Music Lessons and Music Therapy

Dear students and parents,

Thank you for joining us for music lessons this year. We’re are very pleased to see and hear all the wonderful progress being made, and the fun being had while learning new songs and developing skills.

There’s a couple of things to discuss as we look at the coming month and January, 2015.

Winter Concert: Sunday Dec 7 at 3:00

Students have been invited to participate in our Winter Concert, and some have taken us up on the offer. In our approach we offer, but don’t force anyone to perform if they are not comfortable or feeling ready to share something.

For those students who have said yes, we look forward to hearing you play on Sunday. It’s held at St Matthias Church Hall, Dec 7 at 3:00. Doors open at 2:30, 5.00 admission at the door.

Parents, please do check with your daughter or son to confirm if they haven’t already mentioned it to you.

It is a very relaxed and informal presentation, and for those who are not performing this time, you are welcome to come anyway. It’s a good time and informative to those who wonder what it all looks like! The Rockshop Band students will be performing, followed by individuals on piano, voice, ukulele and guitar. Show length: Approx 1 - 1 ½ hours

FYI, there are also two dates in June for the Spring Concerts, June 7 and 14, so there is opportunity to share some music then. It usually is the case for students who feel it’s too early in the season for them to have a piece ready to perform now. So the June dates are a good option, allowing more time to prepare and have more music to choose from in looking back over the year’s work.

For those performing, I will follow up directly to students and parents with confirmation once the final list is in Friday. Thank you for your support in being there!

Music Therapy

It’s been a pleasure to welcome Joel Kroeker to our group of teachers. Joel’s an accredited music therapist and clinical counselor, with a focus on Ethno-musicology. He’s also an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter, and as an artist is signed to True North Records.

He and his partner are new to Victoria but finding their footing in Victoria’s community both professionally and socially.

I invite any of you who have the need for counseling or music therapy, especially for children, disabled or elderly family, to contact us. We would be most happy to put you in contact with Joel and to talk about how he can help. Music is a powerful medium, and using the skills of music therapy can bring about big changes and openings for people struggling with communication, physical pain, emotional distress, or autism.

Not only is Joel a very capable music therapist, he’s offered to instruct a Ukulele Group. Starting mid January. It’s an adult (all ages of adultness) beginners group designed to bring out our natural ability to have a musical conversation, even if we have limited knowledge or experience with an instrument. This translates to furthering your exploration of Ukulele and opens the door to trying a different instrument later on. A very light-hearted and engaging time!

Guitar Workshops

Paul Mowbray has been running workshops with us for 5 years now, and they continue to be inspiring learning experiences. He’s covered the styles of specific musicians, sharing what makes their individual approaches unique and distinctive.

This year the focus is on you. We’ve discovered and discussed the need to draw beginner and intermediate guitarists out of their practice realm and into the playing realm. (Also known as Jamming!)

Having the experience of playing with others is a lot of fun and is very informative for development, and we encourage guitar students to play together whenever possible. This workshop is one such opportunity. Teens and adults are welcome, there’s a part for everyone!

First workshop in 2015 - Classic Country Guitar

Jan 17 thru Feb 7 ( 4 Saturdays )

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Max 6 participants,

Instructors: Paul Mowbray , w/ Lonny Koch assisting.


Applying Music Theory (to what we play)

Ian McElroy, one of our esteemed Bass teachers, is offering to share his extensive knowledge of music theory. This course will take place on Wednesdays after school, Jan 14 to Jun 3, and will consist of 20, one hr. classes.

For many students, incorporating theory in an in depth way during their lesson time is just about impossible. Eyes glaze and minds wander to ponder the last text their friend sent…most students just want to work on what they’re learning and move forward to the next song that they want to learn. This isn’t a criticism, it’s a legitimate way of learning, and one that we support fully.

However, there is something valuable to understanding more…and Ian’s passion for sharing the way theory exemplifies the many combinations of notes and chords, rhythms and dynamics is infectious. When they are willing to get into this topic, his students go away with an expanded understanding of what they are doing, and the historical connection that it has.

If you have a compulsive curiosity for knowing ‘why and what’, this course of study will broaden your understanding and knowledge, and it applies to any instrument.

Please do ask if you have any questions for Ian, or me. 

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