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Faculty & Teachers

Teachers at Musica are known for their strong teaching profile and talent. All the Yamaha Teachers are certified by Yamaha Canada, and the Private teachers have or are pursuing their ARCT from RCM or equivalent.

Our faculty is very energetic and easy-going which allows them to build a fantastic rapport with the students. Passionate and well-trained, our staff members work very hard at making the lessons as engaging and as rewarding as possible.

If you'd like to join our team, please visit our Careers page.

The following are short biographies of our current teachers at Musica Academy.

Aileen Lucia Aguilar
Teaching: Since 2020
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Yamaha Group lessons, Private Flute
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Bachelor of Music – University of Calgary
RCM Grade 10 – Flute & Piano (2022)
ARCT Harmony & Counterpoint
Level 10 History

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Aileen Lucia Aguilar is a native Calgarian with a strong passion for music and education. Her musical journey started at the age of 5 when she took piano lessons under the late Nelly Bala. It was with Ms. Bala’s instruction that Aileen developed a powerful relationship with music, and quickly realized that she couldn’t imagine her future without it.

Since then, Aileen has been working towards her Bachelor of Music at the University of Calgary with a concentration in Integrated Studies, where she is able to combine her love of music and psychology through study and research. In the near future, she hopes to become a music therapist; helping others to achieve wellness and reach their non-musical goals through music.

Aileen has also expanded her skillset to be able to play over 10 instruments. Her primary instrument is the flute, for which she has had the honour of studying under renowned flutists such as Sara Hahn, Gwen Klassen, and Lucie Jones. Aileen has also held the position of Flute Chair under the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble for three years, one of the finest university woodwind ensembles in Canada, which has allowed her to perform across Canada. As well, she has had the pleasure of performing with the University of Calgary Symphonic Band as the Flute Section Leader in 2018 and as the Principal Chair of the Calgary Youth Wind Ensemble for the 2019 season.

Throughout this time, Aileen has been working on her RCM Certification in both Flute and Piano Performance, hoping to obtain her Grade 10 Certification in both instruments by the end of 2022. Her extensive theory knowledge and background has also enabled her to obtain her ARCT in Theory and Counterpoint.

Aileen is honoured to be joining the Musica Academy team as a group piano teacher and hopes to make your students’ musical journey memorable, magical and fun!

 

Anna Pompeeva
Teaching: Since 2004
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Voice and Piano
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: PhD with a specialty in Musical Arts - Kharkiv National I.P. Kotlyaravsky University of Arts

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Anna has extensive experience in teaching students of all ages. Her first teaching experience was in a kindergarten. She then worked in a children's music school, where she taught voice and played the piano. After graduating from the conservatory with honors, she received her PhD in Musical Arts in 2017. Anna is a speaker and participant in many international conferences on pedagogical problems, and is also the authour of six articles on the history of music and methodological recommendations on singing.

As a practicing opera singer, Anna has been the lead soloist of the Kharkov Opera and Ballet Theatre since 2013, and has been on tour in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Germany. She is also the winner of two international opera singing competitions, the last of which was in Montecatini Terme, Italy in 2022.

Anna is currently working with the Calgary Opera as a member of the opera choir, and she is very happy to be a part of the musical team at Yamaha Musica Academy!

 

Arianna Hu
Teaching: Since 2021
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano
Teaching Locations: NW
Music Qualifications: RCM Level 10 Practical, History, and Harmony

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Playing piano since age 3, Arianna loves to explore music through piano playing, theory, and musical history. She has volunteered at several youth summer camps, including the Yamaha Disney Camp. She loves to spend time with young children and is determined to inspire them to have fun with music.

She has received First Honors with Distinction in both RCM Level 9 Piano and Level 10 History, and First Honors in Level 10 Harmony. She has also received gold in the Kiwanis Festival. Additionally, she has played clarinet in her school band for two years. She is joining the Yamaha team as part of the Student-Teacher program under the direction of our senior teacher Ms. Looi Tan.

