B. Mus. (York)
B.Ed (York) in-progress
David Zada is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, who plays, variously, drums, piano, or his own voice, in clubs, festivals, fundraisers, churches, and other venues about the city.
Zada graduated from York University’s jazz program in 2015, having received the Olive Lower Prize in Jazz Piano in his final year. He hopes to continue making people dance and smile for as long as possible.*
Get to know David…Beyond the Bio!
Hobbies: I like stand-up comedy, singing with other people (anything from choir to karaoke), and petting dogs!
Musical influences: My earliest influences come from the interrelated worlds of jazz, classic rock, country, and folk. Mainly: Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Gordon Lightfoot, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, The Doors, Queen, and so on. But I’m always absorbing whatever I’m exposed to, learning and adapting, as is necessary.
Favourite food: Anything spicy!
Least favourite food: Cooked spinach.
Favourite music: I’m REALLY into neo-soul right now. Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, and Hiatus Kaiyote exemplify this style for me.
Favourite song: Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life, especially as performed by Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane’s Quartet.
Favourite movie: Twelve Monkeys is up there.
Favouirite movie music: Bernard Hermann’s score from Psycho is a personal favourite.
Favourite musical theatre/opera: Favourite show: Cabaret (Kander & Ebb). Favourite Opera: Satyagraha (Phillip Glass).
Best quote from your teacher: “Now I know this all sounds overwhelming, but I’ll show you what to listen to, what to listen for…what to listen six.” – Kelly Jefferson
Favourite quote: “I’d rather be one of the few than one of the many. […] If I was suddenly to become popular, I’d have to think that something was wrong with me.” – Barry Harris
Favourite book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Best thing about teaching at ABC: I find the students are excited about the instrument, and willing to learn. That’s all I ask!
Latest Homework from David
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KATHELINE – The piece we were working on this lesson was Solfeggietto by C.P.E. Bach. Here is a link to the pdf: http://hz.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/f/f5/IMSLP02573-Bach,_CPE_-_Solfeggietto.pdf Other than that, there are some valuable resources at your disposal…try the Functional Ear Trainer App to help develop your ear. Pick songs (folk songs, kid’s songs, any simple melody) and figure out chords that go underneath them, also to develop your ear. Listen to a lot of music and find repertoire you are interested in learning. Figure out who your favourite composers and artists are, and learn their music. If you don’t already have the Brown Scale Book, get it, it’s an excellent resource for practicing technical exercises.
GAVIN – I have been guiding you through the technical and musicianship requirements for RCM prepatory A. You can find the syllabus online (RCM piano syllabus 2015), and just scroll down to prepatory A. You can use the syllabus as a guide for what to work on, and learn the pieces from the repertoire book for the corresponding grade. You can also pick songs that you know and figure out your own simplified way to play them on the piano (just hold the chord in the left hand and play the melody with the right hand, for example). Experiment, but don’t try to get too complex at the expense of the basics. And don’t forget form. You need a firm bridge of your hand, a firm wrist, a relaxed arm, curved fingers, etc…
Pentascales – hands separately, legato and staccato, C major, G major, D major, and A minor. Triad sequence in C major, solid and broken. ALSO pick a pop song, figure out the chords, and arrange them with acceptable voice leading as discussed – moving as little as possible, keeping common tones in common, contrary motion where possible between bass and other voices.
Review time signatures as we discussed today. Choose 5 songs (any genre) and identify A) what you think the time signature is, and B) why you think that. Also continue to practice repertoire from your two books and all your scales. As an extra challenge, listen to Unsquare Dance by Dave Brubeck (available on YouTube) and clap along.
Practice the triad sequence and pentascales in C and G major. Experiment with other keys if you want that challenge. Focus on form. Keep your fingers on the keys where they’re supposed to be. Make sure to use your arm weight, rather than finger power, to play each note.
Practice what we did today: basic rock beat with your hands, and pick (at random) 2, 3, or 4 spots on the 8th note grid to put the bass drum in 1 bar. Practice the beat you produced with those randomly generated rhythms. You can also practice the basic jazz beat (just quarter notes, no skip beat).
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