Teachers

Photo of Fernando Baldassini
Fernando Baldassini
Theory

In 1992, Fernando graduated from the York University having studied Compositions with James Tenney. During those years, he wrote many original compositions in all styles including a 10-minute background score used by a major advertising company, and dozens of arrangements of classical and popular pieces for band and keyboard ensembles. Even with his extensive schedule, Fernando continued his studies in Music Education and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Toronto in 2002.

Over the years, Fernando’s love for teaching is reflected in the success of his students as many of them are currently on staff in music studios throughout the GTA. His classes are motivational and geared towards a life-long musical learning.

Credentials: B.F.A., B.A. (Edu.), ARCT

Photo of Mike Bodnarczuk
Mike Bodnarczuk
Guitar, Ukulele

Mike studied classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) in Toronto and has been teaching at Pro-Music since the school opened in 1998. He has achieved Intermediate Specialist – Guitar Designation from the RCM.

He enjoys teaching classical style (nylon-string guitar), acoustic (steel string guitar) and fingerstyle guitar to children, teenagers, adults and seniors.

Mike’s students have won RCM Regional Gold Medals (formerly Silver Medals), RCM First Class Honours with Distinction, RCM First Class Honours, First Gold Festival Awards and various scholarships.

 

RCM Gold & Silver Medalists:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2017 – Grade 5 Gold Medal in Guitar
2017 – Grade 2 Gold Medal in Guitar
2017 – Grade 1 Gold Medal in Guitar
2016 – Preparatory Exam Gold Medal in Guitar
2015 – Grade 3 Gold Medal in Guitar
2015 – Preparatory Exam Gold Medal in Guitar
2013 – Grade 3 Gold Medal in Guitar
2013 – Grade 1 Gold Medal in Guitar
2013 – Preparatory Exam Gold Medal in Guitar
2011 – Grade 3 Gold Medal in Guitar
2011 – Grade 2 Gold Medal in Guitar
2011 – Grade 1 Gold Medal in Guitar
2010 – Grade 3 Silver Medal in Guitar
2010 – Grade 1 Silver Medal in Guitar
2009 – Grade 2 Silver Medal in Guitar
2008 – Grade 1 Silver Medal in Guitar

Credentials: RCM Elementary and Intermediate Specialist — Guitar

Photo of Brenda Chan
Brenda Chan
Piano

An accomplished performer and a seasoned music educator, Brenda has over 20 years of experience in teaching music to young children. She is keen on motivating children by using different tactics through careful planning. She believes that children’s natural inclination to music can be served as a tool to unlock their full potential.

Brenda holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario, Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto, Licentiate of Trinity College of Music, England and Licentiate of Royal Schools of Music, England. She has held solo recitals in Hong Kong, Canada and Italy, and appeared as soloist with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto. Brenda also holds a Master of Social Science in Applied Psychology from the City University of Hong Kong.

Credentials: M.Mus., M.S Sc., B.Mus., LRSM, LTCL

Photo of Gordon Chan
Gordon Chan
Drum

A well-known drummer with over 25 years of performance experience, Gordon has completed numerous recordings with the most popular singers in Hong Kong, such as Alan Tam, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai.

Besides actively performing in North America, Gordon also enjoys teaching students through different drumming styles.

Photo of Sophia Chan
Sophia Chan
Piano

Sophia holds First Class Honours in ARCT Piano Performance and ARCT Teacher’s written examination. During her piano studies, she won several awards in music festivals, and was a regional representative at the 1998 O.R.M.T.A. Provincial Competition.

Sophia’s continued interests in piano teaching has drawn her to pursue a full-time career not related to, though enriched by, her Hons. B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Toronto. She has also studied ARCT Piano Pedagogy with Jimmy Chan and completed the Elementary, Intermediate & Advanced Certificates.

Credentials: M.Sc., Hons.B.Sc., ARCT

Photo of David Chang
David Chang
Piano

David obtained his ARCT Performance diploma with first class honours and has won numerous Kiwanis Music Festival awards. He studied at the York University, specializing in Piano Performance, Piano Collaboration and Conducting. David is one of the official collaborative pianists of the York University, participating in recitals, classes, examinations and competitions. Every year, he collaborates with musicians of all ages for different regional, provincial and national competitions, such as the Canadian Music Competition, Kiwanis Music Festival, Markham Music Festival, and more.

David has been teaching piano for more than a decade. Thanks to his enthusiastic, positive and supportive character, David’s students display a passion for music and demonstrate great technical and musical achievements. He believes that a passion for learning is the greatest motivator towards success.

Credentials: ARCT, B.A.Math

Photo of Clire Chen
Clire Chen
Theory

Clire holds an ARCT diploma in Piano Performance. She uses strategic methods when teaching to enhance students’ musical understanding, thereby helping them develop and gain confidence as a musician. Clire’s students have won various music competitions and received first class honours in theory examinations. She has experience with students of all ages, as she is actively involved with children and adult choirs in Toronto.

Clire also offers private lessons and tutoring classes for RCM Level 5 to 8 Theory.

Credentials: ARCT

Photo of Herman Chen
Herman Chen
French Horn, Trumpet

Herman graduated from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Being regarded as a French Horn Player of the Highest Proficiency in China, Herman was appointed as the Principal Horn of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

After he arrived Canada in 2006, Herman participated in the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra as a French Horn guest performer. Besides performing, he also teaches French Horn and Trumpet. His students frequently receive outstanding achievements, including ARCT, Gold Medal Awards and First Class Honours, from the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. Also, one of his students was accepted to the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra as a French Horn player.

