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Our Mentors

Our mentors are passionate, skilled musicians who take pride in sharing the knowledge that they've aquired throughout their musical lives.

Steele Chabau

Bass Guitar, Double Bass



Teaches: Bass guitar and Double Bass
Has been making music for: 18 years (double bass), 11 years (bass guitar)
Has been teaching music for: 5 years
Education / Qualifications: Bachelor of Music in Jazz Bass
Performs / has performed with: Currently play every Thursday night at Cloudland with Chukalé - a crazy hot afro cuban salsa band, and less regularly with MKO - futurepop, electro soul, boundary pushing thing. Have also played with the legendary Grammy Award winning Buena Vista Social Club, the heavy dirty swampy psycho bluesy rocky Mason Rack Band, the dancehall/trap/drum n bass, mega insane festival party starters Dubmarine, that Australian jazz guy James Morrison, and a thousand drop-of-the-hat fill in shows with everyone and anyone.
Has Performed at: UK: London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and surrounds. USA: New York, Boston. China, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia: Brisbane (everywhere but the Entertainment Centre and Suncorp Stadium), Sydney, Melbourne extensively. Darwin and Perth occasionally. Never Adelaide.
Inspired by: Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Parliament, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Meshell Ndegeocello, D'Angelo, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Cure, Madonna, 80's and 90's pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, pub rock, Deerhoof, Santigold, Little Dragon, The Knife. How much time do you have?
Special interests: Music production, graphic and web design, audio visual projection stuff, photography, teaching myself new skills.
Loves teaching music because:“It's so great seeing someone come in who is absolutely horrible - like, really, really bad - and then leave each week being a little bit better. Then, after some time, looking back and seeing just how much they've improved. Also, it's fun chatting about bass and music.”

Lisa Walsh

Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute



Name: Lisa Walsh
Teaches: clarinet, sax, flute
Has been making music: since she : was 9
Has been teaching music for: 15 Months
Education / Qualifications: BMus, AMus
Performs / Has performed with: Orchestras, concert bands, small ensembles
Has performed at: South Korea, university scholarship to study at Beijing Conservatorium
Inspired by: Sabine Meyer
Loves teaching music because: “It's great watching people learning to do something they didn't think they were capable of”

Anita Martin

Voice



Name: Anita Marie Martin
Teaches: Voice in all styles, specialised in Extreme Vocal Effects and Rap
Has been making music for: 31 years
Has been teaching music for:16 years
Education / Qualifications:Certificate III in Music, Diploma of Music, Bachelor of Music (Double Major: Sound Production and Performance).
Performs / Has performed with:Primarily as a solo artist, but also works with Aspley State High Choir as well as other small groups.
Has performed at: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival Speigeltent, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Ipswich Civic Centre, various other venues, restaurants and theatres throughout Southeast Queensland.
Inspired by: Stevie Nicks, Maria Callas, William Elliot Whitmore, C.W. Stoneking, Billie Holiday, Trios Los Panchos, Meryl Streep, Korn, Bjrk, P!nk, Sia.
Special interests: Teaching, performing, and researching Extreme Vocal Effects. Using the Alba Method to write and perform more connected music. Mentoring Youth and Emerging artists.
Loves teaching music: “It lights me up inside to see my students improving their self-confidence and relationship with themselves. Helping a student learn to not only overcome their fears but learn to sit with their fears and learn from them is a joy to me. To me, music is the language of the soul and I love teaching people to communicate with their voice in that medium.”

Emma Wilson

Voice



Name: Emma Wilson
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: 15 Years
Has been teaching music for: 8 Years
Education / Qualifications: Masters of Music Studies (Vocal Pedagogy) - Queensland Conservatorium; Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) - QUT
Performs / Has performed with: Hummingbird - a Brisbane acoustic covers duo with Lauren Crick, Thumbtack - alternative originals band, Various local musicians and corporate bands, and as a solo performer.
Has performed at: Brisbane Riverstage, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival Spiegletent, The Globe Theatre, The Zoo, restaurants, cafes and function venues throughout Queensland.
Inspired by: Eva Cassidy, Janelle Monae, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Beyonce, John Legend, Billie Holiday, Mel Torme, Natalie Cole, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Carole King, Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake.
Special interests: Pop, Soul and Jazz music, voice science and vocal pedagogy, keeping the voice healthy.
Loves teaching music because: “I love the feeling when a student realises that they can make an amazing sound using just their voice, that they never thought they would be able to make! I am super passionate about contemporary singing technique, and helping people find their own voice, sing with freedom, and keep their voice healthy and strong.”

