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Guitar/Bass Instructors

Erik Nielsen

Erik has a keen interest in recording/engineering and has brought his over 10 years of performance experience forward to enhance his teaching for the past 8 years.  Erik’s main goal is to ensure that he keeps his lessons fun while he instructs and engages a roster of committed students from all age groups.

Matthew Martin

Matthew began playing the electric guitar and bass at the age of 15 after falling in love with rock and metal music.  After graduating high school he studied classical guitar at Western University, achieving degrees in both music and education. Since completing university, Matthew has continued to seek new challenges, studying flamenco guitar intensively in Seville, Spain in the summer and forming the acoustic folk/rock band Trusty Fox as lead singer/songwriter and guitarist.

 Andy Cloutier

Born in Toronto, Andy Cloutier began musical studies on the guitar at the age of 5. After many years of study and performing, he entered the University of Western Ontario, where he completed a bachelor of music degree, with honours specialization in music theory and composition. He has played in masterclasses and studied with many world renowned guitarists, including Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, David Russell, Roland Dyens, the Assad brothers, and many more. He currently teaches young musicians in the London area, and is Organist and music director at St. Anne’s Parish in St. Thomas, Ontario.

Matt Shelvock

Matt Shelvock (BA, MA) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Western University and a professional session musician. His research on guitar equipment, audio mastering, and mixing can be found in journals and books as diverse as Innovation Music (2013) and Journal on the Art of Record Production.

Professionally, Matt has worked as a session guitarist for nearly a decade with credits including Juno winner Skip Prokop (Lighthouse, The Paupers, Janis Joplin, Peter Paul Mary, Carlos Santana) and a variety of Juno and Grammy-winning personnel in Nashville, TN. He has also been privileged to work under Josh Leo (Jimmy Buffet, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Alabama, Paul Brandt) as a Music Director for Nashville recording artist Morgan Tobias. In 2010, Matt was given the honour of re-recording a number of Lighthouse hits with Skip Prokop for his album Smoothside.

Matt has been teaching guitar to students of all ages and levels in London, ON for 12 years. Many of his current and former students can be found gigging around London, touring with performance groups, or can be heard on the radio.

Peter Karle

Armed with an eclectic taste in music and the experience to match,Peter Karle is excited to teach all styles that come his way.  Throughout his undergraduate degree at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, Peter actively sought out diverse musical projects to hone his craft as a musician.  Along with private classical guitar with Robert Kubica, Peter served as guitarist and rhythm section leader with the Western University Jazz Ensemble.  Peter has also sought out conducting opportunities outside of the faculty to continue his spirit for giving music. Peter served at the 2014-25 Western Chamber Ensemble (orchestra division) as director under the tutelage of Alain Trudel.  He also served as producer/ music director/conductor for Theatre Western’s Xanadu(2013) and Rent(2014) and Into the Woods(2015).  Peter is currently performing as a leader/sideman  and session player with various session groups around London.

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Drum Instructors


 Brian McHugh

Brian McHugh is a graduate of The Percussion Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California, and The University of Western Ontario. Brian has maintained a busy recording and performing schedule over the years touring through Canada, U.S.A., Europe, and the Caribbean backing a variety of artists in many different styles. These artists include Fritz McIntyre (formerly of Simply Red), R&B great Grant Smith, Alan Frew (formerly of Glass Tiger), and many others. Brian is currently performing dates with his 8 piece band “Hollywood”.


Matt Varey 

Matt Varey is currently a session player , who is continuously meeting, performing and recording with various artists. His approach to teaching is that the student has to enjoy what they’re doing with the instrument , work on what is effective in many different musical situations and learn the importance of networking for any potential musical career. He has studied under the tutelage of Brian McHugh (PIT,UWO) and is an active drummer in South Western Ontario.

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Piano Instructors

Sarah Pilat

Sarah is a Registered Music Teacher with ARCT diplomas in piano performance and teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She has been teaching piano and theory at her studio in Sarnia for 12 years and is currently the Vice President of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association Sarnia Branch.  Sarah is also an active accompanist in Sarnia and London.  Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario.

