At Locomotion, teachers go beyond teaching music, they inspire !

We teach all over the GTA. Our students range from ages 5 and up from beginner to advanced levels.

Our instruments include guitar (electric/acoustic), ukulele,  piano,           drums, bass, vocals, violin, horns, music production and more.  

Contact us to learn more!                                        

Teacher Matching

Teacher matching depends on location, availability, desired instrument, student ability/experience, and student needs/goals. We undergo a profile building conversation with all potential students to ensure they are matched with a teacher who fits their needs and goals. We conduct regular check-ins with our students and/or guardian to make sure the student is progressing well and enjoying their lessons.

All of our teachers have been playing and teaching music for several years. They have each undergone an interview, audition and a criminal background check or vulnerable sector screening test.  Many of them hold certifications from programs such as the Royal Conservatory of Music, The Musician’s Academy in Los Angeles and accredited music programs in universities throughout the world. Most importantly, our teachers are part of our extended family. They are passionate about music and excited to share their love for the craft with others.

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Andrea Chang
Instrument(s): Piano
Specialties: Group lessons, RCM, recital & competition prep
Areas: Etobicoke and West Toronto

Andrea graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University. Over the years, she has studied up to level 10 piano and has completed half the repertoire of the practical examination at the Royal Conservatory.

She has completed 25 hours of the elementary pedagogy course in 2011, and in 2016 earned a Certificate for Elementary Piano specialist. Andrea has been teaching piano to both children and adults for 9 years and has prepared students for both theory and practical examinations, recitals and high-school credit achievements. She believes that structured music education combined with creative exercises and goal setting paves the way to the joys of progress, discovery and achievement. 

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James Scott
Instruments: Piano & Drums
Specialties: Group, RCM prep, band prep, recording & producing
Area: Downtown Toronto

James has been playing drums for 25 years and piano for 30. He is also an accomplished composer and songwriter, drawing on an understanding of classical, jazz, rock, pop, and world music.

Currently he plays drums with Toronto bands Hot Wax Meltdown (60s and 70s rock and soul) and Heavy Ethics (jazz/avant-garde) and keyboards with prog/psych outfit The Hollow Earth. James works as a “hired gun” for several other artists such David Celia, Last Hologram, Lickpenny Loafer, etc.

When not performing or teaching, James writes music for corporate videos, short films and theatre productions.  He recently travelled in the U.S. accompanying actor Jonathan Higgins’ show “An Evening in Samarra”. James also performs as the drummer in an improvisational vaudeville duo.

James studied piano and music theory through the Royal Conservatory.  As a drummer, he was largely self-taught until studying seriously to refine and expand his skills with such educators as Adam David.

Daniel Aonso
Instrument(s): Piano, Guitar, Drums & Saxophone
Specialties:  Groups, RCM & recital & competition prep
Areas: Mississauga /Etobicoke 

Daniel received his BFA from York University in 2015, focusing on Classical Piano. He has also taught piano, guitar, drums, saxophone, music theory, and music history to students since 2012. More recently, Daniel has been lecturing around the GTA to different communities as part of Circles Enrichment.

These lectures are focused on popular music, with topics such as: Frank Sinatra, Big Band Jazz, The Beatles, Folk Music, The Music of Canada, French Chanson, and The Music of Hollywood. As well as having a passion for Rock music, Daniel’s academic interests are focused around music for television, film, and video games, an area he continues to study and write about. 

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Debra Ali
Instrument(s): Piano
Specialties:  RCM & recital & competition prep
Areas: Brampton/Caledon

Debra began playing the piano at age 9 and studied for 10 years under Haydn Evans who received his LWCMD from the Royal Welsh College of Music for performance in England, and also received his level 10 with the RCM in Toronto.  During this time she participated in numerous recitals, concerts, school events and Peel Music Festival competitions.

Debra auditioned and participated in the ‘Performing Arts Program’ at Mayfield Secondary in 1988.  Piano was her main instrument, but she also became inspired to play the guitar, and also to begin writing her own songs.  She pursued classical guitar as well as rock and folk studies throughout her high school years.  In 1993, she entered York University as a music major and further developed her technical skills in sight singing, rhythm and ear training.

Debra began teaching music full-time in 2011 and quickly built a solid reputation for being an excellent, thorough and highly reliable instructor who’s students have experienced great success in music.  She has witnessed them achieve high marks, place at competitions, perform in talent shows at their schools, overcome old struggles, and even been asked by teachers to help out in their school music classes.  For Debra, this is her greatest success… to develop her student’s potential not just in music but in their lives as well.

