Rebecca Lane, Director
Driven by her commitment to music education, Rebecca Lane has acquired both respect and demand for her skills in and around the GTA. Her extensive training in violin performance began in her hometown of Hampton, New Brunswick, and took her to Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland where she completed her Bachelor of Music in violin performance under the tutelage of Nancy Dahn.
In 2007, Rebecca relocated to Toronto where she earned an Artist's Diploma in orchestral training at the Glenn Gould School. In 2010, Ms. Lane founded Upper Beaches Violin Studio with a few private students in her home. Since that time, the school has grown in size and strength in the community with additional teachers, instruments, and group class offerings.
Most recently, Rebecca was appointed Concertmaster of the Toronto Community Orchestra. When she is not teaching, Rebecca enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her husband and children.
Marcia Whitehead, Executive Administrator
As a trained contralto and professional vocal coach, Marcia brings her musical knowledge as well has her administrative expertise to Upper Beaches Music School. Known for being meticulous, organized and highly personable, Marcia is well-versed in the needs of busy parents, specifically in the area of music lessons. An East York resident herself, Marcia is immersed in the culture and pulse of the neighbourhood and committed to cultivating musical education in this corner of Toronto. Besides keeping our school organized, Marcia teaches private voice lessons at Havergal College, as well as conducting vocal masterclasses at Arts based High Schools across Toronto.
Ana Alvarez, Piano
Born and raised in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Ana began piano lessons at age 9. She holds a Bachelor in Music from The Boston Conservatory, where she studied with Max Levinson, and a Masters in piano performance from University of Miami under the tutelage of Kevin Kenner. Ana has won top prizes in national and international competitions held in the Dominican Republic.
Teaching is one of her biggest passions and she has been teaching piano since 2004. Ana also enjoys performing, giving solo recitals and working as a piano accompanist.
Click here to watch Ana perform!
Becky Cai, Piano
Becky has been playing piano since the age of six and has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. Before university, Becky had previously attended Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts for the musical theatre/acting program where she picked up singing, acting, and stage band. In university, she studied under Boyanna Toyich, a music and performance skills professor in the faculty of music. With experience of teaching young children to adults for over five years, Becky strives to encourage her students to excel in their studies and achieve their music-oriented goals. After completing her Bachelor of Music Education Degree, she plans to pursue teacher’s college and continue sharing her knowledge to future aspired musical dreamers. When she is not teaching or playing the piano, Becky enjoys staying active by going to the gym, kickboxing, reading and spending time with her family.
Grace Chu, Piano
Grace Chu has earned her Bachelor of Music and Piano Performance Diploma from McMaster University, followed by her Master of Music in Piano Performance from The State University of New York at Buffalo. Grace made her Canadian debut in 1997, in Alberta, where she lived for a few years before moving to Toronto where she continued her private studies. It wasn't long before she discovered that she enjoys sharing her passion for the piano not only as a performer but also as a teacher. Over the years Grace has enriched her performance experience by taking in music festivals in Canada, Taiwan, France, Spain and USA, and also by participating in master classes and pursuing private studies with world-renowned pianists. Because of her gentle and patient disposition and extensive piano pedagogy training, Grace excels with both young and advanced students alike.
Andrea Czarnecki, Piano/ Voice
Born and raised in Wynyard, Saskatchewan, Andrea began her musical endeavours at the age of 5, with her first taste of Suzuki instruction. Andrea continued her musical studies in the Bachelor of Music program within the Music Faculty at the University of Toronto. Following this, she went on to complete her Bachelor of Education, and her Masters in Music Education, within the faculty. She also continued her pursuit of Choral music, taking a lead role as both a chorister and assistant conductor in the University Women’s Choir at the Faculty, from 2000 through 2011.
Recently, Andrea has taught Suzuki-influenced ECE group music classes to students in Hong Kong, prior to returning back to her home in Toronto.
Máiri Demings, Voice/ Piano
Máiri Demings is a mezzo-soprano and passionate voice and piano teacher hailing from Springhill, Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University and has recently completed her Masters of Music in Vocal Literature and Performance at the University of Western Ontario.
As a teacher Máiri brings 6 years of experience in all age groups and styles of music. She was director of Horton High School Glee Club (Wolfville, NS) for 2 years (who won gold at the local music festival both years), music director for Edalene Theatre, and has helped many of her students through successful auditions and competitions. She works to tailor lessons to meet needs and interests of each student to make lessons fun, approachable and educational.
Gemma Donn, Violin
Gemma began her musical studies playing the piano and violin at age 4. In 2012, she moved to Vancouver and began her post-secondary studies at Capilano University's Music Diploma program, finishing in 2014. She played for the West Coast Symphony and Theatre Under the Stars during her years
Gemma now lives in Scarborough and studies at the University of Toronto, where she is working towards completing her Bachelor's Degree in Violin Performance. She currently plays in the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Chinese Arts Society Orchestra, and most recently obtained the position of concertmaster of the Counterpoint Community Orchestra. Gemma works well with advanced students and is well-versed in preparing them for RCM examinations.
