At Studio Nine we offer lessons in a number of instruments with our variety of highly trained teachers! Lessons are available year round at your convenience. Dropping your son or daughter off for their lessons and looking to fill that half-hour? Sign yourself up with one of our AMAZING teachers while you wait! Check out our teacher bios here and Register Today!

 Lake Bonavista Schedule                       McKenzie Towne Schedule



Music Director

  Aaron Lowen

Aaron Lowen is the owner and Music Director of Studio Nine School of Music.


Piano Teachers


Karen Burkell

Karen is currently working on her grade 9  Royal Conservatory of Music and is an advanced theory student of Studio Nine under the training of  Tom Geddes. She is looking forward to completing her grade 9 and working towards the Associate of The Royal Conservatory (ARCT) diploma for Performers and Teachers. This is the highest academic standings awarded by The Royal Conservatory. Karen’s skills and knowledge of theory enables her to confidently teach intermediate students and prepare them for RCM exams. Karen has had a desire to be a piano instructor since she was a young child.

Additionally, Karen holds a degree in Elementary Education and also works as a school teacher. This is her third year as a teacher with Studio Nine and has been a joy to the team.

Karen is currently accepting private students for piano lessons.

Tom Geddes

Tom has attained his grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music and has a background in classical and Christian music and is the musical director for his church.

As an extremely experienced teacher, Tom is able to confidently teach up to grade 10 RCM, including all levels of theory, and enjoys preparing his students for exams.

Tom may come across as a little gruff or strict at times, but loves encouraging his students to stay focused and goal oriented. He encourages students to practice regularly and come to lessons prepared, but he is a gentle and kind teacher, evident upon meeting him.

Tom’s specialty is classical piano, up to Grade 10 RCM and advanced theory.

Tom can prepare students for all levels of RCM piano and theory examinations and is currently accepting new students for private piano lessons.

Katrina Jordan

Katrina began her piano studies with Music for Young Children (MYC). After graduating from the MYC program she continued with private studies, working her way through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has completed her grade 8 RCM piano examination with First Class Honours and is currently working towards her grade 9 and her Harmony and History examinations. Katrina holds certificates in theory including Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Rudiments.

Katrina has played in and accompanied for several school bands, and has also competed in the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, playing in the Yaminda Classical Guitar Quartet, where she received a first place award.

Katrina is an enthusiastic and caring teacher who uses positive reinforcement to encourage and aid in the development of her students. She enjoys working with all age groups and is particularly good with younger children. Katrina uses games as educational tools for learning music and music theory, creating a fun environment. She loves teaching classical and popular music styles, and also enjoys composing music while encouraging students to explore their musical creativity.

Katrina is currently accepting private students for piano lessons.

Margo MacDonnel

Margo started teaching piano when she completed her Bachelor of Music in 1985.  She has been teaching with Studio 9 School of Music for 27 years and in that time has also taught the Music for Young Children, Yamaha and Safari pre school group music programs. She teaches all ages, all grades of the piano and theory in the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum and popular, jazz and classical music outside the RCM program. She has maintained her passion for teaching and loves to challenge her students to achieve their musical goals.

Working with students, young and old, is what Margo enjoys, and takes great joy in opening the musical door for her students. In her world, having music in one’s life adds fun and optimism.

Margo is currently accepting new students for private piano lessons.

Duncan McCartney

Duncan has experience with many instruments including piano, saxophone and other brass instruments. He loves practicing jazz in his spare time. Duncan ensures that all of his students get a theory component in their lessons as this is a passion of his. Duncan teaches students of all ages and enjoys both entry and intermediate students. If you are a student looking to take a brass or woodwind instrument, then Duncan would also be a great choice.

