Ms. Shana Gao DEAN | Director of Academics | Chinese
M.Ed - Shandong Normal University
B.Ed - Qufu Normal University
Ms. Shana Gao has over thirty years of teaching experience. A certified teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers, she received a Bachelor of Education degree from Qufu Normal University and a Masters of Education degree with a Minor in Psychology of Education from Shandong Normal University. After graduation, she started her teaching career at Shandong Normal University, and became one of the youngest associate professors in 1993. While at the university Ms. Gao published extensively in educational journals. Her article “The Inner Characters of Peer Group and Its Influence on Youth’s Socialization” (1989), a translated book Education at a Crossroad (1994), and a co-authored book Research on Sociology of Education (1998) are all still considered valuable resources to the education world. Ms. Gao was honored as the top 10 excellent teachers in 1992 due to her outstanding achievements. After moving to Canada, Ms. Gao did a two-years research program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta and was guest lecturer at the department of East-Asian Studies. To broaden her teaching repertoire, she then applied for the Alberta Teacher’s Certificate and taught at the junior and high-school level in Edmonton public schools. She specializes in applying educational theory in her teaching and focuses on scientific pedagogical methods，taking into consideration students’ psychological development as well as catering to different learning styles. Ms. Gao’s high school Chinese IB curriculum has set the standards for many Edmonton public schools and her students’ consistently high test scores reflect her prowess as a teacher and mentor. Ms. Gao is also an avid amateur mezzo-soprano, basketball, and ping-pong player. Her interests in music, sports, and public-speaking make her teaching very popular and interesting.
Dr. Rosy Ge DIRECTOR | Keyboard Studies | Music History and Literature
D.M.A - University of Kansas
M.M - Indiana University
B.M - Oberlin Conservatory
Described by many as a pianist with enormous potential, Dr. Ge has won numerous prizes and scholarships both locally and internationally. Rosy is also a dedicated teacher and mentor to young musicians. She taught her first lesson at the age of 13, and it continues to be a major part of her career. Besides having a private studio, Dr. Ge has given lectures and masterclasses extensively in China, Canada, and the United States. She held assistant teaching positions in all the schools she attended and is also director International Relations for the United States Music Certificate Examination (USMCE). Full bio
Dr. Mei Lee Voice / Alexander Technique
D.M.A - University of Western Ontario
M.M Vocal Performance and Pedagogy- University of Toronto
B.M - University of Toronto
Soprano Mei Lee is a performing artist, voice teacher, and music educator with a vision. A creative and versatile performer in operas, oratorios, concerts and recitals, Ms. Lee has performed in Canada and abroad with the Canadian Opera Company, Mooredale Concert Series, Taipei Philharmonic Chorus, and Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra among others. In 2010, she founded the C Sharp Trio, performing alongside pianist Eldon Ng and violinist Emily Sun. In addition to her performing career, Mei is equally active in studio as a voice teacher. Under her guidance, many of her students have been accepted into graduate and undergraduate vocal programs, and some have competed at international competitions, including Concours musical international de Montréal. She is also one of the leading authorities in the integration of musical performance and pedagogy with Alexander Technique, an effective mind-body method to improve psychophysical coordination and enhance musical performance. Full bio
Ms. Rena Lu Music Theory/History | Piano
B.A. Honors- McMaster University
With over ten years of teaching experience, Ms. Lu has successfully guided students of all levels through RCM exams. Her strong academic background allows students to gain a deeper understanding of comprehensive materials.
Ms. Xiaoyang Xu Violin
M.M.Ed- Yokohama National University
Violinist Xiaoyang Xu was born into a musical family. She begun her studies with her father, then with renowned Chinese strings pedagogue Yuxia Liu, Youbin Zhao, and professor Jiaji Min. While at Yokohama National University, Ms. Xu's research area was on Early Violin Pedagogy, and many of her students received top prizes in national and international competitions. Besides teaching, Ms. Xu also collaborates with many orchestras. She was the concert master for Tianjin University's Beiyang Symphony Orchestra, and played under the baton of famed conductors such as Peiyu Zhang, Zushan Bian, and Elahiu von Erlenbach. She is currently playing with Chinese Artists Society of Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dr. Mengxi You Voice
D.M.A - Boston University
M.M - Western University
B.M - Shanghai Conservatory
Soprano Mengxi You is currently a doctoral candidate (DMA in Performance) at Boston University studying with Dr. Eustis. She received her prior degrees from Shanghai Conservatory in China and Western University in Canada. She currently became the member of committee in 2019 International Musical Arts Festival Canada. Public performance includes Soprano Solo of Handel’s Messiah in China, Purcell’s King Arthur in Boston, Female Chorus role in The Rape of Lucretia in London, Canada, and a number of opera scenes.
Mengxi won the first place in Lyra New York International Competition in 2017. Recently, she participated as the semi-finalist in Ningbo International Vocal Competition, and was selected to participate in Concours Musical International de Montreal (Art Song division) and Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition. Mengxi also won the first place in 2014 London Music Scholarship Fund Competition in Canada. She was the winner of Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra's 25th Annual Concerto Competition, and performed with Orchestra in the Annual Showcase Concert in 2015. Representing China, she was selected to perform in concerts of XXI Gala des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques in Montreal 2014. Ms. You also had the privilege of singing in a number of master classes by Roger Vignoles, François Le Roux, Dona D. Vaughn, Michelangelo Zurletti and Enza Federica Ferrari. She worked with Grammy award-winner Aaron Sheehan, conductors Martin Pearlman, director Joel Ivany and harpsichordist and organist Peter Sykes, coaches Peter Tiefenbach and John Greer.
