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 June 20-26

Hi everyone,

Here are your practice assignments for this week:

Aidan

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: Beat from the Funky Drummer by James Brown.

How to practice it most effectively: Play the beat slowly and focus on creating a significant contrast between the regular snare notes and the ghost notes. Also try to incorporate the accent pattern on the hi-hat that we worked on a number of weeks ago.

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: The beat from Ride by 21 Pilots.

How to practice it most effectively: Take a close look at the beat before you practice it and be sure that you can count out loud the main parts of the rhythm as you play. Be careful not to leave out and of the 16th notes on the hi-hat. Try playing along with a recording of the song.

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 whole song: Back in Black by ACDC. 

How to practice it most effectively: Now that we have finished learning all the parts of the song, work on playing them all together. Try playing through the whole song with the recording and take note of the parts that you find difficult. Then go back and isolate those parts to work on individually. Then, at the end of your practice session, play through the whole song once more.

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: Swing beats with left hand rhythms on the snare and the beginning of the trio of Log Cabin Blues.

How to practice it most effectively: Fill in the second and third notes of the triplet on the snare drum while playing the swing pattern with the right hand and feet. Start very slowly and try to solidify the coordination before speeding up. For the trio of Log Cabin Blues, focus on the first two sections: the F chord moving down to E-flat, and then the B diminished chord with double stops on the C-sharp and G.

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: Tom Sawyer by Rush.

How to practice it most effectively: Take the song section by section and try to memorize the variations in each section. Generally there are four-bar phrases that repeat once within each section. Listen carefully to the recording and try to slow the beats down so that you can solidify the coordination.

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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June 22 / Summer send-off

Jonathan

  • Here is the Praise the Lord beat.
  • The bass drum notes are confusing with all the crazy beaming. The easiest way to read the bass drum notes is to play them at the same time as the hi-hat notes above them.
  • The first two (of the three) rim clicks are connected with a curved line called a “tie”. In this particular context, the tie means ignore the second note. Therefore, you should only play the first and third rim clicks.
  • Here is one way to learn the beat:
    1. Play it without the rim clicks or the open hi-hat at the end.
    2. Add the rim click rhythms but play them as snare hits. Still no open hi-hat.
    3. Same thing but play the rim clicks as rim clicks. No open hi-hat.
    4. Add in the open hi-hat.
  • Summer tip: Play with other people as much as possible. Get together with friends and just plays song you like (or make up your own!). Playing with others is an essential component of becoming a good musician, and I unfortunately cannot give you that experience in one-on-one lessons.

Have a great summer, Jonathan! You were a pleasure to teach.

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