Andrea offers piano lessons to students of all ages and levels. Lessons are taught at the studio, located in the heart of downtown Toronto in historic St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – easily accessible via TTC and mere steps away from the PATH and Roy Thomson Hall. Lessons are taught once per week, privately on a 1:1 ratio on a Kawai upright acoustic piano (UST-6). Lesson lengths are offered in 30 min, 45 min, 60 min, 90 min, and 120 min intervals. In addition, Andrea offers students access to the studio’s music library, and opportunities to perform on the church’s 9 foot long, 97 keys Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand.
Additionally, students will receive:
1. A tailored “curriculum” which aims to strike a balance of structured learning goals and flexible exploration of interests.
A typical beginning student in their first year of study will start by learning pieces from a method book, a program of pieces arranged sequentially by difficulty. As the student progresses through the book, their learning may evolve in different directions. Some of these directions may take the form of working on Classical music that is listed in the Royal Conservatory of Music syllabus, studying music of a particular style (ex. World Music or Film Music), working from a “bucket list” generated by the student of pieces they would love to play, or pieces chosen for the purpose of honing specific skills (ex. learning to make a “cover” of a pop song or learning to write their own music). Students are encouraged to take an active role in their own learning goals and Andrea helps them realize them.
2. A holistic music education.
Musical skills that students will learn include: piano technique, music interpretation and expression, playing by ear, improvising, composing, arranging, sight reading, scales, playing with ensembles, and managing performance anxiety. In addition, lessons will touch on subjects related to music theory and harmony, music history, and ear training.
3. Effective, engaging and positive instruction.
Andrea’s approach to teaching is informed by her own studies in educational psychology, physiology, and neuroscience as well as established music education methods such as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Orff-Schulwerk, Suzuki Piano, and Kodály. Andrea customizes and combines these approaches to teach in a manner that suits each student’s unique learning style so that they can understand concepts quickly and well. Andrea embraces the use of i-pad technology, youtube, games and storytelling to make lessons fun and relevant to students. Finally, Andrea takes great care to encourage and empower students in their piano learning. Rulers used as punishment and negative “put-downs” are in-existent and Andrea tends to stress students’ personal achievements over relative achievements.