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Music Lessons in Guelph

-with Emilyn Stam and John David Williams

- with Emilyn

Fiddle is fun! Canada's most popular folk music instrument! If you already play some violin, your lessons can be:


- an introduction to new kinds of fiddling traditions

- improvising

- writing tunes

- jamming along with other kinds of music

If you're new to the instrument, you'll learn how to play from a fiddling perspective.




- with John

I've played the clarinet since I was 8 years old, and have studied with the great clarinetist and teacher Avrahm Galper, and at the University of Toronto for Classical music, as well as side studies in Jazz and Klezmer. I have had an eclectic performing career over the past 15 years and love to share my passion and knowledge of the clarinet with students! Lessons tailored to your interests: Classical, Klezmer, Jazz, Traditional. 


- with Emilyn

Piano is such a great foundational instrument! In your piano lessons with me we can explore:

- playing by ear

- jamming with chords 

- improvising

- accompanying fiddle tunes

- accompanying songs you like to sing

- reading sheet music + playing classical music (RCM)

- harmony and theory lessons

If you're someone who had piano lessons as a kid but would like to revisit it from a new perspective, or are starting out from scratch, we'll have a lot of fun together!


- with John

Harmonicas are inexpensive, fun and fit in your pocket! I've played harmonica since I was a teenager, and it's been a great travel companion ever since!



- with Emilyn


It's like a piano you can wear! The accordion is popular in so many folk traditions, with this 'party in a box' you can play melodies and chords and basslines...

- fun tunes from various traditions - klezmer, French and more
- playing chords to accompany others or yourself singing
- tunes for folk dances
- ornamentation that brings the music to life!


- with John


A great source of joy in my life!! "Diatonic Button Accordions", "Melodeons", "Button Boxes", "Squeeze Boxes" come in various keys, tunings, and styles of playing. You can find them in all sorts of folk traditions from around the world! I particularly enjoy playing traditional french, cajun and Quebecois tunes.

- fun tunes from various traditions
- playing chords to play with others or yourself singing
- tunes for folk dances
- ornamentation that brings the music to life!


It's enjoyable and intuitive to start, with open-ended space for exploration and improvement!



- with Emilyn

Custom tailored lessons to gain musical skills for playing the music you are excited to play! This can include:

- ear training to learn melodies and chords by ear

- how to figure out chords to your favourite songs

- tools for jamming along with others

- tune crafting and composition

- understanding music harmony and the practical uses of music theory

*these lessons are available to vocalists, people with an intermediate playing level on any instrument, or people interested in learning piano with this approach


Lesson Fees and Practical Information

Contact us for rates and availability:

Students will receive a monthly invoice for lessons, and payments can be made by etransfer, cash or cheque.

Lessons take place in our home in downtown Guelph and are open to kids and adults alike.

Who are Emilyn and John?

We love music, and believe in the powerful joy it brings when shared as a community! 


Together and independently, we have studied and explored our musical passions, from French fiddling to New Orleans clarinetting, from klezmer to classical, old time and jazz. We've also both had conventional music training (University of Toronto for clarinet and Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10 piano).


Growing up in the unique fiddling community of Smithers in Northern BC, Emilyn was mentored by Oliver Schroer, who fostered her love of creative music exploration through improvising, tune writing and ensemble playing from an early age. John studied under world renowned clarinettist Avrahm Galper who imparted his deep respect for tone and simplicity in music making.


Our music careers have taken us on tours around the world, through Europe, China, Australia, and across Canada from Coast to Coast. We've performed for theatre, television, jazz and folk festivals, and on boats, planes, and wagons! As a duo and with our other bands we've released over 15 albums, many of which were nominated for Canadian Folk Music Awards, and some for Juno Awards.

As organizers, we co-founded (with Tangi Ropars) "Balfolk Toronto", a not-for-profit that has put on community folk dance events since 2013, and runs a 3 day international folk music and dance camp/festival "The Big Branch".

To hear our music, check out our albums! 

As a duo:
Our quartet, Vinta:

With other bands: and

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