Piano Lessons

Piano lessons, either online or in-person, are offered to all ages including adults and seniors  All levels and styles of music are taught. Ford offers a traditional approach as he works to develop a solid technique and a fluid ability play classical, jazz, and modern styles. It is not just a piano lesson it's a complete, in-depth and fun music program. The lessons include music theory and history, ear training and sight reading.  The lessons are tailored to each student's skill and needs.

Royal Conservatory of Music Certified Teacher

RCM Certified Teacher

Ford is a RCM Certified Teacher and qualifies under the category of an Advanced Piano Specialist. In addition to this, he is also a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association

Online Lessons

Online lessons are an attractive option for those with busy schedules, travel frequently, confined to home, or can't find the right teacher in there local area.

Zoom for piano lessons

How Online Lessons Work

The setup for an online piano lesson is very simple. Zoom is widely used for the purpose.  A laptop computer is preferable. A cell phone or tablet do not work well as the image generated is too small and it is difficult to aim the camera. A music stand is used to position the camera. However, if you do not have a music stand then you can easily improvise. Use the email contact form at the bottom of the page for more information or to book a free trial lesson.

Setup for Remote Piano Lessons

Music Without Boundaries

Music Without Boundaries is a new program developed by the Royal Conservatory of Music which offers for the first time in history remote (online) examinations. It is now possible to complete your practical (instrumental) and theory (written) requirements in your own practice space, on your own instrument, at your own pace, with no travel time.

Studio Lessons

Ford continues to teach in-person lessons from his studio which is located 5 minute walk from the College Park Subway Station. Use the email contact form at the bottom of the page for more information or to book a free trial lesson.


No! In general, adults learn faster than children. The most important factor that determines the speed of learning is the amount of practice. Children often have more time available and are more consistent then adults. In addition, as eager learners, children often absorb new information quickly. On the other hand, adults have a greater ability to understand the complexity involved in playing the piano. Adults progress quickly with focus and daily practice.
Yes, performance is an integral part of learning to play the piano. Opportunities to gain performance experience include visits to Long-Term Care Facilities, Student Recitals, Adult Performance Classes, Music Festivals, and RCM Exams.
To start, encourage your child to practice at least fifteen minutes every day. The frequency of practice is crucial and quality is more important than quantity. When a student doesn’t practice, the lesson becomes a supervised practice session. While this is useful, the student does not benefit from the full potential of the lesson and progress slows down.
Absolutely. You will need 88 keys and fully weighted keyboard. If you need an instrument, consider renting with the option to buy from a local music store. Long & McQuade Musical Instruments is a good place to start.
The average age when a child has developed the necessary attention span for a 30 minute piano lesson is six. However, if your child shows the maturity and interest, starting at five may work.


Ford conducts weekly piano lessons. The lessons range in length from thirty to sixty minutes. The length depends on age, level, and the amount of time for practice.  The tuition for lessons is $60 per hour. The fee for a 30-minute lessons is $30. Students are required to pay for lessons one month in advance. Lesson policies followed are those recommended by the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association. Use the email contact form at the bottom of the page for more information or to book a free trial lesson.

Playing for Time: Trending of Adult Piano Lessons

Video Critiquing Service

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Working on repertoire and need a fresh perspective or some encouragement?

Video record your performance then upload it to your private YouTube channel. Submit the link and receive a written critique of your performance.

Features of this Novel Service

  • receive a written critique for as little as $20 (critique only  a numerical mark will not be given)
  • no obligation or strings attached and completely confidential
  • highlights successful aspects your performance as well as key areas to address in order to elevate your performance
  • remain in control as a  private URL link to a YouTube channel is used (video is not transferred)
  • done from the comfort of your home

Eligible Repertoire

Repertoire from the any of standard Piano Syllabi  ranging from Level 1 up to ARCT is be eligible for submission. The fee for this service is based on the length of the video. The maximum length is 20 minutes. Repertoire is often be selected from the following syllabi: RCM Piano Syllabus  and the RCM Popular Selection list.

Student Accomplishments

  • Ford is Certified by the Royal Conservatory of Music as an Advanced Piano Specialist. He has prepared numerous students for the RCM Exams during his decades of teaching. In the most recent session, three exams received a standing First Class Honors with Distinction.
  • Ford has successfully prepared two students for the entrance audition into the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto
  • Resulting from outstanding performances, his students have received numerous scholarships from the Central Toronto Branch of ORMTA (Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association) including the Maria Case Trophy (awarded for an outstanding performance of a Canadian Composition).
  • Ford's students have routinely appeared in master classes and festivals such as the Contemporary Canadian Showcase and the Kiwanis Festival

