Cheryl Duvall Activities

Thin Edge New Music Collective

Thin Edge New Music Collective (TENMC) is a Toronto-based ensemble dedicated to ingenuity, collaboration, and artistic excellence in the programming and performance of contemporary music.

Founded in 2011 by co-artistic directors pianist Cheryl Duvall and violinist Ilana Waniuk, TENMC has performed across Canada, Italy and Argentina, and participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, Avaloch Farms New Music Initiative in New Hampshire and Le Pantographe in Switzerland. In addition to producing a regular concert series, TENMC has commissioned over 50 works from composers across Canada and beyond. Recent collaborations include “Raging Against the Machine” (RATM), a cultural exchange with Montreal-based Ensemble Paramirabo which toured across Canada in 2015 and 2017, coinciding with the release of a joint album on Vancouver-based Redshift Records and ”Balancing on the Edge”(BOTE), a large-scale production integrating theatre, dance, multi-media, new music and new circus, in partnership with ‘A Girl In The Sky Productions.’ Described as “provocative, thrilling and thought-provoking.” (Musicworks) and “a high-water mark for what multimedia storytelling can do “(The Wholenote), BOTE was presented at Toronto’s 2016 Nuit Blanche festival and in association with Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps Dance Series (November 2016).

Thin Edge has established a reputation as “one of Toronto’s hottest and bravest new music collectives” (Musical Toronto), and “one of the city’s most forward-thinking DIY chamber ensembles“ (Mechanical Forest Sound). TENMC has been showcased as an Ensemble in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University’s 2016 40th Anniversary New Music festival, the Soundscape festival of new music in Maccagno, Italy and has performed on concert stages across Canada including the University of Calgary’s Happening Festival of New Music and Media, as well as been presented by Ottawa New Music Creators, Innovations en concert, New Works Edmonton, New Music Calgary, Music on Main, The Little Chamber Music Series That Could, Open Space in Victoria, The Music Gallery in Toronto and as part of the NUMUS Emerging Artist Series in Waterloo. In Nov 2015 with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, TENMC had the privilege to perform in Argentina as part of the Ciclo de Música Contemporánea at the Teatro Nacional Cervantes in Buenos Aires as part of a cross cultural exchange with performers and composers from Argentina and Canada.

TENMC is proud to have been an ensemble in residence with Arraymusic from 2016-2019 and is passionately dedicated to supporting their peers through commissioning and performance, bringing innovative and eclectic 20th and 21st century music to audiences both existing and as yet untapped.


Andrew Sords

American virtuoso violinist Andrew Sords and Cheryl Duvall have been collaborating and touring both duo and trio repertoire from the classical, romantic and modern eras for the past decade across Canada and into the US. With tours across Ontario, Quebec, BC and future tours to Yukon Territories among others, this duo always surprises their audiences with energetic and emotionally invested performances of the highest caliber.

Maureen Batt

Halifax based soprano, Maureen Batt and Cheryl Duvall have a long standing history of collaborating, from three seasons of touring Maureen’s acclaimed ‘Crossing Borders’ series, to collaborations on contemporary operas with her company Essential Opera and numerous other concerts per season in Southern Ontario. 

Oakville Choir For Children & Youth

The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth is an inclusive and welcoming organization that offers music education and leadership training to young people from 4-24. We provide a fun, safe and educational space for children and youth to receive exceptional music education and develop outstanding leadership skills that foster community, connection, and confidence – both in and outside of the classroom.

Loose Tea Music Theater

Cheryl has collaborated with Loose Tea Music Theatre company as Music Director for their highly successful run of ‘Singing Only Softly/The Diary of Anne Frank’, with contemporary operas by Grigory Frid and Cecilia Livingston. Stay tuned for upcoming tour announcements. 


Teaching Philosophy

have spent the past twenty one years learning from my students. I have ascertained that there is not one way to teach and that, as a teacher, one needs to be constantly flexible and inventive in communication, and attentive and attuned to each student’s needs in the moment. One needs a vision of how to help each student grow and gain musical skills, while maintaining a positive, enthusiastic and goal-oriented approach to their education. As a teacher, I work to quickly understand each student’s individual learning style and adjust my instructional language to support their learning to the best of my ability. I also believe it is important to not  just teach to each student’s individual strengths, but to also focus on areas in their learning that are less developed, and work towards creating a well-rounded learning experience. For instance, if I am teaching a student who is a visual/tactile learner, I will tailor my instructional language towards imagery that will support this style, while also working to develop their aural and analytical skills.

In terms of practical piano instruction, I believe my teaching strengths are derived from the fact that I was not a ‘natural’ when it came to performance, and I had to work very hard to gain the level of artistry that I have achieved thus far. Throughout my education I struggled technically due to a car accident injury and consistently searched out strategies for success from countless mentors and teachers throughout the years. Due to this reason, I not only can empathize with each student’s struggles or set-backs, I also have a wealth of teaching strategies that I’ve gathered through my own learning, as well as my pedagogy degree.

I have worked to develop a deep understanding of proper ‘use’ of the body at the piano, as after my injury, I had to relearn how to use my body at the piano. I emphasize the development of proper technique, attention to subtle body cues, and ease of movement at the instrument as a way to avoid injury and strain, which in turn promotes artistic freedom. For this purpose, I have studied many body awareness methods, such as the Alexander Technique and Feldenkreis method, and use language from these methods to help students access more fluidity in their technical approach to music making.

Something I consider to be of the utmost importance is aiding students in reaching their artistic potential in terms of interpretation and finding their own specific artistic voice and purpose. Discussions on composer’s intentions, attention to the score, phrasing options, emotional trajectory, poetic structure within all works studied, and embodied performing are a regular part of lessons. My goal is to aid students in becoming independent interpreters by stimulating their imagination, listening skills, empathy and ability to express themselves both in lessons and in performance.

I am currently accepting intermediate, advanced and adult students at my home studio in Toronto. I am a member of the College of Examiners through the Royal Conservatory of Music, regularly adjudicate music festivals across Canada, and give masterclasses and workshops at the university level. Please contact me with any questions or for more information.


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