Pinnacle Music School ready to welcome students again


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Cultivate creativity


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By Fiona Campbell / Quinte Arts Council

Whether you think of music as “the most powerful form of magic” (Marilyn Manson), an antidote to pain (Bob Marley), the “soundtrack of your life” (Dick Clark), or the way to wash “life away” ‘soul the dust of everyday life’ (Berthold Auerbach), it undeniably has the power to bring spirits to life, to heal hearts, to change minds and to inspire people to dream.

Can you imagine navigating the pandemic, let alone everyday life, without music?

If listening to music is also good for the soul, consider the benefits of a music education; countless studies have shown that learning to play an instrument improves memorization, cognition and attention in children, adults and the elderly.

If you have a kid with rock n ‘roll dreams, or maybe it’s been over a decade since you tickled ivories, look no further than downtown Belleville for the best. music education.

Pinnacle Music School, one of the largest music schools in Eastern Ontario and the largest in the Quinte area, has been in downtown Belleville for over two decades.

It started out as part of Pinnacle Music Studios, started in 1997 by Janet and Ken Harnden at 214 Pinnacle Street, before moving to 261 Front Street in 2001.

The ground floor housed the retail department which sold sheet music, musical instruments, accessories and, in particular, pianos and keyboards; in fact, Pinnacle Music was the only authorized dealer of Yamaha pianos in eastern Ontario.


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The second floor housed a teaching studio with 10 individual teaching rooms and a large waiting room.

Despite the closure of Pinnacle Music Studios’ retail department in the summer of 2020, teachers at the newly renamed Pinnacle Music School have continued to teach.

“As the storefront on the first floor has been closed for a year, we notice that many people in Belleville think the teaching studio has also closed,” says Duncan Cooper, professor at Pinnacle. “So we want to spread the word to dispel this notion.”

He adds, “While the teachers at Pinnacle have been successful in effectively teaching many of our students using online conferencing platforms, some of our students and parents have decided to wait until the pandemic is over… So As we come out of the restrictions associated with the pandemic, we look forward to rebuilding our customer base.

Pinnacle has a wide range of experienced and highly qualified teachers including: Joe Kennedy (guitar), Ed Conley (drums, guitar, bass guitar), Pat Ross (piano, RCM exams, RCM theory), Janice Fast (piano, RCM exams) , RCM theory), Duncan Cooper (piano, pop and jazz piano, pop and jazz theory, RCM theory), Veronique Kwakkernaat (flute), Amber Walton-Amar (cello) and Derek Morris (violin).

Students range from six to adult, including some in their 70s and 80s, and skills range from beginner to experienced and all intermediate levels. In the future, Pinnacle Music School will move to 360 Pinnacle Street in October.


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Building owner Mark Rashotte is overseeing the design and construction of the new facility. The new location will include abundant free parking easily accessible from Pinnacle Street, wheelchair accessibility, a new HVAC system, an auditorium / recital, and teaching rooms large enough to meet social distancing requirements.

Rashotte also owns the Empire Theater nearby on Front Street and anticipates that Pinnacle Music School will occasionally use the Empire for performance and teaching purposes. For more information on classes at Pinnacle Music School, visit:



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