There are not adequate words to describe the joy and wonders of this intense emotional immersion in music and learning, with coaching of the highest level…an experience heightened by the excellent facilities, the camaraderie of the faculty and students, and the everlasting beauty and magic of Rome. Audrey Marshall
I attended the 2013 ROMESMARTS course. The course was successful in achieving all of its goals as stated in the initial program. The focus on performance skills on a daily level was highly instructive and by the end of the two weeks I felt more confident in performing works in public of repertoire that pushed the limits of my technical ability. The daily performance skills classes introduced us to a wide range of tools that performers can resort to overcome personal obstacles in successful public performance. Prof. Toyich was an exemplary teacher in this regard by emotionally and symbolically linking the approach to music practice with the artistic riches of ancient, medieval and Renaissance Roman art. The seminars given by Profs. Scholtz and Walter on collaborative skills and conducting were superb.In addition the guest master classes and italian language classes were excellent. The course was well structured so that there was enough time for personal practice as well as cultural excursions, the latter of which actually informed performance skills development, which is a unique aspect of this course. The training environment is rigorous but welcoming and non-competitive, which is another unique aspect of the program. The UPTER facilities were top notch, with access to high quality grand pianos for performance and practice.
In summary, I highly recommend this course for music students and amateurs who want to improve their performance skills.Mario Ostrowski
Attending Boyanna Toyich’s Educational Conference for Performers ( RomeSMARTS) last summer was one of the richest musical and cultural experiences of my life. Musically, it opened up a new world of self-confidence, knowledge, and possibility for me as a performer and listener. The pace of the daily workshops with Boyanna, Cam and Clare lent an excitement and commitment  that I feel has propelled me forward in my pianistic development. The atmosphere in the classes was relaxed but intensely focussed, and the intergenerational mix of students generated a wonderful fellow feeling. Boyanna gave her all to each student, class, and rehearsal, with the result that our two public performances were great succeses. The addition of the collaborative classes conducted by Cam and Clare further enhanced our musical perspective. Italian guest pianist-pedagogue Orazio Maione shared his expertise with kindness, precision, and good humour. The Rome setting, with our daily Italian classes, made us feel we were in the cultural centre of Europe. We were. There was still time to enjoy the opera, museums, and art history tours, which were graciously organized for us. UPTER staff were always cheerfully helpful. My time there was altogether thrilling and memorable, a musically educational milesone that I hope to repeat. Deanne Bogdan, PHD
Professor Emerita
Graduate Program in Philosophy of Education
Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education
OISE/University of Toronto
My experience on the Rome trip and RomeSMARTS 2008 was truly an enriching one. Not only did I get valuable chances to perform, but I also met new friends, and learnt different keyboard skills for credit -all in a beautiful city! This trip was definitely the highlight of my summer.Andrea Yau, student, Faculty of Music
I thought RomeSMARTS was excellent and a refreshing change from the usual summer music school! RomeSMARTS had much more to offer than master classes. It included a much broader range of classes and learning, about life as a musician and life in general. It is one of the best musical experiences I have had and a nurturing environment to help you figure out who you are as a musician.Kathleen Ludwig
This was an incredible experience- more than I ever expected. Being in a rich musical environment surrounded by exceptional musicians challenged my skills and pushed me to discover further strengths. Working collaboratively with others made us respect each others unique artistic abilities and ideas. The program provided an opportunity to gain much more confidence in myself as a musician and the history and beauty of Rome was in inspiring backdrop for such a creative experience. And the people- the staff at Upter were gracious and approachable. The faculty are so helpful and understanding of where we currently are in our musical development. Their knowledge and support is invaluable. Finally, my fellow musicians were supportive and insightful listeners. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work, eat and live with. Overall an experience I will never forget and will value forever!Myrtle Millares
Boyanna, Cam and Clare, I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity! The friendships made over the past two weeks will be lifelong relationships- and wonderful, talented colleagues throughout our careers. All of our resumes and bios will not only benefit from performing in Rome but also having the opportunity to work with all three of you intensively.
The classes were incredible – uplifting, educational, informative and fun! Performance ideas were given and able to be tested and tried in a supportive environment. It was very refreshing to work with a group of peers and professors and feel comfortable taking a performance risk while knowing a performance mistake may be made. Incredibly supportive and positive group sessions! When I came to Rome ten years ago, I knew it was beautiful and a very special place. After these last two weeks, Rome is now my home away from home, this is an experience I will always treasure. My goal is greatness- and thanks to tools I have learned here, I will pursue my dream with gusto!! Grazie! Grazie! Grazie!Sarah Smith
RomeSMARTS opened up the doors of opportunities for both performance and education. Performance classes and masterclasses helped me to bring out my best musicianship in concerts. Sharing feedback after performances in classes helped me to get a broader perspective in musical interpretation. RomeSMARTS allowed me to be who I really am as a musician, it made my dream come true! Performing music that I love in the city of ART and BEAUTY was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity that made me step forward as a musician and build a higher tower of my success!Grace Kim
RomeSMARTS provides a truly supportive musical environment for both seasoned performers and those who want to enhance their performance abilities. You will develop a new ear for music and an increased ability to BE the music you are playing! A wonderful life-enhancing experience! Thank you all!Louise Chochla
This was an amazing experience for me! RomeSMARTS is a wonderful opportunity for any music student both to learn and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of Rome. It is a fantastic program in a fantastic city with fantastic teachers from both Canada and Italy! The classes are challenging and fun while the sights of Rome are astounding in their beauty. Most certainly a wonderful experience for me! Grazie!Abby Zhang
Over the last two weeks at RomeSMARTS I have learned so much! After this experience I feel more confident as a musician and am truly grateful for all of the opportunities this program has provided for me. I know I will take this experience and use the skills I learned in my future as a musician and educator! Thanks for EVERYTHING!Denise Simpson
RomeSMARTS has been an amazing experience for me! I am so fortunate to have participated in this program, not only to have worked with new people and to have improved my performance skills, but also to have had the chance to explore Rome. It was a pleasure to take part in the daily classes with such supportive and enthusiastic professors; I am very thankful for all that you have done for me. These two weeks have been so special to me and I will cherish the memories forever. And not only do I feel that I have grown as a musician, I also feel that I have grown as a person. Thank you so much!Eric Chow