"Music is the journey. You never arrive in music; the work is never over."

~ Phil Woods ~

Teaching Philosophy

Rhona-Mae utilizes a process-based teaching philosophy, that is, the focus is on the journey as opposed to the end result.

Students develop an appreciation of various musical genres as they build upon their "Musician's Toolbox" of technical skills, musicianship, music theory, performance savvy, and musician survival skills.

They also develop transferable skills such as active listening, self-assessment, teamwork, time and project management, and presentation skills. Combined, their musical lessons and their transferable skills prepare them not only for a lifetime of musical enjoyment, but the versatility to face a variety of "real life" challenges and situations.

Music is a Collaborative Activity

Bringing together diverse personalities and work ethics to create harmony is one of the magical aspects of making music. Every performance is unique, as is every ensemble and every audience. At Musespeak Studio, students explore musical collaboration through special group classes and projects.

Notable student collaborations include WEDG's honorable mention in Long & McQuade's 2013 Music Education Contest, Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 4: Fly to Paradise, and Canada 150: O Canada Virtual Choir.

Technology Focus

2013 Tech Teacher of the Year (L-R) Doug McGarry (Roland), Rhona-Mae, Olivia Riddell (MYC) & Victoria Warwick (Conservatory Canada). Credit: Jay Gough.

2013 Tech Teacher of the Year
(L-R) Doug McGarry (Roland), Rhona-Mae, Olivia Riddell (MYC) & Victoria Warwick (Conservatory Canada). Credit: Jay Gough.

Musespeak Studio utilizes technology in a variety of ways. Software and apps are used for music recording, composing, arranging, ear training, music project management, and much more.

In 2013, Rhona-Mae became the inaugural Tech Teacher of the Yearan award presented by Roland Canada, Conservatory Canada, and Music for Young Children. Here is Rhona-Mae's winning submission:

The "Geeky Cool" Music Teacher

Musespeak Studio has attracted a high number of gamers, geeks, and otaku interested in learning their favourite video game music and anime theme music, to the point that students say, "All the cool geeks come here for piano."

Rhona-Mae draws upon her martial arts background, as well as her otaku and gamer hobbies when teaching to connect with her students. This results in the use of creative practice techniques and lessons.