Author Archive for Charleen Beard

Why technique?

Technique builds the essentials of playing an instrument.  At the beginning, you may not see the point, however, if you persevere, your hands will learn logical finger patterns, develop strength and endurance.  This is similar to the training of an athlete.  You need to repeat your exercises at least 3 – 5 times per day.  Start with these fundamentals.  Technique starts with scales and triads.   If you don’t enjoy them, liken it to eating your least part of your meal first, to get it over with.  You don’t really know your technique until you can play it with your eyes closed from memory.  Remember to practice things in small sections – if anything doesn’t go well, even perfect just 2 notes at a time.  Then the next day, work on two more notes, then review the previous day…..and so on….

For beginners on piano, I recommend Dozen A Day.  After the third book, move to the complete Technique Book.  I can help with recommendations for other instruments too.  Contact me if you need help at info@lippertmusic.com or www.lippertmusic.com

By Charleen Beard

Keeping Music Alive During the Pandemic

It’s going to take more than a global pandemic to stop the music.

In early March when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak, numerous videos went viral across social media in which musicians and singers in Italy were seen sharing musical performances from their balconies.

Since then, musicians worldwide were forced to adapt to social distancing regulations by flexing their musical muscles online. Music teachers had to re-think their strategy to provide effective music lessons for students while being apart.

For some areas of business, taking their expertise online has been challenging. For music lovers and teachers alike, new challenges brought upon new opportunities.

Girl and women playing the piano

Because so many people have had free time to learn a new hobby or rekindle an old passion, many turned to music. This led numerous Canadian stores to see a significant spike in purchases of musical instruments.

Although adapting to teaching music online was challenging at first, music teachers have embraced technology such as Zoom to keep their business alive and share their passion with so many eager students.  There were some students that had to discontinue due to this change, causing some financial challenges, however, on the flip side, teaching music online is a great way to reach out to a new demographic of people who may not have had the time to learn music before the pandemic.    

Online lessons are a great way to fill your time because it will allow you to practise a new skill while releasing endorphins from the sound of music. This can put you in a more positive frame of mind. Personalized online lessons will allow you to learn from the comfort of your own home with more convenient times in place to schedule a lesson. Less time spent on commuting to and from real-life classes also means that there’s more time to find creative ways to play and practise at home.

Thanks to social distancing, both students and veteran musicians have brushed up their musical skills.  Many music teachers have commented on how much better their students have been doing since March 2020.  Artists are now performing live streams for their fans on Instagram and Tik Tok, and with extra time on their hands, many artists were able to create entire albums for fans during quarantine. We encourage fans to purchase music produced by your favourite artists to help support them. 

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic has changed people’s lives all over the world, but at least one silver lining was found for many during the hours spent at home and that’s sharing the joy of music.

Zoom 101: Tips for a Great Online Zoom Lesson

Zoom classes have become an increasingly common form of education over the past year. Switching to an online learning platform may seem overwhelming at first, but Zoom is a great tool that makes it easy for individuals of all technical backgrounds to get the most out of their online lessons.

Here are a few tips to follow if you would like to have a successful Zoom class:

How to Download Zoom on your computer or laptop

Before your class begins, it will be important to set aside some time to download and test Zoom on your computer. Open your computer’s internet browser and visit the Zoom website at Zoom.us.

Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Download button located in the website’s footer.

Zoom homepage footer

After clicking Download for the second time under the Zoom Clients for Meetings, the Zoom app will begin to install to your computer. When the app is finished installing, double click the ZoomInstaller.exe to complete installation.

Zoom welcome screen

If you are using a phone or tablet, you can download the Zoom app from your device’s app store.

After Zoom is installed, you can visit the Zoom website to create your account. Please ensure that you visit zoom.us/test to test your webcam and microphone before attending class.

Getting Started with your Lesson

If you create an account, the Lippert Music Office will provide you with a link to your Zoom class set for a certain date and time. Once Zoom is installed on your computer, you can simply click the link, and Zoom will automatically open under the account you created earlier.  Please look out for a link sent to you 24 hours prior to the class via an Automatic Lesson Reminder. We recommend clicking on the link five minutes before your class begins so that you can test your audio and video settings to ensure that everything is working properly.

Use Original Sound

Zoom’s built-in audio enhancement features were originally meant for meetings where people talk, meaning that the original setting will reduce background noise and cancel echo. This feature is great for speaking, however, will affect the quality of sounds of your instrument during class.

Luckily, we can change this setting.

Before your meetings begin, launch the Zoom app and click on the Settings gear. Click on Settings > Audio > Advanced, and then check the box that says Show in meeting option to Enable Original Sound from microphone.

Zoom audio setting

You can also disable automatic volume control by unchecking Automatically adjust microphone level in the same window.

