Jonathan Smith

Toronto Drum Kit and Percussion Teacher

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

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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Feb 15-20 Homework

Hi everyone! Great work today, it was nice to you all again. I’ll be filling in for Jonny next week too, so we get to do it all over again! Here is what I’d like for you to work on until then.

Aidan– Minues: 30
What to practice: Bossa nova beat, Jazz patterns with kick drum displaced to last part of tripley (like we did in the lesson)
How to practice: With the bossa nova, do it very very slow, almost note by note. Then over the week try to speed it up in small increments. Soon enough you won’t even have to think about it. If you still have trouble, try playing only half of it, then the other half, then joining them together. The jazz beats were fine today, just keep at them so the coordination gets more comfortable and natural.

Will– Minutes: 30
What to practice: Paradise beat with fills thrown in occasionally, open hi-hat beats with hi hat only on offbeat like we did towards the end today.
How to practice: Practice Paradise beat with a metronome and throw in fills to break up the monotony. Make sure the fills are in time and the beat is right in time when you get back into it. Play the open hi-hat beats slowly until they become comfortable, then speed them up. If you feel confident enough with them, start occasionally putting in short fills with those too.

Elliot– Minutes: 30
What to practice: Say it Ain’t So
How to practice: Do the beat very very slow, almost note by note. Then over the week try to speed it up in small increments. Soon enough you won’t even have to think about it. If you still have trouble, try playing only half of it, then the other half, then joining them together.

Oscar– Minutes: 45
What to practice: Tom Sawyer, single hand speed
How to practice: Make sure the Tom Sawyer licks are comfortable. They sounded fine today, but always worth a check up. For speed, I think you could really benefit from an exercise called “stone killers” where you basically just do a bunch of single strokes. Set up a metronome at a comfortable tempo (slightly pushing in speed) and play 16th notes like this: RRRR LLLL RRRR LLLL
then RRRRRR LLLLLL RRRRRR LLLLLL
then RRRRRRRR LLLLLLLL RRRRRRRR LLLLLLLL
and so on until you’re switching hands about every 30 seconds.
If that didn’t make any sense, watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPSX6TQucK8

Nathan– Minutes: 45
What to practice: Take the Money and Run
How to practice: Work on playing through the beats and fills perfectly in time. Do this with a metronome, and with the track. Finish the song for next week, learning all the fills by ear. Feel free to write them down, as that will make memorizing them much easier. Also feel free to improvise in the spaces that the drummer fills, but as an exercise I still want you to learn what he does exactly.

Nate– Minutes: 30
What to practice: June 23 beat variation, September 15 beat variation
How to practice: Work on the two beats from these dates in your book. First the original, then the ones I wrote out today. Do the beats very very slow, almost note by note. Then over the week try to speed it up in small increments. Soon enough you won’t even have to think about it. If you still have trouble, try playing only half of it, then the other half, then joining them together.

I look forward to see you all again next week. In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy your practice time!!
Pino

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Feb 10 – Feb 15

Harry

  • Get a folder or binder. Ask your parents and remind them to get it throughout the week.
  • Practice schedule:
    • Tuesday after school
    • Wednesday after piano
    • Thursday after school
  • Practice the beats we wrote on the sheet from 2 classes ago along to a metronome. Set the metronome to 100. Once you can play ALL the drum beats we wrote down at that tempo (speed), raise the metronome to 110 and repeat. Then take the tempo up to 120. Keep increasing the metronome my increments of 10 until you get to 140. 140 is the actual tempo in No Problem. REMEMBER: Go through ALL the drum beats we wrote down before you increase the tempo.

Jonathan

  • Get a folder or binder (from Dollarama?)
  • Get isolation headphones
    • Here is a good deal on ones that don’t plug in (you’ll have to wear earbuds underneath them).
    • Here are the ideal ones that do plug in.
    • If you don’t want to order off of Amazon, Long & McQuade is a music store that will likely have some in stock.
  • Here are the new beats. Practice them one at a time with a metronome. Set the metronome to 70. Once you can play ALL the drum beats at that tempo (speed), raise the metronome to 80 and repeat. Then take the tempo up to 90. Keep increasing the metronome my increments of 10 (or 5, if 10 becomes too much) until you get to 120. REMEMBER: Go through ALL the drum beats before you increase the tempo.
  • Make sure that your drum stool is high enough, and that the top of the snare drum is just a couple of inches below your bellybutton. Also, your hi-hat should be high enough that your arms aren’t hitting each other when you play.
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