Meet Our Instructors

Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. is proud of its diverse, enthusiastic group of educators.

Fred Safaei

B.Mus (Tehran University of Art), ARCT Piano Specialist (Beginner, Intermediate Advanced),
Registered Piano Technician (RPT), Orff Certificate (University of British Columbia)

Mr. Fred Safaei began his journey as a pianist at the age of eight, following in the footsteps of his uncle, a famous tar player. His musical training was based in the Russian tradition, and he studied in Iran for twenty-two years. In 1981, he started teaching in his private studio. Mr. Safaei graduated from the Tehran University of Art with a Bachelor's in Music, and in 1988, he became a piano instructor at the Tehran Conservatory.

Mr. Safaei moved to Canada in 1996 and aimed to provide the best music education to the North Shore. The following year, Mr. Safaei was recognized by the Royal Conservatory of Music for his excellence as an instructor, and he became an Advanced Specialist in Piano and Theory. His students are very successful in festivals and examinations. Some have even earned their doctorates in music or published their music on platforms such as iTunes.

Mr. Safaei is always looking for ways to improve as an educator. In 2002, he published a collection of 21 Persian songs transcribed for the piano, which immediately gained popularity among piano lovers. His love and passion for teaching also led him to earn his Orff & Kodaly certificate from the University of British Columbia.

Mr. Safaei's interest in the piano led him to pursue piano technology. He began his career as a piano technician while working with the late Davood Jaam, a piano technician for great artists such as Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter. In 2007, Mr. Safaei attended the Piano Technicians Guild and earned his Registered Piano Technician certificate after a series of rigorous examinations. He is the only Persian Registered Piano Technician in North America.

When Mr. Safaei is not teaching or tuning pianos, he is an active performer in the Lower Mainland. He has also performed in several countries, such as Iran, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States. He has participated in master classes adjudicated by well-known pianists such as Murray Perahia, Sergei Saratovsky and Audrey Andrist. 

In addition, Mr. Safaei prepares students from all corners of British Columbia for their examinations by holding mock exams at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd., and hosts workshops for teachers at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. to enjoy. As the head of the education department, he has also trained several advanced students to become established music teachers at both Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. and across the Lower Mainland. He also frequently collaborates with his students in their festival, events and examinations.

Mr. Safaei is very proud of what Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. has become. His work in music education, coupled with the dedication of his students and staff, has allowed what began as a home-based studio to flourish into a booming music school known internationally for its high standards of education. Mr. Safaei has been awarded by the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce as the Business Person of the Year (2017) and currently employs over thirty dedicated educators and staff members. He has over thirty-six years of experience in teaching and twenty-five years of piano technology experience.

Founder
Head of Education

Deparment Lead
Piano
Theory
​History

Piano Tuning & Repair

Heather Deris

B.Mus. (Tehran University of Art), Orff Certificate

Ms. Heather Deris began her education in the arts under the instruction of Mr. Deghan, a well-known artist, at a very young age. The first instrument she explored was her voice, but she quickly developed an interest in the traditional Persian instrument known as the santur (dulcimer). 

Heather graduated with a Bachelor's in Music from the Tehran University of Art. During her studies, she discovered anr immense passion for teaching Orff & Kodaly. Her love and passion for music coupled with her abilities to connect with young children inspired her to write a series of Orff & Kodaly-based textbooks for her students to enjoy. Today, these textbooks are the foundation of the Orff & Kodaly program taught at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd.

After she moved to Canada, Heather decided to continue her education in business and accounting at Capilano University, followed by the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business. Her experience and skills in both business and music have enabled her to become one of the most successful businesswomen on the North Shore. 

Heather is known for her activism in fundraising for the BC Cancer Society, Children's Variety and several other organizations across British Columbia. She is the head of both the Orff & Kodaly department and the Persian Instruments department as well as the leader of the management team at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd., and she is proud to be a member of the North Shore community. In her twenty-five years of experience, Heather has come to realize that her proudest moments have been watching the students she taught when they were only three years old graduate from the Royal Conservatory of Music program and earn recognition for the work as musicians and as human beings.

