Canberra Music Education School   

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Diane London - Piano

One of my most important personal characteristics is my love of music, I have played piano since childhood, it is this enjoyment and appreciation that I have been passing on to others as a piano teacher for over 15 years in Canberra. My training has included university study (BMUS) at the Canberra School of Music (Australian National University) as well as a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies from the Australian National University.

As part of my studies at the Canberra School of Music, I have been taught by some of Australia’s most talented musicians, including Professor Larry Sitsky who is a prolific Australian composer, pianist, researcher and who is one of the founding members of the Canberra School of Music (ANU) and John Luxton (former head of the Canberra School of Music (ANU)).

As a pianist I have performed many times at the Canberra School of Music as well as performances across Canberra including the Australian Parliament House .and Wesley Music Centre.

One of the key approaches to my teaching is recognising and responding to unique student needs. Instead of following just one inflexible teaching style, I prioritise developing goals with the student and then creating a plan for the student to achieve their goals.  Student goals can vary widely and can include just wanting learn to play the piano for fun; preparing for AMEB piano practical exams; learning piano to ‘keep the brain active’; or even learning to compose music. I have helped hundreds of students successfully achieve their musical goals.

Roya Safaei - Piano Teacher

Roya is a graduate from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in piano performance. Throughout her studies she received the Dennis Griffin National Piano/Composition Scholarship and completed the degree with a distinction average. Roya commenced learning piano at age 3 and had completed her 8th grade AMEB exam whilst still in primary school. Roya teaches piano to students from age 4 to adults.

Roya was accepted to the State University of New York: Stony Brook in Fall 2016, where she was chosen to privately study composition with the Chairman of the Department of Music, Dr. Perry Goldstein.  She is now commencing the Honours program at the Australian National University with a major in Music Composition. Roya has composed music for concerts both in Australia and abroad and has also written for several ensembles (such as the world renowned string quartet, The Noise) and soloists (pieces for the National Carillon for Dr. Thomas Lau). She won First Prize in the NSW Youth Shakespeare Festival (Composition Category) and was nominated for the HSC encore performance at the Sydney Opera House. In addition to this, Roya was awarded her AMusA for piano with a distinction and has also competed and won in numerous Eisteddfod's.


Roya believes that music is a medium through which a person can fully express themselves and an art that requires both creativity and discipline.

Cordelia To - Piano Teacher

Cordelia To is a pianist, composer and studies a Music/Law Double Degree at the Australian National University. She holds Diplomas in Piano and a range of Chinese guitars as well as Grade 8 in Violin.  


Having a passion for composing, she was the 2015 winner of a national youth composing competition, the Fanfare Competition. Recorded by The Australian Youth Orchestra in the famed Trackdown Studios, her symphonic work is exhibited at various venues including The Sydney Opera House. Cordelia recently won a Silver Medal in the 2016 Australian National Eisteddfod with her piano playing, and was the winner of The Australian National University’s 2015 Talent Competition, where she performed a creative improvisation of Amazing Grace on the keyboard.


Cordelia has performed extensively with orchestras and ensembles both domestically and overseas. One of her favourite performances was with the A Capella group The Idea of North, where she performed improvisation as a Jazz Piano Soloist in their concert when she was 17.


Cordelia has experiences teaching students from the age of 4 to mature ages. She specialises in both Classical and Contemporary Piano,

and her excellence in her Piano studies has been marked since a young age. When she was still a student at College, she was listed on the Distinguished Achievers’ List by the NSW Board of Studies due to her outstanding performances in the HSC subjects Music and Music Extension. She was also nominated to perform at The Sydney Opera House after her HSC.


Cordelia believes music has to be enjoyed and that success in Piano teaching rests in cultivating and sustaining interest in students.

Samantha Lengyel - Violin Teacher

Samantha Lengyel is an experienced violinist, teacher, and composer who also strongly enjoys musicology. She has completed her Certificate of Performance AMEB and during high school excelled in High Level Music in the International Baccalaureate (IB) where she received the Jennifer May Memorial Prize for Music from St Andrews Cathedral school where she was also a Music Scholar.

