“The teachers create a warm, friendly, and inviting environment that encourages, supports, and inspires students to master their craft and work hard.”

Isabelle L. (Student at Cantabile)

Meet Our Teachers and Staff

Matthew Cheng
Matthew ChengSchool Director and Violin Teacher

Matthew’s Story, Director of Cantabile School of Music

Bachelor of Music Performance (Melbourne University)
VMTA Fully Accredited Member

Most people reading this section might be expecting to peruse about a person with an extraordinary list of performing accomplishments and achievements. Honestly, I have never won a single trophy, medal from any music competition or anything alike. Bear in mind that not every great performer is always a good teacher. My passion is for teaching. As a result, I started the Cantabile School of Music.

My musical journey began with lessons from my mother. As she was a piano teacher, it was quite natural for me to take up the piano as my first instrument. I started the piano at the age of seven, and a year later I also began learning the violin. However due to family circumstances I continued only with learning the violin.

Music has helped me overcome many difficulties and challenges, and has developed into an intrinsic part of my everyday life. A real turning point in my life occurred when I was in high school while studying the violin with one of my most influential teachers, Brian Blake. At this stage I had already completed my Grade 8 violin exam, yet learning from him made me realise that this was just the beginning. More importantly, his incredible teaching philosophy showed me there was more to learning music than merely overcoming technicalities, but harnessed a powerful way to develop life skills.  I began to realise that music has a far greater meaning than simply going for just that music examination or scholarship. Although those things are important, they should not be the ultimate goal.

Finishing my Music Performance Bachelor degree from the University of Melbourne in 2011, I established the Cantabile School of Music in hopes to share this new founded realisation. It began solely as a violin teaching studio at first, gaining over 30 private students in my first year of teaching. I then brought in my first teacher to work with me, which was none other than my mother. Piano lessons were then incorporated into the school. Since then, our school has grew to serving over 250 students in a week and hope to bring the joys of music to many more teachers and students.

So why am I telling you all this? I am nothing special, but music is. Music allowed me to overcome many challenges and hardships in my life, and I believe it can do the same for you.

Maulina Andrian
Maulina AndrianHead of Administration

It has been a few years since I joined the Cantabile School of Music team. I love working here as I love Music. I learnt piano when I was in Secondary School. Music helps me relax during my busy days. So being part of the team to help students and parents is something I enjoy doing.

I also love working with children, my background in Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care helps me know better how to build a relationship with students and parents.

I aspire to make students and parents feel welcome and comfortable in the school with my bright smile and friendly personality, as well as answering any questions and helping them with any queries.

In my spare time, I enjoy baking, listening to music, reading and spending time with my husband and two sons.

Rachel Kim
Rachel KimPiano Teacher

My life with the piano began when I was 5 years old. I loved music and enjoyed playing the piano so much that I continued learning it for many years.

My passion for piano became stronger when I went to Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Having friends who had so much passion for their instrument and music influenced me that I started to love the piano even more. As a result, I received a raw score of 50 for Music Performance in VCE by the time I was in year 11. I then went on to complete my Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne.

I love teaching piano. I love how I can share my knowledge about the piano with others and that we can achieve lots of things together. I hope to meet more students so we can share some fun learning the piano and have great time together.

Esha Zhang
Esha ZhangPiano Teacher

It was almost expected for me to learn piano as all the children in the family did before me. I started learning the piano when I was five and took many AMEB exams for both theory and practical throughout the years.

Of course like most kids there was a time I absolutely hated practising and tried every excuse in the book to not attend lessons, and after completing my AMEB Grade 8 exam in high school I put piano off entirely for a year. But after deciding to choose VCE Music Performance in my final year of high school, music really changed for me and I enjoyed spending time on the piano. I decided to pursue it further and went on to complete my Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne under Max Cooke.

I hope to share my experience and knowledge to help others in their music and see how fulfilling and enjoyable music can be.

Grace Park
Grace ParkViolin Teacher

Looking back on my childhood, my life was surrounded by a variety of music and instruments. I started learning piano when I was six and I really enjoyed playing it. When I got into high school, I challenged myself to learn the violin as well. Soon after, I found the violin to be such a fascinating instrument and it was not difficult for me to choose this instrument as a major for university. 

After finishing Grade 8 in my AMEB examinations, I am currently studying my Bachelor of Music at Monash University. Learning music and violin is my joy in life and it will continuously be my happiness. I hope other students can realise this great treasure by learning music. 

