I began playing fiddle at the age of nine. For almost 30 years, I have been touring and recording with various songwriters and recording artists, like Dean Brody, Jason McCoy, George Canyon, Richard Marx, and Colin James. While I grew up in Waterloo, music has allowed me to travel around the world and meet and interact with many wonderful audiences, musicians, and artists. I have lots of first-hand experience working in the music industry, both in live performance, in the studio, and teaching. I am a seven-time Canadian Country Music Association award winner and a proud inductee into the CCMA Musicians Hall of Honour. I also hold a Master of Arts in Community Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, where my research focused on helping string improvisors overcome fear and creating safe space learning environments for musical risk taking and creative growth.
While I have experience in many different styles of music, I was raised playing traditional fiddle music, and I am very comfortable playing and teaching many of the subgenres in this field, including old time, bluegrass, western swing, swing, jazz, Texas style and Celtic. I also teach techniques like improvisation and rhythm chop. Whether music is your career path or just something for your own personal enjoyment, playing with others makes music more fun and enhances learning, so I also host monthly fiddle jams right here at LAMA.
Teaching Improvisation for Strings through the Laurier Academy of Music and Arts is something I am very passionate about. The ability to improvise is such a valuable skill for any musician, and I love watching string players discover this new-found freedom with their instrument. I have also worked as a para-professional with the Waterloo District School Board, Toronto District School Board, and various camps, doing workshops with aspiring string students, and have led clinics and demonstrations for various music retailers and instrument manufactures.
I still tour and record extensively and I believe this hands-on experience makes me a better teacher, as I am constantly learning.
Playing a musical instrument requires some hard work. However, what you can gain from this experience can be literally life-changing. No matter your age or skill level, music can bring so much joy. I look forward to helping you in your musical journey.