• Music

    Andrea plays piano, keyboards, percussion, and she sings. She has performed in a wide variety of groups and styles, from classical to contemporary, from musical theatre to indie rock, and from Motown to reggae.
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  • Education

    Andrea teaches private piano and voice lessons to develop musical and non-musical skills in children ages 3+, and adults of all ages. She also leads fun and engaging group lessons, which can start at age 0.
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  • Research

    Andrea is interested in the development of musical skills early in life, and the effects of musical training at any age on cognitive, language, creativity and social skills.
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Andrea Unrau

Andrea Unrau is a musician, educator, and researcher based in Vancouver, British Columbia. With a strong background in developmental neuroscience and music cognition, she specializes in piano, voice, and ensemble music lessons for children and those with unique developmental needs.

News

For the latest news on music lessons and current programming, please see the Education page.

Bio

Born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Ontario’s Niagara region, Andrea made friends with her first piano as soon as she could reach it. Always encouraged by her parents, she started piano lessons at age 5. Her first rock band, three 8-year-old piano students on keyboard, tambourine and triangle, enjoyed its height of success performing original compositions “Pink Elephants and Lemonade” and “Eat, Sleep, Play” at the local seniors centre. Inspired by the teacher who helped her with that project, Andrea continued her studies with John Lummen for the next 11 years. With him, she learned classical technique and repertoire, theory and compositional skills, chord-reading and arranging, rock and jazz techniques, improvisation and playing with others, and many invaluable teaching skills.

In 2001, Andrea began teaching private and ensemble music lessons to children and adults of all ages. She has experience and training in working with very young beginners, older adults acquiring new skills, special needs children, groups from diverse cultural backgrounds, and more.

Andrea’s studies at McMaster University focused on developmental psychology, music perception and neuroscience. In her third year, she began studying Music Cognition and soon became involved with research projects on brain responses to complex meters and infant pitch perception, under the supervision of world-renowned music researcher Dr. Laurel Trainor. Andrea’s Honours thesis topic was long-term memory for music in 6-month-old infants.

After graduation, Andrea spent five years as a Research Coordinator in the fields of Auditory Development and Music Cognition. There, she worked with hundreds of infants and children on the development of skills such as key and harmony perception, rhythm, language, attention, memory, and general musical skills. During this time, Andrea coordinated a large research study with Laurel Trainor and Suzuki Teacher Trainer David Gerry, looking at the perceptual, communicative and social effects of active musical participation in infancy using Suzuki Early Childhood Education methods. Inspired by the results of this study and her experiences teaching young children, Andrea completed Suzuki teacher training in both piano and early childhood education in order to put her research into practice. She currently teaches for the highly regarded Sarah McLachlan School of Music, the Trout Lake Community Centre, and at her private studio in East Vancouver. 

Andrea divides her time between teaching, learning, listening, composing, arranging, performing and traveling. She has trouble deciding which of these activities she enjoys best. To learn about current programming and becoming a new student, please see the Education page.

More Information

  • Suzuki Education +

    “When love is deep, much can be accomplished”. – Shinichi Suzuki Every young child learns to speak her or his native language with beautiful fluency and an extremely high level of ability. This accomplishment is not trivial – language is vastly complex, involving listening, decoding sounds, fine motor control, and mapping sounds to movements. Yet with a combination of listening, repetition, and strong parental support, nearly every child will develop these amazing skills in a few short years. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki recognized that learning a musical instrument involves many of the same skills as language, and in Suzuki education we use these Read More
  • Prospective Students +

    I provide a Prospective Students Survey to all interested parents and students, going over previous experience, lesson availability, goals, expectations, preferences and interests. Read More
  • Press +

    Babies' Brains Benefit from Music Lessons, Even Before They Can Walk and Talk. Science Daily, May 9, 2012. "There are many ways that parents can connect with their babies," says study coordinator Andrea Unrau. "The great thing about music is, everyone loves it and everyone can learn simple interactive musical games together." Read More
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