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Fran and Adam Webster have teamed up with other musicians to launch a music school in Collingwood, with a focus on the students experience.

The father and son duo come from a very musical family. Fran said, growing up in Creemore, in a house filled with song, led to him playing lead guitar in a local country band at the age of nine. He said the Webster family was known for its Saturday night jam sessions with an open door policy. As the years went on, he played alongside his brothers John and George in a bluegrass trio and in high school started a band, The Marcatos.

Adam laughs at the memory that it wasn’t until his father began offering free music lessons at the local elementary school that Adam decided he better sign up. He would go on to form his own bands – Intentional Misuse and then The Funky Truth – and work as a session musician.

Both have been teaching music locally for decades and have honed their skills by performing, writing, recording and studying with some of the best.

They were looking for some space to teach again when Collingwood musician Kolston Gogan indicated he was interested and made his studio available. Adam met Gogan on the Collingwood music scene in the early 2000s. Gogan, a performer, producer, and member of the Collingwood Sound Collective, started teaching in 2018 when he returned to Ontario after working with bands out east. Although drums are his passion, Gogan said he grew up playing the violin, and trumpet, he has also studied classical guitar, upright bass, piano and vocals.

While the Websters specialize in guitar, including acoustic, electric, bass and ukulele, Gogan is a rhythm coach, specializing in drums. Kathi Coyle is also joining the roster of teachers as a vocal coach, specializing in singing and public speaking.

The Collingwood School of Music will be offering traditional private lessons, in addition to group and ensemble classes.

“[One-on-one] can work well but in a group setting you can learn differently,” said Gogan.

The philosophy in offering group lessons is that it can be creative, and sometimes a little extra pressure and accountability toward fellow students can be an incentive to work harder and practice.

“There is merit to learning something when you see your peers able to play it,” said Adam. “To build a relationship with music at an early age, it has to be fun.”

There is an option to sign up for group classes, add ons, and extra classes in rhythm, theory and finger style guitar, which will be supported with online materials and an option to chat with the instructor between classes. Gogan is also offering a rhythm and movement class, which he says is ideal for people who are interested in deepening their relationship with rhythm and their body through movement and voice.

Classes are open to all ages, and students will begin with a consultation to get them started at the right level.

Fran is taking students at all levels, but for more advanced students he looks forward to exploring chord construction. He has availability in Collingwood, but is also willing to teach at Station on the Green in Creemore if there is interest.

To learn more about classes, fees, and scheduling email collingwoodschoolofmusic@gmail. com or contact Kolston at 705-994-3128, Fran at 705-444-9081, or Adam at adamjwwebster@gmail.com.

The Collingwood School of Music, located off Hurontario Street, is planning a grand opening in the New Year. Follow on Instagram for updates. Fran and Adam also play a weekly gig every Tuesday evening at Thonburi Thai Food restaurant in The Blue Mountains.

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