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!
Brass and Woodwind Teachers
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Aaron Lowen is the owner and Music Director of Studio Nine School of Music.
- What is your primary instrument? Pianoforte
- Do you play any other instruments? No
- What is the highest level of education you have received? University degree
- What is the highest level of education you have received musically? Advanced certificate level, Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
- Do you have any career highlights, awards or certificates? N/A; Certificates in ABRSM examinations, citation in recognition of contribution to music in university community (Ghana)
- When did you begin teaching? Formally since 2000.
- What made you choose a career as a music teacher? Love and passion to teach.
- What are some of your core teaching beliefs. As a teacher, I believe I am a leader in a professional effort to guide in the student’s growth, a facilitator to enhance his / her learning experience, a collaborator in a two-way knowledge-construction experience, an inspirer in the students’ concept-transfer drive, and yet still, a learner in a pedagogical journey. These tenets are at the core of my teaching philosophy.
- What are some of the tricks or tools you use to motivate your students? Setting targets that are student-specific, and telling them incrementally what is at the end of the tunnel so they are expectant to reach it. Rewarding them for progress
- How do you inspire your students? By personal example and performance, making things as practical as possible, and encouraging them.
- What is the biggest challenge your students face? It seems it’s the will and time to practice at home.
- How long have you been teaching music? Over 10 years
- What value do you believe music ads to a student’s life? Helps in creativity (which is going to be key in next industrial revolution where robotics and artificial intelligence will be rife). It helps to relax the mind, and to broaden the horizon.
- What is the highest level of success some of your students have achieved? Some have gone on to achieve extraordinary national acclamation, and academic successes in other fields (including PhD)
- What do you hope that a student will achieve in their time with you? Get the fundamental tools to grow and to learn on his / her own.
- If you could pass on one thing to your students what would it be? Practice.
- What is your strength as a music teacher, what sets you apart from the rest? Flexibility and broad experience.
- What is involved in your daily practice routine? Studying intently, listening actively and playing
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development? MOOCs courses online, interaction with professionals, collaborative research
- What is your personal favorite style of music? Sacred and classical music
- What styles of music do you teach? Baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary piano, sacred, African music.
- What do you feel is the parent’s role in music lessons? Support for the student, the reminder for big picture goals and time for practice, and help to guide children apply music for maximum benefit.
- How much time do you feel your students should practice? As much time as possible 6 days a week….Start with 5 – 10 minutes per day for a beginner, and grow exponentially with development.
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 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 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 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.
BIO COMING SOON
Duncan is currently accepting private students for piano or saxophone studies.
Victor is an experienced teacher who enjoys working with students of all ages. He is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) and is currently completing his Bachelor of Education. Victor began working in music education in 2006 as an instructor of music at Bishop Grandin High School. He began teaching piano shortly afterwards and started Vivo Jazz, a music program dedicated to adults wishing to return to music. Victor strives to promote a love of music and the Arts and believes that every student can achieve success. Victor specializes in classical piano and music theory.
Victor is currently accepting new students for private piano lessons.
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.
Bio coming soon…
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.
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 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 advancedstudent. She is comfortable preparing students for RCM exams (grades 1-6).
- What is your primary instrument? My primary instrument is piano.
- Do you play any other instruments? I play percussion in my high school’s bands, the Dr. E.P. Scarlett Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.
- What is the highest level of education you have received ? I am currently in grade 12.
- What is the highest level of education you have received musically? I have completed my ARCT in piano performance.
- Do you have any career highlights, awards or certificates? I started my musical journey when I was five and over my 12 years of playing the piano, I was a two time gold medalist in the Calgary Performing Arts Festival and won a gold medal for the highest mark in Alberta for my grade 9 RCM exam. In addition, I have performed in solo piano recitals and in a master class.
- When did you begin teaching? I began teaching math and reading at a Kumon Centre two years ago to children ranging from preschool to high school.
- What made you choose a career as a music teacher? I choose to be a music teacher because I want to pass on to others the love of music. Music is a lifelong journey and I hope to be able to show others they too can embark on a lifelong journey of music, regardless of how professionally one wishes to develop it. Every individual can take something unique and special from music with them and I hope to give my students the opportunity to learn as much as they want about music.
- What are some of your core teaching beliefs. My primary core teaching belief is students should enjoy learning music. Music is something that requires passion and dedication to create the best music one can.
