Future of Music Education
Popular music (electronic, hip-hop, indie, metal, etc.) is super cool, but most of it is also super predictable! This is because music education focuses on classical/jazz, which is irrelevant for most modern songwriters & producers. As a result, they don't study music and choose to compose by ear instead.
However, making music by ear is precisely what's causing all the predictable songs these days, as our ears will always lead us to what we've heard before. So, if we want to make great music that stands out, we need to use theory! But, traditional theory is irrelevant and overcomplicated. This is the dilemma that popular music is currently trapped in.
Our solution is Hack Music Theory, an online platform for songwriters & producers to learn relevant, simple theory hacks, which can instantly be applied to making cool music that's also creative and clever! So, get involved now and join over 100K songwriters & producers who are already in the Hack Music Theory community.
*Our deepest gratitude and respect to the Semiahmoo people, whose beautiful land we gently and humbly share here on Turtle Island.
I'm a British African award-winning music lecturer, critically-acclaimed author, songwriter, producer, vegan, straightedger, runner, obsessive tea drinker, and a few other things too!
Born in the '70s in Cape Town (South Africa), I began playing piano at the age of seven, and guitar at the age of twelve. I went on to form Royd, an original grunge band that received national acclaim. In 1996, along with playing sold-out shows, our debut single reached No.1 on the rock chart of the country's most popular national radio station, 5FM, and we returned to the No.1 spot in 1998 with our third single. After graduating from high-school and achieving Grade 8 (the highest grade) from the Royal Schools of Music in piano, classical guitar, and theory of music, I moved to Los Angeles (USA) in 1999 to study contemporary guitar and voice at Musicians Institute. There I also recorded an album with my new original multicultural rap-rock band Gray Race Evolution, and gained valuable experience performing on the Los Angeles music circuit, which included shows on the famous Sunset Strip.
In 2001 I immigrated to England where I did my teacher training while studying education, and lectured music theory and composition at one of the UK's largest colleges: Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College (with over 1,000 staff and over 20,000 students) in London from 2001-2011, later becoming the course director and accredited lead internal verifier too. In my decade at this college I was honoured to win the prestigious Learner First Award and Vocational Qualification Hero Award. I also went on to form 12 Ton Method, my new original dodecaphonic metal band, in which I composed and played guitar. At this time I unintentionally became a music journalist as well (long story), and after writing for Kerrang! magazine from 2009-2010 I moved on to Terrorizer, where I became the editor of their new guitar magazine Sick Sounds from 2010-2011.
Me in my music lecturer days being awarded the prestigious 'Learner First Award' in 2010 by the principal at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College. Yay! And yes, this is what I wore to lectures and award ceremonies.
I founded and ran the non-profit record label Grade 9 Records from 2008-2012, which exclusively released my students' music worldwide and donated all the proceeds to charity. In 2011 I relocated to Vancouver (Canada) and developed this philanthropic dream by launching my new and improved non-profit record label Revolution Harmony, which released over 40 records worldwide. 2013 saw Revolution Harmony streamlined to focus exclusively on my All-Star charity singles that feature multiplatinum Grammy-winning artists (Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, Serj Tankian from System Of A Down, and many more), with all the proceeds going to charities that restore harmony between people, animals, and the environment. In 2014 I moved to Salt Spring Island (Canada) to surround myself with nature in order to focus on writing my music theory book, but instead I ended up meeting the love of my life, Kate, and starting a music school and duo with her.
In 2015 we relocated to Victoria BC (Canada) to re-immerse ourselves in city energy and kick up our production. After the success of our "Hack Music Theory" show on YouTube, which we launched in February 2017, we moved back to Vancouver BC (Canada) to grow our notation-free popular music theory revolution. Thank you sincerely for your time and support, as together we are all the Revolution Harmony. Amandla Awethu!
I'm a Canadian music teacher, producer, composer, singer, vegan, straightedger, activist, runner, yogi, and closet metalhead!
I've been singing for a quarter of a century. I studied voice and piano through my teenage years, accompanied by regular solo performances and choral concerts.
In 2014, I undertook formal teacher training with Ray, who also trained me to teach his Hack Music Theory method - I'm the only person on the planet he's trained to teach his method! Previously I studied popular music theory (Distinction at Grade 8, the highest grade) through the London College of Music, and vocals through the Berklee College of Music.
Back in 2006 I embarked on a life-changing charity trip to Botswana in Africa, where I worked to raise youth awareness of HIV/AIDS in the community, and it was there that I discovered the true power of music. On returning to Canada, I immersed myself even deeper into the singing world, and began working with improvisation groups, choirs, performing to hundreds of people, and volunteering for non-profit fundraising events.
2012 found me exploring the mind/heart/body interconnectedness, and the vocal synergy that is created from this unity. As part of this growth into a holistic singer, I studied Yoga and did my teacher training at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico.
For the last few years, I've been teaching and performing in a variety of contexts, from leading Kirtan at Yoga centres to playing at festivals.
Now I'm excited to be spending my days making music theory videos, teaching and composing music with the love of my life!