The Rise of Online Music Lessons: Resistance is Futile

Benefits of Music Education

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono

  • Music conveys our cultural heritage. It is as important to know about Beethoven and Louis Armstrong as it is to know about Newton and Einstein
  • As an inherent intelligence in all people, musicianship deserves to be developed
  • Creative and self-expressive, it enables the expression of our noblest thoughts and feelings
  • Students learn about their relationships with others, in both their own and foreign culture
  • Music enhances Scholastic Performance
  • Students experience avenues of success they may not experience elsewhere in their educational curriculum
  • Students learn that not all life is quantifiable
  • Music exalts the human spirit

A brain containing music from studio or online piano lessons


The Benefits of Music Education: An Overview of Current
Neuroscience Research by the  Royal Conservatory of Music, 2014

Get Your Child to Practice


Ford Barker has pursued two different career paths. His first career was in Life Sciences. Ford completed his BSc in Life Sciences at Queen's University in Kingston. Following this, he worked at the University of Toronto on various research projects. While doing well in this field he felt a need for change. He decided to follow his life-long passion for music.

Ford's musical studies began at an early age. Most of his training was with the Royal Conservatory of Music. He holds an ARCT in Piano Teaching. In addition, he is an RCM Certified Teacher and qualifies under the category of an Advanced Piano Specialist. Also, he is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association. As a member of this group, he accepted a position of leadership on the executive committee. Ford believes a true teacher is also a student and his musical studies are ongoing. As both an experienced piano teacher and performer, he works independently and keeps up a busy practice. He believes all students have a natural ability and plans the lessons according to their needs. Furthermore, as a dedicated piano teacher, he considers it a privilege to share his love of music with others.

Portrait of Ford who gives piano lessons

Benefits of Study with a Registered Music Teacher

  • Assurance of qualified knowledgeable instruction
  • Opportunities for performance at Music Festivals, Examinations, Public Recitals, Studio Recitals and Master Classes, and Canada Music Week Celebrations
  • National and Provincial Student Competitions
  • Opportunities for students to receive scholarships in both practical and theoretical subjects
  • Opportunities for advanced students to develop applied pedagogical knowledge and experience needed to obtain a Teachers Associate Diploma

Logo for the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association who give piano lessons