Andrew Farnham

Guitar

Keita Neralic

Guitar

Imraan Paleker

Guitar



Name: Imraan Paleker
Teaches: Guitar
Has been making music for: I've been playing guitar for 15 years, and playing professionally for 8 years.
Has been teaching music for: 4 years
Education / Qualifications: Studied guitar with private tutor for 6 years. Otherwise self-taught and learning along the way by playing with others.
Performs / Has performed with: Currently playing for local artists Bec Laughton, Mark Lowndes, Jordan Rakei and a few others. Used to play in New Zealand funk/soul band Spacifix. Have also played in several contemporary theatre shows locally.
Has performed at: Toured around Australia a few times. Also played Australian festivals including Woodford Folk Festival, Island Vibes Festival, Easterfest and many local Brisbane festivals. Have also toured overseas through the UK, the USA, Holland, France, New Zealand and the pacific islands (Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tonga)
Inspired by: Radiohead, Damon Albarn, D'Angelo, Michael Jackson, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Charlie Hunter, John Scofield...
Loves teaching music because: “I love being able to share music with others and to show them that playing music is a hugely enjoyable experience that is available to absolutely everyone.”

Nathan Leonard

Guitar



Teaches: Guitar, Songwriting, Recording
Has been making music for: 20 years
Has been teaching music for: 10 years
Education / Qualifications: Bachelor Music Technology, Graduate Diploma Education
Performs / Has performed with: Alphabet Street, Imperius Rex, session work (studio/live)
Has performed at: Everywhere in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
Inspired by: Led Zeppelin, Robben Ford, Frank Zappa, Guthrie Govan, Radiohead, Van Halen, Prince, Jack White, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix
Special interests: Music. Teaching. People. Travel.
Loves teaching music: To empower others through knowledge and experience.

Tea Soo Choon

Guitar



Name: Tea Soo Choon
Teaches: Guitar
Has been making music for: 15 years
Has been teaching music for: 1 year
Education / Qualifications: Dip Music Production
Performs / Has Performed with: Angelica Lowndes (covers), Cherry Tree (covers),
Has performed at: Melbourne Hotel, Tingalpa Hotel, Pineapple Hotel,
Inspired by: Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix, Eagles, Sublime.
Loves teaching music because of: The breakthrough moments like completing a song/piece or overcoming technical challenges.

Ance Deksne

Piano



Name: Ance Deksne
Teaches: Piano
Has been making music for: I have been making music since I was 5 years old.
Has been teaching music for: When I was in Year 11 in high school I started teaching piano to young children after school. I soon realised that I really enjoy it! This inspired me to continue my Music studies and become a Music Educator.
Education / Qualifications: BMus; BEd; LMusA, AMusA, Cert IV in TAE; Cert III in Technical Production.
Performs / Has performed with / at: I have used my classical piano skills at various performances during the years, as well as accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists. I am an active member of the Latvian community having a vast performance experience at various events in Brisbane and interstate with my Latvian folk band, where I also play the piano accordion and arrange music. I have recorded two albums of Latvian folk music arrangements/compositions and performed at the National Folk Festival and gained ABC Classic FM air play.
Inspired by: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martha Argerich, Herbie Hancock, Richard Galliano, Gotan Project, Prince, Diana Krall, Ilgi, Coldplay, Muse, my piano teacher Mark Gibson.
Special interests: I enjoy travelling, driving in foreign countries/cities, and going on long walks!
Loves teaching music because: “Teaching music allows me to share my love not only for piano, but music in general. It is a fantastic feeling seeing clients' confidence and enjoyment for music making grow each day.”

