Elyan Fernova - Drums
From the age of four, Elyan drove his neighbours insane with his incessant playing. He went on to study the drum set with teacher, Mariano Manocchi (Italian State Television percussionist), for three years.
When Fernova turned twenty, he made the transition to professional, where he undertook a short summer course at the Dante Agostini College in Paris. He hit the "big time" in 1985, when he was asked to do a session for world-renowned band, Via Verdi. Elyan toured Europe extensively with Via Verdi, who, with the hit single “Diamond” sold over 7 million records worldwide!
When asked, "What kind of drummer would you like to consider yourself?" Fernova always replies, "I’m still working on it, you never can say I’ve got there, but I’m happy with my playing. There’s always a step forward. You know, if someone is happy with his playing, to me it sounds like you don’t have the courage to learn more - basically you halt your knowledge to discover new things. It’s very painful sometimes but I think in the end, it’s worthwhile to keep your spirit and curiosity about learning alive. For example, I consider myself a pop drummer. I like to keep steady beats on the tracks, live and in the studio, that’s why I’ve always loved Carlos Vega and Jeff Porcaro (Toto) - they’re still my main inspirations. You understand what they do and to me, the main role of a drummer is to keep a steady beat - it’s the backbone of the whole thing."
Arna Morton - Violin and Viola
Arna Morton (nee Shaw) was born in Christchurch, NZ and begun studying the violin at age five. Since then, her initial materialistic view of the instrument has flourished into a genuine love for it. Her immense passion for music was ignited in secondary school, learning under Bistra Dimitrova (CSO), she became involved in various orchestras including the NZSO National Youth Orchestra from age 16.
Arna has completed both her Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance and her Post-Graduate Diploma with Distinction in Violin Performance under her inspirational teacher Helene Pohl of the New Zealand String Quartet. This year, Arna completed her requirements to gain her Master of Musical Arts in Violin Performance after being awarded a Victoria Masters by Thesis Scholarship - one of the university’s most prestigious scholarships.
Arna has been concertmaster and has also performed as a soloist on numerous occasions in many reputable New Zealand Orchestras. She has won many awards for Excellence in Violin Performance including the Clare Galambos-Winter Undergraduate Scholarship 2011, the Clare Galambos-Winter Postgraduate Scholarship 2012, and the 2013 Alex Lindsay Memorial Award granted through the NZSO; this prestigious award not only assisted her purchase of a new violin, but also placed her on the honour list alongside some of the country’s top musicians. In March 2014, Arna moved to Melbourne to spread her wings in a new musically and culturally-rich community.
Delaney Stewart - Guitar & Bass
Delaney is a highly skilled musician with a young and fresh approach to communicating music to all demographics. As a student of The Victorian College of the Arts and Monash University, the last twenty years have been devoted to shaping an original style and brand for himself that has been rewarded with a solid reputation in the industry.
Primarily focusing on building repertoire, mastering skills and developing knowledge of the instrument, his lessons are exciting and his students progress quickly.
His experience is extensive in all facets of the industry ranging from writing, rehearsing and performing music, recording, engineering and producing music in the studio, promoting and marketing music for one-off shows or large scale tours.
Stylistically, Delaney’s skills and taste are wildly versatile. He plays in Rock ‘n’ Roll band Straylove, gypsy jazz band Rats in the Kitchen, and is half of a Brazilian guitar duo. Delaney has learnt from, and worked with some of the best musicians in the country and has toured Australia and abroad many times.
Jakob Kagan - Guitar & Bass
Jakob Kagan is a musician and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia who has had a very strong relationship with his principal instrument, the guitar since becoming interested at the age of 9. Although he knows that dedication is to thank for anyone’s musical development - he also never fails to express to each student that when it comes to the guitar - there is really no right or wrong way to do it.
Jakob has taught the guitar extensively over the past 9 years and has much experience in teaching musicians from all walks of life how to better their own musical output.
Over the past several years, Jakob has played festivals and stages such as Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival, The Forum, The Enmore Theatre, The Palace Theatre - with and alongside such successful artists as The Temper Trap, Franz Ferdinand, Dustin Tebbutt, Boy & Bear, The Dandy Warhols, Missy Higgins, Courtney Barnett and The Delta Riggs - to name a few.
He has studied under Australian guitar greats Ian Miller and John Dallimore - and maintains that the direction and inspiration gained from his mentors is much to thank for his continuing success.
Jakob attained a Degree with distinction in Music from The JMC academy in 2007 and has also received high distinctions as a teenager in his Guitar equivalency examinations (Grades 3-7) with the London College of Music at Thames Valley University.
Shaun Rammers - Saxophone and Clarinet
Shaun Rammers is a saxophonist and clarinettist who is part of the jazz and improvised music scene in Australia. Shaun has had the privilege of performing with some of Australia's finest musicians including Peter Jeavons, Jamie Oehlers and Ben Vanderwal. He has played at Melbourne's Uptown Jazz Café, 303 bar, Bennett¹s Lane, the Ellington Jazz Club, Perth Concert Hall, The Seymour Centre and the Sydney Opera House. In 2012, Shaun performed his original music at Canberra's second international Jazz Festival.
Shaun completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, at the end of 2013, at the WA Academy of Performing Arts where he studied with Jamie Oehlers, Tom O¹Halloran and Carl Mackey.
Shaun is currently a member of the Bennett's Lane Big Band. He also performs and writes for his band Question Time, which he co-leads with Andrew Gioia. Shaun is a passionate musician and teacher, who loves to perform and share his music.
Zachary Lazarevski - Piano
Zac is a very passionate teacher who loves to help people of all ages discover the joy of music, and become knowledgeable, independent and versatile musicians. He has the skill to balance innovative new methods and a natural instinct, with traditional teaching techniques.
A student of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Zac is currently in his 2nd year of his Bachelor of Music degree. Prior to being accepted, Zac studied for four years with Robin Smith, the musical director of the London Olympic Games opening ceremony, and composer of the title track from Luciano Pavarotti’s final album -“Ti Adoro.” Zac received his Diploma of contemporary Music in 2008.
Although his main field of expertise is classical piano, he’s a versatile musician and teacher who embraces all styles and genres including classical, jazz, pop and rock. A passionate singer since the age of five, his extensive experience composing songs and singing in choirs and rock bands makes him especially qualified to teach singers to accompany themselves on the piano.
He communicates with his students to determine exactly what they want to achieve, inspires them to aim high, and provides them with all the tools, resources, and guidance they need to achieve their goals.
Amy McNickle - Piano
Amy is a passionate pianist and teacher who enjoys helping people of all ages discover and
develop their musical talents. She has a strong belief that learning music is all about
balancing the practical and performative side with a thorough and relevant understanding of
what music fundamentally is.
Currently studying Interactive Composition at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Amy is
in her second year of Undergraduate study. She is involved with music and arts
collaborations around Victoria, most notably composing collaboratively for the SocialNui
Interactive Arts Installation "Encounters" (part of Summersalt festival/white night), and a
collaborator/composer for the dance production "Breathe, Woman", for Regional Arts
Victoria. In her free time you will find her collaborating with dancers, film makers, musicians,
and other creative minds to develop new and exciting multimedia projects.
With a background in classical piano, choirs and arts music, Amy is well versed in traditional
methods (including AMEB), but with a passion for experimenting and exploring all genres
and approaches to music, Amy is eager to help her students to explore any and all aspects
of the music they want to learn. She is keen to not only teach and develop a passion for
piano in her students, but strives to provide them with the essentials they need for wherever
their musical endeavors take them.