PianoTV host: Allysia

Hey there!

My name is Allysia Van Betuw and I’m the writer/composer/teacher/blogger/video-er of PianoTV.net.  I’ve been teaching piano to people of all ages and levels, from three-year old beginners, to youth and teenagers, to retired adults, since 2005.  This website is the product of my desire to branch out and share music in new ways, and to provide a coherent framework for beginners.

My credential are currently an RCM Grade 10 certificate (the second highest level in the RCM).  I also have an elementary pedagogy diploma from the RCM.

I’ve been playing piano since I was a little kid, first taking lessons with my mother, and later with several trained piano teachers. My musical education had a very creative focus, with lots of arranging and ear training – my love of Classical music developed as I got a little older.

As a teenager I decided to develop my songwriting skills by joining a loud rock band, which was a blast and is something I’ve been doing ever since.

In 2005, I went through training to become a piano teacher at Long and McQuade in my Saskatchewan hometown, where I often taught fifty students each week, putting them through exams, competitions and recitals on a regular basis.

I also taught piano independently in Toronto, and was a member of ORMTA. Currently I’m living in Saskatchewan where I have a bustling home studio. In 2017 I was given the honor of adjudicating my very first music festival performances, something that I hope to do more of in coming years.

Aside from playing music, I also love cooking healthy food – so much so that I went to culinary school the Natural Epicurean in Texas.

My favorite meals are bold and fresh, like a Banh Mi Bowl bursting with crunchy veggies on a bed of fluffy quinoa, topped with marinated tofu and a creamy cashew sriracha sauce. Latin food is my jam, and I love making homemade corn tortillas.

Finally, I’m married to a drummer and nerdy science teacher, Michael. We enjoy cooking together, jamming and going on adventures.

If you want more information about my piano and teaching journey, be sure to check out the following video:

PianoTV editor/graphic designer: Logan

Logan does all of the behind-the-scenes work for PianoTV, including all of the video editing. He also makes those funny images that go along with each video and blog post.

Logan has roots in Saskatchewan, and lives in Toronto, Canada. In addition to doing graphic design work for hire, he also enjoys playing the guitar, biking, petting animals, stormy afternoons, and has a weird obsession with outer space.

He mainly enjoys spicy food, with lots of greens and umami, but would probably exclusively eat kibble if it was peanut-butter flavored. Also he always has broccoli and bananas in his house no matter what.

Just an example of Logan’s creativity, and fondness of food

Logan and I have been good friends for a decade now, and hope you enjoy our combined efforts to bring you passion, humor, history and knowledge for Classical and instrumental music.

Also here he is in neon tights.

What you’ll find on this site

A large majority of the music that I share on this site is stuff I’ve composed or arranged, for several reasons: I wanted to freely share music without worrying about copyright issues, and because I wanted to provide songs that stem from a broad range of sources – pop, folk, jazz, and my favorite, classical.

That said, the lessons on this website work really well alongside other books, which I highly recommend you check out.  The adult method book I often teach from is the Piano Adventures Adult series, since I like the pacing.  That book is geared toward both pop/contemporary music and Classical, so it’s very well-balanced.

After the basics are learned, I try to get all my students into the Royal Conservatory of Music, since it’s a well-loved school with a great collection of songs, categorized in “grades” – so if you ever hear someone say ‘I have my grade nine in piano, this is what they mean. (That, or the ABRSM).

The RCM also offers exams in Canada and the US, which is a great motivator – nothing better than a looming exam date to push the practicing!

Enjoy the lessons, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions and/or comments.

Happy piano-ing!

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