Debra studied under the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM).  She instructs beginner to level 5 RCM.

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Giulia Tramontin
Instrument(s): Piano
Specialties:  RCM & recital & competition prep
Areas: Toronto/Etobicoke

Giulia is a piano lover with a big voice and even bigger heart. Music has been her passion since she was a little girl. She studied classical piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music for almost 8 years and then made her way to Ottawa where she studied music and vocals at Carleton University.

Currently, she is studying music production and teaching at a music studio in Toronto. Giulia has learned so much about the art of music. She loves to spread her passion to everyone she meets and teaches. 

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James Duff
Instrument(s): Guitar, Piano, Drums, Bass, Flute & Mandolin
Specialties:  Groups  conducting choirs
Areas: Downtown Toronto 

James Duff has been teaching a guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, drums, and flute since completing his Bachelor of music degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax N.S. specializing in classical guitar and orchestration, he also has a strong practical knowledge of orchestral instruments and various musical traditions from around the world.

Beginning his teaching career in Halifax 5 years ago, he has taught students of all ages and abilities using patient and adaptive teaching methods all over Toronto and the GTA. He always personalizes his teaching to each individual student and has assisted with RCM exams, performances, and university auditions. James always enjoys seeing his students improve their musical skills, theoretical understanding, and enthusiasm for further discovery of this wonderful world. 

Jay Danley
Instrument(s): Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Drums
Specialties:  Groups,  conducting choirs
Areas: East Toronto, Downtown Toronto and Etobicoke

Canadian recording artist Jay Danley is a world-class session musician who contributed instrumentally to multiple Juno award-nominated records (Hilario Duran) and is the featured guitarist on the Juno award-winning (Julian Fauth), blues album of the year release.

Jay has taught the guitar, vocals, drums and piano for many years, to students of all ages in both group and one on one settings. He is passionate about music and likes to share his knowledge with his students as he sees them grow in their craft.

He has performed with a multitude of legendary musicians from around the world. His coveted tenure with British–Canadian jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer Peter Appleyard is a memorable chapter is in his storied career, along with performances with primary members of Buena Vista Social Club and Salsa star Oscar D’León, to name a few. Danley is recognized as one of Canada’s leading Jazz and Latin multiinstrumentalist musicians/composers, who as band leader delivered many memorable performances, at the highly acclaimed “Beaches International Jazz Festival,” performed at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall and graced the stage at the “Barbados Jazz Festival.”

Known as the creator of his own compelling style of “Ethiojazz,” Jay was selected by the “Ontario Arts Council,” in a rigorous juried competition, to receive funds to create his current album release titled “Ethiojazz Volume 1.” The album contains memorable melodies, themes and incredible performances, showcasing tracks that flow from high energy dance music to sweet ballads. A definitive record that captures the true essence of Ethiojazz. His unique stylings are warming the hearts of Jazz fans at numerus concert performances on the southern Ontario Jazz circuit, with some of the most soughafter session players in the region. The group leaves audiences in awe of the Danley trademark fusion of genres, that are a melting pot of five tone scaling Ethiopian Jazz, ‘70’s Soul, World-Jazz Fusion, Afro-Funk and Afro-Cuban music. The Jay Danley Band have performed at many festivals that include; Hamilton World Music Festival, Lulaworld Fest and Small World Music Society festival. Jay is looking at performing at select music industry conferences across North America, garnering further festival bookings, and organizing a national tour across Canada, in the near future.

He has assembled a team of respected industry professionals, that will contribute to an increased level of success, that this ground-breaking recording artist deserves.  

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Jesse Alarcon
Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano
Specialties: Music Therapy, Groups, Competition prep
Areas: Brampton, Georgetown, Caledon

Jesse is a former student of Locomotion Music now turned teacher. He’s been playing the guitar since the age of 12. Over the years, he has developed and honed his passion for music into a full-time career within the arts. He has a full roster of students that he teaches, in addition to running multiple music therapy classes in the Brampton region.

Jesse has had the opportunity to tour and perform outside of the province at age 18, as well as session on a few folk, punk and rock albums. There is no off switch with Jesse. He teaches music therapy, organizes bookings for shows, works as a soundman for live shows, does demo recordings for bands and knows how to play other instruments proficiently. What can’t he do! He’s known for his eccentric personality that can be contagious; a side effect may cause you to keep alert and engaged with a smile on your face. His goal is to help students reach their full potential by encouraging strategies and reaching for milestones to bring students closer to their own personal goals. 

