Always wanted to play an instrument? Brushing up on your skills? Our warm and inviting lessons area is sure to light a creative fire in you.


Vanessa De Freitas - Voice and Piano

Vanessa is a graduate from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music from 2008. She also holds a Diploma of Applied Arts in Vocal Music from Mohawk College from 2006. Vanessa is classically trained in both voice and piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She also has vocal training in jazz, pop/rock and musical theater styles. Vanessa has starred in several local musicals including Kitchener Waterloo Musical Production’s (KWMP) Titanic, Lost and Found Theatre’s Hello Dolly, JM Drama’s Evita and KWMP’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Vanessa holds several Kiwanis Festival Awards in both Voice & Piano. Vanessa takes much pride and joy in teaching music to a variety of age groups for over 17 years. She has been teaching voice and piano at Sherwood since 2012 and is now the lessons manager/coordinator. Vanessa is also a licenced Kindermusik teacher. With a passion for music education Vanessa is the perfect choice to run our lessons department.

Sam Dlugokecki - Guitar, Bass, Percussion and Ukulele

Sammy Duke is proficient at 13 musical instruments and is a master of the cajon hand drum. As a solo artist, he simultaneously plays guitar, sings, beats on a drum, plays bass synthesizer pedals with his foot, plays percussion with his other foot, and an occasionally liberated hand – or elbow, as in the case of his famed “elbow chimes.” Even in one of his other steady gigs, as a chosen sideman for Alysha Brilla, Sammy plays bass, cajon, shakers, and tambourine, all while singing harmony. He has appeared both solo and with Alysha Brilla on Rogers TV, Global TV, Breakfast Television, CBC Radio One, and CP24 Breakfast Weekend. Sam released his first full-length album “Terminus” in 2018. He recorded the album with Ian Graham at Small Dog Studios in Kitchener – an off-the-grid, solar powered recording studio. The first single “Save It” made its debut on CBC Radio’s Fresh Air in Toronto. Sam has been an amazing asset to the Sherwood Lessons department since 2010 teaching guitar, bass, ukulele and cajon.

Brett Bossenberry - Guitar

Brett studied classical guitar under Wilfrid Laurier’s Tibor Puskas, and harmony under pianist Paul Stouffer. He is accomplished in all genres of music, from classical and jazz to country and rock. His passion is the electric guitar and he has played with such bands as Yuma, Airkraft, The Distance, Outrider, and Canadian Hall of Famer Larry Mercey (Mercey Brothers), Robyn Pauhl, various tribute acts and Radio King. He currently plays with Kitchener’s own “Glider” (formed in 1980 and became one of Ontario’s most popular Top 40 bands) with Grant Cummings, Dave “Fritz” Belbeck and Mike Kipper. He is also a member of party band “Moonshine” with Mark Waechter, James Hastings, Jody Moser and Steve Todd. In addition to playing, Brett has been teaching beginner through advanced guitar both acoustic and electric at Sherwood Systems since 1982.

Dave Menard - Drums

Dave Menard is a graduate of Humber College and has extensive experience performing drums in theatres, cruise ships, clubs, and with his band. Dave has a Diploma in Audio and TV Broadcasting and was the winner of the CTV Award for Proficiency in Broadcast Technical Operations. His performance experiences include a variety of genres ranging from Jazz to Rock, Country to Folk and everything in between. Dave has the theoretical know-how to supplement his vast musical knowledge, giving him a truly balanced skillset. He is a fantastic fit for any drum student, serious or otherwise, and is always quick with some supportive words and light-hearted candor. Locally, you can find Dave playing with multiple bands. With his wealth of gigging experience and his laid-back attitude, Dave is a huge asset to Sherwood, representing the Sherwood team both on and off the stage.

Edwin Gutierrez - Drums

As a high-school music teacher in Columbia, Edwin’s confidence and drive is sure to keep any student on track – he has them all playing beats by the end of their first lesson. Despite the clear obstacles that Edwin has had to overcome, he has become an indispensable part of the Sherwood team and we are so thrilled to have Edwin share his unique experiences and interests, as well as his positive and determined attitude with our students.

Jason Walsh - Guitar

Jason Walsh and his guitar(s) have been nearly inseparable since the age of seven. He started gigging around Ontario by the age of 15, and now with 30 years in the studio, on stage and in the practice room, you will be hard-pressed to find a musical scenario he hasn’t faced many times over. Just ask him. Jason has toured Canada and the U.S with his bands and renowned Tribute bands like Almost Hip. Jason is available to teach electric, acoustic, and bass guitar, as well as music theory, plus his invaluable experience as a writer, producer, performer and vocalist will ensure that whatever you are curious about, Jason will have an answer.

Nathan Kirk - Guitar

Starting out as a Sherwood student in 2013, Nathan attended every band camp since its beginning. At band camp he took the lead guitar solos to new heights, showing off his skills. Though aging out in 2020, Sherwood just couldn’t let him get away. With Nathan’s soloing skills and acquired teaching styles from a few of our other teachers, Nathan has become the youngest addition to our lessons department and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on board teaching guitar and developing a student following of his own. Coming full circle, the student becomes the teacher.

Brendan White - Guitar, Bass

Brendan is always looking for a challenge to take his guitar playing to the next level. He’s been teaching and playing all over the KW region since the age of 15. Over the years, Brendan’s ability to improvise and adapt has given him the skills to fit into almost any musical scenario. From high-speed solos, to groovy bass lines, and back to classical finger picking, he has no shortage of tricks and tips up his sleeve! Brendan is dedicated to helping others find “their sound”. He has the knowledge and the tools to help you break down any barriers and help you excel. Come find out for yourself!