 

RCM Gold Medalists:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2017 – Grade 10 Gold Medal in French Horn
2016 – Grade 8 Gold Medal in French Horn

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Nancy Cheung
Nancy Cheung
Piano, Theory

Nancy graduated from the Faculty of Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and holds First-class Honors in Theory Research and Piano Performance. She is a proficient piano teacher in both Hong Kong and Canada with over 15 years of experience. Her students have won competitions in major music festivals such as Kiwanis and Canadian Music Competition and achieved outstanding examination results. Nancy believes that music education adds value to one’s life and her teaching approach emphasizes the development of self-discipline, the ability to focus, and the appreciation of arts.

In addition to classical music, Nancy is also actively involved in contemporary church music, improvisation and accompaniment.

Nancy’s students received First Class Honours with distinction at RCM piano examinations, and numerous students received 100% in RCM Rudiments / Theory and History examinations.

Credentials: B.Mus., LTCL.

Photo of Ron Cheung
Ron Cheung
Theory, Vocal

Ron graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the McMaster University. He was winner of the Elmer Iseler Conducting Fellowship Award and the Peter Sheehan Memorial Scholarship.

Ron is the Artistic Director and Founder of Voices and the Healey Willan Singers, as well as the Conductor of the Yip’s Children’s Senior Choir (Canada). From 2001 to 2005, he conducted the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir.

To learn more about Ron’s career and updated news, you can visit his website at http://www.ronkmcheung.com

Credentials: M.Mus., B.Ed.

Photo of Yucca Chiu
Yucca Chiu
Piano

Yucca holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Performance and Pedagogy, and an ATCL Performer’s Diploma in Pianoforte from the Hong Kong Baptist University and Trinity College of Music in London respectively. She has privately taught piano for more than 20 years. Her students have achieved First Class Honours with Distinction in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.

Yucca’s performance experience includes conducting school and church choirs, accompanying ballet school examination classes, and performing as a soloist at various recitals and ceremonies. She has also taken masterclasses with notable pianists. Overall, Yucca is an experienced teacher well versed in both solo and collaborative performance.

Credentials: B.A.(Honours), ATCL

Photo of May Chown
May Chown
Piano

May has been a private piano teacher for over 30 years. She enjoys teaching young children, teenagers and adults, and making learning piano a happy and successful experience.

May is a graduate from the Queen’s University with a degree in Bachelor of Education. She has specialized training in early childhood piano with the Suzuki Method. She also has advanced training with the Royal Conservatory of Music.

May has experience teaching in a school environment as well. Her students consistently do well in competitions, with some receiving musical scholarships. She is looking forward to working with her students to acquire excellent piano skills.

Credentials: B.A.,B.Ed.

Photo of Eva Chu
Eva Chu
Piano, Flute

Eva graduated from the York University with a Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in Flute and Piano. With more than a decade of teaching experience, Eva’s students received outstanding awards and achievements from the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, Kiwanis Music Festival and Markham Music Festival.

RCM Gold & Silver Medalists:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2013 – Grade 2 Gold Medal in Flute
2009 – Grade 4 Silver Medal in Flute

Credentials: B.A., ARCT (in Flute), ARCT (in Piano)

Photo of Jennifer Dang
Jennifer Dang
Music Adventure

Jennifer joined the Pro-Music family in 2007. She has several years of experience as a teacher in the Music Adventure program. Her years spent educating young minds, particularly in the field of music, is a testament of her dedication to ensure that students begin to delve into the world of music positively and wholeheartedly.

Credentials: B.Sc.

Photo of Cherie Dong
Cherie Dong
Cello

As a cello teacher, Cherie holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance at the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. She is currently a candidate of Doctorate Degree in Music Performance at the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto. Her major teachers include Shauna Rolston, Yehuda Hanani, Mingqing Yu and Guangquan Hu.

Cherie started teaching while she was studying at university. She taught private lessons in China and the United States. She also held master classes at the Jilin College of the Arts and coached the strings section of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Credentials: M. Mus., B. Mus.

Photo of Diana Goutkin
Diana Goutkin
Piano

Diana graduated from the Moscow State Music College and completed her Bachelor of Arts in the Moscow Pedagogical University. She developed her pedagogical approach in Canada through the study of various teaching methods such as Suzuki, Yamaha, and Carl Orff.

With over 15 years of teaching experience, Diana strives to help students build their technical ability and instil a variety of musical knowledge. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of creativity and passion in music playing. Her students have participated in different competitions and the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations, and achieved outstanding results.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Angel He
Angel He
Piano

Angel holds a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours from the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto, specializing in the Music Education program, majoring in Piano. Angel’s interests in her undergraduate education remained in music education, especially piano pedagogy. Throughout her studies at the University of Toronto, Angel received several Faculty of Music In-Course Scholarships and Awards. She was the recipient of the Kenneth and Helen Bray Scholarship in Music Education in 2013, the Percy Faith Award in 2014, and the William Croombs Memorial Scholarship in 2015.

Angel is enthusiastic about providing music education to people of all ages. She strikes a balance between supportive and challenging tones in her teaching to engage her students. She wants to share her love for music with others by helping her students achieve artistic excellence, stimulating imagination and creativity, ultimately promoting a lifelong relationship with music and a culture of music appreciation in her students. Outside of lessons, Angel is an accompanist on the organ at the Chinese Martyrs Catholic Church.