Audio sound setting

Navigating Zoom During your Lesson

A handy Zoom Menu Bar will appear at the bottom of your screen once you and your instructor are both signed into your lesson.

Zoom Menu Bar

Zoom menu bar

The Zoom Menu Bar will allow you to do the following:

  1. Mute or unmute yourself at your instructors’ request
  2. Start or stop your video
  3. Communicate with your instructor in the chat box if you are having issues with audio or if you would like to post or receive a link to relevant content
  4. Share your screen

Helpful Zoom Lesson Tips

  1. Before your lesson, ensure that you are in a quiet room with no background noise.
  2. Ensure that you are in a room with great lighting so that your instructor can view your screen with ease.
  3. Ensure that you have access to fast LAN or a fast Wi-Fi connection.
  4. If your instructor asks, mute your audio when they are talking to prevent distracting background noise.

We hope that these tips and tricks will help you receive the best possible Zoom lesson!

School Policies 2020-2021

Up to date School Policies are now posted on the Policies page:


FAQs about Recitals and Performances

How many recitals do you have?

We have a year-end recital for all students in June. Other performances opportunities are available throughout the year such as the East York Music Festival and community outreach projects.  We encourage multiple performances for all students. 

Do all students perform at the recital?

Yes! At Lippert, we believe in the performative nature of music. Our June recital is a part of our curriculum and an opportunity for all students to share their hard work and achievements with friends and family. As such, all instrumental students under 18 are scheduled to participate in the general recital, while students 18 and over are encouraged to participate in our sociable adult recital as well.  

I’m 17 and graduating from high school, am I too old to perform at the recital?

Of course not! None of our students are too old to perform in the recital. In fact, our younger students look up to the old students are role models and can see how the results of their hard work pay off.

What do I do about performance anxiety?

Performance anxiety affects public speakers and athletes just as much as musicians. It manifests in different ways for everyone, but is always a hurdle that can be overcome. Through practice, preparation, and confidence, even the most nervous performers can shine! Consult your teacher for more personalized information on how you can conquer performance anxiety.

Will my teacher be at the recital?

Our teachers are extremely qualified and experienced educators and musicians and we take pride in the diversity of their skills. As such, they have a vested interest in the success of their students, ensuring they are ready for the day. They will give additional support by attending recital days wherever possible. Unfortunately, other professional obligations sometimes interfere with a teacher’s ability to attend. Rest assured that there is still an incredible support system of teachers, volunteers, stage managers, and more present at each recital! We make the performance experience as comfortable as possible and remind students that this is a way to celebrate and share their achievements with friends and families.

Do I need accompaniment for the recital?

Depending on your instrument, recital accompaniment may be mandatory. Vocalists and instrumentalists such as violinists and flautists almost always require accompaniment to allow their repertoire and performances to truly shine. Instruments such as piano on the other hand traditionally do not need accompaniment as they are considered self-sufficient in that regard. For questions regarding accompaniment, please contact us.

How do you create the recital schedule?

Our recital schedule is designed so that each individual show demonstrates a variety of instruments, ages and skill levels progressing from beginner to advanced. This provides beginner students an opportunity to see where their hard work will take them. This offers not only the best performance experience for the students, but also the most engaging experience for the audience!  We can accommodate requests for changes, however, keeping the initial schedule is always best.

FAQs about Lippert Music Centre

What Instruments do you teach?

We teach all types of instruments including voice, piano, violin, cello, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, ukulele, percussion, harp, audio recording and production, and so much more! Even if your instrument isn’t listed with our qualified music instructors, chances are we have a match for you! Contact us with any questions regarding instrument lessons.

How do I register for lessons?

You can register online for music lesson online on our website or in person at our school on 970 Pape Avenue.

What should I bring to my lessons?

That depends on your instrument, but you should always bring a positive and ready to learn attitude! Pianos are available on site for piano students while other instruments such as guitars, violins, flutes, etc. should be brought to each lesson.  A pencil and eraser are always useful.  We sell the music you need, remember your playing books, dictation book and theory. 

Contact us prior to your first lesson if you need to arrange a rental of instrument or equipment.  Ask us about any specials on rentals.

I am not getting any emails from Lippert’s.

Kindly check your junk mail and be sure to add us to your safe sender list.

What happens if I miss a lesson?

We understand that sometimes missing a lesson is unavoidable. We ask that you provide notice as soon as possible regarding missed lessons so that we are aware of our teacher’s schedules and availabilities. If you are more than 10-minutes late for a lesson, our office may call to check-in and ensure that everything is okay. Depending on your payment type, you may be eligible for a makeup lesson. See our school policies for details.

What are my responsibilities as a parent or student?

