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Music Box New Westminster Music School Monthly Newsletter – May 2017

Music Box Monthly

May 2017

New & Exciting! 

Hi Everybody,

Have you heard we’ve moved from the River Market?

Music Box has held studio at River Market since 2013! We have long since outgrown our space there, adding our 630 Carnarvon Street Music Lesson location in 2015, and now, this past May weekend we have moved our Daycare & Music Together programs to 25 Begbie Street. While we will miss the River Market dearly and enjoyed our time there, we look forward to seeing you still at 630 Carnarvon Street, and at new 25 Begbie Street – almost double the size from our River Market Studio! Wow!

Where’s our River Market Programming?: 
Music Kids Daycare: set to reopen on Begbie St soon.
Mini Music: River Market is continuing their own music class. Our lovely program with Lisa Rae is set to PopUp somewhere nearby soon!

Soon, we will be inviting you to a lovely open house at 25 Begbie Street! Please watch for that announcement later this month.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Vashti Fairbairn

We’re going to miss seeing you all every Friday! Please follow Lisa Rae on her musical adventures here: Plans are in the works to PopUp soon in the community!

Carnarvon location CLOSED
Daycare location: CLOSED
Office: CLOSED
Online Registration: OPEN

Camp Sign Up Here!

Many music students take Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. Along with being great goals to work towards and progress markers, beginning at RCM Level 6 you can receive High School Credit!
More information
Ask your teacher for further information and to see if this path may be right for you.

Teacher of the Month 

Our teacher of the month for May is James Testani! In adition to being a Music Box teacher, James also has a popular YouTube channel you can check out here:

Background (education/other):
BMus in Jazz Studies, Capilano University

Favourite food:
All of it

Favourite thing to do/hobby:
Aside from playing guitar I enjoy the occasional video game

Fun fact about me:
I’ve watched the first 6 episodes of the 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons about 200 times each

Teaching Style/Philosophy:
I don’t believe in the concept of natural talent. Sure, some people are more adept than others, but work ethic and persistence are the true key to being successful with anything. Music is a language. Imagine you’re learning French… would you rather know a bunch of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc? Or would you rather learn how to actually speak it in a simple manner? I go beyond the page and ensure that my students are able to communicate using the language of music.James has ONE remaining spot on Thursdays. We advise contacting us now for this great teacher! 

Please welcome the 20 new students who enrolled for private music lessons at MusicBox this March-April!


Is Your Teacher Sold Out?

Pictured above: Teacher Daniel, Harry, Debbie, Anne, Vashti, Jordana, Canita, Josee, Stefani at a recent teacher function!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 very limited lessons spots available. To inquire about openings for June send an e-mail to 

Blake Unruh • Drums/Guitar/Ukulele • Tuesdays: 2 Spots Left • Thursdays: SOLD OUT
Torben Brown • Drums/Guitar/Ukulele •  Wednesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
Steve Marshall • Drums/Guitar/Ukulele/Voice • Saturdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
Daniel Cheung • Guitar/Ukulele • Mondays: ONE SPOT LEFT  • Fridays: ONE SPOT LEFT  • Saturdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
James Testani • Guitar/Ukulele • Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
Michael Fabro  • Guitar/Ukulele  • Sundays: 3 Spots Left
Debbie Mun • Piano •  Tuesdays: SOLD OUT  • Fridays: SOLD OUT  • Saturdays: SOLD OUT
Breanne Shaw • Flute • Friday: Three Spots Left
Stefani Yap • Piano • Wednesday: SOLD OUT • Thursday: SOLD OUT • Friday: SOLD OUT
Jordana Delgado • Piano/Cello • Mondays: 2 Spots Left • Tuesdays: SOLD OUT • Thursdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
Canita Mai • Voice/Piano • Monday: ONE SPOT LEFT • Thursday: ONE SPOT LEFT • Saturdays: SOLD OUT
Christina Madarasaz • Voice/Piano • Wednesday: ONE SPOT LEFT • Thursdays: SOLD OUT
Adam Van Loo • Clarinet/Flute/Saxophone/Guitar • Sunday: 2 Spots Left
Taylor Anne Reid • Voice • Sunday: 3 Spots Left
Nicole Scoffield • Violin • Mondays: ONE SPOT LEFT • Wednesdays: ONE SPOT LEFT
Anne Wong • Piano • Saturdays: SOLD OUT
Jeanette Peake • Voice/Piano • Tuesdays: Two Spots Left
Jenny Xu • Piano • Saturdays: SOLD OUT • Sundays: SOLD OUT

Please contact the office for details regarding available lesson times


Now Offering Sunday Lessons!

We are now the only music school in New Westminster that is open 7 days a week!

