NEW! Year-long group music course

I’ve been providing comprehensive group music classes to home-schooled students since 2016, and many of these parents as well as parents with children attending school out of the home have contacted me for support regarding the fact that options like music are cut from the curriculum during our current crisis.

I am now offering year-long super afforable program that follows the rubric of the Alberta Education music curriculum, with assessments and concerts. You can register per module (theory, recorder, ukulele, guitar, keyboard, digital mixing) or stay all year to learn it all. An afternoon option for home-schooled students, and an evening or weekend option for in-school students.

Here’s a link to the course overview for easy download – please contact me with questions and to register.


  • Take individual units or enrol for a term at a time.
  • We meet for 1 hour a week on Thursday afternoons at the Shawnessy Barn.
  • Small class size.
  • Detailed practice instructions & teacher follow-up facilitate set-up of home practice discipline.
  • Classes are held in person and can easily switch to online format as public health orders dictate.
  • Evaluations according to the Alberta Education music rubric are provided.
  • Price $50/mo per student or $70 for the 4-5 week modules and $120 for the 8 week modules. Family discounts available.
  • Each module includes written homework to support the technique development, with demo videos/recordings as required to assist home practice.
  • Each module includes a written / practical assessment.
  • Each terms concludes with a concert where students can showcase their work.
  • Grouped by age: 6-8, 9-11, 12+ (unless families need siblings all together in one class regardless of age.)
  • Requirements: parent or older sibling to supervise practice for children 8 & younger; printer at home for materials, access to internet for support videos & online requirements if needed, access to email for timely communicating; regular at-home scheduling to ensure homework and practice are completed.



Both terms will train singing & choral basics each week for 15 minutes. Outcomes include understanding and practising correct breathing and singing technique, articulation, communication, practice of choral rounds, and performance at two concerts.

Module 2 MUSIC BASICS (4 weeks: September 8 – October 5, 2020)

  • Introduction to music notation
  • Introduction to rhythm.
  • Music analysis & composition – students practice writing, notating if possible, and recording their songs.

Outcome: students understand and read basic music notation in treble/bass clef and rhythm, understand song structure and demonstrate ability to interpret and/or create lyrics/melody.

Module 3: RECORDER ( 5 weeks: October 13- November 6, 2020)

  • Songbook provided but purchase of recorder required. (~$10 for a good quality instrument available from local music store) or loan from instructor.
  • Introduction to recorder posture, technique.
  • In-class study of several short songs.

Outcome: students play at least ten 3, 4 or 5 note songs with correct technique and rhythm.

Module 4: UKULELE (8 weeks: November 9- December 14, 2020)

  • Songbook ($10) and ukulele (~$30-$100) purchase required.
  • Introduction to history and uses of ukulele technique, posture.
  • Introduction to “lead’ work on string instruments (playing melodies)
  • Introduction to “rhythm work” on string instruments- chords, strumming patterns.

Outcome: students play learn foundations & nomenclature, play several basic folk melodies in first position and sing-play 3-5 songs in various strumming patterns.

WINTER CONCERT – week of December 16 – ensemble and solo performance for students to share music with their families and friends. Location south Calgary, TBD.


Two streams offered for the second term.

  • Stream 1 repeats the curriculum of Term 1. Stream 1 is open to new students and also students who would like extra practice on the basics rather than moving on to new material.
  • Stream 2 follows the curriculum noted below:


Module 5 : REVIEW & PERFORMANCE (4 weeks January 4 – January 29, 2021)

  • Music theory – rhythm, notation, analysis
  • Recorder – review of songbook
  • Ukulele – review of melody & sing-play

Outcome: students reprise and improve on previous levels at written music, and technique/fluidity recorder and ukulele, with emphasis on performance; each week students will showcase 1 song analysis, 1 new recorder song and 1 new ukulele song either melody or sing/play. Students practice giving and receiving constructive performance to their peers.

Module 6: INTRO TO GUITAR ( 8 weeks – Feb 1 – Apr 2, 2021)

  • Songbook ($10) and guitar purchase / rental required. Instructor has a couple instruments for loan also.
  • Introduction to history and uses of guitar technique, posture.
  • Introduction to “lead’ work and playing several melodies.
  • Introduction to “rhythm work”- basic chords, strumming patterns, sing-play.

Outcome: students learn foundations & nomenclature of the guitar, play several basic & blues melodies in first position, several technical exercises (scales & chord progressions), and sing-play 3-5 songs in first position.

Module 7: INTRO TO KEYBOARDS/PIANO (6 weeks – April 5 – May 14, 2021)

  • Home keyboard/piano required for practice.
  • Instructor provides music & support videos / recordings.
  • Introduction to reading music at the keyboard
  • Introduction to playing music with chords.
  • Ear training / sight-reading development.

Outcomes – students learn keyboard / piano foundations & posture, basic reading in C position and middle C position, basic chording & patterns, and technical work (pentascales and triads).

Module 8: SONGWRITING & RECORDING (4 weeks: May 18, 2021 – June 18, 2021)

  • Basics of songwriting- standard pop & blues architecture.
  • Songwriting assignments
  • Weekly performance opportunities for students to share their work.
  • Review of freeware technology for recording & editing music.

Outcome: students understand the pop/blues “formula” and collaborate or create solo work, recorded & mixed on a mobile device / laptop.

SPRING CONCERT – Week of June 21, 2021 held in south Calgary; location TBD. Students have an opportunity to showcase their solo or collaborative work.