Kwantlen Polytechnic University

"Stepping into your own greatness can seem like a monumental task, but there's a way to grow exponentially and effortlessly. 

The trick? Knowing that you don't have to figure out everything on your own."  ~ Robin Sharma


My job is to help you unleash the greatness that lies within you; a greatness you probably don't even realise is there. I support aspiring musicians in realizing their personal and professional potential by helping them discover and develop their creative abilities and musical interests. It gives me deep satisfaction to guide artistic souls in advancing their musical and technical capabilities to the level that grants them the creative freedom to follow their imagination.

However, nothing happens unless you do the work. Your music studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) first focus on the foundations of musical expression and technical competency on the guitar. In part, you will do this by exploring the many different styles of music written for the nylon-string guitar over the centuries. As you progress, you will also have the opportunity to explore different genres that are particularly intriguing to you. 

A critical part of your musical development is playing with other musicians. Collaboration, collective imagining, musical exploration, listening, peer mentorship, and leadership are indispensable if you are to fully realise your artistic potential. Most importantly, it is just a heck of a lot of fun. In addition to performing music written for two, three, or four guitars, you may also have the opportunity to perform with woodwind and string instruments, as well as vocalists.

For you to take full advantage of the program, you should possess certain musical and technical abilities before embarking on this journey. Details that will help you prepare to enter the program--as well as how to apply--can be discovered by visiting the KPU music program website: 

If you would like assistance in preparing for the audition and placement test, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Contact

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“A lot of people think that if they learn to read music they are gonna lose their feel or their groove or something. It’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

~ Frank Gambale

What KPU students have said . . .

"I think you did a great job when I was at Kwantlen! I love your fresh approach and the passion you bring to your work. I'm sure that will be no different in the coming years."

“In my opinion Don is doing a fantastic job with this course. His straight-forward approach and fast pace challenges students to expand their potential and achieve their goals. The workload is heavy, however, it is also realistic and necessary in order for student’s to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to advance from the Music Foundation to the Diploma Program. His course is extremely well organized and comprehensible. It is up to the student to attain all they can because it doesn’t get any clearer or more organized than this, or with someone who is a fair and realistic as Don.” 

"Don was a teacher of mine for private lessons throughout senior high and I was student of his at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I've always ranked him as one of my greatest teachers whether is be music or any avenue of life as his lessons were universal. He knew if you weren't pushing your game to it's true potential and he wasn't afraid to let you know. . . . Don, I'm sure you don't know how often your lessons run through my head or what stuck out in the short couple of years as your student but I really appreciate your work."

"Very knowledgeable about what he is teaching and he's very energetic when teaching the class." 

"Thank you Don! I'm grateful for the guidance over the years. I feel like everything you've taught has finally matured and worked itself into my current style."

"The way you approach your class is very hands on, reflecting how the music industry functions. I truly appreciate the class discussions you lead with us, and the way you present your course in an understandable but frank manner. You're a great teacher, and I really appreciate the time you have for each student, it's been a pleasure!" 

“Don is a very capable guitar instructor. Many important subjects were taught in class, and I feel that I have a lot of valuable material to work with over the next few months. I not only feel like a better guitarist, but I feel that I now have the tools necessary to be a better musician in all areas. . . . Overall, Don was an excellent teacher, and I learned a lot in his class that will take me some time to get used to and incorporate. He instilled in me an appreciation of various types of music and broadened my horizons. Thank you, Don. Sincerely.” 

“While the workload may seem heavy at times it could possibly be the reason I feel that I have learned so much. The course has answered many previous questions I had about music and I look forward to another heavy workload and the answers to more questions.” 

"Don is very good at analyzing students work and critiquing the classes opinions in a respectful and non judgemental, as well as providing a positive learning environment." 

"Don welcomes student participation and feedback. He does not simply provide lectures, but engages the class in a discussion." 

"Friendly, accessible teaching style." 

"Great teacher, great content, and always willing to help."  

Student Successes . . .

Below are a few examples of what current and past KPU music students are doing in their musical careers.   

Joel Thomson

Sean McGowan

Adrian Talens

Ruel Morales

Robert Crews  

Matt Pirozek

Jason Ratzlaff

Larry Edward

Brian Sumner


Conference Presentations

  • Festival of Learning: Celebrating Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - 2018 - Vancouver, BC 
  • Teaching and Learning Symposium - 2017 - Surrey, BC  
  • British Columbia Music Educators' Conference