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Private Lessons

Students have the option of taking weekly private lessons in-person, online, or a combination of both.

In-Person Lessons

Lessons are taught at my home studio located in the Lowertown area of Ottawa. It is located very near to the neighbourhoods of Rockcliffe, Vanier, Sandy Hill, and New Edinburgh.

Students learn on a Yamaha C3 grand piano with a Hidrau model (hydraulic adjustable) piano bench. For shorter students, I have a pedal extender as well as custom-made stackable wooden blocks for foot support to prevent dangling legs. 

Parents of young students are welcome to watch their child's lesson or drop them off and pick them up. 

Sarah Molenaar's Studio
picture of Sarah's online lesson setup

Online Lessons

I also offer lessons online using Zoom which allows for students to take lessons irregardless of weather, mild illness, or distance from the studio. I use the following technology to make online lessons equally beneficial to in-person lessons:

  • Yamaha P515 digital piano

  • OBS (Open Broadcast Software)

  • Chordie App (virtual onscreen keyboard)

  • Logitech C920 webcam

  • StreamDeck

  • Rose M5 Diaphragm Microphones

  • Focsurite Scarlett 4i4 Audio interface

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M60x headphones

Teaching Hours

Sundays 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Mondays 3:00 – 9:00 pm

Tuesdays 3:00 – 9:00 pm

Wednesdays 3:00 – 9:00 pm

Thursdays 3:00 – 9:00 pm

Email and phone correspondence are monitored one hour outside of teaching hours 

What to expect in your lesson

 

Curriculum:

We will often have a ‘core’ curriculum that we will work out
of such as the Royal Conservatory of Music or Conservatory Canada

series. In addition those books, students have the option of having

one or more supplementary books in a genre of their choice: classical,
improvisation, jazz, pop, blues, ragtime, Disney, or Christmas music, etc. 

 

Theory: 

My studio has an extensive collection of over two hundred games in addition to apps, worksheets, a whiteboard, boomwhackers, and more to create different and innovative ways to learn theory. For most students, theory is learned concurrently with their piano repertoire. In the advanced levels, students will need 45 or 60 minute theory lessons in addition to their piano lesson. (I offer theory lessons to those who are not pianists as well.)

 

Improvisation and Composition: 

All piano students have the option to have improvisation and/or composition as part of their lessons. This allows the student to spend time being creative and finding their unique sound at the piano. 

Student playing piano

Additional Aspects for Lessons

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Lesson Notes

I am happy to provide lesson notes for any of my students so that they are very clear on what to practice at home. Some students prefer having them typed and emailed so that they can view them on an electronic device while others prefer having them hand written in a notebook.

Feedback

Teen and adult students are quite independent and so we frequently discuss goals and progress. For the young children I do invite their parents to attend the lesson with them so that they develop their music knowledge alongside their child. Several times each school year (or sometimes even more frequently), I will also provide parents with an e-mail with feedback of their child’s progress.

 

Online Software:

Every student and parent has access to “My Music Staff” online software where they can look at their account, lesson schedule, lesson notes, upcoming events, log practice time, and more.

Beyond the lesson

 

Performing opportunities for children

Two times each school year students are provided an opportunity to perform for their peers at my studio recitals. The recitals take place at a local church and are approximately 45 – 60 minutes in length with a reception afterwards.

Additional performing opportunities are available on a monthly basis at the Steinway Gallery Young Artists Performance Club, the Ottawa East Junior Music Club, or the Ottawa West Junior Music Club.

Performing opportunities for adults

Three times each school year adult students are invited to perform in my studio masterclasses. The masterclass format provides an opportunity for each student to perform a piece and receive feedback on how to improve it. These take place at a local piano rehearsal studio and are approximately 75 - 90 minutes in length. 

Additional performing opportunities are available on a monthly basis at the Steinway Gallery Ottawa Music Sharing, the 10,000 Hours Music Sharing, and the Ottawa Adult Music Group. 

 

Exams and Competitions

Many of my students participate in Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) or Conservatory Canada (CC) exams throughout the year. Students have also enjoyed competing in the Ottawa Piano Festival, the Kiwanis Music Festival, the Canadian Music Competition, the Quebec International Music Competition, amongst others.

Learn More.....

Choose which subject you are interested in learning and click on the icon to learn more..

Royal Conservatory of Music logo

I teach all levels of the RCM curriculum from Preparatory A, B, through ARCT Diploma. Learn about my approach to teaching this material.

Conservatory Canada logo

I teach all levels of the Conservatory Canada classical curriculum from Level 1 through ACCM. Students also get to explore repertoire from the Contemporary Idioms syllabus.

Writing with Pen

I teaches all levels of theory from both RCM and Conservatory Canada curriculums. I am familiar with university and college level material as well.  

Sheet Music

I teach beginning level jazz and improvisation. Several of her students also create their own compositions.

Piano Keyboard

Coaching for Teachers

I coach teachers to help improve aspects such as studio management, student retention, exam preparation and more.

Image by Rivage

Online Group Courses

I have an online course to help new teachers get their business established.

Recent Student Achievements

Francine achieved 84%, 85% and 88% in three categories at the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival (2024)

Kim achieved 88%, 90% and 91% in three categories at the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival (2024)

Frederick achieved 87% in two categories at the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival (2024)

Zihao achieved Merit Standing at the Ottawa Piano Festival (2024)

Frederick performed in the Canadian Music Showcase (2023)

Frederick performed in the ORMTA Junior Piano Masterclass (2023)

Yufeng was invited to the second round of the North American Virtuoso International Music Competition (2021)

Hilary received Gold at the Quebec International Music Competition (2021)
Bob received Silver at the Quebec International Music Competition (2021)
Yufeng received Bronze at the Quebec International Music Competition (2021)

Bob received an Honourable Mention in the Rising Star Category of the Canadian International Music Competition (2021)

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Testimonials

"Sarah challenges me in every lesson and pushes me to improve, but at my own pace. Our lessons are very collaborative.  We work on techniques to achieve a high degree of dynamic expression, musicality, speed and accuracy of complex piano works. Sarah is continuously striving to become a better pianist herself and always passes on any knowledge and techniques that might help.  Sarah works with the time you can put in and creates a program that suits your goals and your learning style." - Curt  

“You’re a great teacher and have always been so patient and understanding with me. I always feel inspired to pursue music after lessons and appreciate the great attitude you always carry. Thanks so much. I hope we continue to build this great relationship of student and teacher”  - Daniel

“Over the past years I appreciated and enjoyed so much the time we spent working together. I will really miss you!! I would like to thank you very much for all the time and effort you have spent to get me to this level.” - Dalia

"I wanted to say that I really enjoyed our lessons, and you are a fantastic teacher. Your mindset, openness, and methods will always stick with me. I hope to carry that forward with my playing” - Mark

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