During these extraordinary times, music teachers in particular have had to find new ways to teach, as singing and the playing of wind instruments have been prohibited due to the potential spread of Covid-19. On this page Toronto Downtown Jazz celebrates the efforts of music teachers to make the best of a difficult situation, and continue to instill in their students a love of music. Read on for some of the creative solutions teachers have devised to keep their students engaged. Thank you music teachers, for everything you do!
Would you like to recommend a teacher for this page? Contact Artistic Director Josh Grossman via our contact form.
Jamming with the Pros
The brainchild of Dan Austin, Band Director and Instrumental Music Teacher at GCVI (Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute), “Jamming With The Pros” is a new youth jazz education project through which students have the opportunity to videotape themselves playing/singing along with a recording of an incredible cross-Canada rhythm section: Amanda Tosoff (piano), Mike Rud (guitar), Dan McCarthy (vibes), Jodi Proznick (bass) and Ernesto Cervini (drums). Once the students have completed their video, they can submit it and have themselves edited into the final product, giving them a “once in a lifetime” memento: a video of themselves playing along with this top level group of professional jazz musicians.
Music Arts Collective
Calling themselves an assembly of kindred spirits dedicated to enhancing the well-being of people through engagement in the arts, with music at its heart, Music Arts Collective is led in part by two JUNO-nominated jazz musicians, composers and educators: Toronto pianist Amanda Tosoff and Vancouver bassist Jodi Proznick. Harnessing the reach of the internet and the accessibility of digital platforms, Music Arts explores opportunities to keep art and music going at all times, and to share the knowledge and discoveries we and our collaborators have gathered through our established artistic careers. Through a mix of paid and free admission sessions, they seek to enhance the knowledge of anyone interested - teacher, students, and arts lovers in general.
Having successfully transitioned to an online teaching environment, they want to share their discoveries on how to deliver virtual music classes using helpful apps and simple equipment. In a session called "Creating Great Online Music Sessions" (free and available online until December 2020), Jodi and Amanda offer tips on how to encourage interaction and a sense of community within the group in an online environment, exploring helpful apps (including GoodNotes, iRealPro, Keynote/Powerpoint and Wacom), technical requirements (such as interfaces, microphones, keyboards and camera) and platforms (Zoom). Get more information and attend the session on their website.