YELLOW DOG taught me how to love the piano before I could fully understand its language. I was given the freedom to find myself in all the notes without any limitation, only guidance. This new found freedom was like a dam breaking through, and all the anxious youthful energy that had been burning in me could finally be put to use. I started writing songs right off the bat, and teaching myself to sing with the piano. My teacher Katrina saw the importance of what I was discovering and fuelled me with inspiration and support beyond being a music teacher. She has continued throughout my life to affirm her faith in me.
Yellow dog was a community of like-minded young musicians for me, whom I got to inspire and be inspired by. I got the opportunity to take guitar lessons and singing lessons. I had so much fun just being able to PLAY! There is not a competitive dog bone in that music school, and everyone is there to just experience self expression. These music lessons have taken me further than I could have ever imagined. – Wolfgang Gray (Humber College student + Performing musician) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2LiksnrMMo
MY YELLOW DOG TEACHERS seemed to truly understand why one should play music; to try to know it, build it, shape it like clay, tame it, and then having done so to whatever degree one could, stand in awe of its beauty. They all strove to share with me how it feels when that moment in a song hits and a chill runs up your spine. And it is an amazing gift to be taught how to create such powerful music yourself! My lessons at Yellow Dog taught me not only how to play the piano, but also how to express my thoughts and feelings in an art form which at its best perhaps communicates emotion better than any other form of communication. Twelve years after my first lesson at Yellow Dog, I can now sit down at a piano with no sheet music and improvise for half an hour at a time. Doing so is one of the most amazing, enjoyable, relaxing and at the same time, exciting activities that I know of. Thank you Yellow Dog, for that! – Jeff Wachsmuth (General Practicioner and Award-winning Screenplay writer)
I CAME TO YELLOW DOG when I was 8 years old. I must say it has been one of the best parts of the last 8 years of my life. When I first came it was for piano vocals lessons and I didn’t know much. I was a shy girl who loved music but didn’t quite know what to do with my passion. Throughout the years I have come so far in the world of music with writing new songs and playing in a variety of venues and all because of the amazing, heartwarming, and inspirational environment of Yellow Dog. It has been a huge part of my life and continues to be as I am now working part-time in the ‘dog house’! From my desk in the office, I watch as they go in and out of their lessons, and without fail, every single one leaves their studio with a smile. – Emma Tarleton (High School student) . Click on the link to watch my very first LIVE performance, singing one of my original songs. I was only 13 years old then!
I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO YELLOW DOG very well, mostly because my mom had to drag me there. When I was quite young I was put into standard classical piano classes, which I absolutely detested. I never did the homework, I didn’t like the music, I felt as though I was just bad at it. Years later, when my mom walked into the kitchen to inform me that I had been signed up for lessons at a new music school I was less than thrilled. As it turned out, when I played by myself I quite enjoyed playing the piano. I had been doing just fine learning piano by myself thankyouverymuch. She insisted I at least give it a try,
“This place is different! You’ll see!” She was very adamant. My eyes rolled heavily in disbelieving tween defiance, but I succumbed and decided I’d rather go to prove myself right more than anything.
The artwork on the walls, the warm lighting, the toys, the books, the nonsensical accoutrement adorning any available space… This did not feel like a normal music school. My guard lowered after I met my piano teacher, a pretty young woman who smiled and seemed genuinely happy to meet me. I met Kat, who immediately struck me as a very creative and fun person. The first time I was there I played for my teacher, and according to her my skill level was high for someone who had been self taught. She called Kat into the room and I played a piece I had learned by myself. Their response was so strong and warm that it still resonates with me to this day. I was sold.
In my time at Yellow Dog , Kat got me into their Garage Band program. I am still close friends with one of the boys I met in that band. Playing with them and learning to jam with them, gave me the confidence I needed to pursue music throughout my life. Not only does Yellow Dog teach kids music, they teach kids to love music. So many classical programs treat the playing of an instrument as a mathematical equation. They suck every last drop of fun out of it. Music is human, music is for everyone to love and enjoy. Yellow Dog taught me that, and continues to teach children to express their creativity.
Today I am a front woman of the band Seekers Peak, in a couple weeks I’ll be on stage at Lee’s Palace. I attribute so much of my confidence and musical success to the mentorship I received from Kat and everyone at Yellow Dog Music. The dog house is a special place, not every kid gets the space they need to be creative. I’m thankful I was able to be a part of such an artistic and welcoming environment at a young age. Here’s to 30 Years of Yellow Dog Music! Woof! – Cha Cha Foy (Musician)
Thank you for everything over the years you have done for me to help build the musician I have become. – Josh Satov