Testimonials

Comments from students, parents, colleagues, and friends about their favourite learnings and musical memories we have shared together!

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CONTACTING BRYAN FOR LESSONS, AN INTERVIEW, A JAM SESSION, OR JUST TO CHAT, PLEASE EMAIL: bryan.donald.laplante@gmail.com
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I became Bryan’s student when I joined his Absolute Beginner Ukulele Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Spring 2019. I immediately recognized Bryan’s natural talent as an amazing teacher. What struck me more than anything is Bryan’s holistic course design and classroom management techniques; focusing not only on notes, chords, melody, harmony and rhythm, but also posture, energy, joy, confidence, determination, and history, while also creating a sense of community, teamwork, and purpose — all without actually knowing I was learning basic music theory! With 100% confidence, I can attest that Bryan excels in creating an engaging and purposefully challenging class, facilitates and prioritizes student success, and is a natural teacher with a commitment to everything music education delivers (beyond just the ‘music’).
Bryan purposefully implements active learning strategies focused on formative and summative informal assessment, in addition to successfully facilitating (sometimes challenging) class activities. Each lesson builds on past knowledge purposefully encouraging the student to grow and learn and challenge themselves; every student ‘is’ a great ukulele player! Some active pedagogical methodologies used by Bryan include: use of ensemble group work to promote teamwork, collaboration and a sense of community, or using the ukulele as a percussion instrument as well as a stringed instrument to ensure the everyone, no matter their skill level, is actively involved and contributing.
– Catharina, Professor, Cultural Anthropologist, and Halifax City Ukulele Student. Texas A&M.
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I worked closely with Bryan for 3 years during my time as a Second Grade Homeroom teacher at the American School Foundation of Monterrey. During that time I witnessed his dedication and expertise as a Homeroom Teacher and as a Specialist Music Teacher. In both positions, Bryan excelled in motivating his students to achieve excellence, and created rapports that made students feel safe and able to take chances. Bryan created and ran the first ever ASFM Ukulele program in which students eagerly took up the instrument for the first time, and with Mr. B’s direction, developed the necessary skills and work ethic to perform amazing end of the year performances. My students loved working with Mr. B and learning from his musical expertise, and his approach to teaching made certain the students pushed themselves to achieve their best.
– Ned, 2nd Grade educator and colleague, ASFM, Monterrey, Mexico.
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“Mr. B thank you for all the things you have teach me. Ukulele and music will always be a part of my life. I will never forget you. Thank you for everything.”
– Jimena, currently in 3rd Grade, ASFM.
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“My second grade class had the opportunity to learn with a Canadian teacher, Mr. B. Not only he was a great teacher, but also a great story teller with a passion for music. We learned lessons throughout the songs he sang. I never thought that Bob Marley’s music could teach me so much. And, “Don’t worry, be happy” is a lesson for life that I will not forget.”
– Nico, student, currently in 5th Grade at ASFM.
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“It has been with pleasure that I have had the opportunity to work with Bryan in a number of musical capacities. First, as a fellow music teacher, I have had the privilege of being in Bryan’s classroom and at student performances and watching students engage with new musical concepts and instruments, feeding off Bryan’s natural musical abilities and contagious belief in the power and importance of music in education. He has an energy that welcomes risk taking, exploration, and personal connection with the learning that takes place in the spaces he shares with students from all backgrounds and skill levels.
Second, as a musician living abroad, nothing is more welcome than finding people to jam with. Bryan is always willing to grab a guitar or ukulele and tackle any type of music, group, or event that comes his way. I thoroughly enjoyed any chance I had to be a part of that with him.
Third, a parent, it has amazed me how quickly and easily Bryan was able to break down the barriers of nerves and shyness with little ones and invite them to enjoy music in its simplicity and in play. Although my children have never been at the age where they could have had Bryan as their teacher, they have experienced him in other settings where he volunteers his time and talents, and that in itself has offered them a wealth of understanding about music as a tool for compassion and community building.
This is the fourth capacity, and likely the most important to me, in which I have been able to both work with and learn from Bryan. Amidst a full schedule in both curricular and extra-curricular areas at ASFM, Bryan also found and made time to dive deeper into the community. I often heard of the time he spent at other music academies in the community working in all genres from Rock to Folk, and I especially appreciated it when Bryan initiated, opened, and led the Huasteca Academy of Arts and Learning for children living in a fringe area of Monterrey where opportunities and facilities were very limited. All children and volunteers were welcome to fill the dynamic space and engage in music, language, art, movement, and science activities. There was never a dull moment and the benefits to the children and community were immediately evident and continue to grow today.
Finally, Bryan was also a complete support to me professionally and personally in the two year creation and publishing process of ArtsTots, a cross-curricular series of children’s books, resources, and a Musical focused on four foundational areas: music, movement, language arts and art. Both at ASFM and at the Huasteca Academy, Bryan piloted parts of the program and offered valuable feedback and much appreciated support. This, along with the work I was privy to during my time working with Bryan, spoke to both his character and to his musical strengths and commitments. I am so grateful for the time I had with Bryan and trust that he will continue to successfully share his passion for music and education as he moves forward. All the best Bryan, and thank you!
 – Kyla, music/community education colleague, recording artist, and parent, Monterrey, Mexico.
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“Bryan is currently working in the best possible capacity for him as an educator. His love of music infuses its joy to all of his students and the staff members he has graciously agreed to coach. I look forward to continue working with Bryan as he promotes the extension of arts education as a fundamental cornerstone of every child’s development and as a social tool.”
~ Laurie, principal, inclusion specialist, and adult “Ukulele for Teachers” student, Monterrey, Mexico.

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“I have had the pleasure of teaching and learning with Mr. B in the Dominican Republic and in the James Hill Ukulele program. Mr B. really knows how to get the most out of his students. He has an incredible drive to hone his craft and is completely dedicated to his classes. I’ve collaborated with Mr. B both musically and in the classroom, and I have seen his students shine on stage time and time again, largely due to his ingenuity and tireless efforts. Bravo!”
~ Ben, music education colleague and bandmate, Cabarete, D.R.

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“Mr B, as he is affectionately known in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, was one of the best teachers I have had for my two daughters. Not only did he inspire them as their first grade teacher, but also as an incredibly talented and fun music teacher. Mr B is part of our lifelong memories and we have no doubt that he will touch your hearts as he did ours!”
~ Caroline, parent, Cabarete, Dom. Rep.
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“Bryan and I had a band in the Caribbean where Bryan taught me that we should play the clubs for free. It eliminated all of the stress and we played for the pure love of music and friendship. It was the best musical experience of my life.”
~ Peter, local musician and bandmate, Cabarete, Dom. Rep.

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“Just last week my son was quizzing me about how bad a reader he was at the beginning of first grade. We talked about his progression to not worst in the class under your guidance. It is no secret to anybody in his class that is the most voracious reader of them all now. A normal week has him at about 250 pages. Thanks to you.”
~ Richard, parent, Cabarete D.R.

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“Mr. B bringing his love for music into the classroom fostered an environment of creativity, respect and confidence. My son’s experience in Mr. B’s class was exceptional, and years later encompass some of his favourite childhood memories. Thank you Mr. B for being a truly inspiring teacher!”
~ Cathy, parent, Cabarete, D.R.