For the Love of Music – Arcadia Academy of Music

Arcadia Academy of Music has been encouraging youth to discover the magic of music for the past 33 years.

To develop a passion for music at a young age is a gift, and to cultivate it is a privilege. For over three decades, Arcadia Academy of Music, Vaughan’s premier music school, has had the pleasure of nurturing the talents of the tens of thousands of students who have walked through their doors – a task they don’t take lightly.

The well-respected family-owned and -operated franchise first opened its doors in 1984, with Carmine Di Rauso at the helm. He built a foundation for the brand that stood for delivering quality programs with vision. After Di Rauso’s sons Pat and Maurizio took over, the mission remained unchanged: Arcadia provides a personalized approach to music education through innovative programming with honesty, integrity and transparency.

The brothers are certain it’s this forward-thinking approach to music education that sets Arcadia apart from other music schools. “We take the students out of the classroom and put them in our on-site recording studios, performance rooms, master classes and workshops,” says Pat.

According to the brothers, it’s about understanding that music is more than the methodology, and Arcadia is proud to offer students the opportunity to participate in events like annual Christmas concerts and competitions to showcase their skills and gain the confidence they need to blossom.

With nearly a dozen locations and 227 instructors in Vaughan and across the GTA, Arcadia’s approach to music education spans cities, making it one of the largest music schools in Ontario. But Pat doesn’t like to think of the locations as franchises, rather as one unified family committed to teaching the Arcadia method. “It’s not ‘I,’ it’s ‘we,’” says Pat. “Everything we do, we do together.”

Whether they’re teaching piano, guitar, drums, brass, strings or vocals, all Arcadia instructors are adequately interviewed and screened prior to hiring, and all teachers are given a standard of training to ensure quality is harmonious across the board.

Maurizio also stresses that Arcadia values the importance of maintaining quality teacher-student relationships. “We provide our teachers with workshops that equip them with skills to cultivate positive relationships with students, in order to keep them motivated to come back every week.”

Arcadia proudly ranks in the top three music institutions in the country that send students to complete Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. The school even provides its own exams annually on-site to monitor the progression of students and teachers alike.

Arcadia commends parents for making the commitment to bring their child in week after week. Seeing the achievements of the students on paper is further affirmation that their child is making great strides with the musical education they are investing time and money into.

“There are so many activities out there right now like dance or karate, but the only thing that will last forever is music.”

Some students come to Arcadia with an instrument in-hand, while others are only beginning to discover their love for the art and are seeking guidance. “Everyone wants to play their favourite songs, but in order to get to that level you need to be trained and we want to get them there,” says Maurizio. It’s important for the team at Arcadia to understand the goals of the students, assess their strengths and tailor the education plan to their needs, while maintaining structure.

About three years ago, Arcadia’s corporate location in Woodbridge introduced more “out of the box” education and expanded to include a unique 26-week musical theatre program. “It opened up a lot of those areas that allowed the kids to come out of their shells completely,” says Maurizio.

The school proudly puts on two major productions a year at venues such as York University, City Playhouse Theatre and the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts. These large-scale productions are completely written and directed in-house. “We write the script around our talent, everyone gets equal opportunity for a valuable part in the production,” says Pat. “And we don’t use tracks, these are live bands playing every single piece.”

“Music is such an important aspect in everyone’s life. From birth we see the value in exposing children to music,” says Maurizio. “There are so many activities out there right now like dance or karate, but the only thing that will last forever is music.”

At the end of the day it’s not about Arcadia’s 18 professional accolades, including “Best Music School” nods, it’s about the passion that owners Pat and Maurizio and the entire team has for instilling a lifelong love of music in each and every student. That’s the Arcadia difference.

205 Marycroft Ave., Unit 6, Woodbridge, Ont.

photo by carlos a. pinto / dolce media group

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