Member Biographies

Who are the PMTA members? Our members are dedicated, experienced musicians who love to share their passion for music. All of our members are unique in their own way, whether it be by instrument taught, teaching philosophy, or education and experience. Learn more about each member below. Contact information for all of our teaching members can be found in the Member Directory.

Adams, Meredith

Teaching: Piano, Theory, History, Harmony

I have enjoyed teaching piano and theory in the Parkland area since 1982. I also taught in the Early Childhood music program at Alberta College and have done some substitute teaching for Parkland School Division. Having developed an appreciation for all of the arts, I like to see my students become well rounded musicians.

Since 1995, I have been a pianist/organist at Stony Plain United Church, playing for services as well as accompanying the choir. I also encourage my students to play at student performance classes, the Parkland Music Festival and the June Recital. Discovering how to bring out the unique musicality within each of my students continues to inspire and delight me!

Education:
*Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta (1977)
*ARCT Diploma (Piano Teacher) from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto Canada
*Theatre Arts Diploma from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton (1981)

Berke, Cheryl

Teaching: Piano, Theory

I love working with children and I have a great love for music! My education and experiences include:
*Bachelor of Education – Music Major
*Royal Conservatory of Music - Grade Ten
*Royal Conservatory of Music – Harmony, Counterpoint, Analysis and History – Grade Five
*35 years of teaching experience in public schools
*accompanying school choirs
*church musician

Instruction will include technique, ear training, sight reading, applicable theory and strategies for practicing.

Gomes, Cathy

Teaching: Piano, Theory

Cathy Gomes was born in Calgary, Alberta and began her piano studies at the age of 7 with Ethel Huber. She moved to Claresholm and continued lessons under Arnold Waack. Cathy also began lessons on the French Horn and attended summer workshops. She received some scholarships towards furthering her music studies.

In 1984, Cathy started her University training and continued the study of piano, theory and French Horn. She obtained her Grade 10 Piano and her Grade 10 French Horn Certification during her University Training. Cathy graduated with a Bachelor of Education with a Music Major in 1989 from the University of Lethbridge.

Cathy also was trained to teach Music for Young Children and taught MYC from 1998 through 2008. Cathy has taught private piano, theory, French Horn and Music for Young Children.

Johnston, Joanne

Teaching: Piano, Theory, History 

Joanne started playing at a very young age, however her formal studies started in Edmonton with Jackie Smith followed by Pat Stretch, Lillian Stillman, and Dr. Lillian Upright. 

Joanne achieved her ARCT and has been teaching for over 35 years in the Edmonton and Spruce Grove area. Her students enjoy a varied program of music including Popular, Jazz and student favorites with a focus on Royal Conservatory of Music. They can enjoy both Christmas and Final recitals as well as 2 Piano Parties a year (students only!) and she likes to take them to one performance a year when an appropriate event comes along. 

Joanne has accompanied vocalists, instrumentalists, ensembles, and choirs since she was 11 years old, performed at the Horizon Stage Theatre, Jubilee Auditorium, at the Fringe with the "Tribute Singers", Festival of Trees, recorded at CBC and many, many other events. As well she has played for church services and weddings both near and far. 

Joanne continues to attend workshops and educational events to expand on her knowledge of music, its evolution and has a particular interest in the anatomy of performance. Your body is your instrument too! 

Joanne looks forward to meeting new students in an audition setting and hopes they find her studio an inviting forum for learning one of the greatest gifts to mankind - Music!

Johnston, Nicola

Teaching: Piano, Theory 

Hello fellow music lovers! 

I am a long-time resident of the Parkland area and have been teaching for over 20 years. I teach ages 5 and up, beginners to Grade 8 Royal Conservatory and the theory applicable to each level. Lessons begin in September and run through to the end of May. I offer private piano lessons for students on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:00-9:00pm. My current students range from beginner to Grade 8 and ages 6-46. I have a body of 30-40 students. 

