ABC Academy of Music

ABC Academy of Music

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Jonny Smith2020-10-23T15:51:09-04:00

Project Description

B.Mus (Mt. A)
M.Mus (UofT)
DMA (UofT) in-progress

Jonny Smith is an experienced teacher with a passion for education. He holds both a Master of Music degree (2012) and a Bachelor of Music (2010), and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto. He also works as a performer, teacher, and clinician in Toronto. Jonny is a creative and encouraging teacher who tailors lessons to the student’s specific needs. He is excited to help students of all ages and abilities to attain their musical goals while developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for all kinds of music.

Jonny has studied many diverse styles of music (Classical, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Latin American music, Brazilian Samba and West African drumming) and is able to teach many different percussion instruments (marimba/xylophone, snare drum, drum-set, timpani, and auxiliary percussion). Jonny has had students accepted to post-secondary music programs at prestigious institutions such as the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School.

Jonny has experience teaching music in a variety of capacities. In addition to teaching private lessons, he has given clinics to high school and junior high percussion students in schools around the GTA and at music camps. Jonny also coaches the percussion ensemble and contemporary music ensemble at the University of Toronto.

Jonny is a versatile performer, well-versed in both classical and contemporary music. He has performs regularly with a variety of orchestras, bands, and other ensembles. He is a co-founder and active member of two Toronto-based ensembles: Taktus, a marimba duo, and Spectrum Percussion Quartet. He also is the drummer for the alternative/indie band Barbarosa. He brings the value of real-world experience as well as the love of music to each lesson that he teaches.

Get to know Jonny…Beyond the Bio!

Hobbies: Playing tennis and reading (history and classical literature)

Musical influences: Beverly Johnston, Russell Hartenberger, Michel Deschenes

Favourite food: Tacos

Least favourite food: Scallops

Favourite music: Glenn Gould, Ann Southam, Steve Reich, John Cage

Favourite song: Barrett’s Privateers – it reminds me of where I grew up.

Favourite movie: Memento

Favouirite movie music: Shutter Island Soundtrack

Best quote from your teacher: Subdivide and Conquer

Favourite quote: “The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.” – W. Somerset Maugham

Favourite book: Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August

Best thing about teaching at ABC: The students!

Latest Homework from Jonny

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Assignments for the Week of May 5-11

Hi everyone,

Here are your assignments for this week:


Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice #7-12 from the page of 16th-note beats:

How to practice it most effectively: Keep working on the bounce technique on the hi-hat. Remember that after the down stroke, the stick should bounce up and then you pull it back down with your fingers. That way you are getting two strokes from each arm motion. Focus on the beats that have bass notes that line up with off-beats on the hi-hat.


Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice playing all the way through “Oh Darlin’” with the recording of the song:

How to practice it most effectively: Focus on the fills in this song. Read each one on the page carefully and then play it a few times in a row. Try to be consistent with your stickings for each fill (order of rights and lefts). Once you have figured out all of the fills, then practice playing the whole song from beginning to end.

Nate O.

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Work on the second page of “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ’n’ Roses:

How to practice it most effectively: Review the verses and chorus, which are similar to what’s on page one, and then move on to the guitar solo section. Focus on learning each new part individually by practicing slowly and counting the rhythms. Then, once you feel comfortable playing each section, try putting them together and working on the transitions.


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice the new foot pattern with eighth notes on the ride cymbal and the snare rhythms from “Lesson One”:

How to practice it most effectively: Focus on getting really comfortable with the first of the new right hand and foot patterns. The more comfortable you are with this pattern, the easier it will be to read different rhythms with the left hand without changing what your other limbs are doing. Practice the first four snare rhythms from the “Lesson One” page. Take it slow and remember to always be counting in your head: “1 2 3 4 …”.


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes per day

What to practice: Have a listen to the song “Eye of the Tiger” and see if you can figure out the rhythms at the beginning of the song:

How to practice it most effectively: Next week we will begin working on Eye of the Tiger. Listen to the recording of the song a few times and see if you can match the rhythm of the cymbal crashes at the beginning of the song. Once the main beat comes in, see if you can hear the rhythm of the bass drum and the rhythm of the snare drum.


Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice the beat #3 from “Fool In The Rain” by Led Zeppelin and review the previous beats and fills:

How to practice it most effectively: Practice playing through beat #1, fill #1, beat #2, and fill #2 in a loop. It is important that you can comfortably transition between each of these beats and fills without stopping or slowing down. After that, take a look at beat #3. This beat is very different from the first two as it is played primarily on the snare drum with a syncopated accent pattern. Practice it slowly and focus on learning the rhythm of the accents.

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