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 April 18-24

Hi everyone,

Here are your practice assignments for this week:

Aidan

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: 16th note beats with accents and the beat from Chameleon by Herbie Hancock.

How to practice it most effectively: Focus on getting the right motion in your elbow and wrist and maintaining that motion as consistently as possible. The elbow moves down on the strong beats and up on weak beats while the wrist does the opposite. This is how you play up and down stroke (strong and weak beats) quickly with one smooth arm motion. If you do it properly then you shouldn’t feel any tension in your arm.

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: Paradise by Coldplay as well as the rhythm review that I wrote in your book.

How to practice it most effectively: This week, be sure to look at the rhythms I wrote down in your book. Practice counting them out loud and then playing them on the snare drum. You want to be able to feel a consistent pulse while playing each rhythm. Try counting to four out loud while playing each exercises.

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 snare and bass rhythms that I wrote down in your book.

How to practice it most effectively: Focus on keeping a steady pulse on the bass drum while playing each rhythm. Try playing them at different speeds but remember that accuracy and consistency are more important than playing fast. With the last one, keep the pulse steady while playing the rhythm on the bass drum. Don’t play the bass drum too heavy here… it is no longer keeping the pulse so you can focus on keeping it nice and light.

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 middle section of Fool In The Rain by Led Zeppelin and the opening section of Log Cabin Blues.

How to practice it most effectively: Be sure to play all the accents in the beat from the middle of Fool in the Rain, and try to keep them all the same volume. The bass drum should be fairly light but keep a very steady pulse. Once you get the main rhythm of the accents down, then you can try throwing in extra accented rhythms like he does in the recording.

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 beginning of the beat from 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon

How to practice it most effectively: This is a tricky beat because it requires coordination between both of your feet and your hands and you also have to play the whole thing lightly (quietly). Focus first on getting the coordination down, particularly between the left foot and the hands. Then focus on playing it lightly and getting the volume of the snare drum to match the volume of the hi-hat.

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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April 21-26

Sorry for the late post, everyone!

Harry

David told me that you didn’t see last week’s homework post. I’ve copied it below for you to work on this week.

  • RECITAL: Would you like to play something at the ABC recital on Sunday, May 5? You could play unaccompanied (without the recording) or with the recording. If you’re interested, think of a song you want to play and let me know at our lesson on Saturday.
  • Practising. First of all, play along to some songs you like (or play solo) and have fun. Then, you can work on lesson stuff.
  • Practise the “Fly” drum beat (it’s written on a sheet you have) along to a metronome at 40 bpm. Once you get that down, try it at 45 bpm, then 50 bpm. Remember: the metronome clicks on quarter notes. To check that you are playing the first part of the drum beat correctly, make sure you’re doing these 2 things:
    • Your hi-hat and bass drum are playing the first 2 notes together.
    • You are playing four hi-hat notes before beat 2 (where the snare drum comes in).
  • If you are still unsure as to whether you’re playing the drum beat correctly, record yourself playing on your phone and then watch/listen to it to see if you were playing the drum beat correctly.

Sam

  • Apparently you forgot a sheet of music at the school. I’ll return it to you during our lesson on Saturday.
  • Practising. First of all, play along (drum kit and/or xylophone) to some songs you like (or play solo) and have fun. Then, you can work on lesson stuff.
  • Practise Arabian Nights (snare drum and xylophone parts) along to a metronome. I’m not sure what tempo your teacher is having you play it at, but try to find it on the metronome. If it’s too fast, slow it down. I’d prefer you play it slowly along to a metronome rather than quickly but not in time. If you’re having trouble hearing the metronome as you’re playing, plug your headphones into it.

Jonathan

  • First of all, play along to some songs you like (or play unaccompanied – without listening to a recording) and have fun. Then, you can work on lesson stuff.
  • Practise section B of the Bank Account sheet from last week. Play along to a metronome at 60 bpm. Once you have played through all the patterns, do it again except at 70 bpm. The recording of Bank Account is 75 bpm, so once you’ve mastered 70 bpm, you can just play along to the recording next.
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