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About Charlie


Charlie is a fun loving arts educator/musician who started making up songs at age seven when his sister started taking piano lessons. While in high school, he was a sponsored, competitive skateboarder who played in rock bands, jazz bands and sang in choirs and performed in musicals. During the summers, he spent his time as musical director for camp plays and then studied music seriously earning an honours degree in theory and composition. After graduating, he wrote songs and scored small independent films. He released an indie progressive folk rock album called "Breathe" which he toured for a year with a rock band. He then released three children's CDs and followed each up with an Ontario tour. He has spent the last 5 years touring and developing an interactive rock operetta for children called ROCKgarden Party! Research for this cross curricular project includes studying native culture, climate change, behaviour and the craft of script writing. He stills skateboards, snowboards and surfs as much as possible and has developed shows that can be modified to keep this "road warrior" on an "endless summer" tour. 





Workshop & Course Design


   Little Fingers Music Keyboard Jam (Reboot)  (2016-2017)

   Fun, introductory classes designed to introduce basic playing, reading and writing skills for learners ages 4-7.      Includes three Study Guides, flash cards, mp3’s (ie 7 Letters, Quarter Note Jam, Quarter Rest Jam etc.)              (Groove School of Dance and Creative Arts Centre, Cedarvale C. S., St. Alphonsus C. S., Fieldstone                   Dayschool)  


   Little Fingers Music Keyboard Classes (1992-2005)

   (Forest Hill P.S., Denlow P.S., Humewood C.C., John Fisher P.S., Toronto Heschel School, Fairlawn                      Community Centre)


   ROCKgarden Party! Music Drama Workshops 2010-present (ages 4-10)

   Using original songs and a skeletal script of an original story, the instructors and students create an

   environmental tale about ending a drought in a mystical garden. Lesson planning covers music, drama,

   environmental and behavioural curriculums. The script is designed to compliment the needs and abilities of        the children in the class. (ie they can incorporate their own dances, ability to play an instrument etc., into the      play)


   Created and designed up at the Haliburton School of the Arts, this course has been taught to Primary

   aged learners. (Haliburton School of the Arts, Toronto Heschel School, Oriole Park P.S. Cedarvale C.S.,              Bruce P.S., Rick Hanson P.S., Aurora,  as well as an Arts Alive workshop for teachers!)


   Circle Time (Ages 0-2) (2000-2017)  

   Interactive original and traditional songs for toddlers and caregivers. (Dunloe Children’s Centre,

   Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre, Ranleigh Rascals, Unicorn Daycare Centre, Oriole Daycare etc.,)


   Percussion Class (Ages 3-4) (2015-2017)    

   Fun, introductory classes designed to introduce basic musical elements    (beat keeping, tempo,pitch,dynamics) Includes Study Guides, flashcards, mp3’s (ie Quarter Note Jam, Quarter  Rest Jam, Lets Skip Stones etc) (Groove School of Dance and Creative Arts Centre)


   We Will Rock You! Percussion Jam (Junior Aged Learners and up) (2007-2017)    

   Leaners perform the back beat to the Queen song “We Will Rock You” (or choose their own song) with                djembes, tambourines, and shakers. The melody is sung (with original environmental lyrics) and the chorus        melody is doubled on plastic pitched percussion pipes called “BoomWhackers”.

   (Dreams Take Flight, Centro Clinton Daycare, Children's Forest Daycare etc.)


   Piano Teacher (1985-present) (all ages)

   Teaches one on one piano classes in classical, pop and jazz idioms. Students prepare for RCM exams and

   recitals. Lessons feature singing and playing as well as jamming with percussion and guitar. Students record

   MP3s and make private videos of their pieces to share with their parents and caregivers.


   Make A CD Workshops (Primary Learners)* (2001-2010)

   Cross curricular teaching where teachers chose a topic to write about (ie, soil, urban/rural living, life cycle of a    butterfly etc)

   and together the class would write lyrics, a melody and music to help them better remember vocabulary and      understand the concepts. 6 classes in each school would have 4 hours to write, practice record and perform    their song at a concert at the end of the week. These were taught across Ontario. (St. Dunstan C.S., Bayridge  P.S.Elginburg P.S., St. Josephat C.S., etc.,)

   * Sponsored in part by Ontario Arts Council, Avenue Rd Arts School


   Multi-Culture SHOCK Make A CD Workshops (Junior Learners)** (2003-2005)

   Artists from various musical cultures, (Jazz, Latin, African) would jam out a song with 6 different classes.            Together they would write lyrics, a melody and music and record and perform it. (Yorkwoods P.S., Keelesdale      P.S. Stella Maris C.S., Deer Park P.S.)

   ** Sponsored in part by Ontario Arts Council, DAREarts, Toronto Dominion bank



Live Shows 

ROCKgarden Party! Running Time: 35 minutes with 10 minutes of encores featuring a variety of interactive, seasonal songs.  (Promo Video Jan 2017: )

A singing, emapathic butterfly, a talking rock and an oblivious skateboarder, collaborate with garden Groms (audience children) to end a drought in a garden. (Halloween, Winter, Spring and Summer Versions)                


Songs From the Garden Part 1 (10 song Interactive Jam featuring classic children songs and songs from "Little Fingers Music (2001), Playhouse Earth (2004) and Rockgarden (2008)


Songs From the Garden Part 2 (see above) 


The Croc & the Finch: A meat eating Crocodile threatens to eat a veggie eating bird when winter weather causes a pond to freeze over.  (25 minute interactive puppet show for ages 2-4) 



Training and Education


   OAC Education Certificate Course York U 2005

   Learning Through the Arts 2002-2003

   Mentorship program for teaching the curriculum through music.

