Colleen Lindenbach

M&P Founder: (Group Music, Private Piano & Voice, Theatre Arts, Music Pups®)

I have been teaching music to students of all ages for over 30 years now! I have a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Univ. of Regina and spent 20 years teaching band, choir, and general music classes to K – gr. 12  students in Saskatchewan and Alberta. I have also worked as a musical director for theatre productions, a band clinician, a piano accompanist, and a choral director. Six years ago I opened my music studio “Music and Play”, specializing in the Music for Young Children and Music Pups curriculum, in west Calgary and I am happy to watch it grow and expand every year. My philosophy that quality comes first and fun is mandatory, currently brings the joy of music and the performing arts to over 700 students per year.

⇒ Bachelor of Music Education (voice) – University of Regina
⇒ Grade 9 Piano & corequisites – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Certified Instructor – Keyboard Adventures: The Safari
⇒ Music Pups Certified
⇒ MYCC (MYC certified)

Ovid Alexis

(Music: Private Piano – Contemporary)

As an educator, producer, arranger and composer, Mr. Alexis has played piano since the age of three. He started his formal training at age 7 and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he received a B.A. in Music as well as the Berklee College of Music Performance Award. In addition to his work with countless students over the years, Mr. Alexis has taught Improvisation and Arranging at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad Campus) and was invited to deliver a Teachers program to the faculty at the St. Lucia School of Music.

Throughout his career, Mr. Alexis has worked and performed in over 30 countries, has recorded four albums and has had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the world’s leading musicians including: Dizzy Gillespie, Hugh Masekela, Donald Byrd, Dave Valentino, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Tania Maria, Arturo Sandoval, Thelonious Monk Jr. and many more.

In addition to piano (his main instrument), Mr. Alexis also plays Saxophone and Steel Pan. Mr. Alexis’s worldly approach to music embraces the genres of Jazz, Latin, Calypso. Reggae, Funk, Hip and Pop and he seeks to instill this same worldly love of music in all of his students.

⇒ Bachelor of Arts (Music) – Berklee College of Music, Boston

Andrew Balboa

(Music: Private Guitar & Private Voice)

Opera singer, composer, band member, and music teacher, Andrew has dedicated more than 13 years to his love for music; mastering voice, piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, and drums. As a natural musician with a strong understanding of theory Andrew instills knowledge, confidence, and sincere enjoyment in all of his students. With an education from McGill University’s Faculty of Music, in Montreal, Quebec, first place – class IX, running in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Andrew demonstrates his vast skills in both singing and music theory.

Lyon Beckers

(Private Music: Guitar, Bass, String Bass, Ukulele, Theory; Group Music: I’m In The Band, Ukulele, Theory)

Lyon Beckers holds a Bachelor of Music in composition, composes music for video games and plays the double bass in various local bands and ensembles. While in University, Lyon played guitar in the University of Calgary Jazz Orchestra, where he got to participate in the Idaho Jazz Festival and the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. On double bass, he has performed in the University of Calgary Orchestra, and in the Pacific Region International Summer Music Festival.

Lyon believes that no one is ever really ‘born’ a musician, and that anyone can learn music at any age. As a composer he is also a music theory nut, and believes that in order to break all the rules, you first have to learn them.

⇒ Bachelor of Music (Composition) – University of Calgary

Sunny Chan

(Music: Private Piano)

Inspiring children and teaching music has been my passion for more than a decade! I am grateful for the opportunity to bring joy to my students through music and I enjoy watching them grow using their talents. I love being part of a great team of individuals who are passionate, enthusiastic, and enjoy helping others learn and discover their love for music and I look forward to meeting all my new students this year at Music and Play!

