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Private Lessons

BSOMA PRivate Music Lessons - Teacher and guitar student

We offer lessons in vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano, drums, saxophone, harmonica and more!

Private lessons provide the most impactful experience in music education. Our teachers are equipped to prepare students for formal musical examinations, professional/semi-professional performances and casual play with friends and family. In person, one-on-one lessons under the guidance of our teachers provides personalized instruction that corrects errors in technique, builds upon the experience and abilities of the student and focuses on tricks of the trade, as appropriate for the student.

Book a private lesson

Or contact Nicole Irvine, our school Coordinator ( or 613-627-2762) so that we are able to match you up with the teacher who best suits your interests and abilities.


Read Instructor Profiles >>

Rates and Payment

Pay for all of Spring 2019 and Save 15%

This option is great for students who know they will be taking private lessons from mid-April to June. Students will save 15% by registering for the entire spring session. Built into the price is one student absence.

Lesson package runs from April 15, 2019, to June 28, 2019 .

Offer is available until May 10th, 2019 

$101 for four 30 minute lessons. Lessons are purchased in blocks of at least 4 lessons. Lessons can be purchased over the phone with credit card at 613-627-2762 or 613-798-8950 ext. 0. They can also be paid for in person at BSOMA or Dovercourt with exact cash, credit, or debit.

Cancellation Policy

At BSOMA we maintain a 7 day cancellation policy regardless of reason for absence. If 7 days of notice is received, a credit for the cancelled class will be given, and applied at a later date with no penalty. No refunds or credits will be given if fewer than 7 days of notice is not given.

To cancel a lesson you must email Nicole Irvine at

Summer Hours (July 16-September 9, 2018)
Monday – Thursday: 3pm to 9pm
Friday – Sunday: CLOSED

Regular Hours (Sep. 10, 2018 onwards)

  • Monday: Thursday: 2pm to 9pm
  • Friday: 12pm to 5pm
  • Saturday: 10am to 5pm


Lessons are available Monday-Friday between and 2pm and 9pm and Saturday between 10am and 5pm. Lessons take place once a week at the same day and time each week. Provided your lessons are paid for in advance, the date and time you have booked is yours until you withdraw from your lessons. You will, however, forfeit your lesson date and time if you do not come to class without notice twice in a row.

Refunds and Withdrawals

There are no refunds given for unused private lesson credits, but the credit can be transferred to a friend or family member new to BSOMA. Full credit will be given to those who withdraw from a group class up to one week in advance of the program start date of the course. Pro-rated refunds for withdrawal will be given with a medical certificate for all programs. Private Lessons are non-refundable. There will be a $20 administrative fee charged for all refunds and returned payments.

Instructor Profiles

Stay tuned to this space as we introduce more of our amazing music instructors at the school.

Amanda Balsys

Amanda is a working musician and performer living in Ottawa. She has toured Canada and the US with folk troupe The Gertrudes, queer rapper ManChyna, and internationally with Juno award nominated The Wilderness of Manitoba as a violinist and vocalist. She holds a BEd and an MEd from Queen’s University with certification in arts education, and has more than 10 years of private and group teaching experience. She is a big fan of The Beach Boys, Ottawa’s cycling routes, and a well-timed joke.
Amanda will begin instruction in violin and ukulele beginning this January 2019.


Saeideh Rajabzadeh

Saeideh has been studying classical singing under the tutelage of Christiane Riel since 2014 at University of Ottawa. She has extensive performance experience with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Ottawa Music Company. She has performed choral masterworks under the baton of renowned conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Jack Everly, David Currie, Laurence Ewashko, Jordan de Souza and Duain Wolfe.
Her last appearance as a chorister was in Harry Somers' Louis Riel Opera with the cast of Canadian Opera Company and NAC Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Alexander Shelley. 
In addition to her vocal training, she has received piano instruction.  With individualized plans for her students, she empowers them to express themselves freely in a positive safe environment where they are encouraged to explore their capabilities, rise to the challenges, believe in themselves and achieve their goals. Her incorporation of Alexander technique principles, theory and ear-training skills help her students learn faster and more effectively.


Shelby Taylor

Shelby is an instructor who teaches a different type of instrument – the mind. She has taught visual arts for the last 15 years, with the last 4 here with us at BSOMA. With a background in Social Working, Shelby graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Minor in Psychology in 2014, moving her further into a well-loved career of teaching drawing, painting and mixed media. 
Shelby enjoys the feeling of a student incorporating a technique that she taught them in an unrelated project because it shows that they appreciate what she showed them. Teaching is reciprocal, and she learns as much from her students as they learn from her.


Keith McCuaig

Keith has been a musician for almost 25 years having played guitar and bass in several blues, rock, and reggae bands over the past 20 years. Keith has a B.A. and M.A. in musicology, both from Carleton University, and wrote a thesis entitled “Jamaican Canadian Music in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s: A Preliminary History.” Keith has also lectured at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and presented at several international musicology conferences. Each week, Keith teaches around thirty guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons, and plays with his band, Airliner, works with youth bands through the Bluesfest Be in the Band program, and teaches group lessons at the Bluesfest School of Music and Art. A love of music has led to a life of playing, teaching and writing about music.

