Hello and welcome to the music services page of Musical Dreams Piano Studio. The primary music service I offer is music lessons, in particular, piano lessons. However, I do also provide accompanist services as well as ambient and focus music for both private and public events. For more information on my background and on my music lessons services please read onwards, to inquire about accompanist, ambient, or focus music services please contact me either by telephone at 1-403-472-8405 or via the Contact button below.
For the safety of myself and my students in-person lessons have been suspended until the resolution of the COVID-19 crisis. However, lessons are continuing via online modalities. Online lessons are also being offered to those interested in engaging temporarily in musical expression during this time of uncertainty. All that is required on the student’s end is an instrument, a device with audio and visual capabilities that can be oriented such that I will receive a visual of the keyboard, and Skype. So, if you’ve been waiting for some space to open up in your life to allow you to pursue a dream of music education, or, if you’re looking for something productive to fill any “new” space which has just opened up, read on, adjust what you read to apply to online learning, and then, if possibly interested, contact me, Erika, at 1-403-472-8405, Erika.firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the contact button below.
I started playing piano in 1979, started teaching under the tutelage of my piano teachers in 1988, and received my A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance in 1990. After graduation from high school I pursued other education, completing an Engineering degree in 1995, but returned to my love of teaching music in around 2003. I added in a B.A. in Psychology to my list of academic credentials in 2012 and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on variations in worldviews and how this affects interactions between groups in 2019 (awaiting conferment). I have taught individuals ranging in age from 5 to 70, those who have pursued Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music accreditation and those who have not been interested in such. I am a full member of the Alberta Registered Music Teacher’s Association (ARMTA) with access to all the privileges associated with that membership, including student performance opportunities, scholarships, and bursaries.
Although my accreditation in music is through Royal Conservatory I started out in the Suzuki method, which is a methodology based upon learning music by ear, and I support this approach. I highly value having the student listen to their music, as compared to simply taking the markings on a sheet of paper and transferring them to wooden blocks on a wooden construction, and I integrate this value into my teaching.
My teaching philosophy follows the thinking that it is the teacher’s role to adapt their teaching methods to the learning style of the student. Thus each student’s learning programme is highly individualized and tailored not only to his or her interests and goals but also to his or her learning styles. This follows through not just in which methods to use, but also when considering issues such as the split of ear-based learning vs reading-based, lesson duration, style of music, the setup of the lessons, and even the goals…. is the student engaging in lessons for music education, development of effective study methods, recreation, brain health….
I also believe teaching is an interactive experience, and that the teacher learns just as much as the student. Although I am certainly the teacher and manage and run the lessons, particularly where children are concerned, mine is not an authoritarian studio.
I welcome, not just accept, diversity in the developmental and physical normativeness of my students. Meaning I not just tolerate, but I appreciate and welcome, those who are often labelled as “special needs” in my studio. It was the joy I experience in exposure to different life perspectives which directed me in my most recent degree, this enjoyment of the diversity of experience is what creates in my studio one which welcomes those who are outside of the normative. Through their experiences of trying to exist in a society perhaps not particularly tailored to their experience of living, as well as any developmental or physical differences from the normative that they might experience, “special needs” individuals present with a whole different view of the world which I appreciate the opportunity to share in. And I also feel they have just as much right to experience and develop a joy and appreciation in music as anyone else. So please, those of you to whom this might apply, reach out, and give it a try. You are welcome here.
Sharing music can be an important component of learning music and I provide a minimum of two sharing or performance opportunities per instructional year. Students have the option of participating in these opportunities or not, not everyone is inclined towards public performance and I do not force my students to engage in such. These sharing opportunities may differ in character – I typically will have studio recitals mid and end instructional year, but I also put in opportunities to share at venues such as assisted living facilities and/or retirement homes and if student diversity and opportunity presents other casual setups can be arranged.
Having been such myself, for those students who are interested I can support them in developing other aspects of their musical experience such as the skills required of an accompanist or a participant in group musical performances.
Lessons are typically weekly and between 30 and 60 minutes in length, dependent upon age and skill level of the student. This is a generality, frequency and duration are tailored to each individual’s program.
I offer lessons at a variety of times during the day and evenings on a variety of days of the week. Please contact me directly at 1-403-472-8405 or via the contact button below for current availability.
Lessons are provided on my 5’4” GH1 Yamaha grand piano in my studio in the Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill area of Calgary located on 19th St. N.W., south of 16th Ave. N., within walking distance of the Lions Park c-train station and Briar Hill school. Lessons are offered in my studio only.
Payment is generally made on a monthly basis for school-aged individuals during the school year, for the entirety of the summer for summertime lessons, and on a descending balance for adults. A minimum of one month’s notice is expected for termination of lessons.
Summer lessons are available, and, if possible, continuation of lessons without lengthy breaks is recommended. Holidays can be accommodated.
I generally require an in-person meeting between myself, the prospective student, and, if applicable, the prospective student’s parent(s) before committing to providing lessons for any particular individual. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss in person the goals and objectives of the student, allow the student the opportunity to ask any questions of me directly and to see if the student and I might be a “fit”. This meeting also allows me to better tailor my teaching approach to the apparent needs and inclinations of the student right at the outset, thus allowing us to be more efficient in the commencement of the student’s learning experience than what might otherwise occur. Once we have had our meeting, and if all agree, then we schedule our lessons, and we’re off, off, off!, on the road to musical freedom!
Musical Dreams Piano Studio