Music Lessons in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville

Music School

Music Classes at Merriam School of Music

Looking For Piano Lessons, Drum Lessons, Singing Lessons, Guitar Lessons, or private music lessons for violin, viola, ukulele, cello, clarinet, saxophone, and more? Merriam School of Music is Canada’s premiere community music school for all levels and ages.

Whether you’re in the Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, or Vaughan area, or you’d like to connect with us from anywhere in the world through our online lesson portal, we’re the ‘go-to’ school for fun, effective, and top-quality music programs.

SCHEDULE A FREE TRIAL

Risk-Free Trial | Sign Up Now

"*" indicates required fields

Merriam School of Music

Preschoolers • Kids • Teens • Adults • Seniors

Premium Quality Music Classes

Music Lessons for All Skill Levels & Ages

Whether you’re just beginning, or already advanced, a parent looking for their children, or an adult learner, Merriam Music School has specialized teachers and programs made just for you. Our unique size lets us seek out elite instructors and invest in top-of-the-line equipment, creating the very best learning experience for students of every age and stage.

So whether you’re looking for private music lessons or group classes, beginner piano lessons, or advanced coaching on electric guitar, we’ll work with you to deliver what you want most of all: a fulfilling, confidence-building music experience that adds fun and creativity to you and your child’s life.

Private, Group & Enriched

PIANO LESSONS

ONLINE • STUDIO
Private & Enriched

VOCAL LESSONS

ONLINE • STUDIO
Private & Band

GUITAR LESSONS

ONLINE • STUDIO
Private & Band

DRUM LESSONS

ONLINE • STUDIO

Music Lessons in Person or Online

In-Studio, In-Home & Online Music School

Today’s families and working professionals are packing more into each day than ever before, so Merriam offers leading lesson programs in both online and offline formats. Our online lessons are more than just a Zoom call with lowered expectations. We’ve figured out how to squeeze even more out of an online experience than most parents and students imagined possible, and all through our specialized software that combines Youtube, Google Drive, Miro-Whiteboard, and multiple cameras into a single screen environment.

Our in-studio private lessons, group lessons, and ensemble programs are what made us famous and deliver more chances to perform, the top-trained instructors, the best equipment to play on, and a breakthrough curriculum to students of all ages and levels.

Music Teachers With Degrees

The Perfect Music Teacher For You

With Merriam School of Music’s wide selection of 100+ music instructors, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect fit for you and your family.

Whether you looking for a piano, guitar, vocal or drum instructor or any other instrument covered by Merriam’s extensive offering of music classes, we guarantee to match you up with the perfect teacher, who understands your style of learning, the type of music that excites you, and who can encourage and coach you towards your goals.

MSM coaches are selected based on their musicianship and passion for teaching and have degrees in piano performance from prestigious universities such as Juilliard, Berklee, University of Toronto, Laurier, Humber College, Western and more. Learn a musical instrument at your own pace and level with a qualified tutor who gets music, most importantly, and gets you.

Earn School Credits with Music Lessons

Earn Highschool Credits

As a certified private high school, we’re proud to offer a range of Ontario High School credits – if you’re interested in earning high school credits for your work here at Merriam, please let us know and we’ll tell you all about it.

Merriam School of Music is one of the only private music schools in North America to offer high school credits. We’re internationally recognized, university-endorsed, and one of the most respected leaders in music instruction & education.

Canada’s #1 Music School

Exceptional Customer Service

Enjoy our full-time team of dedicated customer service representatives on-site and dedicated to you and your journey. They know the teachers, the administrators, and most importantly, they know you. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never want another music school again.

With a focus on customer service and experience, Merriam School of Music is proud to offer piano lessons of the highest quality for all ages, beginner to advanced.

Expert Instructors

Get matched with the perfect teacher, who understands your style of learning, the type of music that excites you, and who can encourage and coach you towards your goals. Every one of our 100+ teachers undergoes 3 interviews, 80+ hours of training, and extensive background checks.