Credentials: B.Mus.

Photo of Stephen Ho
Stephen Ho
Piano

Stephen is an experienced and well-rounded musician. He graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theory / Composition, a Master of Arts in Music Education, and obtained the Licentiate Performer’s Diploma (LTCL) from the Trinity College of Music in London. A member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA) and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA), Stephen has been involved in the music field for over 20 years and many of his students are now in the music profession. His philosophy is to teach according to each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, recognizing that everyone has different abilities in different areas. Stephen helps his students develop and refine their strengths to aim at perfection, while encouraging and assisting them to overcome their weaknesses.

Apart from private piano teaching, Stephen has been a full-time professional teaching staff at the Music Office of the Hong Kong Government for years where he taught musicianship, aural and theory classes from elementary to advanced grades, and accompanied various musical instruments and choirs. He was the manager and accompanist of the Music Office Youth Choir and conductor of the Music Office Children’s Choir.

Credentials: B.A., M.A., LTCL

Photo of Gladys Hung
Gladys Hung
Piano

Gladys studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) in Toronto. Her teacher was Clifford Poole, a British-Canadian music teacher, composer, conductor and contributor to music. Gladys also studied piano pedagogy with renowned music teacher, Mrs Marina Geringas, and was deeply influenced by her disciplinary and creative approaches.

Gladys started teaching piano at Pro-Music since 1999. With over 30 years of successful teaching experience, Gladys has developed a very systemic approach in teaching little kids to read music. Her students have received excellent results in RCM examinations and awards from various music competitions.

RCM Silver Medalist:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2003 – Grade 3 Silver Medal in Piano

Photo of Lydia Ip
Lydia Ip
Piano

Lydia developed a strong passion for music at a young age and decided to pursue study and a career in music. She graduated from the McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree at First Class standing, majoring in History and Theory. She received numerous scholarships for her academic excellence in those years.

Lydia started accompanying the church choir at the age of 14. She has been actively participating in church as a choir member, choir accompanist, congregation pianist and choir conductor. She was once a high school music teacher. With the love of working with children and the eagerness to explore further in the art of music, Lydia began to develop her profession as a piano teacher. Her students have obtained high marks at piano examinations and won competitions in music festivals.

Lydia is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association and the Ontario Music Educators’ Association. She loves to sing, and this passion for singing has kept her an active participant at the Alata Harmonia Chorus since its first concert in 2002.

RCM Silver Medalists:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2003 – Grade 7 Silver Medal in Piano

Credentials: Hons.B.Mus.

Photo of Sofia Ip
Sofia Ip
Piano

Sofia received her Bachelor of Arts (specialized Honours in Music) from the York University. She also studied Piano Pedagogy with Mrs. Marina Geringas at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Sofia loves working with children of all ages. She believes that though every child is born with talents, it is the teacher’s job to bring them out. She likes to draw inspiration from different methods to make her music lessons interesting and fun for children. She has attended workshops including the Suzuki Piano Method summer program, Margaret Huggett’s Orff workshop and Forrest Kinney’s workshop on piano improvisation.

Credentials: B.A., Specialized Honours In Music

Photo of Jasleen Jalbay
Jasleen Jalbay
Vocal

Jasleen has studied in various music schools under the education discipline of the Alexander Technique since the age of 4. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Watertloo with a specialization in Vocal Performance. Under the private instruction from Stephanie Kramer, Jasleen has developed her own sound and tonality. She continually perfects her voice with the best tools and techniques.

Jasleen was a member of the New York Choral Society under the direction of John Daly Goodwin, and the New York City Master Chorale headed by Dr. Thea Kano respectively. She has performed at the Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Lincoln Centre. She also worked with opera veterans Bryn Terfel, Susan Graham, Renee Fleming and vocalists from the New York City Opera. Aside from classical, she also has passion for musical theatre and completed various stage works while living in New York City.

Though she is classically trained, Jasleen enjoys singing and teaching a variety of styles and genres, including contemporary, pop / rock, musical theatre, country, and R & B.

Jasleen’s teaching approach emphasizes the 3 P’s: Practice, Patience, Perseverance. She loves a fun atmosphere that helps motivate the students to do well. Alongside vocal learning, her lessons implement basic rudiments, such as ear training, scales and sight reading skills. The lessons also cover performance and stage presence, proper intonation, voice projection, maintenance and control.

RCM Gold Medalist:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2011 – Grade 1 Gold Medal in Vocal

Competition Finalists:
2018 – Provincial Finalist
2014 – 1st Place at Provincial Finals Competition

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Natalie Ko
Natalie Ko
Piano

Natalie is passionate about teaching music. She holds a Bachelor of Education, a Teacher Certificate in Music, an Advanced Certificate in Piano and a Certificate in Flute from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She completed the Piano Pedagogy program of the Royal Conservatory of Music and is listed on their Teacher Directory.

After teaching in a secondary school in Hong Kong, she became Director of Music at a primary school where she worked closely with music teachers to lead school choirs, recorder bands, African and Chinese drum bands, and piano groups. She has led students and choirs to participate in and won several music festivals and competitions. She is currently serving as worship pianist, choir accompanist and choir conductor in church.