Artistic Director

Department Lead
Orff & Kodaly
Persian Instruments

Piano
Santour

Arvin Fekri

Doctor of Musical Arts/PhD: Music Composition (University of Toronto)

Arvin Fekri has a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA/PhD) degree in music composition from the University of Toronto. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of British Columbia. He is the recipient of various music scholarships, including the Pearl Schneider Chan Memorial Scholarship in Music, Maurice Taylor Scholarship in Music and others.

Aside from his compositional activities, which include performances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Nu:BC, Arvin is also a pianist with public performances at various venues. He is also known for his incredible improvisatory skills. He has seven years of experience teaching piano to students of various ages. At Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd., Arvin teaches theory, history and piano. He enjoys teaching and always tries to establish a good rapport with his students. 

​Piano
Theory
​History

Irene Setiawan

Doctor of Musical Arts/PhD Candidate: Piano Performance (University of British Columbia)

Irene M Setiawan is currently a DMA Candidate in Piano Performance at UBC. Her previous studies, performances, and experiences have shaped her as a solo and collaborative performer and music educator.

Several years after learning piano, Irene also learnt composition and performed her own compositions in several concerts in Indonesia as a member of Yamaha’s Junior Original Concert. After studying with dedicated Indonesian pedagogues So Kim Wie and Sienny Debora, she performed more actively. Her achievements include winning top prizes at Sydney Performing Arts Challenge in 2001, Pelita Harapan University National Piano Competition in 2004 and First Runner up of UBC Concerto Competition in 2013. Besides performing as a solo pianist, Irene has also actively performed with other instrumentalists, UBC choirs, and UBC Wind Ensemble. Recently she was chosen to perform Mendelssohn’s Trio in D minor with UBC President Santa Ono for his Installation’s Celebration Concert at Chan Centre in November 2016.

Thankful of generous scholarships and awards she has received (Beatrice L. Zack Prize, DC & HL Scholarship, Ruth Parnum King Memorial Prize, Mildred Johnson Scholarship, and Faculty of Arts Graduate Award), Irene holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at National University of Singapore (2009), Master of Music from UBC School of Music (2012), and currently in her last year of pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts under the guidance of renowned pianist Dr. Corey Hamm and musicologist Dr. Hedy Law.

In 2009, she was trained and appointed a music educator by NUS’ Assistant Professor Lee Pei Ming at the Staccato Music in Singapore and has been enjoying teaching students of all ages and levels. She has also been invited to give lessons and masterclasses in Indonesia since 2005 and helped students to prepare for competitions, concerts, examinations, and auditions. Irene has been teaching at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. since 2015 and UBC Teaching Assistant since 2011 and she has been excited to share her skills and love of music. In her leisure time, she enjoys nature and explores different food from different cultures.

​Piano
Theory

Nastaran "Nata" Noursadeghi

M.Mus.: Piano Performance (Komitas Conservatory of Armenia)

Nastaran Noursadeghi was born in Tehran, where she developed a childhood passion for music. She began learning piano at the age of 7. From her very first lesson, she fell in love with the instrument and decided that this was the career she was going to pursue. She studied for ten years at music school, and then moved to Armenia to begin her professional, academic education in Piano Performance. She received her Bachelor's Degree from the Komitas Conservatory of Armenia. However, Nastaran knew that she wanted to achieve more. As a result, she earned her master's degree in 2011.

​Piano
Theory

Kakhanang "Fah" Denkowit

M.Mus.: Piano (University of British Columbia)

Kakhanang Denkowit holds a Master’s degree in piano from the University of British Columbia under tutelage of Dr. Sara Davis Buechner. She won several medals from Yamaha music festival and competitions in her home country, Thailand.  She was one of the finalists in the 2nd Mozart Thailand International Piano Competition in 2012.  She has participated in piano masterclasses and chamber music festivals and worked with many distinguished musicians with acclaimed musicians including Dina Yoffe, Daniel Vaiman, Peter Schuhmayer and Istban Bonyhádi. Her second instrument is the violin. She was a member of a youth orchestra during her high school.  As a music teacher, Fah has been teaching for over five years. She enjoys working with student in of all ages and levels. She also encourages her students to participate in music festivals and examinations.   

