Melissa Stolarz has a degree in Business from the Richard Ivey School of Business (HBA) and a Bachelor of Musical Arts Specializing in Voice from the Don Wright Faculty at Western University. She was awarded Honours in the top 25% of her Business class and the UWO Gold Medal Award for the student with the highest graduating average in her music program. She also plays the violin, flute and piano. Prior to University, Melissa completed Royal Conservatory of Music examinations for all four instruments. She currently performs regularly with the Mississauga Festival Choir, Resonance, and enjoys singing in: German, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Latin. Early in 2016, Melissa published several music theory books entitled, "Theory Monster” for beginner and advanced students. The workbooks allow students to master reading music notation and are essential for building confidence in young learners. Her favourite piece of music is Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major Op. 92, II Movement.
Monika Stolarz holds an MBA from the Degroote School of Business. She also holds an Honors Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, majoring on the piano. During her time at Western, Monika also complete an Honors degree in Business Management and Organizational Studies from Western University. Prior to post-secondary education, Monika is a graduate from Cawthra Park’s S.S for the arts, majoring on the piano, where she was a lead pianist for musicals including Les Miserables and the Sound of Music. Monika has a passion for teaching and has guided students from beginner to advanced levels in preparation for all levels of Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (including theory and history) as well as post-secondary music auditions for over 17 years. Many of Monika’s students have successfully passed post-secondary auditions in music programs across Canada who continue to share the same passion in music. The OSMPA is a dream come true.
Miss. Monika was also part of the first cohort to complete the Royal Conservatory of Music Teaching Online Certificate Course, working with fellow teachers and sharing best practices to elevate the online learning experience for our students.
Leslie Tan | Manager of OSMPA Admissions
Leslie Tan is an alumni of the OSMPA, studying piano, flute and music theory with Monika Stolarz and Sophie Lanthier. Leslie Tan is a piano and theory teacher and is currently completing her final examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition, she studies flute and vocals. She has been studying music since the age of six and has performed in numerous recitals and festivals. Leslie prepares students for Royal Conservatory Examinations, festivals and performances. Leslie has volunteered in music therapy camps, where she works with children and teens struggling with mental health issues. Having volunteered at the camp, Leslie has experienced the potential of overcoming mental health issues through the power of music. Throughout her years as a music teacher, Leslie structures her lessons in a way that allows her students to learn and grow as promising musicians through various educational activities in a fun environment.
Leslie Ashworth Described by Toronto Concert Reviews as “a mature artist and a budding superstar”, Canadian violinist Leslie Ashworth has performed in France, Italy, Canada, and the United States and in acclaimed venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Banff Centre’s Rolston Hall, and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. A Tim and Frances Price Scholarship recipient, she graduated with her Bachelor of Music Performance from The Glenn Gould School under Barry Shiffman and Paul Kantor. She is pursuing her Master’s of Music on The Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Full Scholarship at Rice University in Houston.
In addition to her violin studies, Ashworth is a pianist, violist, and composer, achieving her ARCT Violin, Viola, and Piano Performance, earning the Royal Conservatory’s National Gold Medal for ARCT Viola. A passionate writer, Ashworth participated in the Emerging Arts Critic Programme with publications in WholeNote, Opera Canada, and Dance Current. She received the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for founding Suite Melody Care, which shares over 100 themed, interactive, volunteer performances annually with hospital patients and the elderly in Canada and the U.S. Ashworth plays on a 1696 Albani violin on loan from a generous benefactor and released her third CD/DVD. Leslie enjoys sharing her passion for music in teaching the violin, piano, and music theory to students of all ages and levels, including the
Suzuki Method and preparing students for Royal Conservatory Examinations.
Isabelle Chan is both a piano and music theory teacher at the OSMPA. She is currently studying under Monika Stolarz to complete her Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Performance. Isabelle has an aptitude for anything related to music as she plays the piano, flute, ukulele, guitar and she sings too! Isabelle has also explored the jazz genre by being part of the Halton Junior Jazz Band and the High Rendition Jazz Band as a pianist. She has been an integral member of the Wind Ensemble, Drumline and Jazz Band in her school to win gold awards during numerous provincial and national competitions. Isabelle is wonderful with children and she is looking forward to spreading the magic of music to her students.
