DREW THORPE (Guitar, Woodwind, Drums, Brass, Strings, Singing, Drama)
My musical journey began at 9 when I joined the Victorian Childrens Choir. This gave me my first taste of performing and reward for the effort music can take. I began my instrumental playing with 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 of original band Against The Grain (now Lazarus Mode) and tribute band Youth Gone Wild.
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 music empowers you with. With hard work anything is achievable, and nothing reflects this better than music.
ALEK STOKES (Guitar, Piano, Drums)
I have been playing guitar for around 10 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! This year I have also added piano and drums to my teaching repertoire. I love tutoring Kids to play music it has become a passion of mine. I have always believed that every child 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 the kids improve. Whether it be within a week or a month, witnessing this improvement is what makes my job worthwhile.
SANDRA O’CONNOR (Piano)
Piano has always been my favourite instrument to listen to and appreciate, but I didn’t have the opportunity to learn to play the piano as a child. I have made up for that as an adult, and have been learning, playing and enjoying the piano for close to twenty years – with a break in the middle when I had my three daughters! My girls all learnt to play piano and guitar when they were young, and now enjoy making and listening to music.
I have always had the desire to be a Primary School teacher. This is a goal which I was able to finally achieve once my girls finished their schooling. I graduated as a primary school teacher in 2002 and have taught in the school system for the last thirteen years and enjoyed every minute of it.
I moved to Castlemaine last year, and have recently become a member of the DTM family. So I have now been able to combine my two passions: to be able to share the enjoyment that playing the piano and making music brings, while encouraging children to have a love of learning – whether it’s something new, something different, something that’s challenging and difficult at first, or something that’s just fun.
RACHEL BUCKLAND (Singing, Piano)
Singing was my first musical adventure, beginning with choirs and then private tuition in my early primary school years. I then took up piano at 12 and had a quick dabble in flute as well. I have continued to sing and play piano regularly for the last 16 years, and I have been teaching with DTM for the last two years.
Music for me is a healthy and fun experience. It has a way of being an emotional outlet whilst providing a form of self-expression which is unique and individual each and every time.
I have recently given birth to our third child, so I am currently taking maternity leave, but I am looking forward to getting back to teaching once our little one is a bit bigger.
BRENTON APOSTOLOU (Guitar)
I was born into a family of music and creativity, with singers, drummers, organists, piano players and even a bassoonist. It seemed only fitting that I would follow in their footsteps by picking up the guitar. I have been playing for about 12 years through school events, gigs and private tutoring. I have been completing my bachelor of Education and have always wanted to combine my passion for music and my passion for educating young minds. That is where my journey with DTM begins. It is my dream to see students reach new levels of excitement and knowledge as they perfect their musical talent through their means of learning.
DARREN NETTO (Guitar, Piano)
With over 8 years’ experience in the music industry Darren Netto has established himself as a much sought after session musician, recording artist and music teacher. He started his musical journey forming the successful rock band Crossroads that sold out shows through its existence and recorded their original music. Darren went on to perform lead guitar duties with Madras based bands Medium Rare, Second Coming and New Horizons and toured extensively across Asia. He is now based in Bendigo but performs regularly with Melbourne based band Phoenix.
When not performing and recording he decided to share what he has learned throughout his music journey by becoming a guitar teacher. He has studied music theory with Trinity College London, has achieved ABRSM certifications and has also been teaching in schools and colleges for many years. Now happy to be working with Drew Thorpe Music he believes that age is no barrier to start learning something new. Different people have different goals and abilities so look out for revolutionary and spontaneous teaching techniques and interesting syllabus structures from Darren.