Canberra Music Education School   

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Diane London - Director

I have played piano since childhood and instantly developed a love for music, 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.

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!

Samantha Lengyel - Violin & Piano 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 Kirribilli house for Tony Abbott. 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. 

Kelly Sturgiss - Piano, Singing, Trumpet & Flute Teacher

Kelly 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.

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.

Oliver Robjohns – Piano Teacher

Oliver had been playing piano since he was 6. He has completed a Diploma of Music and is now studying music at ANU.

Oliver has performed at shows and weddings around his home town on the South Coast of NSW, including Tempting Morsels for Artslab in Kangaroo Valley. He enjoys playing classical and contemporary music as well as improvising and composing his own pieces for piano.

Oliver likes to brings a relaxed style and sense of fun to his piano teaching while still making sure the fundamental and technical aspects of learning the piano are covered.

Shannon - Piano Teacher

Shannon is studying a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Arts at ANU. She began playing piano at the age of six and since then it has been an important and inspiring part of her life. Shannon has completed all the Australian Music Education Board practical piano levels (Grade 8) and all the practical Musicianship levels (AMEB Grade 8). Having four years of previous music teaching experience at a music school in Sydney, Shannon is aware of the importance of teaching on an individual level in order to foster a love and passion for music. She endeavours to ensure her student’s understanding of music grows along with an ability to express themselves through playing the piano.

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.
James - Guitar & Bass Guitar Teacher

James began his musical journey by playing guitar in bands in high school and has continued to be a performer in bands ever since, he subsequently has completed an Advanced Diploma in Music Performance. James currently plays in several bands in Canberra, his style ranges from contemporary, rock and jazz. James teaches the following instruments from beginner to intermediate level - acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar. James wants to share his love for the guitar and passion for performance with all his students!
Katherine Johnson - Piano Teacher

I am studying advanced science (biochemistry) at the ANU with minors in mathematics and statistics. I began playing piano since the age of 6 and have continued playing through high school and university. Music has always been an important part of my life, something that keeps me focused and gives me pleasure, and I hope to impart this love of music to my students.

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 her 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.’