Events, News

December Activities, 2018

Xmas piano

Hi Everyone!

Who’s excited for Christmas? Some of our classes have already began to play Christmas music.

I just wanted to post a quick note to let everyone know the format for December into January.

  • December 8-12:  Treasure Box is open! Time to redeem those beans!
  • Dec. 15-19: Christmas Singalong and decorating cookies. ***Email me if you have any allergies! I make everything on site.***
  • The holidays will be from December 20th-January 4th, inclusive.

I hope Santa is good to you and everyone has a wonderful time with family over the holidays! And maybe you can even get some non-rushed, piano practice time in with the kids 😉






October News 2018

Halloween Week ~ October 24th-30th

halloween bach

Feel free to wear your costume to class. You can also spend your MUSIC BEANS to get into the treasure box! 10 beans per item.

Rhythm Festival ~ Nov. 24, 2018

Join us for our first performance of the year in a family friendly venue!

Cute kids performing!
The back of my head and some cute MYC kids participating.

When: Saturday Nov. 24th, 2018.
Where: The Bridge Church, Kanata. (Directions).
Class Times:

  • Sunshine 1 – 9:30am
  • Sunbeams 1 – 10:30am
  • Sunbeams 2 – 11:30am
  • Moonbeams 2 – 1:00pm

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to show time and come sit together as a group.

Expect to be at the church for an hour. You may also stay for other performances throughout the day.

Cost: This is considered a class. There is no additional cost to you.  This event is ran exclusively by volunteers.

Please email me by November 1st to let me know if your child is able to attend or not.  

Why: For younger students in particular, there are not many venues to perform in. The Rhythm Festival is perfect, because it provides child friendly adjudication and interaction with peers who also take music lessons. Students will get to practice in class for the performance, so they usually don’t get nervous. Music is meant to be shared, so when I find a positive place for that first performance to happen, I am promising you that you’ll be pleased with the day!

This year, adjudicator Leo Brooks of Treefrog Percussion returns to give insight into playing various percussion instruments, and how to enhance your performance. His positive comments and zest for performance was loved by the audience in past years.

Please contact me if you have any further questions about the event.


♪ Mairéad


Rhythm Festival, 2012

This post gives some great information, including directions to the venue. This year’s date is Nov. 12 and times will be announced soon.

Tempo Drive Music Studio


Sunbeams 1 at the Rhythm Fest, 2008

Rhythm Festival
When: Saturday Nov. 17th, 2012.
Where:OLD LOCATION – The Bridge Church, Kanata. (Directions).

  • Sunshine 1- 9am
  • Sunbeams 1, Moonbeams 1, & Sunshine 2- 10:45am
  • Sunbeams 2 & Sunbeams 3- 2:30 pm

Expect to be at the church for an hour.

Cost: This is considered a class. There is no additional cost to you. Audience members may choose to make a donation to the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects.

Saturday classes will not be held in the studio on Nov. 17th as I will be at the church most of the day.

Why: For younger students in particular, there are not many venues to perform in. The Rhythm Festival is perfect, because it provides child friendly adjudication and interaction with peers who also take music lessons. Students will get to practice in class for the performance…

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Why I encourage “Noodling” on the piano

Noodling is a laid back term used to describe a loose sort of musical practice, almost “messing around” with the sound and patterns in music. At least, that’s what I mean by it. 

Most of what our children do is structured and piano is not much different for the most part. But I want to tell you that is doesn’t always have to be that way. There is a lot of value in noodling around on an instrument.

 Let me explain. We learn patterns, steps versus jumps, solfege, dynamics, pitch, tempo and harmony (chords or bridges). All of these can be fun to play by themselves, AND to experiment with. Sometimes you just need to “get away” from the task at hand before you can make sense of it. Like taking a walk to problem solve. 

I’m sure you’ve heard a song before, and you can’t get it out of your head. (That’s called an “ear worm,” by the way). Playing it out, or trying to discover how it sounds, is actually an excellent way to train the ear. 

And noodling serves a creative purpose. When you get around the keyboard without the constraint of note reading, you take risks, and you learn quickly that either a) “I like that sound” or b) “That didn’t sound so good.” It’s a time where it is OK to make mistakes. A safe space to fail and pick yourself up again. 

