our teachers:

NATE DOUGLAS – Guitar, Bass, Ukulele

Nate has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Western University, and studied jazz guitar at Humber College. As one of the co-founders of the Barrie Music School, he maintains a balance between teaching, performing, and being a dad. He has written and recorded two studio albums of original songs (‘My Element’, and ‘Take Me With You’) and continues to perform and record with other bands and musical acts.

BRETT CASWELL – Guitar, Piano

Music has been a big part of Brett’s life since his teenage years at Central Collegiate. A performer, bandleader, songwriter, producer, and now choir director, he is also known in our community as a music teacher. For more than 15 years Brett has taught piano and guitar in Barrie. For 12 of those years he was the owner of R&B’s School of Music where he taught alongside Rob Drake and Nate Douglas. His work with children of all ages through rock camps, private lessons, and choir has endeared him to many. He has also taken his musical knowledge into the schools, having performed, and worked with kids in many elementary classrooms throughout Simcoe County. Brett is a great addition to the Barrie Music School team and we’re happy to have him back in the family.

KENE HYATT – Bass, Guitar, Cello, Violin

Kene has been teaching for over 30 years. He has done extensive touring and studied jazz at York University. He’s taught clinics as well as privately in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Norway. He has performed on radio, TV, and live in a variety of styles including rock, blues, jazz, latin, and many others. Kene is a co-founder of the Barrie Music School, and received the “Entrepreneur of the Month” award in the beginning of 2020.


Cian grew up in Midhurst Ontario. He was inspired to study music by his Emmy award winning and Juno nominated uncle Mike O’Neill who played in a band called The Inbreds. He started playing drums at age 11 and began recording and playing gigs from age 14. He studied with several drum teachers including world renowned Jazz instructor Jim Blackley and fellow Barrie Music School instructor Rob Drake. He is a founding member of Club Silencio and international touring act Tallies who are signed to Bella Union in Europe and the UK, Kanine Records in the US and Hand Drawn Dracula in Canada. With Tallies, Cian has opened for a number of notable acts including Sloan, Mudhoney, Ride, The Ocean Blue, TOPS, Andy Bell (Oasis), Mother Mother, The Natvral (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Hollerado, and Born Ruffians. His drumming has brought him to perform on stages for festivals and tours around the world including in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Belgium, Wales, Scotland, The UK, Canada and the US. He has worked as a session drummer on recordings for several other artists including The Holiday Crowd, Waxing, and Emmet Morris. Cian’s pedagogical approach has been influenced by his own music education. Cian believes instruction should be learner-centred and the approach should build on the strengths and interests of the students. Motivation is key to successful education in any subject. 


Patty is our studio coordinator, and the friendly voice you hear when you call the school. She moved here from Italy in 2005 and got connected with our team while taking guitar, bass, and piano lessons. She’s been managing music schools ever since Rob Drake started his original “R&B’s School of Music”. Surrounded by musicians at work and at home, Patty runs our program in the most professional way while making everyone feel right at home.


Joanna has studied music since childhood and holds a Bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from Western University. She is a full-time music teacher for the Simcoe County District School Board. Joanna hopes to provide a collaborative learning environment, help students build a strong foundation in vocal techniques, and encourage them to explore their own musical interests. 



Jess discovered her love for music at a young age, and started taking piano lessons when she was nine. For over a decade, Jess studied with John Howard, a local piano guru, as well as her biggest mentor. She was also a student at R&B’s School of Music and spent many years learning from a variety of incredible teachers including Nate Douglas, Brett Caswell and Ben Lemen. She loves spending her time working on original music and performing live shows with her band Not That I Care. Jess has met and learned from so many talented musicians in the local community, and she is excited to continue her musical journey as a piano teacher. 


Bio coming soon…

JON LAXTON – Bass, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele

Bio coming soon…