Piano/KeyboardAlex Rindfleish Bonnie Smith
Shai Martin Omid Shayan
Flute, clarinet and saxophone – For Year 3 and aboveOmid Shayan
Trumpet and trombone – For Year 3 and above
Rachel Snedden has been a recorder tutor at Merri Creek since 1999 – having seen generation after generation of wonderful students develop their skills in making music and have a great time doing it!
Rachel also teaches at Carlton North Primary, MLC, and has some private students of high-school age. Rachel also conducts the Melbourne Recorder Orchestra, a group of 30, mostly retired people, who love making music together on all the different sizes of recorder.
Rachel began playing the recorder when she was seven and continued playing recorder all through primary school and into high school where she played recorder for VCE Music and went on to study recorder for her BMus from Melbourne University.
After teaching for ten years, Rachel set about writing her very own series of recorder tutor books, the Rainbow Recorder Series. The books take students from beginner level to exam level in seven stages. Many recorder students from Merri Creek sit recorder exams. Learning to play the recorder in lessons is complemented by ensemble playing, which Rachel conducts. Rachel looks forward to the next 20 years of making music at Merri Creek!
Ed Farrar is a professional trumpeter and is approaching his second year of teaching at Merri Creek Primary School in 2018.
For the last 10 years Ed has worked in the music industry playing many shows around Melbourne and nationally and has worked with artists in many different styles such as; The Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Cash Savage and the Last drinks, Dela Caye, Ash Grunwald, Melbourne Composers Big Band and The After Hours Cabaret Show amongst others.
As well as performing Ed is an experienced teacher who uses his broad musical knowledge to not only pull teachings from the classical veins but to bring in the contemporary styles to tailor lessons to fit each student needs.
Peter Sinis studied music at the University of Melbourne where he completed a Bachelor of Education and prior to this, completed an Advanced Certificate in Music Performance (Jazz and Popular). He has taught both instrumental and classroom music at various schools and has performed as a guitarist at weddings and corporate functions where he has specialized in playing rock, jazz and music from different cultures. Peter spends most of his free time composing music where he has enjoyed seeing his popular songs and educational scores being published in Australia and overseas.
Peter’s previous employment has mostly been teaching music to secondary school students as a classroom and instrumental teacher. His duties have included conducting various stage bands and jazz bands, and he has prepared students for performances and national competitions. Peter also teaches guitar privately and at Carlton North Primary School.
Peter’s hobby is playing chess, and on Saturdays you will find him at his local chess club. So, if anyone is up for a game… it’s your move!
Omid began playing piano at age 6, before moving to clarinet and saxophone at 14.
He has completed a Bachelor of Music – NMIT (now Melbourne Polytechnic) – majoring in Saxophone. Omid plays in a variety of bands ranging from soul, french-inspired folk to traditional and contemporary jazz.
In 2014, Omid won first prize in the Darebin Music Festival ‘Composition Competition’. The winnings allowed him to record his debut EP entitled SHAYAN.
Bonnie is a singer, composer, piano player and guitarist. She is a deeply creative artist and a passionate teacher. Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Music and she has studied music in Canada, the United States, Australia and Spain. She also holds a Postgraduate Degree from Spain.
Bonnie is a world music extraordinaire, singing in many languages such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Turkish and not to forget, English. Her strengths are also in Jazz and improvisation where she has studied at the VCA and under the likes of her teacher Rhiannon and Bobby McFerrin (United States).
She is currently the lead singer and composer of her world music ensemble “Reflejos” performing at many festivals in Australia and around the world.
Bonnie has also studied the art of Flamenco in Spain, where she has found new ways to express her voice and technique. She has travelled extensively throughout Eastern and Western Europe where she has taken her music on the road.
She is one of the primary voice teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic in the Certificate and Advanced Diploma programs.
Furthermore, she is the lead facilitator of a vocal singing practice called “Circle Singing”, which explores the art of improvising in the moment.
Bonnie has had over ten years of experience teaching to adults and children and also VCE students. She has vast experience preparing students for AMEB exams in both voice and piano. She also understands the journey of music as a self help tool and loves teaching for fun and joy. She relishes in the benefits singing and music can provide to gain a deeper sense of connection to one’s self and others.
If you would like a worldly approach that can help you get to where you want professionally or if you just want to experiment and play, she is the perfect choice!
Jackson Fumberger is a violinist, music educator and producer based in Melbourne, Australia. An advocate of new music and technology, he creates an immersive soundscape with the electric violin and live electronics. As an educator, Jackson aims to empower all musicians to be creative and to experiment with music technology. Please go to Jackson’s website for more information.
Alex Rindfleish is pianist and composer currently studying at The Victorian College of the Arts majoring in contemporary jazz piano. She performs regularly within a variety of ensembles. She has been studying piano and voice since the age of 13.
Alex spent her high school years studying classical piano and has been focussed on Jazz and contemporary music during her time at the VCA. During her time at the VCA Alex as received several scholarships, was accepted into the intensive music program run by the Australian Art Orchestra held in Tasmania in 2017 and has performed in the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz festival for the previous two years.
