David Zada

Toronto Piano & Drum Kit Teacher

, PianoDavid Zada
David ZadaABC Academy of Music2018-10-01T20:07:13+00:00

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, January 10th-16th, 2018

Avril - Continue to play Auld Lang Syne, both as written and as improvised/re-composed by you. Play around with it, and be creative! Also work on playing your scales and broken chords, up one octave only, in C major, G major, and A minor only. We'll expand to more keys next week. ALSO analyze the Bohemian Rhapsody arrangement you have been playing. Tell me: a) what are the chords? and b) where was the transcription different from the recording? HAVEN & MALEEYA - For both of you, the homework is the same. Work on 'Small World' with the proper rhythm. Next week, come ready to focus, learn, and play. We DON'T want to waste more time. Julie - Focus on the three pieces we have been looking at, as well as major scales in C, G, D, A, and E majors. For the Sicilienne, focus on being precise with the rhythm, getting those grace notes closer to the downbeat in the Eb major section, and experimenting with different pedaling approaches. For the Invention AND the Prelude, it is best to focus on the ORNAMENTS this week, as that is the thing that's giving you the most trouble. Finally, download the Functional Ear Trainer app for your phone and start playing around with it, we'll get into more specifics on it later. Kristen - Practice your major scales in contrary AND parallel motion. Practice them with a metronome, as quarter notes (1 octave), eighth notes (2 octaves), as triplets (3 octaves), and as sixteenth notes (4 octaves). START THIS SLOWLY. 40 beats per minute is a perfectly acceptable place to start, and I wouldn't recommend exceeding 60BPM for the sixteenth notes yet. Still with the metronome, practice your broken chords (in groups of 3) both as 8th notes AND as triplets. Speaking of the metronome, use it to practice the 2:3 polyrhythm that we worked on today. Continue practicing the Prelude as discussed. Finally, play as much as you can of the first few pages of the Czerny book. Every piece you come across, play in two keys: the written key, and the key a 5th up. So if it's in C, play it in G. If it's in F, play it in C. If it's in D, play it in A. etc. Tanya - BY EAR: O Canada and Crazy. SIGHT READING: The first 2 pieces in the Czerny book. TRANSCRIPTION: Play the Czerny pieces both in C major AND G major. Broken chords and scales, 1 octave, hands together. C major only.

Homework for January 3rd, 2019

Avril - Keep working on the contrapuntal piece we looked at prior to the winter break. Also work on the first 4 bars of Auld Lang Syne that I wrote out for you. Figure out the rest of it BY EAR if you can. Just give it a shot. Kristen - Major scales, hands together, parallel AND contrary motion, for C, G, D, A, and E majors. Prelude in E minor. First piece from Czerny book in the written key (C major) AND transposed into G major.

Homework for Week Dec. 14 – 20

Fantastic fun teaching you guys/subbing for David, again!!  Practice this week, and try to remember the musical and technical principles we explored today! Avril You are a great listener!!  Remember to LISTEN to how the fingers come off the keys, just as much as you are aware of how they come down on the keys.  We 'paint with sound' telling a story when we make music, so ALWAYS make sure the sounds (the keys you articulate) sound beautiful!!!  Also, remember that the 'accompaniment' hand should never takeover the presence of the melodic hand. Maleeya Explore Supercali again, moving to the strong beats as you play.  And, be aware of the story you are telling.  One plays louder during the climax of a song. Haven Please cut your fingernails so no white of the nail is showing, and sit up straight before playing!  Then, MOVE to the rhythm of the piece as you play.  'Paint with sound', using multiple beautiful 'colors' as your fingers strike the keys.  And, LEGATO -- walk from key to key so that there is no break in the sound.  Keep a steady tempo, claw-like hands walking from key to key like a 5 -legged spider.  

