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Posted on March, 2015

Percussion School moves with the Times



Wellspring is a program offered at the Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Science Centre. Its wellspring.ca web site says research indicates drumming can help reduce stress as well as promote wellbeing.

Although it recently moved to an address on Laird Drive, the Ontario College of Percussion and Music existed since 1965. Founder Paul Robson won Best Music Teacher in 2001 NOW magazine Best of Toronto reader’s poll. Manager Jay Burak says learning to drum can assist geometric and mathematical thinking, as well as organizational skills.

“Drumming involves an independence,” he said. “And the training of unused portions of the brain.”

“Latin players and jazz players for instance, the have a high level of independence where their four limbs can do four different things at the same time,” he said. Their brains have that unused portion of the brain wide awake.”

“In drumming (what) we are actually doing, is we are waking up these parts that are asleep, and also strengthening parts of the brain that aren’t as active as they could be,” he said

Offering courses ranging from hobbyist-types to a three-hour per week full-time diploma program, the college welcomes all levels of expertise. Burak says teachers at the school know their discipline is important, as well as having fun.

“This study of drums and percussion, you have to set out a practice schedule,” he said. “And a habitual practice schedule. So I think that this on its own make the individual, as far as routines go, it raises their level of discipline.”

Burak says the best part of the school’s east-end location may be the availability of transit. Its former Bayview location piqued client interest and the move was planned to keep the school in the area. Burak said surrounding neighborhoods filled with serious minded music students are part of the reason. “Our focus has always been in the Leaside area.”

“We’re on the edge of Rosedale and Forest Hill so it’s the type of clientele that are attracted to us as well as us to them simply because we offer a program,” he said. Which many music schools do not. It’s a very thorough program, the teachers are full-time professional teachers.

Drum rooms are set up so instructors can watch from a drum set of his or her own while working with students. Sometimes practices and lessons are video taped to allow a visual review.

The college also offers courses in vocal, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, bass guitar as well as keyboard and piano.

Written by Nathan Bentley