Convenient Scheduling

Certain elementary and secondary school-aged students can earn full Ontario High School Credits, granted directly by Merriam High School, our own government-certified private high school. Explore music technology, production, and instrument performance as a part of this exciting and unique offering.

RCM Exams

Merriam has been training students for RCM exams for 30 years and knows exactly how to prepare you for success. They can be done on their own, or together with Merriam’s own university-endorsed exam system.

HD Performance Videos

Receive an individualized High-Definition Video Log of all of your performances throughout the year - never miss a special moment again, and easy to share with friends and family

Ensembles & Bands

Merriam offers a variety of ensemble piano courses, some paid, some free so that piano students have a chance to expand their learning beyond a solo instrument experience. Most are by audition, so ask your teacher or your Education Counselor for more information

15+ Recitals

Students have 15 chances per year to perform their music. The performances are a mix of formal and informal, solo and group, and are offered in a variety of settings including our performance hall “Studio A”, and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

No Long-term Contract

We’re confident you’ll be with us for years. But for any reason, if you need to end your journey with us, 30 days' written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

5-Star Google Rating

The most reviews, the highest rating. Merriam serves over 3000 weekly students, and our customer satisfaction rating is over 97%.

Good Fit Guarantee

Love Your First Lesson, or It’s Free

Your first lesson with a new tutor is protected by Merriam’s Good Fit Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your lesson, you don’t pay. No questions asked.

Music Classes & Programs

Private • Group • Enriched • Online

Private Music Lessons

One-On-One Music Lessons

We have 150 of the world’s most inspiring and talented teachers, and we offer extensive private music lesson options for online, in-person, and in-home teaching (where available).

For most ages and instruments, private coaching – combined with fun and engaging chances to perform and a holistic curriculum – is the most effective and fastest way to learn how to play.

Private Music Lessons

Group / Ensemble Lessons

Group Piano Lessons

Merriam Music is one of North America’s pioneers when it comes to group music lessons for young children ages 4-10. Our Family Music Program (formerly “Keyfest for Kids”) is a piano-focused music fundamentals course in 8 levels, that has been proven through multiple studies to create higher engagement and faster comprehension of the musical language.

Our rock band program “Band Chops” is a group lesson/ensemble program that’s been featured in music festivals throughout the GTA, and lead by some of Canada’s most acclaimed studio musicians.

Group Music Lessons

Enriched Music Lessons

Advanced Piano, Vocal, Drum Guitar

Over 200+ advanced students call Merriam Music home, and almost all are members of the Enriched Department or Band Chops; both are audition-only enhanced training programs designed to accelerate student’s progression and attain a high level of performance and musicianship.

Enriched students enjoy private one-on-one lessons with elite teachers, participate in regular master-class sessions and additional performance opportunities, join in exclusive social activities, and receive special discounts for certain on-site concerts. 

Advanced Music Lessons
Online Music Lessons

Online Music Lessons

Learn Piano, Drums, Vocal, Guitar & Violin Online

Online lessons are here to stay, and our experience offering them has been amazing. We began building our online offering pre-pandemic, in November 2019, with the goal of bringing our classrooms to the world. We worked with dozens of our top teachers, and thousands of students, analyzing every aspect of the lesson to understand how we could make an online lesson even more fun and more effective than an in-person one.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with most teachers and families reporting that they appreciated many aspects of our new online lesson offering more than in-person lessons.

Best Music Lessons in Toronto

Music is Joy and Learning It Should be Too

At the Merriam School of Music, music students look forward to their weekly lessons. They have meaningful goals constantly within reach. They’re supported by an amazing team of educators and administrators. And they learn the music that thrills them.

The world is full of easy ways to begin interacting with music – from a local franchise school or teacher to the latest apps like Skoove or Flowkey; but nothing comes remotely close to learning your favorite instrument from an experienced professional instructor perfectly suited to your learning style and musical aspirations. The progress is faster, and the experience is more enjoyable and fulfilling.

