Piano Lessons for All Ages, Beginner to Advanced

Piano Lessons

Learn Piano with Merriam School of Music

Looking For Piano Lessons? Merriam School of Music offers piano lessons for all levels and ages. Whether you looking for piano lessons in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, or anywhere else across the globe, Merriam School of Music is the place to go for piano lessons.

MSM offers safe, super-fun, and effective in-home and in-studio lessons as well as online piano lessons. With a wide selection of 100+ piano instructors, will help you develop your skills at whatever pace is right for you.

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Piano Lessons

Preschoolers • Kids • Teens • Adults • Seniors

Best Quality Piano Lessons

Piano Lessons for All Ages, Beginner to Advanced

Whether you’re looking for beginner piano lessons, music theatre, advanced classical music repertoire or you simply need to get in touch with your inner Mozart, we’ll teach you how to play the piano and you’ll love every minute of it.

Merriam School of Music is internationally recognized, university-endorsed, and the largest school of its kind in North America. We offer private, group, and enriched piano lessons for all ages and skills levels in a variety of formats: in-home, in-studio, and online lessons.

Piano Lessons for Beginners

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.

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 undergo 3 interviews, 80+ hours of training, and extensive background checks.

Convenient Scheduling

Merriam School of Music is open 7 days per week offering lessons at two convenient locations in the GTA (Oakville & Vaughan Campuses), with 150 teachers to choose from, both on location and in your home.

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%.

Piano Studio

Piano Lessons in Person or Online

In-Studio, In-Home & Online Piano Lessons

 

Learning to play the piano is a lot of fun but finding time to make it to a school can be difficult for many families, or maybe you’d love to join us but live in a different city or country. We make it easy for you by providing lessons in three different ways: In-Studio, Online Video Lessons, and at Your Home.

 

Learn to play the piano with Merriam School of Music’s online tutoring anywhere in the world, private lessons in one of our three GTA Locations (Mississauga/Oakville, Vaughan, Toronto), or in your home.

Piano Teachers With Degrees

The Perfect Piano Teacher For You

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

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.

MSM coaches have degrees in piano performance from prestigious universities such as Juilliard, Berklee, University of Toronto, Laurier, Humber College, Western and more. Learn piano at your own pace and level with a qualified tutor who gets music, most importantly, and gets you.

Piano Teacher
Music Lessons

Step-By-Step Piano Lessons

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.

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 piano lessons & education.

Music School

Piano Classes & Programs

Private • Group • Enriched • Online

private piano lessons

One-On-One Piano Lessons

Connect with one of our private piano teachers and learn your favourite songs faster, the correct technique for effortless playing, and coaching that keeps you motivated towards your long-term goals. Work towards an RCM exam or high school credit, prepare for a music festival or a home recording project, a public performance, or learn for fun. Our extensive selection of top-quality teachers means we find you a perfect match every time, whether you’re a beginner or experienced, classical or pop, younger or older.

Private Piano Lessons
  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Personal weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60 minute lengths, on location or in-home.

  • Royal Conservatory of Music

    Expert RCM Exam Preparation in addition to Keyfest, a specialized curriculum founded on Suzuki and Orff teaching systems.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Free Access to all Sign-Up Recitals, Jam Sessions, and Open Mic Nights at No Additional Cost

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • No Long-Term Contract

    If you need to end your journey with us, for any reason, 30 days written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

  • High School Credit

    Merriam proudly offers the Ontario High School private credit program - if you’re interested in earning a full High School Credit for your work here at Merriam, please let us know and we’ll tell you all about it.

Family Piano Program

Group Piano Lessons

Merriam School of Music students are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident as a result. We believe the best way to nurture music education and personal growth is in a social setting as a part of a group classroom. Personal development and socialization are a big part of what we do. And even though we’re just trying to teach them music, they learn a lot more than that.

Publicly endorsed by multiple university deans, this program has been called one of the most innovative music education programs on the continent. Join this weekly program that units parents, students, and our top instructors, and lay the ultimate musical foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Group Piano Lessons
  • 60 Minute Lessons

    Classes Begin in September and January, with Students of The Same Age and Skill Level. Led by a Certified Group Instructor with Parent Participation.

