Teachers' Biographies

Aaron Skiba (Guitar) is a graduate from the Grant Mac Ewan’s Guitar Performance and Composition programs. He specializes in many styles of guitar and is happy to assist any student at any skill level. Aaron is also an active gigging musician. He has toured with several bands (inc. Econoline Crush), worked with many music industry professionals and has been featured on award winning/nominated albums.

Adrienne Phung (Piano) Adrienne began studying music at the age of 5 at the Giovanni School of Music and is a graduate of the Yamaha Junior Special Advances Course. She has successfully completed the Royal Conservatory grade 10 piano exam as well as the Yamaha grade 6 piano exam. Adrienne’s compositions have been selected several times to be performed in regional and national Yamaha JOC concerts. She has participated extensively in festivals and competitions including Yamaha Keyboard Festivals in Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. She has won many awards and scholarships in festivals and for Yamaha grade exams. She has been teaching piano since 2011.

Amanda Smith (Voice) has been training to be an opera singer since she was seven years old. She is currently enrolled in the University of Alberta for her last year in the Bachelor of Music program in the performance route. Since starting her university career, Amanda has been asked to sing at the Winspear twice and she has also worked for the Edmonton Chamber Music Society. She has performed in three operas while studying in Italy including Puccini’s Suor Angelica where she played the supporting role of the Monitress. Since starting her voice teaching career in 2016, Amanda has specialized in rehabilitating severe vocal tension using yoga and classical vocal warm-ups and advancing intermediate pop and classical aspiring singers.

Ani Brenton (Voice) Hi Everyone I am Ani and I teach voice at Giovanni School of Music. Growing up in a very musical family, my first memory of singing was a 3 year old me gathering my parents and putting on a performance of my favorite Beach Boys song: Barbara Ann. A few years later, I asked to begin taking piano and voice lessons and haven’t looked back. In 2008, I moved to Edmonton to attend Grant Mac Ewan and completed the Jazz and Contemporary Music Diploma in voice. After which I took 5 years off school to travel, gig, and teach voice, piano and theory. Nowadays I am back in university, this time at the U of A completing my Bachelor of Music and working towards a Bachelor of Secondary Education. While the journey focuses mainly on classical music, I still have a massive love for singing jazz, soul, blues, rock, musical theatre and the like. I look forward to meeting and working with you to help you achieve your vocal goals.

Bonnie Mounsef (Piano) has taught piano for 43 years and has been involved with the Yamaha Education System since 1977. She has the ARCT performance and teacher diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2005 she was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal from the government of Alberta for making significant contributions to fellow citizens and the community through teaching music. Over the past 43 years she has trained many students for the Royal Conservatory exams, Yamaha exams, the Edmonton Kiwanis Festival, Yamaha keyboard festival and the Yamaha Junior Original concert. Her students have consistently received outstanding results and have received numerous awards and scholarships. Many of her students had perused a career in music, teaching or performing. Bonnie teaches classical, contemporary, and jazz. Latin and pop styles, theory, technique, ensemble playing and performance.

Brendan Lyons (Drums) Brendan has been teaching drumset for over 8 years and is thrilled to be able to continue to pass on his knowledge and experience to students at the Giovanni School of Music. Born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba he moved to Edmonton to study music at Mac Ewan University in 2016. While attending Mac Ewan he began playing for 2 time CCMA Group of the year Hey Romeo. Since graduating he has played for a number of artists and bands including Jack Richardson Music Award winner Bill Durst, Juno Award winner Paul Reddick, The Kat Kings, Jeff Hendrik and many more. Brendan recently appeared on the 2017 CCMA Awards broadcast with Female Artist of the Year and Sirius Rising Star Award winner Meghan Patrick. Brendan is an enthusiastic teacher who is passionate about passing on the thrill of playing music through highly individualized lessons. He is well versed in many styles of music including rock, pop, country, jazz, fusion, R&B, and hip-hop. Though there is no curriculum he is adamant that his students get a well-rounded education in music that includes focus on technique, reading, coordination, professionalism and performance.

Caitlin Martin (Piano) is a music instructor that has been employed with Giovanni Music since 2010, where she teaches various Yamaha Music Education System courses. Caitlin has successfully completed the certificate program requirements for the Grade 10 Examination in Piano with first class honors and the Elementary Piano Pedagogy towards the Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) Diploma in Piano Pedagogy. She holds a diploma of Music with a Major in Piano Performance from Grant MacEwan University. She is currently a part time Falsity of Education student at the University of Alberta working towards a Bachelor of Education degree with a Major in Music.

Dallas Reay (Guitar) has RCM in guitar and piano. Music composition diploma from the Grant Mac Ewan University and has been teaching for 3 years. He teaches rock, pop, metal, classical and jazz basics.

Daymon Reay (Piano) has an RCM, Music Composition Diploma from Grant Mac Ewan University and has been teaching for two years. Styles taught are pop, classical and jazz.

