Director- M.Mus, LRSM, LTCL
Leah has over 15 years experience teaching flute, piano and music theory at all levels with high standards of excellence. In addition to private teaching, she teaches at Westlake Boys High School and conducts the award-winning North Shore Youth Symphonic Wind Band. Leah uses a practical, down‐to‐earth approach to teaching and learning, and she encourages a high level of personal responsibility in her students. Her students have been accepted to study at Auckland University, Victoria University (Wellington), Waikato University, Melbourne University and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Leah studied at The University of Auckland, completing a Masters degree in Flute performance under Luca Manghi in 2014. She has performed with many orchestras as a freelance artist and engages regularly as a session musician and exam accompanist.
She is also an active composer and arranger, receiving several commissions for orchestral work and film and is the author of the popular Marimba Mix series.
B.Mus (Hons), DipABRSM
Natasha has been playing the bassoon for 14 years and recently graduated from the University of Auckland with an honours degree in performance music.
Throughout her years of study Natasha has had the opportunity to do some part-time relief teaching as well as taking on a senior/tutoring role in several musical groups, some of which include the National Youth Symphonic Winds and the North Shore Youth Symphonic Wind Band. Natasha has also recently completed a four-year apprenticeship as a brass and woodwind instrument repair technician and is currently a full time technician at ABI Music.
In addition to her studies and work with ABI Music, Natasha has a wide range of orchestral and ensemble experience. She has played in temporary positions with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and Hamilton’s Opus Orchestra, as well as being a regular performer with Orchestras such as the Wairua Symphonietta, Auckland Youth Orchestra and the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.
Natasha is excited to be a member of Scherzo, and is looking forward to introducing the many challenges and rewards of the bassoon to her students.
Instruments taught: Bassoon
Miyo started her music lessons on violin and piano from an early age in Dunedin. Growing up in Dunedin she had many opportunities to participate in musical activities, such as playing in the Dunedin Youth Orchestra from the age of 11, playing in musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Super Star, and playing Handel’s Messiah annually.
The violin became serious when she commenced her tertiary studies at Otago University under Kevin Lefohn. This opened the door to many other performing opportunities such as playing 1st violin in the National Youth Orchestra for many years and working with the Dunedin Sinfonia. This is where Miyo’s love for orchestral music really began and continued to grow in Wellington whilst studying under Andrew Thomson, the Principal Second Violin of NZSO.
Upon the completion of her Honours Degree in Performance Violin, Miyo began her successful freelance career, regularly touring and recording with the NZSO, Orchestra Wellington, Christchurch Symphony and Dunedin Sinfonia. Highlights in Miyo’s music career includes travelling to Beijing in 2008 with the NZSO and travelling to Japan in 2013 with the Dunedin Sinfonia. Miyo continues her passion for orchestral music today, freelancing with the APO, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Opus Orchestra, Manukau Symphony Orchestra, Hawkes Bay Orchestra, and is a regular in the televised Coca Cola Christmas in the Park.
As well as the above, Miyo immensely enjoys teaching. She actively participates in tutoring at Saint Kentigern College, Sancta Maria College, Papatoetoe East Primary, Papatoetoe Central Primary, and also teaches privately from home. Miyo believes that teaching violin and sharing her specialised skill to others is precious and a privilege, and you learn something new every day, even when you are the teacher!
Instruments taught: Violin
B.Mus, PGDip (Mus)
Seth has always had an affinity for drumming. He sought to learn the instrument from a young age, and was ecstatic upon receiving his first drum set at age 11. Since then, he has spent many hours in the practice room, and has gained experience in a diverse range of settings. He studied contemporary music at Vision College in Hamilton, where he also received guitar tuition and achieved Rockschool Grade 8 guitar. After completing the degree in 2014, he went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Music at the University of Otago. During this period, he developed a strong interest in jazz and jazz-fusion, which led him to undertake more study at the University of Auckland.
In addition to performing, Seth also has experience teaching both guitar and drums to primary, intermediate, and high-school students. He is passionate about learning, and views teaching as an opportunity to enable others to develop a love for music and to gain valuable life-skills as well as musical proficiency.