Connie Claeys

Connie started playing piano by ear. She has completed both an ARCT and a Bachelor of Music degree in School Music at the University of Calgary. She has forty years of experience teaching students of all ages. She has taught Music for Young Children, as well as the Safari Kindergarten Piano summer camps at Studio Nine. Connie enjoys teaching students of all ages and can arrange a program to suit each student. Connie likes watching students grow musically and enjoys the music they are playing. She is happy to help students prepare for performances and RCM exams. Connie believes that everyone can benefit from the study of music and the opportunity for expression that it gives.

Connie is currently accepting private piano students.

Pauline Dudus

Pauline is a cheerful teacher whom thoroughly enjoys her teaching career. She ensures that all students get familiar with piano theory and proper posture while playing. She enjoys teaching all ages of students and has been a teacher with Studio Nine for many years and continues to be a great asset to our team. Pauline would be a great choice for both beginner and experienced students.





Dean Caplan

Dean Caplan is a pianist, keyboardist and percussionist whose experience spans over forty years as a performer and composer, and thirty years as an educator. Playing since he was four, Dean formed his first band at age thirteen and began playing professionally a year later. After high school he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree at the University of Saskatchewan, all the while teaching lessons, gigging, and writing jingles to earn extra money.

As a performer Dean has toured North America playing diverse genres, from musical theatre and circus pit bands to large rock and country music shows in arenas and outdoor festivals. In recent musical pursuits, Dean teaches private lessons, serves as an accompanist, and writes music for television and other media placements.

As a music educator, Dean believes his main role is to “guide students
in bringing out the music that is in each of us. Every student is
different and so should be their teaching and learning experience.”
Dean’s goal is to tailor each lesson to the individual student’s wants
and needs so they have a stake in their own learning.


Minha Kim

My primary instrument is piano and I also play flute as well. After receiving my ARCT Diploma: Performer’s specialization from Royal Conservatory of Music in 2011, I have taken a very active role in teaching music students both with their music and theory lessons. My musical achievements that I’m proud of are my participating in the Calgary Kiwanis Festival and the awards that were rewarded for all my efforts. I’ve been awarded with one 1st place awards for Impressionism category as well as three 2nd place awards for Classical and Canadian Composers categories. Taking music lessons opens up another avenue to self-expression and allows you to get more in touch with your feelings and creativity to become a well-rounded self-directed learner. My sincere hope with all my students is that they will gain the confidence to face their insecurities and challenges head on, and take charge of their own learning for the sake of learning itself and the enjoyment it brings.

I chose to become a music teacher because in my 13 years of teaching experience, taking music lessons gives students opportunities to experience a very interactive way of learning that they often lack in school. Also, teaching music is not only rewarding for students but for teachers as well: Teachers share a sense of accomplishment with students, and I feel challenging myself to think of new, fun ways of teaching brings much personal enjoyment. My strengths as a music teacher are my adaptability, persistence, and patience with students. I feel that it’s my job as a teacher to assure my students of their eventual successes, present them with baby steps they can take to tackle their challenges, and cheer them on when they have outdone themselves. My teaching philosophy is that teachers should instill a sense of fun during the lesson by making it possible for students to relate what they’ve been taught to their personal experiences. The process of making the connections between what they’ve been taught to their lives is what makes learning fun for them. I also believe that music learning shouldn’t stop with students’ practicing at home by themselves. Parents should also be involved by becoming students’ personal cheerleaders: Parents should take active roles in the students’ learning at home by providing a welcoming atmosphere for practices as well as acknowledging students’ musical growth whenever an opportunity rises.




LeAnn Latta

LeAnn has been teaching piano on and off for 15 years -depending on the needs and schedules of her own five children. She is passionate about the beauty that comes into a life where music is present and pursued. A child who loves music is blessed indeed! LeAnn loves to be part of the building of a new piano student but also enjoys teaching the more advanced student. She is comfortable preparing students for RCM exams (grades 1-6).


Tanya Zamonsky

Music has been in Tanya’s life since the age of 7. While taking many Royal Conservatory examinations, Tanya began teaching Piano. Wanting to continue my education, and attended Capilano College and the University of Calgary, to obtain A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Piano is my main instrument with a minor in violin and voice.

