OUR INSTRUCTORS

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JUANITA VELEZ

Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele and Musical Awakening Instructor

Juanita Velez is a performer, vocal, piano and ukulele instructor residing in Montréal, Québec. She started her musical training at the age of seven at the prestigious music school of renown Colombian musician, Charito Acuña.

 

She immigrated to Montréal, Québec with her family at the age of fourteen in the year 2007. In 2016, during her Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University, she specialized in world music Voice Performance and completed a minor in Psychology. She has performed in various world music ensembles, including York University's Balkan Ensemble and York University's Cuban Ensemble.

 

Since 2018, Juanita has been teaching private vocal, piano and ukulele lessons and furthering her knowledge in the area of music therapy and holistic health. Juanita is comfortable teaching repertoire from genres such as: popular music, jazz, R&B, world music and musical theatre. Juanita offers her lessons in English, French and Spanish.

 

She is known for her gentle approach to teaching. She has a special gift for connecting with her students and helping them find their own unique voice.

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JAY DANLEY

GUITAR INSTRUCTOR

Canadian recording artist Jay Danley is a world-class session musician who contributed instrumentally to multiple Juno award-nominated records (Hilario Duran) and is the featured guitarist on the Juno award-winning (Julian Fauth), blues album of the year release.

He has performed with a multitude of legendary musicians from around the world. His coveted tenure with British–Canadian jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer Peter Appleyard is a memorable chapter is in his storied career, along with performances with primary members of Buena Vista Social Club and Salsa star Oscar D'Leon, to name a few.

Danley is recognized as one of Canada’s leading Jazz and Latin multi-instrumentalist musicians/ composers, who as band leader delivered many memorable performances, at the highly acclaimed “Beaches International Jazz Festival,” performed at Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall and graced the stage at the “Barbados Jazz Festival.”

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AMIRALI KAMALI

Violin, Kamancheh, Music Composition and Production Instructor

Amirali Kamali is a composer, arranger, performer, Violin and Kamancheh instructor residing in Toronto, Canada. Amirali's Persian classical training started in Iran under the tutelage of Master Alireza Cheraghchi at the age of eight.

 

His interest in Indian classical led him to travel to India where he collaborated with many world-class artists in fusion genre and participated in various recordings as violinist and Kamancheh player in many albums. He studied Electrical engineering in Pune, India but since he came to Canada in 2009, he dedicated most of his time composing, arranging and performing many original pieces in the world music genre.

 

Ever since, he pursued his musical journey and was engaged with world music ensembles and orchestras across the country. Since 2016, He started to be part of Jaana Ensemble as a music producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in composition/performance at York University.

 

Currently he is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Western Musical Composition at York University. Amirali is an extremely well-rounded musician and educator. Amirali offers his lessons in English and Farsi.

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MAHDYAR NASIRI

Guitar Instructor 

Mahdyar Nasiri is a composer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist residing in Toronto, Canada. Mahdyar has been playing guitar for thirteen years and is proficient in a variety of genres, including: flamenco, blues, hard rock and metal. 

 

After moving to Toronto, Canada with his family in the year 2014, Mahdyar decided to pursue a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University where he specialized in flamenco guitar performance. Since then, Mahdyar has been performing, composing and arranging repertoire for his folk-metal band, Rashkan, performing with York University's Balkan ensemble and showcasing his flamenco solo repertoire during York's World Music Week.

 

Mahdyar is known for his flexible, gentle approach to teaching. He is a dynamic educator and performer ready to find the best possible ways for his students to learn, grow and improve in their musical journeys. Mahdyar teaches introductory to advanced guitar. He offers his lessons in English and Farsi.

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KYLE MCALLISTER

Low Brass and Harp Instructor

Kyle is a low brass/ Harpist based in Toronto, Ontario. Enrolled at York University as a Euphonium/Baritone, Kyle was taught by brass teacher David Lum and Professors James MacDonald and Bill Thomas.

 

Kyle currently plays for the 7th Toronto artillery regiment as a brass doubler. While in university Kyle found a newfound love, Harp, and enrolled in lessons under Sharlene Wallace where he received a scholarship/bursary. 

 

Kyle now plays the harp with the Columbus Concert band, private Irish/Canadian Celtic concerts, and for features within the military. Kyle performs Low brass annually for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as part of the 48th Highlanders combined pipes and wind band. He also plays as a Euphonium soloist for the military and as a soundscape artist for many Toronto rap and hip hop artists such as Lost Astral and Kayy Daddy.

 

Kyle studied bass trombone in Toronto within the military circuit and has made a name for himself as a true slide doubler. Kyle has many years of playing experience but also many as a teacher volunteering for his high school and at local community bands. As an instrumental music teacher, Kyle specializes in brass as an art form and as a tool for personal creativity and success. He offers his lessons in English.

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AGUSTIN NICOLAS

Guitar, Piano, Songwriting, Composing and Producing Instructor

Agustin Nicolas is a self-taught, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, performer and educator. Agustin started his musical journey back in his hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2006, he immigrated to Montreal, Canada where his passion for songwriting led him to teach himself how to play different instruments (guitar, piano, bass, percussion, singing).

