Having a music degree is important. It means the teacher knows what it takes to get to 'that' level. Music degrees include advanced training not just in the instrument of choice but in aural and theory, and an education in history, aesthetics and more. 

But being a great musician does not necessarily correlate with being a great teacher.

 

That's why, unlike other music schools, instrumental teachers in schools, home-studio teachers, or teachers who come to your home, our teachers are subject to the highest standards of professionalism, pedagogy, and accountability.

 

Our teachers are a community of practice. We work together, share ideas, struggles, successes, strategies, and undergo regular professional development in education research and practice. Many of our teachers are qualified or qualifying classroom music teachers in addition to holding music degrees.

 

Read about our staff below.

Steven Armstrong 

Academy Founding Director 

Steven Armstrong, is a former lecturer of musicology and recipient of two university teaching excellence awards from The University of Western Australia. Steven has over 20 years of instrumental teaching experience and holds a Bachelor of Music (Performance) with First Class Honours and received several awards and scholarships across undergraduate and postgraduate studies. He was accepted into the PhD program at UWA but withdrew after 3 years abandoning academia to focus on education and has now holds a Postgraduate Certificate and Masters degree in Educational Leadership. 

Steven does a little teaching and is responsible for everything company directors are responsible for. Steven's main focus is on mentoring and training our teachers in research-informed teaching and learning practices to ensure quality and consistency across all teaching for all students.

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Nami Cheng

Piano & Education Research 

Nami is an experienced piano and classroom music teacher with quite a CV. She has a Bachelor Music (Piano Performance), a Masters of Teaching, and a Masters of Educational Leadership. Nami also works with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra teaching classroom music at under-resourced schools.

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Grace Chen

Piano & Piano Pedagogy Research

Grace has over 10 years of instrumental teaching experience and is using her knowledge and experience to continually improve our teaching and learning practices, specifically, in the area of piano, through research in piano pedagogy.

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Brock Stannard-Brown

Piano & Early-Years Curriculum Development

Brock has a wealth of experience teaching young children in both one-to-one and group contexts. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Teaching and is one of our qualified classroom teachers using his expertise to develop our programs for young children.

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Isabel Finucane

Piano 

Isabel is former student of the Academy Director, and is currently studying piano at UWA under his former teacher. Isabel has experience teaching students from 4 years of age, some of whom she prepares for examination under the Australian Music Examination Board with unwavering success.

 

Julian Rodriguez

Piano

Julian is currently studying piano at UWA under one of the most renowned and active pianists in WA. Julian is energetic, focussed on quality of 

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Rory Shepherd

Guitar

Rory is a versatile performer, talented composer, and meticulous teacher. He holds a music degree from WAAPA and is currently completing a Master of Teaching at ECU.

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Natasha Mitchell

Voice 

Natasha graduated from WAAPA with a Bachelor of Music, specialising in voice and song-writing. She has strong background in the performing arts including dance, drama, and classical violin, all of which has helped shaped the teacher and musician she is today. 

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Brock Stannard-Brown

Piano & Early-Years Curriculum Development

Brock has a wealth of experience teaching young children in both one-to-one and group contexts. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Teaching qualifying him as a classroom music. 

In addition to teaching piano at the Academy, Brock is responsible for developing our engaging piano program, Head Start, for 4-6-year-olds.