Piano Lessons for All Ages, Beginner to Advanced

Group Piano Lessons

A Musical Foundation for A Lifetime of Learning

Keyfest For Kids offers up an 8 level group learning system that is specifically optimized for students between the ages of 4-10. It’s designed to keep them more excited and motivated than a traditional private piano lesson, and embeds a much deeper level of comprehension and applied learning than most educators thought possible for this age group. 


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Keyfest for Kids

Preschoolers • Kids • Beginners

Fast Progress, Fun Lessons

Piano Lessons for Kids

Multiple deans of universities, publications, and thousands of parents have declared Keyfest for Kids a revolutionary program. Why is it so successful at building musicianship, and why have we made it such a major focus? 

From 4-8 years of age, young learners’ brains are more open to ‘re-wiring’ (plasticity) than at any other time in their lives. And a musician who can read, write, and play the language of music engages more parts of their brain than any other known discipline including advanced math or athletics.

Beginner Piano Lessons

Good Fit Guarantee

Love Your First Piano 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.

Specialized Group Classrooms

Join your child and up to 7 other child-parent teams in specialized teaching classrooms that include whiteboards, games, and smart screens*. Plus every student has a fully-weighted 88 note piano, and every teacher has a robust digital workstation.

Convenient Scheduling

Our group programs have time slots throughout the week to accommodate as many students and families schedules as possible. Classes begin in September/October, and January/February, so contact us today to reserve your spot in the next class!

Student Streaming & Pacing

At several points throughout each school year, our streaming coordinator works with each group teacher to identify students who should be moved to other classes to better accommodate their learning pace.

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

As your young musician grows in the program, Merriam offers a variety of ensemble programs so that young piano students have a chance to expand their learning beyond the group class.

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.

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%.

Learn Piano Online or In-Person

In-Studio & Online Piano Lessons

Our group piano classes consist of between 4 and 8 students, each with an accompanying parent, and one of our specialty group teachers.  Every student in the class has a full 88-note digital piano in front of them, and parents are seated directly beside their child to assist throughout the class.

Classes are divided up into several sections to keep interested and attention spans well managed, including a chance to play as a group each week, opportunities to showcase the past week’s assignments, fun games that teach complex music theory concepts, ear training, and sight-reading.

Piano Teachers With Degrees

The Right Teacher For Your Family

No other group of teachers at Merriam receives more training and mentorship, and none has a bigger impact on more people, than our Keyfest for Kids music teachers 

Members of this incredibly special team join Merriam as full-time employees from day one, dedicating their entire professional focus to becoming effective early childhood music educators. 

Dedicated Customer Support Team

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.

Group Piano Programs

Available in Oakville & Online

Group Piano Lessons

Keyfest for Kids

A year-long weekly program that unites up to 8 kids, their parents, and a highly-specialized teacher for 60-minute classes.

Fun, innovative, and proven musical enrichment for your children. The Keyfest program is our most famous, and invited research attention from the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa.

Beginner Piano Teacher

Piano Lessons for Kids

Piano is Fun. Piano Lessons Shouldn't Be Any Different

It’s easier to work at things that are fun – we all know it, but why shouldn’t it apply to music lessons too? We’ve cracked the code of how to make lessons engaging, and something you’ll continue to come back for again and again. There are several factors that go into ensuring that the lesson stays fun for students of all ages and levels.

Some tools are obvious, like a tuner, and metronome, but the biggest impact comes from having the right teacher. We take the luck out of it by ensuring we’ve got the right selection of the most qualified and experienced teachers. And just like working with a great sports coach or renowned tutor, there are proven strategies they use that dramatically improve your odds of success while learning piano, and light-years beyond what most people can achieve through free Piano lessons from an app, or piano-centric youtube channels.

Then it’s about finding the songs you love so the first time you hear yourself play it, your brain explodes with pride and excitement. It’s about knowing exactly what exercise will push you through to the next level. And it’s about giving you a venue to show it all off – our performance and recital program that dwarfs anything else out there.

Because virtually everyone can learn piano, and our mission is to connect with as many of you as possible to make that dream become a reality. So whether that dream is playing like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Slash, Ed Sheeran, Joni Mitchell, or just a campfire hero, we know exactly how to get you there.