At my studio, there are 2 recitals: one at Christmas and another as a final year end celebration. I encourage students to perform at the Parkland Music Festival; it is a wonderful opportunity for performance experience and a chance to perform for an adjudicator. Support will be provided for those who want the challenge of a piano exam. I have hard-working, smart, fun, dedicated students! 

I LOVE MUSIC and am passionate about teaching. I encourage my students to venture out into different avenues of interest like jazz, movie theme music, popular, etc. I cater each lesson to the individual. No two students are the same, so no two lessons are the same.

Kulak, Carmen

Teaching: Piano, Theory 

Carmen Kulak was born in Quesnel, BC and started piano lessons with Paul Dykstra at seven years of age. She continued her studies in Edmonton with Dr. Lillian Upright before studying at the University of Alberta with Stephane Lemelin and Janet Scott-Hoyt. She has participated in summer classes at the Orford Centre for the Arts and audited classes at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Carmen graduated from the University of Alberta in 2001 with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. She now has a successful private studio where she resides in Stony Plain and frequently accompanies voice and violin students in and around Edmonton. Carmen is Past-President of the Parkland Music Teachers Association, a member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association, and the Alberta Piano Teachers Association. 

Carmen's students will receive a well-rounded program of study including technique, ear training, practise techniques, musical interpretation, theory and performance. Students primarily focus on the classical discipline to secure a firm musical foundation but there is always room for popular pieces or special musical interests within the lessons. Students are encouraged to participate in the yearly Christmas & Spring recitals as well as the Parkland Music Festival.

Nissen, Betty-Ann

Teaching: Piano, Theory, Early Childhood Music

Parkland Celebration Choir

Teaching: Choral Singing 

The Parkland Celebration was formed in 2005, under the direction of Vern Roth, to celebrate the Alberta Centennial. After that first concert, the choir decided to continue singing together!

The Parkland Celebration Choir is an interdenominational community choir reaching out to our community through music. Even though we are interdenominational, all are welcome to join! The choir meets weekly from September through April to learn music and learn the basics of music theory and vocal technique. A large portion of our concert income goes to support local charities including the Parkland Food Bank.

The Parkland Celebration Choir is directed by RJ Chambers. RJ holds a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta.

For more information, or if interested in joining, please visit our website at www.parklandcelebrationchoir.org.

Peterson, Joanne


Thank you for reading my biography!  I’m not currently accepting new private students.  However, I invite you and your child (7 years or younger) to join me for Music for Young Children keyboard classes, which run from September to June each year. 

 

The MYC parent-child beginner keyboard class ‘Sunshine 1’ is available for children age 4 (or almost 4).  There is also a beginner keyboard class for children 5-7 years old (‘Sunbeams 1’).  Visit www.myc.com/teacher/JPeterson for information about MYC keyboard programs or contact me at sparkle7@telus.net.  Keyboard classes will start the week of September 5, 2017 and run till early June 2018 (36 classes).

 

Music Pups is a family music class for children newborn to age 4.  We have a blast boppin’ to great tunes, singing, and playing rhythm instruments.  The songs of the Giraffe collection will be featured in our 8-week fall session, running from the end of September to the end of November, 2017 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (5010  52 Ave. Stony Plain).   The Saturday class, from 12:30 to 1:15, starts September 23 and ends November 25 (no classes Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day week-ends).  The Monday class, from 11:30 to 12:15, starts September 25 and ends November 27 (same holidays).  The cost is $115 for the first registration (includes song download and pdf file songbook) and $48 for siblings over 9 months.  Siblings who are younger than 9 months may participate for free.  You are welcome to attend the first class with no obligation, then sign up at the end if you want to continue.  Visit www.themusicclass.com for more information about Music Pups.

 

The MYC Sunrise pre-keyboard program for 3-and 4-year olds will run in three 8-week blocks starting in late September.  Sunrise is the perfect introduction to music lessons for your 3-or 4-year old.  We do lots of singing, movement and rhythm instruments (like Music Pups).  In addition, workbook exercises, visual patterns and vocabulary introduce basic music concepts in an age-appropriate manner.  Sunrise classes take place Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The 8-week Block 1 session will start September 23 and end November 25 (no classes Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day week-ends).  The cost is $130, which includes the CD, songbook/workbook, finger puppet and set of rhythm sticks.  You are welcome to attend the first class with no obligation, then sign up at the end if you want to continue.  Visit www.myc.com for more information about the Sunrise program.