Natalie actively prepares students for piano and theory examinations. Her extensive experiences and teaching skills enhance her students’ interest in music performance. She participates in piano teaching seminars to gain new techniques in performance, composition and teaching, and apply them to both private and classroom settings.

Credentials: B.Ed., Teacher Cert in Music, Advanced Cert (ABRSM)

Photo of York Koo
York Koo
Drum

York received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree specializing in Drumkit Performance from the York University where he studied intensively with Barry Romberg in Jazz Performance. Additionally, under the direction of Rick Lazar, he gained extensive knowledge and experience in a large variety of genres such as Brazilian and Afro-Cuban, in addition to Pop and Rock.

As a teacher, York strives to help students build a strong musical foundation in which they can confidently apply to any genre. He values students’ musical interests, but also inspires them to widen their horizons, and helps them develop their own sense of musicality and style.

In addition to teaching, York is actively performing across the GTA and is truly passionate about his music.

Credentials: B.F.A. (Honours)

Photo of Wayne Lai
Wayne Lai
Piano

Wayne won numerous awards in piano competitions in Hong Kong and performed at the Hong Kong City Hall when he was 10. After moving to Toronto, he studied piano pedagogy with renowned piano teacher Mrs. Marina Geringas at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

With over 10 years teaching experience, Wayne’s students have achieved excellent results in RCM examinations and won awards in various music festivals. Wayne serves as church pianist, choir conductor and band leader at church. He is proficient in contemporary music arrangement and improvisation.

Wayne enjoys teaching students of all ages, not only to help them reach their academic goals, but also to cultivate their interest and appreciation for music.

Credentials: BBA., RCM Advanced Specialist – Piano

Photo of Jaime Lau (Theory Assistant Teacher)
Jaime Lau (Theory Assistant Teacher)
Piano, Theory

Jaime began her piano studies at the age of 5 and was a student of Ms. Shuk Han Yu, an Examiner of the Royal Conservatory of Music. At the Queen’s University, Jaime studied piano with Mr. Michel Szczesniak, Continuing Adjunct Lecturer in Piano (Keyboard).

As a young musician, Jaime actively involves in a variety of music groups. She was a member of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and has participated in school concert band as the flautist and clarinettist. She has also served as a singer and pianist in the worship team at her church.

As a graduate from the Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Music, Jaime aims to use her knowledge in music theory and piano pedagogy to ignite the enthusiasm for music in her students.

Credentials: B.Mus.

Photo of Simon Lau
Simon Lau
Violin

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Simon first discovered the joy of playing the violin at the age of 9. Under the tutelage of maestro Thomas Wang, Simon was considered a late starter by many, but he quickly mastered the necessary skills and became one of the youngest members of the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra at the time. He subsequently became the Concertmaster of the same orchestra and other ones as well.

At the age of 16, Simon organized his own chamber group “Bachanini” and won many awards at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. He was also one of the youngest violinists to have obtained the LRSM certification from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in England.

After arriving in Canada, Simon had studied under many master violinists, including the late professor Eugene Kash of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of several music organizations in Canada, including the York Symphony Orchestra.

RCM Gold Medalist:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2013 – Grade 1 Gold Medal in Violin

Credentials: B.Sc.

Photo of Francis Law
Francis Law
Er-Hu, Guitar, Ukulele

Francis studied classical and electric guitars at the age of 6 in Hong Kong and won the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Classical Guitar Champion in 1984. He graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University with Bachelor of Arts (Hons), major in Composition and Guitar.

In 1991, Francis joined the Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB) as Music Director, composed and arranged music theme songs and underscore for TV productions / drama episode series. Additionally, he has collaborated with various renowned singers / groups including Faye Wong, Leon Lai, Walkin Chau, Christopher Wong, Sammi Cheng, Hacken Lee, Shirley Kwan, Grasshopper, and Vivian Lai.

Francis is dedicated in music education. In Toronto, he was appointed by the Royal Conservatory of Music to give official review and comments for the launch of RCM 2004 Guitar Syllabus and 2011 Guitar Syllabus – Grade 1-8 Repertoire and Studies Albums. He also participated in the Music Technology Research Project held by RCM at the Queen’s University and the Concordia University. Francis is also an active registered member of ORMTA.

His students have won RCM Regional Silver Medals. Some of them had achieved full scholarship to study music in the University of Toronto and Humber College, major in Guitar.

RCM Gold and Silver Medalists:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2019 – Grade 2 Gold Medal in Guitar
2018 – Grade 2 Gold Medal in Guitar
2007 – Grade 7 Silver Medal in Guitar
2006 – Grade 6 Silver Medal in Guitar
2005 – Grade 5 Silver Medal in Guitar

Credentials: B.Mus.
RCM Intermediate Specialist — Guitar
RCM Elementary Specialist — Guitar

Photo of Felicia Leo
Felicia Leo
Piano

Felicia obtained her LTCL Teacher’s Diploma from the Trinity College of Music (London) in 1986. She is also a Certified Teacher of Yamaha Music Education. She has taught in the Yamaha Music School for the Junior Music Course (JMC), with a focus on building interest towards music for children from 4 to 6 years old.

Felicia is a dedicated, caring and patient teacher who is able to motivate children to find interest and fun in music. She is experienced in preparing students for the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada), Trinity College of Music (London), Royal Schools of Music (London) and AMED Australian Board Examinations.

Credentials: LTCL, ATCL.