Devin Hart (Piano) is a pianist, keyboardist, composer and bandleader based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Since graduating Mac Ewan University in 2005, he has been active in western Canada playing and working with numerous artists and groups including Edmonton Music and Western Canadian Music Award winner Nuela Charles, Bells Rouge, the TIME association, Poly Pocket and many others. His Trio, The Devin Hart Trio, first formed in 2006 and has been featured at various venues in and around Edmonton. As well as being busy as a performer, Devin is active as an educator, working both as faculty at Mac Ewan University as well as teaching for Yamaha Music at Giovanni’s School of Music.

Emilio De Mercato (Piano) is a concert pianist, composer, conductor and Music Director Alberta Symphony Orchestra. He has more than 20 years teaching experience. Conservatory of Music “Guiseppe Verdi”, Milan Italy . Arts of Sounds International School of Music, Varese Italy. Grant MacEwan University Conservatory of Music, Edmonton. Giovanni School of Music, Edmonton and a private studio. Education: Conservatory of Music “Guiseppe Verdi”, Milan Italy, Hochshule fur Musik, Bern, Switzerland, Music Academy “Marziali”,Seveso, Italy & Masterclasses attended across Europe and US.

Eric Lam (Guitar) has a Bachelor degree in Music from the University of Alberta and a Music diploma from Grant Mac Ewan University. Eric has taught guitar for over sixteen ears and also teaches Flute and Cello. As an active musician/composer, he plays for various music events and concerts. He has arranged/composed music for a radio station, TV program and local artists. In 2005, he attained the Best Music Arrangement award from the Canadian Chinese Song-Writers Quest. His mission is to guide students to enjoy, to discover and to increase their knowledge in music.

Erica Van Drunen (Piano) Hooked on playing piano and singing for as long as she can remember, it was 2004 when she left Canada to go overseas and become a music teacher at a boarding school. The positive impact music education had on the students inspired her to obtain a music degree. She attended Grant Mac Ewan in Edmonton, Alberta in 2006 and took Jazz piano performance, then graduated in England from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2010 with a BA in Music, Majoring in Songwriting and Piano Performance. She was been teaching piano and vocals for 13+ years, groups and private instruction.

Erin Yambe (Voice) is a vocalist and music educator. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Mac Ewan University and has received certification in all three levels of Somatic Voice work from Shenandoah University. She specializes in teaching the contemporary genres including Pop, Jazz, R&B/Soul, Hip-Hop and musical theatre.

Greg Mulyk (Piano) is a classical and jazz pianist, composer and sound designer. He is currently a graduate of the University of Alberta, working on a Master of Music in Composition. He has composed music in a variety of styles ranging from small ensemble, computer music and interactive electronics, to symphony orchestra. Greg also composes music and sound effects for film and video games. Most recently, he created the original music and sound for the animated short film “Sophia”, which was featured at the New York 2017 Urbanworld International Film Festival, and which also won the SOCAN 2017 Young Composers Award for the best animated score. Greg has been a private piano instructor at Giovanni Music since 2012, where he teaches classical and jazz performance styles, along with composition.

Isabel Schuppli (Piano) began studying music at the age of 4 at the Giovanni School of Music and is a graduate of the Yamaha Junior Advanced Course. She has participated in numerous competitions both as a soloist and in ensemble and has won many awards and scholarships. Isabel has competed the Royal Conservatory grade 9 piano exam. She is very competent teaching many styles including classical, pop and jazz.

Melanie Poruchny (Piano) I have been playing piano music since the ripe age of 5 but teaching at the Giovanni School of Music since 2005. I have specially been teaching Yamaha for years and hold my Yamaha grade 5 performance and grade 4 fundamentals. I am also a certified Yamaha examiner for grades 13-8. I love all music but enjoy teaching classical and pop styles as well as rudiments and composition.

Michelle Ann Marcos (Piano) began studying music at the age of 4 at the Giovanni School of Music and is a graduate of the Yamaha Junior Advanced Course. She has taught piano since 2015 and is competent teaching many styles including classical, jazz and pop. Currently Michelle is working towards her Grade 10 Royal Conservatory certificate and is also in her second year of the Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education Combined Degree program at the University of Alberta.

Monika Kowalczuk (Piano) is an active musician, instructor and performer for special occasions. She earned her BA in Music at the King’s College in Edmonton. With 20 years of training and teaching experience, she has been exposed to various styles and genres of music. She is involved in piano, harp, organ, voice, theory, ear training, harmony, choral music, various forms of dance, including ballroom, theatre, leading and attending workshops, planning and organizing events and performances. Some of her performances have been seen at the Jubilee Auditorium, Winspear, and Royal Alberta Museum. She has expanded to teach group classes with the Yamaha program and is constantly acquiring new techniques and approaches to expose students of all ages to the various aspects of music. As a teacher she strives to be kind, patient, creative, imaginative, fun loving and it committed to having each student excel in their best possible way, whether for an exam, recital or for personal knowledge and enjoyment.

