Piano

Piano Lessons · 2022/23

Instructors: Lisa Raposa Millar & Gregory Millar, DMAs
Formats offered: In-person or hybrid online/in-person
Duration: 45 or 60 minutes
Frequency: Weekly
Levels: Late-beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Diploma Level
Ages accepted: 10+ years

Programs

Playing the piano is one of life’s true pleasures.  We believe that anyone can be taught to play the piano beautifully and expressively.  There are musical wonders to be enjoyed at every stage, from the simplest of tunes to the most intricate counterpoint.  Making solid personal connections with students and helping them develop skills they can take beyond their years of lessons remains our utmost priority.

Students often study with us for several years.  As such, we are uniquely fortunate in our ability to guide them across several phases of intellectual and personal development.  Our program is small and for this reason, we rarely accept complete beginners.  When students come to study with us, we want them already to have made a commitment to playing and practicing — however modest that initially may be.

Children (aged 10-12) who have already taken lessons for a couple of years or more often will be within the late-beginning to early-intermediate phase of development.  Some may be working through method books while others may be playing multi-page sonatinas.  We teach the proper positioning of the hands and fingers in coordination with wrist motions.  Such movements can bring character and life to music by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach.  Lastly, the correct playing of triads (3-note chords) receives much attention in this phase.  After all, the ability of the pianist to play more than one note at a time is what enables the instrument to feel like an orchestra at one’s fingertips.

Teenagers continue to develop tastes in different styles.  As their hands grow, they will find more music open to them, as there are many pieces requiring a hand-span of an octave (thumb to pinky across 6 black or 8 white keys).  In the intermediate phase of development, students tend to have several items needing prioritization.  As students absorb the “foreign languages” and sounds of various composers we work through knots and emphasize good learning habits.  In the early teenaged years (aged 13-15), students are taught to play four-note chords with a big, full sound that will serve them well in their romantic repertoire (i.e. - music of Frederic Chopin).  Students in their mid-teens through the end of high school (aged 16-18) are encouraged to develop ever subtler senses of expression at the keyboard as pieces from the 17th through 21st centuries are covered.  Particularly, 20th century ragtime and French impressionism are explored along with more sophisticated applications of the damper pedal.

Our home studio set-up with a grand piano and digital keyboard allows for the playing of student/teacher two-piano and duet repertoire at all levels.

Beyond taking lessons, students are encouraged to participate in studio recitals, chamber music, and events hosted by community organizations in the GTA.  We are well-connected with other music professionals in our area and seek out opportunities for our students to perform for various audiences and master teachers, as occasions permit.


Adults who wish to take up the piano again as a meaningful life project are encouraged to contact us.  Flexible daytime hours are available to those who wish to resume study or work on a personal musical project for a defined length of time.  Reach out to set-up a meeting (in-person or on Zoom) and assess whether we can help.

Instructors

Lisa Raposa Millar, DMAA photo of Lisa Raposa Millar with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the background.

Lisa says: “I began learning to play the piano by my mother’s side at the age of 4.  She tried to teach me to read music, but it was clear that I needed “professional help.”  At the age of 7, my family signed me up to take lessons with JoAnn Mello, a teacher in our hometown of Tiverton, Rhode Island, with whom I studied until I was 17 years old.  As a high school student, I played the piano for school fashion shows, plays, and other community events and was an avid runner and soccer player.  Once I entered university, I went full throttle into music, earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and University of Rochester-Eastman School of Music respectively.”

Read more in this article on Patch.com

Professional Bio + Credentials


Gregory Millar, DMA

Revisions in-progress.

Thank you for your patience.

See Greg on Netflix

View Greg's RMPTS profile

View Greg's professional bio

Location

Our home studio is located in the West End of Toronto (Swansea Village).  We are close to the lakeshore, off of Windermere Avenue.

Features include:

  • Kawai grand piano
  • Bright front room with natural lighting and ample ventilation
  • Free 3 hr. on-street parking
  • Walking distance from the lakeshore, High Park, and Bloor West Village

The piano is serviced regularly by Radek Baran, piano rebuilder and technician.  Website: RMB Pianos  www.rmbpianos.com


*For 2022/23 we also are offering piano lessons in students’ homes.  Please talk with us if you are interested in this option.

