Barrhaven Music Academy
Barrhaven Music Academy
2900 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, K2J 4G3
Nadia Zaid is a dedicated musician and teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Vocal & Piano Performance from Carleton University (2006), a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa (2008) and an ARCT Teacher's Diploma from The Royal Conservatory of Music (2010). The Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) diploma for performers and teachers is the highest academic standing awarded by RCM, making it an internationally known and respected teaching accredation. The ARCT is extremely challenging to achieve, requiring dedication and polished playing skills, as well as the completion of all advanced grades (8, 9 and 10) and advanced theoretical and historical examinations, including rudiments, counterpoint, analysis and harmony. Nadia has studied under acclaimed teachers Naomi Watson-Laird, world-renowned Canadian composer and RCM examiner Maya Badian, and the incredibly skilled jazz pianist, trombonist and educator Mark Ferguson who has played on stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin and many more big name artists.
Nadia specializes in teaching RCM grades 1 to 10 piano and contemporary voice. Over the years, she has taken dozens of her complete beginner piano students up to advanced piano levels, including BMA teachers Tashi, Amanda, Rhea, Laryssa, Grace, and Sitong whom she taught since they were beginners. Many of Nadia's current students have been studying piano and theory with her since she started teaching at another local music school over 10 years ago and have continued to follow her wherever she's offered her lessons. Since the year 2002, Nadia has put over 500 students through RCM piano and theory examinations ranging from grades 1 to 10, most of them achieving First Class Honours and several achieving First Class Honours With Distinction. For students who do not wish to pursue exams, Nadia is happy to teach them current radio hits, music from movies, Jazz/Blues improvisation and even tunes from their favourite video games! Nadia is also extremely passionate about percussion and plays various percussion instruments including The Darabuka and The Cajon.
More recently, Nadia is thrilled to have been accepted as an apprentice examiner, with the goal of become an official member into The College of Examiners with The Royal Conservatory of Music.
If you would like to discuss a private matter with Nadia regarding student progress or other matters associated with your experience at BMA , please feel free to email her at “[email protected]” Communication and feedback is always appreciated.
Tashi Bernard is a dedicated and extremely well rounded musician. Throughout her career she's gained an immense wealth of experience in singing and playing a wide variety of instruments, namely piano, guitar and ukulele. Along with successfully completing the Royal Conservatory Level 8 and 9 Piano Examinations and the written Advanced Theory Rudiments Examinations, all under the tutelage of Nadia, she is very proficient in improvising and creating her own chordal arrangements of songs. She can perform and teach many styles of music, from Disney classics to today's top radio hits. Tashi's dedication to the arts led her to pursue a certificate in Fine Arts at the Ottawa School of Art (2009) and later graduate from Fanshawe College's General Arts program (2010) in London, Ontario.
Tashi's versatility as a teacher includes her excellent arrangement and accompaniment skills. Under her guidance, her vocal students learn fundamental vocal exercises, develop ear-training and harmony and, most importantly, find their own style and voice. Since joining BMA in 2012, Tashi has taken much joy in encouraging her students to be creative with performances through unique song arrangements with beautiful harmonies and ear-catching melodies. To date, dozens of Tashi's vocal and piano students have had successful, professional and passionate performances and succeeded on various examinations with The Royal Conservatory Of Music.
In addition to composing her own songs and music, Tashi is currently working towards her grade 10 RCM piano exam under Nadia's guidance, with the long-term goal of achieving her ARCT.
Sitong Chen, Piano & Theory
Sitong began her path in piano at the age of five. Through her years of playing piano, she has developed a thorough understanding of musicality. Joining BMA at the age of eight, she began her study with the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Nadia. She achieved First Class Honours with Distinction in Advanced Theory Rudiments, First Class Honours in Level 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Examinations and more recently has completed the Level 9 Piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music maintaining a standing in First-Class Honours.
With Sitong’s past teaching experience, her lessons closely follow the BMA piano program and are structured with finger exercises, rhythm drills, note-reading exercises and working from various method books including The ABC of Piano Playing, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library as a segue into the RCM program books. Sitong's friendly and caring personality will inspire students to enjoy learning the piano as much as she does. Sitong will be teaching on Saturdays and substitute teaching throughout the week. Finally, Sitong is passionate about playing and teaching Chinese music and is fluent in Cantonese. She would be happy to teach in this language or share this style of music for anyone requesting this service!
