Classes for Fall 2019

Faria’s fabulous Orff classes are back this September!

  • Piano Orff Experience II is for beginner to intermediate students, ages 5 to 8, with one year of previous experience or no previous experience. It runs Saturday at 1:00 PM.
  • Piano Orff Experience III is for intermediate to advanced students with two years or more of previous experience. It runs Saturday at 2:00 PM.

Do you have an older child that hasn’t taken Orff before? No problem! Contact us to check about placement.

musicnoteFor the complete fee and schedule information, and to register for a class, visit our Piano Orff page.

musicnoteIf you want to see more of what we do, check out our videos!

musicnoteYou can also talk to Faria for more information by email (faria@sugarbeat.ca) or phone (416-767-5455). We look forward to making music together!

A Few Highlights from 2018-2019

It was a great year of Orff classes and piano concerts. I’m so proud of all we were able to accomplish! Here are a few videos from our final open classes.

Here are our Orff experts doing a composing exercise. Over the year, each student gets the chance to invent a piece on the spot, assign parts to their friends, and then conduct the result!

We played a few different rhythm passing games this year. In this one, I assign different rhythms to different students using eye contact. The fact that they pull it off so well shows that they’ve built connection as a group.

Here’s our junior class playing a follow-the-beat game. They did a great job playing in time, and they didn’t get caught when the beat stopped.

Here are clips of our students working on a couple of pieces (first a canon and then the piece Raggle-Taggle Gypsies).

We had such a variety of students performing in our piano recitals this year–young and old, beginner and advanced–and they all did so well! They also came away with inspiration for new pieces (and more than a few brownies). Here’s Maya ending the winter piano recital with a Chopin waltz.

Why Try Sugar Beat Classes?

In my many years of teaching music, I’ve had the privilege of watching hundreds of children discover and explore music. Years ago, I realized something that has stuck with me ever since:

Learning how to make music—not just consume it—is one of the most rewarding experiences we can offer our children.

Our Piano Orff music classes are designed around this idea. They teach foundational musical concepts (like melody structure, harmony, and rhythm) in a fun, welcoming environment. If you’re planning to start your child with formal instruction on an instrument—or you’ve already started—Orff classes are the perfect complement. But if your family isn’t ready for the grind of daily practice, Orff classes provide the musical learning without the stress.

Orff classes also give children the chance to develop their musical creativity. They learn to listen to their peers, respond musically, and improvise. I’m always amazed to see how creative they’ve become when they perform for their parents at the end of our session!

If you’re curious to see some examples of what we do, check out our videos page. And feel free to contact me with any questions at faria@sugarbeat.ca or 416-767-5455.

Sincerely,
Faria

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 faria@sugarbeat.ca.

Farewell Spring

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.

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 faria@sugarbeat.ca.