The concept of a studio located in a converted barn has been with John ever since he began to study music. His journey to realize this goal started the day he was born. A cosmic coincidence of fate delivered him as the new born son of a professional musician and an English teacher. His life education was about music and literature.
At seventeen he was enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London, England. In the mid sixties, London was the musical capitol of the world. Rock, jazz and folk musicians congregated in small clubs, bars and coffee houses all over the city. Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendricks, the Rolling Stones, Queen, The Faces, these young musicians would shape our musical thoughts and ideas for generations. He studied and lived through this explosion of musical culture.
After completing his education, he set out on his journey as a working guitar player. As the years passed, his academic skills and reliable habits kept him working. He enjoyed playing gigs with some fine musicians. They included Jazz greats "Maynard Ferguson" and "Mike Shawn". He also enjoyed a three year gig as guitarist in the house band at the Stage and Radio club in Manchester, England.
In the seventies, he settled in Canada, after playing in Italy on cruise ships, and South Africa as a free lance musician. After working in music production for a Montreal based contractor, he finally settled in Toronto, his home for the next 22 years. Toronto is alive with musical opportunity. Using his wide range of skills, he taught mainly jazz and blues students during the day and at night played gigs. Which included being in various pit bands working in musical theater, playing for shows which included "Cats" and "Man of La Mancha". His favourite show gig, was a production of a jazz based show, "Closer Than Ever".
In 1990 he grew tired of the Toronto pace, and moved to Port Hope, he opened a music store called the Melody Maker. Port Hope is also home to one of Canada’s most prestigious private schools; Trinity College. He taught guitar and jazz at the school. His fellow teachers being ex Ronnie Hawkins keyboard player, Michael Sinnet and international opera star Dr Ron Birmingham.
In 2007 he retired to Angus, only to find many eager students needing his leadership, he now teaches at the Barn Music Studio. His lifelong dream fulfilled.
His career as a guitar teacher has produced 67 students who went on to study music at the university level and many other students that studied at the college level. Former students of his now work in recording and music production.
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Myrelle came to music through the back door, born and raised in a family with no background in music. As a young girl, Myrelle was given a recorder by her grandmother, whose friend played.
Myrelle attended an arts school in Toronto; it was in this musical environment that she blossomed as a musician. At school she studied theory and Flute technique, she honed her chops playing in the school orchestra and playing chamber music with small ensembles.
After school, living alone in Toronto was hard. Struggling to pay rent, she was forced to set aside music. She married and started to raise a family. As her children grew into teenagers, her love of music rekindled her interest in playing flute.
Myrelle was again studying music with local teachers, but frustrated by a lack of good leadership, she decided to retrace her learning curve, encouraged by her friend and long time musical coach John Weston.
Working through the flute graded system with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Myrelle made rapid progress, achieving high marks as she has rebuilt her flute and theory skills. Now an accomplished flute player, Myrelle maintains a varied repertoire of classical, folk, jazz and Celtic music.
Myrelle teaches flute to students drawn from Barrie, Angus, Alliston and surrounding area. Myrelle Byrd, is not only a flute teacher, but also performs as a featured soloist with various community musical groups, as well as playing jazz gigs with duo partner John Weston, as “Jazz Byrds”.
Click on the link below for more information about their duo work
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