Our teachers are trained members of the Suzuki Association, accredited with the Suzuki Association of Ontario, and are dedicated to the principles of the Suzuki Method of teaching.
Balancing a nurturing environment with high musical standards, our teachers challenge students to produce their best effort at their own pace.
If you would like to be contacted by one of our teachers, please email the OSA Registrar with the following information:
- Your child’s age
- Instrument desired
- Current level or previous experience
You will be contacted within approximately three business days.
Did You Know?
You don’t need to own an instrument to take lessons through the OSA. In most cases, your teacher will help to ‘size’ your child for an instrument before they start playing. We can then refer you to The Sound Post for instrument rentals.
Silvija Abols: Piano
Silvija began her Suzuki studies with Dr. Haruko Kataoka (founder of the Suzuki Piano Method) in 1982, when Dr. Kataoka came to visit Canada for the very first time. After that Silvija did a two-year apprenticeship with Dorothy Jones (a well-known and respected Suzuki pioneer in Canada), and continued to study with Dr. Kataoka every summer, as well as with other fine Suzuki teachers such as Bruce Anderson, Doris Koppelman, Jeanne Luedke and others from across North America at summer institutes. In 1987, she decided to go to Japan to immerse herself in the Suzuki Method at its source. Silvija is one of only two Canadians to have graduated as a “Master Teacher” in piano from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, where she studied for four years (1987-1991) with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and Dr. Haruko Kataoka.
Silvija is noted for her serious silliness for which she makes no apologies and said she learnt from two very significant men in her life: her father and Dr. Suzuki. With a husband, a son, a dog and a full studio, she says it comes in very handy and keeps her happily sane or insane — whatever the day may bring.
Natalie Burton: Violin
Natalie has been teaching Suzuki violin for over 17 years. She has an Honours Bachelor of Music Education from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied violin with Jerzy Kaplanek and Jeremy Bell, both members of the Penderecki String Quartet. As a youth she played in the Halton Youth Symphony, at university with the WLU Symphony Orchestra and later with the Oakville Symphony. She enjoys chamber music performs in quartets and trios for weddings and other special events.
Natalie has her Bachelor of Education from York University and her Honours Music Specialist from York University. She currently teaches K-6 Music with the Halton District School Board at an elementary school in Burlington.
She teaches Suzuki violin from beginner to the end of book 4.
Studio Location: Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre
Michelle Coon: Flute, Theory
She has been teaching Flute and RCM theory and History (all levels) for over 25 years and has been part of the Oakville Suzuki Association for the past 15years. Michelle received her Suzuki Teacher Training at the Great Lakes Institute in Hamilton, ON.
Many of Michelle’s students have received scholarships at local music festivals; many have been invited on to the Provincial level Music Festivals. Several students have also been awarded the Silver Medal for their RCM flute practical exams. Michelle’s students have won school music awards, the Hollier and Young Artist awards through the Oakville Symphony Orchestra, and have gone on to continue to study flute at University.
Michelle teaches all levels and ages of flute and is passionate about her teaching. She believes that music must be fun and serious all at the same time.
Michelle Started the Oakville Suzuki Flute Orchestra (OSFO) in 2004 for her senior students which adds in the larger and smallest members of the flute family, the piccolo, Alto and Bass flutes which gives the ensemble their beautiful and unique sound. The OSFO has played in many venues around Oakville including Oakville Place, Whole Foods, dinners, receptions and business openings. Michelle arranges and composes music for the group. The younger students wanted to have the opportunity to work with the larger and smaller flutes as well so Michelle started the Junior Orchestra several years later.
Michelle has a passion for teaching theory at all levels including all the RCM co- requisites (Rudiments, History, Harmony) She has written a book called “Music Theory in a nutshell” for parents and enthusiasts to help them understand the basics of theory and is working on a music reading booklet.
Michelle has done pit orchestra work but finds small chamber groups most rewarding. She currently plays in a Trio with Piano and Cello, and has performed in many places in and around Oakville.
Michelle is on the OSA executive and is the chair of the OSA Music Committee. She has two children and her daughter took Suzuki Cello so she has also been a Suzuki parent and knows both sides of the equation. An animal lover, she has two friendly dogs and a cat.
Catherine Adèle Balmer: Suzuki Piano
Jesse Dietschi: Bass
Kate Einarson: Violin, Early Childhood Music
In addition to teaching in Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville, Kate is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at McMaster University, working as a research scientist at the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. She studies the development of musical knowledge in infants and children, and the effects of music training on children's abilities.
