Death / Obituaries : Boyanna Toyich, Piano Teacher Passed Away , Toronto
This is a tribute and loving memory of beloved Boyanna Toyich who recently passed away.
Here are some tributes posted on online to honor the deceased…
University of Toronto Faculty of Music wrote on Facebook.
UPDATE: We have received information regarding funeral arrangements for Boyanna Toyich:
The visitation will be from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, June 23 at the Cardinal Funeral Home and the funeral will be on Monday, June 24 at 11 am at the Cardinal Funeral Home, 366 Bathurst Street, (across from the Toronto Western Hospital).
Dear members of the Faculty of Music community:
It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the death this morning of our dear friend and colleague Boyanna Toyich. A longtime piano teacher among our sessional faculty, Boyanna was an inspiration to us all. Her infectious enthusiasm for our students and for the music learning experience would lift all spirits in even the most challenging situations. As I reflect, I realize that I have known Boyanna for at least 45 years, during our time together at the Royal Conservatory of Music and U of T Music and again over the past few years after my return to Toronto in 2011. She was always amazing: a beacon of positivity, a focused mentor, an innovator with many great ideas. She taught piano, pedagogy, performing skills, performance anxiety management, professional development, musicianship, and classes for advanced amateurs. She was Artistic Director and CEO of Toyich International Projects (TIP) which included the RomeSMARTS (Rome Summer Musical Arts) two-week summer program in Italy. She was so loved by her students, colleagues, and all members of the music community, because she gave such love first, and back, and always. We will miss her deeply.
On behalf of the Faculty of Music, I extend our deepest condolences to family and friends.
With best wishes to all,
Dean Don McLean
James Thái Hòa wrote on Facebook.
When I got accepted into the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in 2010 and had to select a piano teacher, I had no idea who to choose. My former piano teacher back home suggested Boyanna Toyich, saying I would enjoy studying with her. And so, I put Boyanna’s name down on the form and got placed in her studio. I had no idea how much of an impact she would have on my university life and journey going forward.
From 2010 to 2014, I was her piano student among many others. None of us were perfomance majors, but it didn’t stop her from pushing us to take on challenging repertoire and go into our lessons and juries with the mindset of a performer. She was critical when she had to be, and encouraging all of the time. I don’t think any of her students can forget her tips and “catchphrases” (ie. “Focus, prepare, bum in the chair”). Constantly drilling these ideas into our heads, she would often ask us “do you hear my voice in your head yet?” (I still hear it).
She also gave so much life advice. While most lessons were serious and all about the task at hand, there were also days where we would spend the hour just talking about life and school…it was like going to therapy. She always kept it real with us, and it was so clear how much she loved her students.
This was the person who always called me a star, the person who said I could be a performer even if I wasn’t a performance major. This was the person who told me I could win a Grammy (and to remember to thank her in my acceptance speech, obviously). This was the person who made me believe in my talent and that I was good enough.
I would not have had such a positive and enriching university experience without her. She was more than just a piano teacher. She was our mentor in music and life, the “president of the Hyper Club” (because we were all so anxious and high strung), a mother to her students or “babies”, and a true icon of being unapologetically fabulous. RIP the Queen, we will all miss you 👸🏼❤️🎹🎵
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