Our Ukulele Teachers
Zachary is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches ukulele, guitar, singing, piano and percussion. He teaches all styles, including popular music, folk songs, children's songs, jazz and classical.
Zachary performs music at Christ Church St Kilda. He previously performed regularly on the Bourke Street Mall, where only the most experienced and professional buskers may perform.
Zachary is currently studying jazz performance at Monash University. He previously studied classical music at The University of Melbourne at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (2012). He also has a TAFE diploma in popular music performance (2008). Here is a video of Zac playing a baritone ukulele & singing a duet: https://youtu.be/iDKUEaXoG4
Zachary can help students achieve excellent results in the new AMEB Rock School Ukulele popular music exams that are recognised internationally! Zachary is a music education author who wrote the highly rated book "How To Sing Any Song - 14 Secret Vocal Hacks". Click this link to read the book:https://www.amazon.com.au/How-Sing-Any-Song-Practical-ebook/dp/B07NSYPMFT
Zachary is passionate about researching the learning methods of the greatest musicians of all time such as J.S. Bach, Mozart, Miles Davis & Stevie Wonder. He has discovered that all these great musicians learned music like a language - they listened and imitated, learned music by ear, improvised, and composed. Zachary helps you learn music like a language - A typical lesson plan is as follows:
- Student chooses one of their favorite song
- Zac teaches the whole song, by rote and by ear
- Zac teaches how to identify & perform the parts of the song - the rhythm patterns, tonal patterns, and chord patterns.
- Zac teaches how to master the rhythm, tonal and chord patterns in a fun way by improvising and creating simple songs or compositions with them!
- Through these little music composition exercises, students gain a deep understanding of music theory & reading & writing music notation.
- Zac is also a highly experienced vocal coach & can teach singing & ukulele together! So, if you'd love to be able to play many musical styles, & be excellent at singing & playing ukulele, learning songs by ear, improvising & songwriting, Zachary is the perfect teacher for you!
Justin Vilchez is a trained contemporary guitarist and mandolinist with a degree in Applied Music performance from Boxhill Tafe. Picking up the guitar at age 6, Justin got his musical start playing blues and rock 'n roll. His passion for melody led him to a bachelor's degree in jazz and contemporary music. Whilst Justin is fluent in a variety of genres, his love for all things folk music shines through boasting the musical theory knowledge to back it up. The last 2 years has seen him living abroad based in Saskatchewan Canada, gigging as a core member of a contemporary Bluegrass band 'The Local group' as well as accompanying folk singers in festivals and shows across the country.
He has maintained a busy teaching schedule for the last 8 years teaching privately from his home and working with a variety of schools in Australia and abroad, offering both in person and online lessons.
Justin's teaching style aims to keep lessons fun and engaging whilst also absorbing the core technique and theory of a variety of stringed instruments including Guitar, Mandolin, Bass and Ukulele. Fluent in both notation and TAB, he strongly promotes developing good audiation, giving students the tools to work out songs by ear and the power to pick up new tunes in seconds. Justin's experience with students of all ages has taught him what techniques and attitude to uphold and ensure the most growth, whilst maintaining a friendly and fun approach to practical and theory based learning.
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. The NSW Tafe
- Bachelor in Contemporary Music. The Southern Cross University
- Graduate Diploma in Education (Instrumental/Classroom Music. The University of Melbourne
- Diploma in Jazz/Popular Performance. The Gordon Tafe
Grant Smith has been actively teaching music professionally for over 15 years both as a qualified Instrumental and Classroom Teacher including Primary/Secondary year levels. Throughout his teaching career Grant has taught a vast range of contemporary musical instruments including Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Drums, Ukulele and world instruments such as the Traditional Gamelan Ensemble. In 2014 Grant moved overseas to teach music at The Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) and was also part of the founding team to establish a new international campus at The Peninsula International School Australia (PISA) where he taught all music subjects from Foundation to VCE levels.
Before moving overseas in 2014 Grant was an active instrumental teacher/classroom music teacher based in Victoria and a seasoned professional musician performing regularly in Rock, Jazz and Blues bands releasing professional studio recordings and film clips. His main area of expertise is in contemporary music such as Rock, Jazz, Soul and Blues. Grant's own musical influences include Jeff Beck ( Guitar ), Marcus Miller ( Bass ), Miles Davis ( Jazz ), Steve Gadd ( Drums ), Bill Evans ( Jazz ), Eric Clapton plus film composer's Jerry Goldsmith ( Gremlins ), James Horner ( Titanic ) and John Williams ( Star Wars ). He also loves Jazz Big Band and Electronic Music.
Grant believes that 'Learning an instrument should be fun, challenging and rewarding' As a beginner/intermediate musician it is vital to learn the music you love and that inspires you to develop your skills and knowledge. Having a genuine and authentic grounding in the initial learning stages can assist in developing your own voice, tone and expression on your chosen instrument.
Music lessons with Grant is 100% student focused and includes:
- Learning your favourite songs/music in a very relaxed and professional setting.
- Techniques and Technical work such as Fingerstyle and Scale/Chord work relating to your instrument.
- Improvisation techniques such as exploring the sounds of an instrument, creating music based on a key and/or over a set chord progression, imitating what you hear, playing along with backing tracks, learning musical vocabulary via licks, basslines and phrases while developing your own expression and musical ideas.
- Genuine and authentic feedback to increase musicianship levels.
- A personally focused and supportive routine designed to work within a student's own requirements.
Ana Maria Rojas Leal
Ana Maria has been playing guitar at around 10 years. She first fell in love with the sounds of the guitar when she has learned the basic structures of the Colombian traditional music at the University of The Andes.
Ana Maria's goal is to teach students the importance of having the correct technique in order to play their instruments properly. Also, ensuring that students are kept interested and enjoy playing the style of music they like while at the same time applying the essential basic knowledge necessary. Overall, generally, making sure that each student stays inspired and excited about playing music!
The things that are to be covered in class would be: - Applying knowledge for great rhythmic playing to accompany drums and bass in a group/band situation
- Correct ways of tuning guitar (by ear and using tuner)
- The correct way to strum for vocal accompaniment
- Finger picking exercises for beginners and intermediate/advanced players
- Improvising skills (soloing over a Blues progression etc.)
- Theory studies
- Scales practice
- And riffs
Ana Maria teaches for leisure as well as preparing students to AMEB contemporary and Rockshool exams
- Develop finger precision, coordination and dexterity
- Trains focus and musical knowledge
- Provides an opportunity to relax through a creative outlet
- The portability of the instrument means instant fun!
- Develops a keen sense of rhythm and beat
- Improves cognitive processing speed and clarity
- Every practice session is like a trip to a tropical beach!