Grade 10 Piano – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 4 Music History – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 4 Harmony – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 4 Counterpoint/Analysis – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 2 Theory – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Certified Instructor – Keyboard Adventures: The Safari
⇒ MYC Level 3 – Music for Young Children

Yuri Choi

(Music: Private Piano)

I was born into a music loving family and so naturally I was exposed to the world of music at a young age. My mother was also a piano teacher which brought me to learn piano at the age of five. I spent all of my childhood and days as a youth playing piano and also majored piano in University. I have been teaching piano for over twenty years and have enjoyed teaching beginners as well as students who have chosen to major in piano.

In addition, I have experience teaching young children with ADHD and Down Syndrome and have enjoyed watching them grow through the joy of music education. I have served as a piano accompanist in a number of church environments, I have experience being on stage – as being a part of ensembles and piano recitals and I have also founded a music school in Korea and am qualified to teach the Alfred Music system.

I am excited to meet the students at Music & Play and look forward to helping them develop a true passion for music!

Bachelor of Music (Piano) – Hanil University/Korea
⇒ Shindongah Music School (Founder) – Korea
⇒ Alfred Music Certified

David Chow

(Music: Private Violin, Strings)

I started violin lessons at 9 and grew up around the Kiwanis Music Festivals, Calgary Youth Orchestra and the Mount Royal College of Music. These were magical times performing with the youth orchestra on European tours and spending long summer music camps at Banff and Shawnigan Victoria, studying under inspiring artists like I Musici and Ruggiero Ricci. It was there I met my future violin professor Dana (and Yuri) Mazurkevich, the pupils of David Oistrakh.

I followed Dana to Western Ontario to pursue my music degree in violin performance. There, it was also a humbling experience to play under the baton of Simon Stratfield (one of the founders of St. Martin In The Fields which led to my conducting interest. My last year of study included computer music which inspired me to do a second degree in Computer Science to broaden my perspectives. Another mentor / teacher in my life has been Dr. Norman Burgess at the then, Mount Royal College. Mr. Burgess fully believed in the new innovative and creative string methodology of Paul Rolland and that also rubbed off on me. So, instilled with this modern analytical approach to violin teaching balanced with the passion of Russian playing gives me a unique and deeper understanding of working with violin students.

I have been a conductor and concertmaster of a community orchestra in Toronto as well as the assistant department head (violin) in a music school in Singapore.  Now, I have returned to my musical roots and look forward to giving back to the music community that started my musical journey.

⇒ Bachelor of Musical Arts in Performance (violin), University of Western Ontario

Julianne de Siqueira

(Music: Private Piano)

Julianne has been interested in piano since a very early age with her influence in music coming from her grandparents – who were excellent musicians and played the saxophone, acoustic guitar and accordion. Julianne holds a Bachelor of Music and Diploma in Education and has been engaged in music and cultural activities at the University performing as a piano/keyboard player and lead singer in Brazilian Popular Folk Music bands in Recife, Brazil.

Over the past 10 years, as a piano and keyboard player Julianne has recorded albums and performed at many festivals in Florida, USA. While in the US, Julianne also volunteered in churches as a pianist, director and conductor of adult choirs and taught private piano. Through her work as a teacher, she helped her students take pride in their learning and develop positive self-esteem through showcasing their talents at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Boca Raton.

Julianne returned to Brazil in 2012 where she was invited to work in a bilingual Canadian elementary school teaching music to children from preschool to grade 3. After several wonderful years in Brazil she decided to move to Calgary to begin her Master of Music (Music Education) studies at the University of Calgary.

Julianne is very excited to join the Music and Play faculty team as a private piano teacher this year and eager to develop children’s talents and stimulate their desire to learn music in a creative and fun away.

⇒ Master of Music (Music Education) University of Calgary (in progress)
⇒ Post-Baccalaureate Diploma (Education) – University of Winnipeg
⇒ Bachelor in Music – Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil)

Nia Devetzis

(Music: Private Drums/Percussion)

Nia Devetzis is a percussionist driven by the vivid and vast world of contemporary music, whether as a soloist or chamber musician. As a teaching artist, she is dedicated to education through performance and instruction, leading by example and questioning audience expectations by asking, ‘what exactly is percussion?’