Take your lessons on a Sunday 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Email us for a list of available times for Piano, Voice, Guitar, Clarinet, Song Writing, Saxophone, Flute!

FRIENDS OF MUSIC BOX! Have you Visited RUSART? They do wonderful professional Drawing, Painting classes for Children & Adults here in New Westminster (as well as Richmond and South Surrey locations)! New customers use code MBOX25 for 25% off first 4 sessions.
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 $25.00 gift certificate for any Music Box service or product.
This month’s winner is Tianna Downey!
Congrats & 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 Spring 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.* 

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. ALMOST FULL!

Thank you to Roger Mahler of Union Photographers for their excellent work at December’s Picture Day!

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

New Westminster’s Largest Private Music School

Winner of more awards than any
other music school in New Westminster!

2 Locations to Serve You in Downtown New Westminster:

630 Carnarvon street, New Westminster, BC
(Near the intersection of 6th and Carnarvon)

Coming Soon: 25 Begbie Street, New Westminster, BC
(1 block from the Skytrain, just up from Waves Coffee @ Columbia St)

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

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Copyright © 2017 Music Box Music and Theatre Academy, All rights reserved.


In-Home Music Lessons or Music School, Which Is Better?

In Home Music Lessons or School? Which one is better for my child?

You’ve decided to put a child into music lessons – great! By making that choice you are on the road to having, statistically, a more creative, intelligent and successful child. You’ve picked an instrument and you’re all ready to start – but where? Are In Home Music Lessons or lessons at a local school better?

You have several options for music lessons. Let’s look at them in order:

Option One: In Home Music Lessons

This is a fast-growing type of lesson today, and it’s easy to see why: A music teacher drives to your home and teaches, using your own piano or drum set, or guitar. The benefit here is obvious – no need to leave the house, sit in traffic, or find parking. However, let’s ask some important questions about lesson quality: Is your child really able to concentrate? Did your teacher show up on time? Is the dog barking? Are siblings trying to pester each other during the lesson? And who’s keeping tabs on the teachers?

Speaking of siblings, one drawback with in home lessons is the inability to have more than one sibling learn at a time – a local school will be able to do 2-3 children at a time, saving the parent 30-60 minutes in waiting. The extra waiting time tends to undo any benefit gained by not having to drive anywhere.

(Note: Along with in-person lessons, this also describes some of the challenges with online training courses and YouTube videos. Also, although convenient, learn-at-home courses tend to lack the accountability and regularity that a human teacher provides.)

in home music lessons

Option number two: Drive to a music teacher’s home.

The possible benefit is that the teacher might have a dedicated space for learning. However, there could still be distractions if their family or pets are home. There’s still no-one checking the teacher’s qualifications; for example the teacher may be under-qualified to teach to your child’s level, however without doing research and asking for proof of qualifications, most customers won’t find out before doing business with them. In addition, their set-up may not be ideal (out of tune piano, improperly maintained drum kit). Lastly, they can only teach one sibling at a time – imagine having a 1 hour wait versus a 30 minute wait in a local school. And where do they hold their recitals?

Option Three: professional, private lessons at a music academy.

The individual practice rooms ensure no distractions, and the school is well equipped with in-tune pianos, books, and staff to help with scheduling and billing. If you have multiple children, they can take lessons at the same time. This is simply the best way to learn an instrument, and what better way to showcase your child’s new skills than at a fancy, professional and fun recital?

So why not make the best choice – high-quality music instruction to make your lesson money go further, and build musical skills faster than you ever thought possible.
Learn more at

Music box is New Westminster’s top music school. Why not call us today to set up a music lesson? 604 553-1176

What’s The Best Instrument For Kids To Learn?

What’s The Best Instrument For Kids To Learn?

There are approximately one thousand, five hundred musical instruments on planet earth…and most we’ve never even heard of (what’s a cat piano?) So how do you decide the best instrument for kids to learn?

A child is probably only considering about three or four different instruments, such as piano, violin or guitar. And this can be tricky for parents, who often think, “What if I let them choose the wrong instrument”? or “What if they choose drums?”. (We should add that an electronic drum kit is a quieter option that works great for apartments and small houses!)

The most versatile and popular instrument is still the piano. You just won’t find anything else that’s able to cover such a broad range of pop, jazz, classical and rock music as easily. This is why it is known as a “foundational instrument”.

Best Instrument For Kids Music Lessons New Westminster

Guitar and violin remain very popular in our school, due to the expressive nature of stringed instruments. Plus, they’re easier to bring home than a piano. Many students who enjoy rock music gravitate toward the electric guitar. If your family attends church, acoustic guitar works very well for praise and worship music.