After completing the Student Teacher training program, Ms Arianna continues to be actively part of the faculty and Musica’s related events as well as teaching students of various levels at Musica Academy.

 

Ben Carson
Teaching: Since 2008
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Guitar
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Bachelor of Music

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Ben began teaching guitar at Musica Academy in 2008 while attending the University of Calgary. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education degree, Ben taught Music and Phys Ed in the Calgary Board of Education for 2 years.

After completing his MBA at the University of Victoria he worked at the Victoria Symphony as Senior Community Relations Officer managing the Education and Outreach program and large public events. Ben’s passion for teaching guitar led him to continue teaching during his time in Victoria.

Ben is currently teaching at Connect Charter School and is very excited to be back at Yamaha Musica Academy where his music teaching journey began!

 

Bonnie Bi
Teaching: Since 2019
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Doctoral Diploma in Piano Performance, Chamber Music, Music Education of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Bonnie is an enthusiastic Musician who started playing piano at the age of five years. With a great passion for music, she went to Central Music School of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory when she was twelve. Through her professional training and study she received her Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral Diploma.

She participated in a variety of concerts, recitals and competitions worldwide. She is the third prize winner of the 23rd Chopin International Competition in Italy and has obtained many outstanding performance rewards.

Bonnie worked as a solo Piano Performer and an Accompanist at Poly Symphony, Chamber and Choir Orchestras in China. Since 2019, she had been working as a Piano Instructor and an Accompanist at Musiark School of Music in Winnipeg, before she moved to Calgary in 2022, which was a great experience that helped her to adjust to the culture and mindset in Canada.

 

Janet Chhan
Teaching: Since 2017
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Piano, Flute, Theory, Yamaha Group Classes
Teaching Locations: NW and SW
Music Qualifications: RCM Piano Level 10, RCM Flute Level 8, ARCT History, ARCT Harmony & Counterpoint, ARCT Analysis, Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Pedagogy: Elementary Piano Pedagogy Certificate, Intermediate Piano Pedagogy Certificate, Bachelor of Arts in Music (Piano) - University of Calgary

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Janet’s musical journey first started at the age of 5, when she attended Musica Academy’s Junior Music Course (JMC). It was through her connections in the group classes of JMC, where she discovered her passion and interest for music. She continued classical training in piano through to RCM 10, participating in RCM examinations, the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly Calgary Kiwanis Festival), and numerous recitals. At the age of 10, she pursued private flute lessons, and began formal classical training through RCM. Janet has received her RCM Piano Level 10 (First-Class Honours), and ARCT Analysis (First-Class Honours with Distinction) to fulfill her scope of knowledge in both the practical and analytical aspects of music. Janet joined the World Music Ensemble at the University of Calgary as a solo pianist, performing music from the cultures of Bali and Persia. Janet is currently on track to complete her Advanced Piano Pedagogy Certificate for full completion of her Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Pedagogy.

Janet has been teaching since 2017 to students of ages and levels. She has worked closely with students to achieve success in practical and theory RCM examinations, competitive festivals, and recitals. She is passionate in sharing her love for music with her students through practical applications of music fundamentals and technique. Janet is determined to inspire others to use music as an outlet for creativity, expressivity, and excellence in lifelong learning at Musica Academy, where her music journey first began!

 

Jarome Harlea
Teaching: Since 2019
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Piano & Theory
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Bachelor of Music – University of Calgary RCM ARCT Diploma (2022)

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Jarome first ventured into the music world taking piano lessons at the age of 6, taking exams in both the Canadian National Conservatory of music and Royal Conservatory of Music curriculums. Currently, he is a fourth year Bachelor of Music in piano performance student, under the guidance of Marilyn Engle. He is on track to complete both his degree and the RCM ARCT diploma in 2022. During his time at the university, he has participated in masterclasses with Yael Weiss, Makoto Ueno, Ayami Ikeba and Lana Henchell. He has also attended masterclasses at the Coimbra International Piano Meeting and had the honor of performing in the closing concert of the event.

