Teachers

Karen Aitken

Director

My vision to have a music school that made a difference in the lives of everyone of any age began over 25 years ago! GROWING WITH MUSIC- helps  concentration, confidence, co-ordination, memory and learning.  I am a graduate of the prestigious Humber College music program and the Royal Conservatory Of Music.  After Humber, I joined as educational representative of Roland Canada Music and subsequently became a partner of an entertainment consultant company in Toronto. I have obtained Music For Young Children certificates for all levels and completed requirements to teach Kindermusik along with ongoing professional development. Throughout many years of teaching, as a director for a Mississauga music school and a member of the Humber College Children's music school faculty, I have gained considerable insights into all aspects of music education. I am proud to have been a longtime member of the Not So Grand Players: a musical theatre non profit group which has donated 80,000 back to the community. As a musician I have performed at various functions from weddings to funerals to daycares.  After all this time I still enjoy spreading the magic of music to my students and parents, and to watch my students GROWING WITH MUSIC!

Shirley is a registered music teacher with ORMTA (Ontario Registered
Music Teacher), specializing in Music for Young Children. She's taught
privately for over 45 years and MYC for over 25 years.

Shirley has a vast array of experiences that make her a great teacher: teaching workshops in schools, directing numerous bell choirs and voice choirs, and even being a singer in choirs, solos, trios, and quartets! She also works in summer day camps as well as music therapy programs!

Shirley has also been a past president of ORMTA (Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association), previous West Central representative for the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers (OGEHR), and even chaired the Education Comittee with OGEHR!


Teaching piano to the young or young at heart is her passion: RCM
classics or recreational including pop, jazz, blues, theory or composing
your own music.


"I encourage and prepare my students to enter festivals, exams, recitals.
I look forward to teaching your child on their musical journey.
Play On!"

Shirley Jemmett
Ruth Balyta
Ruth is an experienced educator, music instructor, and music performer.  She completed her undergraduate degree in music at the University of Western Ontario and refined her pedagogical training with a Bachelors Degree in Education from the University of Windsor.  At McGill University in Montreal she further developed her educator status with a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology.  She is a registered school teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers and a certified instructor with the Royal Conservatory of Music.  For the past twenty years Ruth has taught various instrumental programs at the elementary, middle-school and high school levels as well as developed a private instruction practice in Ontario and Quebec.  Ruth’s students regularly accomplish excellent achievements in music festivals, and some advancing to provincial finals.  Her students also prepare for RCM exams with many achieving first class honours marks.

Ruth is an active performer with participation in symphony orchestras, chamber groups, string quartets, as well as several cultural, popular and contemporary groups in Ontario and Quebec.  She presently performs with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and two string quartet groups in the area.  Ruth is a dedicated and passionate music professional with a talent for and a commitment to music education.

Gayle has been teaching for 16 years and has her level two in Artist Educator Professional Training. She has completed the Learning Through the Arts program with the Royal Conservatory of Music, studied through a 2-year Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College and under multiple private coaches, as well as received Honours on her Grade 3 Singing Examination through the Royal Conservatory of Music.

 

With the songwriting experience from five albums worth of original music: Gayle has taught workshops on the fundamentals of good songwriting and hosted her own cable television show featuring songwriters.

Gayle feels that the ukulele is the cutest instrument in the world; perfect for small hands and teaching reading skills to beginners. She also believes that singing is a way to creatively express yourself by developing good technique, so, bad habits don’t hold you back.

Guitar is Gayle’s favourite instrument for performing although she also plays the mandolin for a variety in sound. "Classical, electric, and Spanish guitars all have their own sound and inspire very different styles of playing" she says. Gayle teaches how to sight read sheet music and tablature, and a variety of strumming, as well as the theory behind the structure of chords.

Gayle Ackroyd Gibson
Rachel Brown

Rachel has been playing and enjoying music for as long as she can remember, starting in Kindermusik and continuing through Music for Young Children. After years of private lessons, she completed her Royal Conservatory of Music grade 8 piano and advanced theory. She enjoyed teaching private lessons and watching her students grow for four years as a high school student. She has also enjoyed performing with the Not So Grand Player, and being involved with school choirs and musicals. She spent the last four years pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy at McMaster University, and will be continuing on to a Master's degree at Western this fall.

Rachel looks forward to being back at Performance Studios next summer helping with the Summer Music Camps!

My name is Suzanne Flewelling.

I am the Music Animator at Melville United Church and Pianist and Choir Director at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Alma, Ontario. I have achieved my Grade 10 piano and coordinates with the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario.

As a musician, I have been the past Pianist/Choir Director for 15 years at Bethany United Church, Ariss, Ontario and St. Thomas Catholic, Harriston, Ontario. In addition, I had also accompanied many musical groups and choirs in the community such as The Hill Top Singers in Fergus, Ontario.

I very much enjoy each of my musical occupations and I am thrilled to be the Pianist/Director at St. Andrew’s and be part of the musical team at Melville United Church and Performance Studios!

Suzanne Flewelling
Alex Gulino
Alex has been playing music for 20 years, focusing mainly on drums throughout his youth, and many instruments along the way including guitar, bass, and various percussion and string instruments.
He has had experience teaching, as well as playing in multiple bands and solo studio drumming.
"Rock On."

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