EXPERIENCED MUSIC INSTRUCTORS IN CALGARY
If you want to learn how to play an acoustic guitar, a ukulele, or a bass guitar, visit Cornerstone Music Café for music lessons. We have an experienced team of music instructors in Calgary whose musical training ranges from classical to metal and everything in between. Our guitar and ukulele lessons are also enhanced by the opportunity to perform with other musicians. You can either jam in a rock band setting or perform solo in our recitals. For more information about our music lessons, give us a call now.
BARRY MASON - GUITAR, UKULELE, AND BASS
Barry Mason is a local musician and music educator who has been active in the Canadian music scene for over 10 years. He has been a contributing member of bands such as Lynn Olagundoye, Amelie Patterson, Kate Stevens, and Sweet Barry Wine, as well as a supporting member of over 20 other groups in the Canadian scene. He is an avid festival performer, having played Calgary Reggaefest, Calgary Carifest, Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, Canmore Folk Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, POP Montreal, Real Love Winnipeg, and Sled Island. He was recently recognized by the Calgary Herald as one of the “Most Compelling Calgarians” and has participated as a clinician and speaker at TEDx Calgary. After hours, you can likely hear Barry’s laugh at a plethora of live music venues around the city. Seriously, you’ll recognize it.
AARON SHORR - GUITAR AND UKULELE
With nearly two decades of experience as a performer and teacher, Aaron Shorr is a renowned figure in the world of music. His passion for the guitar, coupled with his extensive training and diverse musical background, has shaped him into a versatile and accomplished musician. Aaron's musical journey began with his studies at Humber College in Toronto and The University of Manitoba, where he honed his craft and developed a deep understanding of music theory and performance. To further enrich his skills, he sought guidance from acclaimed jazz guitar icons such as Miles Okazaki, Bruce Forman, Jonathan Kreisberg, and Tom Guarna through private study.
His expertise as a guitarist has led him to collaborate with esteemed institutions and artists. Aaron served as a sessional instructor at The University of Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University, sharing his knowledge and nurturing the next generation of musicians. Additionally, he held a faculty position at International Music Camp, where he inspired and mentored students from around the world. Aaron's talents extend beyond academia. He has graced the stage alongside the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and showcased his skills as the musical director for the captivating production "Still Crazy: The Music of Paul Simon." Recently, he achieved a significant milestone with the release of his debut album, "Omand's Creek," a testament to his artistic vision and dedication.
As an experienced teacher, Aaron caters to students of all levels, from beginners embarking on their musical journey to advanced college-level guitarists seeking further refinement. His approach emphasizes essential skills such as ear training, music appreciation, rhythm, technique, and repertoire development. Aaron's diverse background enables him to seamlessly navigate various genres, including jazz, rock, pop, and folk, ensuring a well-rounded and comprehensive musical education for his students. Whether on stage or in the classroom, Aaron Shorr's passion for music shines through his performances and teaching. With his expertise, dedication, and unwavering commitment to musical excellence, he continues to inspire and uplift aspiring musicians, helping them unlock their full potential. Get ready to embark on a transformative musical journey with Aaron Shorr – a true virtuoso, mentor, and advocate of the guitar.
KEITH WATSON - GUITAR, BASS, AND UKULELE
Keith started teaching himself piano at the age of 6 but realized at the age of 15 that piano wasn’t going to get him the girls, so he quickly switched to guitar. After learning every possible Led Zeppelin note he could, he started teaching music at the age of 17. A few short years later, he decided to take up a classical guitar because, well, it sounded harder than what he was playing. (And, he already found his girl…. thanks U2 Desire). Keith completed his Royal Conservatory studies and made the switch back to rock and roll, jazz, blues, folk and more contemporary styles, picking up the bass, mandolin, ukulele, and didgeridoo along the way. After almost 40 years of teaching, he has an even stronger belief that “Learning has to be fun.” Oh yeah, Keith has been on stage with such greats as Randy Bachman, Loverboy, Trooper, Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy, Northern Pikes, Big Sugar, Colin James, and the list goes on.
