Steve Parton is the founder of Avalon Music Academy (www.avalonmusic.ca), part of the Avalon Music System franchise (www.avalonsystem.com). Under the auspices of the academy, Steve offers the following:

  • Recording studio classes
  • Rock band classes
  • Live sound clinics
  • Private guitar lessons
  • Master classes, electric and acoustic guitar
  • Electric guitar building workshops
  • Classical guitar ensemble classes
  • Music industry workshops for young musicians
  • Public speaking for music in education

Since 1992, Steve has been teaching guitar to children and adults, many of whom have gone on to become performers and teachers themselves.

Many walking-talking examples of Steve's skill as a teacher currently reside in and around Nanaimo, BC, and in Hamilton, Ontario. From 1997 to 2000, Steve was the guitar teacher at Nanaimo's premier children's music school, Kathy's Music Box. All of his students who participated in the Upper Island Music Festival, and the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival took home first- or second-place awards.

Parton gives his students many opportunities for recitals and performances. In 1999, the Musicbox Guitar Ensemble was born. Conducted by Steve, the group of classical guitarists, aged 8 to 14, won first place at the Upper Island Music Festival and second place in the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, both in the guitar ensemble categories. They have since gone on to perform at churches and senior's centers around town, and at the International Children's Festival 2000.

Steve feels that a very important aspect of children's success in music is the parents' involvement. Sometimes the role of a parent is nothing more than to ensure time and space for the students to practice at home (add to this a never-ending stream of praise and encouragement). For the younger children, a mother or a father who is actually in the lesson makes a big difference, as the student may need some help when practicing at home.

As used above, the term, "success" refers to the state in which the student is happy and comfortable playing a musical instrument. The joy is passed on to others (by teaching or by performing), and the skills developed in music (due to having used the creative and technical sides of the brain) are transferable to many other aspects of life.