Piano lessons in Toronto can offer the creative type respite from the oncoming gloomy winter months. The Royal Conservatory of Music was founded in 1886 by Edward Fisher as The Toronto Conservatory of Music.
At Long & McQuade students can study piano and keyboard under a pop music or graded Royal Conservatory curriculum. Established in 1971, this specialty store also offers custom private lessons in all musical styles based on playing level for many instruments including piano and keyboard, as well as songwriting, theory, and digital recording. Located in North York, private and group piano lessons are available at Toronto School of Musical at all levels, and for students young and old. This 15 year old Roncesvalles conservatory offers private lessons for kids, teens, and adults. Canadian Music Academy offers classes in Toronto in piano, piano pop & rock, piano jazz & blues, keyboard, and organ. For those looking for a place to study piano downtown, Perfect Pitch at Front and Spadina might be the answer. Located on the Danforth, Elite Music Academy offers a diverse array of music lessons including Greek bouzoki, Turkish saz, and Arabic oud -- as well as the good old piano.
ABC Academy of Music at St Clair and Oakwood offers students from 0 (yes 0) to adulthood a ride range of options, including piano and keyboard. Nestled beside Broadview Station, Concert Pitch Piano Services are a go to for tuning, repair, appraisals and accessories, but their website also has comprehensive listings of piano teachers in Toronto Central, as well as neighborhoods from Oshawa to Markham to Brampton. I would definitely recommend my son's piano teacher Mariam Dadashyan from MariamMusic piano school.
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Disclaimer: Comments and entries represent the viewpoints of the individual and no one else. A video from that impromptu showcase session, taken by Dennis DaCosta, is posted on Youtube and can also be viewed on her website. So, a€?Wowa€? being the operative term, when the opportunity to feature her presented itself, we jumped at it. Layah grew up in the east end of Toronto in an area called a€?The Beaches,a€? near Lake Ontario. This was the point at which Layah connected with long-time friend, Oliver Johnson, to handle the studio end of making the demo.
As Oliver recounts it, he was lucky to have gotten supportive parents in both his father and stepdad. When he was at his fathera€™s house, theya€™d jam till the wee hours and sometimes the police would come.
In order to learn musical theory, Oliver approached a guitarist, Wayne Cass, to show him what he needed to know to get into the Humber jazz program.
Toward the end of his first year at Humber, he damaged his hand while moving a heavy table. At a certain point, the road started to wear Oliver down and he decided to focus on production. At this point, Layah approached Oliver to produce the demo for which shea€™d gotten a grant. In the statement that follows, we can see the wheels turning as she weighed her options: a€?I came home knowing that I really wanted to pursue music and I made my first recording. Layah enrolled in and completed a three year program at The Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine and received a DSHomMed, Homeopathic Certification. While involved with her studies she was pursuing music as well, performing quite a bit with Oliver. Not strictly a purist, she believes that a mixture of alternative and traditional Western medicine, a€?the best of both worlds,a€? according to each patienta€™s needs is the best solution. For two or three years, Layah and Oliver remained friends while they played music together. Layah says that Oliver has influenced her, injecting some jazz, R & B, soul and funk, given that he had gone on tour with some of the better Canadian players in that realm. Ita€™s easy to see why The Ontario Arts Council, and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR) came through with grants at critical moments. Additionally, Acoustic Live will be hosting its own annual guerrilla showcase at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and wea€™ll get to watch Layah and Oliver play a set in our own room.
The new CD, Honey, from Layah and Oliver is just about ready for release and wea€™ve gotten to hear a few sample songs. When Oliver was 9, his mother married a Canadian folk artist, a childrena€™s songwriter, and he then split his time between Toronto and New Hampshire.
After high school, following her year of touring and playing, the artistic and practical sides of Layah collided. We here in the Northeast can thank our lucky starsA  for a number of chances to see her live.
There are performers who scale the heights of imagination and feeling, who walk the high wire of entertainment with such aplomb it leaves audience members giddy. When Ariana sings a€?Oh The World,a€? about an act of love so precious, it seems too good to be true.
In one of her many YouTube videos, we watch as she and her father, David, play a€?Oh The Worlda€? as a duet.
When Ariana was 15 or16, she attended an Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) Conference. When she was 16, she released a self-titled demo which had only 300 copies printed a€” primarily used for her appearance at her first conference.
At her fathera€™s urging, Ariana attended more folk conferences which continued to raise her profile. Ariana didna€™t really become serious about music until a three-month bout with double pneumonia brought her close to death.
Arianaa€™s first album, To Make It Make Sense, was released in 2009, when she was 18 years old. I asked Ariana about the source for the allegorical song, a€?John and the Monster.a€? She couldna€™t pinpoint anything in particular.
In the video, her father, ever the supporter and mentor, sits across from her and when she finishes, he murmurs, a€?Not bad.a€? In response, Ariana laughs. When we first encountered Ariana at the 2011 NERFA last November, we were shocked to discover that the youthful-looking sideman on guitar, Dobro and mandolin was Arianaa€™s father, David.


