Solar Music Academy is the result of over a decade worth of music education. In my experience, it became very clear that creating a model for teaching that emphasized a holistic approach to music practice was of paramount importance. Things like theory, technique, and composition need to be taught cohesively and not in isolation. Creating an environment that fostered passion and curiosity in our students would allow for a greater retention and understanding of the building blocks of music.
"The spirit of teaching is in the art of assisted discovery."
We strongly believe in acting as guides in your music journey. We focus on fostering understanding and personable relationships with our students to create personalized and fun lessons that allow for growth in whatever path our students want to follow.
Level up your musicianship
Master your instrument. These lessons are fun, focused and give you the tools to play your music in a way thats relevant to you.
Stuck at home?
We offer lessons direct to your device so that you can progress in the comfort of your home.
Composition and arranging
Want to write your own songs? We encourage creativity in our students and can enable you to bring your visions to life.
Theory and ear training
Want to speak the language of music?
We make theory and ear training practical and relevant so that you can use the language and rules to your advantage.
The solar Songwriting experience
Music lives in each one of us. Solar Music Academy's highly trained and educated teachers will guide you through very step of the journey of creating, recording ,and releasing your music. This program is aimed at creating a highly personalized journey that not only educates, but also leaves you with a piece of art that you will have for the rest of your life.
You learn the mechanics of music through songwriting, you will learn how to manage and rehearse session musicians, you will feel what it's like being in an industry level recording studio, the mixing and mastering process and then how to properly release and distribute your music through streaming platforms.
You will take the step from being a bedroom musician, to a fully released artist.
Bring your music to life
"I’ve never enjoyed learning an instrument (or any skill) as much as I have with Nicholas. He is a true master of music and his teaching methods are exceptionally fun and effective. He has an ability to teach anyone and any level, age or learning style. And what is truly special is that he completes the whole package with with deep kindness, relatability and patience."
"He is a very patient teacher who cares for his students.
He adapts his
teaching and approach to meet his students’ learning styles."
"Nicholas has not only imparted skills and understanding through his lessons, but he has brought joy back to learning guitar for me. I would highly recommend Nicholas to anyone wanting to
learn to an instrument or music theory."
Bring Community to your music
Nicholas is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer hailing from New Zealand and South Africa. He holds a Bmus in Composition and Arranging as well Jazz Performance from Canterbury University. He has had the opportunity to study and work with amazing mentors and musicians like Tom Rainey, Michael Story, Darren Pickering, David Berkman, Dave Dobbyn, Delaney Davidson, Nadia Reid, and Richie Pickard.
He has performed as a touring musician, a busker, in musical theatre pits, and as session musician in recording studios.Nicholas has made a career in music by being in love with the idea of songwriting and composition. He flourishes in moments where he can write and be creative, or assist in other people's writing. His writing credits cover a broad range of musical styles as well as for other mediums such as dance and visual media.
As a teacher, Nicholas has had 15 years worth of teaching experience teaching people of all skill levels and ages. His list of students have gone on to win awards, record their own original music and become professional creative musicians children. He has taught people from all walks of life, from at-risk youth, to the children of A-list celebrities. Along the way, the wisdom and lessons has refined his teaching to a relaxed, yet practical and fun approach that centres the students own personal taste and experience. Over the years this collected wisdom has now evolved into Solar Music Academy's value of "Joy and Community Through Music"
Casey Thomas-Burns is a trombonist, vocalist, and bandleader based in Vancouver, Canada.
Casey holds her diploma in Jazz Studies from Capilano University, where she is currently pursuing her B.Mus. in the same subject. While at Capilano University, Casey has had the opportunity to study trombone with Dennis Esson, voice with Jennifer Scott, and is currently lead trombonist in the "A" Band under the direction of Brad Turner. She is also a member of top vocal group, NiteCap.
She is the founder and director of the 10-woman jazz band The Leading Ladies. Created in 2019, "The Ladies" have been described as "a beacon of light for girls interested in playing jazz". Casey also regularly performs around Vancouver with her jazz quartet and duo.As a composer/arranger, Casey has been awarded a place in both the Passing Notes Composer Mentorship Project and the 2021 Reading Session for Emerging Composers presented by the Hard Rubber Orchestra
Vancouver-based jazz musician Patrick Kao is an active member of the Vancouver jazz scene with 10 years of experience in playing the guitar. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Music (BMus.) in Jazz Studies, and has studied under Juno-award winning Oliver Gannon, Juno-nominated Bill Coon, and has himself taught music to folks of various levels, ages, and musical styles since 2016. He's a multi-instrumentalist that can teach piano, bass, and ukulele, as well as theory, improvisation, composition and arranging.
The long list of events and venues that he's performed at includes the Vancouver TD Jazz Festival, the Fort Langley Jazz Festival, the Kiwanis Jazz Festival and many more. He been performing as a session musician for many years, and now Patrick is currently on the rise as an emerging band leader.
Patrick loves to play bass and drums for his church, and is also an avid gamer. He enjoys playing DnD with his friends in his spare time. In the future, Patrick has his mind set on producing an EP, and finishing his masters in Jazz.