Notable performances include solo engagements with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Calgary Wind Symphony, as well as Calgary’s contemporary music and sonic arts festival, Forms of Sound and the Stratford Summer Music Festival. As a chamber musician, Nia is dedicated to the support of contemporary music in Calgary as a core member of Timepoint Ensemble and has made appearances with The Rubbing Stone Ensemble and Land’s End Chamber Ensemble. Favourite past performances include Steve Reich’s Drumming at the TorQ Percussion Seminar, Conduct with the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts and concerts with So Percussion Quartet at Princeton University. Equally at home in an orchestra, contemporary ensemble, or playing Broadway musicals, Nia is an active performer and educator around Calgary. She completed a master’s in percussion performance at the university of Calgary with Rod Thomas Squance.

⇒ Bachelor of Music – with distinction (percussion performance), University of Calgary

Dr. Richard Emilson

(Music: Private Piano)

Dr. Richard Emilson is a teaching specialist. He generates positive learning experiences for his students using both modern and traditional methods. Parents seek Richard out to help their children deal with: unique learning styles (including ADD/ADHD), discouragement, perfectionism, or snags in playing technique. He helps students develop productive practice habits that are consistent, efficient, purposeful, and unimpaired.

Dr. Richard has been teaching at Music and Play for six years and accepts learners in the early levels of graded piano programs as well as beginners.

PhD (Education), ThM, MA, BA
⇒ Music classes (Providence University, Ambrose University, and Music and Play)
⇒ Professional development seminars (Royal Conservatory, Conservatory Canada)
⇒ Group music class training and experience (MYC, all levels)

Stacey Hilscher

(Music: Music Pups®, Music Adventures-preschool)

With a passion for music and a knowledge of experiential learning and that almost every moment can be intentionally FUN – I have been honoured to teach through Music and Play the last three years. A mother of 2 children, I am constantly reminded that every day passes quickly. We have such a small window to really impact our children and guide them to be the best they can be!

I first experienced the Music Pups® curriculum with my own children and was astonished by the intentionality of its program. Not only were my children having FUN they were stretched in areas of early childhood learning. These including social development, rhythm and tonal accuracy, physical literacy and structured learning. The Music Pups program is a perfect merriment of music and play! After a decision to switch my full-time career within dentistry to full-time Mom, I knew that I had an opportunity once again to build on my love of music and share this passion and knowledge with others.

Completing many years of studying piano and alto Saxophone, I’m always excited to share my years of learning with my young students AND they’re caregivers! Musical independence is one of the few gifts we can give our children; and they will appreciate and enjoy their whole lives. I’m excited to be a part of this journey with you and your children!

 Grade 8 Piano – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 3 History and Harmony – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Grade 2 Theory – Royal Conservatory of Music

Sarah Irwin

(Music: Private Voice)

I am thrilled to be back at Music and Play teaching private voice! Currently, I am back being a student myself, finishing up my B.A. in Music at Ambrose University, however, I graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria in 2009 and have been singing since the age of 10. For the last eight years, I have been pursuing a career in performing and have had the pleasure of being on stages across the country. My favorite roles include ‘Belle’ in Beauty and the Beast, ‘Audrey’ in Little Shop of Horrors, and ‘Cathy’ in The Last 5 Years. As an experienced singer and performer I sing all styles, (pop/rock-classical) but musical theatre is my specialty.

I believe music education should be above all fun, yet also challenging. My desire is to help my students grow in their love for music, as well as build their confidence for their everyday lives. I also believe that singing should not just be executed with good technique (although that is important!) but that it needs to express what is in your heart and soul; because you have something to say. My goal is to encourage my students to find their own unique voices and to discover the stories they want to tell.

Click here to see Sarah in performance.