Physical Ability

When choosing an instrument for a child, you should consider factors such as physical size, natural ability and the child’s likes and interests. For example, a student with tiny hands may have trouble playing the upright bass. A student with large fingers may have trouble fretting chords on an electric guitar (disclaimer: we strongly believe that any physical limitation can be overcome by dedication and practice, within reason).

No matter what a child chooses, the most important thing is the support they receive and effort they put in. Having a great, professional teacher will make them want to practice and grow their musical vocabulary.

Take the next step – visit

Music Box – New Westminster’s Music School!

Is My Child Too Young For Music Lessons?

Music Lessons New Westminster | Video – How Young Can My Child Start?

Some children demonstrate a love of melody and rhythm from a very early age. Babies can clap their hands to a beat as young as 6 months old. A two-year old can copy basic melodies and lyrics. It can be tempting to run out and sign them up for lessons, but how young is *too* young?

First of all, we want to encourage parents to introduce music to a child as early as possible. Have music playing in the home, and sing to/with your children as often as you can. In our household, we like to sing good-night songs, as well as songs when brushing their teeth, cleaning up, etc. (BONUS: Singing “Clean up” songs has a Mary-Poppins-like effect that actually makes them want to participate in putting away toys).

The youngest age we recommend for private music lessons is 4 years old. It may seem early, but listen to this: In a study of preschoolers, children who took weekly piano lessons showed a 34% improvement in spatial skills than the children who did not take lessons. Starting music lessons at a preschool age can give your child huge developmental benefits.

If they’re less than four years old, a group class may be a great option. Parent/child participation in a group setting can establish a lifelong love of music. These classes are also a wonderful way to meet other parents in the area.

A Personal Anecdote:

Our daughter attended group music classes from just 3 months old, and we actually noticed a difference in her vocabulary and math development compared with our second child, who did not attend classes regularly. We believe this was due to her early exposure to rhythm and music in a social setting, which laid the foundation for pattern recognition, language and self-expression.

Music Lessons New Westminster Group Class Kids

A group class at the River Market in New Westminster

A few tips on deciding when to start music lessons:

Watch children as they listen to music – do they stomp their feet, hum along or play air guitar? They may be ready to pick up an instrument.

Take children to a music shop, church or somewhere there are many instruments available to see/touch. Watch to see if they gravitate toward any particular instrument. For example, our son always runs up to the drum set after church service ends. Needless to say, we have started him on drum lessons.

Caution: NEVER force a child to take music lessons. Nothing will form a negative association faster than making them practice something they’re not even slightly interested in. Yes, they may groan before a lesson (especially if they were in the middle of their favorite TV show), but this is normal; regular commitment and dedication is not easy, week after week. However, a child that dreads attending lessons will quickly associate musicianship with boredom or frustration, and will likely avoid it later in life.

A great music teacher can inspire a student to grow and push the limits of their ability. Our professional instructors are ready to help your kids become their very best.

Take the next step – visit

Music Box – Music Lessons New Westminster

Would you like to learn to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise?

Persistence & Patience Building in Young Children: How instrument learning aids these important academic & social skills

Fur Elise on Piano

Would you like to play Fur Elise? Well, you could do this in perhaps 1-2 years of study. Or a concentrated month of doing nothing else:

You could do this in 7 years. Seven. At least:

For the average student, It takes generally 7 years of piano study to have the skills necessary to play the entirety of Beethoven’s very famous and beautiful “Fur Elise.” What is required? Patience throughout the time it takes to build the necessary skills. Persistence to learn, practice and perfect the skills. Persistence & Patience to learn the difficult piece itself over 1-3 months.

Piano lessons (or any private instrument music lesson studies) are not a race, they are a journey.

Beethoven's Fur Elise

Patience is built through:

  • Attending weekly lessons, learning and slowly putting together the building blocks of music and piano technique.
  • Waiting for the necessary skills to develop to play desired pieces.
  • Working towards long-term goals that can be months away. 

Persistence is built through:

  • Learning fingering, scales, chords, pieces, and many other elements & skills that are a challenge and difficult at first.   
  • Pushing through times when it’s easier to quit than continue. Seeing past the present difficulty for the long term benefits and desired outcome.

How hard is it to keep going when things get tough? It’s difficult. But having patience to preserve through those tough times can bring some of the greatest satisfaction in life. Learning an instrument is difficult. You must be patient with your child and yourself. Our natural desire for big results now, is not possible when learning a musical instrument, slow and steady wins the race.

How do you encourage these important traits of Patience and Perseverance in your children? To grow them to be people and adults that don’t give up when things get hard? That are in things for the long haul and finish what they start? Even when it’s hard to say, “Try, try again?”

Music study is the answer for some.

Consider this quote from Einstein, even with the difficulty that comes, “I get most joy in life out of music.”

-Vashti originally posted this first on January 10th at