Mr. Michael Giroux Guitar / Bass
Guitar Performance Diploma, Humbler College
Music Production Diploma, Trebas Institute of Recording Arts
Having taught Guitar and Theory in various private music schools since 1984, Michael believes in comprehensive music education and his lessons include technical work, ear training, rhythmic training, music theory and recitals. He is also very experienced in RCM exam preparations. He also believes that young children learn better by playing fun and simple games to develop technical and musical skills. Michael strives to teach his students not only how to play, but how to practice so they can work independently in-between lessons. He is happy to teach Beginners, intermediate and advanced students of any ages, sharing his 34 years of experience with casual gigs as well as performing and recording with some local cover/Tribute Bands.
What sets Michael apart, is his versatility on his main instrument, the guitar. He is equally at ease gliding over Classical and Jazz finger-style pieces or playing any other style of music such as Progressive and Classic Rock, Jazz, Fusion Jazz, Blues, Country and Pop.
Ms. Sandy Zhang Piano | Children's Choir
M.M Piano Performance and Pedagoy- JIangxi Normal University
B.M - Jiangxi Normal University
RCM registered teacher Sandy Zhang has over a decade of teaching experience. Specializing in beginner-intermediate levels, she is very sensitive to the students' emotions and needs. Ms. Zhang help students overcome the various stages and obstacles of music learning by providing them with a positive and relaxing atmosphere.
Ms. Zhang is also experienced in leading children's choirs. She is the Director of Musical Activities at Oakville Grace Alliance Church and successfully conducted many concerts. Besides being a dedicated teacher, Ms. Zhang is also the winner of many competitions and awards, including the gold prize and best teacher award at 9th Hong Kong International Youth Art Festival (2014), "Distinguished Teacher" at the Poland Prima Vista Quartet Festival (2015), and the gold prize in the youth group at the 7th Hong Kong International Piano Competition (2016).
Dr. Teng Fu (Masterclass Only) Piano
D.M.A - University of Kansas
M.M - Mannes School of Music - The New School
B.M - Mannes School fo Music - The New School
An avid solo recitalist and chamber musician, Chinese pianist Teng Fu began his musical journey at the age of six. At the Wuhan Conservatory he had the opportunity to study with the late Lazar Berman and after he auditioned at the Central Conservatory with top honors, Mr. Fu has participated and won many national and international competitions. Aside from his performance career, Teng Fu is also invested in passing down his musical knowledge to others. He taught private piano lessons to elite/ high-profile clients in New York City and gave numerous lecture recitals both in and out of the United States. He also taught masterclasses to pre-college level students and is presently mentoring piano performance majors at the University of Kansas. Mr. Fu was asked to be the Associate Editorial Web Content Coordinator for Clavier Companion Magazine. He is also the executive artist for United States Music Certification Exams. His recordings of all the levels in the collection are being used as educational models in China and the United States. Full bio
Dr. Rachel Alves Pereira (Masterclass Only) Piano
D.M.A - University of Kansas
M.M - University of Kansas
B.M - University of Kansas
A native of Curitiba, Brazil, but raised in the panhandle of northern Idaho, Brazilian-American Pianist, Dr. Rachel Alves Pereira, brings a unique perspective to her performances. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, Dr. Pereira has given numerous masterclasses and lectures throughout the United States. Her students have won top prizes at regional and state competitions. She is also an avid collaborator and solo performer and has performed extensively with vocalists and instrumentalists in recital. Full bio
Dr. Yuta Sugano (Masterclass Only) Piano
D.M.A - University of Kansas
M.M - University of Michigan
B.M - Oberlin Conservatory
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Yuta Sugano started playing the piano at the age of five. He made his debut as a soloist with the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra when he was eleven. After being awarded numerous prizes in various competitions in Japan, Yuta moved to the United States to further his studies. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber collaborator in numerous countries such as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, United States, and others. Yuta has served as the soloist and speaker every summer since 2009 at the C. F. Theodore Steinway Technical Academy held at the Oberlin Conservatory. His CD recording “Romanticism in 1828” has been published by Rose Planet label in Japan, and has been reviewed favorably by several media outlets. Full bio
Mr. Curtis Struthers English | Finance | Business | Accounting
Mr. Struthers is an energetic educator who is passionate about helping his students learn and grow. His patience and ability to explain complicated concepts from multiple perspectives are great teaching tools for a broad range of students with various learning styles and backgrounds. When he is not working, he enjoys co-hosting cultural events within the Chinese community.
Mr. Struthers is looking forward to meeting his next new students and:
Providing an enjoyable educational experience
Helping with the understanding of course content
Applying their newly acquired knowledge
Mr. Afshin Effati Cello | Orff Method
Mr. Effati has over a decade of experience in teaching cello in all levels and violin/viola from beginner to intermediate level. He specializes in both group and private lessons, providing comprehensive music instruction to students and getting them ready for recitals, examinations, and community events. Mr. Effati published a lesson book called Cello Riffing, an advanced method that uses jazz/rock/blues riffs to strengthen left-hand technique. He also developed his own creative and interesting method for teaching young children, and as a certified Orff instructor, he loves working with children and it is his mission to introduce music making in a fun, engaging way that all children would enjoy. Besides teaching, Mr. Afshin is also an accomplished composer and arranger. "Childhood Desires" is a children's album dedicated to simplify some of his favourite rock/metal songs by rearranging them into minimalistic and relaxing pieces using Orff instruments. He pushed this project a step forward, and compile a book called Childish Minimals. There are no key signatures in any of the songs so that kids could easily play and enjoy them.