Hours
PIANO

Formats offered: In-person or hybrid online/in-person

Duration & Frequency: 45 or 60 minutes, weekly

Days offered: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

  • Mondays with Lisa, 4:00-8:00 pm
  • Tuesdays with Greg (piano and/or theory), 4:00-7:30 pm
  • Wednesdays with Lisa, 4:00-7:30 pm
  • Fridays with Lisa, 4:00-7:30 pm
  • Saturdays with Lisa, 9:00 am-6:00 pm

Flexible daytime hours before 3:30 pm are available for adults.  Contact us for more info.

Calendar
SCHOOL YEAR + FLEX PERIOD

School Year (Sep-Jun): 32 Lessons Over 39-40 Calendar Weeks

Early Summer (Jun-Jul) / 4-5 Week Flex Period (optional)

Description of 4-5 Week Flex Period (optional)

Can Accommodate

  • Makeup lessons carried over from September - June

Can Provide

  • Additional lessons for special projects such as exploring new repertoire or preparing for exams

Lesson Schedules

Schedules by Day

SCHOOL YEAR (SEP-JUN): 32 LESSONS OVER 39-40 CALENDAR WEEKS
EARLY SUMMER (JUN-JULY): 4-5 WEEK FLEX PERIOD (OPTIONAL) // MAKEUPS AND/OR ADDITIONAL LESSONS

Mondays-RMPTS-2022-23

Tuesdays-RMPTS-2022-23

Wednesdays-RMPTS-2022-23

Fridays-RMPTS-2022-23

Saturdays-RMPTS-2022-23

Payments

REGISTRATION DEPOSIT
PAYMENT SCHEDULES

2022/23

PRIVATE LESSONS
PIANO: 45 or 60 minutes ­
— In-person or hybrid online/in-person
THEORY: 45 or 60 minutes
— In-person or online

Rate: $80/hr

32 Weekly Lessons / September-June
60 min. = $2,560
45 min. = $1,920

Registration Deposit: $50

*Travel: For lessons occurring outside of the Cities of Toronto, Etobicoke, and Mississauga, an additional fee of $15 per visit applies.

Three Billing Types: Yearly, Bi-yearly, and Monthly

YEARLY
Billing: Yearly
Payments: 1
Amount After Deposit:
60 min. = $2,510
45 min. = $1,870
Payment Options: Interac, cheque, credit card
Due: September 10th

Added Travel Fee (If applicable): 1 payment of $480


BI-YEARLY
Billing: Bi-yearly
Payments: 2 Equal
Amount After Deposit:
60 min. = $1,255
45 min. = $935
Payment Options:
Interac, cheque, credit card
Due:
Payment #1: September 10th
Payment #2: February 1st

Added Travel Fee (If applicable): 2 payments of $240 due September 10th and February 1st


MONTHLY
Billing: Monthly
Payments: 10 Equal
Amount After Deposit:
60 min. = $251
45 min. = $187
Payment Options: credit card auto-debit
Due: First payment billed September 10th. Thereafter on the 1st of the month.

Added Travel Fee (If applicable): 10 payments of $48 each due on September 10th and thereafter on the 1st of the month


*Note About Travel Fee (If applicable): If fewer than 32 visits are used owing to lessons occasionally occurring at our studio in Toronto or on Zoom, the difference will be credited or refunded at the end of the school year in June 2023.

Policies

POLICIES

2022/23

1 - GENERAL POLICIES

Locations - In-person piano lessons will be held at our home studio in the West End of Toronto (Swansea Village).  Piano lessons in students’ homes also will be offered in 2022/23.

In-person theory lessons will be held at our home studio in the West End of Toronto (Swansea Village) on Tuesdays and in The Runnymede Room (2nd floor) at Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Rd., Toronto (M6S 2Y8) on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Online piano and theory lessons are conducted using Zoom.

Commitment - Students are expected to make a commitment to daily practice and/or completion of assignments between lessons.  Participation in studio recitals, festivals, master classes, exams, ORMTA competitions, and additional educational events appropriate to one's program of study is recommended.  The instructors will work with families to make opportunities known to students.

Calendar - Please consult the Calendar and Schedules by Day webpages.

