Approved Private Music Instructors

Parents Please Contact The Instructor Directly


The Lloydminster Public School Division and Friends of the Performing Arts (FOPA) have agreed to work together to bring private music lessons to schools.

The partnership will allow private music instructors registered with FOPA to use LPSD school facilities to teach students before, during and after the school day. The instructors will provide supports to the schools they work in and plans are being made for a year-end concert for all students to take part in.

“This is something FOPA has been talking about doing for a little while now, helping to facilitate students with their private lessons, so we approached the school board and Michael Diachuk and he was absolutely on board and we just tried to figure out how we could make this work,” says FOPA President Cindy Gratton.

Times and space will be made available within the limitations of each school. Lessons will include piano, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion and stringed instruments.

The going rate will be a $25 for 30 minutes of instruction but FOPA will also be helping students of lesser means with some of the cost.



Instructor: Heather Onofrychuk
Focus: Piano
Phone: 780 874-0462

BIO: Heather Onofrychuk has over 10 years of experience teaching piano to children.  Her own piano instruction followed the Royal Conservatory of Music, and she continued studying piano theory and history at the University of Lethbridge. Heather has accompanied choirs of all ages and played the flute and bassoon in concert bands during her middle and high school years.

Heather, her husband Brad, and their four children live in Lloydminster. She loves working with children and helping them make music an integral part of their lives!

Instructor: Gary Amundrud
Focus: Drums
Phone: 780-205-1593

BIO: Gary Amundrud was born and raised in the Lloydminster area. He has been playing drums for over 20 years. His parents bought him his first drum kit when he was three years old and that’s where it all started. Over the years, he has played drums as a recording studio musician, on worship teams, and in other bands across Canada and the U.S.

He has been a private drum instructor in the past and this experience has enhanced his ability to think and teach productively to determine what is best for each student regardless of age or skill level. He looks forward to the opportunity to enrich student’s lives with the gift of music! Gary will show you a love of beats that you can tap out on anything!


Instructor: Barrett Swendsen
Focus: Band Instruments
Phone: 780-871-3824

BIO: Barrett Swendsen has been an active trombone player for the past 22 years, and has taught private lessons for 15 years. He has been the band teacher at Bishop Lloyd Middle School for the past six years. He has had many wonderful opportunities to learn from some of the best musicians in the world. The most amazing experience was the summer of 2000 when he attended the Tanglewood Music Institute for six weeks and was groomed by members of the Boston Symphony, Yo Yo Ma and John Williams. The instruments that he is offering lessons for are: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Baritone/Euphonium, Tuba, Saxophone and Clarinet. Availability is Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after school.


Instructor: Ava McCaw
Focus: Piano
Phone: 306-821-3856

BIO: Ava Hoegl-McCaw is a talented pianist, accompanist and composer, with a passion to ignite the desire and inspire the talent of music within people of all ages. Ava’s grassroots are from here in Lloydminster and she is excited to return having finished a Comprehensive Degree in Music from the University of Victoria. She is passionate about piano and composition alike, and enjoys teaching students of all ages. She finds music to be a life study that is both challenging and fulfilling, one that with curiosity and hard work, one can experience music more fully and express it more freely.

Having the desire to create music from a young age, Ava has had many performance opportunities including the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Gala. She has a great appreciation for the Lloydminster Music Festival, as she was an active participant since the age of six, and is a former student of the Conservatory of Music at Lakeland College.

She has attended the Victoria Piano Summer School and completed the Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10 Piano exam with honours. She received the Servus Credit Union Arts Bursary in 2011 in recognition for her community involvement and to further her arts education. Ava’s undergraduate degree opened up many more opportunities to perform and have her compositions premiered in Victoria. Ava is excited to call Lloydminster her home once again as she continues to write music and customize lesson plans for her individual students.

