Hi, I'm Kristen Mark. I'm a musician, recording artist, producer and teacher based in Guelph ON. I write songs, make music and empower people to express themselves through sound. I love what I do.
My fascination with music began with a ukulele and a moment. I was seven years old sitting cross-legged on a gym floor watching the ukulele club perform at a school assembly. It was my first time seeing kids my age making music, and I remember being star-struck. I wanted to do that too! I got my first instrument–a uke from a local second-hand store–for Christmas that year and began a learning journey I am still on today: a quest to grow as an artist, find my voice and bring beauty to my community through music.
I studied music at Western University, pursuing an undergrad in Music Education and a Master's in Piano Performance, where I had the opportunity to study with acclaimed Canadian pianists James Anagnoson and Leslie Kinton. It was there that my passion for socially-engaged community arts education was sparked by an encounter with the writings of the Brazilian theorist Paulo Freire. His writings inspired my graduate research into the intersections of community development and music education and continue to shape my approach to teaching today.
Since graduating, I have performed as a pianist, guitarist and vocalist playing jazz, classical, pop, rock, folk and gospel music on stages, in studios and in churches all over Canada. In 2019, I released my debut album What I Heard, What I Saw, which was nominated by the Gospel Music Association of Canada for Folk Album of the Year.
Currently, I write, teach, produce and record from my home studio in Guelph, where I live with my partner Fran and my son Simon. And I still have that first ukulele!