Myrtle D. Millares, PHD, BMUS, BA (Hons), BMus
Myrtle began piano lessons at the age of six with the guidance of Michaela Credo (contrabassist with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra). Preparations for a national competition at the age of 11 were cut short by her family’s move to Canada where she eventually took private lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music, studying with Karen Quinton, Dr. Janet Lopinski, and Andrew Markow, completing the Performer’s ARCT exam in 1995.
Through her high school years, Myrtle competed in and earned scholarships from music festivals in the Greater Toronto Area while providing piano and theory instruction to students of various skill levels, aged 4 to 60.
Admitted to the University of Toronto on scholarship, she completed a Major in Music History & Theory, along with a Major in Philosophy and a Minor in French As A Second Language. This was followed by a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education while continuing piano studies with James Anagnoson and Boyanna Toyich.
With the perspective that students learn best when they lead engaged, healthy, and fulfilling non-academic lives, Myrtle spent five years working as a student advisor and counsellor in various colleges and faculties at the University of Toronto, supporting students through personal crises, academic challenges, and successes.
Throughout these years, she remained an active musician, performing in recitals, concerts, competitions, and master classes.
As one of only two students ever to combine graduate work in both Music Education and Piano Pedagogy at U of T, she completed a Master’s Degree in 2010 while furthering piano studies with Dr. Midori Koga. During that time, her interest in childhood musical learning led to the the publication of a research paper on “Attention Span in the 5- to 7-Year-Old Music Student,” published in the peer-reviewed journal, American Music Teacher. She is grateful to Dr. Lori-Anne Dolloff, Dr. Lee Bartel, Dr. Jeff Packman, and Dr. Elizabeth Gould, for their guidance through her continuing graduate studies. They have nurtured her interest in many areas, including: language & music–thought creation and reproduction; music and neural changes; cultural influences on knowledge and identity formation; and critical pedagogy and curriculum.
While continuing to perform solo and ensemble repertoire, Myrtle worked toward a PhD in Music (exploring artistic development in hip-hop) while teaching with the U of T Faculty of Music’s Children’s Pedagogy Program, the Regent Park School of Music (on leave while writing dissertation), and at her own music studio.