Our Instructors


Victor Bateman
Bass, Guitar 

Esteemed bassist, guitarist, vocalist, composer and music instructor Victor Bateman has been actively involved in Toronto’s music scene since 1981, when he moved here from Vancouver, B.C.  He has spent almost 30 years playing music in, around, and outside of Toronto, Ontario. During this time he’s performed and recorded with many renowned musicians in a variety of  styles and situations, including country with The Good Brothers, Sylvia Tyson and Quartette, blues with Amos Garrett and Chris Whiteley, improvisatory music with CCMC, Jean Derome, and Lori Freedman,  jazz with Reg Schwager and Laura Hubert,  folk music with Ken Whiteley, Jackie Washington, and Eve Goldberg, pop music with Jill Barber and Big Sugar, klezmer music with the Flying Bulgars, as well as contemporary concert music and opera by Anthony Braxton, Wende Bartley and Nic Gotham.
Victor also leads a jazz trio and has released two CDs which feature his own compositions.

Steve Briggs
Guitar, Mandolin 

A native of Powell River B.C., Steve studied at Malaspina University, and then the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He has taught music for over twenty years in Toronto, has been featured twice as “Best Guitar Instructor” in Toronto Life Magazine and has released two instructional CDs. Steve is also a professor at Seneca College in its Independent Music Production programme.
Steve has performed, arranged and recorded with a wealth of artists including Sylvia Tyson, Quartette, Russell deCarle, Murray McLauchlan and Carroll Baker among many others. His popular western swing orchestra, the Bebop Cowboys, has garnered many glowing reviews and accolades across the country. (bebopcowboys.com)

Steve Copek

A graduate of Fanshawe College with two diplomas from the Music Industry Arts programme, Steve started playing guitar at the age of 12 and has been an active musician for over 30 years. He has also studied with Steve Briggs for six years, focusing primarily on advanced jazz guitar theory. His thirst for musical knowledge has also led to an interest in studying mandolin, dobro and vocal studies as well.
Steve has been a member of the Blackflies (Cajun/Zydeco/Trad. Quebecois) for 8 years and toured with them across Ontario and to British Columbia. Overall, his musical interests are mainly Blues/R&B, Jazz, Rock, Folk Bluegrass and Classical genres: “Pretty much any earthy music with soul.”  In addition to teaching guitar, Steve is also Kitchen Music’s resident jam session facilitator._

Peter Johnston
Theory, Bass, Guitar 

Pete was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, where his father was the high school music teacher. He studied composition and double bass at Dalhousie University, alternating scholarly endeavours with tours of North America as part of the Juno Award-winning Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra. After completing his studies at Dalhousie, Pete moved to Toronto in 2001 to work as a freelance musician, teacher, and novel editor. He completed a Master’s degree in composition (York University, 2005) and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (York University, 2010), for which he wrote about the improvised music scene in London, England. During a research trip to London in 2006, he had the good fortune to perform for Queen Elizabeth II. Since completing his graduate studies, Pete has resumed his post behind the bass, performing in numerous groups in Toronto including Muskox, Sister, the AIMToronto Orchestra and See Through Trio.  Peter is Kitchen Music’s resident theory/university prep specialist and guitar/bass instructor.

Clayton Moore
Guitar, Recording Arts 

Clayton has a sound foundation in all genres and teaches both guitar and electric bass here in the Kitchen. His years as a professional music instructor have developed a keen ability to foster musical growth in his students while maintaining a comfortable and fun environment in the studio. Clayton can help you prepare for exams and performances, and instructs from a combination of standard instruction books and from popular tunes to keep things fresh and relevant. He is a graduate of Humber’s Contemporary Music program (2009). He is also Kitchen Music’s resident recording arts instructor.

Nichol Robertson
Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Ukelele 

Nichol is an accomplished guitarist, banjoist, mandolinist and teacher. He has over a decade in teaching experience, and over two decades in playing experience. He has/is a vital member of: Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People (experimental pop), Leon Knight and the Neon Lights (country/early rock n’ roll), The Fred Spek Camp Combo (outsider jazz), the Sudden Valley Boys (bluegrass), and Scotty Campbell and his Wardenaires (classic country). His is an in-demand sideman, performing with numerous bands across the GTA.
Nichol is passionate about music, which is evident in both his performances and his lessons–he’ll even teach you ukelele!

Alyssa Webb
Voice, Piano 

Vocal instructor Alyssa is an Ontario Certified Teacher who has combined her passion for education with her love of music. Before attending teachers college, she studied vocal jazz at Humber College and has taught voice for many years at various schools in Toronto. She continues to volunteer in TDSB classrooms assisting in both music and drama instruction. In addition, she has a strong background in special education and is also currently working as an arts facilitator, providing programs for individuals with special needs. Alyssa loves teaching voice–helping her students to develop their talent and foster their own love of music is as rewarding for her as it is for her students! Alyssa teaches  piano to beginners  here in the Kitchen as well.  If you would like to learn more about Alyssa please visit her website: http://mswebb.yolasite.com/_

Michelle Willis
Voice, Piano 

Michelle Willis is a songwriter, pianist and vocalist born in England and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her singing style is that of the jazz, folk and roots idioms. She has performed, recorded and written with groups throughout Canada and the United States, including Canada’s internationally acclaimed The Henrys. Her studies include Musical Theatre (Etobicoke School of the Arts, 2004), and Jazz Piano (Humber College, 2008). As a teacher, Michelle has taught both privately and within local Toronto music studios for the last 7 years for students of all ages. Currently, alongside artists Don Rooke and Hugh Marsh, Michelle can be heard as songwriter, vocalist, and pump-organ player as part of Three Metre Day; an acoustic modern roots project. Their recording, Coasting Notes was released in the fall of 2011.