  • KeyFest Examinations

    Keyfest exams were created 25 years ago to properly measure and capture a full skillbuild, and are directly aligned with the curriculum. Optional, but highly recommended.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Specialized Group Teachers

    Fun & Patient Specialized Group Instructors Who Keep Students Engaged, Interested and Focused in a Manner that Relates to Them.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Free Access to all Sign-Up Recitals, Jam Sessions, and Open Mic Nights at No Additional Cost

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • Full-Size Pianos

    Every child plays on a full 88-note weighted digital piano learning proper technique and dynamic control from day one.

Advanced Piano Lessons

Enriched Piano Lessons

Not every student at Merriam has the goal to become a high-level classical pianist. But for those that do, Merriam Enriched Piano is the accelerator that will propel their musical development beyond a university level while still in their teens.

In addition to connecting with our most high-level teachers for private instruction, students will participate in weekly masterclasses, additional assignments, extra performance opportunities, recording projects, and more. It’s immersive, it’s comprehensive, and it’s successful. Discover your full potential with the Merriam Enriched Department.

Advanced Piano Lessons
  • 60 Minute Lessons

    All Students Enjoy a Private Weekly Lesson (30 or 60 Min Avail.) and Additional Weekly Activities Incl. Masterclasses, Performances, and Recordings.

  • RCM & KeyFest

    Enriched Students May Work Towards RCM Exams or KeyFest Exams. Achieve Your Gr. 10, ARCT, or Attain the Keyfest Artist Level, the Highest Level of Achievement Available at The School.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Elite Specialty Teacher

    When Musical Achievement, Top Marks, School Admissions, or Entering the Professional Music World Are Priorities, Merriam's Elite Specialty Coaches Offer Unmatched Experience and Mentorship.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Students Have Access to All Regular Performance Opportunities, Plus Advanced Performance Opportunities at International Music Festivals and Public Performances.

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

Online Piano Lessons

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. 

Online Piano Lessons

Learn Piano Online

  • REAL-TIME VIDEO

    Customizable HD Video Link with Your Teacher

  • INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

    Interactive, Specialized White-Board Environment with Video, Games, Audio, and Our Entire Music Library

  • 24/7 ACCESS

    Access Your Lesson Materials and The Week's Notes and Assignments Anytime You Need Them.

  • ENDLESS SESSIONS

    Students' Classes Are Preserved from The Previous Week – Pickup Right Where You and Your Teacher Left Off.

  • LEADING ONLINE TOOLS

    Use Youtube, Google, Soundcloud, Miro, and More, Built Right Into the Lesson Environment.

Best Piano Lessons in Toronto

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

Learn piano with Merriam School of Music and unlock a world of creativity and self-expression. Stay in tune with Merriam School of Music piano lessons & unleash your inner pianist.

You may have been having some fun with piano learning apps (Android & iOs) like Skoove or Flowkey but nothing comes remotely close to learning piano from an experienced professional piano instructor perfectly suited to your learning style and musical aspirations.

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 piano skills and achieve your musical dreams faster than you thought possible, and become a true musical superhero.

Whether you want to learn how to play the piano, develop cognitive superpowers, or get in touch with your inner Mozart, Merriam has the perfect program and a perfect teacher for you and your family.

Pianists bring instant joy to any room. They can make music with every other instrument.  Piano playing helps to boost math scores and social confidence. And they create calm and relaxation for themselves and others. When was the last time your phone, car, or app store did that?

At Merriam, you’ll learn to play the songs you love while you learn the skills you need. You’ll connect with inspiring coaches with years of experience, and use the newest technologies to learn, create, and share your music. If you’ve been dreaming about playing the piano for yourself or a family member, join the internationally recognized, university-endorsed, and largest school of its kind in North America: The Merriam School of Music.

A Piano School Beyond the Notes

We’ll take you beyond the notes on the page, to discover a whole other world of musical satisfaction. Let’s learn the language of music.

