Alex Figueroa

Wee Expressions, Voice, Ukulele, Drum & Guitar Instructor; Camp Leader & Party Facilitator

Alex developed a passion for music during his senior years in high school. With a desire to learn guitar, he pursued a goal to understand how the guitar works, how to play music on this instrument, and how to create his very own music. He later on picked up the ukulele as it a was fun small instrument to play on and it provided a unique sound compared to the guitar.

As his skill and passion developed for the string instruments, he began playing music for the worship ministry at his local church. During the 7 years of service through the church, his passion for teaching others grew. Playing music with a community has impacted his views on the power of music.

Alex hopes to spread his passion in music and the powers it has in healing, thus his current pursue in the Music Therapy program to become a Music Therapist. Equipped with this understanding of music and the uses of it, Alex has been teaching guitar, drums, group classes and vocals for more than five years now. You may also occasionally catch him playing at the Capilano Suspension bridge as a hired performer.

Anican Yu

Piano Instructor & Camp Leader

Born and raised in Prince George, British Columbia, the Chinese-Canadian pianist Anican Yu always had an aptitude and passion for playing music and performing for others. Throughout his musical career, he has challenged himself to reach higher standards and strive to meet his fullest potential in piano performance. He received his ARCT certification before graduating high school and was able to achieve that goal in the summer of grade 11 with Honours certification. He made his piano debut when won multiple music festivals in Prince George and participated in Provincial Festivals. He also performed at the 2015 Canada Winter Games with his older brother’s band Bright City Heights.

Anican’s playing style includes Classical, Jazz, Contemporary and Modern music. He played at many wedding gigs throughout his life and taught some of BC’S most exceptional musicians. In Zhengzhou China, Anican advertised a Music School by performing in numerous shows and venues for the two months he spent over there. His performances inspired and encouraged young musicians to enrol in the school and learn music. Over the past summer, Anican led some music camps to continue his passion in inspiring young minds and developing their love and interest in music.

Cassey Razon

Camp Leader & Group Instructor

Whether serving through the music ministry at her church or playing piano at a care home, music has always been a key aspect in Cassey’s life. She started playing piano at the age of six and picked up a range of instruments throughout high school, including guitar and the alto saxophone. Although her musical roots lie in classical and folk, she developed an interest and passion for vocal music, specifically coming out of the jazz traditions in America.

Currently in her third year of the Jazz Studies program at Capilano University, she looks forward to later obtaining her Bachelor of Education and becoming an elementary teacher. Currently, at Capilano, Cassey is a soprano in the university’s top vocal ensemble, NiteCap, directed by Dr. Laura Harrison, and studies privately under Steve Maddock and Geordie Roberts. She can also be found singing in Coastal Sound’s Youth Choir as well as in her own group, the Cassey Razon Quartet. She is eager to share her love for music with the Musical Expressions teams and the rest of the community.

jenny-poon-program-coordinator--piano-instructor

Jenny Poon

Piano Instructor

Jenny is an experienced piano teacher with more than 10 years of experience in teaching piano and theory. She had received a silver medal for achieving the highest marks out of the entire province of Alberta from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1994. Her experience has exposed her with teaching a wide range of students from toddlers to adults. Students that Jenny has mentored, whom have taken the RCM exams obtain marks on average 80 and above. Her students are always encouraged to participate in the Kiwanis Music Festival to musically express themselves and to have fun while judges get the chance to hear their musical talents.

Jodie Ng

Piano Instructor

Jodie started learning piano at the young age of 3. It was not until high school though, when she began taking music composition classes and becoming involved in choir, that she began to develop an strong and undeniable passion for music. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Toronto’s Bachelor of Music program in piano. She was also a part of the Faculty of Music Women’s Chorus during her time there.

Initially aiming to become a composer for film and video games, she found her love of teaching after volunteering at summer camps and working as an instructor at an academy. Jodie is a classically trained pianist and has achieved Grade 10 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She looks forward to sharing her love and knowledge of music with piano students at Musical Expressions.

John Marvin Scott

Guitar Instructor

Hailing from Red Deer, Alberta, John started his musical journey in the summer of 2011. Since then, John has been actively working alongside local musicians in the Red Deer and Vancouver area in popular music groups as well as classical and jazz ensembles. John graduated top of his class from Red Deer College in 2017 with a diploma in music specializing in an electric guitar with a minor in classical guitar. John is currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance/Composition at world-renown performing arts school at Capilano University.

