Teacher Bios

Trevor Lubin
Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar (Electric, Acoustic & Bass), Dobro, Ukulele

Since being introduced to the classical guitar at the tender age of 14, Trevor has steadily increased his fluency across musical genres as diverse as rock, country, bluegrass, blues and jazz.

A multi instrumentalist who plays and teaches guitar, mandolin and banjo,Trevor is also a regularly gigging musician in the Ottawa scene as a member of The Ramblin' Valley Band and brings that wealth of live experience to his students.

Justin Orok
Guitar, Ukelele, Theory & Songwriting

A Canadian songwriter and guitarist from Ottawa, Justin lends his unique sound to groups in a range of diverse genres. In 2017 he released an EP of original acoustic songs, a tape of lo-fi electronic music, a long-form psychedelic rock album, and composed music for 6 short films. A graduate of the Humber College Bachelor of Music program, he has studied guitar, improvisation, composition and songwriting with Roddy Ellias, Lorne Lofsky, John Southworth, Rik Emmett, David Occhipinti, Kieran Overs, and performed with Mary-Margaret O'Hara, Michael Davidson, Justin Haynes and more. Currently he is working on his first full length album of original songs, to be released in 2019.

Justin has been teaching guitar and composition for over 6 years both privately and in studios. With an approach based on developing a lifelong love of music through creative projects, his students develop strong fundamentals in an organic way. Some of these projects have included making short albums of Christmas music, writing songs (both lyrics and music), and preparing unique guitar arrangements for student recitals.

Peter Brown
Piano (RCM Qualified)

Lanark-based jazz and blues pianist/singer Peter Brown has performed at the Ottawa jazz festival nine years running. He has toured with Canadian blues legend Dutch Mason, American blues artist Sherman Robertson and with former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. He was keyboardist for Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo for 17 years.

For many years, he hs served as pianist/band leader/arranger for the Mississippi Mudds Theatre company in Carleton Place, accompanist for the Townsingers of Carleton Place and as pianist for Stone Fence Theatre Company in Eganville. His Peter Brown Quartet hosts two very popular monthly jazz nights in Carleton Place. He has released three jazz CD's under his own name, Marie-claude, in 2002, Franklin Street in 2008, and Beautiful Love in 2014, as well as recording with many other artists.

Danah-Lee Krieger
Voice and Piano (RCM Qualified)

Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, Danah-Lee studied music and excelled in musical theory. But the groundwork for her knowledge began at a very young age, when she would literally steal the music out of the trash after Sunday morning church services.  At the time, she was determined to learn the complexities of chords, vibrations, and sounds; wanting to know how each sound flowed together in different forms to create music. Since then, Danah-Lee has learned how to use her knowledge and voice freely and has developed a framework for creating music to express what is happening internally. 

Danah-Lee has a passion for the intricacies of the voice.  She has a distinct gift for encouraging her students to unlock their deepest capacities and tailors lesson times to each student, making sure that each individual goal and passion can be attained… no matter what age!

Danah-Lee studied music at the former Taylor University College in Edmonton, Canada.  Along with being an active touring musician, she has been teaching music, holding workshops and music camps for the last decade and is a lover of orange cats!

Paula Rich-McGowan

I have been singing and teaching professionally for over 30 years now.  I have been fortunate enough to have performed in productions across Canada in many lead roles in venues including Massey Hall in Toronto and The National Arts Centre in Ottawa as well as major hotels and casinos.  I have developed and performed tributes to the likes of Adele, ABBA and Shania Twain and the Andrew Sisters, in addition to working in dozens of contemporary Pop Groups, Rock Groups and Jazz Ensembles (Ottawa Jazz Festival). 
I have had lead roles in various theatre productions including one musical alongside Ryan Gosling!
My professional path also includes singing on dozens of radio jingles as well as personal recording projects and a song for the Princess of Holland!

Despite my many years of performing, my true passion is teaching.  I adore meeting so many great, talented people of all ages and exploring music together.

First and foremost my lessons are about having fun always!!!! You will learn to develop your voice in a comfortable, relaxed environment.  My approach to teaching is a balance of fundamentals/technique and repertoire/songs.  I tailor each lesson to each individual student’s needs in order for them to reach their own individual goals and gain true confidence in themselves! It’s all about continuing to discover our voices and music together and reaching our fullest musical potential!.  

