MUSIC PROGRAMS

 

THE SUZUKI PROGRAM

Scroll down to learn more and/or register for the Suzuki Program, including Suzuki Early Childhood Music Classes, Enrichment Options & Special Events.  Class Descriptions  •   Suzuki Faculty  •  FAQ

The MNjcc Suzuki Program (formerly the Bloor JCC Suzuki Program) was started in 1992 by May Ing-Ruehle and Louise Hanly. Gretchen Paxson-Abberger has been the artistic director of 90 plus students since 1999. For the past 11 years, we have also offered a 5-day summer music and arts day camp in July, with a roster of well-known guest artists, and our talented MNjcc Suzuki teachers.

Our students range in age from 3.5 to 18 years. Each student moves through the book levels at their own speed. During the pandemic, our program will offer a slightly altered roster of classes and enrichment offerings, tailored for virtual learning.

All MNjcc Suzuki Program students will receive:

  • A friendly music community with a supportive atmosphere;

  • Weekly violin and cello group classes;

  • Weekly private lessons (scheduled directly with the teacher);

  • Choice of one/two enrichment classes per term (please refer to our class descriptions document);

  • Chamber Music Ensembles (for advanced Book 5 students);

  • Guest ensemble or performer to work with students and families;

  • Performances scheduled during each term (solo recitals, graduation recitals);

  • Community Outreach Performances (holiday celebrations, fundraising events, etc.)

Pre-requisites:

  • Think about whether or not your child is ready to start an instrument. Be aware of the time commitment for you, the parent as a “home teacher,” and practice time helper. If you are not sure your child is quite ready and may not yet have the focus required to learn an instrument, you may wish to consider registering for our Suzuki Early Childhood Music classes for ages infant – 4 years.

  • Attend one of our two Zoom Parent Info Evenings for new families: Next Date Available: TBD

  • Choose violin, viola or cello. If you aren't sure which instrument your child is interested in, you may find out during the observation process.

  • Read Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki.

  • Start listening to the Volume I Suzuki CD of the pieces your child will be learning.

 

You are required to come with and observe your child for at least one group lesson, and two private lessons. Observations help you and the teacher know whether your child is ready to start lessons. Observations also help parents begin to understand their role as a “home teacher.” For teachers’ private lesson schedules and group lesson schedules, please contact Gretchen Paxson-Abberger | Artistic Director, MNjcc Suzuki Program

 

CHOIRS

Click the button below to learn more and/or register for the Virtual Daytime Choir with Asher Farber, the Virtual Specialty Choir with Alex Fiddes, Virtual Community Choir Video Program with Briony Glassco and the Summer Vocal Workshop. If no programs are displayed when clicked, it simply means we are not offering anything at the present time. Stay updated by subscribing to Culture at the J

INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES (ADULTS)

 

Click below to learn more and/or register for all ensembles including Adult Mixed String Group Class, and more!*   If no programs are displayed when clicked, it simply means we are not offering anything at the present time. Stay updated by subscribing to Culture at the J

*not all ensemble programs will be available every session

 

CONCERTS & MUSIC EVENTS

If no programs are displayed below, it simply means we are not offering anything at the present time.  Stay updated by subscribing to Culture at the J

 

MUSIC LECTURES & DISCUSSIONS

The Miles Nadal JCC offers the highest quality affordable arts programming for adults and seniors. Our lecture series and special events feature some of the best guest speakers and performers Toronto has to offer, all in an intimate and welcoming setting. We invite you to experience moments of discovery and connect with our community. For more information please contact lisar@mnjcc.org.  If no programs are displayed below, it simply means we are not offering anything at the present time.  Stay updated by subscribing to Culture at the J

Broadway’s Legendary Jewish Composers

The majority of Broadway’s classic musicals were created by Jewish-American songwriters, who often drew their inspiration from Yiddish music and theatre. They created entertaining songs that not only paralleled their immigrant family experiences, but also became an integral part of the cultural zeitgeist. Learn about many of the brilliant songs of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Jerry Herman, Kander & Ebb, and Stephen Schwartz, and their musical theatre legacies. Guest speaker: pianist/musicologist Jordan Klapman