Tanya has been teaching students for the last 23 years, teaching countless students from the age of 5 to adult. Sharing the love of music has been a great joy! I take pride in giving students tips and tools to help them in their music goals, while still have fun!

After facing challenges teaching students so young, she came across the Music For Young Children group program and found this was a great way to share the love of music. From there she progressed into teaching the Safari group program which captivates children with unique beats, and rhythms from around the world. Your child will be moving and grooving in no time, while learning with today’s progressive technology. Teaching students in a group setting, allows students to develop a solid foundation, all while having fun! I have come to love this way of teaching and look forward to meeting and sharing this with many families!


Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music

Theory – completed all co requisites for grade 10.(harmony, history, counterpoint and composition)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (major in music)

Fatima Maldonado

Fatima Maldonado is a Venezuelan pianist. She started her musical studies at the age of 7, in the Juan Manuel Olivares Music Conservatory. She completed the Music Theory and Technical skills program at the academy and took additional music training in solfege, music history, choral practice, and composition. Throughout her career, she played in distinguished theaters in Venezuela. She performed well-known musical pieces from composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Clementi, and Bach.


Fatima started her teaching career in 2014. She has taught students from the very young age of 4 years old. She is currently furthering her music studies at the University of Calgary. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration for young pianists and ultimately hopes to enrich the world through music.

Guitar Teachers

Andrei Buldan

Andrei is a widely experienced and extremely talented guitarist who easily improvises many guitar styles to make them his own. With experience playing in his own band, Andrei writes his own material and has successfully performed in several competitions. Along with these experiences and accomplishments, he has also been a highly driven teacher with Studio Nine over the last 5 years.

Andrei’s teaching focus is rock and pop-centered, although he enjoys lending his skills to a variety of styles and musical genres. His young, fresh approach to teaching is great for new students.

Andrei’s enthusiasm and rock-and-roll style has been a great addition to our staff and we’re happy to have him here!

Andrei is currently accepting private guitar students.

Kurtis Downs

Kurtis holds a Diploma in music, with a specialty in jazz from Mount Royal University and has been with Studio Nine for over 9 years. He is a performance and recording artist who plays with his band “The Firm Handshake,” as well as a variety of other groups.

His musical repertoire spans blues, rock, jazz, easy listening and classical.

Kurtis enjoys teaching students from beginner to advanced level and hopes that sharing his knowledge will aid not only in student’s progress but also in developing a love of all styles of music. Kurtis is very popular with his students; he discovers the type of music they like, then finds songs appropriate to their level to maintain interest and encourage practice. Kurtis’s experience and love of music has made him an integral part of the Studio Nine team.

Kurtis is currently accepting private students for guitar lessons.

Adam Hwang (guitar and drums)

Adams primary instruments are guitar and drums although he does play piano and bass guitar. He has received his bachelors degree and started teaching music in 2010. Adam has chosen to be a music teacher because he enjoys it and feels good about the work he does. He believes students will achieve their goals if they stay open minded and work hard. Adam hopes that all of his students gain more confidence, have fun and develop a love for music while working with him.

Alicia Jordan

Alicia is a classically trained guitarist with over 11 years of experience and a passion for teaching and developing student potential through music. She has received an Advanced Rudiments Theory certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music in guitar, and has also achieved a grade 8 with Honours for her classical playing. She is currently studying for her grade 9 RCM certificate in guitar.

Alicia encourages students to test in RCM exams because they help to develop student confidence in performing. Although she is classically trained she also has a passion for teaching pop music. To her, enthusiasm is the most important part of learning music.

Besides her passion for the guitar Alicia has also studied flute for seven years and has six years of live concert performance experience in the flute through school band.

