Music Theory and Piano Lessons Toronto Teaching Methods FAQ

Peter Ness Music Studio

Phone: 416 767-9747

Email: peternessmusic@rogers.com

Piano Lessons And Music Theory

Toronto West End

74 Hook Ave, M6P1T4

Phone# 416 767-9747

Email peternessmusic@rogers.com

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Piano Teacher Music Theory Methods

 Each  music theory or piano lesson is prepared by the teacher in advance and tailored to the student’s abilities, interests and learning style. Students choose the music they wish to play, keeping them actively involved.

 I stress teaching the basic skills, such as learning to read music learning to play in a fluid manner, developing the student’s hand dexterity and how music works (music theory). These lessons provide a firm foundation, which makes learning to play the piano a natural process.

 Music is expression in sound. My lessons teach playing with expression as well as mechanical playing. Communicating the nature or feeling of a piece makes for rewarding playing and listening. Students of all ages and all levels can do this. I teach concepts that will ultimately guide students to develop an independent musical interpretation of the piece. Together these concepts produce a well rounded approach that reinforce each other.

 I use the current piano teaching books for practical and music theory lessons and can follow the RCM curriculum, but also allow students to learn favourite songs and pieces (or styles) of their own choosing so that they will enjoy playing and practicing.

 I often use musical games (aural or written) to introduce new concepts to make the lessons fun and fresh. For very young students, I have activities and techniques to keep them focused.

How old should my child be before starting?

Children must have a certain degree of maturity and focus for piano lessons, but I have had success teaching children as young as three. At this age we will do lots of activities such as stories with music and songs with movement.

Can an adult learn piano?

Yes, for sure! I  currently teach adult students with little or no prior experience who are progressing quickly. Be patient with yourself- you will get where you want to go with persistence and practice.

Do I need a musical instrument to start lessons?  

Yes. You'll need one for practicing that comes in between each lesson.  For piano you can use a keyboard or piano.

Can you come to our house?

I encourage students to come to my fully equipped studio for their lesson, where parents have a comfortable waiting room, but I will travel to students' house in the Toronto area for an additional travel charge.

Do you insist on students taking exams?

There are both pros and cons to exams. They do provide a framework for learning, a goal and an orderly progression but they can also limit the student's performing experience to several well rehearsed pieces per year.  Exam marks vary according to the examiner's standards, and no student should accept an exam mark as a measure of his/her musical worth.  I generally leave it to the student and the parents as to whether the student will take the RCM exams for piano or music theory.

How long have you been a teacher?

I have been a Royal Conservatory of Music accredited teacher of music for twenty two years.

How long are we committed to taking lessons?

Only for the lesson or months requested. We do not sign people to contracts of any length.  We do not believe this contributes to learning.

May students select the music they like?


Yes, they can, and are encouraged to do so. However their teacher must insure the music they choose is technically challenging to their skill level.

Why should my child or anyone learn to play music?

Playing music adds enjoyment to life. It can enhance the student’s school grades. Studies indicate it’s good for spatial reasoning and can lead to a life-long interest

What is music theory and why is it important?

Music theory is the study of the structure of music. Theory examines how musical pieces are built. Theoretical elements of music include sound, pitch, chords, scales, rhythm, melody, harmony, and notation.

Theory is important because you will learn to understand how music works. It doesn’t matter what your field of music is, theory gives you insight into how all the notes and rhythms are put together in a composition.

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