The Academy Teachers

Denis Poliquin

Denis Poliquin, founder: guitar, ukulele.

  • Founder and principal of the Académie since 1986. Owner of a M. A. in classical guitar with First prize from the Québec City Conservatory. He is also the coordinator for Guitar sessions at the Académie de musique et de danse of the Domaine Forget and the Vice-President of the Société de guitare de Montréal.
  • Guitarist, composer, and arranger. He backs-up Ms Kim Yaroshevskaya (aka Fanfreluche) in her show ”Il était une fois”. Recipient of many prizes for his pieces Hommage à Keith Jarrett and Passe-Temps. Holder of Grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, he continues his craft as arranger and composer (last piece: ‘Time Go’ for three guitars (D’OZ)). 

Martin Leclerc, Guitar Teacher

Martin Leclerc: guitar.

  • After completing his classical guitar studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Martin Leclerc got in 2004 his M.A. in Electroacoustic composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
  • He was awarded six times the Hugh-Le Caine prize at the SOCAN Concours de jeunes compositeurs. Still active as a guitarist, he is a teacher at the Académie since 2008. 

Neil Turpin: guitar.

  • Studied at Cégep Vanier and Concordia University, focusing on harmony, arranging, and improvisation.
  • Played bass or guitar in pop, rock and blues; and guitar in jazz and latin settings.
  • Teaches at the Académie since 1999.


Francis Leclerc, Guitar Teacher

Francis Leclerc, assistant: guitar.

  • Diploma owner from the Conservatoire de Québec in classical guitar and in ethnomusicology at the Université de Montréal, he has taught here at the Académie from 2006 to 2011 and again since the fall of 2013.
  • Flamenco guitarist, he explores likewise the ‘fingerstyle’ guitar repertory: classical, Brazilian, Celtic, blues, jazz, country and bluegrass on top of his own arrangements and compositions.
  • As an ethnomusicologist, Francis likes to link his research to his teaching and artistic projects.

Carmen Desjardins

Carmen Desjardins: Piano.

  • Carmen started playing the piano at the age of 5, she learned to read music even before the alphabet! Passionate about music since childhood, she was already playing college-level pieces at the age of 8. Until her adolescence, her main training was with Mme Lemoine, a student of the great pianist Paul Loyonnet, from whom Carmen also benefited from her knowledge.
  • She studied at the Vincent D’Indy music school as an extracurricular graduate as well as at Cégep Vincent D’Indy in College. Carmen continues to improve her skills with several other teachers throughout her career and participated in many musical competitions.
  • She is also a professional flamenco and oriental dancer, as well as a qualified sommelier, which she also teaches.

Julien Donati, director: guitar.

  • A native of NDG, Julien has been a regular student for more than 15 years before becoming the director in 2017.
  • The flexibility and variety of learning have been his main motivation for all time. First, he learned electric guitar, classical guitar and then singing. He studied at the Vincent D’Indy school of music in classical guitar, and simultaneously tackled musical composition in numerous group projects and began playing piano for a few years.
  • Before taking over the Guitar Academy, he has had some success as an entrepreneur, co-founding a social economy company in 2010 to provide affordable rehearsal spaces for musicians.
  • As a teacher,  the most important for him is to find what makes the student vibrate, to understand his tastes, and to use this motivation to broaden his horizons.

Marc Bélanger, Guitar Teacher, with William Tremblay

Marc Bélanger: guitar.

  • Marc Bélanger studied at the Conservatoire de Québec, Laval University, and at UQAM. He has a music teaching B.A.. He also studied jazz at Ithaca College, NY.
  • Marc has been teaching at the Académie for twenty years. He also teaches guitar at Marguerite-De Lajemmerais high school. Moreover he has taught guitar at Université Laval for fifteen years plus Songwriting at UQAM, Cégep de Drummondville, Cégep Lionel-Groulx, and École Prochant.
  • For more than a year, Radio-Canada gave him the mandate for the musical formation of directors and assistants to variety programs. Marc has also published many composition songbooks at Productions d’OZ. He is a professional back-up guitarist and is regularly heard on the Montreal stages.