I offer private cello lessons at my home near downtown Barrie, and am also available for workshops and masterclasses. Please get in touch via my Contact page for full details.
As a classically-trained cellist (and singer) who has also worked in the folk, jazz, pop, rock, avante-garde and various world music genres, I’ve got a wide range of experiences and abilities to bring to the table (or chair, as it were…). From your typical Conservatory requirements to improvisation and alternative playing styles, there’s a lot of possibilities available in this beautiful instrument (and you!).
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to push yourself to the next level, a five year old or a one-hundred-and-five year old, with modest or sky-high aspirations – all you need is a desire to learn!
The short answer is: I don’t have just one. Every cellist is an individual with different expectations, talents, and challenges. Respecting that individuality, I take the time to learn each student’s strengths, weaknesses and desires, then tailor the lessons to meet his or her needs.
My main goal is to make myself redundant, by helping each student acquire the technical facility required to play the music, as well as the musical and emotional facility to bring the music to life. (It’s kind of like gym class meets psychotherapy, only less humiliating than the first and less expensive than the second!)
Well, to start with, I’ve been teaching private cello lessons since 1986 (I just fainted while typing that…). I’ve got a Performance degree from Queen’s University, and have taken many classes and workshops since. I was the resident cello teacher and an ensemble coach at Toronto’s Earl Haig / Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts for several years, have led string groups and given workshops for the Toronto, Peel, and Simcoe Boards of Education, and taught at various musical organizations throughout Ontario. My students have earned First Class Honours in Royal Conservatory exams, won classes in Kiwanis and other competitions, and some have even gone on to be performers, composers or music teachers.
Performance-wise, I currently work regularly with classical pianist Marilyn Reesor and folk band Pagan’s Folly, as a soloist and singer-songwriter, accompany several other singer-songwriters, and am busy as a session and studio cellist and singer. Formerly the Acting Principal Cellist of the Kingston Symphony, Principal Cellist and Soloist with Ensemble Unterwegs, and longtime cellist for the now-retired Amity Trio, I’ve also played with many other orchestras and ensembles throughout Ontario. From Massey Hall to the Molson Amphitheatre, Cape Breton to Vancouver Island, I’ve played in some amazing places and learned a great deal in my travels from some incredible musicians – passing along wisdom from folks such as cello virtuoso Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and bass demi-god Victor Wooten.
And I’m still learning – often from my students!