Hye-Won Suh is a South Korean-born flutist of New Zealand. She gained her Master of Music degree from the University of Auckland under the tutelage of Professor Uwe Grodd before she moved to Boston to study a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music with Ms. Elizabeth Rowe (Principal Flute- Boston Symphony Orchestra).
Hye-Won has gained success in competitions including winning the KBB New Zealand Woodwind Competition, the Tauranga Performing Arts Competition, and was the youngest of four finalists at the Australian Flute Competition held in Canberra. She was the runner-up in the University of Auckland Concerto Gala Competition 2014, performing the Ibert Flute Concerto with the University of Auckland Orchestra in the Auckland Town Hall. Hye-Won was a recipient of the Alex Lindsay Award and was a fellowship student of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with Principal Flutist, Bridget Douglas. She has performed in masterclasses with internationally acclaimed flutists including Marina Piccinini, Amy Porter, Eric Lamb, Bart Feller, Michel Bellavance, Lisa-Maree Amos, Peter Sheridan, and Robert Aitken. She has been principal flute of the Auckland Youth Orchestra, the University of Auckland Orchestra, St. Matthews Orchestra, the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Philharmonia.
During her study at the University of Auckland, Hye-Won received numerous scholarships including the Anne Bellam Scholarship, John Baros Scholarship, and the Vice Chancellor’s Arts Support Fund from the University of Auckland to assist her study. She was also the recipient of the AIMES Music Award in 2014 which enabled her to travel around United States for her auditions.
Hye-Won has been teaching for over a decade and her students have gained distinctions in both ABRSM and Trinity Grade exams in flute and theory. She loves working with young students and is a passionate teacher in both solo and ensemble playing.
Instruments taught: Flute
Midway through a Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Auckland, Jarrod has always had an enthusiasm for creativity and discovery inside the world of music. After completing his Grade 7 saxophone (Trinity) and Grade 8 piano (ABRSM) during high school, Jarrod felt his musical calling come from within the art of composition, writing pieces for various instruments and ensembles. However, he is still a keen performer, valuing the importance of playing challenging music to better one’s musicality. He is also currently playing alto saxophone for the North Shore Youth Symphonic Wind Band.
Jarrod is eager to help students unlock their musical potential and to assist them with engaging in and enjoying whatever musical activity they have an interest in.
Outside of music, Jarrod is also an avid mathematician, studying a BSc in mathematics alongside his music Bachelors.
Marika started learning the violin at the age of 4 and has been passionate about music ever since. She has been part of many performance opportunities, including touring with her family band to the USA, parts of Europe, Australia, and Fiji. She has also been part of live performances with Marian Burns and enjoys a playing a variety of styles including classical, folk and Irish music.
She has a particular love for children and has had experience teaching children of various ages. She is currently at Auckland University studying her Bachelors in Violin Performance and has also recently gained her ATCL Diploma in Violin.
Instruments taught: Violin
Rebecca has been playing the flute for over twelve years, and the oboe for over ten. She has recently graduated from the University of Auckland with conjoint degrees in Flute Performance, with an Arts degree in Sociology. She attained her DipABRSM Diploma in Flute Performance and Grade 8 Oboe from Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in 2012.
In the last few years, Rebecca has performed as the Principal Oboist for the Wairau Symphonietta, Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra, Waikato University Chamber Orchestra, and St Matthews Chamber Orchestra, as well as an oboist and flautist for Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, University of Auckland Orchestra, and the Handel Consort and Quire.
Rebecca has a wide range of teaching experience, teaching both oboe and flute at Auckland Normal Intermediate, St Kentigern College, Sacred Heart College, Epsom Girls Grammar School, and St Mary’s College over the last few years. Rebecca loves teaching music, and hopes she can encourage others to love music as well.
Jennie began her music career growing up in Auckland, playing her cello regularly in several youth orchestras, and began performing professionally in musical theatre, string quartets and as a soloist while she was still at school. Travelling overseas, she continued performing regularly in orchestras in England and France, developing her enthusiasm for a wide variety of musical styles and traditions.
Having had over 10 years teaching experience she enjoys exploring different teaching styles and appreciates the importance of developing the personal and emotional side of the art form as well as the technique. During her travels she spent time teaching cello in France and in Costa Rica, both places where the musical tradition and expectations are quite different, this along with some time spent teaching students with special needs, has given her a wide range of tools to draw on to get the best out of her students.
