Jonathan Smith

Toronto Drum Kit and Percussion Teacher

Jonny Smith
Jonny SmithABC Academy of Music2017-11-27T20:33:27-04:00

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 16-22

Hi everyone,

Here are your practice assignments for this week:

Aidan

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The jazz/swing snare drum exercises that I wrote down for you as well as the main beat from Chameleon by Herbie Hancock.

How to practice it most effectively: Remember that the most important part of the beat is not the snare drum part, but rather the foot pattern and the right hand part on the ride cymbal. Focus on keeping the snare drum soft as you play through each exercise. This will help you to keep the main part of the beat steady. For the really tricky patterns, play each hand separately with the feet, then both hands together without the feet, then all parts together. Take it slow!

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Will

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Practice the 16th-note beats that I wrote down in your book, #1-7

How to practice it most effectively: First, identify which bass drum notes are played together with the right hand and which are played together with the left hand. Then practice them slowly and try to maintain a steady pulse with the 16th notes. It is important that all the 16th notes are the same length. Once you can play the beat steadily, then try playing it a little faster. 

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Elliot

Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes per day

What to practice: The drum beats and rhythm review that I wrote down in your book. 

How to practice it most effectively: Count out loud each beat and rhythm before you try to play it. Don’t play faster than what you can play consistently. You should be able to play each beat and rhythm at least 8 times in a row without stopping.

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Alexy

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The latin-style beats that I wrote down in your book.

How to practice it most effectively: For this week, just try to get the rim-clicks on the snare together with the bass drum and the hi-hat parts. Don’t worry about the toms just yet. Focus on keeping a steady rhythm and playing each part consistently. Be careful not to let your bass drum get off when you add in the snare drum.

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Oscar

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The transitions between sections in Fool In The Rain by Led Zeppelin and the B section of Log Cabin Blues.

How to practice it most effectively: When playing the xylophone, you should use mostly your wrists to generate the movement of the mallets – not your elbows! On your right side, you’re pretty good at this, but on your left side you’re using too much elbow. This makes it much more difficult to play quickly and accurately. Focus on keeping your hands low (close to the keyboard) and just bending your wrist to lift the mallet.

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Nate M.

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The intro to Spirit of Radio by Rush and Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2.

How to practice it most effectively: Take time to listen to the recordings of these two songs. Look at the notes that I wrote down in your book for Spirit of Radio. Count the rhythm out loud and then try to play it around the drums. Remember the triplet rhythm that we practiced. Don’t just play a drag instead.

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

Nate O.

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The 16th-note beats that I wrote down in your book.

How to practice it most effectively: Practice each beat slowly and make sure that each of the bass drum notes is lining up exactly with one of the 16th notes on the hi-hat. Don’t try to play anything faster than you are able to. The main goal is accuracy and consistency. Counting the rhythm of the beat out loud will also help if you’re having trouble.

How parents can support practice: Encouraging your child to practice regularly and helping them develop a routine is the best way to be supportive.

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May 19 – 25

Harry

  • Pleeeeease print this [<–– BLUE TEXT IS “CLICKABLE”] and bring it to your next lesson along with your other drum sheets.
  • Watch this video on note duration. The good bits are from 2:05 – end. It’s obviously made for people younger than yourself, but I think it does a good job of explaining things, especially in the song at the end.
  • Free play

Sam

  • Free play
  • Practise your chromatic scale exercises.
    • Practise at 200 bpm. You can find a metronome here.
    • If it’s too fast, start at 180 and work your way up.
  • Mallets: Arabian Dances, bar 84 – end.
    • Practise with a metronome at 135 bpm. If that’s too fast, start at 100 bpm and work your way up.
    • Pay special attention to bar 91 all the way to beat 1 of bar 93. Your roll should be continuous and not stop before each accent.
  • Snare: Arabian Dances, bar 84-end.
    • Practise with a metronome at 135 bpm. If that’s too fast, start at 100 bpm and work your way up.
    • Instead of making your rolling accents super loud, try making the non-accented parts quieter.
    • Make sure you’re doing the triplet roll.

Jonathan

  • Free play
  • “Jazz – Snare Offbeats” worksheet
    • Bars 4-6
    • Play along to jazz recordings from previous weeks or you can find your own.

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