Joseph Fazakas: Guitar, Piano
Joseph taught himself guitar at 10 and has sought teachers in a variety of styles; former teachers include Doug Murphy, Jeffrey McFadden, William Beauvais and Wendell Ferguson. Joseph performed in many bands and ensembles throughout his teens and early twenties, followed by 5 years of studying guitar at the RCM in Toronto, where he was a multiple silver medal winner. Joseph has participated in many Suzuki guitar and piano workshops, where he has studied with guitarist and Suzuki guitar co-founder William Kossler. While Joseph continues to take studies and is certified in the Yamaha method as well, he enjoys making Suzuki the foundation of his students’ habits while augmenting their musical education with a variety of contemporary techniques. In addition to 2 decades as an organist and church music director, Joseph maintains an active studio in Oakville and Hamilton, performs as a collaborative pianist and adjudicator. In addition to an active schedule Joseph strives to continually improve his knowledge and teaching methods. He is currently studying jazz piano with jazz pianist and educator David Story.
Like any instrument, we want to enjoy the process of making music. However, there is definitely labour behind the art. While I attempt to make my lessons, and the learning process, as fun as possible, music making unquestionably becomes much more agreeable and entertaining when everyone knows what duties are laid out before them. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, especially in terms of the guitar, but the following lists will give you and your child a framework in which to begin the music making process. Just remember, everyone involved should have fun, but it’s positively weighted in the student’s favour!
Pierre Yves Gagnon: Violin, Viola
He was introduced to the Suzuki method while studying at McGill University and took his first unit at theGuelph Suzuki Institute in 1983. Since, he has completed all ten violin teaching units and has attended several institutes and conferences across Canada, United States and Japan, including two workshops with Dr. Shinishi Suzuki.
He is a regular teacher at the Oakville Performing Arts Day Camp where he teaches violin, viola, recorder and chamber music and is invited at different Suzuki Institutes and music festivals in Canada and the United States.
Amber Ghent: Cello
Training: Suzuki Units 1-10, Group Class Techniques, Suzuki Principles in Action
Having over a decade of teaching experience, Amber has enjoyed working with young artists ages 4-18 as faculty with the Cleveland Music School Settlement, KW Cello Suzuki, the Suzuki String School in Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier String Academy. Having completed training in all Suzuki units, Amber is currently training to become a licensed Andover Educator in order to help musicians avoid injury and play with ease. Amber has taught in the summers at Valhalla and Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institutes, as well as Lakeside Music, the Oakville Performing Art Camp, and the Kincardine Chamber Music Program.
A versatile chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Ghent has been cellist with the Madawaska String Quartet since 2007, performing and recording a wide range of repertoire and appearing at major venues throughout Canada including the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, the Toronto Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall, the Elora Festival, and the Indian River Festival in P.E.I. She has also performed with the KW Symphony, Orchestra London, served as assistant principal for two seasons with the Erie Philharmonic.
Amber earned a Bachelor’s in Music Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University, went on to study in San Francisco and completed her Masters in Performance studying with members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Bethany Goluboff: Violin
Before coming to Oakville, she spent three years in Sudbury as Concert Master of the Sudbury Symphony, member of the Sudbury Symphony String Quartet, and the principal teacher with the Sudbury Symphony School of Music. Bethany has completed Suzuki training in Books 1 through 7.
Jean Grieve: Violin, Cello, Early Childhood Music
Hana Gurtlerova: Piano, Theory
Hana's students have achieved prizes in the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition, Silver Medals with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and First Class Honours with Distinction in the RCM Examinations. Many of Hana's students have reached the ARCT level and have decided to pursue a degree in music. Her students have also participated in the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute. She continues to further her expertise by attending master classes and professional devlopment teaching courses such as "Every Child Can" and Chetham's International Summer School and Festival for Pianists in the UK. After moving to Oakville in 1997, she joined the Suzuki Association of Oakville and studied with Doris Koppelman at the SAA's Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute in Waterloo and with Gail Lange. Her family shares two common interests: music and fitness. Hana, her husband, and her daughter all have their black belts in taekwondo. Hana's daughter, whom she home-schooled from Grade 3 to the end of high school, is a graduate of the University of Toronto's music performance program and is now pursuing a graduate degree at SUNY Stony Brook.
Janet Pasila (B.A., B.Ed.): Violin, Viola
Every year Janet spends five or six weeks in New York working with renowned violin pedagogue and author Burton Kaplan. During her time in New York, Janet attends daily masterclasses and lessons. She exchanges ideas with other performers and teachers from Canada, the United States, and abroad. She enjoys the opportunity to rehearse and perform solo repertoire with a world class pianist who toured with Midori. After every session Janet returns home with new insights and ideas for her students. She is constantly expanding her pedagogical knowledge in areas such as practice strategies, psychological issues, interpretation and artistry, and technical aspects of playing the violin or viola.
Janet has performed with various orchestras and chamber groups in southern Ontario, Kingston, and Newfoundland. She also toured in Europe as part of an orchestra associated with the Sessione Senese per la Musica e l'Arte.
Currently Janet is also kept very busy with her two young children, both violinists of course!
Gunilla Westerholm: Violin, Early Childhood Music
Gunilla recently completed her Early Childhood Education training and is a certified ECE teacher in music.