Pierre Kusters

Pierre was born in Ottawa and received his B.Mus. from the University of Ottawa in 1986.  He moved to Newfoundland to begin his career as a Suzuki teacher and an orchestra musician.  Pierre met his wife in Newfoundland and came back to Ottawa with his family in 1999 with a B. Ed. He went to work as a music teacher in the French schools in Ottawa and later decided that substitute teaching was best for him.

He uses the Suzuki method for private teaching because he appreciates the step by step approach of the method. Pierre really enjoys teaching young students as well as adult students, and likes to say, “you are rarely too young and never to old to Twinkle.

James O'Halloran
Guitar (Acoustic, Electric and Flamenco), Ukulele

As a teenager,Ottawa based musician James O'Halloran  jammed at "Club Nectars", competed in the "Battle of the Bands" with Phish later studying classical and jazz guitar, composition and theory at the University of Vermont and privately with Paul Asbell. Later, a scholarship to the Cristina Heeren Foundation for Flamenco Arts in Sevilla, allowed him to learn flamenco with some of Spain's best Maestros like Miguel Angel Cortes, Eduardo Rebollar, Nino de Pura, Pedro Sierra continuing most recently with Maestro Enrique Vargas in Madrid in 2012.

​A member of the Nashville Association of Songwriters, his songwriting has been called "pure unadulterated Americana" with the lyrical imagery that flows beautifully". A seasoned journeyman, James has worked with children and adults from all walks of life .His love of blues and jazz has given him the opportunities to share the stage with blues legends Koko Taylor, BB King, Pinetop Perkins, Luther Allison,Lucky Peterson, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Big Joe Burrell, Bo Diddley, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Chris Duarte and Ronnie Earl and perform at jazz- blues clubs and festivals in the US, Canada, Spain, Germany and Russia.

Micheal Costello

Michael Costello has earned a Bachelor of Music and Education from Queens University. He has taught in the public school system at both the Elementary and Secondary levels and has been teaching privately for over 20yrs.


Michael enjoys working with all students of various ages and abilities. His teaching style allows students to make music while having fun. Piano technique and musical expression are learned through choreography and vocalization.


Michael also enjoys a small career as a concert performer. He plays solo piano recitals
Inns, town halls and parlours of grand homes.

Natalie Zima

Natalie is a young lady who has a heart and passion for music.She began teaching while still in high school when asked by her own teacher to start teaching for that music school, She continued to teach for three years, and carried on to teach private lessons while in university. Natalie has been involved as a pianist and back up vocalist in many bands. She especially enjoyed her time working as a missionary for the past two years where she enjoyed playing in the band there.  Natalie  believes that music has a way of touching the soul, lifting the spirit and bringing joy and unity to the hearts of all involved. She believes music is more than just a skill; it’s a catalyst to great peace and healing. She is very excited to join our team and to help all our clients discover the joy of music.  

Al Miller
Guitar (Acoustic, Bass)

Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist, Al is notes and respected member of the Ottawa music scene. Al's versatility spans rock, blues, and R&B, but he has a real love for Reggae. Al has opened for such noted bands as the Valerie Capers Trio from New York, the Jamaican band Yellowman, The Band, and Lorain Clawson among others, and has played on the same bill as Bruce Cockburn.

Al has made several TV appearances on the CJOH Children's Miracle Network Telethon, a special on City TV, the CJOH mid-day show, and was featured on the Ottawa "Remember Bob Marley" shows held at Barrymore's.

Hugh Neilson
Ukulele, Guitar (Electric, Acoustic and Folk), Drums

Hugh is a life long lover/student/teacher of music and performance and observed that when he teaches - whether that be percussion, ukulele, guitar or improvisation  - he learns as much from his students as they do from him. In fact, his philosophy is that learning works best when teacher and student challenge each other.

Carman Powell Sadik
Piano (RCM Qualified)

Carmen has been making music all her life and enjoys many styles from Classical to contemporary and folk. She continues her own piano studies at the grade 10 level as well as studying fiddle.  She continues to take part in many local recitals and musical events.  Carmen also teaches as a certified snowboard instructor  and riding coach as well as  enjoying falconry, archery, bow making and all things equestrian.Her love of the arts is also expressed in her painting and writing.

Carmen’s positive and encouraging teaching style motivates her students to continually improve. She respects and accommodates differences in personality types and learning styles while seeking to adjust her teaching to the needs of the student. As a homeschooler herself, Carmen’s schedule is well suited to that of many homeschool families.