FOPA Music Lessons

Notice: FOPA programs are currently suspended in schools

Private Music Lessons Offered to LPSD Students in School

Friends of Performing Arts (FOPA) in Lloydminster and Lloydminster Public School Division have partnered to offer private music lessons during the school day. The partnership will allow private music instructors registered with FOPA to use LPSD school facilities to teach students before, during and after the school day. Times and space will be made available within the limitations of each school. Instructors, parents and students will work within these parameters to access music lessons. The goal of the program is to enrich offering of music lessons to include piano, voice, guitar, woodwinds, brass, percussion and stringed instruments.

Please contact the following LPSD approved music instructors directly to arrange lessons for your child.

LPSD Approved Music Instructors


Cindy Gratton

(780) 870-0586 

BIO: Cindy Gratton is a long standing member of Lloydminster’s music community. After graduating from Augustana University College with a BA in Music (piano) and a concentration in French, she returned to Lloydminster as a piano and theory instructor at Lakeland College from 2001-2005.  Since 2005, she has been teaching privately from her home.  Over the past 10 years, Cindy has broadened her musical scale to include membership to Lloydminster’s Music Festival committee, the Vic Juba Community Theatre Board of Directors, as well as becoming President of the Friends of the Performing Arts committee. Cindy’s enthusiasm for music is evident in her rapport with students. This has led to a high level of success in Royal Conservatory of Music exams, various music scholarships, as well as success at Music Festivals both locally and provincially.  Cindy enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages and believes that above all, music should be fun.  She is very excited about the opportunity to advance music education in our schools.


Kathryn Edwards

(306) 821-0215

BIO: Kathryn Edwards (BMusic) was born and raised in Lloydminster. A former student of the Lakeland College Music Department, she has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships and has competed in the Saskatchewan and Alberta Provincial Music Festivals. After completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Regina, Kathryn decided to return to her hometown where she has maintained an active teaching and performing career.

Many of Kathryn’s students have received awards, scholarships and provincial recommendations through the Kiwanis Lloydminster and District Music Festival, and have gone on to pursue music at post-secondary institutions. She also has extensive drama training, has taught drama and musical theatre classes and has directed full length musical productions. She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to help enhance musical education within the school system.


Sandy Kern-Ali

(780) 875-7078

BIO: Sandy Kern-Ali brings to FOPA 35 years of teaching experience. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. There she received her B.Ed (major in music) and A.R.C.T. She's very excited to have the opportunity to teach piano within the public school system. Sandy has lived in Lloydminster for more than 25 years and calls it her home. She has had the privilege of teaching students of all levels, personalities and abilities. Sandy believes it's important to establish a relationship with her pupil where they are encouraged to reach their potential. Many of her students participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music exams and have done extremely well. Most of her students are involved in the Lloydminster Kiwanis Music Festival. Many receive awards and scholarships. Sandy enjoys playing on the worship team at Lloydminster Gospel Fellowship. Her husband is Ken Ali and they have four wonderful children and two grandchildren.


Myck Strueby

(306) 830-0111 

BIO:  Myck Strueby has been playing guitar ever since receiving his first instrument at the age of 8.  He grew up learning songs from his favourite bands as well as playing trumpet throughout high school, and participating in Jazz Band for a number of years.  Myck most recently spent a year in California studying guitar at the Los Angeles Music Academy, studying with great musicians such as Tariqh Akoni, Bill Fowler and Art Renshaw to name a few.  There he received a Diploma in Guitar Performance. Along with continuing to learn and grow musically himself, Myck enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, ranging from reading music to learning favourite songs, to just jamming on a few good chords.


Heather Onofrychuk

(780) 874-0462

BIO: Heather Onofrychuk has over 10 years of experience teaching piano to children.  Her own piano instruction followed the Royal Conservatory of Music, and she continued studying piano theory and history at the University of Lethbridge. Heather has accompanied choirs of all ages and played the flute and bassoon in concert bands during her middle and high school years.

Heather, her husband Brad, and their four children live in Lloydminster. She loves working with children and helping them make music an integral part of their lives!