Piano
Violin

David Chung

B.Mus. (University of British Columbia)

David Chung is a Korean born Canadian pianist. He studied piano performance at Manhattan School of Music and later earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia. He is an active accompanist for RCM exams and numerous competitions including the Kiwanis Music Festival. David has been an instructor at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. since August 2015. He is known at the studio for his upbeat attitude, rapport with his students, incredible performance skills, and high standards as an educator. His love and passion for teaching is undeniable, and he is currently teaching five days a week.

​Piano
Theory

Ganbujin "Bujin" Adiyasuren

B.Mus. (School of Music in Dance, Mongolia)

Ganbujin Adiyasuren started playing piano at the age of seven. After 11 years of continuous study, Ms. Adiyasuren graduated from the School of Music and Dance in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and received her Piano Accompanist/Music School Teacher Diploma. After graduation, she worked as a piano teacher at the “Hobby” secondary school in Mongolia. During that time, she acquired extensive knowledge in working with students of different ages and abilities. In 2008, Ms. Adiyasuren obtained the Bachelor in Music degree from the Music and Dance College of Mongolia.

Before moving to Canada, Ms. Adiyasuren worked as a private piano teacher in Mongolia, and gave individual piano lessons to students of various ages following the Russian tradition in piano. She also arranged performance opportunities for students, such as recitals for friends and relatives.
Ms. Adiyasuren have been working as a piano teacher at Ava Music since December 2014. She enjoys working with students of all ages and uses her experience as a parent and teacher to provide her clients with a strong musical education. Ms. Adiyasuren is able to teach in Mongolian, English and Russian.

Piano
Theory
Orff

Leah Xue

B.A. in Music

Leah has been a teacher for about 20 years. She is an experienced piano, vocal and Orff teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. She has many teaching experience for different ages’ students. The deep understanding of physical and psychological development of different ages’ students makes her success in teaching.

She guides many children move to their professional road of music. Some of her students has already been a successful music teacher in the field. Leah enjoys being a teacher and working with children. She loves music, art, dance and languages. Leah’s goal is guiding children to reach their full potential in a joy and happiness manner. As a mother, she wants to move forward hand in hand with parents for the future of their children.  

Piano
Theory
Orff

Carol Hur

M.Mus.: Violin Performance (University of British Columbia)

Violinist Carol Eunkyung Hur, 28, started playing the violin from the age of four in Korea. She started to appear at various competitions at a very young age. She started winning awards from prestigious Hong Nan-Pa Competition at the age of seven. Also, she won second prize in Kyung-gi Provincial Music Competition - String division when she was 11 years old. After she moved to Canada, she received the Silver Medal from Royal Conservatory of Music and performed in RCM Alumni concert in 2008. Carol is also a recipient of Mildred Johnson Scholarship when entering into University of British Columbia. She was the member of 2009 National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), BC Honour Orchestra in 2002 and 2003, and Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2005~2006 season.

While she attended UBC, she had the privilege of participating in master classes with James Ehnes and Jonathan Crow. Carol served as the concertmaster for the UBC Symphony Orchestra and UBC Opera Ensemble production of Verdi’s Falstaff in March 2008, orchestra’s 2011-2012 concert season and Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific in 2010. In June 2012, Carol participated in a string quartet seminar with full scholarship held at Stanford University under the instruction of St. Lawrence String Quartet and Gryphon Trio. Carol is currently a member of Tall Tree Strings and Point Grey String Quartet and is also playing in Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. She holds a Master’s degree in Violin Performance under the instruction of Nancy DiNovo and Ken Friedman from University of British Columbia.

Department Lead
Violin
Viola

Puya Firouzbakash

M.Mus.: Violin Performance (University of British Columbia)

Puya began studying violin at the age of 6. He was taught and trained under the finest teachers and professors. Some of Puya's principal instructors include Professor Giuseppe Armaleo in Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Italy and Proessor Eduard Schmieder (a pupil of David Oistrakh) in Mozarteum Salzburg, as well as Nancy Dinovo and Jammy Mayday.  

