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Music Lessons for Children and Teens

Music Lessons for Children and Teens

The Royal Conservatory School (RCS) offers music lessons for children and youth ages 3 to 18 across a variety of instruments, through our unique and comprehensive system called the Music Enrichment Program (MEP). At the RCS you can take piano lessons, guitar lessons, singing lessons, violin and cello lessons, drum lessons, and even lessons in carnatic violin!

Early Registration Open for Returning Students

What is the Music Enrichment Program (MEP)?

The Music Enrichment Program is a unique and comprehensive learning experience for young musicians, providing opportunities for students to progress and learn advanced musicianship skills. The curriculum, steeped in the 130-year history of The Royal Conservatory's leadership in music education, includes professional one-on-one instruction and musicianship/theory and history.

  • About MEP

    MEP offers more than just music lessons. Every student enrolled in MEP receives:

    • One-on-one instruction with acclaimed faculty
    • Musicianship, theory, and history classes from the source! Study with experienced faculty, many of whom are Members of the College of Examiners
    • Solo and ensemble performances at our state-of-the-art facilities
    • Practical and theory books for each level of study
    • Enrichment workshops with external clinicians
    • Borrowing privileges at our extensive on-site music library
    • Final examinations* through The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program

    *Enrollment fees includes registration for two exams: one instrument-specific exam and one theory exam.

  • What instruments/disciplines can I study through MEP?

    MEP includes instruction for cello, double bass, guitar, piano, viola, violin, and voice. Students as young as 3 years old may begin instruction on cello, viola, and violin. Students can start guitar and piano at 4 years of age, and double bass at 7 years of age. We recommend voice for students ages 9+. For students wishing to learn brass, woodwinds, and percussion, please visit our Band Enrichment Program (BEP) page.

    How do I know what instrument to choose?

    There are a few ways to figure which instrument or discipline is right for your child or teen.

    Register for a trial lesson

    Contact Student Services at 416-408-2825 or by email at [email protected] to set up a trial lesson.

    Sign up for a group class

    Group classes such as Learn to Play or choir or are a fun, low-pressure way to get a feel for music lessons.

    LEARN MORE

    Download our instrument selection tool

    Use our convenient selection tool to help you determine the best options for your child.

    Download

    Come to one of our free events

    RCS hosts free events throughout the year including Wide Open House (June), and Free Band Day (September and January). At these events there's an opportunity try out instruments, observe lessons, audit classes, and hear performances.

    LEARN MORE

    Visit us in person

    Talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff at our downtown Toronto location. We're located at 273 Bloor St W, between U of T's Varsity Stadium and the ROM. Visit our Student Portal for office hours.

    LEARN MORE

Music Enrichment Program Course Components by Level

Students at all levels of study can benefit from lessons through the Music Enrichment Program. MEP is designed to help students as young as three years of age to transition from our early years program, Smart Start™—or any other early years music program—to the next level of music study.

MEP also offers flexibility to add electives or branch out into ensembles, an ideal option for students wishing to pursue music as a career. This program, called MEPlus, provides electives for different instruments at the Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, and may require auditions.

  • MEP & SMART START™ (Ages 3-5)

    Ages 3-5

    Individual or Group Lessons + Musicianship/Theory + Enrichment

    MEP Stage Twinkler + Smart Start™ MEP + Smart Start™ MEPlus Suzuki Strings + Smart Start™
    Age(s): 3-4 years JK-5 years 3-5 years
    Instrument(s): piano only piano, strings, flute cello viola, violin
    Instruction: 30-minute group piano class 30-minute lesson 30-minute lesson
    Musicianship & Theory: 60-minute Smart Start™ 60-minute Smart Start™ 60-minute Smart Start™
    45-minute Technique Repertoire class
    Enrichment: Yes Yes Yes
    Assessment: n/a n/a n/a
    Ensembles: n/a n/a n/a
    Electives: n/a n/a n/a
    Schedule: Saturday/Tuesday Saturday TBC
  • MEPlus Suzuki Strings (Ages 3+)

    Ages 3+

    Individual Lessons + Musicianship/Theory + Technique & Repertoire + Orchestra

    Instrument(s): Suzuki instruction for violin, viola, cello, bass
    Instruction: 30-90 minute lessons
    Musicianship & Theory: 60-minute classes (all levels)
    Enrichment: Enrichment incorporated into Prep - Level 4 Theory Classes
    Assessment:
    • Royal Conservatory Certificate Program Examinations
    • Annual February workshop for students
    • "Every Child Can!" class for parent/guardian
    Ensembles: Intermediate Chamber Ensembles
    Electives: Elementary and Intermediate
    • 45-60 minute Technique & Repertoire class (all levels)
    Intermediate (Level 4 - Level 8)
    • 60-90 minute Orchestra
    Schedule: Saturday (primarily) Chamber ensembles and some electives may occur on a different day

    What is the Suzuki method?

    The Suzuki method is a specific approach to teaching instrumental music to young children, developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki of Japan. It is based on what Dr. Suzuki describes as the "mother tongue" process.

    Special features of the Suzuki method are parental responsibility, encouragement, constant repetition and review, group and individual lessons.

    Unlike many traditional lessons, parents are required to attend all lessons and group classes. Parents serve as the "home teacher" during the week.

    Listening is critical and students will have recordings that they are required to listen to on a daily basis.

    What is different about studying Suzuki method at RCS?

    At the RCS, Suzuki training is integrated with The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program so that along with learning to play an instrument, students benefit from one-hour theory/musicianship class to develop their awareness of notation, rhythmical stability, and more. Young students are placed in the RCS's Smart Start™ classes which provide theoretical instruction in a play-based setting. Students also flow through the traditional RCM certificate program, participate in several recitals and participate in orchestra when they are at the reading level required.

  • Music Enrichment Program (Ages 6-18)

    Ages 6-18

    Individual Lesson + Musicianship/Theory + Assessment and Enrichment

    Instrument(s): All instruments and voice
    Instruction: 30-90 minute lessons
    Musicianship & Theory: 60-minute classes (all levels)
    Enrichment: Enrichment incorporated into Prep - Level 4 Theory Classes
    Assessment: Royal Conservatory Certificate Program Examinations
    Ensembles: n/a
    Electives: n/a
    Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday
  • Music Enrichment Plus (Ages 6-18)

    Ages 6-18 years

    Individual Lesson + Musicianship/Theory + Large Ensemble + Elective + Assessment and Enrichment

    Instrument(s): All instruments and voice
    Instruction: 30-90 minute lessons
    Musicianship & Theory: 60-minute classes (all levels)
    Enrichment: Enrichment incorporated into Prep - Level 4 Theory Classes
    Assessment:
    • Royal Conservatory Certificate Program Examinations
    • Special workshops and master classes
    Ensembles: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Ensembles
    Electives: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Electives
    Schedule: Saturday (primarily) Chamber ensembles and some electives may occur on a different day

Sign Up Now for MEP!

To discuss the appropriate Music Enrichment Program for your child and to register, please call us at 416.408.2825 or email [email protected]. No auditions are required.

Not ready to commit to a comprehensive program? Continue below to learn more about our Group Classes and Ensembles for young musicians.