Carl Berger: How I got this lucky...

It was my 7th birthday party.

The scene:  an impromptu vocal recital for one, in the bathroom.  There I was, enjoying a tinkle and a jingle, oblivious to the party on the other side of the door. When I came out, I was greeted with thunderous applause from the friends and family that had gathered.  Turns out, I was born for the spotlight, because that natural interlude during the party inspired the performer in me and resulted in years of unpaid performances during family occasions, including being the feature performer at my Bar Mitzvah after-party. I tried for years to collect appropriate remuneration from my parents.

When I became a family man, with my son in one arm and a ukulele under the other, I set out to make music that made him smile. Gladly, my son’s musical tastes were aligned with those of his toddler peers and my performances received the enthusiasm and acclaim that kicked off a new career.

Private music lessons, vocal coaching, Music for Munchkins, birthdays, events and public performances for kids and families are where my training and passions meet.  Please take a moment to look around the site and learn more about what I have to offer!

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy centres around finding content and methods that will reach the individual.  As a parent, I see that no two people are alike, and as a musician I know that what moves each of us musically is as individual as we are.

Lessons are created by drawing on concepts and styles from pop, jazz, and Royal Conservatory Classical.  I intertwine knowledge of world music gained from years of professional international performances and travel, to create a personalized lesson series for each student.

For younger students, emphasis is placed on student-teacher rapport, after all, no student will look forward to their weekly lesson if they don’t like their teacher!  Focus is placed on appropriate form and musical behaviour in a way that keeps students engaged, on track, and moving forward.

Professional Background

Born and raised in Toronto, I have been part of the Canadian music scene for nearly 30 years. I am a graduate of Arts York and the York University music program with a Fine Arts degree in ethnomusicology and jazz piano under the tutelage of Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley and Mark Eisenman.

Having earned my stripes with such groups as the Toronto Orpheus Choir, York University’s Wibijazz’n’, and the all-male a cappella outfit No Band Here, in 1998 I founded the sought-after vocal band Cadence.  This award-winning group has toured the world extensively, gaining acclaim and nominations for various prestigious awards including the Canadian JUNO awards.

Professionally, I have collaborated with notable artists such as Bobby McFerrin (Don’t Worry Be Happy), Gordon Lightfoot, David Clayton-Thomas (Blood, Sweat and Tears) and have performed for Quincy Jones and Sarah McLachlan.   I have recorded for film and TV, including the soundtrack for the 2010 film Casino Jack starring Kevin Spacey.

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