John is educated by some of the top musicians in Canada, such as the Canadian jazz guitar legend Bill Coon, and Canada-born trumpeter Karen Gustafson. John has studied with a variety of other musicians and educators, such as Jeremy Doody in Red Deer, Jim Head in Edmonton, and Brad Turner, Jared Burrows, Grace McNab, Bradshaw Pack and Ron Samworth at Capilano University in Vancouver.

John has been working in music education since 2015, and since then has been honing his craft as a musician and an educator. John teaches guitar technique, musicianship, music theory and history as well as the ukulele and group courses such as small ensemble and semi-private lessons. John’s unique ability to tailor the curriculum to his students and his vast knowledge of music and the technical side of music-making is what truly makes John one of the best upcoming teachers today.

Joney Poon

Founder and Studio Director

Lead teacher and music therapist at Musical Expressions, Joney has been a music teacher for piano, guitar and theory over the last fifteen years. Her experience working with toddlers shows in the natural connection she develops with children while leading them in early childhood music programs. Joney‘s formal education includes, classical studies in music, psychology as well as a Bachelors in Music Therapy from the University of Calgary and Capilano University. She also runs a private Music Therapy practice and has worked with a wide range of clientele, including children with developmental disabilities, adults with brain injuries, and seniors who have suffered a stroke or live with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Joney strongly believes in the power and benefits that music can bring regardless of age and ability.

Jonathan Decolongon

Piano, Guitar, and Ukulele Instructor; Admin

Born and raised in Vancouver, Jonathan has been nurtured in the world of music from an early age. He started piano lessons at the tender age of 4, and was always surrounded with music thanks to his musical family. Jonathan enjoys all things related to music, whether it is teaching, performing, composing, or choral singing.

Jonathan attended the Vancouver Academy of Music, under the tutelage of Martha Brickman and Donna Lee. He further developed his musicality at Capilano University, being a recent recipient of the Music Diploma. He was the 1st Place Winner in 2015 for Capilano Music performance competition. Jonathan hopes to earn a Bachelors in Music in the near future.
Jonathan’s goals with teaching is to translate the love and passion to music with up and coming musicians. He finds great joy in teaching music to people of all ages.

Preston Lee

Piano, Trumpet, & Voice Instructor
Having graduated from Capilano University with a Classical Music Diploma in trumpet, piano and voice, Preston is currently studying at the University of British Columbia. He is working to finish his Bachelor of Arts in Music with the goal to transfer into the Bachelor of Education program, once completed.
Preston first started his musical training on piano at around age 5, setting off his continued involvement in the music community at a very young age. Throughout his high school years, he attended the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. While there, he took part in the choirs, studied piano, music theory and began taking voice lessons. Upon graduating high school Preston began his studies at Capilano University, deciding to further expand his musical knowledge and pursue trumpet as his main instrument, which he began learning at age 8. While continuing his education with the trumpet, piano, and singing, he loves being active in the music community, singing in various groups, churches, and semi-pro choirs.
Preston is “thrilled to be a part of a community of other like-minded music enthusiasts at Musical Expressions,” and is excited to share his knowledge and passion for music with all of his students!

Sabrina Mo

Camp & Workshop Instructor

Sabrina was born in Hong Kong and has been living in Vancouver for 5 years. She is a passionate music instructor, performer and composer. With more than 8 years of experience teaching flute, piccolo, voice and theory, she has developed her own methods of teaching with a wide range of students in private and group lessons. She speaks fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and is familiar with both North American and British music systems. Students from many different backgrounds can benefit and learn from her diverse background and knowledge. By combining classical conservatory and contemporary educational methods, Sabrina creates customized lesson plans and structures, ensuring each of her students builds an in-depth understanding of music while keeping their interest at the same time. Her students are inspired and motivated and can often be seen fulfilling their musical potentials in youth orchestras, RCM examinations, and bands.

Sabrina is also an enthusiastic composer who received her Bachelor of Arts in Composition from Simon Fraser University, in 2021. Studying music composition under Owen Underhill, Sabrina Schroeder, Mauricio Pauly and Stefan Maier in Simon Fraser University, her compositional styles are included but not limited to many electroacoustic and acoustic pieces for small ensembles and solo performer. She also loves to use objects to explore and experiment with different combinations of tonalities and timbres. Through Musical Expressions, she is looking forward to creating and running children’s programs that incorporate these influences and passions to help diversify music education as a whole.

