Information for Beginners (Toddler, Preschool, Early Elementary)
I am currently accepting registrations for the 2021/2022 Term.
Students Currently Studying With Me
Students currently studying with me will be given priority for registration and choice of lesson day and time until Monday, June 21, 2021, after which I will begin accepting new students and booking their lesson times.
Registrations from new students are welcome.
I will begin processing new students on Monday, June 21, 2021. Registrations from new students are processed on a first-come-first-served basis, so please register early.
At this time, I can guarantee openings for all prospective students whose registrations have been submitted prior to June 21, 2021.
Pleased to Meet You!
When it comes to your child's musical education, choosing the best teacher and program for your needs is a major decision.
My teaching is based on a deep educational philosophy proven to work in the study of classical music. My goal is to apply these principles towards the nurturing of versatile Contemporary Pianists. While most piano lessons are based on various teaching "methods", the majority focussing solely on performance, my program revolves around a meticulously crafted and time-tested philosophy of teaching. Performance, (both of the standard classical repertoire and contemporary works) is a vital part of my curriculum, but only a part. Also covered in the weekly lesson are other valuable skills, such as intense training of the ear, the art of improvisation, understanding the foundational elements of music as it is written today, the basics of musical composition, and communication through ensemble performance.
Rather than producing a musician whose musical universe revolves solely around the performance of the standard repertoire (uni-dimensional), to nurture musicians comfortable with the classics, as well as many other practical musical skills not taught by traditional musical education, (multi-dimensional).
- I accept students as young as three years of age. Beginning musical study in early childhood has many advantages. This is when children's learning relies heavily on aural, as opposed to visual stimulation, a perfect scenario in which to begin learning how to play the piano.
- Goals - concentration, strong teacher/student/parent relationship, listening, independence of the hands, building technique, tonal control, introduction to note reading, ensemble performance, basic keyboard theory.
- Parental involvement in the lesson and daily practice sessions in essential. A key to successfully teaching young children is to provide a strong support system driven by the teacher at the lesson and maintained in the home by the parent. It is not necessary for the parent to be able to play the piano. The goal is to provide the student with a strong, positive learning environment, both at the lesson, and in the home.
- Online Resource Center - parents have access to a wealth of informational videos, as well as other materials from my online Resource Center.
- All learning materials included with tuition.
- I am very flexible in scheduling lessons. Times are available Monday through Saturdays, including early morning, daytime, noon hour, after school and evenings.
- New students are may join the studio at any time during the teaching year, (contingent upon availability of open slots)
- NO SCREENING OR AUDITIONS! - Zane accepts ALL students who meet the general criteria (listed below). He subscribes to this axiom from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki "Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited."
- You must have access to piano for daily practice. If the piano is an acoustic, tuning is paramount - your child's ear cannot be properly developed on an out-of-tune instrument. If the piano is digital, it should be full-sized (88-keys), and have a weighted, acoustic-piano-like keyboard action. (Zane can provide guidance about best pianos to consider).
- Parents registering their children for lessons must agree to the Studio Terms and Conditions (included in your registration package).
Parents are an Integral Part of the Process
Parents , (particularly those of toddlers and elementary school aged children), play a very important role both in the studio and at the in-home study sessions. At the heart of the philosophy is a strong, open, honest, positive relationship between the child, parent, and teacher. It is not necessary for the parent to be able to play the piano. Rather, clearly understanding the process, overseeing the daily practice, providing a positive learning environment in the home, and maintaining an open line of communication with me are paramount for success.
While the "drop-off/pick up" piano lesson protocol is convenient it does little to motivate and inspire the child. It also limits access to students mature enough to attend lessons on their own.
The key here is maintaining a consistency between what and how things are studied at the lesson and the in-home practice sessions. This is where the parents come in. This parental participation is a huge contributor to musical success.
Students have the option of attending lessons in my newly renovated teaching studio. It has been designed with the emphasis on students safety, optimal social distancing capabilities, and ease of sanitization.
A Teaching Studio Lesson Protocol is in place, based on Saskatchewan Government Small Business Covid-19 Guidelines.
My new studio set up is also optimized for online broadcasting, featuring super high speed wired Internet, multiple webcams, and high quality audio capabilities.
Technical support is also provided to students wishing to optimize their online capabilities.
Students have the option of combining in-studio and online lessons. I am open and flexible when it comes to this arrangement and am willing to tailor scheduling to the specific needs of each student.