Nelson Collins-Lee (Drums) Is a Canadian drummer, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He plays and eclectic variety of styles (jazz, rock, metal, afro-Caribbean etc.) and has a detailed yet relaxed and student orientated approach to teaching. After completing his diploma in drum set performance at Mac Ewan University and spending and additional year of jazz studies at the University of North Texas, he has spent the past five years teaching private lessons, performing with bands and continuing to learn. Currently he plays with the bands Red Litmus, All Else Fails, Morewine, Pike and the 21st Agenda. Nelson also takes on various freelance gigs and recording sessions and made his musical theatre debut in the fall of 2016 when he played WS “Fluke” Holland in the Citadel Theatre’s production of the Million Dollar Quartet.

Ranon Soans (Violin) has been a violin teacher at Giovanni School of Music since 2013. He is trained in and teaches classical violin but also enjoys exploring other musical styles with his students. He has experience in working with students of a wide array of ages and abilities. Ranon has been involved in local music organizations, as a former longtime performer with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, and as a performer, a founding member and a current director of the Alberta Mozart Society.

Riccardo Baldini (Piano) was born in Italy and began studying piano at the age of 5. He earned his Master’s Degree in Piano at the renowned G. RossiniConservatory (Pesaro, Italy) under the direction of Professor Ludovico Bramanti. During his time at the conservatory he accomplished various final examinations in music theory (3 years), harmony (2 Years), history of music (2 years) and Chamber of Music (2 years). He has deepened his studies by attending several master classes with renowned pianists Enrico Pace, Andrej Jasinski, Benedetto Lupo, and Jean-Francois Antonioli. Following his tenure at G. Rossini Conservatory, Riccardo was selected among fellow students at the Auditorium Pedrotti for four consecutive years. As a soloist he has also performed in events at the hall Sala dei Marmi in various events. Riccardo has taught privately to young students and adults for some years before moving to Canada.

Stefan Shewchuk (Guitar) is an Edmonton based guitarist and educator with 9 years experience. Stefan holds a Bachelor of Music from the renowned University of North Texas College of Music, where he studied under the legendary Fred Hamilton. He is well versed in many styles of guitar including Jazz, Rock, Blues, Country and Classical. Stefan can be seen performing with his own trio, and as a freelancer in several other groups.

Stephanie Kwan (Piano) Holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of Ottawa, Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Alberta, and the Associate Royal Conservatory of Toronto Diploma in Piano Performance. For many years, she has organized concert initiatives for several Rotary Clubs across Canada. In2007 she was awarded the Rotary Ottawa-West Plaque for her dedication. In addition to her diverse collaborate and performing experiences , she is also active as a teacher and one of the founders and President of the Art of Sounds Music Association in Italy. Stephanie has appeared on Edmonton City TV, CKUA Radio, Panorama Italiano and Lombardi Oggi Magazine. Currently for the 2017-2018 year, Stephanie is teaching piano, theory and the Yamaha Junior Music Course 1 at the Giovanni School of Music .

Steve Badach ( Guitar) is an Edmonton based multi-instrumental and educator with a specific focus on electric and acoustic bass. Steve holds a music performance diploma from Grant McEwan. He is well versed in all styles of bass including, blues, rock, jazz, classical, blue grass and everything in between.

Yuliya McKee (Violin) was born in southwestern Ukraine and became interested in playing the violin and piano at 5 years. She continued her love of music throughout her school years and into college. Her music education continued into college in Kolomiya and the University in Rivne where she attained a Bachelors and Masters in Music Arts. Yuliya learned about not only the violin and piano but also voice instruction and conducting, She conducted church choirs during this time while completing university and graduating with honors. Upon completion she taught violin and conducted children’s choir. Her love of music followed her when she immigrated to Canada in and she began sharing her love of music with Canadian students. She began teaching violin at Giovanni Music in 2012 and has since received the Yamaha Popular Music Course Certificate. She continues to share her love of music with both young and mature student and hopes to introduce the joys of music to many students for many years to come.

Yvonne Boon (Piano) started learning piano at a young age, participating in the Kiwanis and St. Albert Rotary Music Festivals. She has a diploma from Mac Ewan University in both Piano Performance and Composition, as well as Level 10 in the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is currently studying for the ARCT in piano performance. Her five years of teaching students of various ages and abilities, and styles of music. Yvonne has performed at the Kaleido Family Arts Festival, K-Days, and Animethon with the Orbis Orchestra (keyboard & percussion).Previous ensemble experience includes University of Alberta Concert Band, accompanying children’s choirs and musical theatre. Currently she plays keyboard and backup vocals for the pop band Constant Promise. In her free time she enjoys singing and playing at open mics, songwriting and ukulele jams.