Here are our members in the Halifax region.
Please click on a faculty members name for more information.
Dr. Michael Donovan
voice, clinician, adjudicator, music director, musicologist, composer
early childhood, harmony, history, piano, rudiments, MYC
suzuki strings, suzuki early childhood education, orchestra
early childhood, piano, rudiments
piano, pedagogy, coaching, accompaniment, clinician, adjudicator, examiner
strings, suzuki violin
trombone, euphonium, tuba, conducting, brass ensemble, wind ensemble, clinician, adjudicator
guitar, oud, analysis, counterpoint, harmony, history, rudiments, clinician, lecturer
piano, theory, RCM examiner, adj, clinician, collaborative pianist, history, harmony
flute, woodwinds, adjudicator, examiner
piano, rudiments, voice, early childhood, music for young children, adjudicator
composition, organ, piano, rudiments, strings, accordian
piano, rudiments, accompaniment, vocal coach
Kirsty Helen Money
violin, viola, nyckelharpa, early music
aural musicianship, early childhood, piano, rudiments, voice
flute: classical/modern, traditional/Irish, and Baroque; ensembles in traditional music and early music
brass, counterpoint, harmony, rudiments
piano (advanced), university, adjudicator, clinician
piano, rudiments,history, harmony, analysis, aural musicianship
piano, university, clinician, adjudicator
piano, rudiments, accompaniment, adjudicator
early childhood, choral
Carol von Syberg (Life Member)
Dr. Lorna Wanzel (Life Member)
piano, theory (group/private) - rudiments, harmony, counterpoint, history, analysis, composition, clinician, researcher, adjudicator, examiner, coach
I am an experienced teacher, festival adjudicator, and performer offering lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced piano students, as well as theory. My focus is on fostering self-confidence and musical artistry by developing the control which allows for fluent self-expression. I bring energy and enthusiasm to each lesson as I support students in creatively searching for solutions and celebrating their successes.
Why do I love teaching? Because I want every student of mine to know how amazing they are as a person. I want to help them discover that if making music is interesting to them, they can absolutely do it and do it well. I want them to come to know that their self-improvement is inevitable when they are consistently focused on moving towards their goals. I want them to see first-hand that no matter how well they play, they can always find improvement. Perfection is a myth, and that is a beautiful thing because they can always keep learning. But most of all, I teach because when an interested student is regularly taking steps towards their goals, it is fun for everyone.
I have been teaching for nearly twenty years and adjudicating for a decade. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance with Distinction from the University of Calgary where I was featured as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and an ARCT diploma from the Royal Conservatory. Before teaching piano lessons in Halifax, I worked in Calgary as the Piano Faculty Director at Chinook School of Music, the Director of Music at Parkdale United Church, and the Artistic Director of Cum Vino Cantus Choir.
56 Tuscany Run
Timberlea, NS B3T 0L3
Suzuki Strings, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Orchestra.
Christy has her Bachelor of Music Education from Acadia University where she studied violin from Edmund Agopian. Christy has received Suzuki training from Ronda Cole, Pat D’Ercole, and Martha Shackford. She is the Founder and Director of the Scotia Suzuki School, the Nova Scotia Youth Ambassadors (performance group).
With three recordings and 8 years as the lead in the Celtic conference band Lochaber, She is experienced in performing. Christy has built with a wonderful team of Suzuki instructors an incredible Suzuki community of high level players and brought music into families homes and children's lives in Halifax and even extending from Bridgewater, to Windsor and to New Glasgow.
6297 Lawrence St
Halifax NS B3L 1J8
Kirsty Helen Money
Violin, Viola, Nyckelharpa, Early Music
Kirsty Money is a dynamic performer and teacher of modern/baroque violin, and the nyckelharpa in the Halifax area. Originally from BC, she studied violin with Sydney Humphreys at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and has further performance degrees from McGill and Western Universities, as well as her Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music in the UK. Kirsty has been a member of the first violin section of Symphony Nova Scotia since the 1999/2000 season.
