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In this ensemble-format course, children expand their musical skill set and knowledge while discovering the joy of playing music as a band! Learning to work together towards the common goal of performance, children explore important musical concepts together in a supportive atmosphere, preparing them for the next step in their musical development. Ensembles meet weekly to rehearse under the direction of an experienced CMS coach, a professional musician who draws upon their onstage experience to help students reach their full musical potential. These courses are open to all children aged 9 to 12. No previous musical experience is required.

Combining important musical concepts with visual aids and physical motion, the Orff approach to music instruction creates an immersive and inclusive environment for children that builds confidence while fostering inner creativity. Orff instrumentation and repertoire are designed around the specific learning requirements of children. Taking turns playing an assortment of Orff instrumentation and repertoire, students explore how each instrument plays its own role within the larger ensemble. Many of the concepts and skills are directly transferrable across all instruments, and this course is the ideal preparation for the CMS Youth Jazz Ensemble courses.


“Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child’s play.”
- Carl Orff

Meet the Orff Ensemble Coaches

Hannah Barstow
Hannah Barstow (b. 1994) is a pianist, vocalist and composer in the Toronto music scene. As a performer, she is firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz and is strongly influenced by the classic trios and quartets of Shirley Horn, Ahmad Jamal and Blossom Dearie. As a composer, her jazz, classical, pop and Latin music influences come through. She composes and arranges tunes for a range of ensemble sizes from trios to women's choirs and big bands. Hannah has an ARCT in piano performance (Royal Conservatory of Music), a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance on piano from the University of Toronto (U of T) and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance on piano from U of T. She is an alumna of Community Music School and happily returned in 2019 to teach. She is also a sessional lecturer at U of T. Hannah has performed with a number of renowned artists including Emilie Claire Barlow, Kris Davis, Mike Murley, Steve Wallace, Pat Collins, the Brian Barlow Big Band, the Greg Runions Big Band with the Kingston Symphony, and she was featured as a guest arranger and performer with the Kingston women's choir She Sings. In November of 2018, she performed on a short tour in Santiago and Viña del Mar, Chile, with Mike Murley. Hannah has released three jazz EPs: Hannah Barstow Trio, as well as Christmas for Two and Snow with Toronto jazz vocalist Kalya Ramu. She will release her first full-length album, Beneath, in the summer of 2021.

New Students

Please contact for information and guidance for selecting programming before registering.

Winter 2023 Term

Private Lesson (All Instruments) 30min Private Lesson  $448
60min Private Lesson $830
Children Children's Musicianship (Ages 3-4) $340
Children's Musicianship (Ages 5-7) $340
Children's Music: Orff Ensemble (Ages 8-11) $645
Youth Advanced Jazz Improvisation (Ages 12-18) $600
Youth Jazz Ensemble (Ages 12-18) $635
Advanced Youth Jazz Ensemble (Ages 14-18) $755