Archive for Stories – Page 2

Full circle: from student to teacher

I graduated in 2005 with my Masters in Music, and in 2009 with my Doctorate. I was working full time when I went back to school and chose to continue working while pursuing my Masters, so I could implement what I was learning in my clinical practice. I chose U of T for my advanced degrees due to the prestige of the University, and the reputation of the faculty who I knew would support me on my journey. The research I carried out as part of my doctoral thesis explored an area of music therapy that had not yet been studied in any detail at that time. I personally learned so much from that study and have been fortunate to share the results and the implications for practice with many others around the world. My work is cited often, and the University of Toronto and I am recognized for my expertise in the area of relationship completion through music therapy in palliative care. Since graduating I have continued to research a number of varied areas in music and health including singing for health and wellness, rhythmic sensory stimulation and Alzheimer’s disease, and electronic music technologies in music therapy etc. A few of these studies have been with my former doctoral supervisor Dr. Lee Bartel. When I was hired to work as a part time professor at the University of Toronto, in the Faculty of Music I felt so much pride, and that things had come full circle. I was so excited and honoured to be given this role. I deeply love teaching and mentoring students; and sharing my clinical work and research in the classroom each week. I enjoy inspiring the next generation of music and health researchers, music therapists and music educators. Thank you U of T for making my dreams come true!

  • Amy Clements-Cortes (PhD 2009, MMus 2005)

Musical inspirations

One of the great rewards as a professor in the Jazz Area is to hear the artistic growth of our students that culminates in their final recitals.  It truly is inspiring to hear the original and creative sounds that our students produce year after year.

Equally thrilling for me was the opportunity to work with one of my former teachers, David Liebman, at U of T thanks to the support of Dean Don MacLean and our donors John and Claudine Bailey.  We were able to hire Liebman as a visiting adjunct professor in 2014 which was a fantastic boost for our program and a wonderful inspiration to our students.  Having access to an artist who worked and recorded with Miles Davis, Elvin Jones and other legendary musicians offered an invaluable experience to all of us at U of T Jazz.

Liebman also recorded two critically acclaimed albums at U of T during his time with us, one with students and one with faculty.  Sweet Ruby Suite, with the UTJO directed by Gordon Foote, featured the music of Kenny Wheeler with Liebman and vocalist Norma Winstone as featured soloists.  Live at U of T, as the title suggests, was recorded live at the Upper Jazz Studio at 90 Wellesley by Professor Jeff Wolpert and students from his MMus sound recording program.  Featuring Liebman, myself, and fellow faculty members Jim Vivian and Terry Clark, this recording managed to capture the energy of live jazz played in an intimate setting for an engaged audience.

What a thrill be able to do all of this as my “work”.

  • Mike Murley, Associate Professor, Jazz Saxophone

Wine and cheese for all!

A couple of weeks after I started working at the Faculty I coordinated a wine and cheese reception in room 130 for donors and patrons of the Jazz Studies program after a big band concert in early April. I hadn’t been given much direction and Prof Terry Promane asked me if students could come. Sure, why not I said. Well, the concert came and afterwards people starting coming into room 130. And they kept coming. And they kept coming. And they kept coming. Then the students all arrived. I’m pretty sure we had well over 200 people in that little room and it was one hopping party that went quite late. It was a fun, slightly wild introduction to the Faculty of Music.

  • Tyler Greenleaf, Faculty of Music staff member

Percussion prank war!

About eleven years ago there was a long prank war that happened in the percussion studio at U of T. Early one morning, after many, many previous pranks, I went into the practice room and wrapped my friend Greg’s entire drum set in toilet paper. Kick pedal and all. He walked in as I was wrapping the final piece and as he stared in shock, I blurted: “Wait, I’m not done yet….!” I’ll never forget how hard we laughed that day.

  • Michelle Hwu (BMusPerf 2010)