The deadline to apply for the Kiwanis Music Festival is Nov. 15. The Kiwanis Club of Scarborough takes part in supporting the music competition as a sponsor according to the coordinators of the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto.
Scholarships are provided to the best of the young musicians and performers.
When becoming contestants of the Kiwanis Music Festival, according to their mission statement, young musicians are encouraged to participate in the arts to develop self-discipline and teamwork skills.
Assistant festival coordinator Meghan Proudfoot highlighted some of the categories where scholarships can be attained.
“It’s an amateur competition for youth across the GTA in music and stage art. It is for instrumentalists and singers but there are also choirs and orchestras,” Proudfoot said. “We have brass, woodwind, piano, voice, percussion, strings, music theatre, guitar, non-western instruments as well as jazz.”
Performers who stand out above the competition will be rewarded funding toward improving their musical education.
“Our scholarship program, those are the prizes that are awarded to our competitors based on recommendation from the adjudicators,” said Proudfoot. “All of our scholarships are donated from either private donors or the Kiwanis Club of Toronto.”
Aster Lai, a professional pianist, studied music at the University of Hong Kong and in Austria at the Vienna Conservatory.
Lai then attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as well as the University of Toronto. Now Aster Lai teaches students at her own music school called Aster’s Music House.
Lai has had past pupils who have entered and won scholarships at the festival. She promotes such music competitions and perceives this contest as an opportunity for growth.
“All kids, if you give them an aim, they will work harder,” Lai said. “It’s always good if they can have competition. Then they will improve faster, they will practice more seriously.”
“They also advance when they perform in the competition. They learn something whether they win or they lose. They will have to adjust themselves or the teacher has to do something to encourage them if they lost. They learn the right discipline,” Lai said.
Lai also gave some advice for amateur musicians who do not excel in competitions such as these.
“You have to think about why you lost, what’s wrong? Did you work hard enough or (was it) your attitude?” Laid said, “Both ways, the teacher and student have to readjust.”
Lai says students are given missions on how to develop. Competitions such as these are important so young musicians can see how other people play and what kind of standard is set.
“Maybe at home you play very good but when you go out, it is something different. So they have to learn so many things,” Lai said.
The Kiwanis Music Festival starts Feb. 19, 2013 and will run until March 2, 2013.