Four music education experts sat down to discuss Merriam Music. Here’s what they felt were its reasons for success.
“I am extremely impressed with the Merriam program on so many levels,” said Brian Chung. “Across North America I can’t think of another company that has so successfully combined is retail and music education with a level of excellence as this school. And because of that, you’ve had a tremendous impact on the world of music making. You’ve created a place that is very special.”
Brian’s connection with Merriam Music is a long one – as the top American executive at Kawai US, he has had plenty of opportunities to interface with Alan Merriam, and watch the school develop. Mr. Chung himself is a published author on the subject of music education and pedagogy, has studied many forms of music lessons, and his joint passions for pianos as well as the enjoyment of music have made his connection with Mr. Merriam a multi-faceted one.
Beyond Mr. Chung’s interest in education, Kawai (Japan) has as a company taken a significant leadership role in the promotion of music education and the development of sound pedagogy.
Mr. Denny Christianson continued: “We’ve seen a lot of your students come in here and be able to function already at the much higher level.”
“One of the challenges that we face as educators is bringing kids in who may be very skilled – they have a good audition, they come and play [well]. But they haven’t had that level of listening. So, the fact that your music school, that has a big passion for establishing this, is something that helps any student that comes out of your school be a better student for us to deal with.”
And Mr. Christianson would know better than most. Humber was one of the institutions heavily involved with the development of the Merriam Music’s music lessons with the KEYFEST curriculum through Tony Mergel, and a healthy portion of our graduates apply to Humber’s music program each year. With musical literacy amongst younger people generally in decline, the difference becomes even more stark. Built into all music lessons- Merriam’s certification program, in conjunction with the holistic skill build, creates more young musicians with the ability to read, write, hear, and share the language of music at a very high level.
Speaking of the curriculum, Dr. Glenn Caruthers had the following to add: “What I see here at the Merriam School Of Music is an expansive view of the topic of music. I like the emphasis here on community. I think that I think that that’s hugely important: communal music making. To have a school like the this that is so clearly welcoming and encompassing, there’s no question that it that it provides the opportunity to lay the kind of foundation that the young people need and not-so-young people need in order to live musically meaningful lives.”
“The Merriam School does a superb job of helping to educate students musically and also providing an environment where students can grow and learn in all kinds of ways.”
The Merriam approach, and the acclaim it has received, stretches beyond any other music lessons in Toronto, music lessons in Oakville, music lessons in Mississauga, or any other immediately surrounding Toronto area, and has partnered on research and other academic initiatives with Queens University, University of Ottawa, as well as Western University (UWO). John Paul Bracey is one of Western’s most vocal and prolific musical education academics, and he also gladly shared his comments on Merriam.
“Merriam is in a unique position because of the level of success that they’ve had. And I’m very much aware of the conscious evolution of your enriched program, that has developed a synthesis of music education that accomplishes all the best we can hope for in young musicians” says Bracey.
“Merriam’s success has been such because students are more attracted to socially interactive situations, because that’s what they’re doing in society, with technology. And you use, at all campuses, technology which is very effective for that.”
“At the end of the day, music making is the most noble of all human endeavours. And its that simple.”
Merriam School of Music continues to blaze new trails in music lessons, and overall music education, and we look forward to more and more opportunities to connect with leading scholars in the future – after all, our mission remains to Unleash The Power Of Music. For Life for as many people as we’re able, and many minds are better than one!
“So I say “Bravo” to you and everybody over at Merriam – it’s been fantastic. Keep up the great work!” – Brian Chung, Kawai America.