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Fostering The Love of Music Through Performance and Education

Extended Biography

about1

I’m often asked how I got my start on the guitar, and my answer over the years hasn’t much changed – I grew up in a home where music was a part of the everyday experience, so I truthfully can’t remember a time when music was not a part of my life. Growing up in Windsor, Ontario, there was a rich artistic culture just waiting to be explored.

I started taking piano lessons very young with my mother, who was a prolific concert pianist and teacher. My father was an orchestral cellist, so from very early on, I became accustomed to seeing and hearing wonderful musicians, playing wonderful music. I have vivid memories of sitting under the piano while my mother practiced, of hearing my father play the Bach cello suites, and seeing eager students filter in and out of the house.

The guitar appeared in my life at around the age of six, under mysterious circumstances. But whatever they were, I seemed to have taken to it like a moth to a flame. From even that early age, I became instantly addicted to what this box with strings could do… From the sound of a plucked string, to fingers tapping on the body and strumming, the idea that I could create sound from the direct physical contact of my fingers on the strings was a revelation for me!

As I got into later childhood and my early teens, my thirst for musical exploration brought me to the electric guitar, and learning the ins and outs of Rock, R & B, Blues and even a little Jazz. Like a lot of young guitarists at the time, I really hadn’t formally studied music very much, outside of recorder class in grade school. Much of what I had learned was self-taught. My favourite pass-time was playing along with recordings of guitarists and bands that I admired.

As I got into my mid-teens, however, the unthinkable happened… I hit the proverbial musical “wall”! I had been playing for a long while with a couple bands and other musicians, learning how to improvise, and be an expressive blues guitarist… but I wanted MORE!

Both my parents were classically-trained musicians, but it had never really occurred to me to give it a try. That is, not until after attending a summer music camp on the western shore of lake Simcoe…

After hearing me play, and anticipating where my musical ambitions were inevitably taking me, the head of the guitar faculty recommended that I begin training on classical guitar with a fellow colleague. That single, seemingly insignificant act, changed my outlook on what music, teaching, performing and LIFE could be! The flood-gates opened and the rest, as they say, is history!

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