Neighbour Note was founded over 11 years ago by local Toronto music teacher John Force. The goal was simple: Give students and their families the very best music education for the very best price. John did this and continues to do this by hiring the highest educated and most experienced music teachers in Canada. The music lesson rate at Neighbour Note is only $30 per lesson for studio lessons and $35 for in-home lessons making Neighbour Note one of the most if not the most affordable option for music lessons in Toronto and beyond!
In an ideal world all music schools would be motivated by providing the absolute best service and education for their students. Unfortunately, many music schools are motivated by money instead of a passion for the arts. Hiring uneducated and inexperienced teachers and paying them a low rate of pay while charging students a high rate of pay is all too common. This is most frustrating and downright wrong. At Neighbour Note our teachers receive the highest rate of pay among all music teachers throughout Toronto.
John was overly frustrated and still is by the lack of credibility of many music schools. There are still many music schools who do not list any of their teachers on their websites. All reputable schools should post their teaching faculty online so students know exactly the level of education and experience of all the teachers employed by a school.
Neighbour Note offers music lessons on just about every musical instrument including singing. Our human body is our musical instrument after all! Piano, guitar, bass guitar, singing, drums, violin, cello, viola, double bass, harp, ukulele, saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, oboe, bassoon, french horn, tuba, euphonium and baritone, bagpipes, sopilka, banjo, and madolin are just some of the music lessons we teach. We also offer song writing, music composition, harmony, counterpoint, and music theory rudiments classes for small groups.
Out of all the instruments Neighbour Note offers, this article is going to focus on piano lessons. The piano is arguably the most popular instrument of choice especially for beginners. It is classified as a pitched percussive instrument even though it has strings. Playing the piano for the first time can give students a sense of instant gratification. You press a key and this produces a pitch. Students can play piano for quite a long time without experiencing any physical pain that stringed instruments often cause. Simply put, the piano does not hurt the fingers! Just about anyone can learn to play the piano. Whether you are an adult beginner or a toddler the piano is accessible to most people. Students start piano lessons as young as 3 years of age or as old as 85 years of age.
The best age to start learning to play the piano is between the ages of 3 to 6. Students are just starting to learn to read and write at this age. The piano gives students the ability to improve hearing skills, fine motor skills, as well as reading skills. Some students learn to play by ear while others learn to read music right away. Some students do both. The physicality of playing the piano definitely improves fine motor skills.
There are different schools of thought or methods of learning for the piano. The education process is different for each teacher. Some teachers start with the Suzuki method by having students listen to music before they attempt to play it. Learning to play by ear is a very effective method for beginners. Learning to read music is also a good way to start learning the piano. There are many different piano methods focusing on this approach. Faber and Faber, Alfred's, Leila Fletcher are just some popular piano methods used by teachers. In my opinion, great teachers use a combination of different teaching methods to engage students. Children learn to read and write in school so why should we limit piano students to one approach for learning? Piano students can learn to read music and play by ear at the same time. It should be noted that there are different piano methods for adults, young children, and teenagers. Most piano courses have different learning streams for each level for adults, young children, and teenagers.
At Neighbour Note, our piano teachers are top notch. Currently, seven of our piano teachers have completed doctoral degrees such as a PhD or DMA. Sixteen teachers have completed Masters degrees in music such as a Mmus or MA. Dr. Nina Soyer was awarded an RCM Teacher of Distinction Award for being the best piano teacher in all of Ontario according to the Royal Conservatory of Music. Many of our piano teachers have been teaching for longer than 20 years. All of our teachers care deeply about the success of their students.
There are multiple benefits of taking piano lessons. Research has shown that performing music creates a sense of elation in the brain. It actually makes people happy! When students play the piano many feel a great sense of accomplishment especially when completing a piece of music. There is a great article by Olivia Groves highlighting 15 Benefits of Learning Piano (Backed by Science). According to Olivia's article learning to play the piano prevents brain processing, hearing, and memory loss. It improves counting, math skills, and reading comprehension. Learning to play piano encourages creativity, helps students practice time management and organization. It strengthens hand muscles and eye coordination. It also improves rhythm and coordination and boosts self-esteem. Piano lessons can actually reduce stress and anxiety, expand cultural knowledge, and change brain structure and mental ability. You can read the full article here.
The number one reason people choose Neighbour Note for piano lessons is the education and experience of our piano teachers. Students get the opportunity to learn from experts such as university professors or professional recording artists. Our competitive rates are another major reason why students choose Neighbour Note for piano lessons.
Neighbour Note started strictly as an in-home music lesson provider. John Force and the Neighbour Note faculty wanted to make life easier for students by allowing them to save time and money by staying home for music lessons. The convenience of having lessons at home allows parents the opportunity to listen in on their child's music lesson while they make dinner or do other tasks. Piano lessons at home is a great alternative to travelling to a studio and sitting in a waiting room for an hour.
With the COVID-19 Pandemic Neighbour Note is now offering online lessons for all instruments and classes for songwriting, music composition, harmony, counterpoint, and music rudiments. Online lessons allow students to actually see each teacher's private music studio where they practice, write and record music. It’s a window into the musical world of a teacher. Learning online is the safest way to learn to sing or play an instrument especially during these troubled times. Neighbour Note uses both Skype and Zoom platforms for all online music lessons.
To conclude, Neighbour Note piano lessons are extremely fun and engaging. They are taught by university professors, professional recording artists, and extremely educated, experienced, talented, and award-winning teachers. The piano lesson rates are affordable and extremely competitive. A free lesson is given to all new students. For these reasons Neighbour Note truly stands out among other music schools.