Member Spotlight

The Etobicoke-Mississauga Branch of ORMTA is proud to announce that Mimi Spencer is a recipient of a 2021 ORMTA Contribution to Teaching Award (OCTA).

Mimi Spencer, 2021 OCTA Recipient

Mimi Spencer grew up in Newmarket and has been playing piano since she was 5 years old. Early studies were focused on The Royal Conservatory examinations and she achieved her Grade 8 Piano and Theory when she was 17. She started teaching at the Ontario Conservatory of Music in Newmarket and Alliston when she was 18. Growing up in a family of musicians was very inspiring. All social gatherings had live musicians and dancing! Her Dad and her brother both played guitar professionally. Mimi took a hiatus from studies after getting married and to raise her 3 children then went back to lessons in piano and theory, history and harmony while living in Winnipeg Manitoba, first, Florenceville New Brunswick next, then Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and finally Brampton, Ontario. She achieved her first ARCT in Piano Performance while living in Portage. There she helped form the Portage Piano Teachers – a group that hosted student recitals, organized the ‘Grand Concert’ that kicked off the Portage Festival every year, and enabled members of Piano Six to hold concerts in the small town. She served on the Portage Festival Committee and became choir director, and church organist (on a beautiful pipe organ), at St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Living back in Ontario and working in the Marketing Department at RCM Examinations and getting to know and work with many wonderful CFMTA members from every province in Canada led to a desire to work towards the Teacher’s ARCT in Advanced Pedagogy Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music so she could become a member herself. Mimi had many wonderful teachers over the years that included piano with Laurie Duncan and Ann Lugsdin from the University of Manitoba Preparatory Department, piano and theory studies with Caron Whitlaw-Hiebert and Ruth Douglas, and piano pedagogy with Christopher Kowal. More currently studies have included jazz and improvisation with Willie Myette from Rhode Island, USA. Ms. Spencer has been teaching piano to children and adults of all ages and levels for over 45 years. She has prepared many students for Royal Conservatory examinations, for festivals, recitals, and auditions, and continues to perform occasionally as a soloist in recitals for charity, and as an accompanist. When not busy with her teaching schedule Ms. Spencer loves spending time with her family, many pets, and working with and competing with her two horses. She currently serves on the executive committee of the ORMTA, Etobicoke-Mississauga Branch.

From the Branch:
I am very pleased to announce the nomination of Mimi Spencer as The Etobicoke Mississauga Branch OCTA Recipient. Mimi has worked tirelessly in many positions in our Branch, and has also served on Provincial Council as a Zone Representative. I personally have known Mimi for many years; first in her capacity at RCM Examinations; and then as she became a member of our Branch. From my many encounters with Mimi, I knew that she would not only bring her business expertise from the business world with her; but would also bring a willingness to participate in, and support our Branch meetings and activities. Mimi approaches our Workshops, Assessments, and Social Events with a smiling, happy and pleasant countenance. Mimi is an integral asset to our yearly programs. She has served as Treasurer, First Vice, and then as our President for many years. Mimi is currently our Workshop Convenor, and also prepares the “Joe Show” Brochure for our Branch’s Annual Harmony, History and Analysis August Teachers Refresher Course. Mimi is married, with grown children. She also manages and maintains a very successful and busy teaching career. This, while at the same time as being a happy and loving caregiver to cats, dogs, and a beloved horse! Etobicoke Mississauga is most happy and proud to present Mimi Spencer as our 2021 OCTA nominee! Virginia Taylor, Past President, Etobicoke-Mississauga Branch.