Throughout the years, Mr. Firouzbaksh has performed numerous times with some of the most prestigious orchestras and worked with the finest composers and soloists in over 65 different countries. Since 2010, he has been an active member of some of the biggest organizations, such as United in Music for Peace under the U.N, World Youth Orchestra (UNISCO musica Europa). In 2011, he performed with MusicaEuropa Orchestra under Marco Boemi and Maestro Karabechsky in Musica Riva Festival Milano and a successful Peace Project with “The World Orchestra” in Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Holland.

In 2013, Mr. Firouzbaksh was the principle second violin of The World Orchestra in Africa and the representative of the Orchestra to Plan cultural activities. This meeting took place at Nelson Mandela’s Office. He has also performed for many high-level national and international officials such as the Governor-General of Canada in 2005 at the Orpheum Theatre, and the Italian president in 2008 at his Quirinale Palace in Rome which broadcasted Live on RAI3 Italian TV. He was also a member of a quartet who performed for Queen of Spain in Mallorca in 2012, and part of a collaboration for a beneficial concert viewed by Slovenian President in the Symphony State Hall in Slovenia. Finally, he performed for the Albanian Ambassador for Mother Teresa’s memorial service in Vancouver, Canada.

Mr. Firouzbaksh has been part of many musical theatre works, recording sessions, and TV recordings including Miss Beauty Pageant and the multi-cultural music channel. He has also worked for well-known artists such as: Micheal Buble, il Divo, Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Elton John Band and The Eagles Original Band. He also worked with Oscar winning composers such as: Ennio Morricone, Ludvic Bource, Nigel Hess, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.

Mr. Firouzbakash has been a member of The World Orchestra, Unicef Musica Europa, Bach Academy Orchestra Stuttgart, World Youth Orchestra, Rome Festival Opera Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony, West Coast Symphony, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Prince George Symphony, Salzburg Chamber, The Age of Enlightenment and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also been accepted into prestigious festivals, ensembles and academies such as the Aspen Music Festival, Youngartists ipalpiti California, Pilsen Academy in Czech, Wagner Festspiele in Germany, Aims festival Graz in Austria and Mozarteum Salzburg.

Mr. Firouzbaksh has participated in master classes with Igor Oistrakh and Michael Frischenschlager. His experience, creativity and energy in teaching makes him a wonderful instructor and expert in a variety of different techniques. He has many advanced students who are currently preparing for competitions, auditions and exams.

Violin
Viola

Mario Silva

Jazz Guitar (Capilano University)

Mario Silva began to study music when he was 8 years old at the Music Conservatory in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His first instruments were piano and acoustic guitar, but he quickly became interested in the electric guitar as well. Eventually, he decided to study jazz guitar at Capilano University in Vancouver, Canada. 

​Mr. Silva has been teaching instruments such as the ukulele, bass, banjo, electric guitar and classical guitar since 1999. He has performed across Canada and Eua playing variety of styles such as jazz, Latin and pop. He is also very experienced in collaborating in different situations as guitar duos, soloist, trios and bands. When he is not teaching, Mr. Silva performs frequently in the Vancouver area.

Department Lead
Guitar
Bass​
Banjo
Mandolin
Ukulele

Miri Kim

B.Mus. (University of British Columbia), Diploma in Music (Capilano University)
B.Ed. (University of British Columbia) - In Progress

Born in South Korea, Miri Kim began to play the guitar at age 12. She played the electric bass guitar for several copy bands throughout high school and nursing school.  She came to Canada six years ago to study Classical Guitar and graduated from Capilano University with a Diploma in Music. She is a member of the Guitar trio Tres Guitarras (aka The Capilano Guitar Trio) since 2013. She is interested in teaching children. Miri graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in May 2016 from the University of British Columbia. She continues with a degree for a Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia.  

Guitar
Bass​​

Cesar Madrigal

Jazz Guitar (Capilano University)

Coming soon!

Guitar
Bass​​

Juan David Encinales

Bachelor's in Jazz Studies (Capilano University)

Juan is originally from Colombia and residing in Vancouver since 2011. Started to play percussion instrument at the age of 13 and drums at the age of 16. He has been part of different ensembles as Latin jazz, Colombian music, world music and jazz. Juan is finishing his Jazz Degree at Capilano University and he has participated in different jazz formats such as: trios, quartets, big bands, and etc.

