At my studio I offer preschool music classes, beginner group piano classes and private piano lessons. Some of my students participate in RCM exams with excellent results, however I am most enthusiastic about teaching students who just want to learn to play simply for their own enjoyment. In fact, I hope that is what each student will leave my studio with: a life-long love of music making.
It’s a joy to see young students grow up into confident musicians and young adults. The camaraderie and community we build through lessons, group classes and recitals enriches my life as well as theirs makes this a piano studio that stands out. I emphasize fun and creative expression through improvisation, chord-play or arranging, lead sheet reading, composing and ensemble playing as well as regular repertoire and technique.
I like to embrace new trends and materials in my teaching and hope to keep my students continually motivated through engaging music and activities while imparting confidence and valuable skills.
My students are generally between the ages of 4-18 years. Most who arrive at my studio as young beginners stay to the end of their high school years, but it’s never too late to learn so I also offer adult “a la carte” lessons during the day.
ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CLASSES:
THE EARLY YEARS
Sunrise group music classes for parent and child (a great spring board to the piano classes, wonderful for 2-4 years of age): $200 per 10 week block of weekly 45 minute classes (fees include 10 lessons, book, CD, instrument and finger puppet and music bag). $195 includes $50 non-refundable deposit for books/materials fee
Sunshine, Sunbeams and Moonbeams small group piano classes using the Music For Young Children curriculum: Tuition is $920 per year plus annual books/materials fee (see levels below for pricing) for weekly 55-60 minute small group lessons (4-6 students) running September thru June. Payable in 10 monthly installments. Why start with group lessons? There are some big benefits for kids who begin learning in a group setting. 1. GREAT RHYTHM: Pianists can sometimes struggle with rhythm due to the fact that they usually play by themselves, but when kids learn in a group setting they learn to keep time and work in an ensemble. 2. MORE HOME PRACTICE: Group learning is social and motivating. They will want to keep up with their classmates and will look forward to the fun with friends each week and will be more motivated to practice at home. 3. MORE SKILLS: The hour long setting allows time for them to learn so much more than just piano. There will be singing, games, composing, ear training and piano improvisation, too!
THE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
Private Piano Lessons and Semi-Private Piano Lessons (for MYC grads or students with previous piano experience, assessed at teacher’s discretion) tuition starts at $1120 per year for weekly 30 minute private lessons taking place between mid-September thru mid-June. Intermediate level students (level 4-6) may need 45 minute lessons weekly. Advanced may need 60 minute lessons.
Tuition includes: 34 lessons per year (4-5 of which will 60 minute fun-filled, theme-based masterclasses), 2 recitals and much more! Tuition is payable in 1, 2 or 10 equal installments via post-dated cheques at the beginning of the year.
Registration, Books & Materials Costs:
Sunrise: $200 includes 10 weekly classes, backpack, book, finger puppet, rhythm instrument and CD (pre-keyboard program for 2-4 years old, a great spring board for Sunshine 1 or Sunbeams 1)
Sunrise is an exciting and innovative preschool music & movement program with a flexible format that fits the level of development of these children perfectly. Teddy Bears help teach the children rhythms and puppet friends Buzz, Buddy and Mellow guide children on their music journey and instruction with singing, and ear training. This child-centered curriculum includes stories, songs, and games to ensure that all children feel and achieve a high level of engagement and success.
Sunshine 1: $215 for MYC registration, books, bag, tinsheet, castanet (for ages 4 and 5 year old beginners) plus tuition for weekly lessons.
Sunshine 1 , the youngest of the keyboard programs, is the starting point of the MYC® Method, building their foundation in music reading and playing the piano. Students experience movement through beats and rhythms, as well as developing their fine motor skills with rhythm instrument ensemble playing. Children start learning the geography of the piano and note-reading through our MYC Critters (with fun stories that children can relate to). By the end of the SS1 level (after 34 weeks), children are able to play their first scale (C Major) and are reading from the staff. Their pre-reading experiences such as identifying like/different sorting, patterns, and reinforcing and recalling the music concepts through fun at-home activities with gluing and coloring are all part of this level.
Sunbeams 1: $215 for MYC registration, books, bag tinsheet, castanet (for 5- 7 year old beginners) plus tuition for weekly lessons
Sunbeams 1 (SB1) is the entry point of the MYC® Method for 5-7 year old beginners. They are first introduced to piano geography and rhythms through our MYC Critters to help set their foundation of music knowledge and education; however, the pace of learning for these Sunbeams matches their developmental stages. Vocabulary development is the focus for this age group- at this stage we introduce “big kid” terminology to introduce concepts, finger numbers, and keyboard geography.