Registration - Families are required to pay a non-refundable registration deposit at the time of enrolment.  A deposit is required for each student enrolled.  The registration deposit will be deducted from the total amount owing for the School Year (September-June).

Attendance, Practice, and Punctuality - It is expected that students will attend scheduled lessons consistently.  Regular attendance and practice is key to maintaining a steady level of progress.  Students are expected to arrive on-time for all lessons.  Instructors are not responsible for making up time for students who arrive late.

Video Feedback / Piano (NEW) - Once a month, piano students are invited to a send a short video of their progress during a practice session.  Details about video feedback will be communicated in September.

2 - LESSON POLICIES

Payment Schedules - For 2022/23 there are 32 lessons spread over 39-40 calendar weeks beginning in September.  Lessons may be paid yearly, bi-yearly, or monthly.  Please consult the +Payments accordion file on this webpage for details.

Cancellation Policy - 1 calendar day of notice by email or phone is required for all lesson cancellations.

Instructors are not obliged to offer makeups for same day cancellations.

NEW - Piano students who must cancel on the same day owing to illness or other legitimate reasons, may be invited to submit a practice video before their next scheduled lesson.  Instructions on how to submit a video will be communicated as needs arise.

Consistent attendance and practice is important for success in this program.  If absences become frequent, we will work with families to determine whether a student’s enrolment needs to be paused or terminated.

Cancellation policy, cont. - Our shared home studio is used not only for lessons but for other professional activities including rehearsals, concert preparation, and occasional recordings.  Outside of the studio, we are also active adjudicators and examiners.  Please keep this in mind when choosing to cancel or reschedule a lesson.  We try to accommodate requests when necessary, however, makeups may not be readily available during the same week due to other professional commitments.

For lesson cancellations received at least 1 calendar day in advance, we will offer the soonest possible makeup.  A limit of 4 makeup lessons may be scheduled anytime during the School Year (September-June) or carried over into the Flex Period (June 13th-July 15th).  Makeup lessons may be scheduled in-person or online.

Flex Period (NEW) - The Flex Period (June 13th-July 15th) provides time for eligible makeups or additional lessons.  Students who complete all paid lessons (32) before June 12th may be able to purchase additional lessons through July 15th.

Note regarding sickness and in-person lessons: Students who are sick may not attend in-person lessons.  If they are well enough to sit at the piano or take theory notes at a desk, the lesson will occur online instead.

COVID-19 - Masks are not required in lessons as of this writing.  If a student comes to a lesson wearing a mask, the instructor will do the same.  Any future changes in health and safety protocols will be communicated.  Should in-person lessons be shut down owing to closures beyond our control, instruction will move online.

Cessation of Lessons - A minimum of 14 days' notice is required to discontinue a program of lessons.

All lessons scheduled in the 14 days following the date of notice are to be paid, whether they are taken or not, and will be handled based upon the type of payment plan chosen.

  • Yearly plan:  A refund will be issued for the difference of a) the total yearly amount after the registration deposit, and b) the amount for the total number of lessons up to and including the date of notice + 14 days.
  • Bi-yearly plan: A final invoice will be issued for the difference of a) the amount for the total number of lessons up to and including the date of notice +14 days, and b) the total amount paid in advance.
  • Monthly plan: A final invoice will be issued for the difference of a) the amount for the total number of lessons up to and including the date of notice + 14 days, and b) the total monthly amounts paid in advance.

Refunds will be processed using the same payment method used at the time of purchase.

No amounts under $50 will be refunded.

Agreement - By enrolling yourself or your child/children in the Raposa Millar Piano & Theory Studio, you agree to the policies outlined above.

Registration

New students/families: Email us via the contact form to set up a meeting and receive details on how to register.

Current students/families: Instructions on how to enroll for 2022/23 are included on p. 9 of the Lessons Package .pdf you will receive by email over the summer.

Collaborations

Beyond taking lessons, students are encouraged to participate in studio recitals, chamber music, and events hosted by community organizations in the GTA.  We are well-connected with other music professionals in our area and seek out opportunities for our students to perform for various audiences and master teachers, as occasions permit.

Visit the GTA Community page to get an idea of some of the opportunities available in our area.