 Juan started teaching at Ava Music in September 2014 and still is a part of it. According to Juan, it has been an incredible experience to get to know his students and being part of their learning process. He is not just there to make them a better drummers, but better people through discipline and passion for the instrument. "Ava Music gave me the opportunity to teach wonderful students and has made me be a better drummer. I am looking forward to see what comes next."

Department Lead
Drums

Carson Tworow

Bachelor's in Jazz Studies (Capilano University), Diploma with Honors in Jazz Performance (Capilano University)

Carson Tworow is a drummer, composer, and educator living in North Vancouver. Having grown up in the small, musical town of Smithers, BC, Carson began learning music from a young age, eventually finding a passion for the drums at age 13. Throughout high school, he played in various musical groups both in school and out of school, ranging from jazz bands to concert band to folk acts. Private drum lessons helped bring his playing to a high standard, and he eventually began teaching some young students in the community privately.

In 2013, Carson was accepted into the Jazz Studies program at Capilano University, and he moved to North Vancouver to study. He has studied under Dylan Van der Schyff and Craig Scott, educators who have had an enormous impact on Carson's ability as a drummer. Carson's drumming has come to incorporate jazz, world music, folk rhythms, and inspiration from electronic elements. While in university, Carson has played jazz gigs around Vancouver as well as occasional rock gigs, and has had the opportunity to do some studio recordings. He currently holds a Diploma with Honors in Jazz Performance from Capilano University, and he will be graduating with his Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies in April of 2017. Through all my musical experience, Carson has found a passion for music, and in particular, a passion for passing on that excitement to the next generation of young musicians.  

Drums

Libby Donald

Diploma in Music Performance (Australian National University), Associate Degree of Music (Australian National University), Concert Certificate in Performance (Trinity Guildhall School of Music in London), LTCL in Performance (London Guildhall School of Music)

Libby began her love of music at age 12, starting with piano and quickly moving on to playing the flute. After joining her high school band and being named band leader she decided to join the school choir where she realized she had fallen in love with voice.

At age 15, Libby began voice lessons, beginning with Jazz and Pop styles. A year later, she realized that she had a love for theatre too. At that time, she switched teachers and started studying classical voice and music theatre with David Reedy. David is an expert in the Bel Canto method of singing.

At age 17, she began acting classes at the National Acting School. After finishing university in Australia, Libby made the move to Canada.

Since moving to Canada, Libby has continued her studies with multiple coaches such as Lambroula Maria Pappas, Heidi Lynn Peters and most recently with Diane King at the Vancouver Symphony. She has performed in Master classes, receiving critique from world class soprano’s Tracy Dahl and Adrianne Pieczonka. Last summer, 2016, she performed in opera and concerts throughout Italy.

She is an active performer studying roles in both Opera and Musical Theatre.  Some of the roles studied and performed are: Zaneeta Shin (The Music Man); American girl, soloist (West Side Story); Princess Nekaya (Utopia Limited); Peep Bo (The Mikado); Zerlina (Don Giovanni); Susanna and The Countess (The Marriage of Figaro); Mademoiselle Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor); Violetta (La Traviata); and Madama Butterfly (Madama Butterfly).

Department Lead
Voice

Theory

Christina Kent

M.Mus: Opera Performance (University of British Columbia)

Christina Kent is a Mezzo Soprano from Vancouver B.C.  She completed her Masters in Music and Opera Performance at UBC where she studied under Dale Throness. Christina is an active concert performer and has enjoyed performances as the alto soloist for Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem with Kwantlen University Chorus and members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has also had the pleasure of performing as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Les Dala, the Kwantlen Chorus in collaboration with the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, and the Chilliwack Chorus and Orchestra.

She has performed as the mezzo- soprano soloist in Durufle’s Requiem with Vancouver Voices and Peter Butterfield. Past operatic roles include Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Herring in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring,  Tituba in Robert Ward’s The Crucible,  Mere Jeanne in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites and most recently Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Vancouver Island Opera. Christina has performed with the Vancouver Opera Chorus in their productions of Puccini’s Tosca and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.  Christina is also passionate about teaching and helping singers to find their own unique sound in a supportive and fun environment.

