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Qualified accordion & voice teachers in Toronto/Mississauga

yaroslav9728

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Does anyone know some very qualified accordion & voice teachers in Toronto or Mississauga, who is really teaching students and support their musical ambitions?
 
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JerryPH

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The top of the line instructors would be at Queen University... heck that's where Joe Macerollo and Michael Bridge and a host of world class accordionists are. As for voice, if not also at Queen U, definitely at the RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music).
 

debra

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The top of the line instructors would be at Queen University... heck that's where Joe Macerollo and Michael Bridge and a host of world class accordionists are. As for voice, if not also at Queen U, definitely at the RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music).
In this question lies also part of a potential answer to your dilemma whether to go for a conservatory degree or not: people do not ask for "Does anyone know some very good accordion teachers"... but for "Does anyone know some very qualified accordion teachers"... so a degree or "qualification" is apparently more important than whether someone is really good or not. My own experience with whether qualified and good are the same is not uniformly good...
 

JerryPH

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Having a bad day Paul?

I consider that a bit of drama inducing rancor in this response that you chose to bring in from a topic in another thread. I have no "dilemma", that choice was made even before posting.

I CLEARLY provided answers to the question about his search for "very qualified accordion & voice teachers in Toronto or Mississauga, who is really teaching students and support their musical ambitions?". Locations that turn out world class accordionists and singers likely do have very qualified instructors. At *NO* point do I even remotely insinuate that a lack of a degree defines one as a good or bad accordion or singing teacher.

Now, I don't keep a complete list of very qualified accordion and voice teachers across all Mississauga or Toronto. I *do* know that these two locations *do* have them... I answered his question. Are there others? Maybe, I don't know. Do you? If so, please share them with Yaroslav, I am sure he would be thrilled. :)
 

debra

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Having a bad day Paul?

I consider that a bit of drama inducing rancor in this response that you chose to bring in from a topic in another thread. I have no "dilemma", that choice was made even before posting.

I CLEARLY provided answers to the question about his search for "very qualified accordion & voice teachers in Toronto or Mississauga, who is really teaching students and support their musical ambitions?". Locations that turn out world class accordionists and singers likely do have very qualified instructors. At *NO* point do I even remotely insinuate that a lack of a degree defines one as a good or bad accordion or singing teacher.

Now, I don't keep a complete list of very qualified accordion and voice teachers across all Mississauga or Toronto. I *do* know that these two locations *do* have them... I answered his question. Are there others? Maybe, I don't know. Do you? If so, please share them with Yaroslav, I am sure he would be thrilled. :)
Not a bad day, but an observation I have made over many years, not just in the music business but in other areas as well: people tend to overemphasize the value of a degree/diploma, thinking that the diploma is a kind of "guarantee" as well as a "requirement" for someone to be good at something. But especially here in the Netherlands we have something we call the "zesjes mentaliteit", which means that students aim to put in as little effort as possible in order to pass exams with the minimal passing grade... and the result is that people can get a degree here without being good in what the degree stands for, whereas there are many "self-mede" people with much better skills out there but without a degree (in most case because they could not afford to go for the degree).
When I need someone with good skills for anything (be it a plumber or a surgeon, or a musician) I always look for personal recommendations (like the ones you gave for the accordion teachers). I never ask for qualifications, degrees, diplomas... because even though I am a professor and hold a phd I do not put a lot of value in degrees. Especially in my main area (computer science) there are much better computer science professionals without any degree than some with an engineering degree or a phd... And especially with accordion I have seen much of the same.
It's great that you could provide some top-notch recommendations to Yaroslav. I know a few really good accordion teachers in my area as well but I know many more teachers who are "qualified" but I would not recommend... The same is true for accordion repairers by the way...
 

JerryPH

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Not a bad day, but an observation I have made over many years, not just in the music business but in other areas as well: people tend to overemphasize the value of a degree/diploma, thinking that the diploma is a kind of "guarantee" as well as a "requirement" for someone to be good at something.
I am 100% in agreement with you on this. I knew people with a diploma who did not know how to find out where the switch was to turn on the lights in the room, and I have seen people without diplomas do things in hours that people with PhD degrees could not do it years.

