Advertisement

Music Academy Provides Music Exploration for All Ages

Share:

Rob Bonefaas Crop
Rob Bonefaas of Niverville has founded Music Academy Manitoba. Joey Villanueva

Music, they say, has the power to unite the world through its ability to transcend all language barriers. For some individuals, like Rob Bonefaas of Music Academy Manitoba, music is both passion and way of life, and his love of the craft is something he hopes to share with as many as possible in this corner of the world.

Located at 10 Cedar Drive in Niverville, Music Academy Manitoba (MAM) offers private lessons in voice, piano, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Group lessons are available in recorder and band, as well as a special class called Music for Children, geared towards kids ages five to 12. Here, Bonefaas strives to open up the child’s world to the multiplicity of music using speech, song, movement, percussion, and performance.

At the core of Music Academy Manitoba is a simple idea. In January 2020, Bonefaas decided to connect the local youth through music and formed the Niverville Youth Choir. It got off to a successful start with 40 initial members between the ages of seven and 17.

Unfortunately, the months of pandemic that followed brought a temporary halt to the group’s gathering.

By September, though, as pandemic restrictions eased for a bit, Bonefaas had received enough interest in his choral group that he decided to diversify, establishing a kid’s choir (ages five to 11), a youth choir (ages 12 to 17), and the Niverville Community Choir for adults of all ages.

The music academy was born from there as word began to spread. Many people he’d connected with around the area also expressed a desire to see music education, in all its vast and varied forms, be available under one roof.

“The goal of the academy is to provide professional music education by qualified music professionals,” says Bonefaas.

Deeply inspired by the response to his initial youth choir, he adds, “All this shows me that there is much more possible, especially once the COVID restrictions are lifted. I am providing the opportunity for people in the community, of all different ages and levels of ability, to join a group and to let us work on inspiring performers by cultivating craft, creativity, and confidence.”

Bonefaas and his family decided to make Niverville their home nearly two years ago. For the past ten years, he’s been working as a professional educator at the Immanuel Christian School in Winnipeg, teaching music classes to elementary students as well as instructing and conducting the high school band. Bonefaas and the band class have hosted and attended many a competition across western Canada.

He also offers his students the extracurricular option of joining the annual high school musical. His repertoire has included renowned titles such as HMS Pinafore, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Cinderella.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Bonefaas first came to Canada to pursue work experience as a chef, his then-chosen profession. Until that point, music had been little more than a passionate hobby.

Since the age of eight, he’d been training at Dutch conservatories, building his skills to become an all-round percussionist who played in concert bands. Before and after moving to Canada, Bonefaas stretched his musical repertoire by joining local choirs.

In 2001, Bonefaas decided to make Canada his permanent home, and by 2002 he’d met the love of his life, Diane. Realizing that a family was in his future and supporting them may be difficult in the restaurant business, Bonefaas went back to school.

He enrolled at McMaster University with the goal of entering the ministry and, eventually, becoming a pastor. He immediately joined the university choir, singing as a tenor.

“For the Christmas concert, I received a solo [position], and during the final singing test the conductor said, ‘If you don’t go into music I might have to kill you,’” Bonefaas muses. “I was encouraged to meet with Elise Bedard, a voice teacher at McMaster University who, after I had sung three contrasting pieces, said, ‘If you don’t go into music I might have to kill you.’ I had heard that before, somewhere! So I auditioned and got accepted into the music program and Elise Bedard became my official voice teacher.”

Bonefaas eventually accepted the position of music director at the Immanuel Christian School in Winnipeg. At the same time, he pursued his Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Manitoba.

This is where he also received his certification as a Carl Orff Canada, Music for Children instructor. According to the Carl Orff Canada website, the organization’s approach to music education is “holistic, experiential, and process-oriented.” Their goal is to offer professional musical training to all children, not just the musically gifted, by providing instruction for aural, visual, and kinaesthetic learners alike.

