Ian's Music Studio
Creative Music Education
Hi I'm Ian, my piano lessons focus on developing the whole musician, not just performance skills. Lessons are student-centered and personalized, rooted in my knowledge and love of creating and playing music, and encourage life-long music making. As a musician and teacher, I’m serious about helping my students along their musical path, but I also know that sometimes the best way to do that is by being a little goofy - lessons should be fun, because music is fun!
The Whole Musician
My approach, The Whole Musician, gives my students a broad foundation of musical and creative skills to use, no matter their musical or creative path. Creativity is essential to most things we do in life, be it excelling in school, at work, or at home, and creative skills, once developed, transfer to other domains of our life. Having The Whole Musician foundation, my students will be ready to dive into more advanced piano repertoire, learn to play jazz, pop or rock covers, write their own songs to sing and play, start a garage band with their friends, or take up whatever musical opportunities comes their way. Here are the elements of The Whole Musician:
Creativity is essential to most things we do in life, be it excelling in school, at work, or at home.
Creative skills, once developed, transfer to other domains of our life.
Here are the elements of The Whole Musician:
Learn to read music and perform songs by new and old composers.
Learn to write your own songs and compositions.
Learn to create music spontaneously.
Learn to sing, develop your ears, and internalize the music you are playing and creating.
Learn to understand how music is put together.
Learn scales, chords, arpeggios, patterns and expand your possibilities at the piano.
What about Music Theory and Ear Training?
Music theory and ear training are integrated into my teaching method. Usually music theory and ear training are taught as individual subjects, divorced from the music at hand, but in my lessons, students learn to use theory and their ears through composing and improvising. They apply this understanding to repertoire to see how other composers create. By learning solfège, students internalize intervals, relationships, and melodies, and can then use analysis to understand other composers’ music and their own
What do people say?
I am an experienced music educator, pianist, composer, improvisor, and conductor.
I am passionate about teaching music holistically, nurturing my students’ creativity, and encouraging their musical interests.
I hold a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Manitoba, I spent two summers studying composition, counterpoint, and partimenti at La Schola Cantorum with the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France and I hold a Bachelor of Music in piano and music theory from the University of Manitoba.
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Beginner Lessons for Kids
Starting piano lessons is so exciting! As a teacher, it’s so much fun to help my students take their first steps into the world of music.
From their first lesson, I teach my students to be creative and express themselves through music. I explain musical concepts in age appropriate ways, nurture my students’ unique creativity, and help them develop as a musician so they can enjoy making music throughout their life.
See below for information about “Nurturing Creativity at the Piano,” my approach to teach kids composition, improvisation, repertoire, analysis, solfège, and technique at the piano.
at the Piano
Nurturing Creativity is my method for kids to learn to express themselves through composing, improvising and playing repertoire at the piano. and understand music through analysis and solfège.
My students learn to be creative and tell stories through their music.
Beginner Lessons for Teens + Adults
When you are starting piano a little later there’s always a compelling reason. Maybe learning piano is something you’ve been meaning to do but you haven’t had the time. Maybe a song got to you and you want to learn to play it.
The backbone of my teaching is the Whole Musician approach – teaching repertoire, composition, improvisation, solfège, analysis, and technique. With your input I will customize your lessons for your interests and goals.
Soon you will be the making music that’s inside of you!
Intermediate + Advanced Lessons
You have learned the basics, you can read music and learn repertoire, but you are looking for more! Perhaps you want to widen and deepen your musical abilities. Or you want to write your own songs, learn to improvise, and learn more complex repertoire.
The backbone of my teaching is the Whole Musician approach – teaching repertoire composition, improvisation, solfège, analysis, and technique. With your input I will customize your lessons for your interests and goals.
Soon you will be the making music that’s inside of you!
Partimento + Piano Lessons
What is Partimento?
/ par ti ˈmɛn toʊ /
Partimento was one of the most powerful and common musical teaching methods in the western tradition of the 17th through 19th centuries.
Partimenti are two things:
an oral tradition and method of learning composition and improvisation at the keyboard,
instructional bass lines designed to teach harmony and counterpoint.
A Little History
Partimenti – both the basses and the oral tradition – were developed and refined in Italy, particularly Naples. Orphans living in conservatories in Naples were taught music as a trade so they could earn a living.
The methods in these conservatories were so successful at teaching the average child composition, improvisation, performance, and analysis, that musicians trained in Naples started to flood the churches and courts of Europe. After the French Revolution, the Paris Conservatory was established and they imported Italian music teachers. Soon partimenti gained traction as a teaching method in Paris and in the conservatories around France. In Germany, musicians studied either with a student of the partimenti school or traveled to Italy themselves.
About the Partimeni Method
The extant manuscripts of partimenti are full of bass lines and very few words. These bass lines are full of musical implications. In learning partimenti the student learns to decipher the implications of the bass line attaching different rules, such as cadences, the rule of the octave, sequences and other harmonic and contrapuntal moves to create a new improvisation or composition. Through deep study of all the rules, students learn to understand the music they are playing and are able to compose and improvise new music.
What's Involved In Partimenti + Piano Lessons?
We will explore partimeti by a variety of masters, beginning with the primer by Giovanni Furno and working toward the partimenti of Fedele Fenaroli and Francesco Durante. Students will learn the rule of the octave, cadences, sequences, schemata and other rules by playing, analyzing, singing solfege, improvising, and composing.
We will also explore repertoire from the 17th through 19th centuries that compliments our study of partimento.
Learn Partimento Today
Partimenti are still one of the most effective tools for learning music at the keyboard. Partimento were designed to teach everyone to compose, improvise, play and understand music – not just the most naturally talented. It worked for some of the greatest composers, and it can work for you too!
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For fellow piano and music teachers
Are you interested in teaching composition and improvisation from the very first lesson to all ages of students?
You will expand your students musical and creative potential and help them discover their own voice!