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.

Research has shown that playing piano stimulates your brain at a very high level. It’s the reason it’s so pleasurable, and why it tends to raise academic performance. But when piano players understand what they’re playing, and can even compose and improvise music, the benefits to the mind and body reach levels unmatched by any other discipline. 

A piano experience at Merriam does both, and that’s what makes our outcomes so different.

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.

  • Ear Training

    Developing the ability to recognize pitch, intervals, harmony, melody, and song structure.

  • Rhythm/Meter

    Learn to play with various beats and rhythms, develop a sense of pulse and subdivision, and utilize different grooves while improvising and composing.

  • Sight Reading

    Become a fluent sight reader of sheet music and ‘lead’ sheets, so that you can easily sit down and enjoy brand new music without months of practice.

  • Technique

    Learn to control your instrument at the highest levels, so that every nuance of tone and dynamic can be used in your performances while avoiding any pain or long-term damage.

  • Improvisation

    A true test of your knowledge and musical skill is whether you can communicate simple ideas on-the-spot' whether in a classical, jazz, or pop setting. Students as young as 4 years old are improvising at Merriam.

  • Composition

    Students are trained to compose with basic melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic principles as a way of applying musical concepts and ensuring that they have comprehended the knowledge.

  • Music Theory

    Understanding advanced harmonic and compositional concepts aids in the performance of difficult pieces expand their improvisational vocabulary and give context to music from the past and present.

  • Ensemble

    Learning to play with other musicians is the best way to apply rhythmic concepts, at the same time as improving social & communication skills. It's also a lot of fun!

  • Technology

    Learning and performing music with advanced technological tools helps students connect their lessons to everyday life, and makes the entire experience more relevant and engaging.

private piano lessons

One-On-One Piano Lessons

Merriam School of Music students are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident as a result. We believe the best way to nurture music education and personal growth is in a social setting as a part of a group classroom. Personal development and socialization are a big part of what we do. And even though we’re just trying to teach them music, they learn a lot more than that.

  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Personal weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60 minute lengths, on location or in-home.

  • Royal Conservatory of Music

    Expert RCM Exam Preparation in addition to Keyfest, a specialized curriculum founded on Suzuki and Orff teaching systems.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Free Access to all Sign-Up Recitals, Jam Sessions, and Open Mic Nights at No Additional Cost

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • No Contract

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Family Piano Program

group Piano Lessons

Merriam School of Music students are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident as a result. We believe the best way to nurture music education and personal growth is in a social setting as a part of a group classroom. Personal development and socialization are a big part of what we do. And even though we’re just trying to teach them music, they learn a lot more than that.

  • 60 Minute Lessons

    Classes Begin in September and January, with Students of The Same Age and Skill Level. Led by a Certified Group Instructor with Parent Participation.

  • KeyFest Examinations

    Keyfest exams were created 25 years ago to properly measure and capture a full skillbuild, and are directly aligned with the curriculum. Optional, but highly recommended.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Specialized Group Teachers

    Fun & Patient Specialized Group Instructors Who Keep Students Engaged, Interested and Focused in a Manner that Relates to Them.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Free Access to all Sign-Up Recitals, Jam Sessions, and Open Mic Nights at No Additional Cost

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

Advanced Piano Lessons

enriched piano lessons

Merriam School of Music students are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident as a result. We believe the best way to nurture music education and personal growth is in a social setting as a part of a group classroom. Personal development and socialization are a big part of what we do. And even though we’re just trying to teach them music, they learn a lot more than that.

  • 60 Minute Lessons

    All Students Enjoy a Private Weekly Lesson (30 or 60 Min Avail.) and Additional Weekly Activities Incl. Masterclasses, Performances, and Recordings.

  • RCM & KeyFest

    Enriched Students May Work Towards RCM Exams or KeyFest Exams. Achieve Your Gr. 10, ARCT, or Attain the Keyfest Artist Level, the Highest Level of Achievement Available at The School.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Elite Specialty Teacher

    When Musical Achievement, Top Marks, School Admissions, or Entering the Professional Music World Are Priorities, Merriam's Elite Specialty Coaches Offer Unmatched Experience and Mentorship.

