Music Lessons (Songwriting, Piano, Harmony Singing, Song Evaluaton, Music Theory)


Explanation from AV:

My approach to teaching music of any kind is to enable and empower people to understand it as a whole, by explaining simple and basic principles, and to jump right into making music, rather than put up barriers about not knowing how to read music, understand music theory, or feel like things are too boring or stuffy.  For example, in every songwriting class-- no matter the level of experience, age of the students, nor ability-- I promise there will be a song-- or at least a verse and a chorus-- after 3-4 hours of time working together on it-- and so far, I have always been able to keep my promise.

I am less about having people come every week to get a measured amount of knowledge or feedback; I am more about giving tools and pointers that enable people to eventually not need me at all.  People can book one lesson once and never again, or book one once in a blue moon-- or book weekly if that is what the person wants-- it is all up the them, and since I do this very sporadically with various people, and do not run a school or count on income from teaching it doesn't matter to me if the lessons are not at a consistent interval (unless that is what someone wants).  The only limit I have is that when I am on tour -- if ever that is a thing again!!-- I cannot do any teaching during those times, as there is absolutely not a spare second to fit it into the itinerary.

A bit of related experience:

I have taught many group classes in songwriting in various schools around the world, with students ranging from never having touched an instrument or written a song before, to 1st year university students in music college-- and a vast range in between. 

I have also been commissioned to write songs with various school groups-- including the award-winning song "It's Happening," performed with the Sifton Elementary School Choir-- as well I have been commissioned to write songs for organizations such as the Commonwealth Games and the Canadian Paraplegic Society, among others.

I have also written songs with other songwriters, ranging from the multiple number one hit songwriter Dan Hill, to local artists such as Martin Kerr, on the recent 2020 pandemic song "Isolation Groove."

I am a graduate of Grant MacEwan's Music Performance Program, at which I received a scholarship in academics, and besides my performance skills and extensive experience I have solid knowledge and background in music theory and ear training.

I have worked with many esteemed producers around the world, such as Ray Bardani, Joe Chicarelli, Chris Birkett, and many more; and have produced 2 albums myself (including my most recent one, "Everybody Matters").  I also have sung in an auditioned choir, directed by professional director Trent Worthington; and occasionally am hired to do studio and live work as a backup singer, and sometimes piano player, in addition to singing my own harmonies on my own album, playing keys, and arranging vocals.  I have led bands for the past 18 years, and recently started a community choir during the pandemic-- my first, and through that have gotten excited about learning how to teach harmony singing. 

I am often asked by other upcoming songwriters to evaluate and give feedback/advice on their songs (music, lyrics, structure, arrangements)-- whether because they are working on them in the process of getting ready to record an album, or just as a hobby. 

And also I am often asked for advice about the music business, as I have been both a signed (to a label) artist, as well as been an independent artist; and I have navigated many aspects of the music business; such as working with managers, booking agents, publishers, radio promoters, live show promoters, publicists, social media marketers, accountants, entertainment lawyers, labels, and more.  I have also worn the hats of the above jobs myself-- mostly by default and/or necessity more than desire, but certainly I can say that I learned a lot along the way (albeit often the hard, non-efficient way).  In Canada I have been successful in obtaining funding grants from various organizations to record albums and carry out various songwriting and marketing objectives. 

So-- all of these above things are things I have listed as "time you could book me for in the form of a 'music lesson'".

If you would like to know more about my professional achievements, career history, and musical influences you can find them at my bio on my website