While studying modern violin in Montréal, she was introduced to the baroque violin through playing in L’Orchestre Baroque de Montréal, one of the city’s prominent Early Music ensembles at the time. This ongoing interest and passion for Early Music has led to collaborations with musicians such as David Greenberg (Tempest Baroque Ensemble), Suzie Leblanc (Early Music Vancouver), Jeanne Lamon (Tafelmusik), Alex Weimann (Pacific Baroque Orchestra), Kati Debretzeni (English Baroque Soloists) and David McGuinness (Concerto Caledonia, Scotland). Kirsty has appeared as a guest soloist in the Symphony Nova Scotia Baroque series, as well as with the Boxwood and Sackville Early Music Festivals. Currently she is a guest teacher/coach at the The Halifax Institute of Traditional and Early Music.
Living with the Folk Traditions in Nova Scotia has also inspired Kirsty to take up the Swedish Nyckelharpa, an instrument dating from Medieval Northern Europe. Since 2015 she has been studying the instrument and its repertoire intensely. Through grants from the Canada Council and Arts Nova Scotia she has been to Nyckelharpa workshops and festivals in Sweden, the UK and Germany. In 2021 Kirsty was awarded the inaugural Professional Development grant from Women for Music, an organization dedicated to the promotion of excellence in music performance in the province of Nova Scotia.
As a veteran teacher of over 25 years, Kirsty has taught beginners right through to advanced students, and has studied numerous teaching methods, including Suzuki. Kirsty is thrilled to be joining the faculty at the MCPA and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and varied skills with the greater Halifax community.
5656 Hennessey St
Halifax, NS B3K 2A9
piano, rudiments, accompanist
Lisa has been teaching Piano and Rudiments since 1990. Currently, she teaches local students in her private studio in the Rockingham area as well as distance students from out of province by video conference.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Science and a Piano X Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She taught public school for 5 years before beginning full-time private studio piano teaching while also home educating her own sons.
For more information about the complete program offered by Lisa please visit her website. PattisonPiano.com
Halifax NS B3M 3Y8
Aural Musicianship, Early Childhood, Piano, Rudiments, Voice
Paula Phillips brings over 30 years of experience in performing, teaching and arranging music to her vibrant voice and piano studio. Her musical life began with choral singing, and playing piano, clarinet and saxophone. Paula graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, followed by a Bachelor of Music Education, where she was awarded vocal and choral scholarships.
Paula has numerous solo and ensemble performances and recordings to her credit in series such as Musique Royale, Cecilia Concerts, Indian River Festival, Musique Saint-Bernard, Jubilate Deo Series, and Mahone Bay Summer Concert Series, appearing with Canada’s National Youth Choir, the national award-winning Halifax Camerata Singers and Symphony Nova Scotia. She sings professionally with the choir of Saint George’s Round Church, Halifax.
A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and founding member of Conservatory Nova Scotia, Paula’s teaching experiences include 25 years as a voice teacher at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, offering Kindermusik at MCPA and the Montessori Children’s House, teaching classroom and choral music and initiating the band program at the Sacred Heart School of Halifax, conducting choral classes at King’s View Academy, and serving as a vocal coach at Nova Scotia Choral Federation choir camps. Paula has also established a private voice and piano studio in Mahone Bay, where for several years she was music director for the Seaside Singers.
Paula has taught hundreds of students with a glorious variety of goals and dreams, many of whom have excelled at local, provincial, and national level competitive music festivals, played leading roles in local musical theatre productions, received awards for RCM exams, and been featured singers at festivals and major events. Several have gone on to pursue post-secondary study and careers in music, theatre, and music therapy. Paula is dedicated to helping others discover and nurture their own life-long joy of creative expression through music.