Instructor: Sandy Kern-Ali
Focus: Piano
Phone: 780-875-7078
Phone: 780-872-0759

BIO: Sandy Kern-Ali brings to FOPA 30 years of teaching experience. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. There she received her B.Ed (major in music) and A.R.C.T. She’s very excited to have the opportunity to teach piano within the public school system. Sandy has lived in Lloydminster for over twenty years and calls it her home. She has had the privilege of teaching students of all levels, personalities and abilities. Sandy believes it’s important to establish a relationship with her pupil where they are encouraged to reach their potential. Many of her students participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music exams and have done extremely well. Most of her students are involved in the Lloydminster Kiwanis Music Festival. Many receive awards and scholarships. Sandy enjoys playing on the worship team at Lloydminster Gospel Fellowship. Her husband is Ken Ali and they have four wonderful children.

Instructor: Kathryn Edwards
Focus: Voice
Phone: 306-821-0215

BIO: Kathryn Edwards (BMusic) was born and raised in Lloydminster. A former student of the Lakeland College Music Departmeegnt, she has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships and has competed in the Saskatchewan and Alberta Provincial Music Festivals. After completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Rina, Kathryn decided to return to her hometown where she has maintained an active teaching and performing career.

Many of Kathryn’s students have received awards, scholarships and provincial recommendations through the Kiwanis Lloydminster and District Music Festival, and have gone on to pursue music at post-secondary institutions. She also has extensive drama training, has taught drama and musical theatre classes and has directed full length musical productions. She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to help enhance musical education within the school system.

Instructor: Dennis Gerik
Focus: Guitar & Saxophone
Cell Phone:  780-853-0083

BIO: Dennis Gerik has had a passion for music for over 40 years. He began early at the age of 9 with sax studies in Texas, moving into guitar and drums later in his teens, and playing all styles of music in between since then.  Dennis now happily resides in Vermilion, where he has taught lessons in several instruments, and still enjoys seeing his students have fun and excel in making music!

Through the years, Dennis has been a member of numerous bands performing anything from rock to country, pop, and jazz around western Canada.  For many years he was part of Wild at Heart, a popular local live dance band.  He currently plays saxophone with the jazz group Tangerine Blue, featuring Carmela McDonald, and plays drums with the house band on Jazz nights at the Root, lead by Ross Ulmer.

Dennis loves to play music as much as possible, performing in various festivals, markets and venues in surrounding cities.  His heart for music is apparent in his volunteer work with FOPA during Mardi Gras preparations.

He is excited to be teaching lessons at LPSD and hopes to spark a passion for music-learning with his students!


Instructor: Myck Strueby
Focus: Guitar
Home Phone: 306-825-9773
Cell Phone:  780-870-8616

BIO: Myck Strueby has been playing guitar ever since receiving his first instrument at the age of 8. He grew up learning songs from his favourite bands as well as playing trumpet throughout high school, and participating in Jazz Band for a number of years. Myck most recently spent a year in California studying guitar at the Los Angeles Music Academy, studying with great musicians such as Tariqh Akoni, Bill Fowler and Art Renshaw to name a few. There he received a Diploma in Guitar Performance. Along with continuing to learn and grow musically himself, Myck enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, ranging from reading music to learning favourite songs, to just jamming on a few good chords.



Instructor: Cindy Gratton
Focus: Piano
Phone: 780-870-0586

BIO: Cindy Gratton is a long standing member of Lloydminster’s music community. After graduating from Augustana University College with a BA in Music (piano) and a concentration in French, she returned to Lloydminster as a piano and theory instructor at Lakeland College from 2001-2005. Since 2005, she has been teaching privately from her home. Over the past 10 years, Cindy has broadened her musical scale to include membership to Lloydminster’s Music Festival committee, the Vic Juba Community Theatre Board of Directors, as well as becoming President of the Friends of the Performing Arts committee. Cindy’s enthusiasm for music is evident in her rapport with students. This has led to a high level of success in Royal Conservatory of Music exams, various music scholarships, as well as success at Music Festivals both locally and provincially.

Cindy enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages and believes that above all, music should be fun. She is very excited about the opportunity to advance music education in our schools.