BRIAN VOLKE - GUITAR, UKULELE, AND MANDOLIN
Brian Volke has been playing guitar since the age of nine. Inspired by the Monkees, he wrote his first song in Grade Three. Since then, his musical wanderings have led him through rock and country and into Celtic folk and back to rock again. He is the lead singer and main guitarist for the roots band My Son Ted. Their most recent CD is entitled “Carmel’s Parlour.” Brian also likes to play solo and has found his songwriting to be going in all sorts of different directions. He’s been working on a new album which will be filled with quirky songs about people he knows and people he imagines he knows! In his musical lifetime, Brian has performed at the Regina Folk Festival, opened for the Irish descendants and the chieftains, and best of all, has been backed up by Rik Emmett of Triumph. Brian has over twenty years of experience teaching guitar, mandolin, and ukulele in individual and group settings. He is also an elementary school teacher with the Calgary Catholic School District.
KAT HAMMER - CLASSICAL GUITAR & BAROQUE GUITAR
Kat Hammer is a seasoned classical guitarist with a lifelong passion for the instrument. With years of experience under her belt, she has dedicated herself to mastering the art of playing the guitar, particularly the baroque guitar since 2011.
Kat's musical journey began at a young age, and she has since honed her skills and expertise through countless hours of practice and performance. Her dedication to the guitar is evident in her exceptional technique and deep understanding of the instrument. As a guitarist, Kat possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience that she is eager to share with aspiring musicians. She understands the intricacies of the baroque guitar and can guide students through the nuances and techniques specific to this style. Her lessons are tailored to each student's needs, whether they are beginners or experienced players looking to refine their skills.
Kat's approach to teaching emphasizes a strong foundation in music theory, technique, and musical interpretation. She believes in fostering a well-rounded musical education that encompasses not only technical proficiency but also creativity and expression. With Kat as your guide, you can expect a supportive and encouraging learning environment. Her passion for the guitar is contagious, and she is dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential. Whether you're a beginner eager to strum your first chords or an experienced guitarist looking to delve into the captivating world of baroque guitar, Kat Hammer is the perfect instructor to help you achieve your musical goals.
DYLAN SCHORN - GUITAR, BASS & DRUMS
Dylan is a multi-instrumentalist with years of experience in digital audio recording. He has played guitar and bass in local bands for over 10 years and has toured western Canada twice. With musical influences that include The Beatles, Nirvana, and Sum 41, Dylan strives to incorporate a variety of styles to create unique music and experimental sounds. Completing a Bachelor of Arts in music theory from the University of Calgary, Dylan is proficient in both the intricacies of classical western music theory and the practical skills of popular music.
CHRIS TAYLOR - GUITAR, UKULELE & THEORY
Chris has been making noise since he was a farm kid in Saskatchewan. His earliest influences came from AM radio along with his mom and older cousins’ record collections: The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, Joplin, Hendrix, The Ventures, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, and Metallica. A lot has changed over the years, but his love for music has been the one constant. He moved to Edmonton in his teens to attend the University of Alberta and formed his first band, continuing to study music technique, theory, and composition. Having now made Calgary home, his musical endeavours include being bandleader/composer for The 427’s, guitarist for The Torchettes, as well as a guitar/ukulele/theory teacher with Cornerstone Music Cafe. His favourite colour is red, and when he’s not musically engaged, he can be found surfing, snowboarding, and riding his motorcycle into the sunset.
DAVID LAVOIE - GUITAR & TRUMPET
David is a trumpet player, guitarist, composer, and educator in Calgary. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz from Capilano University. He began studying trumpet in his teens, which led him to major in trumpet studies in university. He has also studied guitar for 11 years from age 12, and it has remained his secondary instrument throughout his degree with classical, rock, and jazz guitar styles continuing to be a focus in his musical career. As an educator, David has taught guitar and trumpet at studios throughout the lower mainland in BC and enjoys sharing his passion for music with students of all ages, abilities and levels. He believes that students all learn differently and that in addition to helping students through the various elements of advancing their musicality, a teacher is also there to help students learn how to effectively practice (so that they may achieve these goals when they are away from the studio). David’s lessons are tailor-made to each student to ensure they may advance in the areas they are focused on while at the same time diversifying their skills.