Samantha has been studying theoretical and practical music from a young age and has performed in many orchestras including the Sydney Youth Orchestra, NOVA orchestra and was the concertmaster of the ANU orchestra. She has performed in many gigs all over Sydney including in the Kirribili house for Tony Abott. Having a passion for global politics Samantha is studying a Bachelor of International Relations/International Security at the Australian National University however never strays far from music being involved in many music programs within Canberra.

As a teacher Samantha strongly believes that an enjoyment for music is essential and advocates that through her teaching. 

Christina - Piano & Clarinet Teacher

Christina Turner plays the clarinet and piano and is currently studying a Bachelor of International Security Studies/Bachelor of Arts at ANU. Christina has played the piano since age 5 and has played the clarinet since the age of 9, completing her Grade 8 in the clarinet with the Australian Music Examinations Board. She has loved playing music from a very young age, participating in wind orchestras, chamber ensembles and musicals throughout her schooling career. In teaching students the clarinet and the piano, Christina hopes to instil a love of music and wishes for her students to experience the same enjoyment that she derives from playing music.

Ben - Violin and Piano Teacher

Ben Aquilina is a classically trained violinist and pianist, currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology at ANU. 

Ben began playing violin at the age of eight and achieved Grade 8 in the AMEB syllabus in 2014.  Since then, he has continued to work up to an LMusA level while playing in a range of musical ensembles, including: orchestras and string ensembles (assistant concertmaster of the Sydney Grammar School Orchestra); quartets; trios; and quintets.  He has performed at a range of events and venues, including the Sydney Opera House as well as countless weddings, charity events and fundraisers.

Ben has a strong background in musical performance and theory and would love to share his passion for violin with students of any age or ability and with beginner to intermediate piano students.

Carin Chan- Piano and Singing Teacher


Carin holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music (Piano Studies) and English at The University of Western Australia (UWA). Choral singing has captured her love of music since a young age, inspiring her to continue her to complete an ABRSM Grade 8 in Piano.  She has taught singing and piano for several years, and is able to adapt her teaching style to suit the needs of various students, keeping her lessons fun and engaging. She is also a classically trained soprano with a marked interest in Mozart’s operas and Bellini’s arias, having been taught by renowned Australian soprano Janice Taylor Warne for six years. Besides classical singing, she is also well-versed in contemporary pop, Broadway and jazz music. Her experiences include participating in numerous choral concerts and musicals since primary school, performing in The University of Western Australia’s piano concert and competing in an Australian Eisteddfod competition in 2012. One of her favourite memories as a chorister was being part of the Winthrop Singers in Perth, where she participated in weekly evensongs at the chapel in St Georges’ College in UWA. Carin is currently studying a Masters of International Relations at The Australian National University.

Carin is excited to spread her love for music and instill a sense of enjoyment among students new to learning the piano or singing. Always patient, always meticulous in her teaching, Carin imparts comprehensive technical learning methods to ensure a solid foundation in all her students. She combines theory, practical learning, and historical understandings of music into a gripping narrative so that they are never presented as disconnected components. As a result, her lessons are never boring and sparkle with wit and ingenuity.

Rob Lee - Trombone

Rob is a graduate of the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Music. He Majored in jazz trombone and has performed all over Australia in many different bands covering a wide variety of music genres. He has performed with many great musicians including James Morrison, Miroslav Bukovsky and Dave Panichi. Rob has also been called on as a session musician and has featured on 10+ albums.

With 3 years of private teaching experience, Rob caters to any style and wishes to share his love of trombone and encourage others to enjoy it.

Benjamin Grace – Guitar and Electric Bass Guitar

Ben currently hold a bachelor of contemporary music and a diploma of education from SCU (Southern Cross University). Ben has 5 years experience in teaching music in both private tuition and secondary schools with extensive experience as a performer of both the electric bass guitar and classical guitar.

Ben is currently furthering his music education at the Australian National University (Canberra School of Music) on classical guitar focusing on performance. His current guitar instructors are Minh Le Hoang, a well-known member of the unique guitar quartet 'Guitar Trek’, and leading Australian guitarist/teacher Timothy Kain.

As a private tutor of the guitar, Ben seeks to cater for the different types of learning styles of each student. With approaches to various methods of learning such as kinaesthetic, aural, and visual, he is able to deliver an effective pedagogy for all students wanting to learn the guitar and is known to be very patient and work well with people of all ages. Ben’s teaching philosophy instils inspiration in all his students:

"As a Teacher, I hope to instil within all my students a lifelong love and appreciation for music and the instrument". Ben.