Ford is an excellent teacher. Having RCM credentials while choosing to specialize on piano instruction (rather than a number of different instruments) was appealing to me. I also appreciated that he was so accommodating when it came to having lessons at a time that would work best with my busy schedule. His approach is structured, patient, and encouraging. As an older beginner, I like how his feedback is technical about what I did well (with every piece that I play) and also what I still need to work on. His knowledge of the various composers and having the occasional (impromptu) duet is a nice treat as well. Several months after starting, I am excited to continue this musical journey with Ford as my instructor and highly recommend him. Travis
Travis Bailey
Travis Bailey
03:51 03 Apr 18
I have had an excellent experience with Ford as a piano teacher. I feel I have made significant progress with my piano lessons with him, developing both technical skills and an understanding of music theory. His feedback is always constructive and I would recommend him without reservations to any student!
Charlotte Switzer
Charlotte Switzer
15:48 03 Apr 18
Ford is amazing as a piano teacher. He is really knowledgeable about the history of music and musical structure. I really feel that I am improving and learning more about different techniques than ever before.
Rosie Leigh
Rosie Leigh
23:11 29 Mar 18
As an adult learner, I found Ford to be very patient, nurturing and accommadating to my individual interests and needs. He really takes the time to teach techniques and practicing routines that work best for me. After about half a year of working with Ford, I'm already seeing a significant improvement in my playing ability and enjoyment from playing the piano. Thanks, Ford!
James Hang
James Hang
12:52 22 Sep 17
My two sons have been working with Ford and I highly recommend him. He has progressed their technical skills, helped them understand music and perfected their playing to levels that go beyond my expectations. He manages to encourage them and keep them motivated to play while also providing direct and constructive feedback. We couldn’t be happier with Ford’s teaching.
Margie Peskin
Margie Peskin
15:47 23 Apr 17
Ford is a great teacher. He's patient and knowledgeable abut piano techniques, repetoire and styles. I am an adult student and he is encouraging and positive. Under his guidance, I have improved tremendously. He is excellent on the classics: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. I recommend Ford Barker as a teacher of piano.
Michael Ford
Michael Ford
13:43 05 Apr 18
Ford is a wonderful teacher and makes learning the piano fun! His lessons are tailored and accordingly paced for each student, building on their strengths and paying extra attention to areas where they need help. He is extremely patient and encouraging, and can put even the most nervous student completely at ease. I recommend him highly to anyone looking to learn to play the piano!
Seema Shenoy
Seema Shenoy
20:06 13 Apr 18
I've been studying with Ford for almost a year now and I can say he's incredibly knowledgeable and talented at explaining technique, theory, history, etc. He's shown me the difference between bringing a piece of music to life instead of simply playing the right notes. Best of all, he's been very patient with a slow learner such as myself!
Tyroney Macaroni
Tyroney Macaroni
17:59 11 Apr 18
Ford is a wonderful teacher, I am an adult student. Even I had learned to play piano for past 17 years on and off with different teachers, my performance is still not good and had some bad habits. Since I started to take lesson from Ford, he corrected that which I found really helpful in my daily practice. I love Ford’s teaching style, he is amazing patient.
01:36 01 Mar 19
I've had a couple of piano teachers in the past but Ford has been the only one I've felt comfortable with. His lessons are always a relaxed atmosphere but totally focused on the lesson. He's very patient and explains technique clearly with good instruction how to practice at home. Over all, I'm delighted with my progress so far. I highly recommend Ford if you're looking for solid piano tutoring
stephen coghlan
stephen coghlan
21:44 25 Mar 19
All three of our sons have taken piano lessons from Ford in the past 10 years. We signed up our boys at 7 or 8 years of age with a view to giving them a basic grounding in music. Ford is a dedicated teacher and has helped them achieve that and more. I would happily recommend Ford as a piano teacher.
Milos Barutciski
Milos Barutciski
10:54 09 Apr 19
Ford Barker is an Outstanding Piano Teacher. He has an easy going and unassuming manner, but behind that is a depth of Musical knowledge and Piano Technique. I started with Ford one year ago and am amazed at how much I have learnt in that time. I attribute this to his Natural teaching ability. He brings structure and direction but also inspiration to continue. Ford engages with his students guiding you through / around obstacles. This is why Ford is the right teacher for me and the right teacher for anyone with an interest at learning to play Piano.
Gary Burren
Gary Burren
02:13 11 Jul 19
I've had a couple of piano teachers in the past but Ford has been the only one I've felt comfortable with. His lessons are always a relaxed atmosphere but totally focused on the lesson. He's very patient and explains technique clearly with good instruction how to practice at home. Over all, I'm delighted with my progress so far. I highly recommend Ford if you're looking for solid piano tutoring
stephen coghlan
stephen coghlan
21:44 25 Mar 19
Ford is an excellent teacher, especially to our 8 year old son, who always looks forward to his lessons with him. It's a highlight of his week. He works on dynamics and timing, tailoring to his needs, even adding a touch of music history from time to time. He helped take our son's progress to such a high level, not only with the RCM level exams but with the ORMTA Junior Scholarship Recitals, which our son was invited to, by virtue of his talent, that was encouraged by his teacher. Ford is supportive, knowledgeable, firm yet patient. We highly recommend him!
15:12 06 Feb 20
I highly recommend Ford Barker. I started learning piano last year. I'm 28 and Ford was able to accommodate to my work schedule. It's been a year now and I saw a great progress in my learning process. Ford has also the full setup for online lesson if needed. He is following the Royal Conservatory of Music method. He will ensure you build up the fundamental skills if you are a starter to make sure your continuous progress.
00:40 30 Apr 20
Patient, Passionate and Insightful - Couldn't have found a better teacher!
Hayden Hayes
Hayden Hayes
15:20 25 Mar 20
As a retired music teacher ,I have returned to playing after a 20 year hiatus. I feel that Ford is a professional and knowledgeable teacher who is thorough and able to communicate exactly what is needed to help me return to the piano in my later years. Teaching on "Zoom" must be incredibly difficult, and I applaud Ford for his efforts to go the extra mile to encourage his students to achieve their goals. I look forward not only to my online lessons but also to the musical discussions. Thank you, Ford.
crys White
crys White
17:36 16 Dec 20
As an older beginner, I was careful about choosing a teacher who would accommodate my needs and am pleased to say I chose well with Ford. He’s a tough task master but always kind, patient and understanding of the fact that some weeks I’m able to practice more than others just because of life commitments. He has chosen a series of books that do a great job of incorporating theory and repertoire. The pieces are melodically interesting and progressively challenging and, in a few short months, I am able to work through new pieces on my own so that, during my lessons, I can make the most of my instruction time. We don’t leave a piece until he is confident that I am playing well, hitting all the right notes and demonstrating an appropriate level of skill. During this difficult time with Covid when so many of us have been stopped in our tracks, we are so lucky to have the technology that makes remote piano lessons possible. Not all piano teachers are able to so seamlessly switch to remote learning so I also lucked out in getting a teacher who is very comfortable with the technology. I feel so privileged to be learning not just a new skill but pursuing a life-long dream that has already enhanced my life, immeasurably. Ford has made all that possible and I’m lucky to have his support and mentorship on this journey. I am very pleased and satisfied with all that Ford has done for me in such a short time. Initially I was very intimidated by the thought of music theory but with his patience, guidance and support it is no longer a foreign language to me. I am so thrilled to come back every week for our lessons. I am so honored to be Ford's student!!
Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones
00:35 30 Dec 20
Ford is the piano teacher I'd send my child, or friends to with utmost confidence to learn the basics of musicianship, in counting (no. 1) musical patterns, phrasing, and discipline. He is patient, and understanding with a specialty in learning difficulties.
Anna Campbell
Anna Campbell
17:09 04 Jan 21