With our proprietary teaching system that expertly combines short and long-term goals and a groundbreaking curriculum, you’ll develop a solid foundation to further your musical skills and achieve your goals faster than you thought possible, and become a true musical superhero.

Whether you’re a new student and want to learn how to play the basics or an experienced player who wants to shoot for professional stardom, Merriam has the perfect program and a perfect teacher for you and your family.

A Music School Beyond the Notes

For most music students, there are two ways you learn music. The most common is mimicking and memorizing the songs you like, but with little to no understanding of the ‘grammar’ and structure behind it. The second is with comprehensive musicianship; sometimes the progress feels slower at first, but very quickly you develop a full understanding of the language of music, and you’re able to learn and remember songs faster, do more with them, and even start to write your own.

It’s called the language of music, and the results of actually teaching it are profound.

A four-year-old learning a song? Impressive. A four year learning a song off the radio? Remarkable.

An adult conquering a challenging song? Awesome. An adult recording their own song? Life-changing.

It’s not just your musical skills that benefit though. Research has shown that playing a musical instrument stimulates your brain at a very high level. It’s the reason why playing music is so pleasurable, and why it tends to raise academic performance. Social confidence and memory also increase, and it’s a powerful weapon against the onset of degenerative neurological diseases.

When you join Merriam, the possibilities are endless, because our experience and teaching staff are too. Whatever your dream is, we’re here to help you make them happen.

The Science of Musical Excellence

Joy…Excitement…Excellence…* All hard to define, yet easy to recognize.

Here at Merriam School of Music, we specialize in the science of musical excellence, and every teacher, staff member, every instrument, every classroom, every brick of our facilities embody it.

No matter your age, talent, or goals, you’ll benefit from our attention to detail, innovative curriculum, best-in-class teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities, and a vibrant community of like-minded musicians, music educators & music lovers.

Whether you just want to have fun or embark on a serious musical career, whether you’re a parent wishing the best for their child or an adult who’d like to brush up on your skills, you can rest assured that Merriam School of Music will wholeheartedly support you with some of the world’s best facilities, staff and resources….*EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.*

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them; a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement.

Music education can help spark a child’s imagination or ignite a lifetime of passion. When you provide a child with new worlds to explore and challenges to tackle, the possibilities are endless

Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation. By studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective.

The Merriam Curriculum 

A Complete Music Education

Students at Merriam don’t just learn differently. Their entire experience is broader and more engaging. They learn creativity and free expression while building confidence, self-esteem, and friendships. It all begins in the classroom, but where it takes them, goes far beyond.

Merriam Difference

Watch this discussion with selected members of the Merriam School of Music’s teaching staff, about using musical experience to make a difference in people’s lives. Discussions with Mike Siracusa (drummer / teacher), Len Feldman (pianist, theory, teacher), Mary Ficzere (Director of Enriched Piano Studies), Linda Morgan (clinician, teacher, pianist), Brian DeLima (jazz pianist, teacher), and more.

Many of Merriam School of Music’s teachers have been with the school for 10 or more years, and this video compiles a series of interviews with a few of the senior members of the music school.

University Experts

Merriam School of Music has gained a reputation within the musical academic community for developing and implementing high-level curriculum and teaching methods.The positive effects on our students has been clearly tracked and proven. And over the last 10 years, piano students from Merriam’s Enriched and Group Piano programs have shown superior progress and retention of skill when compared with other community music programs.

Watch as we interview four university music pedagogists about their impressions and experiences with the Merriam School of Music, and what they see as the differences between us and other professional music schools.

Passion to Educate

We interview our own music teachers as they discusses what fuels their passion for sharing the world of music with their students. Whether it be watching student’s progress throughout their musical life, or hearing about how their musical experience has benefited them in other areas of life, or seeing students become teachers themselves, the passion that our teachers show towards their musical craft is one of the most important elements of the Merriam School of Music’s success.