TOM LEBLANC - GUITAR, UKULELE & THEORY
Tom LeBlanc has been teaching guitar in Calgary for over 15 years, and has helped hundreds of students achieve their musical goals. With over two decades of professional guitar playing under his belt, he offers lessons to students of all ages and skill levels, framed around the student's choice from dozens of genres and styles.
Tom has played in countless local bands over the years, notably playing in tribute bands for Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, a 90's cover band, and dozens of original/indie projects, including lead guitar duties for Bebe Buckskin. With extensive experience in recording studios, session work, and a deep knowledge of gear and equipment, and great expertise with music theory and history, Tom helps students to immerse themselves in their instrument and truly enjoy music.
As a teacher, Tom is patient and passionate, consistent and thorough. The focus is always on the student's progress and engagement. Tom seeks to inspire his students to always be excited about practicing and playing their instrument.
JARED HARTY - GUITAR & BASS
Jared Harty is a guitarist and bassist from Medicine Hat. He started playing guitar over 20 years ago when he started learning from his grandpa at the age of 6. He has a Music Degree from the University of Lethbridge, years of private guitar lessons, and played in the high school band. He has many musical influences, but some favourites include Iron Maiden, Alan Jackson, In Flames, and Brooks & Dunn. Jared produces and records music and loves helping others express themselves through their own music. Outside of music Jared is a sports fan (Flames and Riders) and loves reading.
BEN TIZZARD - GUITAR & UKULELE
Ben Tizzard has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Ambrose University in Jazz Guitar. Ben started playing at the age of 13 and has never thought twice about dedicating his time to studying and performing the guitar. He was a finalist for the Stampede Talent Show, performed as the guitarist in the Badlands Passion Play, and is honoured to have studied with leading Calgary musicians — Ralf Bushmeyer, Neil McVey, Stefano Valdo, Pat Belliveau, and Aaron Young. He’s even studied under the Calgary-based Flamenco guitarist Holly Blazina.
Ben enjoys participating in local jams/open mics in various venues across town and has performed at Calgary’s favourite venues such as the Ironwood Stage and Grill, Café Koi, SAIT Jubilee Auditorium, Mount Royal University, University of Calgary, Lolita’s Lounge, Hyatt Hotel, Ambrose University, and many more.
TOM SEJK - PIANO, GUITAR, BASS & DRUMS
Tom is a versatile veteran instructor. With 20 years of teaching experience under his belt, this straight shooter has methods to suit a variety of interests. For those seeking a classical approach, Tom has RCM Grade 10 in piano, and for those looking to explore Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Country, or even the obscure, he can mentor students on several different instruments!
When he’s not teaching, Tom can be found composing, practicing, or even simply listening to music. (It’s a real passion!) Other interests include reading, writing, playing pool, or having a bite and watching the game!
ROLI MACK - GUITAR, UKULELE & BEGINNER PIANO
Roli Mack is an Alberta musician with decades of experience as a performer, teacher and event organizer. A true multi instrumentalist, Roli plays a wide variety of instruments including piano/keyboards, guitar, bass and the Chapman Stick Touchboard instrument. He is also an accomplished vocalist and live sound engineer, and has mentored some of Calgary’s top musical talents, both as an instructor and through his work hosting jams and numerous talent competitions.
As a teacher, Roli prides himself in making music fun and easy to learn and has the ability to relate to a wide variety of students, having successfully taught people of all ages and abilities including seniors, toddlers, non English speakers and students with ADHD and intellectual disabilities.
No style or genre is off limits for Roli, having played everything from rock to blues, country to metal, funk to soul, reggae to rap, Celtic folk to African pop and world beat, and a lot more….both on stage and in the studio.He has shared the stage with many world class performers including Jann Arden, Grammy award winning keyboardist Perry Kibble (A Taste of Honey) and members of Blue Rodeo, The Platters and The Stampeders to name a few.
LINDEN CONROY - GUITAR, UKULELE & BASS
Linden has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember. He started taking music lessons when he was 6 and joined his first band when he was 14. His earliest influences were classic rock and blues records like Led Zeppelin but after many years of musical exploration, playing with artists like Jory Kinjo, Marcus Trummer, and Tenda village, as well as taking lessons from acclaimed Calgary musician Aaron Young, he's expanded his influences to include soul, funk, jazz, country, ska, gospel, slide guitar, and more.
