Registration for Fall 2016

I am excited to announce that registration is now open for our upcoming Fall 2016 Term, which begins September 24th. As usual, it’s a 12-week session that ends before Christmas and has a break for Thanksgiving. All our classes are on Saturday, and are held at Windermere United Church.

Class Time
Little Musicians
for ages 2-3 years
9:30 AM
Stories and Songs
for ages 3-4 years
10:15 AM
First Steps in Music
for ages 1-2 years
11:00 AM
Piano Orff Experience I-II 1:00 PM
Piano Orff Experience III 2:00 PM

Classes are divided by age and experience level. To learn more about the class you’re interested in, click one of the links in the schedule above. You can register online or by mail on our registration page.

Piano Orff Experts

I’m so proud of my Piano Orff students! This year we worked through many fun and challenging pieces, and we performed a few of them for the parents in our year end Open Classes. Below are a few clips from the Piano Orff Experts class. Although we were missing a few members due to early vacations, our slightly smaller group still did a fantastic job.

Here they are performing Little Silver Moon Boat. To perform this piece, each student needs to have mastered several skills, including singing while playing, and playing an independent part in time with each other. They end with a small improvisation. As Carl Orff noted, improvisation may be frightening for adults but it’s freeing for children, because there are no rules!

Here they are fine-tuning their beautiful singing voices for the song I Love the Mountains. When learning a new piece, we often begin by singing, then putting the rhythm on our bodies (clapping, stomping, moving in time, and so on), and finally playing it with our instruments.

And here they are demonstrating a fun game that builds awareness of beat and rhythm. It’s set to the song Obwisana, a children’s song from Ghana.

Interested in seeing more? You can watch a few more clips on our video page.

Questions about our Orff classes? Email us at

Farewell Spring 2016

The end of spring brings the close to another year of great classes. My Orff students continued to grow and develop their musical skills, amazing both me and themselves (you can see some of their work in the videos on this site).  Our group classes for younger children were a delight. I’m truly fortunate to have so many enthusiastic families making music with us, and I’ll miss you all over the summer break!

This year’s spring recital marked our 10th anniversary. We celebrated with great snacks, some very old student pictures, and (as always) our student’s wonderful performances. I’d like to congratulate all my students for their hard work, and give special recognition to those who took exams this year and those who attended the Davenport Festival. It’s been an honour to accompany each one of you on your musical journeys.

A Great Gift Idea: Sugar Beat Gift Certificates!

Baby Shower Gift Certificate

Sugar Beat gift certificates are snazzy color certificates that are good for any 12-week session of music classes. They’re also a thoughtful baby shower gift! To purchase, just contact us by email or or phone.

Two Videos of What We Do in Orff Class

In Piano Orff Experience classes–our group classes for older children–we have a great
time. A large part of the fun is our huge repertoire of music games and activities.
Here are just a couple of examples of what we work on.

In music, a canon is a musical form where a melody (or an imitation of a melody) is
overlapped over itself at different times. In Orff, we play a three-part movement canon game, where children pair up and perform different actions in time to the music. It’s good practice for playing or singing in any music ensemble, because each player needs to focus on their part while other parts are being played. It takes a surprising amount of concentration, but I think our students did great!

In our younger Orff classes, children have free reign to improvise in time to the music
to a song we’ve learned, in a key we’ve chosen. In our more advanced Orff classes, we
take a song we know and apply different techniques, including imitating a motif and
part-playing. This video shows a clip of a younger class improvising and an older Orff
class planning and rehearsing their instrumentation of a song.

Questions about our Orff classes? Email us at

It’s a Wrap!

Sugar Beat has had another wonderful year with music and children both new and familiar. We relaunched our infant classes which were very successful, and fun for all involved. For the families who enrolled, thank you so much for making this precious class such a positive first experience for our little babies! My little Aisha has really been missing these classes over the summer.

The Orff classes again were full throughout the year. We did a simple version of Street Song this year, as well as a scattering of material from other cultures. The children had lots to show me–I even learned a new song from a student which was then performed on our own composed instrumental background! It is so nice for me to see the span of what the children can accomplish at each stage, from beginner to advanced. I am again so grateful for the participation from such musical families and children. Together we learned so much and had a great time doing it.

And so as to not leave out my beloved piano students, I must also mention that our two recitals were great fun. Kiwanis festival students did me proud, with several students making placements in the top 3 of their classes. Many students did exams this year also, some for the very first time. All passed with a minimum mark in the honours category, all the way up to first class honours with distinction. When I said “I am so proud of my students” at the end of this years spring recital, I truly meant it. This has been a wildly rewarding year. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!

Have a great, relaxing remainder of summer and hope to see you in the fall. In the meantime, enjoy this clip of Keira rounding out our spring recital.