film it in slow motion. Actually, you film a sped-up, Alvin and the Chipmunks version of the song (hoping that your artist doesn't giggle too much), then play it back at normal speed to get the required effect.

And what an effect! Hair moves with a sinuous, supple waft, as if seen under water; facial expressions move slower, really underlining all the feelings the song is trying to get across; and any physical gestures with the hands or shifting body posture look intentional and stately. All music genres use it because it always works: slow mo is the grace-maker.

7. Songs about songs

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Songwriters reference other songs in their own songs for lots of reasons, most often to make the person listening to the song feel an affinity with the person singing it. It's the teenaged Ed Sheeran and his mates singing Tiny Dancer in a car (Castle on the Hill), Corinne Bailey Rae paraphrasing Bob Marley (Put Your Records On), or Tom Petty citing Del Shannon on the radio as the definitive soundtrack of his wild youth (Runnin' Down a Dream). And because song lyrics are a curated reality, it's a safe bet that no hard-hitting lyric has ever been written about looking back fondly as you remember dancing around the house to Mr Blobby or Gangnam Style.

Sometimes, as is seemingly the case with Noel Gallagher, it's because the phrases and titles of his record collection exist in a kind of mental dictionary of phraseology to be pilfered at will, whether by throwing in Beatles song titles into his lyrics - "The fool on the hill, and I feel fine" in D' You Know What I Mean? - or, in the case of Morning Glory, writing about listening to a song and then playing with the title afterwards: "Another sunny afternoon / Walking to the sound of my favourite tune / Tomorrow Never Knows what it doesn't know too soon."

8. Ballad stools

Sincerity is a matter of posture, and when a pop performer has a lovelorn ballad and promises of love and devotion to deliver, the sheer weight of emotion is enough to put anyone's back out. That's why, in the crucial opening verses, they'll line up some seats for added lumbar support. Rest up, get limber and ready for the big push in the final choruses.

They've all done it - 1D, Westlife, Take That, Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC - you start on the stool, cool and composed, and you end on your feet. Classic.

9. Red cups

Solo made the first disposable plastic cup in America, and their most popular colour is red, so they've been a party staple for years. That's why artists are keen to use their product in their videos (because that's what parties look like) and also work references to them into their songs.

Miley Cyrus inserted the line, "Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere / Hands in the air like we don't care," in to her mournful party anthem We Can't Stop. And country star Toby Keith wrote an entire song about them, called Red Solo Cup, in which he sang, "A red Solo cup is cheap and disposable / And in 14 years they are decomposable / And unlike my home they are not foreclosable." Which are responsible sentiments that speak volumes to party animals the world over.



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 March 25, 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