Heart-Strings Talent Education

Heart-Strings Talent Education - Letter from the Director    February 2023

Hello Music Lovers,

Our Winter term got off to an amazing start with our live performance for the seniors at the beautiful Delmanor Aurora, on January 15, 2023! 

Once again, Heart-Strings students are representing the Unionville Music Competition at the Ontario Music Festivals Associan Provincials in May 2023!

We had another fabulous vocal workshop with mezzo-soprano Linda Condy, and learned to sing Elton John's Can You Feel the Love Tonight on February 11, with Valentine's Day and Family Day in mind.

We have been playing Music by Black Composers in recognition of Black History Month (although this music is amazing and we play it throughout the year as well).

We are working with Noa Kageyama's Practice Lab (Juilliard's performance psychology expert).

I have just completed training to add the Wee Violin, World Music Preparatory program to the offerings at Heart-Strings Talent Education.

Plans are also underway to resume in-person lessons in the fall. In the meantime, all lessons are available online and our group programs are super fun for kids and teens!

Sliding scale is available based on financial need so that lessons are accessible for every one!

Peace, love, and joy,

Susan Beth Barak

Heart-Strings Talent Education - Letter from the Director    September 2022 

As we anticipate the year to come, we reflect on 2021-2022, another fantastic year of fun and growth, at Heart-Strings Talent Education (HSTE). Remaining online for private and group lessons, we had a special in-person event in July: Summer Music Monday Play-in in the Barn, in Zephyr, thanks to the Baker-Mathewson family! J 

Kudos to all the Heart-Strings students and families for their tremendous work: the amount of work and school and life events that you have been juggling is incredible. I am overwhelmed with respect for your hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I am so proud, grateful, and honoured to be a trusted part of your journey in music and life, as part of the Suzuki Triangle. 

To briefly recap of some of HSTE’s key highlights of 2021-2022:

  • Heart-Strings kicked off the year with another Singing in the New Year! Workshop for families


  • Students in the full Heart-Strings Talent Education program completed 44 private and 28 group lessons. We held four (4) studio recitals (Fall,Winter, New Year, Spring) – all online.


  • Some students chose to take RCM exams, with all obtaining First Class Honours minimum.


  • Congratulations to all the successful participants of the Unionville Music Competition!: Alayna, Annabella, Brook, Emma, Fan, Laura, Sofia – all beautiful performances!


  • Four (4) Heart-Strings students qualified for Ontario Provincials and all participants were Finalists! Congratulations to Brook Auger, Annabella Kwok, Emma Mathewson, and Alayna Mathewson. Check out the performances posted on the OMFA website: https://omfa.ca/


  • Student Alayna Mathewson has been honoured to receive an invitation to play in a master class with Jonathan Crow in December 2022!


  • At the South Simcoe Music Festival, HSTE students received many awards, and Junior-level winner Fan Xia went on to solo in a featured Showcase recital in June. Congratulations also to Sofia Nanu-Garofalo and Laura Vignale! Fabulous playing everyone!


  • Perhaps above all, I am touched by beautiful, noble hearts who continued volunteering, sharing their musical gifts, including performing at the Shine through the Rain Paediatric Cancer Patients’ Christmas Party, as well as in other community settings.


The  great cellist Pable Casals mused that perhaps music can save the world. I believe that music is one of the greatest gifts we give to the planet as well as ourselves and our children and future generations. 

People of ALL AGES and ABILITIES are welcome to join the studio! Myriad studies show that music is one of the best things for our brains throughout life. Our technology is destroying the ability to focus and think deeply, and music and other forms of meditation are a powerful way to retain our capabilities. I believe it is also a powerful gift for our hearts and souls. 

Parents, I believe this gift of music, which your children can continue throughout their lives, these abilities that nothing can take away from them, and that they in turn can pass on, is one of the greatest inheritances possible – let’s share it all together, now! 

Susan Beth Barak  info@heart-strings.ca