Dr Ross Braes has been teaching at his own music studio in Vancouver since 1987. During this time he has taught hundreds of students all aspects of music history and theory along with aspects of musicianship (sight-singing and ear-training) and numerous music appreciation courses for adults. He has prepared students for their conservatory music examinations along with preparation towards their entrance exams at college and university. Recently he has turned to teaching composition at all levels and has himself produced a small number of books primarily for intermediate level piano.
Dr Ross Braes was contracted by the Student Services division of SIDES (School District 63) from September 2008 to 2010 to assist students with various cognitive and developmental challenges. He has engaged these students in a variety of musical activities designed to help increase their motor skills and sensory input, as well as their basic comprehension of language including the basics of ASL. For the neuro-typical students Dr Ross has taught a variety of topics such as music appreciation and music history, along with the basics of ukulele, recorder and keyboard skills. He is currently contracted with the Student Services division at SIDES once again for the 2009-10 academic year and is especially looking forward to teaching the basics of composition to two students who have acute cerebral palsy.
Dr Ross Braes has conducted ongoing musical sessions for the residents at Forrester House since September 2008. He engages them in music-making with simple percussion instruments, encourages group singing where possible, encourages dancing and in general tries to involve everyone regardless of physical or cognitive challenge. The residents really have a great deal of fun and the staff at Forrester House find the musical sessions a highpoint of the week. Dr Ross plays a variety of keyboard instruments (the organ, piano or accordion) to help create a positive and up-beat mood. The feedback from these sessions is always positive and uplifting.
Dr Ross has been contracted by the Provincial Ministry to assist a foster mother with specific musical care for a severely autistic child. The thirteen-year old child is somewhat an anomaly as she is willfully mute and often lies in a fetal position. However, with regular music sessions she is responding very favourably now. A number of special techniques and musical games and activiteis are helping help her achieve basic control of her motor skills and recognition of her environment. She is beginning to use her limbs and engage in simple dance movements much to the delight of Dr Ross and the foster parent. As well, her parent and her support staff have seen a marked cognitive improvement since these sessions began in April 2009 and are greatly encouraged about the effect that music has on her development.
Dr Ross hones keeps his skills and expertise by attending various workshops, primarily designed for children with ASD (autism).
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders Course (January 2009) held by Gateway Society, Services for Persons with Autism
Visual, Communication and Sensory Supports Training (March 2009) held by Gateway Society, Services for Persons with Autism
Teaching Social Thinking (August 2009) with Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, presented by ACT, Autism Community Training
Young Adults and Transitioning to Adulthood (September 2010) with Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, and Pamela Crooke, PhD, presented by ACT, Autism Community Training
Dr Ross has been a regular lecturer at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Budapest, Hungary. In 2013 he was also a guest lecturer for Debrecen University for their British Studies program. Each year he lectures about aspects of Canadian music -- its history, culture and composers. In 2014 he lectured on the benefits of music therapy sharing his experiences with disadvantaged children. The most current season (2016) he was invited to play for the residents of Neptuna Residence in Malmö, Sweden. Dr Ross anticipates his return in March 2017 to both Budapest and Malmö.