- What are some of the tricks or tools you use to motivate your students? To motivate students I will find out what my student wants to learn and teach them that, as well as give out stickers as a reward to my students if I feel they have practiced well enough.
- How do you inspire your students? I hope to inspire students through having a standard of excellence of playing from them so they will continue to strive for greater musical heights. I also hope to reflect that same standard through my teaching to my students.
- What is the biggest challenge your students face? The biggest challenge my students face is the fear of making mistakes. Through learning and practicing music, I believe it is possible for students to improve their overall self-confidence.
- How long have you been teaching music? I am very excited as this will be my first year teaching piano!
- Do you perform, record, compose? Currently, I perform music with my high school band in international band festivals and competitions.
- What value do you believe music ads to a student’s life? I believe music can add a tremendous value to a student’s life. Through learning the musical language, they will develop an appreciation for the arts, and develop an open and flexible mind.
- What do you hope that a student will achieve in their time with you? I hope my student is successful in their pursuit of music. The only standard I have for success is the standard my student chooses. If they want to achieve above a 90 percent on their RCM exam, I will do my best to prepare them for it. If they simply want to learn music and are not as keen on taking the exams, then I will do my best to teach them the music they wish to learn and to develop their professional performance skills so they will be able to perform whichever songs they choose to learn. The only thing I hope for my students is that they not just like but love playing music and achieve whatever goals they have.
- If you could pass on one thing to your students what would it be? The one thing I would pass to my students would be the understanding that music is not something one plays to be marked on. While being graded and evaluated on a performance is very valuable for the development of the student’s musical education, students should not feel obligated to be tested, nor feel that finishing a certain level of music is the end goal. Music is an art and is meant to nourish the soul. Music is so much more than a level or a mark, it is a life changing study one can immerse themselves deeply within. It is really only when a student realizes why they are playing the piano that they can then truly develop a strong appreciation and love for music.
- What is your strength as a music teacher, what sets you apart from the rest? My strength as a music teacher is my uniqueness I have from combining the methods of my previous music teachers. I have many years of experience playing the piano for myself and in front of audiences, and with my vision I have for my students, I will be able to translate the hours spent practicing on the piano towards developing them musically.
- What is involved in your daily practice routine? My daily practice routine involves starting with practicing the fundamental techniques of piano including scales and arpeggios. I then practice classical pieces, often choosing from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Liszt, first playing through the entire song to gain an overall view, and then delving deeper into the details of the songs. To conclude my practice routine, if there are any popular songs I want to play at the time then I will also play those, practicing them as I would with classical pieces.
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development? In continuing my musical development, I continue to practice playing on the piano. In addition, through playing in my band, I transfer what I learn from it over to playing the piano. It gives me a unique view of playing the piano as I learn different musical techniques then I would have from playing the piano.
- What is your personal favorite style of music? Of the classical composers, my personal favorite is Chopin, and popular contemporary music.
- What styles of music do you teach? As I have dedicated most of my time to learning classical music, I teach classical music.
- What do you feel is the parent’s role in music lessons? I feel parents play a very major role in the development of music of their child. It is important parents know what their child is learning during the lessons and for parents to support their children by being with them. Parents at home should also be supporting their child and listening to the music they play.
- How much time do you feel your students should practice? I feel students should practice every day. To learn music as with learning anything, self-discipline is very important. It is only with a strong personal conviction can students learn. Students should practice until they have accomplished their goal for the day and set new goals for the next.
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 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.
- What is your primary instrument? Guitar and drums.
- Do you play any other instruments? Piano, bass guitar.
- What is the highest level of education you have received ? Bachelor’s Degree.
- What is the highest level of education you have received musically? High School Band.
- When did you begin teaching? 2010.
- What made you choose a career as a music teacher?I tried different jobs and they weren’t for me because of lack of security and lack of satisfaction. With music, I have fun and feel good about the work I do and also, what I do in my free time helps me improve at my career.
- What are some of your core teaching beliefs. Have fun. Stay open minded. Work hard.
- What are some of the tricks or tools you use to motivate your students? Find their interests, e.g. video games, and learn music from there.
- How do you inspire your students? Keep emphasizing the positives.
- What is the biggest challenge your students face?Balancing practice time with other activities.