Diploma (Performing Arts, 3-year) – Canadian College of Performing Arts
⇒ Bachelor of Arts (Music; minor English Literature) – Ambrose University (in progress)

Oksana Krasnozhen

(Music: Private Piano, Private Voice)

Music has been part of my life ever since I began my musical journey at the age of 6. I began studying classical violin at 8 years of age and discovered my true inspiration by singing in choirs before starting my teaching career at age 17.

I received my Master of Musical Art from the P. Tchaikovsky National Musical Academy of Ukraine and, for the past 19 years, I have experienced great success as a piano, voice, musical theory and history instructor.  I have also enjoyed conducting both professional and children’s choirs for the past 21 years. In addition to my teaching and conducting experience, I have always been a performer and have sung on stages in many different countries. I love sharing this valuable performing experience with my students and I am so very proud of my students’ achievements. Many of my vocal and piano students have won International competitions and choirs and ensembles under my direction have participated in numerous festivals, competitions and concerts.

Throughout my career, I have sought out new ideas and new approaches in teaching and, though I have a classical background, I embrace a variety of styles of music. As the Head of the Music and Drama department (British International School, Ukraine) for five years, I was honoured to provide high quality music and dramatic arts education to International students from around the world. I have also had the opportunity to work with special needs students and students on the autism spectrum and have served as a tutor for students in English, Russian and Ukrainian. As a music educator, I seek to inspire my students and share with them my personal love and passion of music. I approach every student as an individual and I work to find the method that best connects with each one. I believe that the Musical Arts are a bottomless, wonderful, colorful world which should be open to everyone.

Everyone possesses the gift of music and it is up to us as music teachers to help each student discover their musical talent and to expose them to the joy that music has to offer.

Master of Musical Art – P. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine
⇒ Diploma in Choir Conducting – Lysenko Music School, Ukraine

Ethan Mitchell

(Music: Private Cello)

Ethan is a passionate young teacher and musician. An active performer on cello in the city of Calgary, he is regularly involved in the creation and performance of new works. In addition to his formal classical training, Ethan has spent years learning to play other styles of music, especially jazz and more contemporary forms of improvisation.

Ethan brings his love of all kinds of music to the studio when he teaches, and he is excited to share his passion with his students. In his classes, he offers training in a wide range of styles, all informed by a fundamental classical technique and believes that a holistic approach to music is the best way to learn and to have fun!

Ethan is also an active composer, focusing on developing and combining new techniques for cello with electronic sounds and samples.

M. Mus. University of Calgary (cello performance)
⇒ B. Mus. University of Ottawa (cello performance)

Click here and here to see Ethan performing.

Kelsey Noble

(Group Music: Music Adventures, Music Cats®, Music Pups®; Private Flute; Administrator)

Kelsey is an enthusiastic music teacher, flute clinician and performer in Calgary. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance. During her time at the University of Calgary, Kelsey served as the Concert Master for the U of C Wind Ensemble, performed with the University Orchestra, and participated in the School of Creative and Performing Arts’ inaugural interdisciplinary performance. Always looking for professional development opportunities, Kelsey frequently participates in workshops and masterclasses having most recently attended the Pender Island Flute Retreat in July 2017.

Kelsey believes that teaching is the art of empowering a student to discover their ability to learn. The teacher’s role is to spark a student’s curiosity and to help guide the student in their journey. Private lessons can be structured to focus on RCM or CC examinations, band class preparation, festival performances or simply for personal development and enjoyment! Regardless of the focus of the lessons, Kelsey strives to teach technical and musical development in a fun, encouraging and lighthearted environment.

Bachelor of Music (Flute Performance)

Zac Parkinson

(Music: Private Piano; Songwriting)

I grew up learning music through taking lessons and playing in church and during this time I grew extremely passionate about music, especially piano. This passion motivated me to begin teaching music while I was still in high school and during this time I also became interested in composition and song writing. My interest in song writing propelled me to seek the opportunity for further education in this area – an opportunity that I found at Prairie College, where I studied song writing under the tutelage of Brian Doerksen. My music studies have not only furthered my song writing ability but have also helped me to develop into a more well-rounded musician. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with my students this year!