Alicia has competed in the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, one of North America’s largest amateur classical music festivals, where she received First place awards in the categories of Classical Guitar Solo and Classical Guitar Ensemble. She also plays and performs in the Yaminda Classical Guitar Quartet.

Alicia is currently accepting private classical guitar students.

Vernon Wills

Vernon has been a musician for more years than he likes to admit! As both a recording and gigging artist, Vernon’s skills span several genres and mediums as featured in his work on the Juno Awards as both performer and writer, his work running international master-classes, as well as his work in TV and movie production. He recently performed on the main stage at the Calgary Blues Festival and is a frequent host and performer at the Blues Can in Inglewood.

Vernon is passionate about all elements of music production including writing, playing, teaching and recording.  He has owned and run his own recording studio and is currently setting up a recording studio in his new home.

As an enthusiastic motivator of his students, Vernon sees their potential and encourages them in their playing.  He gets excited when a student catches the music bug and helps them grow steadily into musicians with confidence.

Rock, blues, jazz, country and classical are some of the genres Vernon enjoys teaching and is our most advanced guitar teacher.

Vernon is currently accepting private students for guitar lessons.

Connor Wilson

Connor has been playing guitar for over 11 years.  After several years of practice, he spent 3 years studying jazz under instructors such as Keith Smith and Ralph Bushmeier. Last year, Connor successfully completed his Grade 6 Classical Guitar exam with honours with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is now working towards completing Grade 8 Classical Guitar.

Connor joined Studio Nine School of Music in 2014 in his first formal teaching position. He has quickly proven to be a great instructor to students of all ages and levels. In his lessons he aims to ensure students have a firm grasp not only on guitar, but on the fundamentals of musicianship such as sight reading and scales, in addition to tablature and chord structures. His classical training has taught him to pay special attention to technique such as fingering, hand posture and body posture – he assures that these values are passed on to his students throughout their lessons.

Connor can prepare students for Royal Conservatory of Music guitar exams up to a
grade 6 level, and is currently accepting private students for
contemporary and classical guitar studies.

JP Poirier

JP is a talented and patient guitar teacher who really enjoys what he does. He wants students to gain confidence through music and enjoy every moment of learning. JP hopes that all of his students continue music and lessons as a life long journey.


Mathew Volk 

Mathew is a versatile guitarist with over 7 years of music teaching experience and 17 years playing experience. He has studied with notable teachers Jeffrey McFadden and Rob MacDonald and has received the highest achievement in the province multiple times for guitar performance examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition to completing his Grade 9 Classical Guitar, Mathew has completed the RCM music history curriculum, as well as Intermediate Harmony and Counterpoint. Mathew’s studies were further pursued at the University of Toronto where he simultaneously completed a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degree as part of the highly-competitive Concurrent Teacher Education Program. During his time at U of T, Mathew was a member of the University of Toronto Guitar Orchestra, performing frequently at events held by the Guitar Society of Toronto.

In addition to his love for classical music, Mathew enjoys instrumental rock, progressive metal, Jazz and is proficient in both electric and acoustic guitar. He has been praised for his patience and has experience teaching students of all ages and abilities. Mathew possesses a teaching style that caters to student interests, while emphasizing and ensuring the development of proper technique, ear-training, and musicianship. He is on a constant mission to discover new music outside of the mainstream and puts much of his time into composition, especially for guitar. Mathew encourages students to be creative, often helping students compose their own pieces of music, and supports students as they develop their own unique style and voice on the instrument.


Vocal Teachers

Daniel Amezcua (voice and piano)

A music graduate of the University of British Columbia, Daniel has studied voice and piano with celebrated teachers including: Donald Bell, Bruce Pullan, Edward Parker, and Daniel Taylor.

Daniel is a dedicated teacher, musical director, choreographer, and accompanist for events including Calgary’s Performing Arts Festival, Spruce Meadow’s Christmas Market, and Studio 9 Summer Musical.