Kristin Ward
Instrument(s): Music Therapist
Specialties: Music Therapy, Groups
Areas: Brampton, Georgetown, Caledon, Etobicoke 

Kristin Ward is a Music Therapist who has extensive knowledge and experience working with seniors in long-term care and a wide variety of populations. She graduated from the University of Windsor with an honours degree in Bachelor of Music Therapy.

She is a vocalist and songwriter who is energetic and passionate about her craft, work and clients. Kristin practices for both a private company and her own and is currently developing community-based programs with a person-centered approach to improve quality of life and mental health for a variety of conditions. 

Mai Khalife

Mai Khalife
Instrument(s): Piano, Trumpet
Specialties: Groups, RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Brampton, Mississauga, Etobicoke                                                  

Lesson Conducted in Arabic (if requested)

Mai has been studying and playing the piano for 13 years, and been teaching for the past 2 years. She teaches all levels of students up to grade 9 & 10. Her meticulous nature has helped many students reach their goals through RCM examinations, and has also helped many students learn to love playing the piano and enjoy playing their favourite music on it.

Mai has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York where she participated in an international youth competition and won. She also plays a few other instruments including the trumpet and clarinet and has participated in various musical acts such as playing the piano to fundraise money for mental health and conducting a music band of 300 musicians.

Mai is a resourceful teacher who sources materials to suit each student. She will often be found motivating and inspiring each individual student and personalizing every student’s experience. Mai is always kind and positive and is a great role model for so many of her students. She looks forward to leading each student on their own musical journey. 

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Sam Migliazza
Instrument(s): Piano, Vocals & Guitar
Specialties: Groups, RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Toronto, Mississauga, Etobicoke

Sam is a vocal graduate of the Humber College Contemporary Music degree program, and has been training in the music fields of jazz, classical, and contemporary for over 8 years. Through his time at Humber, Sam has studied with various musicians, such as Greg Wells (Adele), Rik Emmett (Triumph)Ian Terry (Celine Dion) and Denzel Sinclaire (Diana Krall), learning the ways of songwriting, performance, production, music marketing, and music business.

Sam has also had the opportunity to work with London based producer/songwriter/programmer James Sanger (Madonna, U2, Phil Collins) and has rehearsed and worked with Toronto based Musician/Producer/Songwriter Alan Shiner (Pizza Pizza, Coca Cola, Mariah Carey and Drake). He most recently finished working on his second studio album “Hallelujah Nights” with audio engineer Kevin O’Leary (Tragically Hip, Billy Talent, Shawn Mendes, The Glorious Sons, Walk Off The Earth). Sam was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, there, he started a band with a couple of friends. Singing lead vocals, Maraday Park started to dominate the Thunder Bay music scene. They went on to win The City-Wide Battle of the Bands and open for many numerous touring artists: April Wine, Trooper, Marianas Trench, The Arkells, The Sheepdogs & Said the Wale. Sam also co-wrote 3 original tracks on Thunder Bay Indigenous DJ/producer Classic Roots’ nominated album, Hack The PlanetThese three tracks went on to win a 2015 Indigenous Music Award for Pop album of the year. Sam is very excited to be apart of the Locomotion Music team and can’t wait to inspire other people’s passion for music. 

Sarah Albishara
Instrument(s): Violin
Specialties: Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Brampton, Mississauga

Lessons Conducted in Arabic (if requested)

Sarah has over 10 years experience playing the violin and a few years of teaching violin. She has played with several orchestras. At present, Sarah plays with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, in addition to preparing herself to become a student at The Royal Conservatory Of Music.

Sarah is outgoing and has a deep love for music. She enjoys working with a diverse community of students, especially children who are excited to learn and experience all the joys that music and playing an instrument has to offer. 

Shafagh Davi
Instrument(s): Piano
Specialties: RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: North York, Toronto                                                                            

Lessons Conducted in Farsi (if requested)

Having started classical piano at the age 6, Shafagh developed a great passion for music.  She received formal training and education at York University. She has been composing music since she was 13 and her music has been featured on many public radios.