Rhea has been studying and playing piano for over 13 years. Under Nadia's tutelage, she has completed Level 8 Piano and the Advanced Theory Rudiments (Level 8) with The Royal Conservatory of Music. She's currently working towards her Level 9 Piano while studying an Honours Degree at Carleton University in Humanities, with the goal of becoming a high school English and History teacher. Rhea is passionate about music and helping people, which makes her an excellent personality to nurture and foster the growth and learning of her students. Her lessons are structured with finger exercises, rhythm drills, scales/triads and using various method books including the RCM series so her students are guaranteed to progress while developing a strong foundation of the basics. Finally, Rhea also enjoys singing and playing the Ukulele and coaches/plays competitive Ringette and Field Hockey.
Deborah has been studying piano since the young age of 5. Over a decade of study led her to achieve several RCM Piano Examinations including Advanced Theory Rudiments as well as Level’s 1 through 7 in Piano under Nadia’s tutelage. She put her RCM studies on hold for a few years to focus on chording and creating her own accompaniments while she sings, blues improvisation and studies of popular top 40 hits. Deborah is currently studying for her Level 8 RCM Piano Examination and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Economics with a Minor in Music at Carleton University. During her own time, she is the church pianist for Youth Group at Woodvale Pentecostal.
Deborah’s lessons closely follow the BMA piano program and are structured with finger exercises, rhythm drills, note-reading exercises and working from various method books including The ABC of Piano Playing, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library as a segue into the RCM program books. Deborah’s funny and caring personality will ensure that students find her lessons to be a positive and constructive experience.
Having performed and composed in Europe, Asia, and North America - in several different musical settings - Matt offers a broad range of musical knowledge. While enthusiastically guiding students toward their musical goals, he also shares valuable and practical insight from his many years of experience as a professional performer, composer, and instructor. He actively encourages students to pursue their passions, to create without boundaries, and to share their art with the world.
Matt has performed alongside many world-class musicians including Oliver Jones, the Chinese Central Conservatory Orchestra, the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the Sean Poluk Blues Band, and David Marino (of La Voix fame). A sample of noteworthy audiences would include Michaëlle Jean, Peter Buffet, Werner Wnendt, the NAC, and the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. As a composer, Matt has written for numerous ensembles - having recently collaborated with composer James Wright, Rob Kapilow ("What Makes It Great?®"), ACES (Barrhaven), and the multi Juno award winning Gryphon Trio.
He holds a Master of Arts in Music & Culture (Carleton), an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Performance (Laurentian), and has studied Chinese traditional and modern musics in Beijing (Central Conservatory of Music). He will be pursuing a PhD in Theory & Composition.
Clarissa began taking voice lessons at the age of 6. She studied for over 10 years, competing in Kiwanis and Rotary festivals, and eventually achieving her Grade 2 Theory Rudiments and her Grade 9 Voice with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is also a songwriter — most recently she earned a spot as a Youth Discovery in the 2017 Summerfolk Festival. She loves being onstage and she’s eager to encourage that same enthusiasm in her students.
Clarissa is well versed in traditional/folk music and is an avid fan of broadway show tunes, but she’s happy to teach students songs from a variety of genres and sources. She can coach students to perform with an accompanist, or to accompany themselves with basic guitar or piano.
Clarissa believes in the power of music to help children communicate their feelings and develop confidence. In her work as a nanny and childcare provider she regularly uses music to calm, teach, and entertain young children. Her lessons instill the basic techniques crucial for developing young singers, while also encouraging creativity and self-expression. As a teacher she hopes to help her students learn new skills, have fun, and find their own unique voice.
Jennifer has been a working professional musician and instructor for over 20 years.
She has taught both privately and at various institutions in Montreal, Kingston and now Ottawa! She began her journey at 4 years old on her first instrument, the piano. Several years later, she picked up the violin and began to take her first classical guitar lessons studying a variety of styles including classical, rock, pop and folk. Since then, she has achieved various accreditations including RCM Level 8 Piano and Advanced Theory, a Bachelor's degree in Music Theory and Composition from Concordia University and a Master's Degree in Musicology from McGill University. Furthermore, she has experience teaching a variety of group classes ranging from one on one tutoring to group vocal and instrumental ensembles and even full lecture halls. She has performed in many different venues all over the country and has most recently released a folk-blues album entitled "Music For Public Executions".
Her musicianship, high credentials and years of experience is coupled with a genuine love for teaching students of all ages, skills and backgrounds. There is an art to teaching that Jennifer takes very seriously and always aspires to adapt her lesson plans to meet the needs and ambitions of each individual student.
