O N L I N E H A R P L E S S O N S
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“Kristan’s mastery of music, both in music theory and as a performer, allows her to adapt my lessons to meet my needs. I’m grateful for the quality and value of her live virtual lessons, they allow me to stay focused regardless of what life throws at me. I wholeheartedly recommend Mrs. Toczko to anyone seeking a motivated, inspiring, professional teacher.”
"I’m grateful for the quality and value of her live virtual lessons"
Kristan teaches online full-time, teaching private lessons since 2008, and has a passion to impart the knowledge and mentorship she has received to aspiring musicians. Along with her weekly private studio teaching experience, she has experience teaching at various studios and schools presenting masterclasses, private and group lessons, and giving ensemble coachings. She has also been an invited adjudicator at several competitions and music festivals. Kristan has studied harp with Jennifer Swartz, June Han, Nancy Allen, Deborah Hoffman, Judy Loman, Elizabeth Hainen, Heidi Krutzen, Frédérique Cambreling, Dorothy Brzezicki; and studied piano with Mariette Lavoie and Roger Lord.
Kristan teaches harp to all ages, from complete beginners to advanced. She focuses on the fundamentals of performance with proper technique and ear training, as well as catering to the student's own interests and needs. Kristan aims to help students achieve their musical goals, to help guide them to becoming a versatile and well-rounded musician, and to instill a lifelong appreciation of music along the way!
Kristan's method includes working primarily through the Royal Conservatory of Music training program, using the below books as beginner guides through lessons. This will be supplemented by other exercises, etudes, pieces, as well as ear training:
Beginner youth harp: Plucky Bunny's Harp Adventures Book
Beginner adult harp: First Harp Book by Betty Paret
Students are encouraged to bring requests of songs they want to learn to their lessons! If the music is level appropriate, these songs can be worked alongside the regular curriculum. Kristan also has a very large repertoire of her own arrangements including video game, film, holiday, classical, and pop music that she is happy to provide.
Do they work??
Yes! Online music lessons work very well! A lot of the aspects of learning music is visual, so learning an instrument over the internet works just as well as in a teacher's studio.
Although lessons through a screen may be difficult for some younger children, Kristan has found teaching online just as efficient and effective as teaching in-person.
Lessons are more accessible than ever to those who may not have a teacher in their area, and for those wanting to stay in the comfort of their home!
Debunking the myth: The time it takes to learn a new instrument or its difficulty is not hindered by online teaching. Just as much work can be accomplished in online lessons. The speed students learn their instrument will depend greatly on how much they are able to practice outside of their lesson time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is good to begin learning?
There is no age requirement for adults to learn an instrument! Any age is appropriate to start learning harp, even if you have no musical background. For children, the best age to begin harp is between age 7 to 9.
How long are lessons?
Kristan offers weekly 30-minute lessons to beginners, and 45-minute lessons to advanced students.
Would I be able to sign up for bi-weekly or once-per-month lessons?
Kristan offers bi-weekly or once-per-month lessons to advanced players wanting supplementary lessons, such as a student with established technique wanting a one-off lesson or to those preparing for an audition/competition/exam. She does not offer biweekly lessons to beginners. Weekly lessons are for the benefit of the student to progress well, to keep their interest in practicing up, and most importantly to ensure the technique is being addressed weekly and learned correctly.
What type of instrument do you recommend?
For harp students, it's recommended that beginners start on a small lever harp of 27-34 strings, which are very affordable to rent or buy pre-owned. It's alright to begin with a lever-less harp, but students tend to outgrow them quickly within a couple months of lessons.
What platform do you use for online lessons?
Kristan uses Zoom to teach lessons. No need to create an account, as personalized links are sent to each student. Lesson notes are typed in a shared Google Drive folder, making it easy to share homework, sheet music, and learning materials.
What do I need for online lessons?
You'll need a device with a camera (phone, tablet, or computer), a good internet connection, a bench (no swivel, recline, or wheels, but preferably adjustable in height), your instrument, music stand (for harp), and have a metronome and pencil nearby.
Can I meet you before committing to lessons?
Yes of course! Before booking your first lesson, Kristan offers a complimentary meet-and-greet onboarding meeting for new incoming students: a short meeting over Zoom to get to know each other, talk about your musical goals, how lessons are run, camera setup with your instrument, and answer any questions you may have.
Harp Teacher: private studio 2008-present
Piano Teacher: private studio 2008-present
The Cambrian Academy of Music: piano teacher 2019
Lippert Music Centre, Toronto: piano teacher 2018
Bannockburn Montessori School, Toronto: piano teacher 2016-2018
Guest Harp Teacher, Halifax: lessons and group classes 2014, 2016
Guest Harp Teacher, Ottawa: lessons and group classes 2016
Forest Hill Music Academy: piano teacher 2015-2016
Teaching Assistant, Yale University: undergraduate harp lessons 2011-12
Mount Allison, Yale, & McGill Universities, Harp demos 2005-present
Kristan holds her Grade 9 RCM in Piano, and holds a B.Mus., M.M., and G.D.P.P. in Harp Performance from McGill & Yale Universities.