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The People Teaching People Podcast Episode 35: Making Music and Community Connections with Lusiana Lukman and Wanda Bussiere

035: Making Music and Community Connections with Lusiana Lukman & Wanda Bussiere

In this episode of The People Teaching People Podcast, we are joined by Lusiana Lukman and Wanda Bussiere, co-directors of the Classical Music Conservatory (CMC) in Toronto. They share their individual journeys in music and education, and how these paths led them to create a nurturing and supportive music community.

Lusiana, originally from Jakarta and a third-generation teacher, delves into her early musical experiences and the establishment of CMC during her graduate studies. Wanda, transitioning from a career as a nurse in cardiology, discusses her passion for music and how it led her to partner with Lusiana in expanding the conservatory. Together, they talk about the evolution of CMC and its role in fostering a sense of community, support, and musical growth among students, parents, and teachers.

They also reflect on the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of adaptability, and the continued significance of music as a source of healing and connection. The discussion extends to the transformative impact of music education on personal growth, confidence, and emotional well-being, coupled with their advice for aspiring musicians and educators.

Lusiana and Wanda, both integral to the Toronto Roncesvalles neighbourhood, have cultivated a space where music education thrives alongside community spirit. Their work exemplifies the power of music to connect, teach, and inspire, reinforcing the importance of personalized teaching and community engagement in the arts.

 

Listen in as we talk about:

3:15 The role music has played in Lusiana and Wanda’s lives and the story of CMC

8:55 What CMC looks like today

12:49 The importance of music and how music enriches our lives

19:07 Supporting each student with their personal musical learning journey

24:27 The value of music lessons vs. learning from YouTube 

28:38 How music has played a role in Lusiana and Wanda’s families

32:07 Key considerations when looking for a music teacher and music lessons

36:22 Why there isn’t one perfect age for children to start music lessons

40:39 Lusiana and Wanda talk about their favourite teachers

43:37 What Lusiana and Wanda are most proud of

46:18 Lusiana and Wanda answer some rapid-fire questions

 

Connect with Juliane:

 

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Today’s episode is produced by VOLT Productions, a full-service podcast production agency helping creators and entrepreneurs launch, grow and monetize their shows. You can learn more about the agency’s founder Simona, their work and their team by going to www.voltproductions.co

 

Lusiana Lukman and Wanda Bussiere are the co-founders of the Classical Music Conservatory (CMC) in Toronto - pictured here standing outside the door of their music school.

HOW MUSIC ENRICHES OUR LIVES

In discussing the profound impact of music, Wanda and Lusiana highlight the multifaceted ways in which music enriches lives. They emphasize music’s intrinsic value in today’s society, particularly noting its power to heal and provide solace in times of widespread anxiety and depression, such as those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. They recall personal experiences, such as turning to the piano to navigate teenage emotions, to illustrate how music serves as a powerful outlet for expressing feelings and fostering emotional and spiritual well-being. Moreover, they stress that music acts as a universal language, transcending words and connecting individuals across various dimensions of humanity.

Both Lusiana and Wanda delve into the educational benefits of music, pointing out its role in enhancing self-confidence, discipline, cognitive development, and memory, especially when integrated into daily practice. They argue that the process of learning music cultivates patience and long-term goal fulfillment, outweighing the fleeting satisfaction of instant gratification. Highlighting the lifelong advantages of musical education, they share anecdotes of individuals of all ages, including an 81-year-old beginner pianist, engaging in learning new instruments, thereby underscoring the timeless value and accessibility of music education for enhancing human intelligence and maintaining neural health.

 

“It's a long journey learning an instrument. It's not instant gratification. To have someone in front of you giving you that feedback, but also the encouragement and the support to actually continue on this journey, is so crucial as well.” - Wanda Bussiere

SUPPORTING EACH STUDENT WITH THEIR PERSONAL MUSIC JOURNEY

“It’s a long journey learning an instrument. It’s not instant gratification. To have someone in front of you giving you that feedback, but also the encouragement and the support to actually continue on this journey, is so crucial as well.” – Wanda Bussiere

Lusiana and Wanda emphasize the importance of personalized teaching strategies to meet the unique needs and preferences of each student at their music school. They begin this tailored approach by having new students fill out a questionnaire covering their musical preferences, background, and available schedule for regular lessons. This helps in pairing students with the ideal teacher to foster a connection that can significantly enhance their interest and dedication to learning. They stress the importance of a good match between teacher and student, which they believe is crucial for motivating students to progress through different levels and maintain their enthusiasm for music. They have received positive feedback from many parents and students who appreciate the perfect fit between students and teachers.

Furthermore, Lusiana and Wanda discuss how they ensure that each student’s musical goals are understood and prioritized by their assigned teacher, whether they aspire to excel in exams or simply want to enjoy playing music without the pressure of formal assessments. Recognizing the diversity in their students’ aims, they underscore the importance of adapting teaching methods accordingly to keep the joy and individuality of each student’s musical journey intact. They believe in catering to each student’s unique needs, whether they seek achievement in a structured exam setting or prefer to explore music more casually, ensuring a fulfilling and joyous musical education for everyone.

 

Inside the Classical Music Conservatory (CMC), co-founded by Lusiana Lukman and Wanda Bussiere, in Toronto, Ontario.

KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN LOOKING FOR A MUSIC TEACHER AND MUSIC LESSONS

Community and relationships are central to the music school experience that Wanda and Lusiana have created with CMC – the Classical Music Conservatory. But – if you are looking for in-person music lessons and you don’t live in the Toronto area, they share some key considerations to keep in mind. 

Wanda and Lusiana stress the importance of finding the right match between teacher and student as a crucial aspect when searching for music education, whether in Toronto, Calgary, or any other part of the world. They suggest that music schools should employ a detailed questionnaire for new students, covering their musical goals and backgrounds, to ensure a compatible pairing beyond mere scheduling convenience. This personalized approach helps in creating a nurturing environment conducive to learning. They emphasize that the quest for the perfect teacher might require sampling various instructors to ensure not only a match in musical knowledge but also in personal connection, which significantly impacts the quality of the learning experience.

They also touch on the importance of mutual understanding and respect in the teacher-student relationship, highlighting that music education is a long-term journey that should feel as comfortable as a second home. They share personal experiences to illustrate the importance of aligning teacher and student expectations and encourage listening to personal instincts and the child’s preferences when it comes to choosing the right instructor. Luciana and Wanda’s advice reflects a holistic approach to music education, focusing on the importance of connection, adaptability, and supportive teaching environments to foster ongoing musical interest and development.

 

The logo of the Classical Music Conservatory (CME) in Toronto, Ontario co-founded by Lusiana Lukman and Wanda Bussiere

RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS

What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do?

  • Lusiana: Tread water
  • Wanda: Palliative and hospice care

What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? 

  • Lusiana: Witness the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
  • Wanda: More of Canada

What is a book, podcast, movie, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently? 

  • Lusiana:
    • Book: What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry,
    • Podcast: Money Feels
    • TV Show: True Detectives 
  • Wanda: 
    • Book: Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson

If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? 

  • Lusiana: God
  • Wanda: Her dad

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