She enjoys collaborating with musicians from different musical cultures, fusing and creating new sounds, and has also worked with several visual artists exploring the connection between the two mediums. She enjoys teaching piano to different ages especially adults as she believes that nothing has more power than arts in keeping humanity at peace. The lessons are designed to help the students have fun, appreciate music and perform musically regardless of their level of experience.

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Steve Fall
Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass
Specialties: Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: North York, Toronto 

Steve Fall has been playing guitar for 30 years. In the 1990s, Steve played professionally in a band called Acid Test, signed to Sire/Warner Brothers. As a teacher for the past 12 years, Steve brings his passion for music and education to every lesson. He believes that, “everything is a journey and guitar playing should be fun and fulfilling.”

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Brandon Gregory
Instrument(s): Guitar, Piano & Vocals
Specialties: Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Brampton / Mississauga

Brandon Gregory is a university educated musician, who has been performing, recording, and composing music for over ten years. He successfully completed his high school diploma through the schools Regional Arts Program in Instrumental Music. Primarily as a guitar student, Brandon also sung in the school’s competitive chamber choirs, and played saxophone in the school’s competitive big and jazz band ensembles. 

The groups toured around the U.S and Canada, competing against other high schools. Upon receiving a scholarship to study Jazz Guitar at the University of Windsor, Brandon joined the school’s chamber choir in addition to studying under a number of Detroit based guitar professors.

Since graduating university, Brandon has performed hundreds of live performances in and around Ontario, with a number of cover and original bands. He has been writing and recording original material since 2009 and has had the pleasure of working with producers such as Gilby Clarke (Formerly of Guns n Roses) and Norwood Fisher of the band “Fishbone.” Currently, his band “Drop Top Alibi” is recording with five-time Juno award winning producer / song writer, and original “Glass Tiger” drummer, Michael Hanson.

Brandon has been teaching guitar, vocals and piano for a few years at the Montessori Mozarts school in Windsor, House of Chords music school and now Locomotion Music.   He teaches to students of all ages and levels, in addition to working with non-verbal students with autism. 

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Carmen Lamont
Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass & Drums
Specialties: Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Mississauga

Carmen has been playing music since she was a young girl to a prodigious level, studying music from acoustic pop to hard rock. After studying guitar in the Humber Jazz program, Carmen started to follow her dreams and went on the road with her first band. She played with Canadian Rock artists, Maria Delmar of National Velvet, Danny Greaves of The Watchmen and with first Canadian Idol winner, Ryan Malcolm.

With the advantage of playing several instruments, such a drums, bass, some keys, ukulele and guitar, Carmen shares the love of music with students of all ages who are eager to learn and grow.

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Erica Tran
Instrument(s): Piano & Vocals
Specialties: RCM, Choir, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Mississauga/Etobicoke

Erica, originally from Toronto, Ontario holds a Masters of Piano Pedagogy and Piano Performance from Westminster Choir College and a Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Western Ontario; studying under both Professor Ingrid Clarfiel and Professor Gwen Beamish during those years.  President of the New Jersey MTNA Collegiate Chapter 2017-2018, Erica has organized groups of students to assist in the New Jersey State Music Conference as well as the MTNA National Conference in Florida 2018.  She was also the graduate assistant for the Piano Department 2016-2018 at Westminster and worked closely with renowned pedagogy authors Ingrid Clarfield and Phyllis Lehrer.

As an active member of the Symphonic Choir at Westminster, she had the opportunity to perform famous works such as Ravel’s Daphne’s and Chloe with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of conductors Yannick-Nezet-Seguin, Alan Gilbert, and Charles Dutoit.  Erica has performed in Carnegie Hall, David Geffin Hall, and Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

For the past year, Erica has been living in New York City teaching private and group piano to an array of students in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

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Jason He
Instrument(s): Piano, Guitar & Drums
Specialties: RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: North York, Richmond Hill, Markham & Scarborough

Jason is an RCM-certified piano teacher who also teaches drums and guitar. Jason climbed through the ranks of RCM piano to grade 10 with honours, and took lessons in drums and guitar, focusing mainly on tabs and chords across multiple genres. However, he still considers the piano the ultimate instrument and will frequently bring out a keyboard to teach musical theory to ensure students acquire a solid base in music. He’s also familiar with many teaching methods, such as Faber & Faber, Harold, and Suzuki.

Jason picked up music when he was young and started teaching as a teenager. When he isn’t teaching, Jason  is performing – from jazz to pop bands and music production. He believes that everyone should master an instrument, and that jam sessions should be an everyday activity!