Private Music Lessons

One-On-One Music Lessons

We have 150 of the world’s most inspiring and talented teachers, and we offer extensive private music lesson options for online, in-person, and in-home teaching (where available).

For most ages and instruments, private coaching – combined with fun and engaging chances to perform and a holistic curriculum – is the most effective and fastest way to learn how to play.

Family Piano Program

Group Music Lessons

Merriam Music is one of North America’s pioneers when it comes to group music lessons for young children ages 4-10. Our Family Music Program (formerly “Keyfest for Kids”) is a piano-focused music fundamentals course in 8 levels, that has been proven through multiple studies to create higher engagement and faster comprehension of the musical language.

Our rock band program “Band Chops” is a group lesson/ensemble program that’s been featured in music festivals throughout the GTA, and lead by some of Canada’s most acclaimed studio musicians.

Advanced Music Lessons

Advanced Piano, Vocal, Drum, Guitar

Over 200+ advanced students call Merriam Music home, and almost all are members of the Enriched Department or Band Chops; both are audition-only enhanced training programs designed to accelerate student’s progression and attain a high level of performance and musicianship.

Enriched students enjoy private one-on-one lessons with elite teachers, participate in regular master-class sessions and additional performance opportunities, join in exclusive social activities, and receive special discounts for certain on-site concerts.

"Our mission and purpose is to help foster and inspire creative, connected, and well-rounded lives with the power of music."

- Alan Merriam, President of Merriam Music
Common Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Music lessons are offered in a variety of formats and qualities, which makes the price range wide as well. More experienced teachers are always more expensive than less experienced teachers, and larger schools or recognized institutions will typically charge premiums for value-adds like better instruments, more extensive facilities, more extra-curricular activity options, and increased lesson structure and accountability.

  • The lowest prices begin around $25 per lesson for a less experienced teacher working out of their home or a local music lesson academy.  
  • Experienced and established private teachers will charge $50 – $100 per lesson, also working out of their home
  • Franchise / retail music locations (Long & McQuade, Arcadia, Sam Ash, Guitar Center) usually charge 25-50% more than a private teacher, usually in exchange for convenient locations and some improved staffing oversight. 
  • Certified schools such as Merriam Music (Toronto, Canada), or Musician’s Academy (LA, USA) operate more similarly to full private schools, with full curricular and pedagogical oversight with their teachers, extensive learning facilities, expanded programming options, and various government certifications and credit-granting capabilities. Annual tuitions usually range between $2000 – $5000, and are not usually billed per class, but generally work out to around $40 – $75 / lesson.

There’s no wrong answer when it comes to the ‘right way’ to get excited about learning music. It could be an app you download, a Youtube video, a concert you go to see, or perhaps a friend who already plays a musical instrument. 

However, the statistics are extremely clear on how to proceed once you’ve got ‘the bug’. A very small number of people have the right blend of interest, discipline, natural inclination and accountability to successfully learn any instrument without regular structured coaching & mentoring. By some estimates, over 95% of those who attempt to learn an instrument on their own using videos and apps will have given up within 6 months of trying. 

On the other hand, Merriam Music keeps over 80% of the students it starts as beginners, into subsequent years of instruction. As with any complex skill set, direct instruction from an expert remains the only reliable and effective learning dynamic for the vast majority of people.

Yes! Knowing how to play a musical instrument is a joyful experience that boosts confidence, mood, memory, and can enhance various cognitive performances. It’s a creative outlet, a stress reliever, and an incredible social tool for meeting new people and interacting with other musicians. 

And since we know that statistically, most people need direct instruction from a passionate expert instructor to learn those skills, music lessons are definitely ‘worth it’. 

