Formats: Private Coaching, Master Class Coaching, Group
Streams: Standard, Enriched, Group
Age Range: 3 – 90
Course Term: 11 Months
Pre-requisite: Group: None | Private: None | Enriched: Audition only
Genres: Classical, Jazz, Pop
Skill Build: Technique, Repertoire, Time/Rhythm, Technology, Composition, Improvisation, Ear Training, Applied Theory, Sight Reading
Highlights: Festival performances, Jam Nights, End-Of-Year Recitals, Video Logs
Offered Exam/Certification: Keyfest Certifications, RCM, ABRSM, BCC

Remember: Merriam has 3 totally different ways (streams) to take piano lessons!

Advanced: 8 – 20 Years

Who Should Audition For Enriched?

The successful candidate for this program will have shown outstanding musical ability and potential, and has the necessary commitment and resources to fulfill the requirements of the program which includes: practicing a minimum number of hours daily (number of hours based on program level); listening to recordings of repertoire; attending lessons, ensembles and master classes; performing in festivals, competitions, recitals and examinations; attending concerts and recitals in the GTA as suggested by the teacher(s).

Important Facts & FAQ’s

  • Unprecedented Performance Opportunities
  • Opportunities for Ensemble, Solo, and Accompanying experience
  • Full preparation for North America’s top university music programs, including Berklee, UWO, and U of T
  • Full Immersion Experience
  • Learn on fully-professional acoustic instruments, including IN-CLASS GRAND PIANOS

Beginner – Advanced: 5 – 90 years old

piano-standard-iconWho Should Sign Up Private Piano lessons?

Private piano lessons can be a very good format to learn within, under a number of circumstances. If the student is older than 8, and/or has some rudimentary experience with music, then a private lesson combined with extracurriculars can be highly effective. For our numerous adult students, private lessons can give the comfort and privacy they want, and allow for a higher level of flexibility in pacing and curriculum than a group setting might.

Important Facts & FAQ’s

  • Offered, but less recommended for students 7 years or younger
  • Highly recommended for students of 8 years or older
  • Extremely effective with Adult learners
  • Private Piano Lessons are most effective when performance and/or ensemble opportunities are added
  • Most effective format for learning technique, classical repertoire, and technology

Beginner: 4 – 9 years old

group piano icon-piano page2Who Should Sign Up For Keyfest For Kids?

Merriam Music’s flagship “KEYFEST FOR KIDS” program continues to experience the highest retention rates in Canada. For students between 4 and 8 years old, group piano is highly encouraged, since our statistical success rate with the program (defined in this case as those who remain vs. quit) is almost 50% higher vs. traditional private lessons.

This is a group format which a highly structured, giving lots of opportunity for friendly performance, group learning, parental participation, and social development. Through this program, Merriam School of Music has been able to dramatically increase 2nd year retention for new students from an industry average of below 50%, to 91%!

Learn More About Keyfest-For-Kids

Difference 1: Comprehensive Curriculum

When people think of piano lessons, many picture a disciplinarian teacher standing overhead, holding a ruler…ready to strike at the first possible mistake. While we’ve (thankfully) moved passed such torture for piano students, surprisingly the content of those very lessons still lingers within the piano education community. One of Merriam Music’s biggest and most obvious differences is that we focus on so much more than just right notes or exam scores.

We teach music in a ‘linguistic’ sense, meaning that we teach the grammar, vocabulary, and repertoire of the musical language. Then we combine an unmatched number of performance and ensemble music making opportunities so that those skills get used in a relevant, engaging way.


Difference 2: Playing Opportunities

The point of learning an advanced skill – and music is certainly that – is to use it!  Ask yourself this question:

“If you were learning a sport such as soccer, but the only time you played was with your coach for 30 minutes a week, and there was no team-mates, no crowd, and no stadium, how long would you do it?”

The answer for most people of course is not very long. And we have found the same thing with music. Music is naturally a social activity, but if it is never experienced like this, many people find it hard to find meaning and relevance. After all, you can only get so excited about an exam! 


Difference 3: Facilities

We can all recall how if feels to step inside an extraordinary facility – the first time in a recording studio, or maybe walking into a new stadium, a new car, or an amusement park. Its that feeling of awe and wonderment that we all get when we can step outside of our everyday lives and feel the excitement of something special.

Here at Merriam School of Music, we have dedicated an enormous amount of creativity, finances, and time into creating what many have called the most unique musical learning facilities in Canada. Studio A/B (Oakville) our jam/coaching rooms (Vaughan/Oakville), enriched studios (Oakville), enhanced group rooms (Vaughan/Oakville), and our enhanced private rooms (Vaughan) or standard private rooms (Oakville) constitute an absolute commitment to provide our students the very best surroundings.


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Merriam Music has been a recognized leader in music education for 25 years, with affiliations and relationships with most of Canada’s prominent musical universities. Through these ties, Merriam has had an opportunity to engage in published research projects, develop curriculum, and attract the best graduates for future teachers. Most importantly, we’ve been able to ignite a musical passion in our students which has propelled them to the highest levels of achievement: performing on stage for thousands of people, forming bands that have gone on to record deals, excellent music festival and exam scores, and last but not least, giving the gift of music for life.

The results that Merriam School of Music’s Piano Department consistently produces stand out in a number of areas:

  • Universities report that our students are often the only ones with improvising abilities
  • Our applied ear training prepares students for composing, arranging, and ensemble playing
  • Students complete our program with substantially higher levels of internal motivation and a genuine love of music
  • Dramatically higher completion rates for our full courses vs. traditional lessons

piano lessons


Glenn carruthers
Dr. Glenn Carruthers, Dean of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University
“What I see here at Merriam is an uniquely expansive view of music making.”


John Paul Bracey, Leading Music Educator, Prof. Univeristy of Western Ontario
“Your enriched program…accomplishes all the best that we [as music educators] can hope for in musicians.”
Denny Christianson
Denny Christianson, Director, Humber Music
“We’ve seen many Merriam students come to Humber and already be able to function at a much higher level.”


Brian Chung Kawai America
Brian Chung, Author on Music Education, Senior VP Kawai
“You’ve had a tremendous impact, across North America, on the world of music making.”