⇒ Diploma (Music/Youth Ministry) – Prairie College (AB)

Tigran Saakyan

(Music: Private Piano)

I am a passionate musician from an Armenian family and was born in Russia. In Moscow I received my Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music. From there I went on to study with Professor Alexander Tselyakov at Brandon University where I received my Masters of Music degree.

As an active performer, I appear on stage not only as a solo performer but also as a chamber musician. As a chamber musician, I have performed with artists including Kerry DuWors, Catherine Wood, Alexander Tselyakov and Tory Okwabi and my piano repertoire ranges from the early period to 21st century music. In addition to performing, I have had the honour of playing recitals and participating in International piano competitions in Russia, Armenia, Italy, France, Canada, South Africa and Mexico.

Along with pursuing my education and enjoying performing, I have also had the pleasure of teaching private piano students since 2009. For me it is very important to teach my students in a versatile manner. I always work to find the individual approach that works best for each student as I help them to focus on their piano technique, their sense of rhythm, musical creativity and the many other aspects of playing the piano. I also consider sight reading to be a valuable part of a musician’s education as it develops a student’s reading and listening skills. I truly enjoy inspiring and encouraging my students to achieve their goals and I look forward to joining the Music and Play team.

⇒ Master of Music (Piano Performance and Literature) – Brandon University (Brandon, MB)
 Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance) – Gnesins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Harold Squire

(Group Music – Music Pups®; Music Adventures)

I have taught music for over 10 years in middle and high schools, as a private instructor and in university and over the years I have had the pleasure of teaching in Canada as well as India.  I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theatre from the University of Calgary, I play many musical instruments and enjoy performing and writing music.

As a performer, I have played in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play (and acted), the University of Calgary’s operetta’s production of West Side Story and countless concerts at the Rosza Centre in Calgary with the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

I am excited to teach the Music Pups® program because I truly believe that music can be learned, just as a spoken language may be, at any age.  And just as children learn to speak by imitating, I feel that they can learn music the same way.  I have a deep love for the performing arts and I look forward to passing on the curiosity and intrigue that has inspired me to perform and pursue a career in music.

Bachelor of Arts (Music major / Drama minor) – University of Calgary

Kim Szabo

(Music: Private Piano; Private Voice)

Kim is a seasoned professional musician with a teaching, performance and recording resume that spans over 35 years and the globe. Born and raised in Canada, she started by honing her skills through initial classical training, followed by studies at Grant MacEwan Music Program in Jazz and Popular music. Growing up in Edmonton, Kim’s “after school job” for 10 years was teaching the neighbourhood children piano and voice following the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum. During this time, Kim was an active member of Edmonton Musical Theatre, the Alberta College Choir and ProCoro professional classical choir, while also honing her vocal and piano skills within the local Jazz scene.

In early 1989, Kim took her talent overseas to Japan, where she spent the majority of this time in Osaka, performing as a solo artist, establishing a jazz trio, becoming a regular guest artist with various touring pop, jazz and funk groups, and television and recording sessions throughout the Kansia area.

The mid 90’s saw Kim moving her now established career to Europe. Frankfurt, Germany became her base in 2000. By 2003, she was teaching at and eventually led the Jazz Vocal Program at Frankfurt Musikwerkstadt (State Academy for Jazz and Popular Music). She instructed students in vocal Jazz technique and improvisation, preparing them to challenge national exams for a Degree in Jazz Pedagogue. Included in her duties was chair member of the adjudication team for these exams. She also found time to volunteer as educator/instructor for English language through music participation material, within the national education system, specifically with Kindergarten students. During this time in Germany, Kim continued to professionally tour and perform throughout the Rhine-Main area, appearing with her Jazz and Gospel projects. She continued her private vocal studies and analysis of the human voice with Coleman Freeman, professional operatic tenor, in Mannheim, and with Mike Schoenmehl, professional jazz pianist and published author in Frankfurt.

