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About Don . . .
Bachelor of Music (Performance); Master of Arts (Higher Education)
Hello, and thanks for stopping by!
My name is Don Hlus (M.A., B. Mus.). I am a classical guitarist, a dedicated educator, mentor, and career coach. I teach all levels of classical and fingerstyle acoustic guitar. It is an absolute joy to introduce new people to the guitar. I also love helping intermediate and advanced students overcome their musical and technical barriers and guiding them to reach that next level in their musical journey. It is personally fulfilling and professionally satisfying to watch a student progress, whether they be developing a new skill, enhancing their musicianship, or expanding their knowledge about the guitar, and all while having fun!
My Professional Background
I have an undergraduate degree in Classical Guitar (Performance), a Masters degree in Higher Education, and over 35 years of teaching experience. I was the Director of Guitar at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for 26 years and Founder and Artistic Director of the Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival. In addition, I am a member of the The Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations (CFMTA), the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers' Association (BCRMTA - South Fraser Branch), the Vancouver Classic Guitar Society, the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association, and a certified Royal Conservatory of Music instructor.
Students that I have had the privilege of working with have been awarded gold and silver medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music for receiving the top mark in the province, have placed first in local music festivals, been finalists in provincial and regional music competitions, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and successfully auditioned for major music schools and conservatories in Canada and the United States. They have also gone on to be high school music teachers, film composers, performers, singer/songwriters, video game composers, private music teachers, university instructors, session players, and have released their own music videos and recordings of original music.
Friendly, personalised learning environment – Don helps students realise their full potential in an attentive and helpful atmosphere. He listens to who you are and supports you in your unique journey.
Versatile instructor – Don has worked with all ages and levels from young beginners to university level students to adult learners.
Comfortable with different musical cultures – Don has an admiration and experience with many different styles of music including classical, finger-style jazz, percussive steel-string, Celtic, and Flamenco.
All students learn to create (no prior experience necessary!) – Don encourages all students to develop their own creativity, whether they are interested in composing or learning to improvise or developing their own unique interpretation of standard guitar pieces.
Timeless methods – Don utilizes proven methods to help students enhance their talents, develop their skills, and expand knowledge in order that students become well-rounded and complete musicians.
Utilizes technology to enhance individual learning – Don regularly records his students in order that they may become better self-educators.
Students have received numerous awards for their accomplishments!
I ENJOY WORKING WITH ALL AGES AND LEVELS . . .
If you are a parent interested in giving your son or daughter the lifetime gift of making music and bringing joy to themselves and those around them, find out more about music lessons for your child here.
If you are new to the guitar (or maybe have tried to teach yourself or taken an online course but haven't made much progress) and you really want to establish a solid foundation on which to build your musical interests on, start here.
If you have acquired a certain level of musicianship, music reading skills, and technical proficiency (equivalent to RCM grade 3 - 7) but lack the training to tackle the repertoire you really want to learn to play, you can find out more here.
If you are an advanced student (equivalent to RCM grade 8 or above) and want to elevate your playing to that next level, or you're considering studying music at a university or conservatory and want to prepare yourself for post-secondary studies, you can find out more here!
"I help aspiring musicians realise their personal and artistic potential by supporting them in developing their creative abilities, musical interests, and professional aspirations. Nothing gives me more fulfilment or greater satisfaction than guiding artistic souls in advancing their musical and technical capabilities as well as business acumen to the level that grants them the knowledge, skill, and creative freedom to follow their imagination."
Need a bit more information or need a few questions answered in order for you to make an informed decision about your music education?
Tuition & Studio Policies
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need further information.
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