Meet Shira Farber, JamLab Founder

At JamLab, our passion for music education is embodied in our founder, Shira Farber. With almost three decades of experience in community engagement and programming for children and adults, Shira has combined her love for music and a desire to inspire and engage students of all ages and abilities. A strong supporter of the live music scene, Shira profoundly understands that learning music from professional musicians can have a transformational impact on helping students tap into their creative potential. Her professional background in mental health and attention disorders has reinforced her philosophy that students learn best when they are having fun!

The mother of three teenaged children, Shira and her husband have made music a focal part of their family life and have the ticket stubs to prove it. A breast cancer thriver, Shira has advocated for policy changes to national screening programs in the Canadian Parliament.

Shira has assembled a team of highly qualified and experienced Musical Mentors, all professional working musicians and educators, who are selected based on professional and educational experience. They are equipped with the resources to deliver engaging and skill-based lessons to inspire continuous progress and development.

Meet Duncan Symonds, Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Duncan brings over twenty years of professional experience as a musician to his JamLab role and helped develop the curriculum we use to assess our students’ individualized progress and educational goals. Duncan is currently completing his certificate of teaching from Vancouver Island University where he has been placed with students of all chronological and developmental stages and abilities, holds a TEFL certification from OISE, Private Instruction Certification in Composition with Dr. Alan Belkin and Dr. Mara Gibson, a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance from Louisiana State University and a Bachelors of Arts in Jazz Studies from Vancouver Island University, in addition to completing Master Classes under the tutelage of Branford Marsalis, Brad Turner, Ernie Watts, Ingrid Jenson, Christine Jenson and Corey Christiansen.

Duncan also served as a Graduate Assistant at Louisiana State University and has recorded a volume of releases under his own name or in collaborative projects including a vast range of styles and published work entitled Improvisation with Triads. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has toured North America and Europe playing alongside members of Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies, Michael Doucet and most recently enjoys recording and touring with his Toronto based band, The Actual Goners.

Meet Jaime Koivuranta, Administrative Director

Jaime is the Administrative Director for The JamLab, managing the booking and scheduling of music lessons for all of our families and Musical Mentors.

Jaime has over two decades of experience as an innovative elementary classroom teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Her passion for teaching young children keeps her motivated to continue to find unique methods to engage her students in a variety of learning opportunities.

Growing up on the shores of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Jaime is grateful for every opportunity that she has been given to create meaningful experiences and memories with her two beautiful children, her loving husband, and her adorable and energetic Bernedoodle, Marvel.

What We Do

We offer lessons in various musical instruments, ranging from beginner to advanced levels, and cater to students of all interests and abilities. We aim to help students reach their full potential and push beyond their creative and musical limits.

The JamLab Vision

At JamLab, we believe music is a lifelong pursuit and encourage our students to embrace a musical mentorship relationship with their teachers. Our instructors are passionate about music and actively pursue musical dreams, bringing that performance energy into your homes.

With our experienced and enthusiastic instructors, evidence-based teaching philosophy, and genuine respect for musical artists, JamLab is committed to helping our students pursue their unique and collective musical dreams. Join us on this journey and discover the power of music.

See What Our Students Can Do

At the heart of performance, we believe in providing our students and families with realistic opportunities to actualize their musical talents and goals.

Featured Lessons

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where do lessons take place?

The majority of our lessons take place in the comfort of your own home,either in-person or learning virtually. We also offer group lessons, school,camp and corporate programs in private studios and pre-arranged locations.

How does billing or payment work?

Once you have registered, we will create an online account with your preferred payment method and our administration team will manage all of your scheduling and payment needs. If you purchase packages with us, you will be billed monthly and if you choose our Pay as you Go option, you will be billed weekly.

What happens if I am not satisfied with my Musical Mentor?

The JamLab works with some of the most talented, professional musicians around and we use our Smart Match system to help find the perfect Musical Mentor suited for your specific needs but we appreciate that not every instructor is the right fit for every student. Your first lesson is an introductory lesson and we will check in with you after to make sure your experience was a positive one. If you want to try someone else, we will arrange to find you another Musical Mentor until we find the right instructor to set you on a path for musical success.

What is the best instrument to start a beginning musician?

The rule of thumb is basically that students should pursue the instruments they want to play! But it is always wise to also take into consideration chronological age, development, attention span and dexterity when choosing a first instrument. We generally recommend piano, vocals, ukulele or drums for our youngest students because they will experience the most success with the least effort which helps keep them engaged and focused.

What age is a good age to start an instrument?

Every student has different learning profiles and there is no magical chronological age to start learning an instrument. We typically suggest that our lessons are best suited for students aged five and up but we do still need to take into consideration development, focus and motivation.

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