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 conducts for the award-winning North Shore Winds. 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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Ashleigh is a second-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
Wey Jynn Thoo
Wey Jynn started playing the piano in 2007 and has achieved several ABRSM examinations, most recently passing Grade 8 with distinction in 2018. She is currently working towards her diploma exam in piano.
She has been involved in a number of school orchestras and chamber music groups, playing both the piano and violin. In particular, she was a semi-finalist at the NZCT Chamber Music Contest 2018, as part of an eight-hands piano ensemble. As a member of the Rangitoto College Orchestra, she also travelled to Hawaii for the 2017 Pacific Basin Music Festival where the group gained a silver award.
In addition to the piano, she began learning the violin in 2015 and has since passed ABRSM Grade 7. She is also now aiming for an ATCL diploma on the violin.
Wey Jynn believes that music has the ability to connect people of all backgrounds and hopes to spread her love of music through teaching.
Instruments taught: Piano
Chris has played music from a young age, starting out with a classical background playing the violin for six years. After beginning to listen to pop artists, he soon learned to play the guitar and sing. He left high school with the Senior Music Cup. He recently completed his Bachelor of Music majoring in Popular Music at Auckland University, including studying advanced guitar, vocals and performance skills. A central focus of the degree is the craft of song composition and writing, which he is particularly passionate about.
Chris regularly records his own music and performs concerts across Auckland with his band. Having recently finished his Bachelorʼs Degree, Chris seeks to pass on his knowledge and vast experience to others, all while encouraging them to have fun. Having worked with children in the past, he is passionate about fostering potential and growing skill levels of his students, whatever their age.