Piano is an excellent instrument to choose if you are unsure what you want to play. It is not only an amazing instrument but is also a great foundation instrument to learn in preparation for any other musical study.
Beginner piano students normally start with private 30 minute lessons and use an introductory method book that teaches them basic concepts and music reading skills. Teachers guide students through these books as well as supplement development with appropriate technical exercises, theory and musical knowledge. After learning the basics, students may branch out to classical, pop, jazz, improv, etc. Many choose to participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) examinations and/or Ottawa Music Festival competitions.
We normally accept piano students as young as five years old, but three or four year olds who can focus long enough can have 15 minute private lessons or participate in 30 minute group lessons. We also accept adult students. As our students progress, their lessons may lengthen to 45 and 60 minutes.
The best type of instrument for piano students is an acoustic piano (either upright or grand) because it helps to develop finger strength as well as provides the foundation for healthy technique. However, many of our students begin their studies on an electronic keyboard because keyboards are more compact, less expensive and they can be played with headphones. Electronic keyboards are adequate for young students to learn their way around the keyboard and how to read music. Keyboards with touch sensitivity (must have 88 keys) are best to learn on.
A musician from a very artistic family, Lisa Bing enjoys being instrumental in bringing music into the lives of our students. She is passionate about getting students to think about the roles music, lessons, and practice play in our everyday lives.
A philosophy degree in aesthetics [BA ‘99] gave Lisa the opportunity to explore projects such as What is Art, Aesthetic Experience in the Natural World, How Music Came from Nature, and Are Concert Conventions Necessary? Her music degrees in Piano Performance [BMus ‘02] [MMus ‘04] allowed her to transfer these ideas about art into activities that she enjoys sharing with her own students in both private and group workshop settings.
Lisa worked as a private piano teacher up until 2012 when she founded Musical Thought Studios, a specialized piano and guitar school that brought music and art to the public as well as encouraged students to think “outside the box” of regular music lessons. Music in the Community (MIC) and Creative Workshop were two programs that were a result of these goals. Since her acquisition of Manotick School of Music in 2014, specialized programs inspired by Lisa’s original school have become a part of the school’s Musical Thought Musicianship Program (MTMP).
Lisa has spent time at the Banff Center and the Orford Arts Center in the classes of pianists Robin Wood, Kevin Fitzgerald and Richard Raymond. While studying at the University of Alberta and the University of Ottawa, her piano teachers included Stephane Lemelin, Ayako Tsuruta, Jean-Paul Sevilla and Andrew Tunis. Post graduation she studied with Jean Desmarais.
Born in Toronto, ON, Naomi is a classically-trained pianist from southwestern Ontario. She has been studying and playing the piano since the age of 4, trained primarily through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music History, Theory, & Critical Analysis [BMus ‘19] from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied with Elaine Lau, and a Master’s Degree in Law & Legal Studies [MA ‘21 from Carleton University. She also holds piano pedagogy teaching certifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music and enjoys playing for local musical theater groups, church, & choir ensembles in her free time. Away from the keys, her hobbies include cross-stitching, reading, swimming, and volunteering!
Louise Cheung has her ARCT in Piano Pedagogy with the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed her undergraduate studies in Science and Teacher Education at the University of Toronto. She has more than 20 years of school teaching as well as private piano instruction experience. Prior to her recent move to Ottawa, she worked as a full-time high school science teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and taught piano at Euromusic Center in Markham. She has prepared students for RCM practical and theory exams, recitals, music festivals and concerts. Her teaching philosophy is to inspire and educate the young generation to love and enjoy what they learn. She enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels. Being the choir organist in church and at school, Louise is also an active participant of various community events.
Connor de Laplante
Connor de Laplante started learning music in the seventh grade on saxophone and quickly developed a love for expanding his knowledge of musical instruments. He graduated from the Canterbury High School winds program and is currently studying piano at the University of Ottawa [BMus candidate ‘22].
He studied piano on his own for one year until he decided to audition for university, which he then prepared for with only one year of private lessons. He has since worked with Lawrence Ewashko at the University of Ottawa and has studied with Mauro Bertoli, Leopoldo Erice and Frédéric Lacroix.
Connor has performed in numerous wind ensembles, choirs and chamber ensembles. Not only is he well versed in multiple instruments, Connor has a great musical theory foundation and enjoys teaching all different levels of understanding.
Connor has a great respect for the arts and knows very well that it is never too late to start learning music. He has a bright and enthusiastic personality that allows him to connect with anyone he teaches.
Saira was born in the Ottawa valley into a very musical family and this passion has followed her since. Throughout middle school she was a part of every music group she could participate in, which fostered her love and dedication to music.
She attended Canterbury High School’s Instrumental music program where she focused her time on the trombone and piano. While in high school she was the teaching assistant for the grade nine music class where she found her passion for teaching others. One of her students is now on her own way to Canterbury for trombone!
Trained classically and in both pop and rock music, Saira has been teaching piano for two years. For the last few years she has also been a volunteer teacher with Girls+ Rock Ottawa where she taught keys for both beginner and intermediate levels. Saira is full of energy and passion for music and loves sharing it with musicians regardless of their abilities.
Bethany is a young musician with advanced piano skills; and has placed multiple times both in the Ottawa Piano Festival and the Kiwanis Music Festival. She is studying under Gabe Tam-Poudrier and has also studied with Ryan Phelps. She looks forward to passing on the unique knowledge from her teachers to you!
Hi! I am 20 years old and been playing piano for over 17 years. I also play saxophone as well as a bit of flute and clarinet.
My hobbies outside of music include playing soccer, ultimate frisbee and bouldering.
Many of our teachers excel in more than one instrument!
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