In addition to being a pianist and composer, Amanda Tosoff is a passionate educator. She is on faculty at the prestigious music program at Humber College, and has been a featured artist and clinician at various universities and conferences, including the 2020 Canadian Jazz Summit at the University of Manitoba. Amanda is also co-artistic director of online education organization, Music Arts Collective, alongside bassist Jodi Proznick and arts-administrator Francesca Fung. Amanda currently offers private lessons and group workshops online on a variety of topics, including jazz piano, theory, improvisation, and composition. See below of the latest news or read more about Amanda’s past lectures.
I’ve been growing quite fond of teaching online – in part because there are some fun apps and tech that makes online teaching effective. Check out my new set up on Zoom with multiple cameras and Chordie App!
I’m very excited to be part of “Sisters in Jazz Day” with Music Arts Collective (Jodi Proznick, myself, and our guest Heather Bambrick) and the VSO School of Music. We’ve partnered up to present a day of online workshops on March 19, 2021 – which will include topics in rhythm, improv, composition, and history!
It’s great for students AND teachers who are looking to explore new topics and a bit of history about Women in Jazz. JUNO nominated vocalist/songwriter Heather Bambrick, jazz radio host at Jazz FM, will be hosting the listening exploration. It’s going to be a treat!
The initiative is a response to the fact that there are still only approximately 5% women instrumentalists in the world of jazz – and we have discovered that the virtual environment is a fabulous and safe space to explore some guided practice and jazz concepts. All ages – and anyone who identifies as a “sister” is welcome!
You can find more information here: https://vsoschoolofmusic.ca/program/sisters-in-jazz-online-class/
Don’t worry if you can’t make it all day! All the workshops will be recorded and up on our site later, so register now and you can tune in anytime after we have them posted!
Saxophonist Kelly Jefferson played an amazing solo on my tune “A Dream Within a Dream” from my new recording Earth Voices. His solo is so good that it has been floating around in my head for months – this may also have to do with me having heard this song a million times during post-production of the recording!
Well I finally wrote it out and played a clip of it in the short video above. Thanks Kelly for such an inventive and perfect solo – so much to learn from this!
Download the full transcription and listen to the entire solo or album in the links below:
I’m really excited about the online workshops we just released at Music Arts Collective in celebration of my album. The topics include How to Listen to Jazz, How to Get Started With Jazz Composition, Sisters in Jazz Day, Beginner Jazz Piano and How to Create Great Bass Lines and more. Check out the details and links on my events page or click below to read more.
When I was first starting out, I was terrified to improvise! I would freeze up when asked to do so by my teacher, I just felt like I didn’t know what I was supposed to play. Of course, after all these years, I’ve come to realize that there is no “right” way to improvise and that all you need to do is listen, imitate, and practice creating your own ideas too. You are a composer – just composing on the spot!
One of the things that really helped me, was creating exercises for myself where I set some limitations and tried to create simple clear ideas – trying not to do too much. On Nov 1, I shared a bunch of these ideas, alongside my partner Jodi Proznick at Music Arts Collective, in a webinar called “Improvisation Games.”
Yes, games! It should be fun! We created some fun games called “Painting By Numbers,” “Opposites Attract,” “Rhythm ‘n Riffs,” and “Phrase Bingo.”
It’s sounds light-hearted and fun, and while it’s delivered that way, these games are gold for anyone looking to get started with some fundamentals of improvisation.
You can purchase the recorded video and handouts in the link below.
Happy (fun) improvising!
I’ve launched an online education and arts website with the award winning bassist/educator Jodi Proznick, who is also my old friend going back to even my high-school days! Arts administrator Francesca Fung, formerly of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Festival Vancouver, is keeping everything together as we develop online courses, workshops, YouTube videos, live stream conversations – and some very exciting musical collaborations.
Jodi and I have both been very active educators for many years doing workshops at festivals, universities, summer camps – as well private and classroom teaching at universities like Humber College and Capilano U. We are excited to take our knowledge of and enthusiasm about music online to share with the world.
Check out our current videos, workshops, and courses on topics like jazz rhythm section, improvisation, pop music, and online resources for educators: www.MusicArtsCollective.com
Or read some of the posts below to find out some of the fun projects I’ve been a part of with MAC.
In anticipation of our (Music Arts Collective’s) recent webinar “Improvisation Games,” I put together a live stream showing ways you can create variations on one simple idea – an important skill needed for any improvisor! Check out the recording on YouTube and get the handout from MAC, under our Freebie of the Month.. and make sure to sign up for our mailing list to, so you don’t miss any more Freebies!
Back in May I did a YouTube tutorial video for JazzYYC, who did a wonderful job creating some online opportunities for jazz musicians during Covid. I had a great time putting together this video on one of my favourite subjects: Reharmonization!
I won’t tell you all about it here, as I do so in the video above. Feel free to download the attached PDF of my reharmonization of “What Is This Thing Called Love,” which I deconstruct in the video.
Have fun exploring the many wonderful ways you can, as I like to say, “mess with the progresh.”