Daniel credits his career as a dramatic counter-tenor to undying determination, hard work, and his longtime teacher, mentor, and friend Valerie Witham. His teaching philosophy is centered on releasing the instrument and understanding the ‘art of singing’.

Accompaniment is provided with all lessons.

Daniel is currently accepting private students for voice or piano lessons.

Megan Daye (voice and piano)

Megan is a classically trained singer and has been teaching voice for over 15 years.

Megan holds a BSc in Psychology with a minor in Music Performance. She began her career as a Children’s Music Specialist teaching Montessori, Kindermusik, and Musicplay. Megan has developed and facilitated music programs for children with special needs, many of which are still being taught today.

Today Megan enjoys working with vocal, piano and theory students of all ages, preparing them for Royal Conservatory of Music examinations and Kiwanis Music Festival. Megan’s unique approach and passion for music is one that will capture your child’s attention and bring out their inner Diva or Rock Star!

As Megan would say, “Teaching isn’t something I do! It’s who I am!”

Megan is one of our only instructors who will begin teaching below the age of 5, and is currently accepting new students for private voice and piano lessons.

Loree MacDonald 

Loree’s primary instrument is voice although she does play guitar as well. She has 20 years of live experience and currently sings in the Dino Martinis band, writes music and plays for Six Corners band. Loree believes that singing should be fun and her lessons largely focus on student driven repertoire.She hopes that with her instruction and expertise, her students will gain the confidence needed to be a successful singer.


James O’Farrell

James O’Farrell, an Ottawa native, has been working as a music teacher for the past 25 years. He has taught both voice and woodwinds at The Ottawa Conservatory, The Bells Corners Academy, and as a hired specialist for the Ottawa Board of Education. As well, he has been a guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa Department of Music, working both with the students in Piano Accompanying, and the Commercial Arranging courses. Currently, he works as a Band Teacher at St. Matthew School here in Calgary.

As a singer, James has performed with Opera Lyra Ottawa, L’Orcherstre Philharmonique du Nouveau Monde, University of Ottawa Orchestra, and recorded opera excerpts for a documentary series on Bravo. He is known for his powerful, resonant voice, intelligent musicianship and a keen sense of emotion and drama. His repertoire consists of roles such as Don Jose (Carmen), Cavaradossi (Tosca), Rodolpho (La Boheme), Ferrando (Cosi Fan Tutte), and Lenski (Eugene Onegin).

As a saxophonist, James has performed with all of the top musicians in Ottawa at the local venues, and also as a headline performer for the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. He is a founding member of the Saxophone Ensemble No Trumpets Please.

Alicia Maedel

Alicia is a piano and voice teacher with Studio Nine. Her passion is Musical Theater but she is able to teach any style. Alicia is bubbly and charismatic, making the younger students feel very comfortable with her. Alicia feels if students are able to have fun, work hard and practice daily that they will achieve their personal goals very quickly. Alongside her Bachelor of Music Degree, Alicia has also completed her                                                      Theater Performance and Creation Diploma.

Pam Gibson

Pam has been with the Studio for years and is a fantastic teacher. She was a music director and composer for her church for many, many years. She has an open and positive approach to teaching both voice and piano to her students. She uses multiple mediums of teaching to ensure that the student really understands the material she is delivering. Pam specializes in classical singing but will teach whatever the student requests. Pam is accepting new students!


Mike Crosby

Mike is both a voice and guitar teacher at Studio Nine. He is new to our team but is very experienced in music. He has a warm and welcoming personality and easy going nature. He will ensure that all his students are well prepared for whatever they are working towards. He is a great new addition to our team.



Drum Teachers

Peter Friesen

Peter is one of our most experienced drum instructors with over 30 years of performing experience and 10 years of teaching experience. His primary teaching tools are the Joel Rothman Basic Drumming Instructional Method and progressive syncopation.
He also constantly brings current drum sheet music and other aids to his lessons to make sure students remain engaged. Peter enjoys teaching everything from Bruno Mars and Green Day to Rush and Led Zeppelin. He does his best to relate to every student on their own level, no matter what their age or gender.

