History of Via Musica

In 2005, as Dennis Chan and his colleagues faced the closing down of the store they taught in, he decided to form his own music school, thus Via Musica was conceived. With much helps from students, parents, and friends, Via Musica started her first term of teaching at an art studio, then moved into her permanent Mississauga location in October 2006. The Richmond Hill campus was in operation in summer of 2007. Outgrowing the facility, Via Musica Mississauga was relocated to a bigger unit in the same building in December 2011.


Vision of Via Musica

Music is a journey, not a destination; thus the name Via Musica ("The path of music" in Latin.) Our vision is to travel along with the students in this musical journey; to feel, to experience, to mature, and to enjoy the music together. We value students' enjoyment of music more than the mere result from their exams. We do not believe that music education ends with certain exam, certification, or degree; but it is a lifelong learning process - starting from receiving instruction, then learning to learn by himself/herself, and to complete the cycle: giving musical instruction to others. Dennis has been inspired by many of his mentors, and it is his vision that our teachers will inspire students to fall in love with music.

But of course, academic excellence is what we aim for as well. Most of our students consistently score above the RCM National Average. Many have completed their either the Performance or Teaching ARCT diplomas.


Hi-tech Classrooms

Via Musica classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge technologies to facilitate the best possible learning environment for our students. We do not use blackboard or whiteboard, all classrooms are equipped with multimedia projectors with 100" screens. (over 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall.)

All lessons are video-recorded and uploaded to our dedicated server. Students who wishes to review the lessons at a latter time, can access the recordings online. All classrooms are online-ready, capable of streaming live online theory or practical lessons.


Eco-friendly Endeavours

We are eco-friendly wherever possible. As early as 2004, we have already purchased double-sided color laser printers and copiers to minimize paper use. Since 2007, students' homework are encouraged to submit electronically to eliminate paper use.

In 2009, we started digitizing practice lesson' assignment book and stored online. Student, teacher, and parent can view it anytime, anywhere. Video clips of teacher's demonstration, student's practice are also stored online and linked to the assignment book. Via Musica finds this improves the communication and better the learn experience for the students.

In our latest stage of development (2010-2012), we are preparing our textbooks and exercises to be published in ebook format, to achieve the real paperless classroom environment. In the near future, Via Musica students will come to lesson with just a tablet computer, no more binders or hardcopy textbooks.

Cyber Presence

Over 20 years ago, a MCI Communications' commercial fascinated Dennis that it is possible to teach violin from a distance, via video cameras and TVs, (and with MCI's technological breakthrough of course.) About 15 years ago, Dennis discovered a pioneering project done by his graduate school University of Washington, which is to stream live lectures via internet. These two things keep Dennis dreaming of one day he can do the same, and propel him to research on teaching online. It has become a reality for Dennis in 2003 as he taught his first theory student located in US. These are the events that lead up to Via Musica's cyber presence now.

With the advent of the internet and world wide web, the world has truly become a global village. Via Musica aims to extend beyond the physical locations and reach out to the world through our Virtual ClassroomTM. With over 10 years of research, development and actual teaching experience; Via Musica offers a true virtual presence for students taking lessons online. Students no longer have to travel to our physical locations, they can attend from the comfort of their own homes, even in different countries, and continents. So far we have Canadian and U.S. students coming from Provinces and States such as Ontario, British Columbia, Washington, Michigan, New York; and we even have students logging in from as far as People's Republic of China!


Faculty

Benedict Chan

Benedict completed his B.Mus in Music Education and Artist Diploma in Performance at the University of Western Ontario. With trumpet being his primary instrument, he is equally at home with guitar, bass, and clarinet. Benedict has studied trumpet under Scott Harrison in lineage of Vincent Chichowicz, and Shawn Spicer. He has been teaching instruments and theory of many years. Benedict is actively teaching privately, as well as operating his music & art studio ARC Education Centre in Richmond Hill. Benedict is also an accomplished audio-visual specialist, with years of experiences in production of various events, from house of worship gatherings to large scale conferences. 

Dennis Chan Examiner of RCM, Theoretical Subjects

Dennis Chan holds two conducting degrees: a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle; and a M. Mus. from University of Washington. Mr. Chan studied conducting with Prof. Stanley Cheng (Baptist University, HK) in lineage of the late Dr. Richard Lin, Dr. Byron McGilvray (SFSU), Dr. James Savage (Cornish), Dr. Abraham Kaplan (UW). He studied violin with Mr Kin-Wah Yau since 9 years old, later with the former Kronos Quartet member Mrs Ella Gray. He studied music theory under the tutelage of famous American composers the late Bern Herbolsheimer, as well as  Ms Janice Giteck in lineage of Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen. He also studied jazz bass with Prof. Chuck Deardorf (Cornish), and jazz theory with Prof. James Knapp (Cornish). Mr. Chan has years of experience in conducting and teaching in HK, USA, & Canada; he is an active member of the College of Examiners of The Royal Conservatory since 2006.

Jade Wan  

Ms. Jade Wan is an accomplished pianist who began her music studies from Douglas College (BC), then completed her B.Mus in Music Education with a minor in Linguistics from University of Toronto. She studied piano under the tutelage of Dr. Barry Barrington, Dr. Leslie Kinton, and Mr. Boris Zarankin. After attaining intermediate performance knowledge of multiple orchestral instruments, she pursued short-term studies in Conducting at the Canford School of Music in UK under the direction of George Hurst. Ms. Wan also volunteered as the assistant conductor with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets of the 800 Black Forest Squadron. With many years of teaching experience behind her, she continues to regularly prepare her students for recitals, competitions, and the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.

Jerry Zhong

A graduate of Via Musica, Jerry is completing his Honours Music Education degree at the Univeritsy of Western Ontario. His major instrument is the trumpet, Jerry studied under he tutelage of Dr. Aaron Hodgson and Dr. Shawn Spicer. He is also proficient with the piano, and finger-style guitar. Jerry teaches privately on piano, trumpet, as well as music theory. Jerry enjoys an active performing career in London Ontario, with a variety of genres from choir, musical theater, to big band. Jerry is the lead trumpet of UWO's award winning jazz ensemble. He also plays occasionally with the London Jazz Society's Prime Time Big Band. Jerry was the receipient of the Nickel Family Foundation scholarship, as well as the Doris Jackson Memorial Award for his contrubtions to jazz. 

Jonathan Huang

Jonathan Huang is an accomplished piano and tuba performer. On top of his Piano Performance Major, Mr. Huang achieved his second degree in Music Education from York University. Mr. Huang has studied under the tutelage of Christian Petrowska Quilico, Art Levine, Michael Marcuzzi and Dennis Chan. Specializes in brass and woodwinds, Mr. Huang actively works with young musicians in numerous regional music camps, conducts school bands, and currently running the music program in Jean Vanier Catholic High School under the York Catholic District School Board.