CMC Notes – November 2023

november autumn photo

CMC Notes Newsletter - November 2023

In this issue

1. Important Upcoming Dates

2. Winter Recitals – Information

3. Winter Recitals – Schedule

4. Winter Recitals – FAQs

5. RCM Exams

6. Teachers Upcoming Gigs & Releases!

7. Featured Student

8. Featured Teacher

9. Give the Gift of Music!

10. Birthdays this Month

Important Upcoming Dates

Friday, November 3: Winter recital sign up forms will be emailed out!


Tuesday, November 7: Deadline for RCM exam registration for Dec/Jan session – see more details in the “RCM Exams” section!


  • Written Theory Examination Dates: December 8 & 9, 2023
  • In-Person Practical Examination Dates: January 15-27, 2024

See below for winter recital dates!


Click HERE for our private lesson 2023-2024 CMC School Year Calendar

Winter Recitals - Information

CMC hosts 2 days of winter recitals for our private lesson students. We encourage all our students to perform, but participation is optional! We want this to be a positive experience for our students with a supportive, low-pressure atmosphere.


Our recital sign up form will be emailed out on Friday, November 3rd.



  • It’s an opportunity to perform for an audience in a supportive environment
  • Develop a musical goal to work toward and achieve!
  • Show your friends and family what you have learned so far!


For our ONLINE recital strings, voice and wind students, if piano accompaniment is required, you will need to use a track.


For our IN-PERSON recital strings, voice and wind students, CMC pays for a piano accompanist to be at our recitals, but if you would like rehearsal time beforehand (which we highly recommend), you are responsible to pay for a minimum increment of 15 minutes of rehearsal time. Unsure if you or your child will need piano accompaniment? Speak with their teacher who will be happy to discuss with you!


Winter Recitals - Schedule


ONLINE via Zoom

10am: all instruments & voice for any teacher


IN-PERSON at Array Space

1pm: piano recital (students of Alida & Josh)

2pm: piano recital (students of Cheng-Feng, Chris & Erik)

3pm: piano recital (students of Neal & Michele)

4pm: piano recital (students of Luan & Mark)

5pm: piano recital (students of Hiro, James & Iris)

6pm: piano recital (students of Louise)



IN-PERSON at Array Space

10am: cello recital (students of all cello teachers)

12pm: violin/viola recital (students of all violin & viola teachers)

1pm: violin/viola recital (students of all violin & viola teachers)

2pm: voice/winds recital (students of all voice & winds teachers)

3pm: adult recital (all instruments & voice for students 18+)

4pm: guitar/drum recital (students of all guitar & drum teachers)

5pm: guitar/ukulele/bass recital (students of all guitar & ukulele & bass teachers)


NOTE: Students taking more than one less, or siblings, can sign up for the same time slot. All non-piano instruments must be on December 10th (for example, if one sibling takes piano and one takes guitar, please sign them both up for a guitar recital, since there will only be a piano set up on Dec. 3rd, with no mics or amps… etc, and no guitar teacher to tune your instrument)!


Any questions? Please email Wanda at [email protected]


Winter Recitals - FAQs

Q: When is the recital sign up?

A: Our families will be emailed a recital sign up form on November 3rd to complete.


Q: Can my child sign up for one recital time slot even though they take 2 instruments?

A: YES – we accommodate our students so that it’s convenient for you! Similarly, siblings can sign up for the same time slot. Please sign up for the non-piano time slot if applicable.


Q: My child’s pieces are short since they’re a beginner – can they perform 2 pieces?

A: NO – sorry! We limit it to one piece per student regardless of the length of the piece, to make it fair across the board. We simply don’t have time for all of our students to perform 2 pieces, so we need to enforce the 1 piece per instrument, otherwise our recitals would be endless. Thank you for your understanding.


Q: My child takes / I take online lessons. Can they / I sign up to perform at the in-person recital?

A: YES. For online piano students, please email [email protected] and she can let you know the available time slots.


Q: My child takes / I take in-person lessons. Can they / I sign up to perform at the online recital?

A: YES. 


Q: Will there be a recital programme?

A: YES – to be more environmentally friendly, we will have a digital programme with a QR code to scan to see the programme on your mobile device. We will have a limited number of printed programmes for those who need one. The PDF of the programme will also be emailed the day prior to the recitals.


Q: How much does the recital cost?

A: Our recitals are FREE!!!


RCM Exams

The deadline for RCM exam registration for Dec/Jan session is Tuesday, November 7.


The written theory examinations will take place on December 8 & 9, 2023.

The in-person practical examinations will take place January 15-27, 2024.


Click HERE for more info about RCM examinations!

Teachers Upcoming Gigs & Releases!


CMC teacher Chris is featured on his wife Tara Kannangara’s new release, “Name Song” – click HERE to check it out! Click HERE for the music video!



Featured Students!