Currently Jennie is performing regularly as a freelance cellist, a member of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, she also plays on session recordings, is an occasional member of local indie bands, and performs in and writes theatrical performances. At the same time she is very passionate about teaching students of all ages, currently teaching at Papatoetoe South Primary, Papatoetoe Intermediate and has a number of private students she teaches from her studio in Mt Eden.
Her approach encourages students to develop an enthusiasm for playing through multiple mediums, musical appreciation, interpretation and high technical standards.
Instruments taught: Cello
Elizabeth Mandeno is a 2017 Freemasons NZ Opera Artist. She has a BMus (Hons) in Classical Voice Performance with First Class Honours and a BA in Italian language and literature from the University of Auckland. In 2013-14, she was a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with NZ Opera, where she understudied mainstage roles as well as touring schools and mentoring young singers as part of the company’s education programme.
In 2015-16 she studied at the Wales International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile, receiving a MA (Distinction) in Advanced Vocal Studies. Elizabeth has extensive experience in both stage and concert performance, and regularly performs as a soloist with national and local opera companies, choirs and orchestras.
Instruments taught: Voice
David began his studies on trombone in 2012 at Takapuna Grammar School. He is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance on Trombone and a Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of Auckland.
David is an active performer and teacher in Auckland. He currently teaches brass at Long Bay College and Dilworth School and has previously taught at Sacred Heart College, Birkenhead Music Centre and Howick Music School. As well as teaching, David also has experience in mentoring/conducting musical ensembles such as the North Shore Concert Band and the Sacred Heart College Orchestra.
Alongside his avid teaching, David also performs in a multitude of different groups and orchestras around Auckland and has performed with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra. He has also been involved with national ensembles, playing Principal Trombone for the New Zealand Youth Brass Ensemble and 2nd Trombone with the National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand. David is also involved with the APO Young Achievers Programme and often performs for APO’s Crescendo Meetings and APO’s Summer in the Square.
David is ready and excited to introduce the wonderful world of the trombone to anyone keen to take it on.
Instruments taught: Trombone
Blake began his music career at a young age, through Kids Music Company and learning piano and guitar from age seven. Having pursued both instruments, Blake has completed grades 1-8 in ABRSM Classical Piano, under Alex Ward and Leah Munroe. In 2018, Blake is beginning a conjoint Bachelor of Engineering and Music, majoring in composition, at the University of Auckland.
Along with piano, Blake also has vast singing experience, having sung in Westlake’s award-winning “Choralation” choir for four years and currently in the Auckland Chamber Choir, under the baton of Karen Grylls. He also has a passion for barbershop music and sings in a cappella group “CHORD5,” who were Grand Finalists in TVNZ’s “The Naked Choir” program in 2017. Blake also achieved his ABRSM Grade 7 Classical Voice certificate with distinction in 2017.
Currently, Blake is active as a performer, in a wide variety of contexts, as a soloist, and in choirs and smaller vocal ensembles, while composing and arranging in his free time. He is passionate about sharing his love for music and inspiring others to follow suit!
Instruments taught: Piano
Kent Isomura holds a Master of Music with First Class Honours in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland under the guidance of Stephen De Pledge.
Kent has been a prize winner in numerous competitions including the prestigious Auckland Gala Concerto Competition (3rd Prize), Christchurch National Concerto Competition 2015 (2nd Prize), 2013 (3rd Prize), and Semi Finalist in the Malta International Music Competition.
As a collaborative pianist, Kent has performed with world renowned artists such as Alexander Gebert (Germany) and Martin Rummel (Austria). Kent Performed the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata with cellist Alexander Gebert (Prof. at Hochschule für Musik Detmold) at the International Akaroa Music Festival. In 2011, Kent collaborated with Cellist Martin Rummel, performing in the ‘Sofia Gubaidulina Festival’ which they received an outstanding review for their performance of Shostakovich’s Sonata in D minor. Kent collaborated once again with Martin Rummel for two occasions in 2013, in the Popper Centenary Concert and The University of Auckland Fermata Series performing some of the unexplored works of David Popper.