Homework from Thursday, December 6th

Avril - Pentascales (all), full scales (C, G, D, E, a natural minor), chord sequence (C, G, F, a, e, d). Haven - Work on reading rhythms from the book in quarter notes and half notes. Any piece that consists of quarter notes and half notes is something you should practice reading. Maleeya - Work on 'The Crocodile'. Remember that the second line starts on A, not C!! Julie - Work on Sicilienne, the Bach invention, the Chopin prelude, scales (C, G, D, A, E), broken chords and blocked chords (C, F, G). Kristen - All technical exercises we have been working on, but more importantly, go to hear some live jazz! Also: take another look at the Gymnopedie, see how far into it you can get. Try to improvise variations on a familiar and simple melody. Tanya - Continue working with the Functional Ear Trainer app. Continue working on 'Crazy'. Try to figure out 'O Canada' by ear. Pentascales in legato and staccato articulation in F, C, G, D, A, E, and B. Broken chord sequence in C only.

Homework for Week Nov. 2 – 8

Lovely meeting and teaching you all, subbing for David!!  Remember the 3 steps to learn anything: 1.  Engage core.  2.  In slow motion, move your body to the rhythm of the piece you're about to play 3.  Get ready to play, conduct yourself in, then play!  Please review what we worked on in the lessons this week, as stated below. Haven Practice Mary had a little lamb piano in Kids Primer pg 4 - 7 - legato 2nd to 3rd finger walk back and forth, as well fingers 1 -2 -3.  Think of hands as 5-legged spiders walking from note to note -- legato -- any note that's different should be connected.  And, always a good posture/engaged tummy muscles while playing. Maleeya Read and follow notes on the page of Supercalafragil... as you practice it this week, using the '3 steps to learn anything'! Avril As you improvise this week, explore the '5-legged spider' finger legato technique (walking from key to key.  Move with your body at the same time (following the '3 steps to learn anything') to tell an interesting and powerful story through the sounds you make!! Kristin While reviewing what you and David have been working on, explore your hand grips' '5-legged spider' walk (legato) and various finger articulations, listening for the sound each finger articulation makes and how they, together, also shape the scales.  Remember the '3 steps to learn anything', and the importance of moving and what your hand/claws do on strong beats!

Homework from Thursday, October 25th

Avril: Work on playing pentascales, and try to compose some melodies with the notes available to you within that pentascale. Continue composing variations on 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', and check out what Mozart did with it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyhxeo6zLAM Haven: Identify notes on the piano. 'Can you find C? G? D? How do you know that's a D?' etc. Play 'Mary's Lamb'. Try to identify middle C and G on the treble clef. Maleeya: Continue to play 'Two Note March', and focus on keeping your left hand from getting too loud. Also try Bass Clef Melody (it's on the next page). Continue to compose your song. Try a song from the Disney book (any one, it's up to you). Julie: Continue to play Sicilienne. Play with a metronome, and focus on voicing (bringing the melody out), pedaling, and accurate rhythm. You can also try to play through a little bit of Bach's 2 voice invention in C major (http://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/1/11/IMSLP00747-BWV0772.pdf). Focus on keeping voices distinct, and bringing out the subject when it appears. Kristen: Keep working on what you're working on, everything that's written on the sheets I gave you: major scales in C, G, D, A, E, and you can also try B and F (but don't stress them too much). Both hands separately, but you can try to put them together if you want. Only one octave at first, then if you're comfortable, continue to a second octave. Do not go past that point. Check out the modes, too, but don't focus on them too much. Try playing the Chopin prelude in E minor but don't stress it too much either. If you want to see a great jazz pianist in action, you should really go to The Rex on Saturday at 9:45 to hear the Dave Young quintet. The pianist, Bernie Senensky, is something special. I will not be there, but I'd still like to guide your listening: see if you can hear the head (the melody played at the beginning of the piece) running through the heads of the improvisers while they play. If you do go, write down any observations and bring them on Thursday so we can discuss. Tanya: Play Beauty and the Beast, as well as the exercises we discussed: pentascales in C, G, and D major, as well as A minor, and solid/blocked chords on C major, one octave.

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Preferred Books for David’s Students

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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