Music Box New Westminster Music School Monthly Newsletter – April 2016
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Music Box Monthly

April 2016

Happy almost Mothers Day! Don’t forget, we have a lovely Mothers Day event coming up: Tickets are surprisingly affordable for this fancy venue and memorable afternoon.

I hope you had a great April. It went so fast!

My favourite student quote from April:
“What does the hashtag mean again?”

Please enjoy an article I wrote below, first published in July 2015 on

Vashti Fairbairn

Common Music Lesson Questions Answered

Please enjoy these answers to a handful of common questions I hear as a piano & music teacher from parents & adult students curious about music lessons… 

Q. What about my 3 year old? 

A. Everyone believes their 3 year old is a genius. There are always exceptions of course, but generally private music instrument lessons are best waited until recommended ages found in my Parent Guide. However, most music teachers are happy to give a short assessment of your child and will give recommendations for appropriate instruments and how much longer (if needed) to wait before starting on an instrument.

Q. What are most teachers looking for in music instrument readiness (regardless of instrument)? 

A. Universal of all instruments; Recognition of letters A-G and basic numbers 1-4 (no need to be writing or reading yet, however writing is preferred to have begun), Left and Right hand distinction, a particular level of fine motor skills is expected depending on the instrument (can they touch each of their fingers individually to the thumb? do up a button?), ability to listen, respond and follow instruction, genuine interest in music (do they like to sing or dance?).

Q. How do you know if it is the right instrument? 

A. Please see our Parents Guide. Generally if they meet the minimum age, show an interest and meet the physical requirements for the particular instrument they are good to begin. To note: Sometimes, the minimum recommended age is still too young for the particular child (could be for any number of reasons such as maturity, behaviour, physical size, etc). If you are curious if it is a good time for your child but are not sure, it never hurts to get a professional music teacher to assess them and give their opinion.

Q. My child has been told to wait to start private music study – what should we do in the meantime? 

A. Parent led singing and musical activities at home are the #1 best thing. Sing, sing, sing, dance and play music of all kinds in the house, oh and sing. Having small musical instruments around the house mixed in with their toys – egg shakers, keyboards, xylophones, recorders, drums and more encourage your son or daughter to make up songs as a play activity or jam along with the radio – aiding natural rhythmic and melodic development in a fun way. General Group Music Lessons are also instrumental in preparing children for school readiness – learning to be a part of a group, following direction and more. There are many different systems for Group Music Lessons, Suzuki, Kodaly, Kindermusik, Music Together, to name a few. We love our Music Kids Club – it is a perfect bridge to instrument learning and a wonderful supplement music program for those entering or in preschool.

Q. My child has a disability, can they still take lessons? 

A. Yes, most definitely. Music teachers (speaking at least of our studio) are generally familiar with working with children of different abilities, will often have special training or experience with different abilities such as blindness, autism, arthritis, speech impediments, hearing loss, MS, and more. Music training can be both therapeutic and highly successful with people of any ability, creating wonderful musicians, performers and teachers.

Q. What about group instrument lessons? 

A. Group Piano, Voice or Guitar lessons can be a wonderful and cost effective way to begin an instrument. However after the fundamental basics are learnt, immediate entry into Private Lessons is necessary as long term group classes can no longer keep stride with all learning styles, learning speeds and individual development – they should not replace private study. Instead I recommend Individualized Instruction where the students can grow at their own pace in private lessons and then bring their skills to activities such as Choirs, Bands, Ear Training Classes and Performance Groups as they provide excellent training and social elements. Music is meant to be played and performed in community after all 🙂

Q. My son is 6 and wants to learn piano but I still don’t think he’s ready for lessons yet. Should I still put him in? 

A. No. Wait until you think he is ready. Parents know best, if you have reason to believe he wouldn’t do as well now as in a year or 6 months, there is no need to rush it.

Q. Is it ever too late? 

A. No, not at all. Do not worry – starting piano at 7 instead of 4, or 30 instead of 4, or 74 instead of 4, is not a problem. The most important factor to success in music is starting and persisting, regardless of age. 


Do you have a music q? You can reach me at

Enjoy music!


Reminder:Victoria Day – Monday May 23rd

No regular private lessons & classes.

Please welcome the 11 new students
who enrolled for private music lessons at MusicBox this March!