She has been teaching privately and within music schools for several years and has spent the previous year volunteering in the University of Melbourne’s short course “Girls do Jazz” mentoring and encouraging females aged from 15-20 to pursue music.
Alex is passionate about insuring her students have a strong foundational skill set from focussing on theory, notated music and aural awareness so that her students can feel comfortable perusing any genre that appeals to them. Above all Alex encourages her students to find what they love about music and to enjoy the process of learning.
Ruby is new to Merri Creek primary school but extremely excited to begin vocal instruction. She currently also teaches singing at Glen Iris Primary, Richmond West Primary School and Barwon Heads Primary School. Ruby has worked as a professional vocalist and songwriter for ten years. During her tertiary studies trained in the Estill Voice Model of singing. After Graduating JMC Academy in 2010 she went on to sing professionally internationally (USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Japan and New Zealand) as well as touring Australia extensively with her group Clairy Browne and The Banging Rackettes.
Ruby has performed at such music festivals such as Falls Music and Arts Festival, Meredith Music Festival, Splendour In The Grass, South by South West and Blues Festival.
Ruby began teaching and mentoring in 2014 and is incredibly passionate about helping others reach their full musical potential. In addition to her teaching work Ruby is also a volunteer vocal instructor for Girls Rock Melbourne which is a non profit organisation that empowers female, trans and gender diverse young people through musical instruction.
Her other interests include cooking, fashion and hanging out with her rescue cat.
Alexandra is a Melbourne based drummer, singer, composer and teacher. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Contemporary Music Performance from the Victorian College of the arts, she is well versed in many different styles of music and is a keen performer. As a member of many different ensembles, Alex has toured nationally and internationally, some notable performances including the nationwide tour of Em Rusciano’s ‘Rage & Rainbows’ show in 2019, a performance with the Ade Ishs trio at the 2018 Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali, and being a part of ‘Stand By Your Woman’ held at Hamer Hall in 2018. Alex’s passion is for performing, writing and collaborating across genres including funk, soul, and contemporary jazz and folk music, and being a sessional musician for artists in a performance and recording setting.
Pelaya is a professional Melbourne based drummer and teacher who is immersed in the alternative folk, rock and pop scenes. She has been playing drums for over a decade and studied drums under renowned Australian drummer Tim Burnham. Pelaya comes from a multi-disciplinary background. She began her music career studying piano and vocals and then found her passion for drum kit. She has been performing since age 7 years. Pelaya studied VCE Music Performance, which required a minimum AMEB Grade 8 level of musicianship and music theory knowledge. As well as Music Performance, Pelaya has also studied and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) with a double major in History and Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. As part of this degree, she undertook studies in musicology through the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. She is currently embarking on a Master of Arts and Cultural Management at the University of Melbourne with a focus on music and performing arts heritage. Pelaya has taught drums for many years both privately and in schools and has experience teaching students of a variety of different age-groups and from beginner to advanced skill levels. She takes an eclectic and student-centric approach to teaching and tailors lessons to aid in the realisation of each student's musical goals. Her teaching philosophy is grounded in real world scenarios and application; teaching students a balance of theory, practical application, improvisation, reading and playing by ear. Pelaya has extensive music industry experience and has toured all across Australia as a session drummer. She has collaborated, performed and recorded with some of Australia's finest artists such as Alexander Biggs, Merpire, Benjamin Trillado, Liv Cartledge and more. She is currently the drummer for artists Chitra - who is signed to the record label Our Golden Friend - Grand Pine, Al Speers and Connor-Black Harry
Jean Proude is a jazz voice WAAPA graduate with a postgraduate diploma of psychology from James Cook University. She began playing guitar at age 11 and has gigged since the age of 14 as a soloist, in duos, bands, orchestras, choirs and acapella groups. Having gigged full time for over 12 years around Australia, her most notable performances include the Perth International Jazz Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, the AFL corporate boxes for Fremantle Dockers and Port Power, Jazz Ellington Perth, Maylands Street Festival, Fremantle Beer Festival, and Port Lincoln Tunarama.
Teaching voice, guitar and piano from ages 6 and up, Jean also has a passion for the benefits of music from a mental wellbeing perspective. Her approach focuses on the amazingly fun journey of learning an instrument, and the empowerment of learning new skills and interacting with music.
Shai is a passionate piano teacher with broad music interests ranging from jazz to top 40 pop to classical music. He studied classically from a young age with Debra Andreacchio and Eleanora Sivan. In 2014, Shai graduated with a Bachelor of Music in jazz piano from WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts), and has been writing, performing and teaching music professionally since then. His solo pop music has been played on Triple J, and he plays regularly around town with this project, as well as a handful of other contemporary bands. He also has toured playing for artists Coin Banks and Ziggy Ramo at festivals such as SOTA, Big Sound, Music Matters and Falls Festival.
Shai also teaches at Catholic Ladies' College and Plenty Valley Christian College, and has taught private students since 2014. He believes that music has the power to bring us into deeper connection with ourselves, with others and with community, and that joyous, dynamic instrumental lessons can be a great introduction into this magical world.