David Zada

Toronto Piano & Drum Kit Teacher

, PianoDavid Zada
David ZadaABC Academy of Music2019-03-26T16:58:16-04:00

Project Description

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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Homework for April 18th-24th, 2019

Adriana - Work on remembering where F, C, G, and D are on the keyboard without using C as a reference point. Review the treble clef notes we learned in our first lesson. Review the rhythm concepts (whole note, half note, quarter note). Oscar - Practice soloing over the blues using the chord tones and discussed decorations: lower chromatic neighbour, upper diatonic neighbour, passing tones. Avril - Think about what you want to do for the recital. Practice Autumn Leaves. Lead sheet available here: https://www3.northern.edu/wieland/piano/tunes/a_l.jpg Julie - Practice the Bach Invention up to a comfortable tempo, focusing on accuracy in the ornaments.

Homework for April 11th-17th, 2019

Oscar - Continue to work on pentascales in F, C, G, and D major. Practice blues concepts: Improvising on the I7 chord using chord tones, neighbour notes, passing notes, and the blues scale. Play with Functional Ear Trainer. Avril - Explore the song Autumn Leaves which was introduced in the last lesson. Carefully listen to some recordings. See if you can figure out the melody and chords by ear. Experiment with improvisation. Here are some suggested recordingshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wy9ApLsAvA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Z8KuwI7Gc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tguu4m38U78 Kristen - Blues improvisation concepts (also discussed with Oscar - scroll up). Also continue to practice technical exercises: broken chords and scales in all white key major and minor keys.

Have you chatted with your teacher yet?

Hi! In case you didn't get our previous message, we are testing a new online chatting system for you to reach your teacher during the week, when you are not here. Over our 15 years of operations, parents and students have often wanted a way to be able to ask questions of their teacher during the week. Since we keep teacher phone and email information private, this has been a bit of a puzzle to figure out, but we think we now have the solution. Even if you don't have a question for your teacher right now, we'd like you to try this out and say hello. This way we can see if it is working from the parent end of things, and to get some feedback from you. Please visit your teacher's page and say hello today. GiuliannaTimDavid ZTrevorAlejandra? If you have any feedback whatsoever, please call us in the office at 416-651-7529. We are monitoring the chats, so you can also put the information there. Your help and feedback is greatly appreciated!

Homework for April 4th-10th, 2019

Oscar - Work on playing those pentascales in F, C, G, and D major. Hands separate for now. Try legato, detached, and staccato articulations. Also practice Auld Lang Syne. Finally, work on the blues improvisation concepts we talked about for soloing over the I chord. We discussed: playing chord tones; sliding up from the note below the chord tone, using the neighbouring note above the chord tone (within the scale), and using the blues scale. Play with these ideas until you're comfortable improvising with them without thinking too much about what it is you're doing. See if you can discover any other blues improvisation tools. Avril - Incredible work this week learning the first few pages of the Czerny book. At this point, I'd like you to focus on interpretation. Exhibit dynamics, articulation, and phrasing in your playing. In addition, you can look at and complete the functional chord symbol chart I sent home with you for the keys of C and G major. Julie - Fill in the functional chord symbol sheet I gave you for the keys of C and G major. Continue practicing the Bach at that EXTREMELY slow tempo we discussed, at 30BPM. Sixteenth note equals 120BPM. ALSO, start working on the Bach cello prelude using your left hand only. Focus on legato articulation and efficient fingering! http://ks4.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/8/87/IMSLP36903-PMLP04291-Bach-BWV1007klengel.pdf Kristen - Next lesson is going to be all about blues, so I'd like you to listen to some blues. That could mean blues proper, old school R&B and rock and roll, or jazz in a 12 bar blues form. Some jazz standards that follow a blues form include: Sonnymoon for Two; Bags Groove; All Blues; C-Jam Blues; Vierd Blues; Blues on the Corner; Blue Monk. C-Jam Blues is a good place to start because the head (main melody) is extremely simple.

NEW! Online Teacher Chats

Dear Students and Parents! We are excited to announce we are testing an online chat with your teacher this spring. For many years we have been looking for a solution to implement a way for you to directly contact your teacher without compromising teachers' privacy, while maintaining accountability to the front desk for scheduling matters. We think that we may now have a solution that will allow for this, and will be testing it from now until the end of June. How do you use this? It is very simple. Start by going to your teacher's page: GiuliannaTimDavid ZTrevorAlejandra You will see the chat on the right-hand side of the page. There is a #general channel, which is where you will always start, and which we will use for school-wide announcements. This is followed by your #teacher-name channel, which you can use to chat directly with your teacher. To start using the chat, please click the green 'Join this chat' button. You will be prompted on how to access the chat. It is possible that you will also be able to download the app that drives this chat, Slack. If that turns out to be the case, you should be able to bypass using the website, and communicate directly from your phone or home computer. We are not sure about this, at present. Please note we are not requiring our team to respond to messages in real-time. For the test period we are asking them respond within 48h, or as soon as is practical for them. Our teachers have many things on their plates, and we want to be sure this system will be as practical for them as we hope it will be for you.you cannot use this for scheduling, and teachers have been instructed to direct any and all scheduling queries to the front desk, as is currently the case.for anything that is time sensitive, you should call the office.bear in mind that this is essentially a public forum, which means that anything you post will be visible publicly.we will be monitoring these channels and may interact with you directly. That's it! We look forward to seeing you in chats with your teacher, and encourage you to test it out by saying hello to your teacher just to see if it works, and even if you don't have a question right now. We may call you over the next couple of months to ask you about your experience and see what you think about this. Thank you very much! Barnaby & the ABC Teaching Team