My feelings on this are that under the best of circumstances, university degrees are valuable in today's society to get your foot in the door, after that you either stay based on your merit or you are let go because you don't meet their expectations. I am old school, words on a piece of paper do not make or break the person. :)
 

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Jerry and Paul,
Here's a story that supports your point.
I worked for many years in an environment where almost everyone required a university degree and all who had teacher qualifications and experience 馃槓
Then, one day, we all subscribed to an expresso coffee maker.
After the inauguration, it ran out of water and needed refilling. This was undertaken by our illustrious chief.
I came into the staff room to find the apparatus standing in a big pool of water, with the electrics shorted.
After some wrangling with the supplier, it was fixed under warranty.
But then it happened again!!!馃槼
This time we were told in no uncertain manner that were we to continue pouring litres of water into the opening meant for ground coffee, we could fix the thing at our own expense!!
Following this, a large area of wall behind the coffee machine was covered in A3 sized copies of pages from the user guide, a thing that should probably have been done to begin with!馃ぃ
 

yaroslav9728

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Friends, I asked this question because perhaps you know or not that I have not pleasured experience in taking music lessons, as my already former teacher was not teaching me and was supporting my ambitions in making music. And the phrase "you should have a special talent for learning music(accordion, voice, etc.)", almost destroyed my desire to learn music. Now, I am standing between two sides, to abandon music, or to continue to learn it, but with another teacher.
 

JerryPH

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So, am I understanding that you are thinking about quitting because you cannot find a teacher that meets your needs or that you are hurt by someone that told you that you don't have talent to play or sing?

Forgve me, I do need to ask this question to validate something for myself... but if I may ask, how old are you?
 

yaroslav9728

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So, am I understanding that you are thinking about quitting because you cannot find a teacher that meets your needs or that you are hurt by someone that told you that you don't have talent to play or sing?

Forgve me, I do need to ask this question to validate something for myself... but if I may ask, how old are you?
24 years old
 

JerryPH

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24 years old
OK, I am asking because I am understanding how a younger person, 13-14 years old could be badly hurt by the poor word choices of a bad instructor, but you are a young man, and though there exists no excuse in the world for anyone to tell you whether you have enough talent to play or not.

I will counter that you, as a young man, should have a level of maturity above that and know yourself better from the point of view of what you want to do or not and that the words of one man... or a hundred men... will never define you or the direction that you want to go.

My last words on this... no matter what it is in life, if you want it bad enough and work consistently hard enough, you may one day have it, be that owning some special car, or singing or being able to play accordion. Now, life offers no guarantee, you may wish to be the next Pavaroti, or you might not... but one thing is sure... with hard work, you might have a 1% chance of success but if you don't try, thats a 100% guarantee of failure.

The choice is yours alone, not in the words of any other man, woman or child.
 

yaroslav9728

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OK, I am asking because I am understanding how a younger person, 13-14 years old could be badly hurt by the poor word choices of a bad instructor, but you are a young man, and though there exists no excuse in the world for anyone to tell you whether you have enough talent to play or not.

I will counter that you, as a young man, should have a level of maturity above that and know yourself better from the point of view of what you want to do or not and that the words of one man... or a hundred men... will never define you or the direction that you want to go.

My last words on this... no matter what it is in life, if you want it bad enough and work consistently hard enough, you may one day have it, be that owning some special car, or singing or being able to play accordion. Now, life offers no guarantee, you may wish to be the next Pavaroti, or you might not... but one thing is sure... with hard work, you might have a 1% chance of success but if you don't try, thats a 100% guarantee of failure.

The choice is yours alone, not in the words of any other man, woman or child.
You know, I respect your statement, however I am pretty sensitive person, so some things can be very destructive for me. As a student, I always do all requirements which are given to me, but if a teacher doesn't respect it and don't support any motivation from a student, then this teacher should no longer to work with students, and not everything depends on a student, there are things that depend on a teacher too.
 