Mary-Katherine Finch, Cello and Suzuki Cello
Cellist Mary-Katherine Finch enjoys a diverse performing career with numerous ensembles and in a wide variety of musical genres. She has appeared with the Toronto Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, Esprit Orchestra, and
served as guest principal cellist with Hamilton Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony, and Niagara Symphony,
and is principal cellist of Mississauga Symphony. In 2015 she made her concerto debut with Mississauga Symphony. Mary-Katherine regularly performs chamber music on various concert series in Ontario. Summer festivals include Luminato, Elora, Toronto Summer Music, Festival of the Sound, and Ottawa Chamber Festival. As a dedicated teacher, Mary-Katherine maintains a busy private studio and is cello instructor at the University of Toronto and Claude Watson School for the Arts.
Emilie Gelinas- Noble, Violin/ Viola
Born in Montreal, Emilie Gélinas-Noble began her musical adventures at age five. She chose to pursue the viola at eleven and was shortly thereafter admitted into the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. She was the principal violist of the Montreal Youth Orchestra (Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Montreal), performing on tours across Europe and China. More recently, Emilie has completed a Master’s degree in Musical Performance from the University of Toronto.
As a teacher, Emilie is quick with an inventive game to make learning fun and innovative She enjoys teaching children and brings a spark of creativity to her lessons and classes.
Jamie Godber, Suzuki Violin
Jamie Godber holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Toronto and is now pursuing her Masters of Music, studying with Dr. Timothy Ying. She began her studies with the Oakville Suzuki Association at the age of 3 and grew up participating in Kiwanis and Peel Music Festivals receiving top prizes. She
also holds her Grade 10 RCM in Violin Performance (First Class Honours). Jamie has led the U of T Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster in select programs and was a
member of the Oakville Symphony Orchestra for three years as a Young Artist Award Recipient. Her string quartet, the Aeris Quartet, won the U of T Felix Galimir Award in Chamber Music Excellence, as well as the Haydn Challenge in the 2017/18 academic year. Jamie has completed her Unit 1 Suzuki Teacher Training and is familiar with both the Suzuki Method and Royal Conservatory System. She is so pleased to be sharing her passion for music through teaching and connecting with her students. In her spare time Jamie enjoys playing hockey and singing!
Bailey Grineage, Piano and Suzuki Piano
Bailey began her studies in piano at the age of 5. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree with honours from the University of Toronto in 2017 with a specialization in music education. Along with her post-secondary studies, she holds her RCM Level 10 certificate and is currently a candidate for the ARCT piano performance diploma.
Bailey enjoys teaching students of all ages but has a special passion for early childhood music education. To this end, Bailey has completed Smart Start™ training at the Royal Conservatory of Music which pairs musical learning with cognitive developement. She also has completed the RCM‘s specialized Music in Early Childhood program and it currently pursuing an Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Music Education from the RCM and Ryerson University. Along with this extensive training, Bailey is also an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has received Suzuki piano training from the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute.
Along with her experience teaching music for the past decade, Bailey‘s educational background has given her the skills to not only relate to students in the role of a professional teacher, but also in the role of supportive mentor. When she‘s not making music, Bailey enjoys practicing yoga, exploring Toronto, and drinking tea with her loved ones.
Adrian Irvine, Suzuki Violin
Born and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Adrian Irvine began studying the violin at the age of three. He was a member of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2012 and in 2013, returned as soloist to perform the Bruch Violin Concerto. After completing his Bachelor of Music degree at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Adrian relocated to Toronto where he has recently completed a Master of Music degree in violin performance at the University of Toronto.
Adrian is passionate about the Suzuki method and is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas as well as trained in Suzuki Violin Book 1. He is always prepared with a game or prop to make learning more fun. Adrian leads group classes as well as private violin lessons on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Kieran Kane, Voice/ Piano
Kieran is a singer, accompanist, and voice/ piano teacher originally from Kingston, ON. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Guelph and has trained further with organizations such as Against the Grain Theatre, Halifax Summer Opera Festival, and Arcady. He sings professionally with ensembles including church choirs, the Elora Singers, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Kieran enjoys teaching students to individually tailored curriculums. This can mean any repertoire from classical to Broadway to hip hop!
When not teaching or performing, Kieran enjoys hiking, travelling (ideally at the same time), cycling, and reading.
Elli Kozak, Piano
Elli Kozak is an experienced music teacher who has ascended through the ranks in the Royal Conservatory of Music, receiving his ARCT in Piano Performance with First Class Honours with Distinction in 2013. Since then, he has carved out his own career involving music, primarily as a music educator, producer/composer for film and video, and audio engineer, as well as a regular performer with classical, jazz, rock, and blues ensembles.
Elli loves to take a personalized approach to music lessons, focusing on ideas that are most interesting to the student. Many of Elli's students have taken RCM exams with great success, while others have taken a more flexible route on their way to becoming enthusiastic players and lovers of music.
