Merriam School of Music is a leading institution of piano instruction in North America, with official partnerships and collaborations with University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, York University, and Mohawk College.

We offer instruction to piano students of every level, every age, and every genre.  Our holistic curriculum and 140-strong teaching staff ensures that we can cater our offering to the wide range of learning styles and differing priorities of our students.

Goals:

Students of Merriam School of Music’s Private Piano courses, regardless of level or age, will be taught a comprehensive set of skills that can be applied to either a classical or contemporary focus.  The skillset is broader in scope than what RCM examinations require, meaning that a student can study the Merriam Curriculum while preparing for an RCM exam, if that happens to be a goal.

The long-term goals of our courses is to leave students with a knowledge base and skill set which is understood at an applied, linguistic level.  This is contrasted with the more common memorization / regurgitation model which is less likely to be retained or used after the students’  initial study period is complete.

Format:

Each class takes place between one teacher and one student, for either 30 or 60 minutes.

Parents may request to attend the class with their child, although we leave that decision up to each individual teacher.  Please keep in mind that our rooms are fully monitored and every classroom has large open windows to the hallway so that parents can always monitor what’s happening.

The classes will occur at the same location, time, and day of week throughout the year, except for holiday periods, or make-up weeks.

Levels / Ages offered:

Merriam School of Music offers private piano study at all levels, although we recommend a group format for at least the first 2 years of study.  Students in private study can learn with no prior experience, all the way to extensive professional experience.

Merriam offers 3 distinct levels of teacher experience and qualification, so that we can adequately cater to the wide range of learning styles, difficulty levels, and ages who seek piano study with us.

Private Piano Lessons

Instrument:Piano
Length:30 / 60 min
Age:6+
RCM Exam Compatible:Yes
Locations:Oakville, Vaughan
Start Date:Throughout the year
Term:40 Lessons/Year
Admission:Open admission
Genre:Classical, Jazz, Pop, Blues

Merriam School of Music applies a holistic curriculum to many of its courses, including private piano study.  This involves integrating the standard requirements commonly found in exam systems like the RCM (Technical requirements, Ear Training, Repertoire memorization) together with other commonly accepted areas of musical literacy.

All levels of private piano study taught at Merriam School of Music will receive training in the following nine areas of study:

Repertoire / Memorization

Students at all levels will be given a selection of repertoire from multiple eras of music (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, Pop, Jazz, Blues) to study and perfect.

Technique / Rudiments

Students are taught a wide range of technical rudiments.  Each level of the Merriam Curriculum has an increasing difficulty rating for these rudiments.  Generally, they include:  scales, arpeggios, modes, 3 and 4 note chord shapes

Ear Training

Students are taught to recognize melodies, intervals, and harmonic progression by ear.  This significantly aids in the speed of repertoire learning, as well as enhances the memorization process, and creates a greater versatility in ensemble or band settings.

Sight Reading

Students at every level are taught to recognize and play in real-time: individual notes, chords, melodic passages, and full two-clef writing

Basic Composition

As young as 4 years old, students begin the process of crafting their own melodies and basic harmonic progressions.  It is the musical equivalent of young school students writing their own short stories.  It provides an outlet for early creative thoughts, and reinforces the relevance of the skill build for students.  There are several opportunities throughout the year to perform and share these compositions.

Improvisation

Students will learn how to compose melodies and rhythms in real-time (often referred to as improvising) across multiple genres.  Like composition, improvisation increases the number of situations and opportunities that students can apply their knowledge, and creates conversational-type application of the musical language.

Technology Integration

Music is increasingly created with, and enjoyed through technology.  Students are given the opportunity to connect with modern music technology as a part of most performances, as well as the classroom learning environment.  Technology is presented as a tool to further their explorations of rhythm, composition, and improvisation.

Applied Harmony (vs. written harmony only)

This approach treats the study of harmonic progression as directly connected with the study of performance, rather than a separate academic approach not connected with performance.  Students learn to understand the harmonic motion of the pieces they are playing, increasing their depth of understanding and interpretation of those pieces.  It also gives them an advanced understanding of how harmony influences improvisation and composition.

Applied Rhythm (vs. written rhythm only)

Studying rhythm in an applied sense vs. isolated requirements will increase students’ capacity for contemporary playing, as well as a stronger sense of pulse across all genres of music.  It also encourages the use of rhythm as a compositional and improvisational component.

Private Piano Lessons

Instrument:Piano
Length:30 / 60 min
Age:6+
RCM Exam Compatible:Yes
Locations:Oakville, Vaughan
Start Date:Throughout the year
Term:40 Lessons/Year
Admission:Open admission
Genre:Classical, Jazz, Pop, Blues

Merriam currently employs approximately 140 teaching professionals.  Roughly 80 of those are specifically dedicated to teaching piano.

Merriam’s teaching staff come from a diverse background, but all hold post-secondary degrees or diplomas in music performance and/or pedagogy.  There are many graduate-level music teachers, as well as several doctorate-level teachers.

Each of our teaching candidates go through 3 months of vetting, and more than 80 hours of annual re-training.  They also undergo semi-annual peer review, and are monitored by a department head to ensure effective application of the curriculum, and a consistent student experience.

Merriam School of Music is presently one of the most difficult private music learning institutions to attain a teaching position at.  Of the more than 200 applications we receive annually, fewer than 10 are accepted to our staff every year.

Private Piano Lessons

Instrument:Piano
Length:30 / 60 min
Age:6+
RCM Exam Compatible:Yes
Locations:Oakville, Vaughan
Start Date:Throughout the year
Term:40 Lessons/Year
Admission:Open admission
Genre:Classical, Jazz, Pop, Blues

Private Piano Lessons

Instrument:Piano
Length:30 / 60 min
Age:6+
RCM Exam Compatible:Yes
Locations:Oakville, Vaughan
Start Date:Throughout the year
Term:40 Lessons/Year
Admission:Open admission
Genre:Classical, Jazz, Pop, Blues

Featured Piano Teachers

All merriam school of music programs

MERRIAM School of Music Locations

MERRIAM School of Music

(905) 829-2020
 
Hours
 Monday 10:00 am–6:00 pm
 Tuesday 10:00 am–9:00 pm
 Wednesday 10:00 am–9:00 pm
 Thursday 10:00 am–9:00 pm
 Friday 10:00 am–6:00 pm
 Saturday 9:00 am–6:00 pm
 Sunday 11:00 am–5:00 pm

MERRIAM School of Music

(905) 660-9503
 
Hours
 Sunday 11:00 am–5:00 pm
 Monday 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
 Tuesday 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
 Wednesday 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
 Thursday 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
 Friday 12:00 pm–9:00 pm
 Saturday 9:00 am–6:00 pm
 

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