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Taylor Barrow
Instrument(s): Piano, Guitar & Music Production
Specialties: Music Production, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: GTA

Taylor Barrow has been involved in music and the Toronto music scene for many years. He started off with piano, attaining his Gr. 9 with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Moving his attention towards guitar he has been playing in bands for over 12 years. He has a degree in Live and Studio Audio Engineering from Metalworks Institute. Recently he has been working as a music producer for local hip hop, indie and dance groups. Taylor is a piano, guitar and music production teacher. He’s an all around super positive guy who loves bringing the best out of budding and experienced producers.

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Peter Schmoll
Instrument(s): Guitar
Specialties:  Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Etobicoke

Peter’s musical background is primarily in touring and recording. As a guitarist and bandleader, he has played in bars and theaters everywhere from Halifax to Victoria.

Presently, he studies jazz guitar at Humber college and teaches music lessons throughout Toronto and the GTA. Peter recognizes the potential for music lessons to be a task-like, nervous event for young students and takes active measures to ensure that his students are learning in a thoughtful and engaging environment.

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Jennifer Masson
Instrument(s): Violin & Piano
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: West Toronto / Etobicoke

Jennifer is a violinist, pianist, musical instructor and all around enthusiast when it comes to music, dance, and the arts. Jennifer is an active member in the music community and has been teaching for 13 years.

She was introduced to music at the tender age of 5 when she began studying the violin. Her interest and joy for music only grew by the age of 7 when she began studying both violin and piano and was performing regularly with the St. Cecilia’s Church Choir. Jennifer’s studies through private lessons took her through examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and by the age of 15, she began teaching both violin and piano. Teaching with the prescribed music syllabus, she has taken over 200 students through their exams with the Royal Conservatory and has aided in the performance of her students with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra & Sounds of Toronto Orchestra.

Working in Toronto as a musician and teacher, she has performed in classical venues such as Koerner Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, as well as performed in bands in different bars across the GTA such as the Dakota Tavern, Cameron House and Local pubs. Jennifer continues to perform weddings and teach in Toronto, volunteering with the Toronto Blues Society where she is an active member, and has orchestrated and managed stages with the Beaches Jazz Festival and Junction Summer Solstice Festival.

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Gary Forbes
Instrument(s): Piano & Vocals
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Toronto

Originally from the Niagara Region, Gary Forbes is a Toronto based freelance pianist, vocal coach, and music teacher, with a passion for the performance of Chamber music and Art song.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Music from Brock University, and a Masters in Music Performance (Collaborative Piano) from the University of Toronto. Principle instructors have included Dr. Chris Foley, Mr. Peter Longworth, and Professor Steven Philcox. Gary has performed in master classes for pianists such as Jon Kimura Parker, Catharine Wilson, Warren Jones, and Michael McMahon.

Gary works actively as a freelance pianist and coach throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as Staff Accompanist at Brock University, Collaborative pianist to the Canadian Men’s Chorus, and Director of Music and Organist at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church (Toronto). Gary is pianist to the Toronto based Tannin Trio and Co-Curator of the Reverberations concert series based in St. Catharines and Oakville.

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Denise Fund
Instrument(s): Piano & Harp
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: North York, Toronto & Vaughan

While earning her Bachelor of Music Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, Denise specialized in classical harp performance. She has 10 years of performance experience and has performed extensively in recitals, operas, chamber groups and orchestra concerts as a harpist and a pianist in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Beijing, and of course Canada! Denise is passionate working with students of all ages and abilities. With experience teaching children with special needs, she can adapt her lesson plans in order to accommodate each individual’s talents and challenges.

As a teacher, Denise enjoys teaching pop, classical and Celtic music. She always creates a fun and encouraging learning environment for all. Not only does she help others develop strong music techniques, she also finds it incredibly rewarding when students are confident and passionate in their playing.

Whether you want to learn piano for the first time, see a harp in real life, to perform at music festivals or to prepare for Royal Conservatory Exams, Denise will adapt to your learning style and help you reach your full music potential, while having remarkable time in each piano/harp lesson!

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Jon Sarmiento
Instrument(s): Piano
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Brampton & Mississauga

Jon began playing the piano at the age of seven. He studied with instructors up to Grade 10 and completed his ARCT piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music. He pursued music at York University, graduating with special Honors in Music and a minor in English.