As a student, we ask that you commit to our three-commitment policy: commitment to daily practice, commitment to your teacher and lesson time, and commitment to enjoying music and music-making. As a guardian of a younger student, we ask that you monitor the student’s dictation book to review all homework, assignments, and notes made by the teacher and to facilitate a structured practice schedule and routine.

Is theory homework mandatory?

Yes. All of our teachers incorporate a measure of music theory into lessons. This is a supplement to the practical component of lessons and helps you become a better musician as a whole. Theory can be fun!  Students are welcome and encouraged to work on theory homework at the school.

I’m too busy to practice, what do I do?

We understand that it may be hard to fit practice time into a busy schedule. We recommend focused times with a goal-oriented structure in smaller but frequent intervals (i.e. 15-30 minutes, 2x per day rather than 60m at once). We also offer a fun Practice Club with prizes!  Younger students should focus on the number of repetitions their teacher recommends. Consult your teacher for more tips on creating a practice schedule that works for you. 

Practiced or not, attend your lessons – we have so much to teach you!

Can I photograph or video tape a lesson?

We have a strict no photography/videography policy in the school. It is our experience that this takes the focus away from learning and can be disruptive particularly with smaller children. Your teacher may use video/audio recording on your own personal device as an educational tool.

Do I get a tax receipt for music lessons?

Yes! We are a registered music education institution and, as such, provide a T2202 tax slip for tuition paid in each tax year for students ages 16 years of age and older studying music for the betterment of their career.  The government has currently discontinued any tax refunds for students under 16 years of age. 

How long before I get into Grade 1 Classical Studies?

Our music lessons are tailored to your individual needs.  With regular practice, each level is expected to take one year.  Music studies are like school studies.  There is:

  • Pre-School
  • Junior Kindergarten
  • Senior Kindergarten
  • Grade 1 (and so on)

If a student masters concepts and techniques ahead of schedule, they may be fast-tracked to the next level.  *See Examinations for more details on credits.

Festivals, Exams and Auditions


We encourage participation in any/all music festivals to further hone performance skills.  Please visit the following websites for more information.  Participation can lead to prizes and scholarships. 


Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations

Studying classical music can lead to high school music credits.  There are two concurrent parts – practical and theoretical.  Both sets of exams must be completed to attain a level.  Theory examinations start at the Grade 5 Level of classical study.  Students must have completed all levels of theory (Grades Preparatory to Grade 5) before taking the Grade 5 examination.  Upon successful completion of the Grades 7 and 8 examinations, students may be eligible for high school music credits. Although we encourage students to do an annual practical exam, we recommend taking Grades 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  Please discuss with your teacher your personal goals as there are deadlines for registration.

In House Examinations at Lippert’s

Lippert Examinations are available at any point through the school year and are a good benchmark of level with feedback about a student’s progress before moving on.  These can be an alternative to other examinations and are more cost-effective.  Some students may also use these examinations as preparation for an up-coming Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. Speak with your teacher about all examination options. 

Audition and Performance Preparation

Lippert’s prepares students for auditions and performances at all levels.  It is up to the student to inform their teacher and the office so we can assist you in preparing your best performance.  Giving information on requirements and deadlines is the responsibility of the student.  Also, supplying any accompaniment music must be done in a timely fashion (if required). Additional costs may apply.   We recommend that all students keep an up to date record of pieces that they can perform at any time. 

I need a Letter of Reference.  What do I do?

Please inform our office in a timely fashion of any required reference letters.  We will pass the request to your teacher.  We have extensive experience writing reference letters and Lippert’s is well known and respected for musical excellence in our students. 

Studying Music Earns You High School Credits!

As if you needed more reasons to study music beyond increased intelligence, lower stress levels, and higher self-confidence, here is yet another reason to study music.

By studying music and taking examinations at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, high school students in Ontario can earn Grade 11 and Grade 12 music credits. The RCM represents the pinnacle of classical music training and education in Toronto and certain accretions are equivalent to post-secondary level music classes. Here at Lippert, our teachers are equipped with the expertise necessary to not only prepare you for an examination but to help you succeed. So graduate early OR distinguish yourself and graduate high school with extra credits!

Below, you’ll find the RCM’s listed requirements for these credits as per their website. Or check out this appendix from the Government of Ontario.

Grade 11 Credit Requirements

  1. “Any musical instrument on which performance is examined including Voice, but not including Speech Arts & Drama”
  2. “Level 7 Practical + Level 6 or Level 7 Theory (formerly Intermediate Rudiments)”

Grade 12 Credit Requirements

  1. “Any musical instrument on which performance is examined including Voice, but not including Speech Arts & Drama”
  2. “Level 8 Practical + Level 8 Theory (formerly Advanced Rudiments)”

Happy Practicing!