Soloman Cheung

Piano Instructor

Solomon Cheung, 24 years old, is a pianist that was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. He started learning music and piano from his mother at a young age of 6. Only shortly after starting, his mother saw the potential and was able to get Piano Instructor, Amanda Chan to teach Solomon. Studying under Chan, Solomon progressed from beginner level, to completing his RCM Level 10 in a span of 7 years. However, at the time, Solomon was not planning to further advance in the art of piano. After some years of accompanying his school choir as well as church worship teams, he changed his mind and was accepted in to the Bachelor of Music program at the University of Victoria, studying with Steinway Artist, Prof. Arthur Rowe; officially resuming Classical piano training after a nearly 4 year hiatus. He later transferred to UBC School of Music, where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree in 2017, studying piano under Dr. Corey Hamm and Michelle Mares.

Returning to Vancouver, Solomon began teaching piano and found a new interest of teaching and passing on the art of playing music. His playing has earned him awards in the Burnaby Clef and Kiwanis music festivals, as well as the Grace Swannell Memorial Scholarship in Piano. Solomon specializes in playing and teaching Classical music and heavily admires the Romantic works of Chopin and Liszt. He also has a strong interest in video game music, drawing heavy inspiration from the melodies of Nobuo Uematsu. Currently, Solomon resides in New Westminster, teaching piano and cultivating the love of music in his students.

Sarah Chao

Piano Instructor

Sarah Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to Vancouver BC since 2013. She has studied the Suzuki method in music under a renowned Japanese master since the age of 5.

Sarah was so passionate about music her entire life, she entered Taiwan’s prestigious music academy from high school where she started to focus on piano and trumpet as her major and minor. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music at National Kaohsiung Normal
University in Taiwan. For the past 20 years, Sarah has continued to refine her theory, ear training and music history. She has performed and competed at the highest caliber in solo, choir and orchestral settings.

For teaching, Sarah Chao has over 10 years of experience and teaches students from 2 to 65 years old. (All ages) Sarah has learned the ORFF method of music during her tenure at NKNU & AU in Taiwan. ORFF method music is designing for young kid and using the natural way to help young students to connect and interpret music allowing the student to learn at an accelerated pace.

Sarah Chao’s students include beginners with no previous experience to advance and career pianists in the making. From piano basics, to RCM examination prep & theory. Sarah’s professionalism & ability to teach students of all levels has allowed her students to learn and navigate the complex world of music.

Vanessa Nostbakken

Vocal, Guitar, Ukulele Instructor; Group Instructor

Vanessa has been passionately involved in theatre and music since early childhood. Vanessa attended Canterbury High School for the Arts in Ottawa Ontario, where she developed a connection to theatre, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre at Concordia University in Montreal (2013.)

Vanessa spent time as a sound & lighting technician for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, as well as in New York and Toronto, on several shows including for Quote Unquote Collective’s Award winning show “Mouthpiece.” In Montreal Vanessa was the lead singer the jazz group “The Swoon Quartet,” with whom she toured. With the desire to spread her wings from Eastern Canada, Vanessa took her solo career as a musician and performer to BC, where she joined alternative/indie band “Easy Ruckus” in the town of Golden. It was also there that Vanessa continued volunteer work with children’s school groups centred around incorporating art and music in the classroom in a program called “Cirkidz.”

In 2016 Vanessa was accepted into the BMIR (Banff Musicians in Residency) program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, a five week music intensive. Vanessa moved to Vancouver in 2017 where she became a Granville Island Busker, and went on to be a regular solo act at such places as Guilt & Co., The Libra Room, and various other Vancouver Venues. As well as music, Vanessa spends time working with non profit Vancouver organizations that she is passionate about such as UNYA (Urban Native Youth Association,) and Goodnightout (a harm reduction street team.) Vanessa continues to work as a live performer and recording vocalist on tracks for other artists and collaborators, and is currently working on writing and recording an EP. Vanessa is thrilled to be a part of the ME team, and is excited to share and work with children musically.

Roshanak Saadat Beheshti

Piano Instructor

A diverse background , Roshanak is educated in administrative science, business, arts, and translation.

She also has a clear passion for piano and music. For over 21 years, she has garnered experience that makes her an enjoyable instructor to work with, whether complete beginner or advanced students. From 2003-2007 she received an Advanced Certificate in Music Teacher Training from Tehran Conservatory – Nahavand Institute.

She is adept in performance, music theory, and helping students prepare for RCM exams. Achievements include winning 1st place in 2010 in an Iran based competition (Artistic-Cultural Organization).