Guitar Lessons

Playing on a real broadcast stage, or spending time in a Class-A Recording Studio, used to be a magical, life-changing experience limited to rock stars and pro-musicians. Nothing can match the feeling of being surrounded by smoke machines, computer lighting, the best sound equipment, a truly world-class band, and hundreds or even thousands of fans. It’s addictive. It’s hyper-stimulating. And it fuels a lifetime of musical passion.


Guitar At Merriam - 5 Lesson Programs To Choose From

Private Guitar Lessons

Ages: 7 – 80
Genres: Rock, Pop, Alt, Indie, Blues, Classic Rock, Classical (Nylon), Folk (Acoustic), Folk Rock (Acoustic/Electric)
Available to Join: September – July
Structure: Two semester system + Summer Enhancement | Weekly Lessons

When most people think of guitar lessons, they imagine a private coach working with them on an individual level. Perhaps in a small room, or maybe a rehearsal studio. For prospective students of Merriam Music, at any age, this can be a comfortable way to enter into our school environment with a familiar format. You’ll find all of the typical features of a guitar lesson program here at Merriam, such as weekly lessons, a chance to learn your favourite tunes, explore exam options and recitals, learning from a great professional coach, and measurable goals and objectives.

However, you’ll also find much much more:

  • Opportunities to participate in large-scale performances (by audition)
  • Chance to perform on the Merriam Cafe Stage on a regular basis (by audition)
  • Access to Toronto’s most advanced Broadcast stage
  • Discounts on the recording studio facility
  • Clinics, Masterclasses, and Jam Nights
  • Access to Band-Chops Plus, Merriam Music’s ground-breaking bolt-on band program designed to augment ANY private lesson

Band Chops PLUS ®

(Merriam’s Groundbreaking Bolt-On Program to Private Guitar Lessons)

Ages: 7 – 80
Genres: Rock, Pop, Alt, Indie, Blues, Classic Rock, Grunge, Metal
Available to Join: September-October, January-February
Structure: One monthly 2-hour lesson | Flexi-Time Scheduling

Band Chops Plus® has created the kind of excitement seldom seen in music education. The concept is simple: music is a language, and if you truly believe that, then language is best learned and enjoyed when used conversationally. Band Chops Plus is a chance for every person in music lessons, whether classical piano, vocal lessons, guitar lessons, bass or drum lessons, or anything at all, to come together and experience the magic of a contemporary ensemble.

One of the most magical moments here at Merriam Music is watching a student play in a band for the very first time. The moment they realize they’re playing a familiar song, maybe off the radio, in a group of fellow musicians, an amazing thing happens:  they start to speak music. They begin using parts of their brain most people only ever use for a verbal language, but this time for musical communication.

And for guitar students, this is not just an amazing experience, it’s a necessary one. Guitar by it’s very nature is a social instrument because its so easy to carry around – it’s light-weight, it’s relatively inexpensive, and easy to maintain and repair. And the electric guitar was actually invented with modern contemporary music in mind. For someone in private guitar lessons, the benefits of Band Chops Plus add-up quickly:

  • try out the music you learn in your private guitar lesson, in a regular band setting
  • meet fellow musicians exploring the same type of music, in a similar age range
  • begin to explore concepts such as arrangement, song-writing, production, recording, set-lists, and more
  • form your own band in Band-Chops Plus, and then supercharge it with Band-Chops Pro

Songwriter PLUS ®

(Designed as a Bolt-On Program to Private Lessons)

Ages: 7 – 80
Genres: Rock, Pop, Alt, Indie, Blues, Classic Rock, Grunge, Metal
Available to Join: September-October, January-February
Structure: One monthly 2-hour lesson | Flexi-Time Scheduling

Similar to Band Chops +, Songwriter + is intended to augment people already involved with other private lessons. Without doubling your time commitment or cost, Merriam’s ‘Plus’ (“+”) programs work to expand a students range and interest by adding other experiences and skills to their existing lesson regime.

Songwriter + exposes students of all ages to the fundamentals of song-writing. This contemporary program will walk through the techniques and strategies behind a catchy melody, a memorable chord change, or a great ‘break-down’ section.

With Songwriter +, students will also have an opportunity to perform their own songs with a real band, and even record it professionally, should they choose to further their experience.

Band Chops Lite®

Are you a casual guitarist? Or maybe had lessons before but lost interest? Engaged with another guitar lesson program (high-school, private teacher) and want to try Merriam out without switching? Are you an adult guitarist with a busy work schedule, and can’t commit to once-a-week lessons?

Then Band Chops Lite® could be for you.

What is it?  Band Chops Lite is a way to experience some of the best parts of our full Band Chops Pro program, without a weekly commitment, or a full price-tag. If you’ve always wanted to take Guitar lessons, but traditional private lessons just wasn’t “in the cards”, this is a great way to connect with music. Twice a month, you’ll attend a group class where you’ll be playing and performing some of your favourite music, with real musicians, using great gear and our industry-leading facilities. You’ll learn how to use a recording studio, get a crash-course in stage lighting, play on one of the most equipped stages in the country, all under the guidance of Canada’s leading studio musicians.

Features of Band Chops Lite

  • Twice A Month Sessions
  • Experience the full range of Merriam’s stunning new facilities
  • Play in a contemporary (rock/pop etc) ensemble with many other musicians
  • Join Bass Players, Drummers, Keyboard players, singers, and more
  • Perform in a fully broadcast-level performance.


Band-Chops Pro® The Ultimate VIP Pass


Imagine, for a moment, surrounding for yourself with every gear and gadget, every space and facility, and every performance experience that a touring musician would expect. We’re talking video capture, Pro-tools, DMX lighting, fog machines, concert-PA installations, designer microphones, festival dates, jam nights, and more.

And then, add the touring musician – the real ones; the guys you hear on the radio and see in the theatres. They’ll be your coach.

Welcome, to Canada’s most immersive, intensive, innovative band and guitar lessons program ever conceived.  Band Chops Pro®.

Features of the Band Chops Pro

  • Guaranteed large-scale performance opportunities
  • Be a part of a real, living breathing band. Once the unit is formed, it will stay intact throughout your time at the school
  • Form friendships for life, as you learn some of the most high-level musical skills, from Canada’s most esteemed musicians
  • Preferred access to Merriam’s facilities, including their Class-A Studio, Performance & Broadcast Hall, custom video-capture system, and themed band-chops rooms
  • Wide range of repertoire, learning formats (clinic, one-on-one, band + coach, recording sessions) and additional opportunities outside of the curriculum

Visit the Band Chops Homepage Here


There’s two ways to experience the rock-star universe: a record contract, or Merriam Music.

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