We believe that a quality learning environment, that is inspirational and motivating, is a key factor in developing musical abilities. For this reason, my students will have the opportunity to learn and perform on a grand piano at most lessons. Students who come early, or are waiting to be picked up, will often warm-up or practise on secondary pianos/digital keyboards if it is available.

Lesson Options

There are two options for piano instruction.  One is the private piano lesson and the other is a partner lesson. Currently, the partner lesson option is only available in the Scarborough studio.

Private, on-one-one instruction allows the tailoring of lessons to each student's unique gifts, challenges and needs and allows students to progress at their own pace. This is the traditional means by which piano teachers have delivered piano lessons for countless years.  

Although private lessons are tried and true, they can often be lonely for the student since the student goes to lessons alone and practises in isolation.  In contrast, the partner lesson offers a social learning environment.  In a partner lesson, partners are often matched based on level, aptitude, age, and other qualities such as personality and interest. Sometimes the partners already have an established friendship.  In other cases, a new relationship is formed with music at its centre.  This can be an effective pairing for a parent and child beginner too.  At Leading Note Music, partner lessons are given in combination by a teacher who directs the overall lesson activities, and a teacher apprentice.  Each partner  in the lesson spends equal time with both the teacher and the teacher apprentice on either a grand piano, upright piano, or digital piano.  

The camaraderie that is offered through a partner lesson, more often than not, positively influences the motivation to practise, learn, and perform.  Peer recognition and praise from a partner can also assist in overcoming performance anxiety too.  There are also more opportunities for duet playing.  Duet playing helps students develop listening skills and rhythmic sense.  

For some families, partner lessons are a  more affordable alternative to private lessons.  

Lesson Frequency and Length

Lessons are scheduled once per week.  Our preference is a 45 minute lesson for those studying Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum at the junior levels We prefer this because there is more time to devote to things like theory, sight reading, ear training, music writing, and improvisation.  We have also noticed that 9/10 students with longer lessons tend to progress at a faster rate too. Once a student reaches level 6 RCM a one hour lesson is necessary.  For beginning students, or those who are studying casually, the 30 minute lesson works well. If taking an exam, some students may require a few extra lessons at that time.  In other cases, we have recommended a student come twice per week for lessons.  This works particularly well for students whose attention span is short.


Instruction is provided based on method books such as Piano Adventures for beginning students, and also Pattern Play, Chord Play, and the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) syllabus including the RCM popular selection list. Other methods and repertoire are used too when student needs indicate that this would be beneficial.  Performance opportunities are made available to students via semi-annual recitals, the Honours Recital of the Scarborough branch of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA), piano salons, RCM examinations, and local competitions.

There are many components of a well-rounded musical education.  Each student will receive training in the following areas tailored to their unique gifts, challenges, and needs:

• Repertoire

• Technique

• Sight reading

• Ear training

• Musicianship

• Improvisation

• Ensemble/piano duet

• Theory

• Music history