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A New Year - A New Perspective Mar 10,2024

Dear subscribers,


I realize that it is March 10th today.  Thank you so much for your patience.  I haven’t felt much like writing or tackling my to-do list much these past 2.5 months because my mother-in-law passed away 2 days before Christmas.  So I allowed myself this time and space for grieving and have been nurturing myself with things like reading, monthly massages, walking and snowshoeing outdoors.  (I have included a photo of me snowshoeing at Lake Louise last week - getting outdoors has always filled my cup.) My father passed away in December 2022 so the last two Christmases have been painful for our family. I have found grief to be very complex because as time progresses, I will feel like I have reached the light and then without warning, I will suddenly be plunged into darkness again.


With this in mind, I have decided to decrease the frequency and decrease content of the newsletter. I will only provide my thoughts and interesting developments in ALMSG and will reference the website where I will be updating the information.  I will provide links only to the ProArts and JazzYYC events. I promote these two organizations' events because they are both charitable organizations that provide concerts for free(former)or at a reduced price (latter, and further reduced price if you become a member of JazzYYc.) I will still provide a short commentary on upcoming musical events of artists that I have a special tie with or that I am attending and provide links for those events. I will be constantly be updating our home page with meeting dates, members’ exam registrations and completions and members’ festival participation but will not include it in the newsletter anymore. Please feel free to check the home page regularly to keep updated on this information . This change will be better in the long run as it will ensure that the information on the website is continually updated and the newsletter will hit your inboxes only about 3-4 times at approximately 3-4 month intervals.


So bear with me.  I will say, though, that being able to lean into my music while grieving has been a salve to me.  It has really taken me outside of myself and reminded me that life can still be beautiful amidst sorrow and pain.  If I did not have music as a creative outlet, I know that I would not be doing as well as I am right now.


So enough about all this somber stuff.  Let’s get to the light in our lives - music! First, I want to let you all know that our group was ecstatic to learn at our meeting yesterday that member Heather achieved Honours with Distinction on her level 2 piano exam.  Bravo, Heather! I also bit the bullet and registered for a level 6 June exam. Yes, gulp, I am now committed! You can read about her and all of our members' participation in exams on the website here Adults Learning Music Support Group | Canada | Adults Learning Music 


Also, six ALMSG members are participating or have already participated in the Alberta Piano Teachers' Association (APTA) festival. I think Alan is the only member whose class is coming up tomorrow at 8 pm. The rest of us all had our performance classes this past week. You can check out the APTA festival shcdule here APTA 2024 v4 Feb 12 copy with Bach ( Please read about members' participation in festivals on the home page here. Adults Learning Music Support Group | Canada | Adults Learning Music 


I also wanted to let you all know that last November, someone reached out to me on instagram after discovering my CBC first person story.  We met on Zoom and she is a very enterprising and amazing woman. Her name is Deena Al-Sammak and she is a 3rd year  biomedical engineering student studying at McMaster University in Ontario.  My story resonated with her because she too, loves playing piano. She has founded a company called HarmonEase which is developing and working on creating devices to help people with limited mobility to play the piano again. Her devices will also give aspiring pianists with limited mobility a route to start learning piano too. She would like to hear from you if you find yourself in such a position or know of someone who is in this postion. She would like to interview as many people as possible to see what kind of devices would be most helpful. This is a chance to participate in her research and be at the forefront of helping her with product development which I think is very exciting! You can learn more about her and her project in the video below that she shared with me . And you can contact Deena directly via Linked In by searching HarmonEase or via Instagram or by email:

We are working on some workshops for our members. ALMSG executive leadership has determined that workshops on solfege and rhythm will take precedent this year as all members, regardless of instrument, can take part in these general workshops. We want to be as inclusive as possible at ALMSG. These two workshops will take place sometime before June. And recently on March 6th, during my volunteer work at the APTA festival, I met the adjudicator for the Sing and Play class, Amy Wood. She is a singer/songwriter/pianist and I thought her feedback to festival participants to be so interesting and insightful. I immediately thought she would give a fanstastic workshop to members in our group who are aspiring to play and sing which I know takes special skills and is wholly different from just playing piano only. I will keep you abreast of any developments.


And finally for what is happening around town this month and next, please check the ProArts schedule for upcoming events at Schedule ( . What I am interested in is Aida Cupcake - Drag Me to the Opera on March 13th and Hank Knox on harpsichord on April 3rd. I will try to attend these events if nothing pressing comes up. And as for JazzYYC, please check out their home page here Calgary's Jazz Collaborative - JazzYYC . International Jazz Days is coming up at the end of April and it is a chance to attend concerts of artists outside Calgary ie. from Vancouver and Montreal. Of interest to me is the double bill of Huc Bac quintet (Montreal) with Ginger Beef (Calgary) because of the Asian blend of Vietnamese and Chinese culture along with interesting instruments like the erhu and dan bau. They are performing on April 27th. Also, I have to mention Tina Hartt's quintet as I heard Tina Hart sing way back in 2017/2018 at jazz vocal jams. And here it is about 6 years later and she is performing on a regular basis and has released an album and is a featured performer during International Jazz Days. It is a treat to hear her as she is an awesome musician. Please checkout the writeup about her on the website and to find out how to get tickets for her show on April 26th.


My daughter and I have tickets to hear Jan Lisiecki at the Bella tomorrow on at 7:30 which I am very excited about. If you live in Calgary, I think you can still find out more about this concert and buy tickets here Concert Season | MRU ( I am also going to attend the Ambrose Orchestras' concert (Kaylene plays violin in this orchestra) on Friday, March 15th. Please check the members' page on the home page to find out more Adults Learning Music Support Group | Canada | Adults Learning Music And another concert that I have sights on is the CPO concert featuring Sir Stephen Hough, one of the few polymaths living in our time on March 23rd. You can find out more information here Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra - A Night in Vienna with Sir Stephen Hough

That is all I have time for. Until the next newsletter, I wish you happy learning and enjoyment on all your music journeys. Subscribers, again, please reach out and tell me about your music journeys even if you are not thinking of becoming a member. I love hearing about each of your unique individual stories!


Musically striving with you always,





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