HEIDI SAARIO - B.Mus, M.Mus, Royal Conservatory Certified Teacher
I have been teaching private piano lessons since 1998 and enjoy working with students of all levels and ages. I grew up in Finland and started taking piano lessons at the age of four. My undergraduate studies took place at the Helsinki Conservatory and I graduated with a Bachelor degree in music pedagogy. I moved to Toronto, Ontario, in 2002 to pursue my graduate studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music and graduated with a Master of Music in piano performance and pedagogy in 2005. Before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area I ran a successful private studio in Toronto for 10 years teaching students of all levels and ages. My students regularly perform at music festivals and participate in the Royal Conservatory Examinations.
I believe in highly structured and comprehensive music education. My goal is to start building a solid musical foundation right from the beginning stages. This includes incorporating ear training, sight reading, technique, theory, and improvisation into each lesson. I will provide a clear structure for both the private instruction and the practice assignments at home. By incorporating technology on a regular basis, I try to help my students reach their full potential while having fun. Through my extensive studies in piano pedagogy both in Europe and North America I have been exposed to a great variety of different teaching methods. This wide knowledge and experience enables me to plan an individual approach for each student of any age or level. My goal is to encourage each student to become a well-rounded musician while maintaining a life-long love for music.
I am active as an adjudicator for music festivals and assessments. As a Senior Member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory I examine students regularly across North America. Other educational activities include running pedagogy workshops for piano teachers on various topics including the Colour Keys piano method.
Aside from teaching, I remain active as a performer. In recent years my solo and collaborative performances have taken me into many cities across Canada and USA. As a native of Finland, I like to promote Scandinavian composers in my repertoire. My debut CD Jean Sibelius - Compositions for Piano was released in 2008. My active collaboration with soprano Cindy Koistinen as Duo Freya produced another recording Diamonds of the North – Songs from Scandinavia in 2010.