Queen's University

Barbara Bolte - Piano / Yamaha Music Education System


After graduating from the University of Toronto, Barbara was awarded a Canada Council Arts Grant to study with Heinz Holliger in Germany, followed by working with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris under Pierre Boulez. She took up residence in London, England in 1978, where she pursued an active free-lancing career, which included working with the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the London Philharmonic, English National Ballet and several of the BBC orchestras, as well as West End Shows.

Barbara returned to Canada in 1994, since then her work has included free-lancing with the National Ballet, the Canadian Opera, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, New Music concerts and various shows, as well as chamber music broadcasts for the CBC. She has recently completed her eleventh season as principal oboe of the Kingston Symphony.

As well as being a professional musician on oboe, Barbara is an accomplished pianist, having won several music competitions while still a student. She has many years experience teaching piano privately, and also teaches the Yamaha Music Education system at QCM.

Julia Brook - Piano


Julia has been an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Queen’s School of Drama and Music since July 2015, teaching the Introduction to Music Education (MUSC 273), Symphony Education Partnership (MUSC 274) and Creativity in Music Education  (MUSC 439) courses. She is also the Music Education Coordinator. Prior to assuming this role, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen’s Faculty of Education where she taught courses in the Concurrent and Consecutive Education program. She has also taught courses in elementary and secondary music methods and special education.

Julia began her teaching career as a music specialist in Manitoba where she taught elementary students and students with special needs. She has also been a studio piano teacher since 2000 and currently teaches at Queen’s Community Music (QCM). Her primary research program examines the interactions between curriculum and community contexts, specifically in relation to the arts and rural education. Her research has examined music education programs in rural areas in Canada, and has explored the educational experiences of self-taught Indigenous artists who grew up in Canada’s North.

Julia is also interested in how people use the skills and knowledge gained through musical experiences into other aspects of their lives. In particular, she is examining how children in an after-school music program learn music and the extent to which these musical experiences influence their sense of belonging and self-concept. Her research also examines how young alumni from music programs use the skills and knowledge in their present work situations. Finally, she examines the use of technology in educational contexts and explores how teachers use various digital tools for their own professional development and to support their students’ learning.

Julia has disseminated her research findings to professional and academic audiences through presentations at conferences including the Canadian Federation Music Teachers’ Association Conference (CFMTA), Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE), and the International Society for Music Education (ISME). She has also published in Canadian Music Educator, Music Education Research, International Journal of Music Education, and the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, among others. She is active as a collaborative pianist and performs regularly.

Leah Hunter - Piano


Leah began her music studies at the age of four in the Music for Young Children program. She then studied privately through to Level 10 at the Royal Conservatory of Music and is currently working towards her ARCT. In high school, she completed the Regional Arts Program at Cawthra Park Secondary School, majoring in Flute. She also taught in her own private studio, with students in Piano, Flute and Theory.

In 2018, Leah completed her Bachelor of Music in Piano at Queen’s University, studying under Dr. Ireneus Zuk. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Education, primary/junior stream with a concentration in at-risk youth. During her time at Queen’s, Leah performed in the Wind Ensemble and several music theatre productions. Most recently she performed in Newsies with the Blue Canoe Theatre Company in Kingston. She also worked with Queen’s Community Music and Q-Camps to develop and run curriculum-based music day camp programs. In her spare time she volunteers at Telephone Aid Line Kingston, and at Welcome Home Charity tutoring ESL for refugee families.

Leah is passionate about the physical, emotional and social benefits of music for people of all ages. She believes that the benefits of music education are unparalleled by any other discipline. Leah plans to attend graduate school to further her research in music education and community music.

Leah has been part of the QCM teaching staff since 2017 and is excited about working with both returning and new students in this upcoming year.

Clare Miller - QCM Assistant / Collaborative Pianist


Clare Miller (previously Gordon) graduated from Keele University, England, with a first class dual honours degree in Music & Biochemistry. As a soloist, she performed with the Keele Philharmonic Orchestra and Bath Philarmonia. As a collaborator, she worked with the Bath International Music Festival, Bath University, The Chandos Singers, Chippenham Cantata and Bristol Opera Company.

