Music Teachers in Durham Region at Upscale Music Studio

Upscale Teachers

Carolynne Pagett, Director

Piano Teacher

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Carolynne Pagett, ARCT, RMT, has taught piano for over 40 years and teaches all theoretical subjects and pedagogy. Her passion for teaching has increased with experience and added depth of knowledge. Past and current experience also includes serving as church pianist, organist and choir director, vocal and instrumental accompaniment and early childhood music. She studied piano with Zelma Lymburner, Lynne Reid and Nan Perry and theory with Markwell Perry.

Carolynne is the Royal Conservatory of Music Representative for Oshawa, Ontario and is a past President (twice) of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association, Oshawa and District Branch. She played the trombone in high school and took up the clarinet several years ago.  She recently obtained first class honours on her grade 8 RCM voice examination (it's never too late to learn!)

Her mandate is to encourage students to become active as soon as possible in all aspects of music performance and she often assists students in preparing for those tasks. Past students have performed on keyboard in jazz bands, accompanied school musicals and at ballet studios, won prizes in SASS (for writing and performing their own music), perform and accompany at various churches and teach music at the elementary and high school level. They have placed in Oshawa Kiwanis Music Festival and other festivals in the area. Many have used their RCM examinations for high school accreditation and have gone on to university to further their studies. Two students have won the silver medal in Elementary Piano Pedagogy which awards the highest mark in Ontario for that discipline through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Carolynne believes that a formal music education through the RCM examination process is the best way to ensure a solid foundation for a life of music in whatever aspects of music a student chooses to follow.

Carolynne is owner/director of Upscale Music Studios and loves the atmosphere of students and teachers learning, interacting and making music together.  She also gardens and runs and has completed 8 half marathons and two full marathons, one recently in New York City.


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Donna Barber

  Piano and Trumpet Teacher

Donna Barber obtained her ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She took additional studies in jazz performance for several years following and is skilled in trumpet as well.  She has had a long and fulfilling music career playing at jazz clubs, restaurants, weddings, corporate and private functions.  As well, she has been the organist/pianist at sister churches Greenwood and Mt. Zion United since 2001.  Donna is a very experience piano teacher and has put many students through RCM examinations.  She enjoys teaching piano, both classical and jazz, and trumpet and brings lots of fun to the lessons.   Donna also sits at the reception desk for UMS one night a week.




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Danielle Coleman-Pollock

Piano and Voice Teacher

Danielle Coleman-Pollock obtained her Bachelor of Arts-Music from Canadian University College, Alberta with specialization in Vocal Pedagogy. She enjoys teaching students classical and/or popular voice.  

                                                    Danielle has performed in China with the Beijing Symphony and twice with the                                                           Vancouver Symphonia.  Her beautiful soprano voice is in demand around Ontario                                                     and she sings with Adventist Celebration Singers, often as soloist.  

                                                    Danielle instills confidence and her passion for singing in her students. She is                                                             currently in her fourth year of teaching at UMS, has coached her students to                                                             successful performances in local competitions and auditions.  Her Play It!                                                                   Preschool class students run to her room with big smiles and weekly excitement.                                                     She is known around Upscale for her bright, fun clothing and style and of                                                                   course....her special stickers!


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Min Feng

Piano, Flute and Theory Teacher

Min Feng holds a Grade 10 Piano Certificate with the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition, Min has obtained the Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Pedagogy Certificates and is currently working towards her Piano Associateship with the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as Grade 10 Flute. 

Min attended an Arts Program in her high school and trained and competed in dance. While obtaining her Bachelors and Masters degree in Engineering, she worked at Engineers without Borders Canada, reaching out to youth and running the youth engagement program across Canada. Combining her passion for working with children and teenagers and teaching, Min began to teach piano, flute, pedagogy, history, harmony and rudiments at Upscale Music Studios. Her students enter competitions and take exams on a regular basis.  She has a gift for encouraging teens to pursue many avenues of professional music and to further their music education.

Most recently, her students received a gold medal in Flute through the Royal Conservatory of Music and a gold medal in History through Conservatory Canada.  Min speaks fluent Mandarin and English.


