Oakville’s Unique Offering
Many residents of Oakville may not realize it, but the number of music lessons Oakville has available to it is amongst the most numerous, per capita, in North America. Whether because of Oakville’s higher household income levels, its well-established communities and long-term residents, or its unique position as the half-way-point between the greater Toronto area and the greater Hamilton area, Oakville is flush with music schools, dance programs, guitar stores, piano shops, and more. Here’s a few helpful tips on how to navigate the wide range of offerings.
What to look for in a music lesson
Not all music lessons, or music schools, are created equal. And often the differences come down to factors completely outside of the classroom. One of the biggest challenges in teaching music, and particularly piano, is that a high percentage of new students get discouraged or disengaged early on in the process, and never acquire the skills to get to the ‘fun’ stage.
A common element amongst the most successful schools, conservatories, and academies in North America is their ability to consistently engage students own interest from the outset of lessons, creating relevance and consequently internal motivation to play, practice and perform.
The techniques used to create this heightened music lesson engagement are well understood, but very seldom executed, primarily because of cost. Often times these strategies involve group music making, unusual or unique performance opportunities, the opportunity to connect with a wide range of genres, and inclusion into a complete community of music makers. If a student’s experience is limited to a one-on-one 30-60 minute lesson, where the only other musician to connect with is the teacher, and the only ‘space’ or environment is a small teaching room, employing these engagement strategies becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible.
What Merriam offers
Merriam School of Music’s Oakville campus stands as one of the few private music facilities in the world which offers students’ the opportunity to learn in several settings, engage in multiple programs simultaneously, connect with and/or create groups of fellow musicians, and experience unique and powerful performance moments in an extraordinary setting. Schools such as Berkley (Boston), Interlochen (Michigan), and Juilliard (New York), are all based on these principles, and like Merriam, their music lessons produce consistently more engaged and successful musicians.
Merriam School of Music has received critical praise from many of Canada’s leading universities and music institutions, such as Laurier, University of Western Ontario, Humber College, and the University of Ottawa. Our wide breadth of offerings, from introductory group piano lessons to advanced enriched training, has allowed us to foster a completely organic community of musicians, all sharing, supporting, challenging, and encouraging each other to continue playing and growing as music makers.
Other major players in Oakville
Some of Oakville’s other music lesson providers include:
- Oakville Academy
- Addison Music Learning Centre
- Gear Music
- Kaos Music Oakville
Why Merriam School of Music?
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.
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.