O N L I N E   L E S S O N S :   H A R P   &   P I A N O

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY

"of the highest quality"

“​​Our home is filled with the joyous sound of music, thanks to Kristan's private and personalized virtual piano lessons. Kristan's professionalism and skills as a musician and as a teacher are of the highest quality. We have learned so much and have enjoyed every minute!”

-  Julie and sons, piano students

About Kristan

Kristan has been teaching private lessons since 2008, and has a huge passion to impart the knowledge and mentorship she received to aspiring musicians. Along with her weekly private studio teaching, as a guest teacher at other studios/schools she has presented masterclasses, private/group lessons, and 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.

Teaching Philosophy

Kristan teaches both piano and 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! 

 

Methods

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 piano: Hal Leonard Piano Lessons & Theory Workbooks

Beginner adult piano: Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course

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.

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Online Lessons:
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. 

Since early 2020, offering online lessons has made it possible to reach students from all over the world. 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 or piano, even if you have no musical background. For children, the best age to begin piano is between age 5 to 7, and harp between age 7 to 9. 

How long are lessons?

Kristan offers weekly 45-minute or 60-minute lessons, and offers 30-minute lessons to young children.

What type of instrument do you recommend?

For harp students, it's recommended that beginners start on a small lever harp of no less than 27 strings, which are very affordable to rent or buy pre-owned! If the harp does not have levers, that is alright to begin with, but students tend to outgrow the harp size quickly. For piano students, it's recommend you purchase/rent an acoustic piano or a weighted-key touch-sensitive electric keyboard/piano.

 

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, 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 for 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. 

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Teaching Resume

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.

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Ontario Music Festival Provincials, Harp 2019