JerryPH

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You know, I respect your statement, however I am pretty sensitive person, so some things can be very destructive for me. As a student, I always do all requirements which are given to me, but if a teacher doesn't respect it and don't support any motivation from a student, then this teacher should no longer to work with students, and not everything depends on a student, there are things that depend on a teacher too.
Oh totally! The difference is that you are old enough and hopefully wise enough now to let the person know he is not the teacher for you, "thanks and have a nice day" and that his words are not true... unless you perhaps agree with him and want to believe him... right? No drama necessary and there are others out there that will serve you better.

Heck I found out tonight that even Keith Anderson from Anderson Accordion Sales and service has students. You may consider speaking to him. If he is not a good fit, he may know someone that is. A little word of advice... for the most part, save the emotions for the music, and don't be afraid to ask for what you are looking for.

Ask anyone... you learn more from failure than you do from success.
 

Valski

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Oh totally! The difference is that you are old enough and hopefully wise enough now to let the person know he is not the teacher for you, "thanks and have a nice day" and that his words are not true... unless you perhaps agree with him and want to believe him... right? No drama necessary and there are others out there that will serve you better.

Heck I found out tonight that even Keith Anderson from Anderson Accordion Sales and service has students. You may consider speaking to him. If he is not a good fit, he may know someone that is. A little word of advice... for the most part, save the emotions for the music, and don't be afraid to ask for what you are looking for.

Ask anyone... you learn more from failure than you do from success.
It's not possible to recommend a teacher or an instrument for that matter sight unseen. There is no teacher who is perfect unless it's in someone's imagination. Teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. Every student has a different personality and perspective on learning and each party is responsible for their part of the learning process. I can't say that there is a perfect method to teach and without knowing both the student and instructor don't think that any of us can make a recommendation for a teacher. I have had bad teachers who taught me a lot and good teachers with whom I couldn't connect and it was as much my fault as it was theirs.

I am guessing that our friend Yaroslav is thinking of a particular style of music in a specific genre that we are not necessarily familiar with. Perhaps he should look for that elusive teacher among those people who play that type of music. If they can't teach it then they will probably know who can teach what he wants to learn. For Italian or German or Ukrainian you have to pick someone who is comfortable with that style. I have tried to make a connection with Yaroslav to help if possible but think that much of the difficulty is in communicating exactly what style it is that he likes and wishes to learn. I'm trying to be helpful but have not gotten the feedback needed to make a meaningful contribution.
 

JerryPH

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It's not possible to recommend a teacher or an instrument for that matter sight unseen.
I agree, at this point, all he is saying is "I want to buy a vehicle", but not saying if he wants a race car, a family car, a bus, RV or 53 foot tractor trailer. You will note that what I did was suggest people in the industry who are supportive and knowledgeable and know others that they can refer if they don't meet his needs.

The more specific he defines his needs the better the chances he faster finds what he wants.
 

yaroslav9728

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Guys, let me clarify what I mean. I am looking for accordion and/or voice teacher who will respect my desire to learn playing music or singing, who will motivate me to do more practice and improve myself as a musician. It doesn't matter what style, I like Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Balkan, anything. The main point of a teacher is love own students, support them and relate to them with respect.

In some points, this answer would be great for Valski
 

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All very admirable character traits in a tutor Yaroslav.

How is your progress to date with finding your ideal teacher based on advice provided by members of this forum? Did you contact the institutions Jerry PH recommended? It would be nice to have feedback on your own recent efforts to achieve your goal of musicianship.
 

yaroslav9728

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All very admirable character traits in a tutor Yaroslav.