Joel Lefebvre, Guitar, Bass, Beginner Drums & Vocal, and Band Coach
Born and raised in Ottawa, musician and teacher Joel Lefebvre has been learning, sharing and creating music since childhood. He has studied and mastered the guitar, vocals and drums, helping him become a well-rounded and immensely knowledgeable musician. In 2014, Joel graduated from Algonquin College's Music Industry Arts program. Along with producing multi-track recordings in a professional studio environment, this two-year Ontario College diploma focused on how to read, write and arrange music with an understanding of rhythm, intervals, chording and lead sheets.
Performing is also a passion for Joel, who has worked with countless bands and groups over the years. This experience has helped him develop strong stage presence and showmanship skills that are essential to being a successful live act. Currently, Joel is the frontman of the Ottawa-based hard rock band Crossing Jane. The group has already celebrated a number of career-defining highlights, including a final round appearance at Live 88.5's Big Money Shot and having their single 'Destitution' aired on Ottawa radio station 106.9 The Bear. Crossing Jane just released their debut Album, "The Void", which can be purchases on iTunes. When he's not busy performing with Crossing Jane, Joel also lends his guitar skills to another local band, Eyes Over Sea.
As part of the BMA team, Joel enjoys working with musicians of all ages, styles and levels. Under his guidance, he strives to help his students achieve, and even surpass, their musical goals.
Jesse Kelly is a local multi-instrumentalist, writer, performer, and recording artist. Holding an honours bachelor in journalism from the University of Ottawa, and a diploma in journalism from Algonquin College, and working as a writer and photographer before leaving the industry, he has in his young adult life, mastered the craft of consuming, understanding, presenting and conveying information.
Jesse currently teaches guitar, drums and bass throughout the week at various institutions, and has over 50 private students weekly. He is a dedicated and passionate educator and musician.
He has shared the stage with bands from all over the country, helped develop music for local artists, done session work on folk instruments for emerging artists, played most Ottawa venues imaginable, and performed throughout the valley, Toronto, Montreal and Nashville.
Growing up he spent years working in camps and libraries, assisting in the development and implementation of educational programming for children, before turning his sights to music as a writer, performer, and instructor.
With an affinity for esoteric methods and instruments, Jesse has established himself as an Ottawa staple, instructor, and creative. He prides himself on inspiring students of students of all ages to find their own love for music, and their own space for it within their lives.
Grace Kim, Piano & Theory
Grace was born in South Korea where she first began to pursue piano at the age of four. Grace continued to play despite immigrating to New Brunswick in 2009 before moving to Ottawa in 2013. She joined BMA at the age of eleven and began the Royal Conservatory Music training at the age of twelve under the tutelage of Nadia. Since then, Grace has achieved Level 8 Piano with First Class Honours, Level 9 Piano with Honours and the Advanced Theory Rudiments all with The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Grace’s lessons closely follow the BMA piano program and are structured with finger exercises, rhythm drills, note-reading exercises and working from various method books including The ABC of Piano Playing, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library as a segue into the RCM program books. She’s also a versatile musician who has a strong ability to play by ear, and will be happy to teach songs from movies, video games and current top radio hits for those students who are not quite ready or motivated for the examination program. Grace teaches permanently on Saturday’s and substitute teaches throughout the week. Grace is fluent in Korean and would be happy to teach in Korean for anyone looking for this service!
Mindy Maier brings her musical talents and friendly teaching style all the way from Vancouver, British Columbia. A graduate from Carleton University's Bachelor of Arts, Major in Music program (2006), Mindy has completed practical examinations 1 through 9 with the Royal Conservatory of Music, along with various advanced theories, harmony and counterpoint examinations.
During her years of study, Mindy has had a strong presence in several music competitions in her native BC, sharpening her performance skills in front of audiences large and small. Her most notable achievements include winning two silver awards and one bronze award at the BC Lower Mainland Festival and Competition at the St Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby.
In addition to Mindy's background in piano, she has six years of experience playing the flute and four years of experience playing violin, making her an exceptionally well-rounded and knowledgeable musician and performer. Mindy has a friendly, outgoing personality, making her popular with students of all ages and abilities. She teaches beginner to advanced piano, and loves helping her students reach their RCM goals!
Alyssa is a recent graduate from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Child Studies. She was born and raised in Nova Scotia where she began formal training in piano at age 5. She continued with her pianos studies throughout her youth and also played flute throughout high school, performing with the junior and senior concert bands. Finally, she has completed the Level 8 Piano Examination with The Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as the Level 6 Voice Examination. Music has always been a passion of hers, and now that she has completed her university studies, she looks forward to further pursuing her passion in piano and helping students of all ages develop their skills and passions as well.