Sara P
Shawn F
Naomi C
Angel A
Alina Y
Eric C

Teacher of the Month 

Our teacher of the month for April is Mr. Steve Marshall! Steve teaches Guitar, Drums, Ukulele, Voice & Song Writing for children to adults.Background: My education has been in Audio Recording, my experience has been in song writing and live performance. I was one of the original members of Marianas Trench before departing in 2003, and since then have worked as a co-writer with artists including AJ Woodworth, Jessica Lee, and Girlicious. My own private guitar teachers were Ron Samworth, David Martone and Steve Karagianis.

Favourite food: My favourite food might be Banana Pancakes.

Favourite thing to do in the Spring: My favourite thing to do in the Spring would be kayak around Deep Cove

Fun fact about me: If I let my hair grow out, I actually have an afro.

Teaching Style/Philosophy: My teaching style is fun, and full spectrum. I like to include all aspects of music and how they relate to the big picture. I never sell my students short, I have a tremendous amount of faith in them and I try to give them enough knowledge to last them a lifetime.

Steve is SOLD OUT on Wednesdays, ONE spot left on Thursdays and Two spots left on Saturdays. We advise contacting us now for this great teacher! 

Did you read your newsletter this month?

Each month we pull the name of one of our students to win a prize. This month’s prize is a $20.00 gift certificate for any Music Box service or product.
This month’s winner is Jorge Martinez (Jr)!
Congrats Leland & please contact the office to claim your prize.


Current Private Lesson Students who refer others who successful enrol for lessons with us get = 1 free MONTH of lessons! Thank you to everyone this March who referred their friends. Our success is your success! 
*Immediate family members and members of the same household are not eligible for the referral program, but are eligible for 1 free private lesson registration fee. Please contact the office for details.* 

Is YOUR Teacher Sold Out?
Teachers With Waiting Lists.

Many teachers have sold out. If you need a schedule change or would like to be added to a waiting list for a particular teacher, day or time, please contact any of our office manager Josee and she can add you to the waiting list. If you are not a student yet there are still limited lessons spots available. To inquire about openings for April send an e-mail to Or you can call the Carnarvon office 604-553-1176 Monday-Friday after 12pm or Saturday after 9am.

Angelica Kim • Flute & Piano – Mondays: ONE Spot Left. Fridays: ONE Spot Left. Saturdays: Two Spots Left.

Daniel Cheung • Guitar – Fridays: Two Spots Left. Saturday: ONE Spot Left.

Ian James • Guitar & Drums – Tuesdays: ONE Spot Left.

Ju Dee Ang • Violin – Mondays: ONE Spot Left. Wednesdays: Two Spots Left.

Canita Mai • Saturdays: Two Spots Left.

Nicole Dale • Voice & Piano – Mondays: SOLD OUT. Saturdays: SOLD OUT.

Christina Madarasz • Voice & Piano – Wednesdays: SOLD OUT. Thursdays: SOLD OUT.

Lynn Yang • Piano & Voice – Tuesdays: ONE Spot Left. Thursdays: SOLD OUT.

Sandra Fernandez • Voice & Piano – Tuesdays: ONE Spot Left. Wednesdays: ONE Spot Left. Fridays: SOLD OUT.

Steve Marshall • Guitar, Drums & Voice – Wednesdays: SOLD OUT. Thursdays: ONE Spot Left. Saturdays: Two Spots Left.

Stefani Yap • Piano – Wednesdays: SOLD OUT. Thursdays: SOLD OUT. Fridays: ONE Spot Left.

Claire Rice • Voice – Tuesdays: Two Spots Left. Wednesdays: Two Spots Left.

Did you enjoy this December’s Picture Day?

Want to get your child’s picture taken for free by a professional photographer?

The next Picture day is coming in June and is open to all current Music Box Music Academy students! *Must be a CURRENT student to participate.

It’s easy to take the next step:

Lessons are first come, first serve
so contact us today to arrange your first lesson!

Or e-mail

2 Locations to Serve You in Downtown New Westminster!

630 Carnarvon street, New Westminster, BC
(Near the intersection of 6th and Carnarvon, just down from the Brick & Motar shop)

211-810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster, BC
(1 block from the Skytrain, at the New Westminster Quay, 2nd floor of the River Market)

Offering quality guitar, voice, ukulele, drums, violin, flute and piano lessons in New Westminster.

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Music Box Music and Theatre Academy

211-810 Quayside Drive

New WestminsterBC  V3M 6B9