Instructors

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

Music Director

Aaron Lowen

 Lake Bonavista Schedule                       McKenzie Towne Schedule

                                            

 

 

 

Music Director

Aaron Lowen

Aaron Lowen

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

 

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Piano Teachers

 

Karen Burkell

Lake Bonavista: Monday

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

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

Karen is currently accepting private students for piano lessons.

Emily Dueck

Lake Bonavista: Tuesday

Emily has been playing piano for 11 years, began teaching in 2012 and is currently working on her grade 10 in the Royal Conservatory of Music. She holds certificates in Theory Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Rudiments, Basic Keyboard Harmony and Level 1 Music History.

Emily is a relaxed and patient teacher who uses positive reinforcement and flexible goals and encourages students to set learning goals for themselves. While Emily loves teaching students of all ages, she is most experienced with ages 8 to 16, and is particularly suitable for shy or introverted students.

Emily is confident teaching up to a grade 6 in RCM for exam preparations, and also enjoys teaching popular music. Emily focuses lessons around the goals of students and parents and strongly believes that music should always be fun!

Emily loves all music and enjoys trying out new instruments including violin, accordion, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, ukulele and cello.

Emily is currently accepting private students for piano lessons.

Tom Geddes

Lake Bonavista: Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

Katrina Jordan

Lake Bonavista: Thursday

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

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

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

Katrina is currently accepting private students for piano lessons.

Margo MacDonnel

McKenzie Towne: Saturday

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

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

Margo is currently accepting new students for private piano lessons.

Duncan McCartney

Lake Bonavista: Monday
McKenzie Towne: Wednesday, Thursday

BIO COMING SOON

Duncan is currently accepting private students for piano or saxophone studies.

Victor Tsang 

Lake Bonavista: Wednesday

Victor is a dedicated and passionate musician with a strong background in classical piano. He carries this passion through to his students making him a strong motivator in the traditional school teacher sense. Victor is currently working towards his Masters in the Royal Conservatory of Music and is an exceptional pianist.

Victor also has experience teaching saxophone having previously worked as a woodwind and brass coordinator and instructor at Bishop Grandin High School. He is currently working with Spiritus as a jazz music instructor while teaching with Studio Nine as well.

Victor is currently accepting new students for private piano lessons.

Connie Claeys

Lake Bonavista: Mondays and Saturdays

McKenzie Towne: Tuesdays and Fridays

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

Connie is currently accepting private piano students.

Emma Heath-Engel

McKenzie Towne: Monday & Tuesday

Emma holds a BA in Music Education, ARCT Certificate in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Major in music from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. She had the great privilege of studying under world-renowned performer and music educator Andrew Markow. In addition to Western Classical music, she also had the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments, play and sing in a variety of musical ensembles traditions and styles, from around the world.

Though a passionate performer, Emma’s passion now lies in teaching piano, as well as in writing and recording her own work as well as Western Classical selections. Emma emphasizes having fun and building confidence at the piano as well as building strong musicianship skills.

Emma is currently accepting private piano students.

Pauline Dudus

McKenzie Towne: Monday, Tuesday

Lake Bonavista: Wednesday, Thursday

Bio coming soon…

Austin Latta

McKenzie Towne: Friday & Saturday

Lake Bonavista: Monday & Thursday

Austin is a jazz trombonist, pianist, and composer with over 14 years of musical training. He has studied music at the University of Toronto and has performed at various venues in Alberta and Ontario. You can often find him playing with Calgary’s Prime Time Big Band, as well as performing around Calgary with his own group. Although jazz is his passion, Austin has over 10 years of classical training on piano and violin. This is his first year at Studio Nine School of Music, and he’s excited to share his fun-loving approach to music with everyone!

Austin is currently accepting private piano students.

Aaron Cull 

McKenzie Towne: Wednesday & Thursday

Aaron has been teaching piano for 6 years now. He enjoys teaching Popular Repertoire, Baroque, Classical and Modern pieces. Aaron has seen his students progress and grow from beginners, where they are unfamiliar with music, to advanced musicians with a vast knowledge base. All of Aaron’s students achieve consistent scores of >80% on all Royal Conservatory Exams. To see students enjoy music and be disciplined in their everyday practice is the most rewarding aspect for Aaron. This will not only help them if they become a future musician, but discipline will transpire in successes in other facets of their life.