Photo of Fievel Lim
Fievel Lim
Flute, Recorder

Fievel studied for a decade with the renowned flutist, Stephen Tam, and holds an ARCT diploma in Flute Performance. He employs personalized methods and student-specific strategies to teach students to grow and flourish as musicians. Fievel has experience playing in orchestras, bands, and small ensembles all around Toronto, as well as strong experience with solo performances. He remains actively involved in musical ensembles in Toronto, and has a passion for playing and teaching others to play the flute in a variety of musical settings.

Credentials: M.Sc., H.B.Sc., ARCT

Photo of Susan Lin
Susan Lin
Violin

As a nationally-recognized violinist, Susan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music. She graduated with high standing and joined the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. She participated in several important performances, winning critical acclaim.

Susan has over 30 years of teaching experience. Her students have received excellent results in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. Some of them were admitted to various youth orchestras in Toronto. Besides teaching, Susan is still actively participating in orchestral performances.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Athena Lu
Athena Lu
Piano

Athena Lu has been teaching the piano since the early 1980s. Formerly, she was a Yamaha music instructor and piano teacher at the Yamaha Music Foundation in Hong Kong. After moving to Toronto, she taught a variety of levels in different music schools. Her students continually achieve excellent results in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations and music festivals.

Athena holds LTCL, the Piano Performer’s Certificate from the Trinity College of Music, London; Teacher Diploma of the Yamaha Teacher Grade Examination; and Diploma of JMC Teacher from Yamaha Canada. She graduated from the Ryerson Polytechnic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science.

Credentials: B.Sc, LTCL, RCM Advanced Specialist – Piano

Photo of Cindy Lu
Cindy Lu
Piano

Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Cindy joined the Pro-Music family in 2005. With over 30 years of teaching experience, a lot of students have achieved stunning and gratifying results under her guidance.

From beginner’s level to ARCT, Cindy is equipped to teach students of all ages with the promise of cultivating and enriching their lives with music.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Jennia Lutov
Jennia Lutov
Piano

Jennia received the Bachelor of Music Degree, majoring in Piano Performance, from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She also holds a Diploma for Teacher of Music and Education from the Pedagogical College of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Since her arrival in Canada in 2000, Jennia has been teaching piano to students of all grades. Her students have received First Class Honours in the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations, and been awarded in competitions, including the Markham Music Festival, Arts Richmond Hill, Yip’s Music Festival, and Kiwanis Music Festival.

Credentials: B.Mus. Teacher’s Dip.

Photo of James Mak
James Mak
Guitar

James completed his Bachelor of Arts at the York University and studied the Jazz Music Program in Humber College. He won the Best Original Song Award and Overall Championship in the 2009 Parsons Original Songwriting Contest held in Hong Kong. His published works include the Twins Live in Concert 2010 theme song “Everyone Bounce” and Andy Hui’s “Man World”. He has obtained the Best Composer, Best Musical Arrangements and Overall Champion awards of the 2nd Canadian Chinese Songwriting Contest in 2009.

Apart from composing, James has over 15 years of experience teaching the guitar, and his students achieved excellent results in the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. He has also performed guitar live for years with famous artists, and worked with famous music producers, Tony-A and Andrew Tuason, in concerts throughout Canada and U.S.A.

James was invited to be the adjudicator of the 3rd and 5th Canadian Chinese Songwriting Contests and Toronto New Talent Singing Awards from 2010 to 2012.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Karin Mak
Karin Mak
Piano

Karin graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University, majored in Music Education. She holds the Licentiate Diploma (LTCL) in Piano Performance and Associate Diploma (ATCL) in Vocal Performance from the Trinity College of Music, London. She taught music in day school, and conducted children’s choir and chamber group. She has also performed in piano recitals presented by the Urban Council of Hong Kong.

With over 30 years of experience in piano teaching in Hong Kong and Canada, Karin takes students of all ages from beginner to advanced levels. She prepares her students for the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. They achieved excellent results in the examinations and outstanding awards in various competitions.

Credentials: B.Ed., LTCL, ATCL.

Photo of Kalin Mo
Kalin Mo
Piano

Kalin holds an ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance granted by The Royal Conservatory (RCM), along with 7 years of piano teaching experience and 21 years of experience in piano. She has also served as an accompanist for church, recitals, exams, choir, weddings and various events in the past 12 years.

Kalin believes that students should enjoy what they learn, and play not only with their hands but their heart. She applies playing techniques along with musicality, so students earn to play pieces with more understanding and feelings.

Credentials: ARCT, Hon.B.Soc.Sc. Cum Laude

Photo of Alana Ngo
Alana Ngo
Flute, Piano

Alana is currently studying to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at the University of Toronto. She was the recipient of the David John Malysh Memorial Entrance Scholarship in Music Education in 2017. She graduated from the Intensive Arts Program at the Unionville High School with the Melody Adams Award and was the valedictorian of her Arts Unionville class. She majors in flute, but also holds an ARCT diploma in piano.

Alana began her studies in piano at the age of 5, and the flute at the age of 10. She has developed a passion in teaching music to young children and wants to share her love for music with them. She has studied piano with Dr. Kui Min, and currently studies flute with Camille Watts, flutist and piccoloist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Alana has performed with several groups, such as the Ontario Provincial Honour Band and the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra. Outside of her musical studies, she also serves actively on her church’s worship team.