  • Recitals & Performances

    Students Have Access to All Regular Performance Opportunities, Plus Advanced Performance Opportunities at International Music Festivals and Public Performances.

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

"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

Every music school is a little different, and private piano instructors are normally a bit cheaper than music schools. The highest-priced music schools for beginners are around $5000 a year, and the lowest-priced schools are around $1200 a year. The highest-priced private piano teachers are around $100 / lesson, and the lowest is about $25 / lesson. 

Private teachers usually charge per lesson and don’t include any extra programming or additional activities. Many larger schools (just like larger fitness centers) offer a wide range of programs, activities, facilities, and services. 

Merriam School has 5 different tuition rates depending on the program, lesson length, and teacher specialization. We cost more than an average private lesson or small school, but less than ½ the price of similar schools in North America. You can expect annual tuition of between $1500 – $3000 depending on the program, which includes 40 lessons per year with our exceptional coaches (some exceptions apply), year-round video logging of every performance, 15 chances to perform on a professional stage, summer camps, recording studio time, and more. 

To get an exact quote on what program is the best fit for your family – both musically and budgetarily – please call 647-417-1125.

There are many scientifically proven benefits to making music, but it’s easy to forget about the most obvious reason of all: it’s uniquely and satisfyingly fun. The stimulation and satisfaction that playing a musical instrument bring a multitude of social and cognitive benefits that science is still unraveling, but parents have intuitively known for centuries. 

Piano in particular is considered a foundational instrument in a person’s musical journey because of its simultaneous demands on both mind and body. Playing the piano requires the development of rhythmic and harmonic knowledge, extremely high levels of fine motor skills and cross-brain dexterity, hones our visual and spatial reasoning, and improves memory.

Performing music generally (particularly with others) also builds on communication and social skills. Students and parents frequently look back on the experience and skills that music education gave them as one of the absolute best investments of time and energy.  

They report having significant advantages over others in university or the workforce such as:

    • Ease with public speaking or presentations
    • Sustaining focus on long-term projects
    • Collaborating well with team-mates
    • Problem-solving complex problems
    • Much higher stress thresholds
    • Improved memory
    • Lateral “out-of-the-box” thinking

If you or your child has an interest in music, let us help unlock a lifetime of enjoyment and real-life benefits here at Merriam School of Music.

Digital pianos provide a high-quality, lower-cost option to start piano lessons vs. acoustic pianos. For parents who prefer a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to investing substantial money into equipment and instruments for their children, a fully-weighted, 88-note digital piano is a perfect option. 

There are currently several models on the market for $1000 or less which have received extremely high ratings from both customers and teachers for having excellent tone and key action (two priorities that teachers will ask about).  We feel extremely confident in recommending the following based on our personal experience and other industry review sites.

    • Kawai KDP70 / KDP110
    • Roland FP10 / FP30
    • Casio PX160 / CGP700

Contrary to popular belief, the piano is actually one of the easiest instruments to begin to learn. That’s why most young musicians begin on the piano, sometimes as young as 3. On most instruments like guitar, violin, or saxophone, there’s a lot of physical technique needed just to make a good sound – but on a piano, simply pressing a key produces the same beautiful tone that a professional achieves. This makes it less discouraging to begin learning, and students are able to start working on simple songs that they recognize right away. 

On the other extreme, some of the most intricate and challenging music of all time has been written for the piano, so while it may be the easiest instrument to begin learning, achieving what is considered a professional level also requires some of the most intense levels of practice and time commitment of the music world.

Every child is different, but between the ages of 3-6 is typically the most ideal time to begin learning piano. The brain’s development is at an optimal stage, where new neural pathways can form quickly – it’s as though the mind learns how to learn the piano at this age, laying the mental foundations for understanding rhythm, harmony, and aural learning at a deep level of comprehension.