No one ever regrets learning how to play the piano or guitar, regardless of how quickly or slowly they learn it, or the cost once they’ve achieved their musical goals.

There are a wide variety of free or almost-free music education tools available online. These can be an awesome way to wet your pallet, letting you get a sense of what it might be like to learn an instrument and have music in your life.

Typically these tools do not have great track records – but not for the reasons you might think.

Despite being free, these online options contain phenomenal amounts of good information, accurate instructions, and thousands of songs to learn. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the content whatsoever.

The problems are that these tools aren’t able to hold people accountable, can’t tailor their path to suit their learning style and progress, or provide relevant short term goals that truly motivate you. 

So, while these tools can be fun and a great way to get excited about music, they don’t work in the areas where teachers make the biggest difference: long-term motivation and inspiration, customized learning programs, and accountability.

Regular learners and players of musical instruments enjoy numerous physiological benefits because of it. While the science is still emerging that will allow us to understand these links better, it is widely accepted that playing a musical instrument at a competent level may increase the following:

  • social confidence
  • memory
  • written & verbal skill
  • executive function
  • temporal & spatial reasoning
  • feelings of well-being
  • ability to present & speak publically

Several university studies conducted throughout Europe, Canada and the United States have all sought to better quantify music’s effect on young student’s overall learning capacity and intellectual development, as well as its impact on older learner’s ability to battle dementia and other degenerative neurological disorders.

The most popular musical instruments to learn in North America, in no particular order, are:

  • piano
  • vocal/singing
  • guitar
  • drums
  • bass
  • saxophone
  • violin
  • ukulele
  • banjo
  • cello
  • trumpet
  • flute
  • clarinet
  • trombone

In short, daily practice will lead to the fastest progress. However, when it comes to how long to practice each day, it’s the old ‘quality over quantity’. 

Many new students often mistake or ‘substitute’ playing time with practice time. They wind up spending the majority of their practice time playing things they already know – and why not! It’s more fun, and most students don’t actually know how to practice.

30 minutes of focused practice every day can lead to dramatic improvements quite quickly if that time is spent focusing on problem areas, with guidance on how to correct inaccuracies and develop improved physical dexterity through structured repetition strategies.

On the other end of the spectrum, advanced players who are pursuing professional goals will often spend hours per day with their instruments.

Private lessons involve one student and one instructor, often meeting weekly, for 30 or 60 minute intervals. The time is generally spent checking on a student’s weekly progress, correcting errors, and assigning the next set of techniques and new repertoire.

Group lessons involve multiple students at once and resembles a small classroom dynamic. There tends to be more of social accountability and competitiveness with group lessons, aspects often missing from a private lesson. For this reason, young children often report higher levels of motivation and engagement in group lessons vs private lessons.

Blog Posts About Music Education

Learning Music Blog Posts

How I’d Redesign Piano Sheet Music

Many people strongly dislike reading music. In the early years of music lessons, memorizing symbols…

The Shortest Possible Comprehensive Guide To 9 Important Guitar Lessons

When a strong willpower is backed by the right amount of patience, dedication and sincerity…

The Best Piano Lesson Books for Students and Teachers

Whether you’re a student or a teacher of piano, books are your friends. These are…

Piano Learning For Everyone – Vital Info To Help You Take Control

Contrary to popular misconceptions, there is no ideal age for enrolling in piano lessons. So…

One Guitar Warmup That Every Guitarist Should Know

This is a step in a guitarist player’s practice session that is not always done.…

SCHEDULE A FREE TRIAL

Risk-Free Trial | Sign Up Now

"*" indicates required fields

GET STARTED RISK-FREE

Love Your First Lesson, or It’s Free.

If You’re Not Satisfied with Your Lesson, You Don’t Pay. No Questions Asked.

GET STARTED BY FILLING OUT THE FORM BELOW

SCHEDULE A FREE TRIAL

Risk-Free Trial | Sign Up Now

"*" indicates required fields

Contact Info