1985 Beech St
Halifax, NS B3H 4B9
Piano (advanced), University, Adjudicator, Clinician
Pianist Lynn Stodola is an active soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist, having performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Her performances have received critical acclaim from the New York Times: “excellent pianist - first class performance, intense and technically commanding” and the Chicago Sun Times: “stunning debut...Ms Stodola showed herself possessed of intelligence, bravura and beauty of spirit”. She has appeared regularly in many international music festivals, including Juneau Jazz and Classics (Alaska), Music and Beyond (Ottawa), as a guest artist in the Ateneum Series (Venice, Italy), Scotia Festival Music Room Chamber Music Society and the Cecilia Concert Series. Her work as collaborative pianist has assisted in the careers of many performing artists and her guidance as teacher and mentor has helped many young artists achieve successful musical careers in the U.S., Canada and abroad.
In 2009 she was recipient of the first Hugheen Ferguson Distinguished Teacher Award presented by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association, and in 2018 was named NSRMTA Teacher of the Year. In 2019 Ms. Stodola was awarded Teacher of Distinction" by the Royal Conservatory of Music. Recently retired Professor of Piano at the Fountain School of Performing Arts, Ms. Stodola now devotes her time to teaching young gifted pianists, many of whom have won numerous awards locally and nationally at the Kiwanis Music Festival, the FCMF National Finals Competition, the Canadian Music Competition and the CFMTA National Final Competitions.
Ms. Stodola holds degrees from the American Conservatory of Music (B.Mus.) and the Juilliard School (M.Mus, post graduate Professional Studies).
1785 Pryor St.
Halifax NS B3H 4G7
Piano, Rudiments,History, Harmony, Analysis, Aural Musicianship
Megan Thibeault is a versatile pianist who is passionate about exploring new ways to present, collaborate and explore music that reflects our current society. Originally from Newfoundland, her musical endeavours have brought her to perform and study throughout North America. She has premiered many solo and ensemble pieces while collaborating with a wide range of composers from Canadian emerging artists to internationally renowned such as Steve Reich, Georg Friedrich Haas and Missy Mazzoli. She was a two time competitor at the Canadian Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition and has performed and studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, the Bang On A Can Summer Festival, the Orford Music Academy as well as the New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.
As a teacher Megan is an enthusiastic and positive educator who encourages her students to discover the joys of music while helping them advance to their fullest potential. She loves exploring a wide range of repertoire with her students and strives to build a deep appreciation for music that lasts. Megan completed her Masters of Music degree with acclaimed pianist David Jalbert at the University of Ottawa. She also holds an Artist Diploma at the University of British Columbia under the tutelage of Corey Hamm. She has pursued further studies with contemporary piano music experts Nicolas Hodges, Stephen Drury, Anthony De Mare, Winston Choi, Vicky Chow, Simon Docking and Louise Bessette along with some of Canada’s great classical pianists Maneli Pirzadeh, Jane Coop and André La Plante.
As a chamber musician Megan has worked and performed with the Bang On A Can All-Stars, the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and toured with the Acadia University Wind Ensemble. She has worked with many collaborative musicians throughout her studies and projects. She is the recipient of many Arts NS and Canada Council for the Arts grant awards. Currently Megan is one of the co-artistic directors of Halifax based ensemble Alkali Collective and enjoys a fruitful career working with composers and performing new music alongside of her piano studio.
5662 Bloomfield St
Piano, University, Clinician, Adjudicator
Canadian pianist Cindy Thong leads a polyvalent career as a pedagogue, researcher and pianist. She has performed throughout Canada, in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain and Italy and has also been a finalist and prizewinner in numerous competitions including the Concours Hélène-Roberge, FCMF National Piano Competition and the Canadian Music Competition. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2009 Debut Atlantic Award for Musical Excellence as well as the 2018 Tietje Zonneveld Award from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.
Recent performance highlights include recitals as part of the Orford Music Festival, Cecilia Concerts and Jeunesses Musicales “Emerging Artists” Series, in addition to the integral of György Ligeti’s piano etudes presented by various pianists in Studio Ernest-Ansermet in Geneva, Switzerland. As an orchestral pianist, Cindy has also collaborated with numerous ensembles such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Cindy is currently a doctoral candidate at the Université de Montréal under the supervision of Jimmy Brière. With a keen interest in performance psychology and mental skills training, her dissertation research pertains to the neuropsychology of learning and the optimization of practice methods. She has been invited to lecture about these topics at the post-secondary level and continues to expand this interdisciplinary work in collaboration with other domains, including research for arts and health interventions. She also holds a Master of Arts in Music Performance from the Haute École de Musique de Genève in Switzerland where she worked closely with the late Dominique Weber, as well as an Artist Diploma, Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from the former institution.