Ariana and David will be making a number of appearances in the United States this fall, and specifically the Living Room in NYC each month. We discussed the underlying truth of the fantastical story in the song a€” that something of beauty can be destroyed by a society who would imprison it and destroy its magic. Maybe you have an inner jazz pianist struggling to break free or you want to impress someone special (your inner critic?) with your Beatles medleys or Beethoven concertos. Here, you can learn piano and jazz piano in a building designated a National Historic Site — and as a bonus you can also grab a pretty cuppa at B Espresso Bar between classes. Lessons are one-on-one and students can chose between theory, technical studies, improvisation and performance. Classical, contemporary and jazz music are taught with special consideration for each student.
Teachers are divided into neighbourhoods such as The Annex and The Beaches, and you can decide if you'd like to study in your home, or the home of the instructor. Toronto Faculty of Music offer personalized private piano lessons in jazz, classical and pop, as well as ensemble jazz combo classes. Weekend and evening classes are instructed by Susanna Ordine, who comes highly recommended and has been teaching for over 15 years. They offer consultations, free keyboard rentals for two months, recording opportunities, and you can incorporate your blossoming piano skills into their rock band courses. They're open to teaching you classical, popular music, jazz, and rock styles, and also offer various camps and tutoring options for kids.
We're offering piano lessons in students' homes as well as in our piano teachers' home studio locations located around the GTA. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 (Canada) license.
During the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, he said, a€?Youa€™ve got to head over to the DJsa€™ afternoon meeting. He played Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, Dire Straits, The Pointer Sisters, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, Cyndi Lauper, Kate Bush a€¦ I never did any rebelling against my parentsa€™ choice of music.
The question concerning what direction to take with her life still hung in the air and she appears to have approached it with a calm deliberation in incremental stages.
Although music was primarily a hobby, he had an array of musical instruments in the living room, including a drum kit. Hea€™d jam with friends at his dada€™s all summer and then spend the school year with his mother and stepdad in Toronto.
Hea€™s still amazed at the way his father would cajole the officers, claiming the sound wasna€™t all that bad.
He never really studied a€¦ until he went to Humber College in Toronto, which has a program similar to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Cass was a€?a great guitar player and a great teacher,a€? a favorite that Oliver would watch play in clubs. He found a partner and opened up a studio that, today, works predominately on television projects.
She got the grant for her first demo and began recording, but decided that she wanted to pursue a degree in homeopathy as well. In addition, some readers might remember the Dove Self Esteem Funda€™s 2006 a€?True Colorsa€? TV Campaign. Each time Layah had any doubts about music as a chosen path, every time she needed it, a grant would come through.
Layah had to put the guitar aside and let Oliver provide the instrumental accompaniment solo. When I touched on this, Oliver demurred, saying that Layah had brought her own wide range of influences for him to have had all that much effect on her sense of style. Layah and Oliver will be playing Music on 4 in Manhattan on November 18th and Our Times Coffeehouse on Long Island on November 19th. Theya€™ll also play a formal Tricentric showcase and numerous other showcases (see the performance list below).
Layah will always have a keen ear for the vagaries of love and relationships, but she has her eye on the fate of humankind as well.
During the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, he said, a€?Youa€™ve got to head over to the DJsa€™A  afternoon meeting.
TheA  question concerning what direction to take with her life still hung in the air and she appears to have approached it with a calm deliberation in incremental stages. Hea€™d jam with friends at his dada€™s all summer andA  then spend the school year with his mother and stepdad in Toronto. He never really studiedA  a€¦ until he went to Humber College in Toronto, which has a program similar to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Her soaring, pitch-perfect vocals and melodic sense are mesmerizing.A  Then, therea€™s the writing.
Layah and Oliver will be playing Music on 4 in Manhattan on November 18th and Our Times Coffeehouse on Long Island onA  November 19th.
It happened at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference last year when we first saw Ariana Gillis, and it happens over and over, every time we see her. Ariana took piano lessons when she was young and didna€™t become interested in guitar until she got one when she was 12.
When I mentioned that I found her to be a lot like Josh Ritter in her imaginative storytelling, she verified that observation, saying a€?I like it that he [Josh] tries to intertwine another story with a love songa€¦ it makes it more interesting. When Ariana was around 13, her father would take her with him when he was playing certain gigs, especially ones that hea€™d booked himself. David started calling around asking bookers for venues to let Ariana open for artists theya€™d already booked. These soul-defining experiences are the catalyst that affects the skewed stories she is compelled to tell. She got a publicist who helped her introduce her CD, getting radio airplay even before it was officially released, and who helped her get bookings a€” and they were exclusively her gigs.