Credentials: ARCT

Photo of Lucy Nie
Lucy Nie
Piano

Lucy graduated from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music and holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Music. She studied under renowned teachers, including Xin Li, Dan Zhaoyi and Dr. Na Ni. She received the Advanced Teacher’s Certificate from the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing in 2007, and the Excellent Teacher’s Award at the 14th Blüthner Piano Open Competition, Hong Kong – Asia.

Lucy always encourages her students to participate in different music activities, such as piano recitals and competitions. Her students received excellent results in piano examinations and have had the opportunities to participate in the Kawai, Toyama, and Kerman competitions that were held in China, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Credentials: B.Mus.

Photo of Laura Pashanov
Laura Pashanov
Piano

Laura received her Masters Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from the Niznyi Novgorod State Conservatory, Moscow Pedagogical Institute and Moscow Gnessin School of Music in Russia respectively. With over 25 years of teaching experience, Laura’s students received Top Prize at the International World Piano Competition in Cincinnati; First Prize at the Cresendo International Music Competition with performance at the Carnegie Hall, New York; First Prize at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition; Silver Tray Intermediate Piano Trophy Final Winner and Rose Bowl Senior Piano Trophy at the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival; Best Festival Trophy at the Yip’s and Markham Music Festivals as well as the CCC Music Competition.

When studying her Masters Degree in the Central Music School of Moscow State Conservatory, Laura had a good opportunity to be the Assistant of Anna Danilovna Artobolevskaja, from whom she learned the outstanding and unique method of teaching young musicians.

Laura was also the co-writer of the Treatise of Piano Instruction “Pervaya Vstrecha s Musikoy” (First Meet with Music). This instruction book is still widely used and published today.

Credentials: M.A.,B.A.

Photo of Ilia Shekhtihin
Ilia Shekhtihin
Piano

Ilia graduated from the Azerbaijan State Conservatorium of Music with a Masters Degree in Performance, and a Diploma in Teaching, Chamber Music and Piano Accompaniment. He has extensive solo, chamber music and teaching experience as Senior Lecturer at the Azerbaijan State College of Music and throughout Europe, Israel and Canada.

Ilia’s students received excellent results in the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations, including First Class Honour with Distinction in ARCT Piano Performance. They also received awards in various music competitions, including Canadian Music Competition, Kiwanis Music Competition and Markham Music Festival. Some of his students have pursued music as their professional career.

Credentials: M.Mus., Teacher’s Dip.

Photo of Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith
Clarinet, Flute, Recorder, Saxophone

Daniel studied under Robert Riseling of the University of Western Ontario during his high school years. After winning the Golden Reed Award in 1992 at Music Fest Canada (as the top clarinet player in the high school ranking), he received a full scholarship to attend the Arizona State University and study under Robert Spring for a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance.

After then, Daniel worked at the University of Memphis as a Teaching Assistant and completed his Masters in Clarinet Performance. While at Memphis, he opened his own clarinet studio and played regularly in the professional musical community. Since leaving Memphis and returning to Canada in 1999, Daniel has played professionally and taught woodwinds at Pro-Music, helping students progress from making their first sounds to receiving scholarships at universities.

Daniel is an accomplished player on clarinet, flute, and saxophone. His students succeed in many endeavours including the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, Arts York auditions and university entrances.

Credentials: M.Mus., B.Mus.

Photo of Hasmig Surmélian
Hasmig Surmélian
Piano, Violin

Hasmig has a twin vocation as a violinist and pianist. She has performed in various recitals, including solo performances with orchestras and chamber music concerts, and has recorded several CDs. She holds the highest awards and distinctions from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, French Ministry of Culture and international competitions.

Hasmig’s teaching experience spans over 25 years in Europe and Canada. She prepares her students for all levels of examinations including ARCT and LRCM in both piano and violin performances.

Hasmig speaks English and French.

Credentials:D.M.A., M.A., M.M.

Photo of Karen Tam
Karen Tam
Music Adventure

Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Faculty of Music at the York University. She studied piano with Christina Petrowska Quilico and music composition with David Mott. Karen also holds an ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance, and has studied Piano Pedagogy at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her teaching style was influenced by the inspiring and encouraging guidance of Marina Geringas. To date, Karen’s students have always achieved First-class Honours in RCM examinations and won awards in various music festival competitions.

Karen is one of the experienced teachers of Music Adventure group lessons at Pro-Music. She has taught Music Adventure to junior and senior kindergarten students at the Wesley Christian Academy. In addition to her teaching, Karen actively participates in many music workshops to share ideas and discuss issues relevant to piano pedagogy. The Orff Approach that she studied under Margaret Hugget has effectively enhanced her group and piano lessons through its emphasis on songs, games, rhythms, poems, stories and percussion instruments. Karen’s teaching approach emphasizes a balance of affection, patience and strength, and encourages her students to enjoy the process of learning.

Credentials: B.F.A., ARCT.

Photo of Teresa Tang
Teresa Tang
Piano, Vocal

Teresa studied solo piano with celebrated pianist Marina Mdivani at the McGill University, earning a Bachelor of Music. She later received her Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Toronto. She has received scholarships from the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation (2010), University of Toronto (2007-2009), and Hong Kong Children’s Choir (2002).