Aaron is currently accepting private piano students.

James Vanderwoerd

McKenzie Towne: Monday

Lake Bonavista: Wednesday

Bio coming soon…
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Guitar Teachers

 

 

Andrei Buldan

McKenzie Towne: Friday

DSCN5045.2Andrei is a widely experienced and extremely talented guitarist who easily improvises many guitar styles to make them his own. With experience playing in his own band, Andrei writes his own material and has successfully performed in several competitions. Along with these experiences and accomplishments, he has also been a highly driven teacher with Studio Nine over the last 5 years.

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

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

Andrei is currently accepting private guitar students.

Kurtis Downs

Lake Bonavista: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Kurtis Downs 2Kurtis holds a Diploma in music, with a specialty in jazz from Mount Royal University and has been with Studio Nine for over 9 years. He is a performance and recording artist who plays with his band “The Firm Handshake,” as well as a variety of other groups.

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

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

Kurtis is currently accepting private students for guitar lessons.

Adam Hwang (guitar and drums)

McKenzie Towne: Monday-Saturday

Adam has a diverse and extensive musical background; he has been playing guitar since 1999 and drums since 2001. In addition to formal music lessons, Adam has performed with local metal band, Anathematized, and local rock group, fivetwofour. Adam has largely been influenced by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Rush, Pink Floyd, Metallica and Black Sabbath and his musical styles include rock, metal, jazz and pop. Although rock and metal are his favourites, Adam’s background includes studying jazz, playing tenor sax in his school orchestra, piano lessons and church choir.

Adam was born in Calgary, and attended St. Cecilia, St. Matthew and St. Mary’s. He Graduated with his BSc in Civil Engineering, and BA in Economics from the University of Calgary. Adam has played minor hockey for Bow Valley, and spends most of his time in his home studio.

Making sure to be extremely adaptable to his students’ needs, Adam ensures to answer every question as it comes up. His teaching style is flexible, ranging from book use for lesson work, to practicing songs as each student prefers. Adam has been teaching at Studio Nine McKenzie Towne since its opening in 2012, and has experience working one on one with children with special needs. He teaches beginner to advanced lessons in both drums and guitar.

Adam is currently accepting private guitar and drum students.

Alicia Jordan

Lake Bonavista: Thursday

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

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

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

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

Alicia is currently accepting private classical guitar students.

Vernon Wills

Lake Bonavista: Tuesday, Thursday
McKenzie Towne: Monday, Wednesday

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

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

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

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

Vernon is currently accepting private students for guitar lessons.

Connor Wilson

Lake Bonavista: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
McKenzie Towne: Thursday

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

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

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

Erik Juergens

Lake Bonavista: Monday

Erik 2Erik is an arts student at the University of Calgary. He has performed with his band at various venues throughout Calgary and the surrounding area. Erik joined the teaching staff at Studio Nine School of Music in 2013.

Erik’s teaching style caters to the students’ needs and wants. He ensures to emphasize theory in all lessons while keeping his students interested through playing fun songs that challenge them. Erik loves improvising and exploring composition, and in recent years has taken a very keen interest in writing and theory.

Some of his favorite genres are blues, funk and rock and his favorite artist is Eric Clapton.

Erik is currently accepting private guitar students.

JP Poirier

Bio coming soon…

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Vocal Teachers

Daniel Amezcua (voice and piano)

McKenzie Towne: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

As recent music graduate of the University of British Columbia, Daniel has studied voice and piano with celebrated teachers including: Donald Bell, Nona Mari, Edward Parker, and Daniel Taylor.

Daniel was a gifted child soprano whose love of music encouraged him to pursue it as a career. He has been a frequent guest soloist and cantor throughout Victoria and the Lower Mainland of BC, having sung in major operatic works under noted conductors Bruce Pullan, Nicholas Fairbank, Kirk Bergan, and Laurence Cummings.

