What the Kids are saying

Spontaneous, unrehearsed recordings of some relly cool kids at their lessons.

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Nicholas Lai

Gillian Pinder

Nicholas Lai started coming to my studio many years ago as a cute little toddler, with a cute little cap atop his head and a tiny backpack full of his latest acquisitions. He was an energetic, bubbly and very chatty little guy, often sharing all kinds of information with me, as I worked with him at the piano.

Today, Nicholas is a little more serious and a little less chatty. He has been studying at for MacEwan University in Edmonton, and will soon be heading of on new musical adventures. Over the past fifteen or sixteen years, I have had the pleasure of watching Nicholas grow in many ways - physically, mentally, emotionally and musically. It has been quite a journey!

Whether he is playing Beethoven, Chick Corea, the blues or improvising, Nicholas has the unique ability to captivate an audience. He draws you in with his intensity, body language, deep sense of expression and musical sincerity. It is indeed, a rare gift!

Not only is Nicholas an amazing pianist, he also sings, writes, plays guitar, and fronts a band. He is equally at home performing the classical repertoire, rock, jazz, or mixing his music in my digital recording studio.

Nicholas is no longer my student - he is my musical peer. I thank him for the years of memories and I am proud to be able to call him "My Little Buddy". I am truly going to miss him! 

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Recordings feature some of Nicholas' work at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. "Jury" tracks are performances in front of an adjudication panel. 

Gillian Pinder

Gillian Pinder

Gillian Pinder came to me as a bright-eyed, bubbly little eight-year-old. She had just been "rejected" by her traditional piano teacher, who informed her mother her daughter had little musical future. I am always amazed at the arrogance of teachers who claim to be able to accurately assess the potential of young children. It turns out Gillian just had to learn how to concentrate.

Gillian had a very fast, natural musical ear, which she preferred to use over her eyes. Once her focus skills increased, she exploded as a pianist. 

When Gillian was ten, her mother informed me that her daughter, who was also a self-taught guitarist and drummer had a little band and was composing original material for them to perform. I dismissed this as being "cute", and gave it little thought, until one day, Gillian asked if she could sing one of her compositions for me. It was a song she had written about a close family member who was going through some tough times. I can still remember the shivers running down my spine, and the tears in my eyes, as I listened to this amazing little girl baring her soul.

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I have never told Gillian this, but this event had a profound effect on me, inspiring me to begin assembling a digital recordings studio to give me the tools to be able to work with her, and beginning a musical journey which re-ignited my passion for music. I sincerely thank Gillian for that! 

In the Studio

Featured here are tracks from students age 14-16, as created in our digital audio studio. Here, those enrolled write, mix, produce and master their own compositions. Not only do they gain experience in Pro Tools, a leading recording industry DAW, they also have access to an ever-increasing number of virtual instruments, (Native Instruments Komplete, Serum, Hybrid, Ivory, Acoustic Audio, Kirk Hunter, Output, Synthology, to name a few

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