Teresa is the founder and music director of Mellow Singers. She has served as Assistant Conductor to the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers and the University Women’s Chorus, and held a conducting post with the Hong Kong Children’s Choir. She was guest conductor to the Hong Kong Catholic Diocesan Choir, and in 2000, had assisted in coaching a combined choir of 200 for the Catholic Diocesan (Hong Kong) in Handel’s Messiah. From 2003 to 2006, Teresa was invited by the Pentecostal Lam Hon Kwong School (Hong Kong) to develop a high school choral education program with great success.

Credentials: M.Mus., LTCL

Photo of Dr. Nancy Tye
Dr. Nancy Tye
Piano

Nancy holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy with top honours from the University of Oklahoma, one of the prestigious full-fledged pedagogy institutions in the United States. She studied under the tutelage of internationally-renowned pedagogues including Dr. E. L. Lancaster, Dr. Jane Magrath and Dr. Andrew Cooperstock. Nancy has a diverse background as a performer, teacher, accompanist, adjudicator and workshop clinician in Canada, United States and Asia.

As a prominent pedagogue, Nancy’s vast teaching experience spans over 25 years, having taught students of all ages and levels privately and at various colleges and institutions. Her students have frequently won scholarships and awards in music festivals and competitions and have been invited to perform in the Winners Gala Concerts. They have coveted exceptional results including First Class Honours with Distinction and Silver Medals in the RCM piano and theory examinations.

Nancy is a member of the College of Examiners at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Specialist in Piano, Music Theory and History. She was awarded the 2016 Steinway & Sons Top Music Teacher Award and Steinway Piano Gallery of Toronto Certificate of Appreciation.

Nancy teaches in various genres comprising classical, light classical, popular, contemporary, jazz, religious and improvisational styles. She is also a versatile performer in improvisation. She teaches comprehensive RCM theoretical subjects as well as general musicianship, music appreciation and piano literature.

Credentials: D.Mus.A., M.Mus., B.Mus., L.R.S.M

Photo of Joe Varga
Joe Varga
Cello, Flute, Recorder, Trombone, Trumpet, Violin

Joe began studying the violin in 1970 and trumpet in 1972. He also studied the piano. He has more than 45 years of teaching experience. He prepares students for the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations, university entrance and auditions.

Besides teaching, Joe has been in the musical products industry for nearly 40 years. His main field of interest in this area is repairs and restoration of the stringed instruments.

In all aspects of his musical career, Joe has held high standards of quality and professionalism, and endeavoured to impart such attitudes to his students so that they may excel at their own pursuits.

RCM Gold Medalist
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2017 – Level 5 Gold Medal in Violin

Photo of April Wei
April Wei
Music Adventure, Music Development, Theory

April is a current ARCT piano performance candidate. She studies piano and music theory with Ms. Nancy Cheung at Pro-Music. Due to her vibrant personality and hard-working attitude, she was chosen to be the assistant teacher of varies courses, like music theory, Music Adventure and Music Development.

April loves music. She is the cello section leader of the Markville Symphonic Orchestra. Apart from piano and cello, April also plays the flute. Besides playing musical instrument, she enjoys making music arrangements, simplifying large-scale orchestral works into ensemble music.

April worked as a summer camp counselor which provided her extensive opportunity in interacting with children. On the other side, for RCM theory examinations, she has achieved First Class Honours with Distinction in both Rudiments and Music History.

Photo of Jackson Wong
Jackson Wong
Drum, Keyboard

Jackson received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Guelph and attended the York University where he studied with Barry Elmes, Al Henderson and Frank Falco in Jazz Performance.

Jackson has extensive experience teaching both children and adults at all skill levels on drums, classical percussion and music theory in Canada and Hong Kong for the past 30 years.

Besides teaching, Jackson is a freelance Drummer and Vibraphonist in Toronto, and was a contract Drummer of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Timpanist of the Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra. Jackson is also an accomplished composer / arranger for films and TV commercials. He has written over 800 soundtracks and published 2 CDs for advertising agencies in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Jennifer Wong (Theory Assistant Teacher)
Jennifer Wong (Theory Assistant Teacher)
Theory

Jennifer is a music undergraduate student at Western University with advanced entry status to the Richard Ivey School of Business. With her extensive involvement outside the school community, she was awarded the “Student Trustee Award for Character” with scholarship from the York Region District School board in June 2018. She was also selected by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music as a “University of Toronto Scholar”, which granted her full scholarship to attend their university for the 2018-2019 school year. She currently serves as the Vice-President of Finance on the Faculty of Music Student Council, Chair of the Gift Fund Committee for the Faculty of Music and First Year Representative for UNICEF at Western University.

Jennifer began playing the piano at the age of 3. As a devoted music teacher, her students have consistently earned First Class Honours and First Class Honours with Distinction rankings on their RCM examinations.

Jennifer strives to inspire and help children bring out their inner musical talent and achieve excellence in an interactive and enjoyable environment. Each lesson is tailored perfectly to suit each of her students’ needs.

Photo of Marco Wong
Marco Wong
Clarinet, Saxophone

Marco is currently studying Saxophone Performance at the University of Toronto with Dr. Wallace Halladay. Growing up listening to classical albums, Marco has always had an ear for music. His first encounter with a musical instrument was at the age of 5, when he started the violin, later picking up the saxophone at the age of 12 and the guitar at 15.

