(Piano, Guitar, Woodwind, Drums, Brass, Strings, Mandolin, Ukulele, Banjo, Singing, Percussion,Drama)
From my earliest memory I have had music in my life with many members of my family playing piano and introducing me to this from the moment I could reach the keys. At the age of 9, I joined the Victorian Children’s Choir. This gave me my first taste of performing and the reward for the effort music can take. My instrumental playing expanded to woodwind instruments in 1988, then guitar, bass and drums the following year. I continued through the years to add brass, strings and drama to my list. For over 25 years I studied under Masters International, achieving many qualifications including:
Master of Music 12/05/1999
Licentiate; Guitar/Bass: Masters International 2003
Certified Practicing Musician: Masters International CPM 04/04/2004
Associate Teaching Diploma: Masters International 2004
CPM Fellow of the Society FCPM 30/05/2011
Music Director: Masters International MusD. 28/07/2014
Certified Practicing Music Therapist CPT-Level 7 28/07/2014
I am also an APRA Full Member/Writer.
I love the challenge of adding a new instrument and working on the techniques to make it feel natural to play. I have played in orchestras, blues, jazz, stage, rock and heavy metal bands. I formed Level Edge and wrote, recorded and performed with them for 5 years between 2003 and 2008. I have also been a member/song writer of original band Against The Grain (now Lazarus Mode) and tribute band Youth Gone Wild plus many cover bands over the years. I regularly get asked to perform for many different occasions, and just love getting up on stage to express my connection with all things music.
On a deeper level, music has helped me through some hard times as a positive anchor to keep me grounded and help give me focus. This is exactly why I started teaching in 2002 and the reason I began Drew Thorpe Music in 2004, to give children and adults the joy, positive benefits and the strengths that music empowers you with. With hard work anything is achievable, and nothing reflects this better than music.
ALEK STOKES- Teaches in schools & Studio
(Guitar, Piano, Drums, Ukulele, Banjo, Harmonica)
I have been playing guitar for around 13 years and absolutely love it. When I finished school I decided I wanted to take my guitar knowledge to the next level so I started teaching in my home town during my first year at university. I also wanted to tutor while I was Bendigo, hence my career at DTM was born in 2015! Since then, I have also added piano, drums, ukulele and banjo to my teaching repertoire. I love tutoring people of all ages to play music and it has become a real passion of mine. I have always believed that every person deserves the chance to play music, no matter the circumstances in their life. I love my job, and wouldn’t ask for it any other way. I love the feeling when I watch my students improve. Whether it be within a week or a month, witnessing this improvement is what makes my job worthwhile.
MANDLA SIBANDA- Teaches Online, in schools and studio
(Guitar, Singing, Ukulele, Piano)
Hi Everyone, I’m Mandla Sibanda.
I’ve been playing contemporary guitar for over 12 years, throughout which time I have focused on enjoying the journey of both playing and learning, but also developing a music style that is sweet to the ear and easy to teach to others. I also love to sing, and I am expanding my teaching into this area with DTM in 2020. My other hobbies outside of music include my love of calisthenics and BMX riding. I have embarked upon higher education and through this I have successfully achieved a Masters Graduate in Engineering.
I believe everyone should learn music, whether it is simply vocals or any other instrument because music is the language of the soul.
OLIVIA MEDICI- Teaches in Studio
I am an experienced singer and musician, with over 16 years singing and 4 years playing the ukulele. I began singing at a very early age and have dedicated myself throughout my whole life to improving and harnessing my voice. I am also a trained dancer, and while in high school I performed in several theatre shows expanding my skills into the dramatic arts.
Music has always been my biggest passion and talent and if I can help a student find their passion and help their talent grow, I can safely say I’ve done my job well. People have described me as professional, dedicated, understanding and easy going, which are traits that I bring to my lessons and use to build a report with my students.