Guitar and Saxophone

Dennis Gerik

(780) 853-0083

BIO: Dennis Gerik has had a passion for music for over 40 years. He began early at the age of 9 with sax studies in Texas, moving into guitar and drums later in his teens, and playing all styles of music in between since then.  Dennis now happily resides in Vermilion, where he has taught lessons in several instruments, and still enjoys seeing his students have fun and excel in making music!

Through the years, Dennis has been a member of numerous bands performing anything from rock to country, pop, and jazz around western Canada.  For many years he was part of Wild at Heart, a popular local live dance band.  He currently plays saxophone with the jazz group Tangerine Blue, featuring Carmela McDonald, and plays drums with the house band on Jazz nights at the Root, lead by Ross Ulmer.

Dennis loves to play music as much as possible, performing in various festivals, markets and venues in surrounding cities.  His heart for music is apparent in his volunteer work with FOPA during Mardi Gras preparations.  

He is excited to be teaching lessons at LPSD and hopes to spark a passion for music-learning with his students!


Crystal Penny

(780) 808-8200

BIO: Crystal Penny was born and raised in Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. She has been living in Lloydminster for the past 20 years with her husband and three children.

She has been teaching piano in her home and at Marshall school. Her piano instruction followed the Royal Conservatory of music program and she recently completed the RCM teaching elementary course.

She played the keyboard in the school band through both middle school and high school and continues to play keyboard with the Dirt Rich band. She has been an active member of the Kiwanis Lloydminster and district music festival committee for the past couple of years.

Crystal loves working with children and is very excited to expand sharing her love of music within the Lloydminster public school division. Her mission is for the students to have fun, gain confidence, and be able to share their talents with others!



Elnora Pittman

(306) 307-5606

BIO: Elnora Pittman has been teaching piano for over 30 years.  Her formal training is with the Royal Conservatory.  She also plays by ear, reads guitar chord charts and teaches some of her students the same.  In addition, she is a singer/songwriter who has recorded 5 albums—two of which have been nominated for awards.

Alongside teaching piano, Elnora spent 12 years working the school system as an Educational Assistant working with students with various special needs when she lived in the Calgary area.  She also runs a Musikgarten program for young children out of her home.

Elnora enjoys children of all ages, working with their individual needs, inspiring creativity and nurturing musicality. She has two grown children and has been living in Lloydminster with her husband, Pierre, since the Summer of 2016.


Shirees Watchel

(306) 307-5131

BIO: Shirees Watchel has been playing piano for over 20 years and teaching piano to students of all ages for 10 years. She started learning piano at a young age and worked through the Royal Conservatory of music curriculum, being successful in all her practical and theory exams. She participated in 9 years of music festival while growing up and achieved many awards and scholarships including the highest mark in senior piano on two separate occasions. She now enjoys preparing her own students to participate at the Kiwanis Lloydminster and District Music Festival every year. Shirees continued her music studies at Concordia University of Edmonton and gained valuable knowledge on piano performance and pedagogy that she now incorporates into her own lessons.

Shirees loves getting to know her students and is always excited to pass on her passion for music!



Karen Fawcett

(403) 853-3482

BIO: Karen Fawcett is an experienced vocal instructor who believes in developing not only a student’s fundamental vocal technique but also his or her self-confidence and poise as an artist. 

Karen has over twenty years’ experience instructing voice students of all ages through private lessons, choirs, adjudicating, and workshops. Her students have excelled at Royal Conservatory of Music exams as well as local and provincial music festivals. Karen is also the Music Director of Grace United Church in Lloydminster, where she conducts both the adult and junior choirs. 

Classically trained, Karen received her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music from Augustana University College in Camrose, Alberta. She later studied opera privately for four years in Montreal, where she made her opera debut in the role of “Berta” in The Barber of Seville.

Karen performs her own opera/comedy show as “The Darling Diva", which she has brought to communities throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Karen believes musical education should be fun. She welcomes this opportunity to work with FOPA and LPSD to foster a lifelong love of music for her students.