top of page
Asset 4_4x.png

Visit my New Site

Now introducing group piano lessons by Oiseau Music TM

Becoming a musician is about building on your skills, not having innate talent. If you love music, you will succeed in learning it.

David Sullivan, passionate piano educator and accomplished musician, sharing the joy of music through personalized lessons

David A. Sullivan MMus.

David Sullivan is a classical pianist with a strong interest in free improvisation. He graduated from York University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Specialist in Music. While at York University he not only continued his journey as a classical pianist but began his journey as an improviser, under the direction of educators Professor Casey Sokol and Matthew Brubeck.

In 2020 David graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance under the instruction of Professor Midori Koga. There he learned the importance of listening and reacting, both when performing and when teaching. The difference between a novice pianist and a professional pianist in part is their ability to listen to the piano and change their touch accordingly; similarly, the difference between a good teacher and great teacher is their ability to listen and observe students and change their teaching approach to match each particular student.

When teaching piano, it is essential to David that his students feel comfortable expressing themselves in the lesson. He believes that students learn best when they can comfortably share their thoughts, asking questions, participate in one-on-one discussions, and try new things; therefore as a teacher it is David’s goal to actively ensure his students have these advantages. By identifying how each individual student learns best, how they are motivated, and what they appreciate most in music, David customizes lessons to suit the needs, interests, and learning styles of each individual student. He sees each and every student as a unique case and works to develop a lesson plan that suits their particular needs and aspirations.

Piano on Stage

A Note on Performance

Exams and performance opportunities are of utmost importance when developing as a musician. If studying classical music, exams are mandatory. Jazz students are highly recommended to perform in at least one soiree per year. Beginners are welcome to perform at recitals hosted throughout the year.

 

I always recommend that students, regardless of age or skill level, regularly participate in festivals and recitals. This is a chance not only to showcase all the work that has been done throughout the year, but also to practice and experience the act of performing -- a necessary but often overlooked skill in musicianship. At first this may seem like a daunting and terrifying feat, but like all other things it will become more comfortable with practice.

Lessons From Children

There is nothing quite like the eagerness and curiosity of a child. Borrowing from the philosophy of Maria Montessori, I always strive to foster that curiosity through play. I believe that improvising on the piano is to music as doodling is to art. In beginner lessons I encourage children to explore the piano in whatever way they can, as the act of discovery trumps any lesson that can be taught. As they become more curious, they will eagerly accept new concepts and lessons, rather than experiencing the all-too-common "force-fed" approach that plagues beginner piano lessons.

A Suitable Environment for Musical Growth: quiet time & habit building

Music is a meditative art form, and although if you took lessons as a child you may not believe that, it is important to understand that children need quiet time and space for their minds to "get in the zone" when learning music. The fear of missing out is very strong in some children, and as such it is strongly recommended that practice time for children is complimented by quiet time in the house. This may be an excellent opportunity for you (as the parent) to read a book, sketch, paint, cook or otherwise work on any of your quieter interests, as your child will then feel that they are still involved, and not missing out on other activities. 

It is also necessary that regular habits are formed as early as possible in your child's music practice. Consistency is much more important than quantity. Fifteen minutes every day is far more suitable than 40 minutes on only two days per week. In order to have success in learning the piano, specific time must be blocked off each and every day (preferably the same time every day). This time must be built into your or your child's schedule. Although adequate practice time will vary from student to student relative to their age, goals, and level, consistency should not.

 

Recent Performances

Improvisation                                             David Sullivan

Reverie                                                         Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

 

Improvisation                                             David Sullivan

Caitlin’s Smile                                             Casey Sokol (b. 1948)

 

Improvisation                                              David Sullivan

Impromptu No. 1 in A flat Op. 29           Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

                                                  INTERMISSION

 

Improvisation                                              David Sullivan

Sonata No 15. in D major, Op. 28            Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)

              Allegro             

              Andante

              Scherzo

              Rondo

 

Healing                                                           Casey Sokol (b. 1948)

 

 

Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48         Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Posts
& Articles

Please feel free to explore the following blog posts related to practice and pedagogy.

bottom of page