Andrew discovered his passion for music at the young age of 9 after being given a drumming practice pad for Christmas. After endless hours mastering rudiments and different percussion techniques, he decided it was time to dive head-first into playing music. Two years later he picked up the guitar has has not stopped playing since. Andrew has developed solid skills in a number of instruments - bass, drums, guitar, and voice - to become the versatile musician he is today.
Andrew's performance resume is nothing short of impressive. He's played in a variety of bands - Waking Suburbia, Flight To Midian, The Ecstatic and Crossing Jane - as a guitarist, bassist, vocalist and drummer. Andrew's performed at much sought-out Ottawa venues such as The Rainbow Bistro, Zaphod's, The John St. Pub and House of Targ, to name a few, and has had the honour to share the stage with members of Our Lady Peace, I Mother Earth and Three Days Grace.
He was only 16 years old when he released his band's first EP album, and his love for recording, mixing and producing led him to build his own studio, which he owns and operates out of his home. His producing and engineering mixes have received regular rotation airtime on radio stations 106.9 The Bear, Live 88.5, Rebel 101.7 and local college stations.
Andrew is an honours graduate of the highly acclaimed Music Industry Arts (MIA) program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. During his studies, his creativity and hard work were recognized with the prestigious "Best Production" award, the only prize given out of the program's 75-member faculty. Andrew's education in sound engineering and the arts have only further advanced his music career as a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, performer and producer.
Students learning from Andrew will discover his passion for music is contagious. They will learn to develop their own appreciation and love for reading, writing and performing songs of all genres and styles. Andrew's lessons bring a heavy emphasis on developing a strong sense of rhythm - arguably the most important building block to becoming a confident and proficient musician - regardless of discipline!
At age eleven, Alex first discovered the trumpet, and later began studying the guitar at age fourteen. Since then, he has completed a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Musicology at Dalhousie University (2012) and a Master of Arts in Music and Culture at Carleton University (2016). He has also performed across Eastern Canada, namely Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and here in Eastern Ontario. At age eighteen, Alex took part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at schools in Cuba.
Since moving to Ottawa in 2014, Alex has performed at a number Carleton University sporting events, as well as at local venues, including the popular Rainbow Bistro and House of Targ. He was a Teaching Assistant for the Carleton University Music Department during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years, where he assisted musicologist and theorist Dr. Alyssa Woods, and guitarist and composer Roddy Ellias. Alex also published a paper in 2014 on the changing relationships between Canada and its aboriginal peoples and presented another paper on technology and disability theory to the Canadian chapter of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), which held its annual conference in Ottawa in 2015.
Alex encourages his students to perform whenever possible, and to pursue their Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) goals. He also believes that musicality may be found in a variety of forms, and therefore encourages students who have an interest in composition to bring their material into their lessons so that they may improve their craft and discover their own hidden talents.
Laryssa began her musical journey when she was 7 years old where she started group lessons at her elementary school during lunch break. She fell in love with music, and by middle school she was eager to learn classics and began to perform in various concerts and talent shows. She began to teach in 2008 at a local music school where she taught young children to play music from method books and from varying curricula. By 2011 she taught at various music studios in Ottawa where she focused on private lessons.
Laryssa's education was developed during her many teaching years. She has studied under the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed her level 9 practical as well as her Advanced Theory Rudiments under the tutelage of Nadia. In addition, she completed her Bachelors of Psychology and a minor in music (2012) from Carleton University. During her undergraduate degree, she studied abroad in the United Kingdom (Leeds University) where she studied music in Broadway. She continued her studies at the University of Ottawa where she completed a Master’s of Education (2014) specializing in societies, cultures and literacies. This is where she critically examined the education system, learning principles in all ages as well as examining the foundations of learning in the arts.
One of her main passions is for teaching and inspiring students to go beyond. Laryssa teaches students based on individual goals and creates lesson plans that are specific to their unique learning styles. She teaches from various books, genres and curricula in order for students to be inspired by music. One of her main specialities is to teach and prepare students for practical and theoretical examinations (Levels 5 to 8) in the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum.
Her main goal is for students to love music just as much as she does and be motivated to advance levels with the Royal Conservatory of Music examination program. She is currently continuing her own music education by working towards the RCM level 10 practical examination under Nadia’s tutelage. Finally, she recently started lessons in Cello and wishes to continue studying a wider range of instruments for her own personal growth.
