Ian has been a music educator for nearly twenty years, incorporating the teaching of jazz, classical, and popular music traditions, including performance and history. He has taught piano lessons, directed and coached ensembles, and provided classroom instruction and clinics at universities and public schools. He has instructed everyone from beginners through professional musicians to almost all ages.
As post-secondary music faculty, Ian has been a jazz piano instructor, an instructor of performance courses, an ensemble director/coach, and lecturer for music history courses. Previously, at Vancouver Island University in 2014 and 2015, he taught a wide range of courses including Jazz Improvisation, Class Jazz Piano I/II, Chamber Jazz Ensembles, Applied Jazz Piano, Jazz History, American Music Survey, and Jazz Composition/Arranging. Before that, in 2007 and 2008, he was Paula Knickerbocker Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho where he instructed Jazz History, Jazz Class Piano, Applied Jazz Piano, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles. In addition, while in graduate school, Ian was also a teaching assistant - he taught Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Small Group at the University of Toronto, and before that, at the University Of North Texas, he directed an auditioned big band - the 6 O'Clock Lab Band (see below for audio). During the pandemic, he led three four-session seminars focused on jazz history on Zoom to a group comprised mostly of leading North American humanities scholars and Toronto jazz musicians.
Ian's education and training have prepared him for many teaching situations. Ian completed Bachelor degrees in Education and Music Education from the University of Saskatchewan as preparation for becoming an instrumental music instructor. Through this program, he gained experience and training in directing and coaching concert bands and jazz ensembles with students from Grade 5 through 12. Since then, he has also completed graduate level courses at the University of North Texas in Directing College Jazz Ensembles and College Jazz Pedagogy.
In addition, Ian has been a frequent clinician with high school and middle school students, having given presentations or clinics with students at public schools, and as guest clinician of the Mill Creek Festival and Lionel Hampton Music Festival. Ian's approach has focused primarily on building an awareness of interpretive and improvisational practices in the tradition with at least some aurality and a sense of humour.
Ian is available to teach piano (jazz, pop, or beginner-to-intermediate classical), jazz improvisation, jazz composition, jazz or American music history, music theory, or coach and direct jazz ensembles. Please contact Ian for more information.
"Ian's lessons are largely responsible for the quick development of my jazz piano skills in the past two and a half years. He helped me get accepted into several university jazz programs by focusing his lessons on the most important information to my development. The best part about having him as a teacher is that he wanted to make me a good musician, as much as I wanted to become one." - Jay Peterson, Undergraduate Student at University of Toronto (B. Mus - Jazz Performance).
University of North Texas 6 O'Clock Lab Band (live 2006)
Directed by Ian Sinclair