Louise Gill

Piano



Name: Louise Gill
Teaches: Piano
Has been teaching music for:9 Years
Education / Qualifications:BMus (Composition), GradDipMusicTech, Grade 8 Piano AMEB, Grade 8 Voice TCL, Currently Studying Grad Dip Music with a major in music education.
Inspired by: Inspiration is an interesting word, but I admire people like Daniel O‘Brien, Michael Nyman, Mozart, Dario Marianelli, J.S. Bach, Alexandre Desplat, Amanda Palmer, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, all musicians I come in contact with. I admire anyone who enjoys sharing music or art.
Special Interests:Playing music with my friends in the living room, Composing music, Travelling, learning more about everything, Biology Conservation, Animals, Music Education, Education, Teaching, Piano, Cello, Films and Film Music, Harry Potter, my cats (Harry Potter and Maggie Smith), my dog Georgie, the list could go on for days!
Loves teaching music: I love the breakthroughs - when a client “gets it”, completes a song, or overcomes a challenge — it‘s just great to witness those moments. I also love sharing music, I say get rid of TVs, put a piano in the living room and share the fun!

Alexandra Pinwill

Violin



Name: Alexandra Pinwill
Teaches: Violin
Has been making music for: 20 years.
Has been teaching music for: 8 years.
Education / Qualifications: Bachelor of Music.
Performs / Has performed with:Primarily as a soloist on in a duo.
Has performed at: Weddings, functions, parties, busking, nursing homes, restaurants, markets either solo or in a guitar and violin duo.
Inspired by: Tchaikovsky, Saint Saens, Bach, Sibelius, John Williams, Traditional Irish music.
Special interests / Achievements: Argentine Tango, Ballet, Salsa Dancing, Singing in the All Saints Choir.
Loves teaching music because: “Sharing the gift of making music is a joy and a privilege. It is immensely rewarding to find and implement the best approach for each individual student. My aim is to help all my students progress to the best of their ability while still ensuring their are enjoying every moment. ”

Seamus Kirkpatrick

Voice, Clarinet, Bass Guitar

Lauren Crick

Voice



Name: Lauren Crick
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: 16 years.
Has been teaching music for: 6 years.
Education / Qualifications: Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) QUT,Trinity College Dip RSL (Perf), SBIT Diploma of Performance.
Performs / Has performed with:Alphabet Street — a Brisbane based funk & soul quartet, Hummingbird — an acoustic covers duo with Emma Wilson and previously worked as vocalist of Queensland Youth Orchestra Big Band. With any spare time I also enjoy performing my original songs.
Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, Movieworld, Brisbane Riverstage, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival Spiegletent, Eat Street Markets, South Bank Regional Flavours Festival, Southbank River Quay Sessions, and many other venues around South East Queensland.
Inspired by: Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Fleetwood Mac, Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, Eva Cassidy, Sara Bareilles, Tracy Chapman, Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Buckley, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Sting and Kate Bush.
Special interests / Achievements: Writing music, playing guitar and exploring other artistic ventures like drawing, painting, graphic design and cooking.
Loves teaching music because: “I love the moment when a student realises that they have achieved something they never thought possible. Whether that be singing in front of someone, singing a whole song in tune, getting up on stage, or even writing a song. I believe anything is possible if you love what you are doing. I share my own love of music with all of my students so that they feel motivated and inspired to learn, enjoy and have fun in each and every lesson! ”

Shelise Vandal

Voice



Name: Shelise Vandal
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: Has sung all her life, but has been taking lessons since the age of ten
Has been teaching music for: Just over a year
Education / Qualifications: Undertook an internship with Harvest Rain Theatre Company in 2013 and Is currently studying a bachelor of musical theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium
Performs / Has performed with: Has performed mostly with Harvest Rain Theatre Company during an internship but has also performed with Opera Queensland, Savoyards and other amateur theatre companies.
Has performed at: I've performed at QPAC, IPAC, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Treasury Casino
Inspired by: I love Idina Menzel, Fleetwood Mac, Jason Robert Brown, Tool, A Perfect Circle, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Lana Del Rey, Marina Prior, Tom Kitt, Duncan Sheik, System of a Down, Nina Simone
Special interests: I love teaching and singing all styles but my real passion lies in musical theatre and jazz. I also love indie, heavy rock and progressive metal.
Loves teaching music because: “I love teaching music mostly because I love seeing passion in people and turning that passion into real progress. I love seeing people accomplish things that they seriously doubted they would be able to and seeing confidence grow in their performance and in their personality as well. Music is great for expression and I love giving people an outlet for their creativity. ”