So do enjoy noodling around from time to time. You never know! It may be just what you need to gain a different understanding of what you’re currently working on. 


You asked for it… 

Hellooooo parents! 

Some of you have convinced me to do what I consider the unthinkable, but I’ve made a concession. I think I understand now. Here it is, your Grand Staff reference page!

Here’s what I’ve realized: 

  • Sometimes a visual is helpful
  • Some of you have never read music before, or you did but it was really limited 
  • You just want this for yourself so that you can be confident helping your child
  • You want a quick reference 

I hope it helps you, and I hope you understand that there are many ways to help your child with note reading and playing.  Here are a few of those ways:

  • Remember the critter stories: who sleeps on Mrs. Treble Clef’s lap? Who has muddy boots? Who is shy and standing in the door? These characters and the way your child was told these stories are incredibly memorable to a child. Even if we think they’re simply cute, they actually mean a little more to the child. I find that they get excited to find out what new character will be doing what each week. Some even like to give them nick names 🙂
  • Read in patterns. Line, space, line space all in a row are steps. Line to the next line, or space to the next space is a jump. 
  • Read by saying finger numbers aloud. 
  • Read by saying letters aloud. 
  • It’s ok to put SOME markers on the page (a letter here or a finger number there) but writing them all in disrupts the fluency in music reading that we are trying to reach. 
  • Be patient. Wait for your child to figure out that vertically up means move to the right on the keyboard, and vertically down means move to the left on the keyboard. Letting your child figure it out means that they can OWN their accomplishment. 
  • Point ABOVE the notes with a pencil or other small pointer. Then your child can compare from the last note where the next note has moved. 

Happy note reading! 



Hello students and parents!

Compositions are due to class the week of Feb. 24th. Students who started in January will not be composing at this time, but probably will in late Spring.

Head on over to the composing tab (under downloads), enter the same password you use for homework, and browse some useful links and files.

Have fun! Be creative! Don’t stress over it 🙂



New Classes + Referral Bonus

New classes are being added on for January 2016. On Tuesdays, I will be bringing MYC classes to the Manotick School of Music: Sunshine 1 (ages 3 & 4) at 2:45.

In Kemptville: Thursday evenings will see the addition of a Sunbeams 1 class (ages 5 & 6), and Saturdays at 10:30 (ages 3 & 4) will be Sunshine 1.

Sunrise (ages 2 & 3) will continue in it’s 9:30 Saturday time slot, but a Block 1 will be introduced at that time.

See the schedule to find out more!

Do you know anyone interested in taking music lessons?

Referral Bonus If you: a) Are a current student of mine, and b) know a child between the ages of 3-6 who want to start piano, refer them to me to receive $20 off your last month’s tuition. Referral must take one full course for the bonus to be applied. Sorry, only available at Kemptville studio.

That’s all for now, music peeps!


Practice Tips

Practice Time

We have lunchtime, bath time, snack time, and so on. Now that your child is learning to play piano, it’s practice time.

But what does that involve? How do you get the tasks done and keep it fun?

Just like any of the “times” above, it occurs everyday. Sometimes more than once. Practice must then become the same thing. You ensure that your child brushes her teeth everyday, because that is what is best for them. Music literacy, leading to the enjoyment and performance of music, is another thing that you have chosen for your child.

Mornings are often the best time for children to focus at any task. Or after a snack or meal, so that they are not distracted by a growling tummy!

A parent (usually the parent who attends class) needs to be present at these practices in the first few years of study. You are there to gently assist with fingering, note correction, and to ensure that the items on the homework sheet are being checked off. Try to approach each song the way your teacher has in class. For young children, actions speak louder than words. If music practices comes before screen time, than you are saying that it is priority. And the more frequently practices happen, the less a child will balk at it. It’s part of a daily routine. No big deal!

But to make it a happy part of the day, make sure that you are set up to be patient, and cheery- not tired and grumpy. That would send the message that music practice is “one more thing” on an exhaustive to-do list. Not fun, or important. Just like your child, pick a time that is not rushed, make sure that you have  had a little break and something to eat too!

Soon this time will become something special that you share with them. And just as soon as that happens, they will begin to play on their own, and know more than you can even keep up with!

Take time