Since returning to Canada, Kim has reintroduced herself to Calgary audiences as a guest pianist for the Fox Big Band, and is currently the vocalist with the Summit Big Band. .

Grade 9 Piano – Royal Conservatory of Music
Grade 8 Voice – Royal Conservatory of Music
Grade 3 History, Grade 5 Harmony, Grade 5 Theory – Royal Conservatory of Music
⇒ Music Composition in Jazz Studies, Grant MacEwan College

Mia Whitfield

(Music: AMP Program: voice, songwriting)

Mia Whitfield emerged in 2000 with her debut Number 1 hit Single “Show me I’ll Show you”. 19 years later she has added to her ‘repertoire’ and is now more than just a Professional Singer, she adds businesswoman, Entrepreneur, founder of Singit Inc in South Africa and Canada and Artist, Mentor & Coach to her list of achievements.

Mia recorded her latest single ‘I Choose You’ in February 2019 and has become a true leader in developing and mentoring artists from all experience levels. Having been in the professional industry for a number of years, Mia has five albums and nine singles released to radio as well as achievements such as performing at Nelson Mandela’s 80th & 82nd birthdays, performing at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, where she shared a stage with Bono from U2 as well as taking part in the ‘Rocking Future’ road show where she performed at over thirty schools in and around Johannesburg, South Africa, promoting anti-bullying in schools.

Other highlights of Mia’s career include: performing in her 1st cabaret show ‘8tease’ at the wild coast sun at the age of 17/18, her own composition, ‘Just In Time’, submitted to the VUKA awards and participating as one of YoTV’s presenters (a children’s channel on SABC). Mia has performed at the Presidents Children’s Day at Zoo Lake in South Africa, the National Disabled & USA/Africa Educational Banquet and the Rocking Future Road Show (which Mia performed at over 30 schools around Gauteng). Mia was a guest performer at various East Coast Radio Vodacom beach Africa festivals, Jeremy Mansfield’s CD launch “Even more Raw” at the big top arena in carnival city and Mr. South Africa in Durban at the Gateway and has been involved in the Antidrug awareness campaign in conjunction with Sanca performing at the maximum-security Prisons for woman.

Mia’s certificates of achievement range from marketing to various contemporary voice certifications as well as developing her own contemporary voice syllabus – Mia has her NQF Level 4 and a certification in Social Media Marketing. Mia’s 19 years of experience in the South African Music Industry is just one of the things that sets her apart. She knows firsthand what an Artist needs to make a successful career and her hands-on approach to her mentorship programs is what gives her that extra star quality. Mia believes that singing is a gift and performing is an art that should be shared. After all, through music we discover ourselves – and that is the greatest gift of all.

Kiyo Yokoyama Larose

(Music: Private Piano)

Kiyo Yokoyama was born and raised in Sapporo, Japan. She began piano lessons at age five through the Yamaha Music Program, and continued with private lessons until her high school graduation. Kiyo moved to the US to further her music education at Brigham Young University Hawaii where she chose to study organ music and later received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Utah State University and a Masters Degree in Organ Performance from Arizona State University. She has served as an accompanist for university choirs, local choirs and churches in Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, and Japan and taught at the Phoenix Yamaha Music School in Arizona for seven years.

Kiyo has been involved with musicals as a rehearsal accompanist and a show pianist. Since moving to Calgary in 2006, she has been part of a show with Storybook Theatre, as well as playing at church, for auditions, and has been teaching piano and organ lessons at a local Calgary music studio. Kiyo is very excited to join Music and Play as a piano instructor and is looking forward to sharing her love of music with her students.

⇒ Bachelor of Music (Organ Performance) – Utah State University
⇒ Master of Music (Organ Performance) – Arizona State University
⇒ Yamaha Certified Teacher