Jon has been practicing classical repertoire up until his first year of university, after which he began developing improvisational skills in multiple genres of music, but mostly focusing on Jazz.

Jon has been teaching at the Peel Music Academy for 5 years. He has a desire to help students develop their talents and practicing techniques. He can help guide students with their RCM exam prep. When he’s not teaching music, Jon works as Music Director for his church and is involved with various music ministries.

For Jon, it’s important for him to be open and patient with each student and understand their individual needs so he can encourage them to practice their craft and fall in love with playing music.

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Cortney Keywan
Instrument(s): Guitar, Piano & Drums
Specialties:  Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Brampton

Cortney Keywan is an accomplished musician, composer and producer who has been playing music since he was a young child. A guitarist who is adept at many different styles of music including rock, pop, classical, blues, country, world music and jazz, Cortney is also experienced on the production/composition side of music. He has produced and engineered numerous albums oh his own work and other artists’ at his studio in Brampton. In addition to playing in many bands over the last twenty years (The Odysseys, The Vulcan Dub Squad, Space Monster, Modulo Zero), Cortney’s own compositions have been performed at diverse venues in Canada and the United States; from small clubs such as Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern and El Mocambo to bigger venues like Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Cortney has also taught music for over 15 years, specializing in guitar, drums, piano, vocals, theory, sound production, and composition. He began his music education studying with the acclaimed guitarist John Pelosi and “Canada’s Most Recorded Guitarist” Bobby Edwards (Glen Campbell, Gordon Lightfoot, Sonny and Cher, Chet Atkins, CBC’s Tommy Hunter Show and The Friendly Giant).

Holding a Master’s degree in classical music composition as a graduate of Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, Cortney had the great honour and opportunity to study with many modern musical virtuosos. His teachers, who have also worked and studied with the great masters of the past, include composition studies with Michael Gandolfi (Oliver Knussen), John Heiss (Igor Stravinsky, György Ligeti, Milton Babbit), Robert Cogan (Aaron Copland, Nadia Boulanger, Roger Sessions) and John Mallia (Jonathan Harvey). Cortney also graduated from York University’s music program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (magna cum laude). At York, he studied classical guitar performance with Brian Katz (Eli Kassner, Norbert Kraft, Ralph Towner, Trichy Sankaran), new music and composition withMatt Brubeck (Dave Brubeck, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Tom Waits, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie MacMaster, Tracy Chapman), improvisation with Casey Sokol (John Cage, Morton Feldman, Frederic Rzewski, Anthony Braxton, Christian Wolff, Trichy Sankaran), and South Indian drumming with Trichy Sankaran (Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussein, Sri Palani Subramania Pillai). Prof. Sankaran also nominated Cortney for York’s coveted Thyagaraja Award for Karnatak Music.

Cortney has also studied at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, completing Grade 8 in classical guitar and has prepared award winning students for local music competitions and RCM examinations.

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Mike Gennaro
Instrument(s): Drums
Specialties:  Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Mississauga, Etobicoke & West Toronto 

Since 2007, Mike has been offering private drum lessons to beginner, intermediate and advanced students between the ages of 6 and 80! Mike’s eclectic background in performance allows him to easily articulate the role of the drummer in a musical group setting. By placing an emphasis on having fun, encouraging creativity and the sense of improvisation, Mike has connected with all of his students by adapting to their individual styles of learning.

Rather than focusing entirely on technique for its own sake, Mike prefers to work with popular songs, with the goal of placing the material in a musical context. Mike’s teaching setup includes the use of headphones and an app that slows down song tempos. This allows his students the ability to build their ear-training skills, while learning the song at a moderate tempo. Mike encourages his students to grasp the material at their own pace, reassuring them that music is a joy to be experienced, not a race to be won.

Having studied privately with veteran Toronto drum teachers Dave Clark and Rick Gratton, Mike is equally versed in jazz and rock with an affinity for pop, r&b and funk. He has also performed with such diverse artists as Marker Starling, Ray Pearen and Raoul and The Big Time. He has recorded and produced his own original music with his band The Soundtastics. As a jazz musician, Mike has performed throughout Europe and North America with support from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

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Chris Ang
Instrument(s): Piano & Guitar
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Oakville, Mississauga & Brampton

Chris studied piano and guitar performance at York University. During his time at York, he was President of the Guitar Club. As President, he oversaw teaching group lessons where he encouraged a love for music, and helped many beginners play their favorite songs. He organized yearly concerts where they could showcase their guitar skills to a warm and receptive audience. He has gone up to grade 8 RCM and has taught both piano and guitar for 14 years. He has taught many students over the years, ranging from the ages of 6- 50 years old. Chris teaches RCM piano and has prepared students for both theory and practical examinations. Apart from classical music, Chris also enjoys and teaches boogie woogie piano.