Homework for March 21st-27th, 2019

Oscar - Please work on your C major pentascales in both hands. That means notes C, D, E, F, and G. Up and down, slowly. Pay close attention to the position of your hands and your posture. Back straight, feet firmly planted, maximum range of motion, minimal tension. In addition, listen to and watch some Phineas Newborn Jr. Avril - Please work on the half note and dotted half note exercises from the Czerny book. I'd also like you to compose some original music and show me. It can be anything you'd like - a continuation of your Jabberwocky song, or something else. Julie - Please work on those exercises we discussed - scales (ending with the V7-I cadence), arpeggios, and broken chords (ending with the I-vi-IV-I64-V-I cadence). Also work on your usual repertoire. In addition, try out Mozart's sonatas in C major http://ks4.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/a/a9/IMSLP56442-PMLP01855-Mozart_Werke_Breitkopf_Serie_20_KV545.pdf and A minor http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/b/be/IMSLP56317-PMLP01843-Mozart_Werke_Breitkopf_Serie_20_KV310.pdf Remember that the A minor sonata is above your level, so don't get too frustrated if it's hard. It's supposed to be. :) But the C major sonata should be just your speed.

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Homework for April 21st-27th, 2019

Pablo – Continue practicing the beats from last week…in addition, practice the single stroke roll and the double stroke roll. Single stroke roll: RLRLRLRL Double stroke roll: RRLLRRLL

Gavin – Practice your recital rep: March and Ode to Joy (LH only). Practice with Liam and use a metronome to keep in time.

Yoan – Practice the single and double stroke rolls (see Pablo’s homework above for the correct sticking), and find your proper grip. Remember to look for 3 main things: 1) Fulcrum between index finger and thumb which the stick can roll in; 2) Other three fingers supporting the stick at the pads of the fingers; 3) Minimal tension…the stick must be able to move around in your hand so do not choke it. Check out this video which goes over some of the concepts we talked about in the last lesson re: finding the spot on the stick that gets maximum bounce, secure fulcrum, etc.

April 25th, 2019|

Homework for April 14th-20th, 2019

Pablo – You should see an image below with the beats we have worked on (scroll down)

Katheline – Work on more pieces from both books. Work on major, natural minor, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales that begin on white keys.

Daniel – Work on ‘2 Black Ants’, ‘2 Black Birds’, ‘Into the Cave’ and the Kitten Song.

Gavin – Work on the March and the left hand part from Ode to Joy. Memorize them, but don’t forget to bring your scores.

Yoan – Listen to some Kenny Clarke (played with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and others; pioneer of bebop drumming). Practice the beats pictured, and add in the basic jazz beat (Quarter notes on ride cymbal, 2 and 4 on hihat).

April 15th, 2019|
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Beta Test Our New Direct-to-Teacher Chat System

Please note that:

  • No scheduling may be done with this system.  All scheduling matters must be handled by the front desk at 416-651-7529.
  • Response times are not guaranteed, although a 48h window will be our goal.
  • This test is just that, a test.  For any matters that are time sensitive, you must call the office.



Preferred Books for David’s Students

Click to buy them here, and they’ll come right to your house!  What could be easier?


Cover of Stick Control for the Modern Drummer

George Lawrence Stone’s Stick Control is the bible of drumming. In 1993, Modern Drummer magazine named the book one of the top 25 books of all-time. In the words of the author, it is the ideal book for improving: control, speed, flexibility, touch, rhythm, lightness, delicacy, power, endurance, preciseness of execution and muscular coordination, with extra attention given to the development of the weak hand.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Indigo


Cover of Syncopation by Ted Reed

Voted second on Modern Drummer’s list of 25 Greatest Drum Books in 1993, Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer is one of the most versatile and practical works ever written for drums. Created exclusively to address syncopation, it has earned its place as a standard tool for teaching beginning drummers syncopation and strengthening reading skills.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Indigo


Cover of Groove Essentials

Represents a new-generation play-along package and a quantum leap over anything else previously available in this vein with over 6 hours of music, including 47 grooves and feels from all over the world most in two tempos 88 tracks in all, truly professional sketch charts and incisive text by Tommy. An interactive groove experience for all level drummers with rhythm tracks that feature some of New York City’s top musicians.
Buy on Amazon (Book/CD)
Buy on Indigo (Book/CD/DVD)


Cover of The New Breed

Gary Chester was one of the busiest studio drummers of the ’60s and ’70s and played on hundreds of hit records. His systems have been used and endorsed by drummers such as Kenny Aronoff, Danny Gottlieb, and Dave Weckl. This is not just another drum book, but rather a system that will help you develop the skills needed to master today’s studio requirements. By working with this book, you’ll improve your reading, concentration, coordination, right and left-hand lead, and awareness of the click.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Indigo

Faber & Faber Piano Adventures

Lesson Book Primer Level

Cover of Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book Primer Level

The 2nd Edition Primer Lesson Book introduces the keyboard, note values, and the grand staff. Students play in C 5-finger scale patterns, develop recognition of steps and skips, and learn letter names independent of finger number. Musicianship is built through the use of dynamics and coloristic experimentation with the pedal. The book is organized into units which represent the major concepts and skills. As new units are introduced, earlier concepts and skills are constantly reviewed.

Buy on Amazon

Dozen A Day

Preparatory Book

Cover of Dozen A Day Preparatory Book

The Dozen a Day books are universally recognized as one of the most remarkable technique series on the market for all ages! Each book in this series contains short warm-up exercises to be played at the beginning of each practice session, providing excellent day-to-day training for the student.

Buy on Amazon

Dozen A Day

Mini Book

Cover of A Dozen A Day Mini Book

The Dozen a Day books are universally recognized as one of the most remarkable technique series on the market for all ages! Each book in this series contains short warm-up exercises to be played at the beginning of each practice session, providing excellent day-to-day training for the student.

Buy on Amazon