- How long have you been teaching music?7 years.
- Do you perform, record, compose?Compose and record.
- What value do you believe music ads to a student’s life?Discipline, self-awareness, cultural exposure.
- What is the highest level of success some of your students have achieved?Professional/touring.
- What do you hope that a student will achieve in their time with you?Have fun, gain confidence, develop a love for music.
- If you could pass on one thing to your students what would it be?Music is worth the effort and the investment.
- What is your strength as a music teacher, what sets you apart from the rest?Non-formal musical background gives me a broad and completely unique perspective. I have extensive one on one experience with special needs individuals and this actually benefits all of my students. I am completely professional and committed.
- What is involved in your daily practice routine?Technique, improvisation, composing, jamming.
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development?Input from parents, students and the Studio. YouTube, specifically educational content e.g. drumeo.com, Darrel Braun Guitar.
- What is your personal favorite style of music?Metal, jazz, rock.
- What styles of music do you teach?All.
- What do you feel is the parent’s role in music lessons?Make sure their child is enjoying lessons.
- How much time do you feel your students should practice?Daily: 10 minutes or more for children, 30 minutes or more for teens/adults.
- Adam was born in Calgary, and attended St. Cecilia, St. Matthew and St. Mary’s. He Graduated with his BSc in Civil Engineering, and BA in Economics from the University of Calgary. Adam has played minor hockey for Bow Valley, and spends most of his time in his home studio.
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 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 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.
Bio coming soon…
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.
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 long time teacher, mentor, and friend Valerie Witham. His teaching philosophy is centred 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.
- What is your primary instrument? Voice
- Do you play any other instruments? Acoustic guitar.
- Do you perform, record, compose? I have over 20 years of live performance experience. Currently, I sing in The Dino Martinis (Calgary’s premier cover band), write music for and
play in Six Corners (alt-country band) and perform back up vocals for Side One Calgary.
- What are some of your core teaching beliefs?
- Singing is and should be fun. I believe in student-driven repertoire. At
each lesson, my students choose the singalong or karaoke backing tracks
they wish to sing. As a child, I found inspiration to sing by listening
to music I loved. I believe the best way to learn how to do anything is
by studying what resonates with you.
- What do you hope that a student will achieve in their time with you? I hope the instruction and encouragement I provide will instill confidence in my students.
- If you could pass on one thing to your students what would it be? Vocal confidence comes from learning to connect voice and breath. This is the critical element in developing power and vocal agility.
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development? YouTube vocal warm-up exercise videos are key to my personal vocal health and daily practice routine. I love sharing, what I believe to be, the best and most effective of these with my students.
- What styles of music do you teach?
- While traditional country music is my first love, I have experience and
feel confident teaching all branches of popular music. It’s my belief that there’s a common thread in all popular music: when it’s sung well, with proper vocal technique, it has the power to inspire
- What do you feel is the parent’s role in music lessons? Having two young daughters myself, I believe that investing in your child’s passion is critical to developing their self-esteem. If you have enrolled your child in music lessons, and follow that up with loads of encouragement, you have invested in them in a way that will pay dividends their whole life long.
- How much time do you feel your students should practice? Singing is fun. Sometimes the word “practice” sounds like a chore. The first thing I ask my students at our lessons is: “Did you sing this week?” If you sing in the bathroom, sing in the car, listen to music that inspires you, talk about music with your friends, in my opinion, all of this ends up being ‘practice’. That said, daily vocal exercises (even 5-10 minutes worth) can make a good singer a great singer.
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.
- What is your primary instrument? Voice
- Do you play any other instruments? Piano
- What is the highest level of education you have received ? Bachelor of Music
- Do you have any career highlights, awards or certificates? Theatre performance and creation diploma
- What are some of your core teaching beliefs My core beliefs would be work hard have fun and you’ll achieve anything.
- What are some of the tricks or tools you use to motivate your students? I have a student of the month challenge every month. Winner who has put in the best work wins a prize as well as stickers.
- What is the biggest challenge your students face? Every students different, so each face different challenges
- Do you perform, record, compose? I Compose regularly for my own enjoyment in hopes to compose a full length musical.
- What value do you believe music adds to a student’s life? Music adds so much in a persons life but the biggest thing is the ability to healthily and creatively express oneself is such a great gift music can give.
