Lesson Feesfrom $26.00 / 30 Minutes
I cut my teeth drumming in speed-punk bands, acting/singing in a traveling theatre troupe, and eventually fronting an alt-rock band, for over a decade. I’ve worked on a number of albums for independent artists as a session musician, co-writer, producer, engineer, or mixer; often all of the above. I’ve also been awarded multiple federal and provincial arts grants for composition and recording. I have published one book that is available across Canada through Long & McQuade (The Odd-Time Pocket-Guide), which is also available for online purchase.
I currently live in Victoria, BC, where I teach various instruments at Long & McQuade, and work on recording projects out of a private studio. When not teaching or producing other bands, I write and record my own music.
I have been an music instructor through Long & McQuade for 8 years; it began with teaching a few drum lessons, but quickly turned into 50+ lessons a week for drums, vocals, bass, beginner guitar. I have since incorporated lessons for songwriting and music production, which has stemmed from students who are curious about all possible avenues of utilizing their newfound abilities in a creative way. I don't follow a set "curriculum", as I think it's important to find the best path of discovery for each individual - I have multiple students that have continued to take lessons for a number of years, ranging from age 5 to senior citizens. It's important to be flexible!
Since the pandemic began, I've switched to teaching almost exclusively online, and this has actually proven far more convenient for students (and parents) in many cases.
Long & McQuade, Victoria, BC — Music Instructor
March 2015 - PRESENT
I teach drums, bass, guitar, vocals, songwriting, and music production as an instructor through Long & McQuade, a nationally recognized brand and institution. Before the pandemic ensued, I regularly obtained one of the highest student retention rates in the country. Regarding COVID-19: I took steps to move all lessons online well before the company followed suit, and managed to keep almost my entire student roster in lessons throughout the most intense periods of lockdown.
Saanich Adult Education Centre, Saanich, BC — Instructor
September 2019 - PRESENT
Partnering with the Indigenous Education department of the University of Victoria, I developed a course called “Stories Through Sound”, which taught various aspects of documenting personal and community-based stories with modern, readily-available recording and audio/visual equipment. The course was initially offered as an elective, but feedback from students and faculty has been very positive, and SAEC is now applying for it to be a fully accredited course.
Canada Council for the Arts: I have been awarded multiple grants from this institution.
Rock Album of the Year - Producer : An album I produced for an artist in Halifax recently won this award from the East Coast Music Association.
As I mentioned earlier, I don't follow a strict curriculum, and don't use conservatory guidelines (though that can be accommodated for students who request it). First, I like to get a sense of what the student would like to achieve, as well as some insight into how much time they can realistically spend on practice. Then we discuss what kinds of music they like; and in the case of younger students, see about putting together some dedicated "listening time", free from distraction. This might not seem like much in the way of a lesson, but the way that we "ingest" the music we aspire to make has a huge impact on our ability to absorb and gain insight from it - and I've gotten plenty of positive feedback from students and parents about this.
I teach out of a few "classic" books: Syncopation for the Modern Drummer; The Funky Primer; and Around the Drums With Triplets (Vol 1&2). And some from a local author (Groove Evolution Intermediate & Advanced), as well as my own book about introducing odd-metre concepts for beginners (The Odd-Time Pocket-Guide). As we learn to read (or increase our reading skills, for intermediate students), I stress the importance of counting aloud - and then we bring that ability to count aloud into play when playing along with songs. Sometimes, especially with advanced material (ie: Rush), we'll have a counting session where we listen to certain sections and count along. This really increases more confidence in understanding song structure, even if they're following along with sheet music while they play.
But: everyone is different, and works at their own pace. Some students feed off of weekly challenges, and some students require longer-term goals. I try to engage the student at their level, and always look for ways to make lessons fun and interesting. It's been amazing to help so many people find enjoyment and fulfillment from learning something new, be they a hobbyist or someone pursuing their craft toward more professional ends. Being a part of their experience makes this job far more rewarding than I ever thought it could be!