Linden spends his free time looking for new, exciting ways to engage with music, whether that be searching for esoteric genres and artists, trying to sound like other instruments on his guitar, or learning about the history of his favourite artists and styles of music.
JULIA BROWN - VOICE, BASS (& BEGINNER PIANO)
Julia grew up singing in choirs and showed passionate determination in her piano and violin lessons. When she got a little older, she began teaching herself to play the guitar. In high school, Julia focussed her efforts on mastering the bass and played orchestral percussion at Western Canada High School. Julia has performed her original songs at the National Music Centre and showcased at the Ironwood Stage & Grill with Jazz YYC Youth Lab Band. She knows first-hand what it’s like to be inspired by the hard work of others, and the importance of having fun while you learn.
Being a well-rounded musician, it’s hard for Julia to choose a favourite style of music. She’s currently inspired by Funk & Soul and continues to study voice & bass with her own mentors. She is excited to share her knowledge with her students. Outside of music she likes plants, going back-packing, and drinking tea!
DREW ERFLE–GUITAR, UKULELE, THEORY, MUSICAL COMPOSITION AND PIANO
Get ready to rock and roll with Drew Erfle! Born in Vancouver, but raised in the bustling city of Calgary, this musical maverick has been making waves in the local scene for over a decade. Drew has always had music in his blood – both his parents were professional musicians – and after seeing Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings live in concert at just fourteen years old, he knew he had to pick up the guitar.
Drew wasted no time and started taking lessons from Calgary Jazz Guitarist Gary Wolfe for a solid four years. After high school, Drew headed off to the University of Lethbridge to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Composition under the tutelage of the esteemed Dr. Arlan Schultz, and for a year, Professor Thilo Schaller while Dr. Schultz was on sabbatical. But Drew's thirst for knowledge wasn't quenched yet – he then jetted off to Edinburgh University to obtain his MSc in Composition for Screen and Digital Media. He studied under the legendary Professor Yati Durant and Professor Emeritus Peter Nelson, honing his craft and gaining invaluable experience.
Drew's musical influences are as varied as they come. Having grown up surrounded by talented musicians, Drew's repertoire includes a wide range of genres, from rock to jazz, folk to musical theatre, and classical. He's even dabbled in playing the viol, an instrument from the Renaissance, as part of an Early music ensemble while studying in Edinburgh.
When Drew isn't shredding his guitar or composing stunning melodies, he can be found expanding his knowledge in other areas. He loves studying languages (he's an expert in the insular Celtic languages), devouring books, and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. So if you're ever in the mood for some musical magic or want to learn a thing or two about Gaelic, Drew is your guy!
JOHN GRAY – BASS & GUITAR
Imagine a musician whose bass reverberates with the soulful echoes of a life dedicated to his craft, and you'll find John Gray. A master of the acoustic bass, John's journey began in high school, where his talent blossomed so quickly that by senior year, he was already performing in two symphony orchestras. This auspicious start led him to a 22-year collaboration with jazz and blues legend Clarence "Big" Miller, a luminary who played alongside the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
John Gray's incredible career has placed him center stage with a staggering roster of icons, from Ray Charles and Stevie Ray Vaughn to Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, and K.D. Lang. The list goes on, a testament to the breadth of John's musical prowess, which spans genres and generations, connecting him to renowned artists such as Lenny Breau, Nat Adderly, Petula Clark, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and countless others.
Today, John Gray's passion for music continues to burn brightly as he serves as the Bassist, Bandleader, and Manager of the Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra, the Motown Tribute Orchestra, the Amy Winehouse Tribute Orchestra, and the Blossom Dearie Tribute Band, all based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
But John's legacy doesn't stop at his own performance. With over 40 years of teaching experience, he has cultivated the next generation of musical talent, sharing his knowledge and passion for the Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass, and Guitar. Through private lessons, the Clinic Line, and Mount Royal University, John Gray's imprint on the world of music is far-reaching, as he inspires and educates his students, drawing from the deep well of experience that is his extraordinary career.