Wea€™re used to it now, but it hasna€™t lost that sense of a treasured combination of father-daughter bonding in such an exalted endeavor a€” the making of music. While piano is often the kind of thing you learn in a cobwebby eclectic neighbour's house, there are a number of schools in Toronto with a solid reputation behind them.
Bonus: you might see that cute tuba player from band class stepping in to renew rental forms. Potential Classical Music Conservatory students can browse through the teachers on their website.


Beginners will get the proper technique, methods, arm and hand position right from the start. When I started taking piano lessons at home at 8 years old, I started studying show tunes, so I could sing along with what I was playing, and I got into musicals. Their families were close friends and theya€™d have various holiday dinners, celebrating a variety of spiritual doctrines together as they saw fit. During those 3 months, he got a job in a computer store that sold software for digital recording.
During the first few years of pursuing music, I had some questions about how it would pan out and whether this really was a good spot for me. We find ourselves wondering, a€?Just how good can she get?a€? Her powerful voice, soaring through the high registers, suggests the pinnacle is not yet in sight.
During that time she thought shea€™d overcome it, but had to retreat to bed as it hadna€™t really gone away.
She played recordings of her original work for the interviewer and, highly impressed, he advised her not to attend school, but to stick with her own work. Sometime soon after that six-month period, Ariana was in the studio doing the vocals for her first full CD.
We learn from her bio that: a€?David Marsh played the track, a€?John and the Monstera€™ to his radio audience a€” one response was a phone call from an enthusiastic listener who wanted to know more about the unusual song, and the singer. John, dying of a brain tumor rows out to the middle of the lake and coaxes the monster out of hiding. We have all these dreamsa€¦ but it slowly starts to disintegrate in front of us and we wonder, what happened to my shiny dream?a€? Ita€™s difficult to express here, its sound and the way it packs such an emotional wallop. We tried different teachers and music schools around Toronto midtown area and very glad that we found Mariam. We have home videos of me prancing around in my diapers, singing along with the music that he loved. He learned about the software and about producing and, as an employee, was able to purchase the software at an affordable price. The a€?lemonade-from-lemonsa€? character of both accidents might lead one to believe that a certain magic guided them. Likewise, her song-stories, fed by a keen mind open to both reality and parables of fantasy, spark a wonder in us. Catherine until Ariana was a year old, then moved further west to Vineland a€” about an hour south of Toronto. She also took music lessons in high school, studying oboe and upright bass and drums a€” and still wants to learn trumpet.
More often than not, it would be Ariana and a girlfriend whoa€™d do a cover song, something that the student body could relate to and that reflected the sermon that day.
David would also perform at an annual Christmas show and would have Ariana perform as well. She slept in an upright position to keep breathing, waking up every hour, each night, coughing from the fluid in her lungs. The mystery caller was Elton Johna€™s lyricist and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.a€? Thata€™s quite a connection a€” and one hell of a quote that came out of it. Their style is what might be termed a€?jazzy folk.a€? I asked if shea€™d be singing for the DJs and she responded that it had already taken place.
In 3 months, Oliver learned everything he needed to know to get into Humber, entering at age 22. When it came time to re-enroll in school, he was tapped to play for a group that toured all over Canada. Stepping off the stage during a pause, she fell when the overturned plastic bin that was placed as a makeshift step collapsed [too late for a lawsuit at this point, I suppose]. At the songa€™s end, the captured monster is dying, so John, sacrificing himself, sets him free, becomes sick again and perishes.
He learned a lot of theoretical things that allowed him to communicate ideas, rather than hashing them out by demonstrating on the guitar. He chose that and, between playing on the road and producing when he got home, he never went back to school. Even though Ia€™m primarily pursuing music at this point, it enriched my life in such a great way, in terms of being able to help myself and my family and friends and broadening my understanding of the human body.
He would constantly stop to play his guitar sitting nearby and finally gave up the piano and just stuck with the guitar. He wanted me to get better.a€? She said that shea€™d often co-opt Patty Griffin material and turn it into something of her own. A couple of other interested presenters showed up, as I suggested we go to my own guerrilla showcase room. David created his own arrangements of songs and eventually competed in the annual United States championship contest in Winfield, Kan. Thus, about six of us got our very own private Layah Jane showcase performance a€” about 3 songs. It wasna€™t like one day it occurred to me, a€?Oh, I could do this.a€™ It just naturally grew, I think. Even though her illness left her debilitated, she still managed to graduate from high school and made the honor roll.
He had a small career going when he was younger but gave it up and decided to help Ariana when he saw how talented she was. In concert, sometimes she sings solo with just Oliver on guitar and on some songs, she and Oliver both play guitar. I wrote in the following montha€™s NERFA wrap-up issue: a€?Shea€™s like Diana Krall with a guitar.
Layah Jane would be the result.a€? On paper, that might not seem like much, but seen live, it packs quite a wallop. Additionally, it happens that Oliver is a brilliant, seasoned guitarist, having toured Canada with top-of-the-line acts.



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