 

Agustin's goal was to be able to compose more effectively and understand each of the instruments' roles. After having played in many different bands, Agustin decided to take a more professional approach and went on to study modern harmony, music production and the art of singing. Agustin is currently composing, producing and arranging for his new project Gamas which is available on most streaming platforms.

 

Agustin adapts his lessons to the student's diverse needs and learning styles. He teaches pop, folk, bossa nova, jazz and blues and provides exercises to develop the student's technique. Agustin's love and passion for music is reflected in his teaching method which prioritizes both technicality and self-expression. He's known for his patient, creative and effective approach to teaching. He offers his lessons in English, French and Spanish.

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SABA NASSERI

Piano (Classical) and Children/Orff Instructor

Saba is a pianist, Alto recorder player, piano and Orff (children’s music) instructor residing in Toronto, Canada. Saba’s musical journey started with the Orff method in 2007 when she was eight in Pars Music School, Tehran, Iran under supervision of Naser Nazar, and Mehrdad Teymouri.

 

She started professional piano playing at the age of ten. She performed in several concerts in Pars Music school, at the age of eighteen after getting the certificate of Orff-Schulwerk method in teaching little children music, she started instructing little kids there for 9 months besides her own childhood instructors. In 2018 she moved to Canada and started her bachelor’s in psychology at York university.

 

Ever since, she pursued her passion in music and received her RCM grade seven certificate for piano. In the meantime, she also started learning flute. Since September 2020, she joined Balkan Music Ensemble in York University. Currently she is part of the Balkan Ensemble and is a candidate for RCM grade eight in piano. Saba offers her lessons in both English and Farsi. Saba's love for music reflects in her compassionate and dynamic style of teaching.

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ZACH CONTINENZA

Piano and Jazz Methods Instructor

Zachary Continenza is a professional pianist and piano instructor based in Toronto, Ontario. Zach is a graduate of York University's Bachelor of Fine Arts where he specialized in jazz piano performance. Zach started playing the piano when he was five years old. He was classically trained until the age of sixteen when he completed his RCM level seven.

 

During his BFA, Zach studied under various professional musicians, including Mark Eisenman and Richard Whiteman. Zach was earned the Best Jazz Pianist Award of his year in 2018. Zach has a deep passion for music and enjoys sharing it with people around him. He has two years of experience teaching piano. He has also volunteered and worked at summer camps where one of his duties was to arrange and perform musical theatre pieces.

 

Zach enjoys teaching all age groups. His biggest joy as a music teacher is connecting with his students through music. Zach teaches his lessons in English.

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ENZA VOLPE

Saxophone and Piano Instructor

Enza is a classical saxophonist based in Toronto, Ontario. She has a Specialized Honours BFA degree in Music from York University with a focus on classical studies. She has been playing music since she was eight years old and has sixteen years of experience playing piano and ten years of experience playing saxophone.

 

She has been part of the York University Wind Symphony for four years and a member of the Columbus Concert Band. She is an aspiring music educator, currently completing her Bachelor of Education degree at York University. She has experience teaching children from all ages (K-12). 

 

Her goal as an educator is to foster creativity and provide her students with a welcoming and learning environment that allows them to express their creative potential. She enjoys listening to different genres of music including R&B, jazz, pop, and house music. She has also recently developed a love for musical theatre. Enza teaches her lessons in English.

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HENRY WYLIE

Guitar Instructor 

Henry is an up-and-coming musician, guitarist, producer, songwriter and guitar instructor who grew up in the Greater Toronto area. He primarily specializes in the styles of rock and metal. Henry's musical journey started in grade six when he discovered a passion for playing the guitar. 

 

He attended York University’s music program and completed his first year with a focus on jazz guitar after which he decided to pursue his musical interests outside of university. During this time, Henry has been focusing on writing and producing music for his bands Failsafe and Crawford Rose.

 

He has been solidifying his training with Dan Sugarman, a legendary progressive metal guitarist from the American band Ice Nine Kills. Henry is known for his fun, patient and gentle approach to teaching. He is eager to share his love and passion for music with his students. Henry teaches his lessons in English.

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MICHAËL FILION

Drums Instructor 

Originally from Québec, Michael Filion is one of our passionate drum instructors. His musical journey began at the age of eight when he began classical guitar lessons. Michael has studied jazz drumming as the main percussionist for his school’s Symphony Orchestra and has attended Cegep de Saint-Laurent for studies in Music Theory and Performance.

Michael attended York University where he has been taking lessons with Anthony Michelli, where he improves his technical and practical repertoire for university-related groups such as the Jazz Workshop and the Rhythm & Blues Ensemble.

Since the fall of 2019, Michael has worked alongside the York University Gospel Choir. He has also worked alongside motivational percussionist and author, Jeff Salem, as well as several local rock/alternative bands.

 

Michael loves to instruct and motivate musicians with a fun and personalized approach. He continues to expand his musical capabilities by performing for corporate events, facilitating drum circles, and taking part in the polish orchestra known as the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra.