Our Instructors

 

Steve Briggs (he/him)
Studio Director, Guitar, Theory
In-Person and Online

A native of Powell River B.C., Steve studied at Malaspina University, and then the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He has taught music for over twenty-five years in Toronto, has been featured twice as “Best Guitar Instructor” in Toronto Life Magazine and has released two instructional CDs.
Steve is also an instructor at Seneca College in its Independent Music Production and Performance & Songwriting  programmes.
His noteriety on the Canadian music scene has evolved to venerable. Steve has performed, arranged and recorded with a wealth of artists including Sylvia Tyson, Russell deCarle, Murray McLauchlan, Leon Redbone, Quartette and Carroll Baker among many others.
His western swing orchestra, the Bebop Cowboys, has garnered many glowing reviews and accolades across the country.

Brooklyn Bohach
Online Piano, Online Voice

Brooklyn aims to foster the true joys of music-making in her students, all while guiding them toward technical excellence. She is committed to meeting each student where they are at and encourages a collaborative approach in the learning studio.
Brooklyn is a bright and engaging jazz and improvising vocalist who has spent most of her life working in an array of artistic fields. She has studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music, trained professionally at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, run her own piano and voice studio in her hometown of Calgary, and worked as an arts administrator at Canada’s National Ballet School.
While currently completing her double major in
jazz music performance and science at the University of Toronto this year, Brooklyn has remained an active member of the vibrant Toronto jazz scene both as a vocalist and a bandleader.

Steve Copek
Online Guitar, Online Ukulele,
Online Mandolin, Online Dobro  

Both approachable and knowledgeable as an instructor, Steve Copek has proven to be a popular coach and mentor for many aspiring musicians here in the Kitchen over the years. His musical interests swim the oceans of Blues/R&B, Jazz, Rock, Folk, Bluegrass and Classical genres: “Pretty much any earthy music with soul.”  A graduate of Fanshawe College with two diplomas from the Music Industry Arts programme, Steve started playing guitar at the age of 12 and has been an active musician for over 30 years. Steve has been a member of the Blackflies (Cajun/Zydeco/Trad. Quebecois) for 8 years and toured with them across Ontario and to British Columbia. He has also studied with Steve Briggs for nine years, focusing primarily on advanced jazz guitar theory.
His thirst for musical knowledge has also led to an interest in studying mandolin, dobro, and vocal studies as well.
In addition to teaching guitar, Steve is also Kitchen Music Studios’ primary jam session facilitator.

Spencer Cole
Online Voice, Online Piano

Spencer is a freelance musician, composer and teacher.
Born to professional musicians, he excelled first in piano and voice, then classical percussion, touring with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. As his interests expanded into jazz experimental music, he attended the School for Improvised Music in Brooklyn, studying with Jim Black and Tyshawn Sorey, and then later at the Banff Centre, studying with Clarence Penn and Han Bennink.
In 2008, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Terry Clarke. He has since completed several world tours with the action percussion ensemble Scrap Arts Music with whom he performed at the Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Most recently, Spencer is a member of the strange pop/rock outfit Weaves who were named Rolling Stone’s “Band to Watch”, were short-listed for the 2017 Polaris Prize and the 2018 Polaris Prize here in Canada. He is the recipient of the Fraser MacPherson and Galaxie Rising Star Awards.

Bram Gielen (he/him)
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele,
Arranging & Composition
In-Person and Online

Bram’s expertise spans across classical, jazz and contemporary worlds with equal mastery. Compelling composition, dynamic improvisation and sound foundation of theory are his musical passions as an instructor, as he knows that these are the vital tools which will usher his students to that amazing place where they begin to create music of their very own.  The best part of teaching!
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced musician, Bram Gielen is versatile, supportive and engaging instructor for students of all ages.
Bram is a composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and educator living in Toronto. On the heels of a childhood and adolescence spent studying classical piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music (up through level 10) and playing in a ton of weird bands with his friends, Bram attended the University of Toronto’s Jazz program, majoring on the double bass. Since graduating in 2008, he’s been consistently active at home and abroad, performing live and recording with such artists as The Mountain Goats, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Joseph Shabason, Owen Pallett, DIANA and many more. He’s also an award-winning composer for theatre, and his film music has been heard at international festivals in Tokyo, Toronto, Melbourne, and Austin, to name only a few. Plus, if you watch television at all, you’ve probably heard his commercial work. Bram remains thrilled and honoured to teach at Kitchen Music Studios.

Anna Horvath (she/her)
Online Guitar, Online Piano,
Online Ukulele, Online Voice

Anna is a singer-songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. She brings a wealth of musical experience to the table, including a decade each of piano study and choral singing, private instruction in guitar and voice, and a 10-year career as a performing musician that has taken her across the country and the ocean, both as a solo singer-songwriter under the name of Merival and as a member of other bands and projects.

Anna’s approach to music strives to get at the very heart of the emotional response that writing and playing can create. She believes that there is much to be learned about how to navigate the world and the feelings therein through the lens of musical exploration. Her extensive background in childcare allows her to connect quickly and easily with kids and to listen and interact in a kind, open, and caring way.
Anna is so excited to help you or your loved one begin a rewarding musical journey!

Mike James
Online Guitar, Online Bass, Online Ukulele,
Online Mandolin, Online Composition

An Honours Graduate of Grant MacEwan College’s Jazz Performance program, Mike is a multi-instrumentalist and instructor with over 16 years experience who specializes in theory and songwriting.
From Michael Hedges to Leo Kottke, Danny Gatton to Jerry Reed, Lenny Breau to Kenny Burell and John Renbourn to Pierre Bensusan, Mike has studied almost every guitar style there is to offer. 
As a performer, Mike has toured Canada and parts of the US with a variety of bands including famed aboriginal artist Leela Gilday.
He recently took time away from touring to focus on recording and composition, and is currently developing several recording and performing projects.