Many of Peter’s students are taught to sight read drum music, however younger students begin by just becoming aware of the music itself.  Peter is very organized and uses very specific and written plans and goals for every student. These methods are used to keep everyone organized, and the students on-track and goal-oriented. Peter’s goals always keep students aiming for success.  He feels the most important thing for his students is that they can play to music and have fun doing it.

Peter does quite a bit of freelance work, and works with his own rock trio, The Malibu Band.

Peter is currently accepting new students for private drum lessons.

Ken Murdoch (drums, guitar, and band instruction)

Ken has over 10 years of performance experience in a variety of genres.  He is a band member of ‘Trio Romanza’ and has performed as a singer/guitarist with rock bands such as ‘Left Sun’ and ‘Electric Kool-Aid’. Ken has recorded with heavy metal band, ‘Outlaws of Ravenhurst,’ and has a solo record showcasing his talents as an all around musician with talents in a variety of instruments.

As an experienced music teacher, Ken enjoys the interaction with students that allows both student and teacher to learn, grow and develop as musicians. Ken tries to instill his love of music in his students to help them to reach their full potential. In lessons, he uses popular music as educational tools. The Rock Band Drum Repertoire books are a favorite of his as they teach students current and classic rock songs, encouraging them to practice their skills at home. Ken also likes to accompany students at recitals and concerts.  This helps them feel less nervous and allows them to learn to play with another instrument, which assists their rhythm and listening skills.

Ken is currently accepting private students for drum or guitar lessons.

Brayden Clark

Brayden is a fun, experienced drumming instructor who has spent the last 16 years behind a drum kit. His performing career has landed him on MuchMusic, afforded him the opportunity to work with gold-record producers, sent him to over 25 countries and landed him a spot on the
production team for 2013’s Miss Universe Canada. Versed in a wide range of musical styles including rock, jazz and bossa nova, Brayden strives to instil a passion for the drums in his students, while giving every student the skills and technique they need to truly excel at the instrument!

Brayden is currently accepting private drum students.


Violin Teachers


Alyssa Dobek

Alyssa has been with Studio Nine for over 3 years and has achieved her grade 9 with first class honors from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has taken 2 years of master classes and has done  pedagogy classes with Theresa Plotnick and Lawrie Hill. She has also taken lessons with Edmond Agopian. Alyssa is in her third year of her Bachelor of Music at the University of Calgary.

Alyssa has a quiet teaching style and kind nature that emphasizes her students’ capabilities and education. Her warmth and skills shine through in lessons making her popular with parents and students alike.

Alyssa enjoys classical music and playing in orchestras. She also enjoys Celtic music and has played in a fiddle group. She is very good with young children and adult beginners.

Alyssa is currently accepting private violin students.

Edward Gallagher

Studied violin at private music school in the UK with examinations through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and successfully completed exams up to the final Grade 8 at age 18.  Decided against following further full time music study and pursued a different career choice – nevertheless, I have played continually for many years in community orchestras both in the UK and Canada – currently playing with the Calgary Civic Symphony

Involved on a semi-professional basis with small groups for weddings and other functions

Although I taught violin to beginner students from time to time over the years, involvement in violin teaching has always been constrained by responsibilities of full-time work.  Now having retired from full-time work, I’ve been teaching violin for about 6 years with Studio 9, which has included working with students through Royal Conservatory examinations (Grade 1 through Grade 7).

Edward is currently accepting students for private lessons.

Fran Hampel

Fran studied violin at Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton, and is working to complete her Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music Exam. Over the years, Fran has played in orchestras in both Edmonton and Calgary and is currently playing with the Calgary Civic Symphony. She has been teaching violin to her 3 children and started teaching at Studio Nine in 2015.

Fran is currently accepting private students for violin lessons.