A Message from The Director

Here we land again, the beginning of a new year at the Conservatory. I wish things had changed more, but at least there appears to be some progress towards ending the pandemic. In 20/21, with great energy and support from our instructors and staff, McGill Conservatory impressively hosted more than 20 online concerts (which I invite you to revisit on the events archive at https://www.mcgill.ca/conservatory/events/events-archive), administered 362 exams, and had 502 registrations across all our offerings between Fall 2020 and Summer 2021. Thank-you for your commitment to music and your trust in our ability to offer quality instruction.

Newly added last year to our offerings, which we definitely plan to continue this year, were mini-courses that introduced topics primarily involving Schulich graduate students sharing their expertise with the community (of all ages). These courses proved to be an exciting and popular/successful way to introduce new topics and provide great experience as well to Schulich Graduate students. Last year’s topics (all offered online) included a survey of keyboards through the ages, choral skills, jazz improvisation, beginning jazz keyboard skills, preparing to rehearse within a combo, as well as a specialty course on Thelonius Monk. Some of these courses may be repeated, but in addition we plan to offer series linked to the offerings of McGill Symphony Orchestra, Opera McGill, Choral and Contemporary Music series at Schulich. Keep your eyes out for these exciting courses to familiarize yourself with these diverse programs from the comfort of your own home!

While we still complete lingering elements of the winter, spring and summer terms, the focus is now on our return in September and what we can offer. Although it is far from ideal, we must continue to deliver all courses and classes online. At the very least, this means that you will have the convenience and security of being home for lessons and classes. Even if Schulich is able to provide lessons in person, the Conservatory will not be able to share these limited spaces in time for the start of our term, and possible through December 2021 (hopefully not later). Our instructors have become very skilled in using online tools and recommending what is necessary to aid the process. We will continue to offer Music Theory and Ear Training courses online and encourage you consider adding one to your studies this year (placement auditions will be September 15th for new students).

Registration is now active for the 2021 Fall Term and deadlines are fast approaching! Please note that we can no longer take any payments over the phone; all payments must be made online. Refer to Important Dates for details to avoid incurring a late fee.

Wishing you a safe, healthy and relaxing end to the summer. Hoping to reconnect even if only on Zoom during the Fall Term.

Sara Laimon

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