Brian Hawthorn

Guitar Teacher

Brian Hawthorn, has taught hundreds of students of all ages for many years in every style from classical to blues, pop, contemporary and country,etc.  He has played as a professional musician for more than 40 years.  Brian toured and played in clubs from Florida to the Yukon and from Oregon to Newfoundland in the 1970's.  He was the band leader for Buddy Knox, a member of the original "Rock & Roll Stars" (biggest hit was 'Party Doll') from 1974-1975.  In the late 1980's to 1990's Brian played one nightclub 'house gig' for eleven years, five nights a week.  He has also created his own method book for the guitar which can be obtained at:

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Samantha Owens-Ghaney

Piano Teacher

Samantha Owens-Ghaney began playing (piano) when she was 10, but has loved music since she was a baby. “It's been a lifelong dream of mine to share my talent with children and adults."

Samantha, who was raised in Newfoundland, earned her first piano scholarship when she was 11. She put the money to good use, studying at the Banff School of Music in Alberta. She learned to play a number of instruments, including violin, cello and clarinet, but her passion for piano overshadowed the rest. Her education allowed her the opportunity to travel across Canada playing with the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra, followed by a seven-year teaching career that included a tenure with the Ontario Conservatory of Music.  

She runs her own music studio Play It Again Sam as well as teaching UMS.  She has dual patience and strict discipline with young beginners and has demonstrated significant results in both examinations and competitions with the primary levels in piano.

Samantha loves conducting summer music camps, helping out at her daughter’s dance studio and playing with her grandchildren.


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Amy Salmers

Voice and Theatre Teacher

Amy Salmers completed concurrent Honours Bachelor of Music degrees in Classical Voice and Education.  She is qualified to teach all band instruments and has studied drama and dance and completed Performers ARCT in Voice and Grade 8 Piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music.   She is currently teaching vocal and instrumental music at a local high school.

This past summer she produced 'Disney's Little Mermaid Jr.' in the auditorium.   Upscale Theatre Company is now preparing for 'Disney's High School Musical 2 Jr.' in May 2017.   For photos and information see:

Amy teaches voice, monologue and drama coaching.  Her professional attitude, knowledge and no-nonsense approach are great qualities to have in preparing students to quickly achieve audition preparation for shows, high school and university.   She dances for exercise.



David Tegtmeyer

Clarinet and Saxophone Teacher

David Tegtmeyer studied Clarinet at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland and played with the Baltimore Colts (NFL) Marching Band until he was drafted into the US Army.  Life took him in a different direction until he returned to his first love of music upon retirement from his career.  

He is a gifted musician who currently plays clarinet (and saxophone when needed) in the Clarington Concert Band, the Durham Woodwind Band and Lakeshore Winds Orchestra.  He takes great interest in and care with his students here at Upscale Music Studios.


Carl Coleman-Pollock

Violin Teacher

Carl has had a passion for music since a very young age. He has sung in several choirs, which included the Burman University Choir, where he sang from 2004 - 2008, preforming in Bermuda, China, across Canada, and parts of the United States including Hawaii.

In grade 7 Carl began playing the Alto Saxophone, which he played with his high school band. Within high school he also started the Trumpet and Flute. His last year of high school he began to learn the Violin. He has played in two orchestras under John Kraus, the Lakeridge Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Durham Chamber Orchestra.

Carl has played many duets with his wife Danielle Coleman-Pollock, both with her singing and on her cello. He has also played violin for multiple weddings and memorial services.


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Madi Trupp

Voice Teacher

Madi was in the ensemble for Etobicoke Musical Production's South Pacific, which was shown in October. In December she joined a fundraiser for a local food bank in Toronto.

Her graduating year she played Lucy Van Pelt from "You're a good man, Charlie Brown" in the Burman Music Department. Before that she was in several other plays including being Princess Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress", and also Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof". She had also had her directorial debut with "The Importance of being Ernest".


Tiffani Dakers

Drums and Ukulele Teacher

Tiffani Dakers, Upscale Music Studios percussion teacher, is calm and cool with an amazingly steady beat!  She is currently studying Music Business at Durham College.  She plays and teaches drums and ukulele and also plays piano, upright bass, trumpet, alto and tenor saxophone and guitar. 

Tiffani has been guest percussionist for local groups such as the Clarington Concert Band, Wild Wind Flute Choir, Northumberland Orchestra and Choir and 'She Sings' Choir as well as a drum teacher at Durham Music Camp,La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra Leader and La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra's Percussion sectional leader.   She has attended masterclasses by TORQ, TSO and Taffelmusik and won several scholarships and is a past Kiwanis gold medal winner.  

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Richard Tweney

Violin and Viola Teacher


Marie-Helene Vachon-Tweney

Cello Teacher



Shirley Mueller

Piano, Theory, Voice and Guitar Teacher


Natasha Green

Piano Teacher


Ashly Buchanan

Piano Teacher