“I believe that music is an inherent ability that is best encouraged with a flexible approach. ”
BOOK AN INTERVIEW WITH BENJAMIN NOW
I believe that music is an inherent ability that is best encouraged with a flexible approach. The satisfaction of learning an instrument comes from the enjoyment of making personal progress while fostering self-expression. Following one’s natural intuition guided by the proper technique leads to the innate ability to learn and unlock one’s creative potential. Learning music should not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but one that allows room for freedom of learning.
Name: Benjamin (Full name will be provided upon registration)
Currently I live in Toronto providing private lessons for children and adults who desire to make music. My approach to teaching caters to a natural way of playing that promotes physical wellbeing and ease for rapid progress. My teaching style encourages students to learn and explore while simultaneously learning how to creatively solve problems on their own. In the past ten years I have taught children and adult students in private and group lessons in BC and Toronto. While living in BC I was a founding teacher for an El Sistema school that provided free music lessons to children from various financial backgrounds in Abbotsford for three years. During my time as an instructor at this school, I became experienced with teaching group lessons to children between the ages of 7-15. I also have taught private lessons for children and adult students at all levels of musical experience. For the past four years I have been a cellist and freelance musician in the city of Toronto. In 2015 I completed a master’s degree in performance at the University of Toronto and I am currently pursuing a doctorate under the guidance of Joseph Johnson, the principal cellist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. During my university studies I served as the principal cellist of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the University of Toronto Opera Orchestra, and I am currently a Teacher’s Assistant for Orchestral studies at the University of Toronto for Uri Mayer.
As a solo musician, I have collaborated multiple times in recital with the pianists Jennifer Lim, and Krystyna in the Greater Vancouver area. This past summer I was a featured artist for the newly launched contemporary music festival HATCH and performed in the Toronto Summer Music Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, and the Festival of the Sound. During the tour I collaborated with members of Canada’s renowned contemporary music ensemble Continuum and recognized composers such as Linda Caitlin Smith, James Rolfe, and Brian Current. I have also performed as a soloist with the Octava Symphony Orchestra in Seattle, the Abbotsford Symphony Orchestra, the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, and the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra performing cello concertos by Haydn, Schumann, and Dvorak. Most recently, I have performed in fundraisers as a featured artist to raise funds for a women’s shelter and refugee’s and I presented a lecture recital at the 2019 Western University Graduate Symposium on Music. As a chamber musician, I have performed in masterclasses for recognized ensembles such as the St. Lawrence String quartet, the New Orford Quartet, the Julliard Quartet, Quartet Ebene, the Prazac Quartet, the Gryphon Trio, the Brooklyn Ride Quartet, and the Jupiter Quartet. I have also had been an invited artist for the Orford Summer Music Festival and in the summer of 2018, I was a member of an all Canadian quartet that was invited on scholarship to participate in the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in Wisconsin. In addition, I have also been the winner of the Haydn Quartet Challenge two years in a row, and a first-place winner of the Galamir Chamber Competition at the University of Toronto.
My passion for teaching and performing came from my first cello teacher who taught me the importance of learning music with passion and to follow my natural curiosity. His tutelage inspired me as a young student to inspire students in their passions to learn music and to encourage their natural curiosity. He was an exemplary model that demonstrated the importance of a teacher who understands their students and enhances their learning through natural guidance. From an early age he made a lasting impression on me and how I teach. My musical education and training have been classically focused; however, my teaching methods cater to various styles of learning. As a performer I have accumulated a wide variety of skills by performing in different ensembles and settings. I have had extensive experience and training in orchestral performance with recognized orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. In addition, I have performed in many chamber ensembles for various festivals and tours in Canada and the United States. All these experiences have provided me the flexibility to teach beginning students and more advanced players of all ages.
Rates and Studio Policies
Registration Fee: $25.00 (One-time lifetime registration fee may be used by all family members)
Rates for instruction:
30 minute private lesson: $39.00
45 minute private lesson: $49.00
60 minute private lesson: $59.00
Travel charge: additional $15.00 per visit (for lessons in a client's home as opposed to my studio)
1. Cancellation Policy
Lessons not cancelled or rescheduled with at least 24 hours notice are billable to the client and payable to the teacher. This does not of course apply to travel fees unless the notice is effectively given at the door and the teacher has travelled to the location.
2. Cessation (quitting) Policy
A client must provide a 2 lesson notice period to stop lessons. So a weekly student needs to give 2 weeks of notice, a biweekly student works out to 3 weeks notice and a twice weekly student works out to a week of notice.
3. Illness Policy
Lessons cancelled due to illness or extraordinary circumstances with less than 24 hours notice remain billable to the client and payable to the teacher.
BAH teachers are encouraged to offer a make-up lesson at a future date in the interest of client relations and general goodwill. This only makes sense as teaching a student with the flu for example, will ruin the rest of your week's employment.
No more than 2 lessons may be made up due to illness within a 60 day period.
4. Rescheduling Policy
Any lesson can be cancelled or rescheduled with at least 24 hours notice.
Summer Vacation and Extended Absence Policy
Clients may schedule longer absences for trips etc. 24 hours notice is required.
It is normal and typical for students and about 20% of our teachers to schedule a break in the summer. We do not enforce a notice period (see cessation of lessons) at the end of a long summer break.
5. Evaluation Period
There are no free trial lessons with Beethoven at Home but we do offer a 2 lesson evaluation period where it is easy to try out a teacher. There are no free lessons during the evaluation period and clients may choose to discontinue the lessons at any time by providing the required 24 hours notice. After the student's 3rd lesson the required 2 lesson notice period will apply (see cessation of lessons above).
Lessons in your home
Benjamin is available to teach in your home if you are located in the following areas
Benjamin can provide online instruction. While other platforms are possible BAH strongly recommends the use of the Zoom video conferencing platform as it is optimized for music lessons and audio quality.
Benjamin's Studio Location
Benjamin offers lessons from his studio. Please note that map locations are based on the postal code of the teachers studio. After booking an interview the full address will be released to you if needed.