Today, Bonefaas and his wife are proud parents to four children ranging in age from six to 12. All of them are developing their own interest for music, including playing guitar and percussion. They each take piano lessons and plan to sing in one of the choirs of the Niverville Choral Society.

Reflecting on his own musical beginnings, Bonefaas says the first and most impactful music influence in his life was his elementary music teacher, a man who also happened to be his uncle.

“Looking back, I see his brilliance in his ability to create beautiful music with very little,” Bonefaas says. “Sadly, he died when I was only 15. Another person who has greatly influenced me and has supported me in terms of my passion for music and teaching is my wife, Diane. In all my crazy ideas, she has always supported me, provided meaningful feedback, and been by my side for the last 17 years.”

As to why he believes that music is so integral to the human experience, Bonefaas draws from his deep-seated spirituality.

“Personally, I believe that music is a gift from God, a means by which we may express our thankfulness to him. Good music will glorify God’s holy name and will recreate us and give us pleasure.”

For more information

www.musicacademymanitoba.ca

Advertisement
More ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Former Teacher’s Debut Novel Draws from Real Life

Mark Reimer’s life hasn’t been without tragedy, but he has taken the combination of joy and sorrow he’s experienced and channelled it into crafting a novel that draws on the character traits...

Read more

Mark Reimer’s life hasn’t been without tragedy, but he has taken the combination of joy and sorrow he’s experienced and channelled it into crafting a novel that draws on the character traits...

Read more

Niverville Musician Nominated for Three K-Love Awards

A rising star from Niverville has taken his music career from his small town roots to the bright lights of Nashville. Jordan St. Cyr is now hoping to reach even greater heights, but to do that he...

Read more

A rising star from Niverville has taken his music career from his small town roots to the bright lights of Nashville. Jordan St. Cyr is now hoping to reach even greater heights, but to do that he...

Read more
Advertisement

Author Examines “Social Cannibalism” in New Book

Are we all cannibals? It’s an eye-catching question and also the name of local author David Braun’s new book. In the faith-based tome, Braun seeks to decipher the central metaphor of social...

Read more

Are we all cannibals? It’s an eye-catching question and also the name of local author David Braun’s new book. In the faith-based tome, Braun seeks to decipher the central metaphor of social...

Read more

Local Writer and Illustrator Working on New Children’s Book

Have you ever checked on your sleeping child and wondered what on earth they could be doing to kick their blankets off every night? Cyndi Wiebe of Niverville has thought about that a lot. So much,...

Read more

Have you ever checked on your sleeping child and wondered what on earth they could be doing to kick their blankets off every night? Cyndi Wiebe of Niverville has thought about that a lot. So much,...

Read more
Advertisement

Niverville Fair Cancelled for Second Year in a Row

On Thursday, April 1, it was announced that the Niverville Olde Tyme Country Fair, for the second year in a row, will not be taking place. “After much consideration, the Niverville Fair...

Read more

On Thursday, April 1, it was announced that the Niverville Olde Tyme Country Fair, for the second year in a row, will not be taking place. “After much consideration, the Niverville Fair...

Read more

New Single on the Way from Brady Kenneth

Brady Kenneth, acclaimed local country music artist, is set to release his new single, “I Hope You Get Drunk,” coming out March 12. Kenneth is a frequent performer at festivals across...

Read more

Brady Kenneth, acclaimed local country music artist, is set to release his new single, “I Hope You Get Drunk,” coming out March 12. Kenneth is a frequent performer at festivals across...

Read more
Advertisement

Author Tackles Tough Topics in Children’s Book Series

Local author Thom Van Dycke recently wrote, illustrated, and published the first in a series of children’s books dedicated to tackling subjects that are often difficult for children to grasp...

Read more

Local author Thom Van Dycke recently wrote, illustrated, and published the first in a series of children’s books dedicated to tackling subjects that are often difficult for children to grasp...

Read more
Time until next issue
Citizen Poll

Which are the most important campaign issues to you? Please choose up to three.

For related article, see link below.
https://nivervillecitizen.com/...