This is not to say that people of all ages can’t begin to learn piano…generally mature piano students can expect to learn piano at the same pace and to the same level as they have with other complex hobbies or areas of study. 

Four to six years old is perfect. Anything up to 10 is ideal, and virtually any other age still affords a high probability of success with the right support and motivators. There is much research out there on the benefits of starting young, but we’ve found that once a child is comfortable in a structured learning environment (i.e. started Junior Kindergarten), creating and delivering engaging lesson plans becomes easier, with more consistent results. 

We offer Preschool programs starting at 2, and other instruments, such as guitar or drums, require a student to be more physically developed than piano; we start them at 6 or 7, depending on the child.

Yes, you can. Online piano 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. 

We track our student’s progress from beginning to end – it helps us design better programs, and helps students and their parents see how much they’re improving.  It also lets us understand the underlying reasons for students who lose interest in music lessons. The industry average is less than 50% of students who start lessons will complete just one year. We’ve achieved over 80% for our first-year students, and 91% for our group programs. 

When the only activities are weekly lessons and practicing

Unfortunately with most piano lessons, the weekly lesson becomes the only way in which a student interfaces with music. Hockey players do more than skate drills, singers do more than warm-up, and ideally, piano players should do more than simply practice and get weekly coaching. Creating short, mid and long-term goals is critical, and participating in musical activities other than practicing gives the practice a purpose. 

So, all of our lesson programs include extensive chances to make music, share music, and take pride in what you’re learning, in fun and low-pressure settings. While a student can certainly work towards an exam or final recital, it can be daunting when that’s the only moment of achievement all year. The work simply outweighs the emotional rewards. Students at Merriam enjoy monthly recitals, jam sessions, time in a recording studio, and sharing music videos with friends and family – all ways in which we give our students a regular feeling of success and price in what they’re doing.

When practicing at home becomes a ‘solo’ activity, or it isn’t structured into the day

No one likes showing up to a coach and not being ready. But once it happens a few times, the more we accept it, and it stops being motivation to work towards the next goal. The entire cycle begins because with poor practice conditions and routines. For young students particularly, parents need to acknowledge the huge role they play in establishing routines and setting priorities. 

Parents who spend the time to practice with their kids at a regular time slot, and prioritize it within their lives, will experience dramatically lower rates of drop-out compared with those who leave the practicing (and ultimately the decision of whether to do piano lessons or not) entirely up to their young children. Attending math class, or doing math homework, simply isn’t an option, and kids figure that out pretty quickly; when piano lessons get treated the same, kids adopt them as a way of life.

Learning to “play piano” actually describes a collection of many skills, and each must be built in careful balance and coordination with one another. Additionally, different people may have different definitions for having ‘learned piano’. But for most beginners, the idea of being able to play a favourite song without mistakes, and possibly from memory, would be a typical concept of what it would mean to have learned the piano. 

The fastest way to achieve these benchmarks would be:

    1. Work with a coach with whom you get inspired, and who can hold you accountable 
    2. Listen constantly to the music you are learning, both the exact song(s) as well as the style in general
    3. Establish a daily practice routine that is highly structured and focus on the actual areas of work vs simply playing back your past achievements (a common error in people’s practice routines) 
    4. Ensure that you have a series of short, mid, and long term goals spread throughout the year so that your interest level stays high and there is a constant urgency to continue learning

Almost anyone, following the above and committing between 30-60 minutes daily to practice, could achieve a competent level of playing in as little as 18-24 months.

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

12 Great Jazz Piano Songs That Are Easy to Learn

Jazz piano songs are smooth and soulful pieces of music. But that’s no reason to…

Piano Notes: The Ultimate Guide to Learning to Read Sheet Music

There’s more to a piece of music than notes, rests, and repeats. Progress with your…

Learn How to Teach Yourself Piano at Home | Easy Guide for Beginners

When you’re ready to start learning piano, you may not be ready to start taking…

Piano for Beginners: Keyboard or Digital Piano?

Playing the keyboard and the digital piano for beginners might seem quite similar but are actually…

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