Explanation of highlighted terms at the very bottom
Music is about discovery. Young people (7+) need to feel safe to be themselves in lessons so that they may flourish. As someone who is naturally friendly, humorous, and patient I strive to engage and inspire students so that they can go back home motivated to practice.
It is my mission as the teacher to zone in and tap the unique creative energies in each student, respective of age and personality. Some students want to learn Popular Music, while others Classical. There are students that learn best by imitation while others need to figure things out in their own time. I will often write out easier versions of pieces for students so that they may get satisfaction out of playing something familiar right off the bat.
My lessons are loaded with a variety of activities such as playing duets, exploring a structured improvisation*, building a rhythm with flash cards, singing, banging on a drum, more conventional approaches like chord recognition and melody playback*, and not to mention dropping a hacky-sack on a big musical staff on the floor to name notes. In the end, what matters is that students enjoy themselves on their musical journey!
Parents too have an important role to play in cultivating their child’s musical talent. I routinely discuss progress and practice schedules with them. I invite parents to sit in at the end of each lesson to hear their child play and understand what needs to be practiced at home. When working especially with younger students, the student/parent/teacher relationship is like a tripod, which needs all three legs to stand.
If interested students may participate in Royal Conservatory of Music exams and the Kiwanis Music Festival.
*improvisation means to make music up on the spot! You don’t need to read or even worry about mistakes. Pure creativity!
*chord recognition and melody playback are both forms of ear training. We develop our abilities to recognize different chords such as major or minor as well as being able to repeat melodies we hear on the keyboard in order to strengthen our musical muscles! The stronger they are, the easier it is for us to play by ear and remember music we are learning.