In terms of teaching experience, Jarome has been teaching since 2019, to a wide range of students, from level 1 to 10 RCM. A number of his students consistently receive first class honors with distinction in their respective RCM exams. He also has some experience arranging and teaching pop music, organizing repertoire for student recitals, as well as teaching theory/harmony. Jarome likes sharing his love of music with his students and helping them find what drives their passion and creativity, while guiding them to excel in the subject at the same time.

 

Javier Carril
Teaching: Since 2010
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano, Yamaha Group Classes
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Master of Arts (Musicology) - University of Calgary, Bachelor of Music (Piano) - National Autonomous University of Mexico

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Javier Carril received his Bachelor’s degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2011. He has received his training from well-renowned piano instructors in Mexico, such as Monique Rasetti and Elias Morales Cariño. He has performed on several stages in Mexico accompanying school choirs and as a soloist. His interest in the history of Western music encouraged him to obtain a Masters in Musicology at the University of Calgary, from which he graduated in 2019. Javier Carril has experience teaching both young children and older adults, and has been involved in the Yamaha Music Education System since 2010 –first in Mexico City, and later in Calgary. He has lived in Calgary since 2017. Javier Carril is a very motivated and patient instructor, with strong analytical skills, which are useful in solving students’ piano techniques and difficulties. Although he was classically trained, he enjoys playing pop and film music, and is open to learn from his students’ musical interests. In his free time he enjoys watching movies and swimming.

 

Linda Peng
Teaching: Since 2021
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Violin
Teaching Locations: NW
Music Qualifications: RCM Grade 8, RCM Theory

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Linda has always been passionate about music. Her musical journey started when she was 5 years old when she first took violin lessons in China. After moving to Canada, she continued violin lessons with Pearl Lu and Donovan Seidle. Linda has received First Honors with Distinction in her previous RCM exams. Linda has been teaching students of all ages and up to intermediate levels since 2021. She enjoys working with students and building a close relationship and her students have all passed their RCM exams successfully. Linda has always been involved in music. She also joined her school’s band as First Flute; her band has won many competitions. Linda played as a first violin in her school’s orchestra and was one of the concertmasters. Linda is also a previous Yamaha Academy student, who studied piano with Ms. Lana. She also enjoys learning the guzheng, ukulele, and kalimba in her spare time. Linda is currently enrolled in TeachPiano’s Student Teacher Program under the guidance of Ms. Looi Tan, and is excited to join the team! She has a passion for teaching and seeing her students reach their full potential!

 

Looi Tan
Teaching: Since 1988
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano, Yamaha Group Classes
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Yamaha Grade 5, Authorized Yamaha examiner, ARCT – Performance (Royal Conservatory of Music) Bachelor of Music – Education (University of Calgary)

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Looi is an enthusiastic musician who plays the trumpet, piano and electone organ. She has performed with the University bands and choirs, and has travelled abroad with the Calgary Stampede Band to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and around North America. She has attended music camps and festivals both locally and overseas. Looi started music lessons in the Yamaha Music Course in Malaysia. She studied electone organ, and continued her studies after she moved to Calgary. She has studied piano with renowned teachers Marilyn Engle, Pat Jewell, Dmitri Nesterov, and the Kodaly method with Lois Choksky. She has written articles for the Kodaly Association's magazine. Looi often adjudicates and examines students in the Yamaha examination system moved to Calgary. Looi is presently the director and principal of Musica Academy. She has many years of teaching experience, and loves all aspects of running a music school, from summer camps, to keyboard festivals, adjudicating music exams and festival, and teaching all levels; she does it with utmost enthusiasm. She is also a member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association, as well as the Alberta Piano teachers Association.

