New West Music started up a 18-months ago out of Christian Bideau’s home on Eighth Avenue, with just one student.
Today, New West Music has five teachers and is preparing to move into a commercial space, D-768 Princess St. in Moody Mall.
“Little by little, by word of mouth, things spread out fairly quickly so I’m very grateful to everyone who helped me grow my little studio,” Bideau said.
To celebrate the move and in honour of the community that helped his studio grow, Bideau is offering a one-year piano scholarship to a deserving student between the ages of six and 16.
“It can be for financial reasons, or someone who is already doing lessons and really deserves it and wants to pursue music professionally, let’s say,” Bideau said.
Bideau is familiar with the struggle some families have when it comes to financing their children’s musical talents.
“I remember this one kid I used to teach who had to stop lessons unfortunately due to financial circumstances. So I know that for some families music lessons are a bit of a luxury,” he said. “Some families have very talented and musically inclined children and they don’t really get the opportunity.”
Bideau’s own family had difficulty affording lessons for him when he was a child, and he had to learn on his own for many years, he said.
He plans to ask for student nominations, and then narrow the candidates down to 10 and interview each before making a decision.
Bideau has been teaching for about 12 years. He sees music as an important part of children’s development.
“I find that kids in martial arts or music have much more discipline and they follow through on things. It creates more tenacity, more resilience, more discipline,” he said, adding it can be a way of expressing feelings as well. “Music is among those things that can really balance things for a kid in terms of their growth and education.”
New West Music provides customized lessons to its students, according to Bideau, from ages four through adulthood.
“We want everybody to succeed,” he said. “We create very strong bonds with our students.”