Voice

 Joanna Tseng

M.Mus: Flute Performance (University of British Columbia)
B.Ed.: Music (University of British Columbia) - In Progress

Born in Taiwan, Joanna Tseng started playing flute at age of 12 and completed RCM Grade 10 for flute and piano at age of 15.  She won numerous scholarships from schools and music festivals. As a passionate educator, she has been volunteering to teach music lessons and fund raise for underprivileged children through Vancouver the Heart of the City program, and providing workshops at secondary schools. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance with Lanny Pollet at University of Victoria, Master of Music in Flute Performance with Christy Reside at University of British Columbia,  and she is currently completing her Bachelor of Education in Music at University of British Columbia.  

Department Lead
​Flute

Jesse Shin 

Bachelor's in Music (Capilano University), Diploma in Jazz Studies (Capilano University) - In Progress

Jesse Shin is a university student who will be graduating with a Diploma in Jazz Studies and Bachelor's in Music in the Jazz Program at Capilano University. Jesse has performed as a trombonist in Capilano University. He encourages his students to balance foundational techniques, accuracy, and musicality in everyday playing.

Department Lead
Trumpet

Joel Reid

Bachelor's in Jazz Studies (Capilano University)

Joel Reid begun his musical career by playing saxophone at the age of 13.  Joel studied Jazz studies at Capilano University, majoring in saxophone from 2005 to 2009.  During his time in college, Joel began playing other instruments including the guitar, flute, piano, bass, and drums. Over the years, he has played in numerous bands around town, from Jazz to Funk, to Reggae, and continues to expand to other projects.  Joel also composes and writes original songs on guitar and piano. 

Joel has been teaching music for 7 years and has worked in many different musical schools around the Vancouver area. He currently works as a Music Specialist at a Montessori school. By having learnt how the Montessori Pedagogy works, Joel recognizes the importance of connecting with the children at their skill level. Joel understands everyone learns differently and is able to adapt his teaching style to match the student's own path of development making music a fun experience! Music has always been a huge part of Joel's life and something he loves to share with others. Joel aims to pass down his great love of music to each of his students. 

Department Lead
Saxophone

Guitar
​Flute

Junior Instructors

Ava Maria Safai

B.F.A in Acting, B.A. in English Literature (University of British Columbia) - In Progress
Royal Conservatory of Music: Piano 10, Voice 10, Violin 8 - In Progress

The first time Ava took a step, it was to reach the keys of her father's piano. By the time Ava had begun her piano lessons under Mr. Fred Safaei, she also found herself falling in love with the violin and the voice, which soon became her other primary instruments. After grasping the basics of these three instruments, Ava began taking exams with the Royal Conservatory of Music and consistently received high marks in all three disciplines. She also became a member of the Vancouver Symphony's Youth Honours Orchestra. Ava took it upon herself to experiment with other instruments, such as the guitar and the drums, and to perform at events such as the Kiwanis Festival, City Fest, the North Shore Folk Fest, local PAC banquets and more. At the age of 12, she became Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd.’s first ever teacher-in-training.

In 2011, Ava caught the eye of a casting agent for Nickelodeon's The Troop, and can still be heard playing in the series' second Valentine's Day special as a violist. Ava recently made a return to television, as her original song "Finding Hope" was featured during the seventh season of Lifetime's Dance Moms. She is also a background actor for films shot in the Vancouver area. Her love of the silver screen inspired her to act, dance and write on top of her studies in music. Ava uses her strength as interdisciplinary artist to lead the Pre-Professional Program at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd.

Ava has received numerous awards for her performance in the fine arts (Districty/Authority Scholarship in Fine Arts, Handsworth Secondary School Directing & Scriptwriting 12 Award, Handsworth Secondary School Writing 12 Award and more) and has extensive experience in teaching, performing on stage, auditioning and recording music. She is currently studying at the University of British Columbia (BFA in Acting Program, BA in English Literature), all while pursuing her ARCTs in each of the three disciplines of music that began her artistic career. She recently won first place in the Music Theatre Ballad Division (18 years & under) at the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival and was invited to attend the Provincial Competition in Kamloops. She currently has three songs on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more, and is working towards creating a full album. Additionally, she is fluent in English, French and Farsi, which enables her to connect with students of all backgrounds. Finally, she has over six years of teaching experience. She is passionate about music education and aims to help all of her students reach their full potential as performers.