 

SHEET MUSIC & .MP3 FILES FOR PARTICIPANTS

If you are a current choir member who wishes to access your sheet music and/or audio files, you must create an account or log in to your account below.  New music will be posted as available. If you are already signed into your account, simply visit our choir music page

Adult Mixed String Group Class

This 10-week class is designed for adults age 23+ years and will be taught virtually for the spring session. During each hourlong session, players will explore intermediate string playing techniques using ideas/concepts taught in Suzuki group class settings. Demonstrations, assignments and exercises will use compatible repertoire for cello, viola, and violin, sometimes referring to the Suzuki repertoire books, and/or RCM repertoire (grade 2 level and beyond), and as well, using other musical and technical ideas that are interchangeable for violin, viola and cello.

Please donate to our Music Scholarship and Innovation Fund and help ensure that music programming remains affordable to all who want to learn!

Amongst other things, the Music Scholarship and Innovation Fund supports special programs such as our youth Klezmer project; subsidizes music students; supplements funds for choir projects; assists with costs for running the virtual Suzuki Early Childhood Music Classes, and supplements guest artists’ fees for the Adult Daytime Culture and Education Programming at the MNjcc. We are deeply grateful to our community for your support. Every gift makes an impact! To apply for a music scholarship, contact Wendy Moss at (416) 924-6211 x231; wendym@mnjcc.org

MNjcc Community Choir History 

 

The MNjcc Community Choir is a group of passionate, diverse singers who come together as a strong community and find fulfilment through their shared joy of creating music.   

 

The Community Choir was established in 1997 by Director Emeritus and the current Executive Director of the MNjcc, Harriet Wichin. An earlier Community Choir had existed in the 1970s, and the idea of starting anew was enthusiastically supported by then-Program Director Florence Marantz and Executive Director, Bill Emery (both of blessed memory). Under Harriet’s direction for over 20 years, the choir performed popular, annual performances at a variety of venues and events including The Sing! Festival, Princess Margaret Hospital, Annex Family Festival, Trinity St. Paul’s Jeanne Lamon Hall, and at the Toronto United Way Launch. Additionally, a CD was recorded, a chamber choir was formed, and special guest conductors and composers, including Micah Barnes, Alvaro Lozano Gutierrez, and Aaron Jensen, were invited to lead select rehearsals.  The Community Choir spawned a broader choral department, including a Women’s Chorus, Specialty Choirs, the Daytime Choir, a Summer Institute for Creative Adults, vocal lessons and more. Generous donors from within the choir created the now Music Scholarship and Innovation Fund, in partnership with the MNjcc Suzuki School. 

 

Within the larger MNjcc community, Harriet nurtured a choir that is its own warm community of enthusiastic adults who enjoy singing, rehearsing, and performing a diverse range of choral repertoire. It is an auditioned choir that rehearses on Wednesday evenings. These rehearsals culminated in public performances in the spring at the Al Green Theatre. There are also casual, intimate performance opportunities provided through cabaret events held once or twice throughout the year for family and friends.  

 

The Community Choir has transformed considerably in the last few years. In 2017, Harriet passed the leadership of the Community Choir to Dr. Mark Ramsay, with Briony Glassco continuing as assistant choir director. By 2019, the choir had 85 singers, some of whom were founding members!  Through this remarkable choral leadership, the choir’s skills in tone, phrasing and overall musicality increased to match their enthusiasm and eclectic repertoire. The professionalism of all aspects of the choral program was solidified when Gretchen Paxson Abberger expanded her portfolio to oversee the entire Music Department, including the Suzuki Strings Program and Adult Ensembles. In March 2020, Dr. Mark Ramsay left the choir to take a new position as the Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Choral Activities at Western University. Briony Glassco assumed leadership of the choir to direct six virtual choir projects beginning In the summer of 2020 through the spring of 2021. These projects resulted in the creation of a series of uplifting choir videos.  

 

The MNjcc is currently seeking a new Community Choir Director beginning fall 2021.