Lippert Music Centre Inc. was founded in 1957 by Joe Lippert, who believed “every person has the potential to learn an instrument and enjoy a life-long love affair with music.” Setting up shop in the Pape and Danforth area of Toronto, Lippert Music has been a vibrant part of this community ever since.
During our interview, Charleen Beard, née Lippert, details the history leading to Lippert’s longevity. “I joined forces with my father in 1980, beginning with a teaching role. Increasing my responsibilities in 1990 I began to hire the other teachers to join us. I always look for teachers who love music and who are able to impart this to their students.” In 1996 Beard took over all duties as her parents officially retired. “Parents don’t really retire do they? And thank goodness, as mom and dad have always been close by to offer their advice,” she explains.
How does a music school remain in operation from one generation to the next, consistently growing both in size and reputation? The answer lies in that guiding philosophy of Joe’s. “Our teaching standard is very high, and we have an exceptional staff of 30. Our teachers are at the heart of our success, and while I do not insist that our teachers have a performing career outside of the school, many of them do. We have staff with burgeoning international careers and several who perform regularly throughout the Golden Horseshoe. Others have CD recordings to their credit.”
Beard adds that the support Lippert has received from the parents for nearly six decades is crucial. “We have been blessed to have such supportive parents over the years. This is integral to the progress that our students show.”
So what styles of music are taught at Lippert? “We teach classical, jazz, show tunes, rock, the popular hits of today, and we teach all these styles on guitar, piano, voice, the string and woodwind instruments, and drums. In addition to the practical, our staff believes strongly in teaching the theoretical. It really does pay dividends.” Also offered are group classes, including Lippert’s String Ensemble, Musical Theatre Classes and the exciting full day summer camps; — School of Hard Rock and Music Theatre. “Music is a social activity meant to be shared,” Beard enthuses.
Where does Lippert go in the next 50 years? Beard laughs. “Well, I won’t speak to the next 50, but in the next few we will continue with the Lippert Music Festival, which launched three years ago. The original intent was to allow Lippert students the opportunity to perform for an audience prior to their [Royal Conservatory] exams, but this year students from other music schools as well as private studios are encouraged to participate, to expand their musical camaraderie and share with their peers in the community.” It’s free to the public and will be happening on April 2 and 3, 2011.
For further information on Lippert Music Centre, you may visit them at lippertmusic.com, on Facebook, or call 416-425-9933 and ask for Charleen. She loves to talk music!