Sinan (Piano) & Amaya (Piano)

1. How old were you when you first started music lessons?

Amaya: 5yrs

Sinan: 7yrs


2. Why did you choose your instrument?

Amaya, Sinan: our parents chose piano.


3. Do you have a favourite piece to play?

Amaya: Every piece is fun. I like Dream Journey because it’s sad and unpredictable.

Sinan: Family Guy Theme Song.


4. What do you like most about your teacher?

Amaya: very friendly and is very passionate about music. He understands me and doesn’t treat me like a child.

Sinan: Marks has a way of exposing things clearly. He’s very relaxed and personable.easy to connect with.


5. Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Amaya: any music that has meaning (good lyrics) and that is peaceful and calm.

Sinan: Movie and TV sound tracks. I also really enjoy “rap” music.

6. If you could play any other instrument, what would it be?

Amaya: saxophone (because Lisa Simpson plays it).

Sinan: trumpet.


7. What do you like most about CMC?

Amaya and Sinan: a great sense of community, everyone is nice, great environment and an old homely-home that is so welcoming and full of charm.


8. What else do you do in your spare time?

Amaya: art, spend time with my cats “Q” and “Shanks”.

Sinan: playing soccer and hanging out with my friends.


9. Anything else you would like to add?

Amaya, Sinan: we both like music as it adds so much to our everyday life. From helping us to relax to motivating us in sports/gym.

If you are interested in being featured in our CMC Notes, please email us at [email protected]!

Featured Teacher!

featured teacher november 2023

James Griffith (Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Piano)

1. How old were you when you first started music?

I was 4 years old when I first started music! I was fortunate enough to start taking music lessons through Music For Young Children at the time.


2. Why did you want to make music your career?

All throughout my life, music has been such an important and ever-present part of my being, whether it be through performance, composing, practice or listening. I also feel very grateful to music, as it has taught me many lessons within creativity, discipline and interconnection. I also enjoyed and had interests within engineering and architecture when I was younger, but despite that I couldn’t imagine my life without music as a large focus. So, I decided to move to Toronto from Lloydminster, Alberta to pursue music and have been happy with that decision ever since!


3. Which groups are you currently playing with, if any?

I lead my own group under my own name (James Griffith Quartet), where we play my original compositions among other songs in a contemporary jazz aesthetic. I also feel fortunate to play as a side person with many other wonderful musicians in the GTA, including fellow CMC woodwinds teacher Jacob Chung, Andrew Marzotto, Kaelin Murphy, Jackson Haynes and more.


4. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

The things that I enjoy most about teaching are connecting with students and getting to witness their ‘eureka’ moments! For me, nothing is more satisfying than watching something finally ‘click’ for students and watching them continue to grow as musicians and humans. And to have the privilege to be part of that process – for that I am very grateful 🙂


5. Some students have challenges with consistent practicing. What advice would you give them?

Often the part of practicing that people most struggle with is the start! The advice that I would offer to students is this – at the beginning of each day, allot a start time in the day that you would like to practice at. Then, once this time comes by, gather the will-power to sit down and begin practicing for at least 5-10 minutes! Once this time passes, I have found that students feel that they get into the flow of practicing, and it doesn’t feel as much of a chore to practice further into the 30 minute to an hour range.


6. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Aside from the usual musical things (practice, composing, jamming, etc), I enjoy spending time with friends, exercising and spending time outdoors! Recently I’ve also been getting a bit back into visual art and design, and want to continue that trend by getting back into mechanical computer-aided design!


7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have been wanting to explore Europe for the longest time! I would love to travel to Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and other cities within the EU, as they are all rich in culture and arts and are home to many architectural and natural wonders. Japan is also another bucket-list spot for me, for a lot of the same reasons as the other places on my list!


8. Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to CMC for this feature opportunity! If you’re interested in my music or upcoming performances, please check out my Instagram: @jamesmingriffith

If you are interested in being featured in our CMC Notes, please email us at [email protected]!

Give the Gift of Music!

gift of music

Give the gift of music this holiday season by sending your loved ones a CMC egift card! 


A CMC egift card can go towards music books or music lessons and makes a great birthday or holiday gift! 


Click HERE to purchase a CMC egift card.

Birthdays this Month!

Happy Birthday

November 2: Isobel v.-L.
November 3: Max N.-S.
November 4: Mae S.
November 4: Evalyna T.
November 6: Dylan J.
November 10: Julius K.
November 11: Cooper C.
November 11: Duncan S.
November 12: Jacqueline T.
November 12: Connor A.
November 15: Charlotte M.-J.
November 16: Yahya J.
November 18: Eloise M.
November 19: Nina L.
November 21: Carmel A.K.
November 23: Ty B.
November 25: Justin W.
November 25: Marlowe S.
November 26: Henry D.
November 27: Wanda B.
November 27: Allegra O.
November 28: Ruby M.

©2023 Music Lessons Toronto, In-Person at our school or online Lessons Toronto, Music School Toronto, ON, Canada | 314 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto, ON M6R 2M7, CA

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