Learning music was never something that my husband and I had intentionally wanted my daughter to do, nor did we mean for her to learn piano for any express purpose other than finding an extra-curricular activity that she enjoyed doing. But in the fall of 2012, when my daughter was four years old, I read a Facebook post about a music school in which the children learned piano in a group setting using the Yamaha Music Education System. The school was the Kanata Music Centre and so, I immediately emailed the Studio Director, Atsuko Montcalm, asking for more information.
Before committing I wanted to make sure the lessons were something my daughter would be interested in. From the very beginning, Atsuko was friendly and patient with my daughter (and there are days when she still exercises this patience!). My daughter is the type of kid who knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like, and it takes a lot to change her mind once she has her mind made up. We had tried music classes before when she was younger and they were a disaster, so I went into the Kanata Music Centre for the first time with little expectation of ever returning.
But we did – my daughter has been a student of the Kanata Music Centre for nearly 2.5 years and will be returning in the fall to continue (her choice!). The Kanata Music Centre has not only taught my daughter how to play piano, but she has also learned confidence, loves to sing, has learned to read music, and has made new friends along the way.
Atsuko won the hearts of parents and students alike at the Kanata Music Centre’s annual music recital last June when she and fellow instructor, Teruko Bassett sat down at the baby grand piano and played the hit song from the movie FROZEN, “Let it Go.” The children were stunned and before you knew it both the children and parents were singing along – I will never forget the look of awe on my daughter’s face. It was a moment I will cherish for a long time to come.
The Kanata Music Centre is dynamic, relaxed and fun. The group setting creates a familiar learning environment for kids and Atsuko is so enthusiastic, patient and kind that learning piano is fun for even the most reluctant of child.
Beyond that, all of the instructors must attend regular training seminars to ensure that their training is up-to-date. I like that the Kanata Music Centre is not in someone’s basement, and that is also not a store, so there are no sales people or hidden agenda to sell you a piano or guitar that you cannot afford. I also like that my daughter isn’t just sitting in front of a piano learning how to play song after song – she is learning every aspect of music, from solfege singing, to theory and composition. It is because of this that my daughter recently composed her own original song – including chords – just for the heck of it!
Of course, learning piano does require some work on the part of the parent and student, but the kids are encouraged to practice by colouring in notes every time they do. My daughter hates when she doesn’t have the required number of notes coloured by the time the next class rolls around, and so it has only happened once in the 2.5 years she has been a student. My daughter also has her moments when she wishes she didn’t have to go to piano, but she is always excited to tell people about her piano lessons and what she has learned. She also loves the ability to sit down at a piano anywhere and be able to play a song she knows – and I love hearing her play that song.
If your child has an interest in music or if you are looking for a great way to introduce your child into the wonderful world of music, take a look at the Kanata Music Centre, located in Kanata North. Programs start for children as young as three years old and I guarantee you will be amazed at how quickly your child can learn music – singing it, playing it, and enjoying it!
For more information, including how to register for Fall 2015 classes, visit the Kanata Music Centre online at: www.kanatamusiccentre.com/