Vivia Kay Cook has been teaching young children music for almost (gulp!) thirty years. She holds a PhD in Musicology from York University and a Master of Music Performance from the University of Toledo.
Although she’s lectured and privately taught at the University level, she keeps returning to the smallest students. “I love their energy, watching them knit new concepts together for the very first time, and the pure joy and love that music gives them. I also believe that music can be a bedrock of a lot of other learning: it teaches teamwork, counting, waiting, hand-eye coordination, fractions, and math. All learned through play so your child won’t feel like they’re working.”
Vivia has been trained in ECE and worked in church settings with kids from toddlers to teens. She loves kids in the age range from 4 to 8-- but of course happily takes students of all ages.
Vivia teaches piano and voice.
I carefully listen to a student's singing, as well as student concerns, in order to help them achieve their biggest, most consistent and healthiest sound.
"I believe lessons should first and foremost be student-oriented. With nearly twenty years of experience as a teacher, I excel at quickly adapting my teaching methods to tailor to the needs of individual students, be they young children with short attention spans or adults with stage fright. During my time at York University, I have taught piano to non-majors, music theory to non-majors, and voice to non-voice-majors. My extensive choral conducting experience has allowed me to hone skills in rhythmic training and harmony. I also incorporate knowledge of music cultures and music history in order to allow students to better understand the music they are learning and impart it with deeper meaning. I encourage my students to perform, if it is something they wish to do. I accompany them to "open mic nights" after preparing them to speak to instrumentalists, organize their music and most of all to sing and perform with ease and confidence. I also regularly organize recitals for students to perform what they've learned for friends and family.
"My style of teaching voice is diagnostic and individualized. I carefully listen to a student's singing, as well as student concerns, in order to help them achieve their biggest, most consistent and healthiest sound. The fundamentals of singing—breathing, posture and diction will translate whether you wish to serenade someone with an operatic aria or rock the house. As a person with a fierce sense of individualism, I push my students to explore what their sound is or should be, rather than churn out cookie-cutter students. I truly wish that all my students find their own voice.
"For piano instruction, I incorporate theory tutoring, rhythmic coaching and encourage students to strive for musicality. For young students, this means a lesson in which boredom is not an option and for older beginners, it means a richer musical fulfillment in the context of piano lessons."
—Vivia Kay Kieswetter