 

I’ve been teaching music lessons in Stony Plain since 1997.  I started teaching private piano lessons in 1989.  Ten years ago, I also started teaching parent-child small group classes through Music for Young Children.  I have my grade 10 piano certificate from the Royal Conservatory and my grade 9 singing certificate from Conservatory Canada.  I’ve also taken jazz piano courses at Grant MacEwan College.  Continuing education is important to me – I’m a regular at the annual Alberta Piano Teachers Association conference in Red Deer each September.  I enjoy teaching all styles of music.  I think it’s important for students to work together so I always feature duets, trios or larger ensembles as part of my studio curriculum.  I really try to understand the learning styles of my students, both to help them learn efficiently and also to stretch them into exploring their non-dominant modes.

 

I love performing and encourage all my students to take advantage of performance opportunities, such as Christmas and year-end concerts and the annual Parkland Music Festival each spring.

 

I’m active in my church as pianist, organist and vocal ensemble director.  I love my role as accompanist for the vocal jazz quartet U-4-Ya.  In the past, I also accompanied an award-winning junior choir.  I guess it would be fair to say that music is the hub around which my life revolves!


Rutter, Tim

Teaching: Guitar, Mandolin 

Tim Rutter has been teaching and performing guitar since the early nineties. He has a diploma in music performance from Humber College in Toronto. 

A busy local musician, Tim has played many styles in a variety of venues. He can play and teach rock, jazz, blues, country, classical and Celtic, all done with expert ability and enthusiasm. 

A passionate teacher, Tim maintains a busy private teaching roster in his home. All ages, styles and levels of students are welcome.

Schepp, Shirley

Teaching: Piano, Voice, Theory 

I live on an acreage near Carvel and Blueberry School. I teach piano, voice, and theory. I have been teaching for many years and have always loved my work. One of my friends once said to me, "You are the only person I know who never complains about your job." I teach all grades and ages. I have completed my Grade 10 Practical and Grade 11 Theory with the Western Board of Music. I studied in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. I sing Soprano 1 with the Richard Eaton Singers, Edmonton's Symphonic Choir, an auditioned choir under the direction of Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. I teach all styles of music and will prepare students for examinations. My students entertain parents and guests at recitals, many in the form of plays, which I write. Many of my students have won awards for highest exam marks in the province in both theory and practical exams.

Vankosky, Kelsey

My first and foremost passion is music! I get to spend my days doing what I love and to have the opportunity to share that passion with others is a gift all on its own!

I’ve been teaching Voice and Piano for the past 4 years. I teach lessons to students ages 5 and up out of my home studio in Stony Plain. I graduated from the University of Alberta with her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance majoring in classical training and I have been studying Piano and Voice for over 16 years.

I currently hold my grade 9 RCM piano certificate. I have been honored to be a recipient of numerous music festival awards and scholarships and my studies have taken her Italy where I performed in the opera” L’incornazione de Poppea” and Newfoundland, in which I was cast to understudy two of the main characters in the musical “Sweeny Todd”

In addition to teaching, I try and do as many various performances in the area and is I have began Co-Conducting and Accompanying for the “Parkland Celebration Choir”

I enjoy teaching all different genres of voice and piano, including Pop, Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Folk and Classical.

Thank you for taking a moment to read my bio. I would love to hear from you and be able to share my passion of music with you! I can be contacted at either kvankosky@gmail.com or at (587) 785-1802.


Weed, Laura

Teaching: Piano, Singing, Violin, Theory & Composition

Laura Weed is enjoying her 35th year of teaching music lessons in Spruce Grove, Alberta, where she teaches piano, singing, violin, theory and composition.

FREE sheet music: http://lauraweed.com/home                                                 

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCza6xixW1wOKqTN51-4bVsA

Born in Central America, Laura's musical journey began in Colorado, where she began piano lessons at age 7. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the U of Montana, Missoula and an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto.

