Regular Lessons & Daily Practices
Students are expected to attend weekly lessons promptly and fully prepared, whether it is theory class or individual music lesson. Be physically and mentally prepared for the lesson. Avoid staying up late or doing anything exhausting that may cause you to lose concentration or fall asleep in class. Free yourself from distraction such as phone calls, SMS, social network updates, etc. Lessons are not entertainments; good teachers will make it fun and engaging but it is not the teachers obligation to entertain the students to their liking. It will take an equal effort from the students to make the lesson fun and engaging.
Students should practice and review regularly as the best preparation for class; last minute cramming never leads to quality lesson experience. We will try to make the lesson enjoyable and exciting, yet one cannot fully enjoy the music without the discipline of practice. As this widely circulated picture illustrates, "the Show" is only a small portion comparing to the time one puts into "the rehearsals". Students must practice diligently and consistently to achieve excellence.
Long hours of practice does not translate into better performance. We do not promote extremely long practice, but extremely efficient and meticulous practice. Practice should improve your musical skill. At the end of your practice, you should ask yourself "have I become better after this session?" If one is not purposefully practicing to improve, he would very likely be practicing to accumulate even more mistakes. Then he will require even more time to un-do the mistakes, then re-learn the music the correct way. It is best to learn it right the first time!
Technology is readily available to help you to practice, most students would have a phone-camera, digital camcorder, webcam, etc. Tape your own practices so you can review and examine your progress, you will improve greatly if you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in your practices.
For theory students, you should carefully memorize the rules and principles; systematically applying them instead of harmonizing by "hit and miss". Exercises, assignments are designed to help students to familiarize with the newly learned skill or musical concept. Like athletes rely on vigorous and consistent training to sharpen their skill, musician requires the same kind of diligence and consistency to excel. To maximize the learning, you should work on the assignments on a daily basis instead of trying to cram them the night before lesson, or worse yet during the ride to class.
Group Study, Review Sessions, and Mock Exams
Students are encouraged to come together for group study and review. Extra tutorial, viewing of course related opera, oratorio, or musical, review sessions and mock-up exams might be scheduled in preparation for exam.
Ensemble and Performance Opportunities
Students might find themselves performing for community events, fund-raising banquet, etc. Students are welcome to utilize the mini-recital hall in Richmond Hill and Mississauga locations to give their personal recital.
Fun Times in Via Musica