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. Since graduating, she has continued studying as needed with Jean Desmarais.
Natalia Bibik-Chabukiani was born in Kharkov, Ukraine to a family of musicians. She began playing the piano at the age of five. She received her musical education in Kharkov High Music School, St. Petersburg State Conservatory of N. Rimsky-Korsakov, The Tel-Aviv Academy of Music, and the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music.
Natalia has participated in numerous international Master Classes, Festivals, Solo Recitals, Chamber Music, and has appeared as a Soloist with Symphony Orchestras (her first Concerto with an orchestra was at the age of ten!). Before moving to Ottawa in 2018, Natalia had her own piano studio where she taught students of all ages, beginners through all Royal Conservatory grades (RCM). Many of her students have participated in Festivals, Mater Classes and Competitions. Natalia enjoys preparing students for RCM exams, as well as Music Theory and Music History. She also worked as a recital accompanist in Regina University and Conservatory of Performing Arts.
Natalia has had numerous music projects. Her energy is contagious and she enjoys sharing her passion for music with her students; whether they are beginners, preparing for exams and festivals, or just playing for fun!
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.
Christopher Kornienko (MMus, BMus), discovered the piano by chance. Lifting a whole host of musical styles, from Bach to the Doors to Chopin, the self-taught young pianist went on to study piano performance at the University of Ottawa. There he studied under Andrew Tunis, along with the guidance of vocal instructors Ingemar Korjus and Lawrence Ewashko as well as master accompanist, Frédéric Lacroix.
Christopher’s intuitive playing betrays the lingering romanticism of his original discovery of the instrument. His passion for song cycles has led him to the complete performances of Die Schöne Mullerin and Dichterliebe, garnering the attention of Dalton Baldwin at the Foliage Art Song Masterclasses in Vermont. Featured on the NAC’s 4th Stage in March 2011 along with flautist Christian Paquette, Kornienko has made sensitivity and spirit mainstays of his solo and duo performances.
Having started piano later in life and initially being self-taught, Christopher brings a patient and understanding approach to his teaching, fueled by the responsibility of passing on the passion that led him to his current career as a musician.
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.
Vincent has been playing piano for over 20 years and has been teaching piano since 2003. He received his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ottawa in 2009 and plans on opening up his own music studio in the future. Vincent began learning piano with Daisy Tang at the Kanata Music Academy. Under Daisy’s teachings, Vincent has been classically trained, completed his Trinity College London grade 8 exam, and his Associate in Piano Performance from Trinity College (ATCL). He holds multiple podium finishes for Kiwanis in piano (such as U17 classical era, U17 romantic era).
Vincent’s biggest passion in music is teaching. He has taught a wide range of students from different skill levels; young and old. Every student has its own challenge and Vincent likes taking that challenge head on. He has taught many students who have completed the RCM from Preliminary to Grade 10. Music doesn’t always have to strive towards RCM, so there have been many other students who take music lessons with him wanting to learn a certain type of song, playing a certain genre of music, or just tuning up technique.
Vincent is passionate about being connected with the musical community. He encourages all his students to try playing in front of an audience and meeting new people. He has also played in many music charitable events such as the Echoes of Winter (6 hands 1 piano)
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