In 2015, Kent was chosen as one of four pianists to participate for the inaugural collaborative piano fellowship for the prestigious Heifetz International Music Institute in United States. Kent Received coachings from world renowned artists such as Timothy Eddy (Juilliard School/Orion String Quartet), Atar Arad (Indiana University Violist), Steven Doane (Eastman School of Music Professor of Cello), Hagai Shaham (Tel Aviv University), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson String Quartet Violist), Patinka Kopec and Nobuko Imai.
Kent has had concerto appearances with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, Kent along with his brother/violinist Shauno (together known as the Isomura Brothers) embarked on a national concert tour with a special instrument the 'Tsunami Violin', which was made in remembrance of the deceased and hopes for the survivors of the 2011 Japan Tsunami & Earthquake. The concert at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber was performed to a full house audience. Isomura Brothers had the privilege to tour with this special instrument for the first time in New Zealand.
Kent is currently the staff piano accompanist at the University of Auckland School of Music.
Instruments taught: Piano
Benjamin has been playing the trumpet since 2009 and is now in his first year at Auckland University studying a Bachelor Of Music in Classical Performance on the trumpet. He is currently studying under Huw Dann (principal trumpet, APO) and has participated in masterclasses and tutoring with many other well respected musicians.
Having been brought up in a musical family, Benjamin has always been passionate about sharing his musical knowledge and love of music with new players. He presently has three years experience of private teaching.
Benjamin has vast experience playing in musical ensembles, being a key member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra and the New Zealand Youth Brass Ensemble (2015-2017) and he has performed with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra. He has also played lead trumpet in multiple successful chamber music groups progressing to the Regional Finals of the NZ Secondary Schools Chamber Competition. Orchestra tours overseas have included China and Europe.
Benjamin was a scholarship recipient for the National Pettman Junior Academy for 2016 and 2017. He hopes to become a professional trumpet player through his dedication and study.
Instruments taught: Trumpet
MA, PGAD, LRAM
A native of Japan, Violinist; Yuhka Nagai graduated in 2014 with an MA in Performance whilst under the tutorship of Professor Mayumi Fujikawa at the Royal Academy of Music, London where she also achieved an LRAM teaching qualification.
In 2016 she gained a Postgraduate Artists Diploma in Performance from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance also in London. She was the recipient of Violet Wright (2014/15) and Alan Niekirk (2015/16) scholarships and completed an Independent Study Programme where she took music teaching study classes.
Earlier, in Japan she completed a MA Music degree (2010) from the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo and obtained a teaching qualification that permitted her to pursue her passion for teaching at local high schools as a music teacher when she was a master student.
During the period from 2007 to 2010, Yuhka was selected as leader of the Musashino Academia Symphony Orchestra. She was also an active solo and chamber musician and in 2010 at the 1st Memorial Tokyo Art Chamber Music Competition, she was a member of the Piano Quartet; “Blüte,” that won third prize.
In London, Yuhka had been a member of a variety of chamber music ensembles. She was violinist in the Kodo String Quartet that was selected for mentorship under the Caducci and Wihan String Quartets. This mentorship led to their selection for participate in the Richard Carne Intercollegiate String Quartet Competition 2015.
Yuhka learnt different approaches to improving musical performance/ teaching through mental training with Dr. Shuichi Tsuji and the Alexander Technique with John Crawford.
Followed on from her studies in London, Yuhka moved to New Zealand in July 2017 where she has completed Manchester fellowship program with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) and has continued working with the APO as a contractor.
She has performed at the Akaroa Music Festival in 2018 and since then she has been teaching at the Pettman National Junior Academy at the University of Auckland. Yuhka is also interested in performing early music and has been studying with Miranda Hutton from NZBarok.
She also studied Viola for a year with Richard Crabtree in London which led her to play with Devonport Chamber Orchestra as a violist and teaches both violin and viola.
Wey Ern Thoo
Wey Ern has been playing the piano since 2004, gaining multiple exam certifications, notably ABRSM Grade 8 in 2016.
Throughout her many years of involvement in music, she has been a part of several bands and other music groups, including orchestras, chamber groups and choirs. She was also a part of Rangitoto College's production of Beauty and the Beast in 2016, playing the flute and strategies parts in the show band identical to the Broadway version.