Tenille West

Voice



Name: Tenille West
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: All of my life, but performing in public for 5 years.
Has been teaching music for: 1 year
Education / Qualifications: Diploma of Jazz Performance. Currently studying a BA of music/ Jazz performance.
Performs / Has performed with: Ladi Abundance Project, an 8 piece original soul band with power vocals and harmonies, also performs with various jazz ensembles for private and corporate events.
Has performed at: Woodford Folk Festival, The Powerhouse, Earth Frequency Festival, The Press Club, Studio 188, The Motor room, Island Vibe Festival, various local restaurants and private function venues.
Inspired by: nita O'day, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Sia, James Vincent Mcmorrow, Highasakite, London Grammar.
Special interests / Achievements: Jazz and soul, improvisation and making a song your own. Working with self belief and a holistic approach..
Loves teaching music because: “As someone who was always too shy to sing in public , singing lessons really enabled me to come out of my shell . Now I work as a musician and a teacher and music has completely transformed my life. I love encouraging and helping my students find their voice, and unlocking the unique qualities that we all have. If you suspect you have a song in you, you're probably right. I love coming along with all of my students on that journey. ”

Dominic Markgraf-Smith

Voice



Name: Dominic Markgraf-Smith
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: over 30 years.
Has been teaching music for: 4 years.
Education / Qualifications: Bachelor of Music, QLD Conservatorium, Griffith University.
Performs / Has performed with:The Ten Tenors, Qld Opera Chorus, many different choirs and singing groups in South East Qld.
Has performed at: Sydney Opera House; many major opera houses and concert halls in Europe, Asia and North America; sports arenas and stadiums including Toronto Maple Leafs, Suncorp Stadium, San Diego Padres and The Melbourne Cup just to name a few!
Inspired by: All people who want to make and create music; particularly singer song writers like Jimmy Web, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, Sting, Phil Collins, The Beatles, Andreas Kümmert, Herbert Grönemeyer and The King's Singers and many more. Just ask him.
Special interests / Achievements: Love's to play the Ukulele and write songs. Has received a medal from an Australian Prime Minister for my work in the music industry and the community. Has made several gold and platinum selling records and DVDs. And, once played a mute caterpillar in a French opera to rave reviews!
Loves teaching music because: “Music makes people laugh, smile and cry, sometimes all at the same time. ”

Deanne Muir

Voice



Name: Deanne Peta Muir
Teaches: Voice
Has been making music for: 13 Years
Has been teaching music for:Since 2008
Education / Qualifications:Advanced Diploma of Music in Jazz Performance (Major - Voice & Minor — Piano) at 'The Music Institute' (formerly Jazzworx). Private tuition in Classical Voice with Jo Willans and also 12 months of weekly Indian Classical singing with Shantwana Mishra
Performs / Has performed with:Haenyeo — folk / jazz duo. Have been performing in bands and also solo since I was 16. Previously involved in Jazz bands, a Brisbane Hip Hop band as a vocalist and also piano and voice in a Brisbane based trio. Played at various local venues and weddings around Brisbane and northern NSW.
Inspired by: Jamie Cullum, Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Katie Noonan, Kate Miller Heidke, Sarah Siskind, Abagail Washburn, Gillian Welsch, Laura Marling, RufusJazz vocals, Classical Indian, American Folk Music.
Loves teaching music: “I think it's so important for everyone to have access to music and to be able to teach students to sing in a sustainable and healthy way for life is something that I really enjoy. Music has had such a positive impact on my own life that I enjoy passing on the knowledge that I have learnt from my own teachers to enrich the life of others who are wanting to learn.”

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