And Just Like That......
Early in 2020, we began hearing about a deadly new virus with the potential to spread like wildfire across the globe, and our world began to change. At first, it all seemed so far-removed, and daily life around here was normal. As the Covid-19 storm clouds began to gather, hand-sanitizing and washing hands became necessary for all entering my studio. Then, we woke up one day to a new reality of self-isolation, social distancing, and the necessity to navigate uncharted waters. My students could no longer join me in my studio.
We have all had to face new challenges, and adapt to new, unfamiliar circumstances. Through all of this; it is has been of the utmost importance to maintain some sense of direction and normality for our children.
Having to close my doors to my piano families was a daunting experience. I was then faced with two alternatives – stop teaching all together until the “new normal” was established; make the conversion to online teaching. The first could be potentially financially devastating for me and my family; the second presented many logistical obstacles, as well as ethical and practical issues.
Most of my families were open to the idea of online learning. The burning question for me was would my students benefit from online teaching? If my students did not respond well to and grow through online teaching, I would not, in good conscious, be able to continue with it.
A Work in Progress......
For the balance of the 2019/2020 term, online piano lessons became the "new normal". Spending six to eight hours a day, staring at a large screen TV, wearing headphones, "Zooming" with my students taught me much, not only about the technology of video streaming, but also about how the curriculum I had spent the last three decades creating would perform.
I have always been amazed at how malleable children are. Online teaching has been no exception! Initially, I was quite apprehensive about attempting to teach online, but I was soon pleasantly surprised.
Overall, students responded amazingly well, with most showing consistent growth. This is indeed, a testament to their abilities and the dedication of their parents.
Therefore, studying piano online is a feasible option.There are variables, (Internet connection and speed, audio considerations, video quality, etc.) which may need to be addressed, but with minimal effort and expense, online lessons can be productive.
Most importantly, students ranging from toddlers to seniors responded extremely well to my curriculum. Mother Tongue teaching is based on carefully mastering small steps, which combine to create ability. Fortunately, these assignments translated seamlessly to online study. This lead me to make the decision to offer online lessons for the 2020/2021 term.
This year, about forty percent of my students continued with online lessons exclusively, with another five percent splitting their studies between online and in-studio, the remainder visiting me here every week.Thus, the literally thousands of hours I have spent online Zooming since the onset of Covid-19, have provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the pros and cons of this service.
Over the past several months, there have been constant and consistent upgrades to Zoom. As a result, the streaming of online piano lessons has seen many improvements in bandwidth and audio quality. There is a discernible difference between the quality of Zoom in September 2020, as compared to that of today. In an effort to improve online musical instruction, Zoom has created audio-specific settings for its application.
In an effort to improve its online musical instruction capabilities, Zoom has created audio-specific settings for its application. This has been a very positive benefit. The only downside is that configuration varies from device to device.
I am committed to making the online learning experience as positive and successful as possible. To this end, I am consistently monitoring Zoom modifications, additional equipment to efficiently and economically improve audio quality, and modifying my "Online Music Lesson" primer, to share with my families.
I am happy to provide whatever technical support I can to families wishing to improve their online learning experience.
An Effective Formula for Online Learning
The Mother Tongue Teaching Philosophy is based on a strong Teacher/Parent/Child relationship.
The role of the teacher is to build a strong working relationship with the parent and child; To provide a learning experience for the child based on positive reinforcement and respect; To be sensitive to each family’s individual situation and to provide support and guidance throughout the ups and downs of their musical journey.
The role of the parent is to work with the teacher to provide a strong, positive nurturing environment for the child; To oversee in-home practice sessions, following the instructions of the teacher.
This partnership creates the perfect support system for online study.
How to Register
- I invite you to take a few moments to explore the information about my Mother Tongue teaching philosophies on this website. Please make note of any questions or concerns you may have.
- If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact me by phone, email, or my Online Contact Form, (found immediately below this section).
- I believe it is vital that parents are comfortable with me and my teaching methods before registering. I am more than happy to discuss your child's musical potential by telephone, video conferencing, or in person.
- If you decide to register after our meeting, I will provide you with a registration package, as well as additional materials pertaining to Mother Tongue teaching.
I welcome the opportunity to meet with prospective parents and students. I am happy to discuss options for your child by phone and/or personal consultation. Please feel free to contact me for more information.