Besides piano, she has learned various other instruments including recorder, guitar, and flute, the latter of which she has also achieved ABRSM Grade 8 in. She is planning on obtaining a diploma in flute in the foreseeable future.
She has had a multitude of music teachers from her many years of lessons, meaning she has gained a wide variety of different strategies on how to approach difficult passages in music, and different ways to add musicality to pieces.
She has been also been a part of peer support and mentoring programmes with younger people, demonstrating empathy whilst building and developing a good rapport with them. Wey Ern believes that music is a fundamental skill and that it is a universal form of communication for all people.
Instruments taught: Piano
Yvonne started learning music at the age of 6 by just playing the piano back in Taiwan. When moving here she continued with her music, and also adding violin to her list. From middle school is when she found that she really loved playing the clarinet and has been playing for 6 years, achieving a Grade 8 distinction for ABRSM.
She's in her last year of high school, and is attending Rangitoto College. She participates in bands and orchestras held by the school and has earned both gold and silver at KBB. In 2017, Rangitoto Concert Band travelled to Hawaii for the Pacific Basin Music Festival and earned a silver.
She really loves the clarinet and would love to be able to share her passion of music to others so that they can also feel the joy of being able to make music at their fingertips.
Instruments taught: Clarinet
Jonathan has been passionate about music from a young age. He began learning piano as a child, and soon found himself expanding his musical horizons by teaching himself to play the acoustic, electric, and bass guitar. He is currently in his third year of study at Auckland University, where he is finishing a Bachelor of Music in Popular Music and Performance, including advanced tuition in both guitar and voice training. Aside from study, Jonathan has had extensive experience in public performance and regularly plays in concerts with two Auckland-based bands, as well as additional performances with fellow music students.
Jonathan sees music as a vital and rewarding form of artistic expression, as well as a medium through which to learn perseverance and collaboration. He is keen to share this passion for music with young people and sees teaching as an opportunity to allow students to develop their musical abilities and to fully appreciate music in all its forms.
Instruments taught: Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele
Felicity has over 15 years experience teaching piano, oboe, clarinet, and recorder. Growing up in a musical family, music has always been a part of her life and Felicity continues to enjoy sharing her love of music with the students she now teaches of various ages and stages. Felicity has been teaching the oboe, clarinet, recorder, and piano privately and at various schools around Auckland including St Kentigern College, Mt Albert Grammar, Westminster Christian School, and Milford Primary School. Felicity has had a number of students receive distinctions for their music exams and is committed to helping her students in their overall development as a musician.
Felicity studied at the University of Auckland, completing her Masters of Music in performance oboe, under Martin Lee in 2018. She received her ATCL diploma in Piano performance in 2007. She has performed as a freelance oboist with many orchestras around New Zealand including the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Opus Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra as well as various smaller groups. She continues to maintain a busy performance schedule with different groups around the Auckland region and beyond as well as accompanying her students for their exams.
Ashleigh is a first-year music student at the University of Waikato, studying classical flute performance. She has several years of experience teaching varying ages of children in both private and group settings. Ashleigh began flute lessons at 10 years old and has loved music ever since. Since then, she has been involved with many different musical ensembles, including orchestras, chamber groups and wind bands, as well as playing flute for several musical theatre productions. In 2018, Ashleigh won the NZCBA soloist competition, and passed her ABRSM grade 8 flute exam with distinction.
Ashleigh believes that musical education is an essential part of development and is excited to share her love of music with aspiring players as she introduces the flute to her students.
Instruments taught: Flute
Music has always held a special place in Euan’s life, coming from a musical family and having attended music tuition from preschool age. He has been playing the piano for 12 years and is currently studying his first year of a classical piano performance degree under Katherine Austin at the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music. He gained his Trinity ATCL performance Diploma with Distinction in January 2018 and received an A grade in the Waikato University Unistart performance paper he took in year 13.
Euan enjoys performance and spreading music in the community. He takes any opportunity for solo performance and immerses himself in the various orchestras and musical ensembles in and around Hamilton, playing not only the piano, but also the oboe and clarinet. He also enjoys taking the opportunity to conduct these ensembles.
Having lived and breathed music for most of his life, Euan is keen to share with others the wonderful joy that music brings through his teaching.
Instruments taught: Piano