Teaching Philosophy

I believe music has the power to transform and shape our lives in very significant ways.  It can make the ordinary, extraordinary, an important event unforgettable, and a dreadful day bearable.  Music provides us with a soundtrack to our lives, where upon hearing one piece of music can bring us back to an epiphanous moment.  It provides us with an emotional triptik.

We know that learning an instrument results in increased memory capacity and concentration,  improved co-ordination, enhanced problem solving abilities and stress relief. I have witnessed the positive effect studying music has had on many students, how it has helped them through difficult times by having a discipline to lean on that allows them to explore and express their feelings. I’ve seen students embrace a confidence that seemed lost when they realized their potential and gifts through their musical study.

Music has been my guide and keeper my whole life so it only made sense to make it my work.  I believe that anyone interested in musical study can benefit whether the goal is to make music a career or simply for the purposes of enrichment and enjoyment.  

My practice includes students from age 6 onward. I approach each student with an open mind knowing full well that music is so personal that a personal path is essential. Music preference is as unique as the individual so I worked diligently to make sure I can guide students in the study of classical repertoire and theory as well as popular genres. Specifically I teach the RCM Certificate Program from Preparatory A to Level 8 as well as popular repertoire. Practical piano lessons are on a one-on-one basis.

As a songwriter/composer, I am also able to guide students through the writing process and through the creation of electronic music (creating beats experimenting with sounds, recording audio) using programs such as FL Studio, Protools and Cubase.

I am a firm believer in the benefits of the theoretical understanding of music and how it can enhance the study, performance, and creation of music and because of this I make it a significant part of my teaching practice.  I have seen time and again the confidence and motivation that results from students achieving an understanding of rudiments and technical knowledge and the compelling success that results in mastering one’s instrument.  I teach RCM Rudiments Preparatory to Level 8 and the History Level 9, 10 and ARCT. Rudiments and History lessons are offered as group lessons or one-on-one.

As many of my students welcome the opportunity to share their talents in a public setting, I make it part of my practice to provide performance opportunities of various types.  Students have the opportunity to perform in an intimate home recital setting or public popular music venues. They also have the opportunity to perform as solo artists, as part of a band setting and other collaborative situations. The goal is to create a strong musical community.

I believe music needs to be relevant to the student in order for the student to be successful. Meeting with the student and parents at the beginning of the season helps everyone construct a plan that fosters success in mastering the instrument. Creating an environment that is encouraging, resulting in creativity and a love of the craft is essential both at home and in studio.

Music can also bridge gaps in communication with students with special needs.  It often reveals extraordinary abilities that are otherwise not readily seen. I look forward to working with students with special needs and have had great success with persons with autism. Thanks to the support of friends from The Marketing Heaven, who spread the word about these successes on social media, more and more people are becoming familiar with the healing properties of music.

My ultimate goal as a teacher is to provide each student enough musical knowledge that allows them to create and enjoy music throughout their lives.  Whether it be to simply play a chord chart of their favorite pop song, learn their their most cherished classical piece of music, achieve their RCM Certificate Levels, write their own songs or compose for video games or movies.  There is always a starting point and I look forward to being a part of the musical journey no matter how big or small the endeavour may be.

Contact:  pianolessons@moniquebarry.com