Karen Zalter

Piano Teacher

Karen Zalter

SAA Member


Hampstead, QC, Canada
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Karen specializes in beginner and intermediate students of all ages. She believes there is more than one way to learn to play an instrument. As a result, her teaching style is flexible and adaptable to each student’s needs, including both neurodivergent and neurotypical brains. She adheres to the principle of lifelong learning, and believes that one is never too old to begin, or begin again.
It is Karen’s desire to empower her students to gain life skills, to take ownership of their learning, and simply to enjoy the process, in addition to acquiring tools and knowledge. Her unique approach enables students to confidently and freely express their individuality through their music, and to become even more loving, caring, sharing creators through their love of music, both at the piano and in all that they do.
Karen believes in the importance of moving our bodies in order to enhance our overall wellbeing and our ability to focus. Her own exercise routines include diligent Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Kung Fu practice, elements of which she sometimes incorporates into her music classes, as she finds this improves her students’ attention span, reduces anxiety, and increases their joy, while simultaneously bringing more calm.
When her eldest child asked for violin lessons, she discovered the Suzuki method by chance. She was amazed to observe her daughters excel at violin and piano with this method, playing by ear with great joy and enthusiasm, and with a collaborative spirit. This led her to evaluate her way of teaching in order to better support her students, who have different styles of learning. Motivated to deepen her piano studies, and to adapt her teaching style, she began taking Suzuki piano teaching training courses, and became a certified Suzuki piano teacher for Units 1—4.
Beginning her piano studies at 12, Karen completed McGill Conservatory’s highest level in 1990.  Soon after, she began teaching both privately and at the National Academy of Music in Montreal, while simultaneously earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Concordia University. She continues to take courses in Music Teacher Professional Development with Dr. Merlin Thompson, training in Piano Technique using the Taubman approach with Nancy Modell, and to participate in Klezmer group classes for collaborative, communal experience