Having participated in numerous festivals and master classes throughout North America and Europe – notably at the Gijón International Piano Festival, the Wiener Musikseminar, the Euro Music Festival, the Banff Centre, the Orford Arts Centre and the Domaine Forget International Music Academy – Cindy has also worked closely with artists such as Robert MacDonald, Jacques Rouvier, Bernd Goetzke, Dang Thai Son, Stephen Kovacevich, Ronan O’Hora, Marc Durand, Benedetto Lupo, Alexander Kobrin, Evelyne Brancart and Dalton Baldwin, among others.
Currently based in Halifax, Cindy is an Applied Instructor at Acadia University and also maintains a dynamic private studio in addition to her performance and research activities.
56 Walter Havil Dr.
Halifax, NS B3N 0C3
Piano, Rudiments, Accompaniment, Adjudicator
Diana Torbert received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Converse College in South Carolina and her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York, with further studies at Aspen Music School in Colorado. Her musical career has encompassed a wide range of solo and ensemble performances with orchestras, chamber groups, instrumentalists and vocalists, choral groups and opera.
Since moving to Halifax in 1987, she has become well known as a pianist, teacher and adjudicator. Ms. Torbert has performed frequently with Symphony Nova Scotia and on many concert series in the region. She is well known as a collaborative pianist in the musical community of Nova Scotia and at Dalhousie University’s Department of Music. She is the pianist for Rhapsody Quintet, who have released six CD’s: the newest one, “Passion” was just released in October, 2012. “Rhapsody in Red” won the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s Best Classical Recording Award in 2005. “Rhapsody in Red” was also nominated for Best Classical Recording at the East Coast Music Awards in 2006. “Rhapsody by Request” – also won the 2009 “Classical Recording of the Year” from the Nova Scotia Music Awards. Rhapsody Quintet has performed twice as guest artists with Symphony Nova Scotia, and on many concert series in the Atlantic Provinces and in Ontario.
Ms. Torbert has taught hundreds of students from beginning to professional levels during her 40- year teaching career and continues to maintain a large private studio in Halifax. She is currently the Past President of the Halifax Chapter of the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association.
6009 Inglis St.
Halifax NS B3H 1K9
Dr. Lorna Wanzel
Private piano and theory lessons, from Beginner to ARCT levels. Group theory classes. These include Harmony, Counterpoint, Music History, Analysis, Piano Pedagogy, Rudiments and Composition. Dr. Wanzel is also a Clinician, Researcher, Adjudicator, Examiner and Coach
Dr. Lorna Wanzel grew up in England. She now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she maintains a very successful private piano theory teaching studio. She has over 40 years of experience teaching piano skills, theory rudiments, history of music, harmony, counterpoint, analysis composition and piano pedagogy to students of all ages and levels. She is an experienced examiner, clinician, adjudicator and researcher.
Dr. Wanzel is a former President of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations and Past President of the Nova Scotia Registered Music teachers’ Association. She started the NSRMTA Research Group, the first of its kind in the world, and has presented research papers on various topics, including motivation and retention of students in the private music studio. She has presented research papers at music education conferences in Australia, Portugal, Italy, Latvia, China, Greece, UK, USA and Canada. She is a recipient of the prestigious CFMTA Distinguished Teachers Award and has been made a Life Member of the NSRTMA.
Dr. Wanzel’s Master of Arts Degree thesis “Private Piano Pedagogy and Educational Theory” was completed at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia and her Doctor of Education thesis “Independent Music Teachers Building Professional Knowledge Through Collaborative Research” was completed at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
6158 Lawrence St.
Halifax NS B3L 1J6