Jean Lyons School of Music
Jean Lyons School of Music. Teaching academy in piano and theory, established in Vancouver in 1963 by the pianist and teacher Jean Lyons.
The Jean Lyons School of Music is the oldest music school in the city of Vancouver. It was founded in 1963 by Jean Lyons (b Lorna Jean Elderkin Lyons, Vancouver, 1921 or 1922, d 21 Dec 2005; ATCM, LRSM [Royal Conservatory of Music]). Lyons started playing piano at age 12 and taught music in Powell River, BC before moving to Vancouver. After further studies in the 1950s with Alberto Guerrero at the Royal Conservatory of Music and with Stephen Balogh at the Cornish School in Seattle, Lyons opened her first music school on Robson Street in Vancouver. The school stayed in this location until 1994, when it moved to 7th Avenue. The Jean Lyons School of Music began with 3 teachers and about 100 students; by the mid-1970s it had 8 teachers and 200 students. In the 1990s it had 13 teachers and 300 students. By 2005, the school had 16 teachers and over 300 students. Since 1963, the school has offered instruction in piano and all theoretical subjects.
Philosophy and Program
The Jean Lyons School of Music's goals are to provide excellence in musical instruction and musical performance. Jean Lyons believed that learning the piano must be fun. Besides individual tuition in piano, the school offers Suzuki classes, and supplementary master classes for senior students; theoretical subjects are taught in groups. Recitals are held regularly in the studio and an annual recital is held in a local church or recital hall. Many of the early recitals were held at the Vancouver Playhouse. Pupils are prepared for Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College (London), and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations, and many enter the annual Kiwanis Music Festival in Vancouver. The school places strong emphasis on the study of Canadian music. Scholarships are awarded semi-annually.
Students enjoy a high level of success in examinations and competitions (including the Canadian Music Competitions). The school boasts a number of well-known performers and teachers as its former students. Among those who have continued their musical career with distinction are Alexina Louie and Wanda Louie. Recent successes include the four performers of Quatuor Piano (George Kamiya, Joseph Tong, Michael Cheung and Richard Ho). Cheung performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Seattle, and won the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Piano School Competition. Ho won the Richmond Music Festival Scholarship and other competitions. Kamiya was a Canadian Music Competition national finalist in 2001.
Lyons published eight books on the rudiments, history and analysis of music, the last being released in 2003.