 

Max Cerda
Teaching: Since 2008
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Guitar, Electric and Bass Guitar, Ukulele
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Bachelor of Music Performance (E. Guitar) University of Valparaiso, Chile

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Max has achieved a Bachelor’s of Music degree with a major in instrumental performance in electric guitar and a graduate degree in Art, Technology and Music Arrangement from University of Valparaiso, Chile. He has 18 years of musical experience with traditional guitar and ukulele. Max has been working as a private instructor for 15 years and has taught over 200 students! He has experience teaching a wide array of people who range from 5 to 53 years of age! If you’re looking for a well-versed instructor with an extensive background teaching children, teens, and adults, look no further than Max! Max has also worked in a recording studio on the production of “A un Paso del Sol”, which comprises 9 works in addition to 8 songs which are currently being worked on for future editing. At the present time, Max continues to compose and produce new material, this time adding in his voice to the music! He also enjoys playing various genres including rock, jazz, rumba, flamenco, funk, the blues and more! Max currently continues to work with various artists in the Calgary music scene composing, producing and vocalizing music. He’s excited to join the Musica family and to meet his prospective students and help them realize their own musical talents and dreams.

 

Reagan (Shuaihua) Li
Teaching: Since 2012
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano, Private/Group Theory
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: ARCT Perf ARCT- Piano Pedagogy (RCM)

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Reagan’s musical journey began at the age of 7 in Winnipeg. His interest stemmed not from the piano, but rather from wanting to play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp minor “Moonlight”. Learning piano happened to be a prerequisite. With the goal of playing his most desired piece in mind, Reagan embarked on a journey that would later see him win numerous awards at events such as the Canadian Music Competition, Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals, Winnipeg Music Festival, and the University of Manitoba Piano Concerto Competition.

Reagan firmly believes that the value in learning music lies in establishing good studying habits and having small, easily achievable goals that students can maintain over long periods of time rather than attempting large tasks in short timeframes. Students who study music and choose to pursue any field in the future will stand to benefit. These principles are what led Reagan to establish his own studio in Winnipeg in 2012 (still run by his brother) that has since produced successful students as well. Reagan can confidently state that his studio has never produced a result under Royal Conservatory of Music’s First Class Honors designation.

Music has always and will always be a part of Reagan’s journey. He hopes to be a productive member of the Musica Academy faculty and looks forward to contributing to students’ own musical paths.

 

Sherwinn Chiew
Teaching: Since 2023
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Private Piano
Teaching Locations: NW
Music Qualifications: RCM Grade 8, RCM Theory

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Sherwinn has been involved in music since she was 2 years old. Consequently, she has been inspired to explore other areas of music, including piano, choir, flute, and ukulele. She is fascinated by the ability music has for universal expression and hopes to encourage musical expression in her students.

She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Calgary, with a focus on Music Education. As a previous student of Musica Academy and a current participant in the Student Teacher program under the guidance of Ms. Looi Tan, she has come back to Musica to pass her passion for music down to her students.

 

Typhen Chan
Teaching: Since 2021
Courses Taught at Musica Academy: Violin
Teaching Locations: NW, SW
Music Qualifications: Advanced Performance Program (APP) – Mount Royal

Summary and other Accomplishments:
Typhen Chan was a member of the Advanced Performance Program (APP) at the Academy Program for Young Artists hosted by Mount Royal University. He started playing the violin at the age of 5 under the guidance of Jeremy vanDieman and has studied with the prestigious Professor William van der Sloot.

He has won several prizes in his thirteen years of playing the violin locally, provincially, and nationally. He is a two-time winner of the Canadian Music Competition and was presented with the Grande Prairie & District Encana Music Festival scholarship by the Alberta Music Festival Association. Typhen was one of four winners of the Rotary Calgary Concerto Competition (RC3) three years ago and performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Calgary Civic Symphony. He has gone on community outreaches throughout the city through various programs such as the Advanced Performance Program, the Back to Bach project, and the Dick Matthews Young Artists Development Program, playing in homes for the elderly and elementary schools. He is excited to be a part of Musica Academy's faculty.

 

 
 

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"Musica Academy is a wonderful place to introduce your children to music. The classes are fun and energetic. The children enjoy the lively music as well as singing, playing and reading. They have some of the best teachers in Calgary, you won't be disappointed.."

~ Sharon Reid

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