Meet Emily Bolhuis
My students know me as “Ms. Emily”, but my full name is Emily Bolhuis (pronounced Ballhouse…more on that later!). I taught my first piano lesson 20 years ago and haven’t stopped since — I truly love it! I like to think of myself as a ‘Singing Piano Teacher’. While my professional training is actually in voice (I have a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Dalhousie and an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto), I started taking piano lessons when I was 9 years old, did the RCM piano system, played in a church band growing up and just kept playing, as the piano really does lend itself to singing in so many ways! While I’m now self-employed, I have taught piano for music schools across the country, namely in Toronto, Calgary, Burnaby and North Vancouver, BC.
I started teaching from the Simply Music Piano program in September 2017. Up until that point I had used various traditional methods you would come to expect from any high standard music school. What made me find Simply Music Piano was my desire to provide my students with a way of learning that took the frustration out of learning how to read music. Simply Music’s playing-based method that delays the introduction of reading notation (for you music heads out there, students learn to read I, IV V the third song in the program playing a 12 bar blues and they learn how to read a lead sheet the 4th song in!!) Was highly attractive to me. Classical piano music is still part of the program, but the program is not limited to that. Their philosophy jives with my own, that everyone is musical and anyone can learn to play the piano, whether it be for sheer enjoyment or for professional reasons, it doesn’t matter — this program appeals to both types of people and turns out great musicians. Happy musicians, even.
I have a daughter, Naomi, who I homeschool and I also teach her from this method and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She takes lessons via my Simply Music Piano Group Classes, which I strongly feel is the most beneficial way to take these lessons, although private lessons are still available.
So about the Emily ‘Ballhouse’ thing — here’s a fun-fact: Emily Ballhouse is my artist name! I’m an emerging RnB/Pop recording artist who has mostly worked with Christian Hip-Hop Artists in the USA to date.
So there you have it. In a nutshell, I am a Homeschooling parent who studied and pursued opera for 10 years, but now pursuing a Pop/RnB career in the Christian Hip Hop world all while teaching from what I believe to be the best piano program on the planet: Simply Music Piano.