Toronto School for Strings and Piano

The Toronto School for Strings and Piano (TSSP) was founded in 1999, by Julian and Mary Fisher, to provide their students with a positive and stimulating learning experience.

The Mission of the Toronto School for Strings and Piano is to create an environment where the love of music and musical ability is developed through instruction, performances and group activities.

The TSSP is a supportive community that celebrates the musical accomplishments of all it’s members and seeks to perpetuate the value of musical education for families and individuals.

Our faculty of highly qualified and experienced teachers incorporate the best of the world-renowned Suzuki Philosophy, the rigour of the nationally recognized Royal Conservatory of Music Examination system and other approaches tailored to the needs of individual students. Our teachers include accredited adjudicators and performers active in the musical life of Toronto.

We emphasize the quality of the learning environment and foster artistic growth among all our students, who range in age from young children to senior citizens. Instruments taught include violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, guitar, ukulele and electric bass. We encourage our students to take advantage of enriching opportunities such as rehearsing with a professional accompanist or playing with small ensembles or orchestra. We offer a fun and creative approach to theory in private lessons or small groups. We also encourage the implementation of music technology. The core of our instruction is classical by nature, but we also include jazz and improvisation.

Adult students are welcome

News and Announcements

The Fall Update

A warm welcome to all returning students and those new to TSSP!

As of September, the Toronto School for Strings and Piano has been given the green light by Yorkminster Park Church to re-open for in-person lessons, with appropriate safety protocols in place. Remote lessons or a combination of remote/in-person lessons are possible during this time of Covid-19.

Since mid-March, when we were all required to remain at home, our society went through a transformation that we never imagined would happen. Thanks to technology, the power of music to inspire, challenge and provide a matrix of learning continued on across the globe. 
Several of our students took Royal Conservatory Exams remotely. Zoom concerts gave students, parents and grandparents a chance to see and hear each other perform. For the first time, we had Suzuki group classes in July and August!

Now as we are emerging from self-isolation, we trust that the musical community at the TSSP and beyond will blossom with renewed energy to share the joy of music-making.

We wish everyone a safe transition this fall, whether it be school or work. Classes will resume Tuesday, September 8.

Theory Classes online

This past year TSSP launched a comprehensive Theory Program. Thanks to the inspiring classes led by Susan Hamblin Dennis and Dr. Tom Green, students prepared for and took RCM Theory Exams with excellent results.

Knowledge of theory helps students understand the language and structure of music, (musical terms, notation, scales, rhythm, etc.) so that the practical expression, which is performance, is more fully informed. Those doing RCM exams must have a theory co-requisite starting at Level 5 in order to receive a certificate. This year Susan will be teaching the following classes.

Saturday 9:30 – 10:30 AMPreparatory (Levels 1-4)
Thursday 6:30 – 7:30 PMLevel 5 *)
Thursday 7:30 – 8:30 PMLevel 6
Friday 7:00 – 8:00 PMLevel 7/8

*) Students wishing to take Level 5 must take a test to confirm their readiness.

Theory Classes are open to non TSSP students also.

Suzuki Group Classes will continue via Zoom with Kenin McKay on Thursdays.

Adults students are welcome at the TSSP!

We are coping with the Coronavirus situation by doing remote lessons

For the time being, we will be conducting remote lessons with students by using FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.

Online and in-person lessons are now available.

We are encouraging all students to maintain their lessons and practising during this time. You can keep your current lesson day/time, and we can carry on with the lessons. If you haven’t done this sort of thing before, we can help you through the process.

You can use a computer or tablet to do this. If you are using a tablet, you may need to position the device so that your teacher can see you at the proper angle.

“How great that you can offer this remote option for a lesson in these crazy times! Caleb really enjoyed his FaceTime lesson with Mary”.

Our son Guilherme has been taking both violin and piano online lessons with TSSP teachers (Mr. Julian Fisher and Ms. Susan Dennis, respectively) on a weekly basis since March 2018, when we came back to our country after having lived for two years in Toronto.

We feel privileged to have such dedicated teachers who accumulated a robust experience in using technology to teach students remotely, and we can confidently and  enthusiastically recommend this form of teaching at difficult times such as the one we are facing now. In fact, since we are also experiencing a lockdown period in our own country, we recently decided to increase the number of music lessons our son will have with his TSSP teachers over the next weeks. 

It is really simple to set up an online lesson, the teachers have been always available to fully support us with their experience, and the results are excellent. It is really worth a try!


Fabiola Castro (São Paulo, Brazil)

TSSP Early Childhood Program

TSSP is excited to launch a Program for Young Children age Newborn to 3 years.

Participants learn songs and develop rhythmic and melodic awareness while playing musical games and activities.

Please watch for news as to when we will restart this popular program.

Contact: Toronto School for Strings and Piano, info@torontoschoolforstrings.com

The Arts Access Fund

ARTS Access Fund logo

Toronto School for Strings and Piano is proud to be partners with Arts Access Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to providing high-quality arts training to young people, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue.

The Arts Access Fund was established to open doors for children, youth, and teens, who have the passion, but not the means, to develop their artistic talent. Programs are offered in visual art, drama, music, dance, and filmmaking at more than ten high-quality arts training institutions in Toronto.

Please visit the ARTS Access Fund website:

http://www.artsaccessfund.org/

Give the GIFT OF MUSIC!

TSSP Gift Card

 

The Toronto School for String and Piano Gift Certificates are available upon request.

A great way to re-kindle the love of music or start up the New Year.

Whether it is providing the opportunity to try lessons for the first time, try a new instrument, or providing some additional lessons for exceptionally keen student, this would be a truly meaningful gift.

What makes the Toronto School for Strings and Piano special…

The teachers at TSS have an unusual breadth and depth of experience. Some are young people flush with the excitement of launching their careers, others are parents themselves, and understand the joys and stresses of being involved in their child’s musical education firsthand. Still others have nurtured and supported their students with caring, a sense of humour and inspiring playing. At TSS, we believe in taking the long view, that while there may be ups and downs, both the journey and the goals achieved along the way are totally worthwhile. Character traits like perseverance, patience and self-discipline last a lifetime.

At TSS/P we are very happy to report an exceptionally low turnover rate. Students tend to stay and develop their skills through the teen years and beyond, even coming back with their own children! We are developing more and more programs for students of all ages to join that will develop their performance skills, creativity and sense of camaraderie. Many TSS students take on leadership roles in their school music programs or audition successfully for select Regional Youth Orchestras.

Whether you are an adult, or a parent with young children or teenagers, we want to help you experience all that music has to offer!

Six Reasons why your child should learn music

  • For the shy child, it is self-expression
  • For the awkward child, it is co-ordination
  • For the impulsive child, it is a way to channel energy into constructive accomplishment
  • For the easily distracted child, it is concentration
  • For the uncertain child, it is poise and self-confidence
  • For the child who gives up easily, it is perseverance.

Music is for growth!

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