A Piano School Beyond the Notes

Harmony, music theory, or technique shouldn’t be bad words. In fact, by understanding the building blocks of music while learning how to play, you’ll more deeply understand the music and actually accelerate how quickly you can learn your next songs.

We began in 1988 by asking a few simple but powerful questions – can starter musicians be taught complex musical concepts within the first few years of their journey? After all, when people learn new languages, they don’t begin by reciting super complex passages…they start simple like learning basic chords…and by understanding those basics. And in no time, they’re actually speaking the language.

Music works exactly the same way. When you build a musical experience with those same fundamental building blocks like understanding chord progressions, analyzing song structure, and knowing how to solo over a specific scale, you ‘get’ the songs you learn at such a deep level that you’ll never forget them, and actually gain the ability to recreate other songs that sound the same.

If you’ve wanted a different dimension in your piano playing, or just want to start the right way, our proven curriculum is ready to take you there.

The Science of Musical Excellence

Merriam School of Music has been involved in multiple university studies, many asking the same question: how to increase engagement, reduce obstacles to rapid learning, and why Merriam succeeds where others have failed.

It starts by infusing the 9 areas of musical literacy into every class, to ensure that the learning is permanent and comprehensive.

Then, add Merriam’s testing system – acknowledged as the most comprehensive in community music today – which meticulously measures development in rhythm, ear training, harmony, technique, repertoire, composition, fingerstyle, arpeggios, and more.

Sprinkle in up to 15 times every year to share and hone your work in front of real audiences, including constructive feedback after every performance.

And finally, oversight by a department leader who is there to ensure student and program success – something normally only found at colleges and universities.

It all adds up to a formula that has created smiles and success for over 30 years. And what we call ‘The Science of Musical Excellence.’

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.

Group Piano Lessons

Keyfest For Kids

A year-long weekly program that unites up to 8 kids, their parents, and a highly-specialized teacher for 60-minute classes.

Fun, innovative, and proven musical enrichment for your children. The Keyfest program is our most famous and invited research attention from the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa.

"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

Most people assume that maximum exposure to a teacher will equal maximum progress, so group programs must be less effective because they dilute that 1-on-1 focus. But no one learns anything without genuine motivators and goals – group lessons have a massive advantage over private in these areas. Keyfest for Kids takes this motivation, and layers on the most structured and intensive curriculum build of any program we know of in North America. The result after just a few years are kids who like learning music, with deep understandings of harmony, rhythm, ensemble playing, practice regimes, and almost no fear of public performance.

Improved social development, increased motivation, better student-parent collaboration, and sustained interest in music are all immediate benefits. While some group programs focus on those benefits at the sacrifice of structured curriculum, Keyfest for Kids builds comprehensive musicianship at the same time, meaning that in addition to the listed benefits above, these students also acquire a broader skill set than a typical private student would over the same period of time.

Merriam’s Keyfest for Kids group piano classes have up to 8 students + 8 parents, and one instructor. Most classes are between 6-7 students, and the smallest is 4.

One of the most helpful concepts that a parent can internalize is the idea that music is similar to a spoken language. As any parent who speaks more than one language knows, a spoken language is best absorbed and taught in an environment where the use and practice of the language is relevant. For young student, there is nothing more relevant than the need to communicate with people of their own age, and begin to figure out how to express themselves.

The Signature Group Program works on two levels though. Not only are we creating a desire and real-life need to learn the language of music (by giving them an environment in which they actually perceive a need to learn it), but the structure of that learning is incredibly comprehensive. All 9 areas of musical literacy are explored – even in year 1.  The majority of private music lessons deal exclusively with technique and repertoire in the first year and beyond.

Yes. Most students who graduate from our group program after 3-5 years are already well equipped to write many of the first exam levels from many exam systems like Royal Conservatory of Music, Keyfest Exam System, ABRSM etc.


Yes. We recommend that group lessons be taken for at least the first year for non-piano players, and the first two years for piano players, though the maximum benefit is achieved around the 4-5 year mark. 

The objective of Keyfest for Kids has always to infuse the maximum level of excitement, engagement, and relevance, at the most difficult time of the learning curve. It is by no means the ultimate solution for a student’s entire skill build, but we consistently find that Keyfest for Kids is able to sustain the most number of students, at the highest levels of interest, through the critical first 4-5 years.

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Love Your First Lesson, or It’s Free.

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



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