- Identification and development of keys and rhythm through MYC’s unique keyboard ‘critters’
- off-the-staff reading for contour and patterns
- steady beat experiences
- on-the-staff (pitch) reading in treble clef and bass clef
- Grand staff reading (from bass C to high C))
- listening to identify and use dynamics (loud and quiet sounds)
- listening to a rhythm pattern and writing it using rhythm writing tools.
- coordination of LH and RH
- scale playing with harmonizing bridge chords in C major, a minor and G major
Sunbeams 2: Books/materials/registration fee: $200 incl GST and photocopy/handout fee (must have completed Sunbeams 1) plus tuition for weekly lessons
- Study of seven different keys with key signatures.
- Two note bridge chords grow to three note full chords.
- Coordination of left hand and right hand in playing broken chords with a melody.
- Coordination in hand-over-hand (crossing over) pieces.
- Grand staff reading expands to include notes from low G in bass clef to high G in treble clef.
- Staccato (detached) and legato (smooth) touches are explored.
- Harmonization (adding chords to a melody) and transposition (moving from one key to another) are important study elements this year.
- Continued listening to identify and use dynamics (loud and quiet sounds), rhythm patterns and accompaniment styles.
Sunbeams 3: Books/materials/registration fee: $215 (must have completed Sunbeams 2 or Moonbeams 1) plus tuition for weekly lessons
- Study of minimum of eight keys
- Continued study of scales harmonized with primary chords and practice of accompaniment patterns including broken chords and playing rhythmic patterns
- Study of three forms of the minor scale: natural, harmonic, and melodic.
- Study of inversions of triads
- Study of cadences. (A cadence is a progression of chords.)
- Expanded studies of: note names to include ledger lines and articulation with an introduction to accents.
- Introduction to simple analysis.
- Continued practice of: harmonization and transposition, composition and arranging, listening for dynamics, meter, articulation, form, and accompaniment styles.
Moonbeams 1: $220 books materials, registration fee, tinsheet, castanet (for beginners ages 8 and up) MyChoice for beginners grades 4-6
Moonbeams 1 (MB1)/My Choice 1 is the entry point of the MYC® Method for 8 years and up. The older beginner program is designed to support the students’ growing sense of independence. Reading becomes the primary focus for gathering information, while the songs, ensembles and keyboard repertoire incorporate early piano literature, folk songs, technique and harmonization.
- pattern reading
- scale playing with harmonizing chords in 6 keys
- keyboard repertoire with plentiful supplementary pieces for holidays and extra challenges
- rhythm and keyboard ensemble experiences
- harmonization and composition experiences
- transposing within 5 finger patterns
- understanding and utilizing legato and staccato touches
Moonbeams 2: (see Sunbeams 3 )
Moonbeams 3: Books/materials/registration fee: $225 including GST and photocopy fees
Moonbeams 3 is the final level (graduation year) in Music for Young Children®. When MYC was written, it was with the intent to integrate and prepare students to take their grade 1 Royal Conservatory piano exam at the end of their MB3 year. It is an exciting year for students and parents as these children have now gained so much knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music and piano playing that they are able to manipulate, pull-from and engage all the learning they have received throughout their journey in their MYC classes, whether it is through theory, composition, and/or musically shown (and heard) through their piano playing. Students who wish to continue piano lessons after this level will be well-prepared for private lessons.
Private Lessons and Semi-Private Lessons (for students who are grads of the MYC program or with previous piano experience): $120-150 per year for registration, books and materials. Materials needed will depend up on their level but is often a combination of the Piano Adventures method books and the Royal Conservatory curriculum with other supplementary and seasonal materials added as needed.
Adult Lessons (A La Carte)
I am excited to now offer piano and theory lessons to those 19 and older, at our mutual convenience. These individual lessons do not require a year’s commitment, and are available to those out of high school only. These are available during the day only; keep in mind that because these lessons are on more of a pay as you go basis, space may be limited on any given week (especially the lunch hour lessons) and only lesson times booked and paid for in advance will be guaranteed. You may book as many or few as you like.
Rates: 45 minutes $55
These registration fees may be paid by cash, cheque or email money transfer. Cheques are the preferred option. Cheques should be made payable to: Michelle Miller. Thank You.