How is your progress to date with finding your ideal teacher based on advice provided by members of this forum? Did you contact the institutions Jerry PH recommended? It would be nice to have feedback on your own recent efforts to achieve your goal of musicianship.
Currently, I am focusing on my studies at college, so sometimes, I don't have enough free time, but when it is possible I search for music schools and I talk with representatives from these schools
 

JerryPH

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"I don't have enough free time, but when it is possible..."
If someone gave me a dollar for every time I said that, I would be very, VERY rich. :)

At least in my case, I am slowly learning that I cannot "make" time, but that the 24 hours in a day are more than enough to do more than one major thing per day, it's all a question of priorities. How important something is to you is how high you place it on the list of priorities.

For me putting food on the table is priority #1, so I worked 50-60 hours a week EVERY week so that I can do that and afford the little pleasures in life, because those were important too. Having a nice home, having a nice car (or 8 at one point... lol) was where I wanted to be so I worked to get it.

Keeping my family comfortable is #1 always, but music is the highest priority "little pleasure" (now, but that can always change) for me. That "little pleasure" used to be many things... photography, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, archery, hockey, table tennis, but as a kid music was pretty much #1 and everything else #2. Even with a full school load and 5 hours a week of martial arts or whatever sport, I managed 6 hours a day of practice on weekdays and 12 hours a day on weekends non-stop, no excuses, including the holidays, because that was my priority.

This wasn't healthy and did lead to my burn out and separation from music for many decades.

I now treat things a little differently. I just THIS week started to work 40 hours a week, no overtime, no weekends (boy does my employer ever feel it... lol). I have up to an hour in the morning to practice (this week I may have done 30 minutes each morning), I have up to 2 maybe even 3 hours in the evening (I did perhaps 30 minutes, leaving the rest for "family time"). Weekends? Don't know and haven't decided. Today is literally my first weekend day in YEARS that I am not working all or part of it.

I now I can enjoy life a little more, relax in the mornings, have a nice breakfast and play/practice for as little or as much as I want to, and still have time to be with friends, family or anything I like other than anything work related. I have a Corvette in the garage I've not driven in near a month, today it gets a nice workout! :)

The whole point of this is... 24 hours a day is a lot of time, and we have much more time than we realize but we choose to "waste" a lot of it doing things we really don't need to do or focus on things that we perceive as being very important.. but aren't. I now don't have to work as much, I can maintain a strong financial stability with even that 40 hours a week. Life has drastically changed for me in the last week! :)

I put it to you that *if* you are serious about finding a teacher, treat that task as a JOB or PRACTICE time. That means dedicate a fixed and planned amount of time to this task 5, 6 or 7 days a week. I promise you that if you dedicate 30-60 minutes a day, 7 days a week to intelligently and actively searching, you'll likely find not one good teacher, but many and pretty quickly too! Your musical desires don't appear so focused ("I want to learn ONLY 1 specific style of nearly unheard variations of Gypsy style music...") that there are only 1 person in North America that may offer that possibility. Now, if that is not a priority for you, then that is both your choice (and it is neither a good nor bad choice, it is YOUR choice) and it will likely take longer to find that instructor, but again, that is YOUR choice, and this is neither good nor bad, as long as you accept and take full responsibility for those choices. :)
 

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Guys, let me clarify what I mean. I am looking for accordion and/or voice teacher who will respect my desire to learn playing music or singing, who will motivate me to do more practice and improve myself as a musician. It doesn't matter what style, I like Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Balkan, anything. The main point of a teacher is love own students, support them and relate to them with respect.

In some points, this answer would be great for Valski
Hi Yaroslav, you should not count on learning to play all of styles which you have listed all at once because this will take many years. If you continue making excuses then you won't learn any styles at all. Learning takes small steps and if you are a beginner any progress is good. If you continue playing then you will have more experience and know how to choose the best teacher. Even if you are an exceptional student your instructor will find some fault with your progress because this is their job so you have to learn to accept criticism.

It is probably impossible to expect a music teacher to help you choose a great instrument for a very low price because this is not their job. Choosing an accordion is not easy and you probably won't get what you want the first time, especially for a bargain price. A high quality accordion will be expensive and you need to accept that, most of us started playing on simple instruments until it made sense to purchase something really special. Keep working and with time you will achieve your goals if you work toward them.
 

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