Department Lead
Pre-Professional Program
Junior Instructors Division

Piano
Violin
​Voice
​Theory

Nazgol Rahmani

B.Sc.: Biology (University of British Columbia) - In Progress
Royal Conservatory of Music: Piano 8 - In Progress

Nazgol Rahmani was born in Tehran, Iran on March 27th 1997 and began learning piano at the age of 6. She has been playing piano for over 12 years and is currently on Level 8 of the Royal Conservatory of Music exams. In January 2014, Nazgol became the second teacher-in-training at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd.

Today, Nazgol continues to work as junior piano instructor at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. and enjoys the positive environment that Ava Music provides for both students and teachers. She is known at the studio for her attention to detail and her positive attitude. Nazgol is also an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia and is working towards receiving her bachelor’s degree in biology.  

Piano​
​Theory
Pre-Professional Program

Nikolai Seva

Royal Conservatory of Music: Violin 10 - In Progress

Nikolai Seva began learning how to play the violin at Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. when he was 8 years old. He is currently pursuing his Grade 10 Violin certificate with the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also joined the instructor-in-training program of Ava Music when he was 16 years old, and has been teaching violin as a junior instructor for over two years.

Nikolai is a multi-instrumentalist with experience in the alto saxophone, oboe, guitar and piano. His talent in music made him the recipient of the 2016 Instrumentalist Award at Carson Graham Secondary School.

He is active in school and often volunteers in the community. His passion for making a positive impact on the North Shore earned him the Spirit of the Eagle Award. He has also began recognized for his 200+ hours of community service for two consecutive years at Carson Graham Secondary School. Some Nikolai's most notable accomplishments including being a Youth Ambassador for the 2017 CityFest, a recipient of the 2017 " Community Enhancement Award" from the District of North Vancouver and a receipient 2017 "Give Back Award" from the City of North Vancouver. 

Nikolai is graduating from secondary school this June and aims to pursue a double-major in engineering and music.

Violin

Anika Seva

Royal Conservatory of Music: Piano 10, Violin 7, Voice 7 - In Progress

Anika has been with Ava Music for ten years. She began her musical training as a student in the Orff & Kodaly Program at age 4 and went on to take piano lessons at age 5. Shortly after, Anika decided to pursue violin and voice as well. In the past, she also took alto saxophone and ukulele lessons.

At age 12, Anika joined the instructor-in-training program of Ava Music and is currently a junior piano and violin instructor. At the moment, she pursuing her Royal Conservatory of Music certificates in Grade 10 piano, Grade 7 violin and Grade 7 voice. She is also a member of the Carson Graham Secondary School Junior band and Junior Choir, and a Youth Ambassador for the 2017 CityFest.

Anika is passionate about working with children. She frequently volunteers at the North Vancouver Recreation Centre's day camps, birthday parties and more. She also spends time at the Northshore Alliance Church's Sunday School program to teach children. When she is not volunteering, Anika partakes in some extra-curricular programs at her school such as Improv. She is a recipient of the 2017 "Community Enhancement  Award" from the the District of North Vancouver and the 2017 "Give Back Award" from the City of North Vancouver.

Piano
Violin
Pre-Professional Program

Rojina Farahmand

Royal Conservatory of Music: Piano 10 - In Progress

Rojina Farahmand began taking piano lessons at an Austrian-based music academy in Iran at the age of four. She moved to Canada when she was nine, and continued to practice recreationally with a private teacher. Upon deciding to register for RCM exams, she joined Ava Music at age thirteen and is currently pursuing her Level 10 RCM certificate with Mr. Fred Safaei. Her goal is to earn her ARCT before she receives her diploma.

Rojina began volunteering for the Orff & Kodaly program in 2015, and was hired as a teacher-in-training in 2016. When she is not playing piano, Rojina dances, choreographs, sings, and acts. Rojina believes that Ava Music & Art Centre Ltd. has helped her immensely, and she's eager to use the same technique that she has learnt over the years to better her students' musical education!

Piano