The GCA Music Academy seeks to develop and nurture a love of music in its students. Founded in 1986 by Myrna Gowing as a piano academy, the Music Academy has and continues to give its students the opportunity to learn, explore, and pursue extracurricular musical education during the school day. This unique setting, where students receive weekly one-on-one 30 minute private lessons, has grown from piano to now include flute, violin, and viola as well.
In conjunction with private lessons, violin students will also participate in a weekly group class. Group classes will be offered after school hours on Mondays or Wednesdays and are designed to help reinforce skills learned in class through fun musical activities.
Students learning piano, flute, violin/viola or voice may apply for this program no matter what their skill level. Lessons are customized to each individual child's needs. The programs cover sight-reading, musical theory as well as performance skills. There are concerts offered through the year for students to celebrate their achievements with family and friends as well as other opportunities to play for students at GCA during music parties and school assemblies.
In keeping with our COVID-19 safety protocols, physical distancing of two metres between teacher and student will be required at all times during the lessons. Where this isn’t possible, the teachers will be expected to wear masks. Pianos and all other touch surfaces in the Music Academy rooms will be disinfected between each student.
Due to the high interest in the program, there is limited availability. Siblings of current students are given priority if lesson times become available. Students are responsible for obtaining their music books as well as renting or purchasing their own instruments. Piano students must have access to a well-tuned piano for regular practice sessions at home.
Our specialist teachers are:
Ruth Fritzke, Piano
Ruth is an accomplished musician and teacher with over twenty-five years of teaching experience; she began teaching at GCA in 1998. Ruth has a Pianoforte Performer-Teacher Associate Music Degree and is a Western Board of Music (University of Alberta) silver medalist. She studied with Dr. Lillian Upright, well known Western Canadian Pianist and Pedagogue, and with Edwin Gnandt, renowned Canadian pianist. She is "broadly experienced, extremely conscientious, hard working and a fine pianist in her own right" (Dr. Upright). Her passion for making piano lessons both educational and fun is what makes her program so immensely popular at GCA.
Dorcas Ng-Tsang, Piano
Dorcas has been playing piano for the last 25 years and also teaching piano and theory lessons since 2010. Dorcas studied under renowned performer and teacher Glen Montgomery. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Lethbridge. Since graduating in 2010, Dorcas maintains a busy private studio and is a sought after accompanist and teacher in the south Calgary area. She loves to work with children of all ages to help them explore the love of music. She is a RCM Certified Teacher and an Advanced Specialist in both Piano and Theory disciplines. Dorcas is looking forward to being a part of the Music Academy at GCA and sharing her love of piano with all her students.
Heidi Behrenbruch, Violin/Viola
An internationally trained Suzuki Teacher, Heidi has been teaching music for 19 years across the globe, and is experienced with both the Suzuki Method and the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM). Heidi has performed with orchestras and had freelance experiences in Australia, Illinois, Toronto and Calgary. In addition to her Suzuki qualifications, Heidi holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance with a minor in Viola from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a Masters level Advanced Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto.
Taryn Fulkerson, Flute
For over twenty years, Taryn has devoted her life to her beloved instrument and her passion for Classical, Celtic and Sacred music, which she loves to share with her students. She holds degrees from Appalachian State University (B.Mus., flute performance) and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (M.Mus., flute performance). In addition, she has her A.R.C.T from the Royal Conservatory of Canada. A freelance performer, teacher and clinician in the Calgary area, Taryn maintains a busy private teaching studio and is an extra player with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Katrina Garcia, Voice
As an alumna of Glenmore Christian Academy, Katrina has had a passion for music since she was young, being a part of many of the school’s music and band opportunities. Katrina is a graduate of the Music program at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, and graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance in the Spring of 2018. She has been a part of various musicals, theatre productions, solo recitals, concerts, and recording sessions, and had the opportunity of touring to Eastern Canada, New York City, Mainland China, and Hong Kong through her various musical endeavours throughout her university degree. She is well-versed in musical styles from contemporary to classical and finds joy in seeing individuals succeed in achieving their musical goals. Katrina welcomes the opportunity of being a part of your musical journey and is excited to be able to share her love for singing and performing with students at GCA.