In Canada, Laura has been active as a music teacher, composer-arranger, church musician, school music teacher, community choir director and performer. Performances include Young Audience concerts, CJCA 930 AM radio and TV show, Spruce Grove Alive, weddings, funerals, musical theatre productions and many other events. Laura's collaboration with educator, Sue Harvie resulted in three commissions: Brookwood School Song (Spruce Grove), Escuela Dalhousie School Song (Calgary) and Choral Celebration, a song for hundreds of singers in Edmonton area schools. Over the years, Laura's students have distinguished themselves by earning awards and scholarships, top exam marks, and by enjoying successful musical careers as teachers and performers.    

Laura Weed lives with her husband, Gehres in Spruce Grove, Alberta where they run a music school. Their daughter, Janelle Weed, is a gifted Toronto musician, teacher, writer and editor, who holds a Master’s degree from the U of A, Edmonton.

Whyte, Dori

Teaching: Voice, Piano, Theory

Teaching singing, beginner piano, and theory for over 25 years; and still loving it.

I enjoy performing and teaching. I have an A.R.C.T. in Singing Performance and take every opportunity to sing in public and teach students to do the same. It takes confidence to sing in public, and having "been there, done that" helps me to help you do it too. I've had great success with students performing at Festivals, special events, or getting accredited through RCM or Conservatory Canada exams.

I teach classical, musical theatre, and contemporary styles, I even have the sound equipment set up to teach you the proper use of the microphone. Singing can also be a 'visual' art as well, so presentation is carefully prepared so you feel confident in your performance.

I teach 40 minute lessons once a week for the beginner to grade 4 level. More advanced students would require an hour per week.

Come see me. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you.

Dori Whyte

Wong, Kimberly

Teaching: Piano | Music Theory | Voice | Guitar | Early Childhood Music Education

Kimberly Wong is passionate about music and about nurturing the love of music in her students. She was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and moved to Spruce Grove, Alberta in October 2015. She has her Royal Conservatory of Music Teacher's ARCT and has been teaching for over ten years. She herself has played the piano since she was four years old. She played and sang in her church congregation music team since age eleven, and has eight years of experience leading children's music at the Pacific Grace Mennonite Brethren Church in Vancouver. Throughout the years, she won many first place piano performance awards in the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals for her piano performances. When she lived in Fort St. John, BC from 2010 to 2015, she picked up the guitar, wrote songs, and has performed in local shows. In 2015, she sang in the North Peace Community Choir at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Kimberly studied piano with Winfried Rompf, the Vice President of BC Conservatory of Music and musical director of Vancouver Piano Ensemble. For her Teacher’s ARCT and Piano Pedagogy, which she achieved in 2006, she studied with Edward J. Parker, the father of concert pianist Ian Parker and uncle of concert pianist Jon (Jackie) Parker. She graduated from The University of British Columbia in 2008, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology with a focus on child developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. ​

Lessons with Kimberly are fun and creative as she believes that making music should first and foremost be fun! Students receive a well-rounded musical education, including ear training, technique, performance skills, memorization, musical interpretation, improvisation, and theory. Kim also takes adult students who want to pursue music casually without necessarily taking exams.

 As an early childhood music educator, Kimberly developed own program called Music Fun Time. Kimberly is also a pianist for events, singer, voice teacher (she studied with Rachel Casponi, Master of Music in Vocal Performance, and achieved her RCM Level 9 in Classical Voice), musical theatre actress, and guitar player.


You've Got Rhythm

Teaching: Piano, Harp, Voice, Theory

COME JOIN THE FUN OF MUSIC AND DANCE!

--LEARN -- CELEBRATE -- ENJOY --

Receive ballroom dance instructions for: private or group sessions, small or large group workshops (individuals without partners are welcome).

Book a harp performance for many special occasions (book at least one month in advance).

Come for a music lesson or take weekly classes throughout the year for: piano, harp, voice, theory (beginner-intermediate levels for all ages).