Merlin B. Thompson (Ph.d., M.A., B. Mus.) is an award winning educator, musician, and scholar. He is an internationally recognized authority on the Suzuki Piano Method and the first Canadian to graduate from the Matsumoto Talent Education Research Institute, where he studied with Suzuki Piano Method cofounders Drs. Shinichi Suzuki and Haruko Kataoka. He has worked with hundreds of children, parents, and teachers in workshops, institutes, conferences, established programs, and mentorships throughout Canada, U.S.A., Australia, Japan, Spain, Great Britain, and New Zealand. Currently an instructor in music pedagogy at the Schulich School of Music (McGill University) and teacher mentor in the Werklund School of Education (University of Calgary), he also maintains an active piano teaching studio and publishes in numerous international academic journals.
- Doctor of Philosophy, Thesis title: Authenticity, Teaching Relationships, & Suzuki, Graduate Division of Education Research, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Alberta
- Maître ès Arts (M.A.) Musicologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, P.Q.
- Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan
- Suzuki Piano Teacher Certificate, Talent Education Institute, Matsumoto, Japan
Areas of Expertise
- Piano Pedagogy
- Music Studio Pedagogy
- Project-Based Learning
- Education Philosophy & Philosophy of Life
- Professional Development & Lifelong Learning
- 2018 – Music Teaching Award, Schulich School of Music, McGill University
- 2018 – Award in Teaching Excellence, Students’ Union Association, U of Calgary
- 2017 – Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education, U of Calgary
- 2016 – Teaching Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education, U of Calgary
Suzuki Piano Teaching Background
- 1980 – Began teaching Suzuki Piano at the McGill Conservatory
- 1981 – Met Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the International Suzuki Teachers’ Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts
- 1983-86 – Teacher mentorship with co-founders of the Suzuki Piano Method Drs. S. Suzuki and H. Kataoka. First Canadian to graduate from the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.
- 1986 – Suzuki Piano Teacher Trainer through the Suzuki Association of the Americas
- 1988-2004 – Artistic Director of the Suzuki Piano Program, MRC Conservatory, Calgary.
- 2004-present – Continue teaching through my home-based studio in Calgary.
- 1986-present – Work with hundreds of children, their parents, and teachers in workshops, institutes, conferences, established programs, and mentorships throughout Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
- 2017 Article of the Year, American Music Teacher Journal, Music Teachers of North America.
- (2018) Fundamentals of Piano Pedagogy: Fuelling Authentic Student Musicians from the Beginning. Springer Publications.
- (2018) PLAY What You Know & READ What You Play. Alfred Publications.
- (ND) What Every Music Teacher Needs to Know About Practising.
Published Articles in the Following Journals
- American Music Teacher
- American Suzuki Journal
- Educational Theory
- Journal of School Choice
- Philosophy of Music Education Review
- Studies in Philosophy and Education.