At York University, Chris studied guitar performance under the distinguished flamenco player Roger Scannura for 4 years. During his time at York, he  learned pieces from famous flamenco guitarists such as Paco Pena, Paco de Lucia and Sabicas. He also became familiar with the different flamenco rhythms. During his time at York, he participated in the Guitar Ensemble. Moreover, he  teaches and plays rockabilly/blues as well as rock guitar.

Furthermore, Chris studied the fiddle under Sherry Johnson at York University. He learned east coast Canadian fiddle tunes as well as country and western standards. He also plays beginner violin.

Chris’ approach to music education is one where the student’s musical education is nurtured through individualized lessons wherein they are able to learn at their own pace and play the music they enjoy. Through this system of learning, students are able to showcase what they have learned and take pride in their musical accomplishments.

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Jake St. Jean
Instrument(s): Guitar & Bass
Specialties:  Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Mississauga & Brampton

Jake graduated from Humber College with an Honours BMus on the electric bass that focused heavily on performance in commercial music. He received an Honours Certificate in Commercial Jazz Performance. Through his time at Humber, Jake had the privilege of being trained by some of the best musicians in Toronto. Coming from a wide array of different musical backgrounds, his teachers were each able to give him different perspectives and helped shape his approach to music. Jake won the entrance scholarship to the Bachelor of Music program and received the Toronto Musicians’ Association Carne H. Bray Memorial Award in 2018.

Jake took private lessons himself for guitar since the age of ten. By the age of twelve, he also began learning electric bass. He loves teaching and believes that music is one of the most powerful & rewarding tools that one can learn. It enables us to better communicate with one another and teaches us the abilities to be more focused, dedicated, and impassioned in what we do. His goal, no matter what age or level of musicianship one is at, is to make sure that students are having fun.  While patience and hard work goes a long way, we can’t lose sight that we’re all here to enjoy making music.  Jakes believes that all music is valid and worthy of recognition.

Michael S. Head Shot1

Michael Sitana
Instrument(s): Piano, Guitar & Bass
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Oakville, Mississauga & Brampton

For Michael, music has always been a fundamental passion in his life. He started playing RCM piano at the age 8 and guitar at age 16. Ever since he picked up a guitar, he has been performing in live rock bands and collaborating for numerous musical projects. Michael has been teaching guitar, RCM piano, bass and beginner drums for 8 years. His music tastes range from rock to classical to reggae, jazz, motown, metal, punk and dance. His favorite guitar influences are Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.

Michael also plays in a female fronted progressive altrock metal band, called POLARITY (www.polaritymusic.com). They have opened for big bands like Sum 41, The Agonist, New Years Day, The Creepshow, Sumo Cyco, Kittie and The Flatliners. They have 4 studio albums, one of which was worked on with Canadian Grammy winning producer David Bottrill (TOOL, Rush, Godsmack).

Jessica Laird
Instrument(s): Piano & Vocals
Specialties:  RCM, Recital and Competition Prep
Areas: Etobicoke, Toronto 

At a young age Jessica began her journey through the Royal Conservatory of Music program and achieved her level 8 classical piano, graduating with honours. She also starred in local hometown plays and was apart of the Milton Youth Choir where she traveled to different parts of Ontario.

She is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree program at Humber College where she is studying voice and fine tuning her ear training, sight reading, and performance skills. The course allows her ample knowledge inrecording technologies, production, songwriting and composition in jazz, pop, and R&B, and the ability to work one-on-one with some of the best musicians Toronto has to offer. In 2015 Jessica completed the Early Childhood Education program at Sheridan College. There she learned how to support children’s learning, development, theories, approaches, and how to adapt to the current issues of childhood development.

With 5 years of private teaching under her belt Jessica is excited to offer specialized lessons tailored to each students needs and goals. She feels comfortable teaching students age 5 to late adulthood anything from rock, pop, alternative, R&B, jazz, and classical. She is confident and excited to share this knowledge with her students.

Are you a teacher looking to join our team? Contact us to discuss teaching opportunities at Locomotion Music.