   University of Toronto 1985

   Theory & Composition

   University of Western Ontario 1980-1984

   Honours Degree in Theory and Composition

   Royal Conservatory of Music 1975-1985

   Grade 10 Piano

   Kendal Taylor Royal College of Music, London 1983

   Currrently studying voice with Jessica Lane  



   Vocals, piano, organ, synths, acoustic guitar, djembe, jaw harp, harmonica, BoomWhackers, and body                percussion


   Selected ROCKgarden Party! Past Performances


   Jan 14, Palmerston Public Library Theatre

   Feb 20 W. J. Henderson Recreation Centre Amherstview, ON  

   Mar 16 Oshawa Public Library 


   Feb 27 Osler Ski Club

   Mar 3   Dearhamwood Daycare Centre 

   Mar 18 Charles W. Stockey Centre

   Mar 13 Craigleith Ski Chalet 

   Mar 14 Oshawa Public Library

   April 8 Kindness Week (Palmerston P.S.) 

   May 3  Dreams Take Flight 

   May 4  North Prep P.S. 

   June 1,8,15,22 StoryBook Gardens (London,ON) 

   June 22 Fairlawn P.S. 

   July 27, 28 Santa's Village, (Bracebridge, ON) 

   July 1,2 Its Your Festival (Hamilton ON)

   July 13 Whitby Cdntral Library

   Aug 24 Ajax Public Library 

   Aug 25 Cloverdale Mall (Presented by Sphere Entertainment) 

   Sept 1 Westwood Mall (Presented by Sphere Entertainment) 

   Sept 30 Kingston Public Library 

   Oct 30 Palmerston Public Library 



   December 20 Wychwood Theatre

   August 8 Oakwood Jazz Festival

   July 24-25 Guelph Hillside Festival

   July 4-5 Northern Lights Festival Boreal

   March 18 Gravenhurst Opera House

   Jan 10-12 Solar Stage

   Jan 14 Sheppard P.S.


   November 29 KidsFest at Dundas Square

   July 2 – 3 Toronto Fringe Festival

   April 22 Summit Heights P.S.

   March 8 -15 Vaughan Public Libraries

   July 17 – 27 Hamilton Fringe Festival


   October 29 The Oakville Centre for The Performing Arts: Tim Horton’s Presents Learning with the Arts

   August 24 Sudbury Summer Club Reading Club Tour RO

   July 8-9 Grand Rapids, Michigan Public Library Tour

   April 3 City Playhouse theatre in Vaughan, Curriculum-based Theatre for Schools

   February 22 Cedarvale Public School

   Past Performances 2012

   August 17 Oakville Jazz Festival

   July 4 Toronto Fringe Festival

   June 5 Russell D. Barber P.S. (Brampton)

   May Red Willow Public School: ROCKgarden Party! Performance & Workshop

   May 24 Dr. Ross Tilley Public School (Bowmanville)

   April 17 St. Michael Catholic Elementary School (Oakville)


Selected ROCKgarden Party! School Workshops



   March 2015 Rick Hanson P.S.


   Nov 2014 St. Gregory C.S.

   Topcliff P.S.

   July 2014 Haliburton School of The Arts


   July 2010 - 2013 Haliburton School of the Arts (Four Years)

   Spring Term 2013 Oriole Park Public School

   Fall Term 2013 The Toronto Heschel School


   Selected Media Appearances

   Sept 2013 City TV: Performed live in a moving streetcar rock band Westlake for United Way


   July 2012 NOW Magazine

   July 2012 Hamilton Fringe Festivals Community Reviews

   July 2012 Mooney on Theatre


Grants Received


   2005 Ontario Arts Council, Arts Education Project Grant; Mentorship & Artist Development Grant

   2005, 09 Ontario Arts Council, Popular Music Writing Grant (2)

   2003, 05 Ontario Arts Council, Arts Education Project Grant with DARE arts

   2001, 04, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10 Ontario Arts Council, Artist in Education Grant (7)

   2000, 03, 08, 09 Ontario Arts Council, Popular Music Recording Grant (2)

   2000 Peel Heritage Complex -Funding for first album

   1999, 01, 02, 03, 05 Toronto Arts Council, Creators and Composers Grant (5)

   1986 - 1990 FACTOR – Professional Songwriters and Publishers Demo Award (4)


Selected Discography & Videography


   Sept 2012 Little Fingers Music (Fox Theatre) Video

   Sept 2007 ROCKgarden CD

   May 2004 “Playhouse Earth” CD

   June 2001 “Little Fingers Music” CD

   1999 “Breathe” EP 6 song acoustic folk-rock EP

   Charity Work: Dreams Take Flight: 2010 to present. At risk children sent to Disney World for a day.

   CJ Skatepark: Helping families cope with cancer.


   Additional Skills: Skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing.

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