Since moving to Kingston, Canada in 2003, Clare has collaborated with Bottle Tree Productions, EVE, Hart House Orchestra, Melos, Queen’s Chorale Ensemble, She Sings, the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Two Women Opera Company and the Westben Arts Festival. She has attended the collaborative pianist programs at the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London, ON, and Tapestry New Opera 101 in Toronto, and has been pleased to collaborate with numerous vocal and instrumental soloists across Canada.

Last season Clare was proud to make her debut as a soloist at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and with the Quinte Symphony Orchestra. Looking forward to a Mozart Piano Concerto with Orchestra Kingston in November 2018, she also continues to enjoy a four-hand collaboration with Valery Lloyd-Watts.

Also, an administrator and teacher of piano, theory and musicianship for Queen’s Community Music, Clare is currently a collaborative pianist for Cantabile Women’s and Men’s Choirs of Kingston, the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen's University, Kingston Chamber Choir, Kingston Choral Society, Queen’s Community Music, and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.


Ange Lam - Piano / Yamaha Music Education Instructor


Ange Lam began her musical studies at the young age of 4, at the Yamaha Music School in Toronto. Throughout the years, she has taken classes in the Junior Music Course (JMC) stream, Junior Special Advanced Course (JSAC) stream, and then gone on to pursue further studies at the Senior Advanced Course (SAC) level. Ange is currently a student at Queen's University, completing a double degree in Music and Concurrent Education. Upon graduation, she aspires to become a music teacher in the public school system. Being invited to perform her own compositions both nationally and internationally has been an invaluable experience for Ange. She has had the pleasure of performing throughout Canada, as well in the United States, Japan, and Thailand. When she's not teaching or practicing, Ange enjoys dancing in her spare time. She believes that the arts is a powerful way to express emotions that cannot be done through words alone. Ange values being able to bring out the best in each of her students and helping them reach their full potential, and is excited to be a part of the QCM faculty.

Grace Pham - Piano / Yamaha Music Education Instructor


Grace began her musical studies at the age of 4, at the Yamaha Music School in Toronto. She graduated from Queen’s University with a Concurrent Education degree in Music and Education and holds an ARCT in piano pedagogy. Grace has been actively teaching in the Kingston community for over 10 years, and currently maintains a busy studio instructing piano, music theory and history to students of all ages and levels. She is an active member of ORMTA, teaches the Suzuki method and Yamaha Music Education curriculum, is a piano instructor at Queen’s Community Music and also works with special needs students in the Limestone District School Board. In addition to teaching piano privately and in group settings, Grace spent a two-year stint in London, England teaching Music and English Literature in the classroom working with inner city children where she was able to gain vast experiences in working with many types of learners. When she is not busy practicing or teaching, Grace sings first soprano in an all woman’s choir She Sings! in addition to occasionally serving as an associate pianist and assistant conductor.

Teaching Philosophy: I believe music is a gift everyone should enjoy. I centre my teaching on differentiated learning as I believe every student learns in their own unique way; and to be successful, my lessons are student-centred. I love sharing my passion for music with my students, engaging them in the wonderful world of music; and encouraging a growth mindset to empower them to be enthusiastic learners and musicians who can enjoy making music for a lifetime.

Online: gracephammusic.com

Cynthia Tormann - Piano


Described as "technically flawless, a pianist of power and conviction", (Ann Arbor News, Michigan) Cynthia Tormann (also known as Cynthia Szabo) has performed in recital and as guest soloist with orchestras in Canada, the United States, England, Germany and Portugal.

Having completed high school and receiving her ARCT in performance from the Royal Conservatory at age 16, Tormann continued studies in London England with pianist David Wilde. She holds a Bachelor of Music with Distinction in piano performance from the University of Michigan where she was invited to study with renowned pianist Gyorgy Sandor, and a Master's and Doctorate degrees in piano performance from Indiana University where she studied with legendary Gyorgy Sebok.

From 1992-1994 she was Professor of Piano at the Orquestra Metropolitana in Lisbon Portugal where she was contracted to perform more than 30 concerts a season. From 1994-1996 she taught at McMaster University and is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at Queen's University.

Tormann has been finalist in both national and international competitions, including the International DuMaurier Competition in Montreal; prize winner in the Young Artist Keyboard International Competition (1986) and twice the recipient of the highest award given by Canada Council's Chalmers Fund.

Tormann continues to maintain an active performing schedule as well as teaching and adjudicating both local and national festivals.