It is not only a pleasure but a true privilege to be able to write a letter of recommendation for Pat Riccio. We have three daughters and Mr. Riccio started teaching our eldest piano when she was five years old. Since that time, which is now over 15 years ago, Pat has been a part of our lives on a weekly basis. He has gone on to teach all three girls in all aspects of piano that they require for their RCME certifications. My daughters have always looked forward to his lessons, his way of teaching them, encouraging them to work while enjoying the process of learning new pieces. He was able to individualize each private lesson to their unique learning styles, strengths and personalities. He strongly encouraged practice and progress but made his expectations known in a very amicable, firm but gentle way. He has always been kind and we will always remember how much concern he had (and still has) for the girls’ well-being and future which extends beyond his role as their piano teacher.

There are instructors that instruct their students in the technical aspects of music and then there are true teachers. Teachers that inspire their students to master their instrument, that pass on a love and appreciation for music. Mr. Riccio has been that kind of teacher for our three daughters.

Soania Mathur, BSc, MD, CCFP
Twitter @SoaniaMathur
Facebook: Designing A Cure Inc.

If you are thinking about introducing your child to music lessons, or if you want to learn yourself, you will not find a better, more accomplished and fun teacher than Pat Riccio. Both of my sons took piano lessons for many many years with Pat, and I was so impressed as a mom, that I even took vocal lessons with him!

Pat instinctively knows how to approach any type of learner, whether you are a shy, reluctant youngster, a distracted teenager, or a bucket list mom like me! He is a patient and empathetic teacher, who recognizes a student’s strengths and works with them to reach their goals. What I appreciated the most was that when my eldest son struggled with sight reading ( he is A.D.D. and a visual learner) and lost interest in the Royal Conservatory curriculum, Pat worked with his strength in ear playing and adapted his lessons so he could teach him his favourite pop songs in a whole new way!

The boys are bigger now and involved in different endeavours, but what they learned from Pat has truly shaped the people they are. The love and understanding of music, the ability to sit down and play a favourite song to quiet the soul ( or impress a girl!) well- you cannot a price tag on that! My eldest son went on to play in a band, and thanks to Pat’s teaching style, he can pick up any instrument and play it by ear. My younger son is a math whiz ( math and music are related!) and still plays Mozart or some cool jazz to calm himself before a big exam. I myself am a backup singer in band on weekends, a bucket list item Pat is 100% responsible for helping me to achieve.

He is a phenomenal teacher, a wise mentor, an amazing world class performer, a hilarious storyteller, and last but not least, a great friend with a true heart. Pat Riccio is the real deal.

Melanie Gyles

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