Marco had previously studied with teachers at Pro-Music, Daniel Smith and Joe Varga. He has played in several groups such as the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, the Ontario Provincial Honour Band, and the Canadian Wind Orchestra. He has also worked with many notable musicians including Maestro Colin Clarke, Robert Sheldon, Carolyn Barber, and John Mackey, to name a few. Some of his musical appearances include Orchestra Hall in Chicago, New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall, and Massey Hall and the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, both in Toronto. He has also performed solos in various events such as political charity dinners, fundraisers, recitals, weddings, and even street performances a few times.

Marco enjoys spending time giving back to the community by volunteering for many charities and not-for-profit organizations. He has served once a week every winter for the last 5 years volunteering at Out of the Cold, a program for the homeless, with an aim to keep homeless people off the freezing streets of the Greater Toronto Area.

Photo of Michelle Wong
Michelle Wong
Piano

Michelle studied piano with Mr John Lee in Hong Kong. After moving to Canada, she studied with Dr Janet Lopinski at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Piano Pedagogy with Mrs Marina Geringas.

Michelle attended the ARCT full-time program at the Conservatory for three years, obtaining many honours and distinctions. She also took extra courses associated with the Teacher’s Diploma, including Orff Pedagogy with Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming and Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Wendy Taxis.

Michelle has taught piano for more than 15 years. She has a positive attitude and great passion for teaching students of all ages. She encourages her students to enjoy performing and playing the piano. Her students participate in examinations and music festivals with positive outcomes.

Photo of Rachel Wu
Rachel Wu
Piano

Rachel is a solo pianist as well as an accompanist for singers, choirs and chamber groups. She received a Diploma from the National Taiwan Academy of Arts (majoring in piano), ARCT Associate Diplomas for Piano Teaching and Piano Performance respectively in Toronto, and a Certificate of Piano Superieur in France. She has also obtained certificates for the Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze pedagogical trainings in Toronto.

Rachel has been teaching piano and theory to children, teenagers and adults in Taiwan, France and Canada for over 20 years. Her students received numerous prizes in the Canadian Music Competitions, Scarborough Music Festival and Markham Music Festival.

RCM Gold Medalist:
(Students who obtained the highest marks in each level of RCM examination in Ontario)
2017 – Level 8 Gold Medal in Piano

Credentials: B.Mus., ARCT.

Photo of Shuk Han Yu
Shuk Han Yu
Piano, Theory

Shuk Han holds a Masters Degree in Music Librarianship from the Indiana University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also received LTCL in Performance and ATCL in Teaching from the Trinity College London.

As a Royal Conservatory of Music’s Examiner in piano, Shuk Han maintains a private piano and theory studio, in addition to teaching at the Pro-Music Conservatory.

In past years, Shuk Han served as pianist to the Toronto Chinese Christian Chorale. She also regularly accompanies singers and instrumentalists. Currently Shuk Han serves as Music Director at the St John’s Presbyterian Church in Scarborough.

 

Credentials: ATCL (Teaching)
LTCL (Performance)
B.A. (Music)
M.L.S. (Music Librarianship)

Photo of Stephanie Yuen
Stephanie Yuen
Music Adventure, Music Development

Stephanie received her Bachelor of Education degree from Western University specializing in Primary / Junior and Early Childhood Education, and is an Ontario Certified Teacher currently teaching with the York Region District School Board. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Queen’s University where she specialized in Primary / Junior Music Education Pedagogy.

Throughout her career she has studied various approaches to music education such as the Kodály method, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and Orff, two of which form the foundations for Pro-Music’s Music Adventure program. With both an Early Childhood Education specialty and a Primary / Junior teaching qualification, Stephanie has not only assisted with the Music Adventure program for the past 5 years, but has also implemented a music program for children ages 3 to 5 years old at a local day care centre, as well as taught Elementary School Music with various Ontario public school boards.

As a teacher, Stephanie strives to provide her students with authentic and meaningful learning experiences that foster enjoyment of music through active engagement in music making. Inspired by the work of distinguished music educator and ethnomusicologist, Patricia Shehan Campbell, Stephanie believes that all children are inherently musical and it is her job as a teacher to help nurture these experiences and further develop her students’ musical knowledge and skill. She believes that a strong music program supports students’ creative musical tendencies through singing, movement, and rhythmic and instrumental play while simultaneously fostering music appreciation and providing students with a strong foundation in music theory and ear-training.

Credentials: OCT., B.Ed., B.A.H.

Photo of Jennifer Yung
Jennifer Yung
Piano

Jennifer started teaching piano at Pro-Music since 2001. With extensive experience, her students have received excellent results in the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations with First Class Honours with Distinction, and First Class Honours. Also, her students have won awards in various music festivals, including the Arts Richmond Hill Music Festival and York Region Music Celebration Music Festival.

Jennifer studied Piano Pedagogy with renowned piano teacher, Mrs Marina Geringas. In order to engage students’ mind and body while playing music, she also learned the Orff Approach from Mrs Margaret Huggett. Jennifer is also active in participating different piano workshops and master classes.

Credentials: B.A.

Photo of Mandy Zhao
Mandy Zhao
Violin

Mandy received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China, majoring in Violin Performance. After graduation, she was appointed as the Associate Concertmaster of the Pearl River Film Orchestra.

After Mandy moved to Canada, she joined the National Academy Orchestra of Canada based in Hamilton, Ontario. Besides performing, she is also an experienced violin teacher. Her students, ranging from beginner to ARCT levels, not only excel in the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations but also appreciate music very much.

Credentials: B.A.