Meet “Mr. B”

45818898_1079743735523240_4652796637930848256_nIF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CONTACTING BRYAN FOR LESSONS, AN INTERVIEW, A JAM SESSION, OR JUST TO CHAT, PLEASE EMAIL:

bryan.donald.laplante@gmail.com

Nice to meet you!

I was born in Kingston, Ontario into a family of teachers and musicians. As a kid I spent most of my summer weekends in various Ottawa Valley campgrounds. Our whole family was on stage, competing in old-time fiddle contests at local arenas by day, and jamming out traditional waltzes, jigs, and reels around campfires with friends from all over the country well into the nights.

My father continues to perform rare Acadian music in the maritimes to this day, having returned to the seaside community of Petit-Rocher, New Brunswick, where he was born and raised. My sister went on to perform in a thrilling Ceilidh band, and after becoming a teacher, has used her music to help charge the youth of first nations communities. My mother has passed on, but her passion for performing and her love for teaching and children lives on in us all.

Because my family was always on the go, I felt like I was born on the road. I left home in my early twenties to try a career abroad as an ESL teacher and play as much music as I could.  Over the years I have performed and recorded with exciting hard rock, acoustic folk, and reggae bands with teachers and friends while working in the glittering city of Busan, South Korea, rural and cozy New York State, the lush beach community of Cabarete in The Dominican Republic, and the urban, mountainous desert city of Monterrey, Mexico.

These have been some of the busiest and most rewarding years of my life. I have met lifelong friends, colleagues, and bandmates, I have visited too many pristine and exotic places to list, and I have made too many joyous memories to name. At the same time, I completed a Masters’ Degree in Teaching and have been certified in literacy, Orff-Schulwerk, and most recently, the fantastic James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teacher Certification Program. Again, I feel incredibly lucky.

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Having returned to Canada, I still live to guide, share, and celebrate the joy and hard work being an active musician affords with all students. Since fall 2018, I have been having a blast directing a growing adult group and online community called Halifax City Ukulele. In the recent past, I developed a large, multi-grade level ukulele program for elementary students at The American School Foundation International School in Monterrey, as well as an adult faculty ukulele ensemble that performed and rehearsed after school. I also launched an initiative called Huasteca Canyon Music to bring opportunity, musical instruments, visual art, and ESL literacy to at-risk youth within the neighboring community along with some of my wonderful colleagues and friends. I love to travel to new places, practice yoga, hike, and spend time with Beth, my best friend and partner in work, love, and life.

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I’m truly looking forward to building and contributing to new student relationships and musical communities back home. Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2019-2020 Completed JHUI Level 3. Toronto, Ontario. (2020 Masterclasses and in-person institute cancelled due to Covid 19.)
2018-2019 JHUI Level 2. Toronto, Ontario. Presented “The Chromatic Capital Blues Boogie Experience” at the JHUI 2019 Masterclass.
2017-2018  James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teacher Certification Program (JHUI) Level 1. Toronto, Ontario. Presented “Tap, Tap, Flick: Percussive Strumming Arrangements for UIC 1-3” at the JHUI 2018 Masterclass.
2017 Responsive Classroom Course for Special Area Teachers. Monterrey, MX.
2017 Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Level 2. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
2016 Responsive Classroom Course for Elementary Educators. Monterrey, MX.
2016 Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Level 1. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
2014 Certificate in Literacy. Awarded March 2014. The Association of American Schools of Central America, Columbia, Caribbean and Mexico. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico
2013 “ Step Through the Door: New Dimensions for Early Childhood Literacy Learning.”
Lisa Stone & Vincent Ventura, Tri-Association Annual Educator’s Conference, Mexico City
2013 “Supporting ELL in the Mainstream Classroom.” Virginia Rojas, PhD. Santiago, D.R.
2012 “Feedback: The Hinge That Joins Teaching & Learning.” Jane E. Pollock, PhD.
Santo Domingo, D.R.
EDUCATION AND TEACHING CREDENTIALS:
2019 – 2020 – James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teaching Certification Level 3 (final level).
2018 – 2019 – James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teaching Certification Level 2.
2017-2018 – James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teaching Certification Level 1.
2016-Present – Orff-Schulwerk Levels One and Two
2009-Present – Ontario College of Teachers – Certified K-6 General Education
2008-2009 Master of Science in Teaching (with Distinction). Major: Early Childhood Education. Graduated May 2010. The State University of New York at Potsdam, Potsdam, NY, USA
2004-2005 Master of the Arts. Major: Interdisciplinary Humanities.
Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON Canada
1999-2004
Certificate in Professional Writing. Awarded May 2004.
Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada
Bachelor of Arts with Honours; Major: English Language and Literature. Brock University, St. Catharines, ON Canada