Daniel credits his career as dramatic counter-tenor to undying determination, hard work, and his long time teacher, mentor, and friend Valerie Witham.  His philosophy of teaching ‘free voice’ is based on years of study and experience with a program geared towards releasing the instrument, thereby allowing it to live freely within oneself.  Accompaniment is provided with all lesson(s).

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

Megan Daye (voice and piano)

McKenzie Towne: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne Wright

Lake Bonavista: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Suzanne began singing in festivals at age 3, and began classical training at 12. At the age of 15 she toured with Chris de burgh and has also performed as a backing singer with Elton John. She returned to classical training with the London School of Opera and has enjoyed many lead roles in musical theatre in the UK. Suzanne has a masters in Jazz Musicianship and a doctorate specializing in Advanced Vocal Production.

Given the opportunity to work with a good teacher, Suzanne believes that anyone can sing. She believes in building students’ confidence and teaching them to truly enjoy their new found ability.

Suzanne is a vibrant and enthusiastic teacher who loves to see her students excel in their endeavors. She specializes in jazz and musical theatre, and enjoys keeping up with pop music with her students!

Suzanne is currently accepting new students for private voice lessons.

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Drum Teachers

Peter Friesen

McKenzie Towne: Tuesday, Wednesday

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

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

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

Peter is currently accepting new students for private drum lessons.

Ken Murdoch (drums, guitar, and band instruction)

Lake Bonavista: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

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

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

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

Brayden Clark

McKenzie Towne: Tuesday & Thursday

Lake Bonavista: Wednesday & Friday

Brayden is a fun, experienced drumming instructor who has spent the last 14 years of his life behind a drum kit. His performing career has landed him a spot on MuchMusic, afforded him the opportunity to work alongside gold-record holding producers, and allowed him to travel to over 25 countries as a member of the musical staff aboard a number of cruise lines. Versed in a wide range of musical styles from Rock to Bossa Nova, Brayden strives to instill a passion for the drums in his students, while giving every student the skills and training they need to turn their art into a career!

Brayden is currently accepting private drum students.
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Violin Teachers

 

Alyssa Dobek

Lake Bonavista: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

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

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

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

Alyssa is currently accepting private violin students.

Edward Gallagher

Lake Bonavista: Wednesday
McKenzie Towne: Thursday

Edward studied violin at a private music school in the UK working through examinations with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, successfully completing all exams including the final Grade 8 at age 18. He decided against following further full time music study and pursued a different career choice. Nevertheless, he has played continually for many years in community orchestras both in the UK and Canada and is currently playing with the Calgary Civic Symphony, and is involved on a semi-professional basis with small groups for weddings and other functions.

Edward has taught violin to beginner students over the years, although his involvement in teaching had always been constrained by his other career responsibilities.  Now, having retired from full-time work, he has enjoyed teaching with Studio 9 since January 2012.  He has guided students through the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations (Grade 2 to Grade 7) and is on the Royal Conservatory Teachers Directory.

Edward is currently accepting students for private lessons.

Fran Hampel

McKenzie Towne: Tuesday & Wednesday

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

Fran is currently accepting private students for violin lessons.

Dan Zhang

McKenzie Towne: Saturday

Dan Zhang has been playing violin for 12 years, and has completed his RCM Grade 10 violin certifications. He is currently working towards his ARCT. Dan has competed in a variety of music competitions, including the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly Calgary Kiwanis Festival) and was the 2013 Alberta Gold Medalist, having achieved the highest mark in his grade. Dan has also played with the Mount Royal University Conservatory Strings Orchestra, and is a current member of the University of Calgary Orchestra. Having switched from the role of the student to that of the teacher last year, he is excited to be able to share his experience with others.

Aside from music, Dan is an avid biologist. He is completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Cell Biology, and has worked in cutting edge research labs in developmental biology (feel free to ask him about this!). His hobbies include computer programming, hiking, and chess.

Dan is currently accepting private violin students.
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Brass and Woodwind Teachers

 

Ken Shoults

Lake Bonavista: Thursday

Bio coming soon…

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