Joseph Landau, Guitar/ Uke/ Piano
Joseph is a multi-instrumentalist and regular performer as an accordionist, guitarist, bassist and singer. Since his first concert at 15 years old, Joseph has never lost the love of sharing music with others. After completing training at the royal conservatory as well as a bachelors degree from York University, Joseph has performed with rock bands, choirs, orchestras, and chamber ensembles across Canada and on 3 different continents. In his more than decade of teaching, Joseph has taught lessons from Ontario to Paris.
As a teacher Joseph is focused on teaching the fundamentals of music through songs. He believes the most important part of music education is fostering a lifelong love of music. When not performing or teaching music, Joseph is passionate about cooking new dishes, practicing yoga and maintaining friendships around the world in 3 languages.
Sarah Murley- Hauser, Suzuki Violin
Sarah began her violin studies at age 6 at the North York Suzuki School of Music with Heidi Behrenbruch, who inspired her love of violin. She completed her Bachelors of Music in violin at the University of Toronto, studying with Katherine Rapoport and Annalee Patipatanakoon. She is currently privately studying violin and pedagogy with Vanessa Mio (London).
Sarah is a recognized Suzuki teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and her training has included teacher development at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute (Ontario), Ithaca College’s Suzuki Institute (New York State), and the Indiana University Summer String Academy.
Sarah is passionate about inspiring a love for violin and music, and excellence in teaching. When she is not playing, Sarah enjoys being active with her husband and dog, reading, and digging in her balcony veggie garden.
Andrew Pacheco, Guitar/ Ukulele
Andrew has been studying music since the age of 12. Born in Mississauga, Ontario, he attended Cawthra Park Secondary School and was enrolled in the Regional Arts Program with a specialization in music. He then further pursued his musical studies by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in Music from York University. After graduating from university, Andrew established himself as a performer and educator. He has performed with many performing organizations such as Soulpepper Theatre Company and the Toronto All-Star Big Band. He has also performed at many Canadian festivals such as Calgary Folk Fest and Interstellar Rodeo, as well as American festivals such as South by Southwest in Texas and Stagecoach in California.
As an educator, Andrew has close to 10 years of experience teaching students of all ages and levels. Andrew’s teaching approach is strongly focused on studying the fundamentals of music while creating a motivating and joyful experience for the student to learn and grow from.
Nikki Puchkov, Piano
Nikki Puchkov began studying piano at the age of 9 with Toronto-based teachers, Ludmila Urbanovich and Elena Shimonov. In 2020, Nikki graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a double minor in Historical Keyboard and History.
Constantly exploring new teaching methods, Nikki pays particular attention to the individual learning styles of her students. Her goal is to guide the musical development of her students through the exploration of various musical genres stemming beyond classical repertoire. Nikki is experienced in preparing her students for RCM practical and theory exams, and especially enjoys teaching history and harmony!
In addition to teaching, Nikki loves collaborating with singers and instrumentalists. She is part of the Rouge River Winds Ensemble as a pianist, flautist, and previously worked as the Assistant Conductor and Collaborative Pianist for the Ruckus UTSC Alumni and Community Choir.
Lydia Shan, Piano
An aspiring and diverse pianist, Lydia Shan holds an ARCT diploma with an honours in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Canada and a Bachelor’s of Music with a specialization in Music Education at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Dr. Midori Koga.
In pursuit of her passion as a collaborator and educator, Lydia accompanies at several institutes notably Harmony School of Music and Dance and has been teaching piano privately for over 7 years. This coming fall, Lydia will be pursuing an Artist Certificate in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto under the instruction of Steven Philcox. Lydia continues to expand her musicianship and hopes to inspire the growing community of young musicians.
Katherine Watson, Piano/ Flute
For the past half-decade, Katherine has established herself as one of Toronto’s emerging classical/contemporary flutists, performing in numerous chamber music festivals and performances across the country. A musician from age 6, Katherine studied piano concurrently with her flute studies and received her grade 8 RCM accreditation.
As a teacher, Katherine is recognized by parents for her abilities to discover what makes children interested in music and has been known to tailor each student's lesson to suit their needs and goals. She believes that finding a student's innate passion will ignite a life-long love for learning and musical discovery.
Anna Zhang, Piano
Anna has been studying piano since the age of 5. Over the years, she has been an active participant of music festivals, competing at both local and provincial levels for piano, speech arts and music composition. Anna obtained her Associate Diploma (ARCT) for piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music at the age of 14 and has performed for many well-respected musicians around the world such as Christopher Norton and Angela Cheng.
Passionate about bringing music to the lives of others, Anna has been teaching piano for over 7 years as a volunteer for Keys for Seniors and the Heart of the City Music Program, as well as founding her own studio in Edmonton Alberta, AZ Piano Studios. In August 2019, Anna relocated to Toronto to pursue studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, but is committed to teaching piano as it remains a very fulfilling part of her life.