Jordan Robinson, Guitar, Drums, and Substitute Band Coach
Jordan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Carleton University, in his second year, with courses focusing on Law, History and Music. He has recently completed 3rd year courses in advanced guitar theory and performance at Carleton with the long term goal of obtaining a B.Ed. and becoming a classroom music teacher.
Jordan is an advanced level guitarist and percussionist, and recently worked on a part-time volunteer basis at his former high school, teaching guitar classes before joining BMA. Throughout his years of study in guitar, bass and percussion classes, rendering him as a multi-instrumentalist, he studied music theory,classical/jazz guitar technique and is passionate about a variety of other styles including metal, classic rock, and jazz fusion making him a diverse and exciting teacher.
As a musician, Jordan is full of energy and is an avid learner of all things guitar and music related. He currently plays in a local metal band as a guitarist. Jordan’s lessons are sure to be filled with advice and information on technique, music theory, harmony, rhythm, and song structuring. Students will no doubt find that Jordan’s lessons are motivating and inspiring.
Feel free to view Jordan’s YouTube channel to view his skills first hand at the following link:
Stephen is a dedicated teacher and performer in the Ottawa area. He is especially passionate about the musical journey and growth of each individual student he teaches. He started his music studies in Ottawa with private violin lessons in 2004. His first violin lessons involved learning various Folk and traditional Fiddle styles.
He later developed a strong love of Classical music which led him to studying classical technique and pieces. His love for music led him to study music at Carleton University, where he is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Music Program and is completing his final year.
He has completed his Grade 9 violin and Grade 8 piano exams as well as Advanced Theory Rudiments through the Royal Conservatory of Music. He has performed with various ensembles including the Carleton University Chamber Music Ensemble and the Strings of St Johns. In addition to teaching he enjoys performing and has performed with ensembles in both Canada and Germany. In his spare time, Stephen likes to travel, cook, practice music, study languages. He teaches both classical violin and fiddle methods , viola, and piano to students of all ages and, and prepares students for RCM exams. His lessons are tailored to the needs of each individual student.
Amanda's passion for music started at a very early age. Now, with over a decade of studies in piano, voice and music theory, she is a mature, experienced and well-rounded musician and performer, with formal training in practical piano, technique, music literacy, composition, and history.
Under Nadia’s tutelage over the years, Amanda has achieved various examinations including Level 9 Piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music and Level 8 Advanced Theory. Finally, now that Amanda has achieved a B.A in English from Carleton University, she will be focusing on achieving the RCM Level 10 Piano while working as a TA during her Master’s studies at Carleton. Continuing to pursue her passion for teaching, Amanda’s long term goal is to attend teacher’s college, and become a high school teacher of English and the arts, while always continuing to teach the piano. Always looking to encourage her students to succeed, lessons with Amanda will incorporate different approaches and methods, such as RCM, Alfred's and Hal Leonard, as well as some popular and jazz pieces, to keep students motivated with new material while laying strong foundations for the basics of rhythm, ear training and sight reading. Using warm-up exercises, scales, finger exercises, studies and repertoire, students will progress to improve on these important skills each week. Amanda's warm and friendly personality will encourage students of all ages to enjoy learning the piano as much as she loves to teach it!
Joshua Main, Full Time Administrator
Josh moved to Ottawa in 2006 for university where he obtained an Honours BA with specialization in Psychology from the University of Ottawa and a diploma in Law from Algonquin College. Josh's work experience ranges from working as an Account Coordinator for a marketing company where he managed statistics, expenses, and accommodations for marketing campaigns across Canada predominantly for Canadian Tire Financial Services and Walmart.
Now as a full time administrator, Josh will be your first point of contact for Barrhaven Music Academy. At the front desk, Josh will ensure that you have a pleasant and informative experience going over pricing, guidelines and policies, scheduling, and answering any general questions you may have regarding our school. As well as Josh's excellent client service skills, he built the new 2017 BMA website using Page Cloud and completes various marketing tasks for our coffeehouses, performance showcases and concerts.
Josh has had a passion for music since grade school where he played saxophone in various school bands. Although he no longer plays the instrument, he is always up for a game of music trivia and knows some fun facts about music history from many different decades!
Amanda happily spends her Saturday’s working reception at BMA. She’s very much a people person and enjoys serving clients. Amanda studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Algonquin College and since then has worked in a variety of careers ranging from a Sales Representative for Sunwing in Punta Cana to selling cars as well as various positions in the tourism industry in Ottawa. Along with her part-time work at BMA, she is currently a full-time Manager at Calabogie Peaks Resort. Amanda is happy to answer any questions for you at any time and will always greet you with a smile and positive energy!