- What is the highest level of success some of your students have achieved? I have had some students win talent shows as well as achieving excellence with completing a gr 1 rcm piano exam
- What do you hope that a student will achieve in their time with you? I hope all my students learn the fundamentals of music and grow their love and passion through their lessons with me
- If you could pass on one thing to your students what would it be? I hope to pass on that’s there’s no such thing as a bum note. Give music love and that’s all it needs
- What is your strength as a music teacher, what sets you apart from the rest? Balance of time. I try and get to each element equally to make well rounded musicians.
- What is involved in your daily practice routine? For singing I do a warm up, go over my pieces and work on tone, notes expression etc.
- How do you participate in ongoing professional development? I actively still participate in lessons as well as internet research and workshops.
- What is your personal favorite style of music? Musical theatre
- What styles of music do you teach? I can teach any style
- What do you feel is the parent’s role in music lessons The parents roll is for support and encouragement. Depending on the age they can also assist in practicing and helping the student understand the material.
- How much time do you feel your students should practice? I would hope my students could do daily practice of 15-20 minutes
Bio coming soon…
Stephania Romaniuk is a passionate vocalist and music educator. In private lessons, she teaches vocal technique in the Bel Canto tradition: beautiful, even, seamless singing. Breathing, vocal exercises, music-listening, and ear training are the first building blocks, followed by carefully chosen repertoire. In this way, the ear and voice develop slowly and in tandem, building in correct habits from the beginning. With this training, students can go on to love and perform in a variety of styles.
Ms Romaniuk believes in fostering a kinship with poetry and an active use of the imagination, which is part and parcel of vocal technique. We explore poetry, lyric diction, and emotional-imaginative connection to the text.
Learning music also involves active and critical listening, improvisation, composition, and an extensive knowledge of the Classical canon and repertoire of other styles. We explore all these skills alongside the fundamentals of musicianship: rhythm, intonation, phrasing, legato, solfège, and sight-singing. Also covered are music theory, harmony, analysis, and history as they relate to relevant aspects of technique and repertoire.
In addition to teaching for Studio Nine, Ms Romaniuk is also an Artist-in-Residence with the Calgary Board of Education and has taught music for youth organizations and summer programs in Alberta, Ontario, and New York state.
Mezzo-soprano Stephania Romaniuk won the highest honour, the “Rose Bowl”, in the 2015 Calgary Performing Arts Festival. She is the Grand Prix winner of the First International Competition of Ukrainian Retro Music, held in L’viv, Ukraine in 2015, and represented the Intermountain Region in the 2016 NATSAA National Semi-Finals in Chicago. Summer 2016 closed on a high note with Ms Romaniuk performing Ukrainian folk songs and popular standards in the 2,500-seat Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium as the opening act for the best-selling Ukrainian recording artist of all time and national heroine, Ruslana.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Dan Zhang started teaching at Studio Nine in 2015 and has been playing
violin for 13 years. He completed his RCM Grade 10 violin with first
class honours and his RCM Grade 6 Piano with first class honours with
distinction. He is currently working towards his ARCT while completing a minor in music at the University of Calgary. Dan has competed in a variety of music competitions, including the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly Calgary Kiwanis Festival) and was the 2013 Alberta
Gold Medalist, having achieved the highest mark in his grade. Dan has also played with the Mount Royal University Conservatory Strings Orchestra, the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the principal 2nd violinist of the University of Calgary Orchestra. *
*In his lessons, Dan emphasizes consistency in technical mastery while also fine-tuning musicianship and performance skills. He is a firm believer that a strong technical foundation will allow much greater enjoyment of the music later on, and loves working with parents alongside of their students. Dan pulls from his own experience as a student of violin in order to personalize and design each lesson specifically for the needs of his students. His ultimate goal is to instill a sense of the enrichment music can have on lives while working to ensure that the student’s personal goals are realized.*
*Although classically trained, Dan has no objection to exploring a variety of music styles from various backgrounds and histories. Once the basics of the instrument have been established, he is more than happy to delve into new music with students.*
*Aside from music, Dan is an avid biologist. He is completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in honours cell biology, and has presented his research at various symposiums at the Foothills Medical Centre. His hobbies include programming, hiking, and theatre.*
Dan is currently accepting private violin students.
Brass and Woodwind Teachers
Bio coming soon…