 Evan Berndt

Growing up in Vernon, British Columbia Evan completed his Grade 10 music certificate in 2009, and was awarded the highest mark in the region. He has also completed an ARCT in Piano Performance. Evan attended the B.C. provincial piano competition in 2006 where he placed runner-up in the junior category and in 2007 was chosen to compete in a bracket older than his own and achieved runner-up in the Canadian Music category. Evan was also awarded Most Promising Performer in regional competition from the Kelowna Kiwanis Music festival; which spanned all entries of performance including all instrumentalists, dancers, singers, etc. As a result, Evan was interviewed and performed on Shaw Cable t.v and was chosen to be a featured performer for various events in the region. Upon graduating high-school Evan received the Welsh Society Music Scholarship, the Performing Arts Centre Scholarship and accepted the Daria Telizyn entrance scholarship for exemplary performance talent and promise, awarded tohim by Western University in London, Ontario. While at Western University Evan won the faculty of music’s composition competition in the popular-music category and Western’s Battle of the Bands. Under the tutelage of Gwen Beamish Evan graduated with Distinction from the Bachelor of Music Honours Theory and Composition degree program.

Ashley Narang

Ashley Narang received her Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance in 2015 from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied with Dr. Yin Zheng. Currently, Ashley is studying with Stephan Sylvestre, pursing her Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature at Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music. She has performed at the W.E Singleton Center, James W. Black Music Center, Von Kuster Hall, Paul Davenport Theatre, and Festival Academy Hall in, Vols am Schlern, Italy. Apart from performing, she holds a strong passion for teaching and accompanying. Upon graduation, she looks forward to continuing her studies by pursing a Doctoral of Arts Degree. 


Jennifer McIntyre 

Jennifer McIntyre is an ARCT level classical Piano Major at the University of Western Ontario. She is currently completing the collaborative element of her Bachelor of Music studying Music Recording Arts at Fanshawe College. She has a wide variety of solo and ensemble experience including being the pianist in the Western University Jazz Ensemble under Dr. Kevin Watson, performing as the pianist in the Jack Richardson Music Awards Jazz Ensemble in front of hundreds of musicians, being a part of the Chamber Performance Program under Barry Usher in a jazz combo that actively gigs around London, and accompanying a glee club and University of Toronto jazz vocalist, Alex Samaras at the National Music Camp of Canada. She continues to study with Professor James Hibbard performing and crafting classical works from composers such as Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Kuzmenko and many others. She also actively studies jazz piano with Glenn Parsons arranging tunes by Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and many others. She has taught at a variety of schools around London specializing in RCM classical training and jazz and blues piano. Jennifer is also a highly adept guitarist having studied with Humber College Graduate Aaron Bales for 8 years and York University Jazz Professor Lorne Lofsky.

Ebony Pasquarelli

Ebony Pasquarelli started teaching at the academy in September and is thrilled to be working in Music Education. In April 2014, she completed her Bachelor of Music with Honours in Education from Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music having been a piano major under the tutelage of Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich. In May 2015, Ebony attended York University’s Bachelor of Education program in the Intermediate/Senior division at the Catholic Education Centre. While she is technically a certified Music and Science teacher, Ebony still likes to sing and dance and pretend to be a princess; seriously. She is works as a Princess Performer doing birthday parties for children part-time. This job caters magically to her love of singing and musical theatre. Apart from the piano, she also played trumpet and saxophone in the band in high school, and performed in Grease the Musical, and Jekyll and Hyde the Musical throughout her undergraduate degrees. Ebony is incredibly passionate about education, and feels that music is a wonderfully creative vehicle for self-discovery.

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Strings Instructors




 Julijana Tomicevic

Playing the violin for 18 years, Julijana has an active private studio of students ages 4 and up. She also assists at the El Sistema After School Music Program where she teaches elementary school children violin technique, posture, and music theory.  Julijana instructs and supports children with special needs and finds great joy and passion in doing so.    She has been a proud member of the London Youth Symphony (LYS) and is a current member of the London Community Orchestra (LCO) .

 Emilie Nikota

After completing her English Literature degree, Emilie Nikota decided to return to her true passion: Violin. She graduated from both esteemed music programs at Catholic Central Highschool as the principal violinist for the Senior and Chamber Orchestra (Note: She also took a leadership role in the Senior and Chamber Orchestra while a junior in Highschool, and also won the Senior Chamber award at the time), at the same time she completed Forest City Talent Education that trained through level 10 using the Suzuki method, while winning gold on multiple occasions during Kiwanis music festival with the program. Emilie loves teaching ages 5+, and would be happy to give you or your child the best musical experience possible as she furthers her own musical expertise!