Joëlle (they/them)

Online Voice, Online Piano,
Online Guitar, Online Ukulele,
Online Arranging & Composition

Joëlle (BMus U of T Jazz, RCM Teacher Certification) has found so much joy in teaching music for over a decade. They teach with the knowledge that music, just like you, is alive with history–full of stories we can learn from if only we listen. Your interests and a healthy sense of curiosity are of utmost importance. All ages and skill levels are welcome in Joëlle’s studio. 
As a teacher, Joëlle specializes in vocal anatomy & pedagogy, as well as songwriting for multi-instrumentalists, all with a focus on mindful self-compassion. As a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, Joëlle co-led the acclaimed bilingual duo Georgian Bay from 2012-2019 and currently writes, produces, arranges, records and performs their own brand of surrealist music under the moniker Ten Moon.

Alongside teaching and creating music Joëlle is in the process of writing a book and is deeply involved in activism work (climate and social justice).

Todd Lefever (he/him)
Guitar, Ukulele, Bass
In-Person and Online

Todd’s heart is soundly rooted in the art of teaching of music to all levels of developing musicians. He has been teaching in Toronto, both in a classroom setting and as a private instructor for over twenty years. His lessons are comprehensive and fun, and can cover any number of music styles including rock/metal, pop, blues, jazz, country, folk, and classical guitar.
Todd is a skilled and respected guitarist, songwriter, recording artist and teacher. Experienced and versatile, he is accomplished in several musical genres.
Todd studied classical guitar at Medicine Hat College, then went on to major in performance at the prestigious Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. He spent several years touring Canada and the United States with Lisa Dodd and Shameless, and played lead guitar with EMI recording artists Alpha Galates. While teaching guitar for four years at the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music, Todd was a member of the critically acclaimed Lyle Rebbeck Jazz Quartet. He later became lead guitarist for Juno-nominated, pop-rock singer and songwriter, Fefe Dobson, with whom he toured in both Canada and the United States. In recent years Todd has performed in Toronto and southern Ontario with The Soundtastics, The Mick McKenzie Band and ProCon, and with singer MacKenzie Porter.

Joe Organ
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele,
Arranging & Composition
In-Person and Online

As an instructor, Joe’s emphasis is not only to teach the technical aspects of playing, but also to fan the creative spark in his students that move them to compose, perform and share their growing language of music.
Since receiving his Bmus in jazz piano performance from the University of Toronto, Joe Organ has written music for big band, string quartet, choir, chamber group, corporate events, advertisements, theatre, and film. In 2015 he composed all the original music for a multi-million dollar event hosted by Stella Artois during the Toronto International Film Festival wherein he worked with Michelin Star chef Richie Farina to compose music that complemented each course of a five course meal. In 2017 his music was featured in the Palm Springs International Film Festival in the short film “I Lost My Mind”, directed by Michael Tobin. That same year he initiated in cooperation with Zach Bines (Weaves) The Nearest Faraway Place, a weekly summer concert series which focuses on the unique geography of Toronto. In 2018 he was invited to write and conduct choral music for the multi-arts festival In Situ in Mississauga. Joe has toured with bands throughout Canada, and has led his own band in Toronto since 2010. He continues to write in a multitude of styles from garage rock to folk, from solo piano to choral music.

Ariel Shetzen
Online Voice, Online Piano

Ariel Shetzen is a jazz vocalist originally from Toronto who draws her influence from Sarah Vaughan and Norma Winstone. She studied classical piano and theory with the Royal Conservatory of Music, holds her Grade 9 Piano, Grade 4 Theory, and is certified through their Elementary Piano Pedagogy program. 
Ariel is a graduate of the University of Toronto Jazz program and has studied with Juno-award winner Sienna Dahlen, and acclaimed vocalist Alex Samaras. In 2013, Ariel was one of six Canadians nominated for the Slaight Family Scholarship for the Berklee College of Music, which is a full-tuition scholarship offered to two Canadian students.
In addition to her studies, Ariel had the opportunity to sing with Carol Welsman at Koerner Hall, for Havergal College’s 120th Anniversary. She has been teaching for several years and is passionate about helping people learn music.

Kyler Tapscott (he/him)
Online Guitar, Online Ukulele
Online Banjo

Kyler brings a captivating enthusiasm, young energy, and impressive versatility to his teaching, searching for those moments to share and exchange his musical knowledge with students. He offers hand-tailored lessons to a diversity of students, in both age and skill level. He’s always seeking to engage you exactly where you are at in your music journey.
Kyler has been performing and teaching professionally for 15 years. He has studied a wide range of genres extensively, everything from blues to rock to flamenco to delicate finger-style to blistering funk guitar. Kyler is a member of Jimmy Bowskill’s band the Hometown Beauts, Pat Temple’s western swing infused HiLo Players, and has recorded and performed with Greg Keelor from Blue Rodeo as well as many others. Kyler has been a hired side man on tour and in the studio for most of his career but has recently released his own solo music in 2020. 
It’s no surprise that music flows deep through Kyler’s veins, as he comes from a family lineage rich in musical experience. His grandfather had a show on the CBC called The Carl Tapscott Singers, and Kyler’s father has been a professional musician and composer for close to five decades.