Current Teachers (Fall 2023)
From a musical family, Evan began playing guitar in 1995, and has been studying privately with jazz guitarist and educator Gary Benson since 2000. Evan received the Departmental Music Award from W.A Porter Collegiate in 2002.
Evan completed the four year Humber College Jazz Studies program with honors in 2006. He has also completed the Royal Conservatory of Music requirements in Theory Rudiments and Basic Harmony (2009/2010). Evan continues to study, and to perform whenever possible.
Guitarist Peter Albis has been a professional musician for 30 years composing and performing in the classical, rock, jazz, latin and flamenco styles. He has extensive private teaching experience in individual and group instruction in theory and performance through the Continuing Education Programs of the TDSB and with private music schools. He is an affiliated teacher with The Royal Conservatory of Music. Peter has studied flamenco guitar with masters Julio Vallejo and Jose Chuscales, classical guitar with Dan Beckerman and John Perrone, and jazz guitar with Mike Roberts. He studied theory and harmony at The Royal Conservatory of Music. Peter works to create good communication with students and parents.
Pianist, guitarist, lutenist, composer and singer Benjamin Stein has performed with Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, Opera Atelier, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Masque Theatre and Soundstreams Canada.
He is currently completing a PhD at York University on the re-emerging art of improvisation in classical music.
An associate music director at Metropolitan United Church of Toronto, he has written articles on music and culture for the Toronto Star and Wholenote Magazine.
Joseph Hsieh was born in Taiwan and started to learn the piano at the age of 5. He attended an arts high school in Taipei, Taiwan where he studied piano and voice. After completing high school, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree. He has taught piano to children for many years in both Taiwan and Canada. He joined Springboard to Music five years ago and has enjoyed working with the students ever since.
Joseph’s other musically related activities include working as a freelance recording engineer and singing professionally with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto.
Gordon Brown/Dianne Ball
Piano and Voice
Gordon Brown and Dianne Ball teach piano and voice lessons at Springboard to Music and leverage long careers of performing and teaching experience.
Due to scheduling requirements for Fall 2023, Gordon and Dianne switch occasionally to deliver lessons.
Drums and Percussion
As of September 2023, lessons are no longer offered by Phyllis Coulter (Piano), Derek Gray (Percussion), or Cathy Lambert (Piano).
Brad Lovatt has been part of the Toronto music scene for many years, becoming a sought after keyboard/ vocalist and indispensable side musician for many groups. A musicians’ musician, Brad works full time as a musician. Brad moved to Toronto in 1981 from his hometown of Winnipeg after studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has worked with Kim Mitchell, Jeff Healey, Wayne Newton, Ralph Cole and Dan Clancy (Lighthouse), Greg Godovitz (Goddo), backed Jose Feliciano and has appeared on The Mike Bullard Show [w/Goddo]. He was the featured vocalist on jingles for Weetabix, Brio and Cam Motors, and has recorded background vocals for Canadian Idol. He worked with classic rockers Fludd. [ Cousin Mary, Turned 21, Get Up, Get Out, Move On], recently playing with Fludd on their ‘comeback’ CD FLUDD LIGHTS.
Juan Carlos Medrano
Music & Movement, Hand Drums
Juan Carlos Medrano started his journey in Canada in 2006 when he arrived from Colombia. He was soon inspired to create a new and unique blend of the powerful folkloric rhythms and sounds of the Colombian North coast, with electronic beats, R&B, as well as pop.
A graduate of Humber College’s acclaimed Bachelor of Music program, Juan Carlos has had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the top musicians in Canada, such as Juno award winners Hilario Duran and Jesse Cook, Larnell Lewis, Mark Kelso, Roberto Occhipinti, Chendy de Leon, Luis Mario Ochoa, to name a few. The diversity of his music performance experience has allowed him to work with many different musicians in a variety of musical styles including Jazz, Latin, Funk, R&B, Pop, Rock, and Klezmir. Recently, Juan Carlos has had the wonderful opportunity to play percussion for Juno Award Winner Jesse Cook for parts of his 2015/2016 “One World Tour” in the U.S. and Canada.
Nicole has starred in many operatic roles including Musetta (La Boheme), Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), Blonde (Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail), Gabrielle (La Vie Parisienne) , Sister Genevieve (Suor Angelica), Norina (Don Pasquale), Pamina (Magic Flute) and Susanna (Nozze di Figaro). She has also completed school tours of the Canadian opera, The Brothers Grimm, as well as Hansel and Gretel (as Gretel).
Recordings include the role of Donna in Handel’s Rinaldo (Naxos) and Purcell’s Theatre Music (Naxos), with the Aradia Ensemble under the baton of Kevin Mallon.
She completed a master’s degree in Voice Performance at the University of Western Ontario, studying under Ted Baerg and Irena Welhasch. On a scholarship from the DAAD, Nicole traveled to Germany, learning the language and studying with Arthur Janzen at the Köln Conservatory. Mary Morrison, Ben Butterfield, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielson and Nancy Argenta have also been influential in her vocal development. Prior to postgraduate studies, Nicole completed an Artist’s Diploma in Voice and a B.A. in music and theatre.
In 2016, we congratulated Celia McGuinness for receiving John McKay's annual Volunteer Recognition Award. Springboard To Music would like to thank Celia for the endless hours she has put in during her last 10 years that helped making Springboard To Music a success.