Stephan Maag

Stephan Maag holds a bachelor of music in cello from the University of Western Ontario . He has been playing cello since the age of fifteen when he began studying privately. Since then, Stephan has worked with some of Canada ‘s most recognized cellists. He has been teaching cello lessons for several years to students of all ages and skill levels. He also plays piano, guitar, bass, and trumpet and enjoys playing and listening to all genres of music.

Selene Chalastra

Selene is an active Royal Conservatory of Music classically trained violinist from Toronto, Ontario.  She has been playing violin for 15 years along with study in the disciplines of piano, guitar, ukulele, saxophone and voice .  Selene has been an inspirational teacher in the London area for the past 3 years and continues her private and string ensemble work with all age groups at the Academy of Music.

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Voice Instructors

Holly Langohr

Originally from Waterloo, Holly Langohr recently graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelors Degree in Honours Music specializing in voice performance.   Complimenting her studies, Holly has attended an intensive vocal program at the Orford Arts Centre in Orford Quebec.  Holly is the musical director for the Ingersoll Choral Society and a musical director at St. Michael’s Church in London.  She enjoys interacting with music lovers of all ages while generating a positive interest in music and focusing on the improvement of vocal and piano technique.

Karianne Pasma

Soprano Karianne Pasma attained a Master of Music in Literature and Performance at the University of Western Ontario, where she studied with Patricia Green and Jackie Short.  Karianne has performed in several public master classes including working with well known Canadian soprano, Wendy Nielsen.  Most recently Karianne sang with London Pro Musica and Orchestra London as the soprano soloist in the Bach Magnificat.  She has also performed the role of Angelica in Suor Angelica with Opera NUOVA, and the Sandman in UWOpera’s production of Too Many Sopranos, among other roles with Opera NUOVA and UWOpera.


Rachel Litt
Rachael recently graduated from Western University with a bachelors degree in music with honors in vocal performance. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in music education from Western University. Complimenting her studies, Rachael has attended the Center of Opera Studies (COSI) program in Sulmona, Italy, as well as taken part in the performances of several operas including Monteverdi’s L’incornazione de Poppea and Verdi’s Falstaff. Rachael is a certified Kindermusik teacher. She is passionate about music education and enjoys making music with people of all ages.

Meghan Hopkins

Meghan Hopkins is pursuing a Masters of Music Education at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University under the tutelage of Jenny Such. Meghan is passionate about music education with a focus on inclusion for all students. She has done research with children with learning disabilities including children with Tourette’s, ADHD and Autism. 

Also passionate about performance, her opera roles include Zita in Gianni Schicchi,  Mrs.Ott in Susannah and chorus in Falstaff. As an active member in the teaching community, she is an instructor of voice and piano, training students for RCM exams, original kids theatre auditions and Kiwanis Festival. Meghan has also completed her Grade 10 voice examination and is currently working towards her ARCT examination.

She has participated in several local and provincial competitions including National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and Kiwanis Music Festival. She placed first in the Kiwanis Female Vocal Solo Competition and third in the Kiwanis Provincial Competition. Meghan is also the recipient of Western University’s Hymn Society Music Award for her academic excellence and involvement in church music, and the Herman Smith Award for academic achievement.

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Wind Instructors

Bill Skidmore

Bill founded the London Jazz Orchestra in 1988.  He has been active with the Fanshawe Community Orchestra, the Encore Concert Band, and the Plumbing Factory Brass Band and is the co-founder of the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra.  Bill has been teaching for over 15 years and is currently involved in numerous jazz ensembles in the London area.

Karyn McLagan 

Karyn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Western University with a focus on Music Education, where she studied clarinet with Marie Johnson, and Dr. Jana Starling. During her time at Western, Karyn performed with Western University’s Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, and London’s own Encore…The Concert Band. Karyn has performed in master-classes for the following: Julian Bliss, Anne Watson, Wesley Ferreira, and Robert Riseling.

Following the completion of her music degree, Karyn returned to Western to complete a Bachelor’s of Education for Instrumental Music and English and is now a qualified teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers. Karyn has been teaching privately for six years. 

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