Sean Luan—Singing and piano teacher

Sean is a piano and singing teacher who has researched new learning and teaching methods and has been awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Musicology. Sean pioneered the use of the ‘Three Section Teaching Method’ in the teaching of vocal music, which was a great success in practice. The “Three Section Teaching Method” is an efficient, scientific and systematic teaching method including breath tracing, vocal training and singing. This method is suitable for student of all ages, including for young children, avoiding the injury/ lesions of their vocal cords.


Sean is also an experienced piano teacher. He teaches various methods, including the Bastien method. The carefully graded, logical learning sequence assures steady, continual progress. Original music by Bastien includes a mixture of pop, folk, classical, and contemporary styles. In addition, Sean received the international Bastian piano teacher qualification certificate.


All in all, learning from Sean is a dynamic way of letting students experience the marvelous world of music!

Sophie Raudonikis - Trumpet Teacher

Sophie is a vibrant and passionate music teacher with experience teaching all around Canberra. She is a graduate from the University of Canberra studying education with a major completed at ANU in music. She has studied trumpet with the likes of Miroslav Bukovsky, Anthony Henrichs and James Blunt. Sophie has also performed in the 'Yamaha National Band Championships' and the 'Australian Youth Olympics' opening ceremony in 2009. She also often performs in ANZAC day/Remembrance day celebrations.


Sophie has taught in many primary and secondary school programs around Canberra. She has worked in programs at Canberra Grammar and Radford College and has assisted in preparations and performances for various productions at Lyneham High and Karabar High School.


Sophie has been growing awareness and building music and band programs in primary schools over the past four years and it is her passion to see these thrive. With this experience, Sophie is able to cater to individual learning styles and can present learning material in a variety of engaging ways to help students reach their goals.

Sophie's driving teaching philosophy is to teach students to become independent learners. Sophie equips her students with the skills necessary to correctly learn, understand, interpret and create music in a fun and exciting way.

Kelly Sturgiss - Piano & Flute Teacher

Kelly Sturgiss has been teaching music privately for the past nine years. She has a diploma in music and has studied classical piano, flute and a variety of instruments since the age of five. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Art, in which she has included music and sound into her work. Kelly’s strengths lie in teaching students to read and understand music from a beginner level. Her method of teaching includes different ways of understanding, and blending techniques to best suit the student. She also includes an improvisation session in every lesson, to have the student feel the music and exercise their knowledge and natural expression. She adores the beauty and structure of classical pieces, but her repertoire extends to contemporary and composition. Kelly strives to be a dynamic and inspiring teacher.

Jasmine Li - Piano Teacher

Jasmine is currently studying Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Piano Performance, at the Australian National University. Jasmine also participates in ANU Chamber Choir and ANU Chamber Music.

Since her first piano lesson at the age of six, music has been Jasmine’s major inspiration and passion in life. Jasmine hopes to share the joy of music with her students of all ages, as well as helping them to build up performance skills and confidence.

Ellon Tao - Piano Teacher

Ellon Tao is a pianist who is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Actuarial Studies degree at ANU. Ellon began playing piano at the age of 6 and completed er A.Mus.A with the Australian Music Education Board. Through her years of studying music, Ellon has competed in numerous piano competitions and received numerous awards. Ellon’s perspective on teaching music-


‘I hope to share my love for music with students to make music an enjoyable and worthwhile art to learn. Through my teaching, I hope to develop students' technique and confidence in performing.’ 

Dominique Douglas-Smith - Piano Teacher

Dominique is currently studying a Double Degree (Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Science) at the Australian National University and would like to pursue her music studies at a postgraduate level and in the long-term aspires to be a conductor. Dominique has won the 2016 National University Scholarship. Dominique is Passionate about music and its role in society and holds the following views on music and teaching music -  

‘My involvement in music has enriched my life.  I love all aspects of music, having been involved in orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles. I wish to share the love of music with my pupils.  I believe in developing a solid foundation in their studies, without forsaking the joy and fulfillment that music should bring to their lives.  I will work patiently to develop their skills and ensure they always feel engaged and excited to learn.’