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Shann Bailey

New to our team of part-time music instructors, Shann Bailey is the Vocal Producer, Vocal Arranger and Artist Development Coach at Sound of the Muse Records (Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal). Shann is also the lead singer for the adult contemporary touring groups: “The Life of Pearls,” “SleepWalk Plaza” and “The Jazz Lounge Quartet.” Rounding out her expertise in the Canadian music industry, Shann also serves as the Administrative Manager of the prestigious Ottawa Choral Society, Canada’s premiere large ensemble symphonic choir.

Drawing on her experience of 20 years working as a professional singer, co-songwriter, recording artist, in-studio vocal producer, and vocal coach for hundreds of young singers, Shann specializes in the development of young artists through the design of engaging vocal coaching programs for both beginners and for advanced professional singers.

Shann’s unique vocal training method draws on the specific musical interests and inspirations of her students while demonstrating and teaching a host of beginner and advanced vocal techniques and disciplines, appropriate for the different genres of music. To demonstrate vocal excellence on the concert stage and on recording, Shann has authored “The Body Voice” program and “The Pop Vocal Master Class.”

If you are learning to sing just for fun or looking for advanced vocal coaching preparing for an audition or vocal competition, vocal repertoire for the concert stage, or vocal arrangements for the recording studio, Shann can design the appropriate vocal coaching program for you.

Shann Bailey is available at Bluesfest School of Music and Art on Saturdays.


Bella Cat

If you’re looking for a fun experience in vocal training, you’ve met your match with Bella Cat! With 4 years of teaching experience, Bella has also spent 17 years in professional voice training honing her craft. You can see her around the city performing with Bella Cat Soul, with her trademark raspy & powerful voices in blues & soul. In fact, she has played sets for 3 years at Bluesfest, was featured at the 2018 Ottawa Jazz Festival, and performed for over 10,000 people in Haiti at the International Jazz Festival in 2014. Bella has been teaching with BSOMA for the last 2 years, with private lessons in voice, performance training – as well as instructing our After School Musical Theatre program.


Jesse Green

With over ten years of teaching experience under her belt, Jesse Green comes to BSOMA with a wealth of music knowledge and playing experience. She has spent 20+ years performing a variety of genres, ranging from vintage blues sounds, hard rock, folk and classical. She has come up in the Ottawa scene, gaining experience at Canterbury High School, achieving her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 9 level. If you’re looking to learn guitar, piano, ukulele or voice with instrument accompaniment, she could be a great match for you!

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Ric Denis

Ric Denis is a professional guitarist, teacher, singer/songwriter and performer with five CD’s. He has over twenty-five years teaching and performance experience in many styles, including jazz, rock, blues, folk and country. He honed his craft through the Jazz/Classical Musical Education program at Mohawk College, enabling him to develop a curriculum for his students, which includes: Chords & Progressions, Rhythms & Notation, and Styles & Strum Patterns. If you’re looking for beginner drums, guitar, harmonica, ukulele or band coaching, Ric Denis can help you achieve the music skills you’re looking for!

Ric is also the coach for our weekly Jam Nights (see Special Events Page for more info).


Tony Komery

Whether you’re looking to pick up the guitar for the first time, or looking to hone your skills – Tony Komery can bring you to the level you’re looking for. He was first inspired as a teenager by popular Flamenco group, The Gypsy Kings, & the music Paco de Lucia – loving the power, the rhythm and feeling of the Flamenco guitar. Having spent years learning Classical Guitar, Tony became a teacher and performer in Syria, Jordan before moving with his family to Canada in April 2016. Since arriving in Canada, Tony has performed the 1000 Islands Jazz & Blues Festival to a full house gaining the attention and love of accomplished musicians in the area for his beautiful tone, versatility and talent.
Tony enjoys sharing his love of music with his students and will help beginners to advanced students achieve their musical goals, in all styles, whether it be classical, flamenco, acoustic or electric guitar.


Albert Kaprielian

Albert Kaprielian is a pianist/singer originally from Toronto.  Albert attended St. Michael’s Choir School, a school noted for its excellent music program, weekly choir duties, and annual Christmas concerts at Massey Hall.  After high school Albert continued his musical studies at the University of Western Ontario, studying piano with Peter Simon, who later became the President of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In addition to his classical music background, Albert has developed a strong repertoire in other genres of music including jazz, blues, R&B, classic rock, musical theatre, country, Celtic, holiday, and more.  Since making Ottawa his home in 2004, Albert has performed, as a solo act, or with groups from duos to sextets, at many of Ottawa's hotels, museums, banquet halls, restaurants, retirement homes, golf courses, and other venues.   His trio can often be found performing for private events at the National Arts Centre. 

Albert has taught piano and music theory in the past and enjoys the excitement of sharing his experience with others. Albert is available for piano lessons on Mondays at BSOMA. 


Jesse Kelly

Jesse Kelly is a local multi-instrumentalist, writer, performer, and recording artist.

Jesse currently teaches guitar, drums, bass, ukulele and piano throughout the week at various institutions. He is a dedicated and passionate educator and musician.

He has done it all when it comes to music: he has shared the stage with bands from all over the country, helped develop music for local artists, done session work on folk instruments for emerging artists, and performed throughout Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and every venue imaginable in Ottawa.

Growing up he spent years working in camps and libraries, assisting in the development and implementation of educational programming for children, before turning his sights to music as a writer, performer, and instructor.

Jesse has established himself as an Ottawa staple, instructor, and creative. He prides himself on inspiring students of all ages to find their own love for music, and their own space for it within their lives. Jesse is available on Thursdays for lessons at BSOMA.

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