Sweet Home Chicago

The classic Robert Johnston blues shout Sweet Home Chicago allowed the band to learn the shuffle rhythm, stop choruses and the 12 bar blues form. Sitting under a Pine Top Perkins piano figure, the guitar adds the blues grease to drive the form forward. There’s a looseness to the time that gives this rendition a great blues jam feel. Well done lads.


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The Integrated Rock Band Project

From April to the end of June we rehearsed and learned a repertoire of 5 songs, including looking at different arrangements. In late June we started to record and sequence demos in preparation for for our week of recording. We were supported by many: The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund, The Music Therapy Ride, MTABC and Musicsharesociety. This is the first of the five tunes we will be posting to showcase the efforts of these musicians. The band worked very hard to get to this level, and was a great team. We are thankful to our guest music clinicians Ron Thompson and Mitch Lazer and to recording engineer Erik Olson who made our work that much better. Team work always pays dividends. Way to go boys!


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Adapted Musical Theatre

The season as come to and end, and we have had our performance. This year’s production was a Vancouver adaptation of a Graham Greene farce – retitled and reworked as Our Man in Kitsilano. Here’s the opening scene – what a great cast, and great support from Access Services. This is undoubtedly the best program of its kind in the Lower Mainland because of the tremendous support from volunteers and staff. And of course the kids are fabulous.



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Bandwagon Project

MTC Studio has been chosen to receive two grants to spearhead a unique project – an integrated rock band – which will be heading to the recording studio for a week in July. More accurately, the recording studio is heading to us, as the Bandwagon2 shows up at MTC Studio for a week. Here’s a glimpse of our first gig, at the annual MTC Studio recital. We are joined by Gordon Clark as a guest vocalist as we jam to the Sly Sylvester tune “Everyday People”. Stay tuned for project updates.

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Anti Bullying Symposium

The Vancouver School Board Anti Bullying Symposium featured the Windermere Inclusion project dance routine as the opening presentation. This school sets the bar for inclusion, and I am extremely fortunate to be part of such a great team. Inclusion works when people are included. The light may be poor, but the spirit is moving.


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The Inclusion Project update May 2013

Wow! When people are included, miracles happen. After a few months of hard work in our Music Therapy sessions with the Windermere Lifeskills Class, it all came together in two performances. The Senior Dance Class and Grade 9 Choir were great in helping these kids in a dance performance of the Bruno Mars song Just the Way You Are. The credit goes to the kids who made this a reality.

Not to be outdone, they also performed the Beatles song Let It Be with one of the SSSW staff as a guest guitarist. It’s so easy to be on this team because it is so well run. Way to go Windermere Secondary.


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Another great week – no make that month

MTC Studio started the Summer Rock Band Recording project. The Music Therapy Trust Fund generously supplied a grant that will allow 6 teenagers to learn and record some songs – we are not sure how many yet, but it may be 5 or 6 the way these kids are learning. On top of that, the Lifeskills Class at Windermere will present not once but twice this week – the Beatles song Let it Be with the Grade 9 choir, and a dance presentation with the Honours Dance Class. This on top of the annual recital preparations make for an extremely busy and happy time at our Royal Oak studio and our many outreach programs. Watch for videos of the Windermere performances soon.

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Mardi Gras Indians

We were in New Orleans, staying at our friends’ place in the Lower 9th Ward, and were invited to be part of a new Indian tribe’s first coming out on St. Joseph’s Eve night.  This great community event starts in the “home” neighbourhood and then proceeds to A.L. Douglas Park in the Central City neighbourhood. To say the costumes were spectacular is understating the case. As the women notes later in the video, they were traditionally burned after this event. Not they are discarded as new ones built, and find their ways into various museums in the area.

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A Video Win!

I am happy to announce that a video of All You Need is Love from the MTC Studio Inc. Inclusion Project at Windermere has been selected as the 3rd place winner in a youth and compassion video contest. The winnings will be placed in a scholarship fund for a graduating honours choir member with a portion set aside for a party for the Lifeskills Class. This was a great team effort with a support staff worker shooting, me editing, and unknown to us, the teacher entering it in the contest. Way to go Lifeskills Class.

Check the contest out at:



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What a great week!

What a great week. The Windermere Inclusion project has another performance on Friday, and the choir is all set and rehearsed – topped off by a fabulous seminar at Roland Canada on the use of digital instruments in a music therapy environment. Roland were huge supporters of Music Therapy in the Supercussion project, and it’s great to see them once again taking a leading role.

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