Grace Choi A native of Toronto, Ontario, violinist Youngeun Grace Choi has performed in Canada, USA, Japan, and Europe. She has attended the Master’s of Music Course of Japan where she worked with Maestro Alan Gilbert and Naoto Omoto. She has participated in master classes with Ani Kavafian, Maria Lambros, Stefan Jackiw, Victor Danchenko, and Xiao-Dong Wang. She enjoys playing chamber music and received coachings with members of the Pacifica Quartet at Indiana University. Choi is a scholarship recipient and graduated with honors from Indiana University and received her Bachelor’s and Performance Diploma under the guidance of Professor Ik-Hwan Bae and Mimi Zweig. Youngeun plays on a 1776 Ferdinandus Gagliano and a Charles Peccatte bow generously on loan by a private donor. Grace is continuing her studies at the University of Toronto for her Master’s degree in Violin Performance as a full-scholarship student. Grace has experience in teaching at Indiana where she was an assistant group violin teacher at an elementary school with a high poverty rate where children from 1st through 6th grade come from low-income families. She has assisted the teacher to help guide children to learn basic musical skills through large group violin class instruction during the school day and created a friendly and fun learning environment for the students with enthusiasm. Grace provides individual lessons as well to those who need more attention and concentration on learning a concept on the violin. She encourages the students to understand basic technique and incorporating learning short pieces and scales. Grace also has the experience of teaching at the Summer String Academy at Indiana University. She was an assistant violin teacher for chamber music groups and coached several quartets and individuals where young string players ages 12-18 come together all around the world to play beautiful chamber music. She helps prepare students to learn and understand how to approach playing a difficult passage on the violin and well as encouraging students to perform in front of their peers to build confidence under pressure, and ultimately help students achieve a successful performance for the entire faculty, guest artists, family and friends.
Tram Dang started learning piano at the age of 5 in Vietnam and got accepted to Ho Chi Minh Conservatory of Music. She came to Montreal in 2010 and continued her piano education at Marianopolis College for her pre-university degree and later on graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Music and Minor in Music Education. Tram began to teach piano when she was 17 years old and knew how important it is for children to learn music. She encourages her students to learn and appreciate the beauty of music while having fun. There is no limit for the children's abilities and imagination. Tram reinforces good techniques and a strong fundamental for her students from the very beginning. Tram has won in competitions such as Le Muse in Italy – 2nd prize, Bradshaw & Buono International Competition in New Jersey – 2nd prize, participated in several music festivals, and master classes with Adam Wibrowski, Paola Volpe, Gergely Bogányi.
Krista Earle learned how to be fluent in all styles of music from an early age, growing up in a family of performers. She was encouraged to embrace her full range of her talents, as she trained with renowned Toronto vocal coach Elaine Overholt, turning in impressive showings at several international singing and songwriting competitions. Krista’s success has been recognized with “Female Artist of the Year”, “Songwriter of the Year”, “Single of the Year”, and “Rising Star” nominations by the Country Music Association of Ontario. In recent months, Krista has collaborated with producers Roy Hamilton III (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears) and the Emmy-nominated Glenn Morley. As well, Krista has spent significant time in Nashville working with some of Music City’s top writers, including Robert White Johnson (Faith Hill, Celine Dion). Krista’s music has been building up to have a collection of songs that touch on her deep love of vintage pop and soul, along with country music.
Amelia Kiung began her piano studies at the age of 4 at the OSMPA, and is currently working towards her Level 10 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music under the direction of Monika Stolarz. Amelia has performed at the OTMH, retirement homes, and was also invited to perform on a Yangtze River cruise in China. Amelia also extends her love of music through her school assemblies and other gatherings where she also plays duets with her sister. During the pandemic, composition and songwriting has become a calming hobby, which she has shared with the OSMPA community and beyond. In addition to piano, Amelia also plays the trumpet and ukulele. “To me, music is a way to destress and let my mind wander, almost like escaping to a different world. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing music or listening to music, it makes me feel content.”-Amelia Kiung. Amelia currently teaches elementary music and has helped launch the online learning chapter at OSMPA. She can be found teaching the online preliminary course for inspiring young pianists.
Nicholas Lazzara is currently pursuing an Artist’s Diploma at the Glenn Gould School, under the tutelage of Sarah Jeffrey. Nicholas teaches Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Flute at the OSMPA! Before moving to Toronto, he earned a Bachelors of Music at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and a Masters Degree in Multiple Woodwinds Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In both Greensboro and South Florida, Nicholas was an in demand music educator and woodwind doubler, performing in the pit orchestras for musicals such as; The Addams Family, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Camelot, A Christmas Carol, Company, How to Succeed in Business, Hello Dolly, Into The woods, Legally Blonde, The Light in the Piazza, Little Women, My Fair Lady, The Producers, Sister Act, Seussical, Shrek, Tarzan, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wild Party. As a Music educator, Nicholas has taught; Private instruction with the Greensboro Academy, Music Man Inc, TOPS annual Summer Music camp, a chamber clinician with the Palm Beach Youth Orchestra, and Glades Middle School.
Victor Stec holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Western's Don Wright Faculty of Music, where he specialised on piano playing and teaching while under the tutelage of acclaimed pianists James Hibbard and Tina Yanchus. Having played piano from the age of 7, he has developed a strong proficiency in playing many styles of music - with Classical, Pop and Jazz being few genres he takes particular interest in. Victor studied the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum throughout his childhood and continues to explore music at the ARCT level. During his time at Western University, he developed his knowledge in music theory and music history while likewise refining his music teaching skills and exploring pedagogy. Victor also continued to build a strong foundation playing woodwind and brass instruments such as the alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe, trombone and tuba. Having developed a passion to teach from a young age, Victor has acquired much experience working with, and teaching young students at camps and in music classes at school. Victor is looking forward to sharing his passion in music with his students!