Daming Tan
Daming TanCello Teacher

Music has been a big part of my life but I struggled in the past to pick an instrument that I really like. When I was young I tried to learn guitar, the keyboard and organ, and I gave up on all of them after learning for a couple months. This trend came to an end when I entered secondary school, where my friend encouraged me to join the string ensemble. I picked up the cello as my primary instrument and I have been playing it ever since.

What I like about the cello is that the tone of the instrument represents the human voice. This allowed me to express myself through playing the cello. Teaching the cello has been a fun and enjoyable experience to me as I get to connect with different people and share my passion about the cello. I always hope my students are able to have fun and enjoy playing the cello.

Apart from playing the cello, I am also a registered music therapist. I always think music is such a good tool to connect people and I want to use it in the way that I can help people. As soon as I found out there are people in this world who use music as therapy to help people, I immediately knew that this is the job I would love and would want to do for the rest of my life. I went on to study my Masters of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne and graduated in 2018.

Besides my passion for the cello and as a music therapist, my dream is to eat croissants everyday without getting fat.

Katey Thomas
Katey ThomasViolin Teacher

Music has always been a part of my life and I strongly connect playing the piano and violin with my childhood. While beginning piano lessons at five may have been a decision on my mother’s part, and the first few of years of practice did not come without a good amount of nagging and frustration, I did eventually come to realise the joy and serenity that playing music brings me. At nine, I asked my parents whether I might learn the violin as well. At eleven I joined my first orchestra (Melbourne Youth Junior Strings) and a discovered passion for creating music with other young musicians encouraged me to continue playing with the Melbourne Youth Orchestras until late high school.

Although completing both the piano and the violin to grade 8 AMEB level was intense and at times exhausting, it did not take me long after my final exams to realise that music and playing music had unavoidably become an integral part of my life.

Today, alongside playing in my free time (or as a form of procrastination), teaching music allows me to not only retain violin and piano in my week-to-week life, but also to perpetuate my passion for music and even continue my own learning journey. More so, passing my knowledge of music to others who are eager to learn is incredibly gratifying – watching a student’s growth as we work together through technique, to build musical theory, and to shape an understanding of the musical world, are empowering experiences which I hope excite students as much as they delight me!

Michelle Chou
Michelle ChouPiano Teacher

I started teaching Piano, Organ, Keyboard and a Junior Music Course at Technics Music School in 1985 in my hometown Ipoh, Malaysia. During that time I actively attended professional development workshop and music concerts while preparing students for Organ competitions. In 1995, I founded Artistic Conservatoire – my very own music school in Kuala Lumpur. These abundant experiences of teaching and arts management skills enriched my leadership qualities, ideas on teacher and student training, music making, creativity and self-expression.

I am very passionate about the early childhood music education as it is the most important musical foundation for children. Thus I brought in two syllabus for my music school, Musikgarden (US) for babies and toddlers, and the Music for Little Mozarts (US) for 4 – 6 years old children. Since then, I had experiences with teaching more than 500 students in my school. After moving to Australia, I completed my diploma in Early Childhood Education and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA focus will be on the area of disabilities, including autism). I believe that having an extensive training on children’s development has definitely made a conscious difference in my teaching.

Beyond fostering a lifelong interest and love for music, I have found that students who participate in Early Music Programs are more inspired to partake in individual instrumental lessons later on. It is so important for children to have a social musical learning environment in the beginning of their musical studies. I believe that all children need to be inspired, encouraged, and have an enjoyable musical training to foster lifelong music aspirations.

Dorota Thomas
Dorota ThomasPiano Teacher

I was born in Poland and began studying piano at the age of 6. My music education included piano performance, recorder, music theory, music history, composition, ensemble and choir. I have also completed Masters Degree in Education (primary and secondary) from University of Wrocław, Poland.

I have been teaching piano in Australia for many years and I am very familiar with the AMEB examination system.
My passion for music has been an important factor in my life. I believe music is therapeutic and calming, it is empowering and energising. The magic of learning an instrument has countless benefits. It teaches perseverance, patience, self discipline and time management. It develops imagination, emotional intelligence and self confidence.

My philosophy is that anyone can achieve good results but it takes time and hard work. Practice is an essential part of learning an instrument and, with young children, so is parental involvement and support.

On a personal note, I live with my husband and two daughters. Both of my children completed AMEB piano grade 8 as well as violin grade 8 (older) and flute grade 5 (younger). My other passions include gardening and sustainable living.

Minseo Lee
Minseo LeePiano Teacher

My music journey began when I was five years old through learning piano and violin. At that moment, I honestly did not enjoy playing the piano or violin due to such a strict environment for my musical learning. Because of this, I would love to make my students feel comfortable when they come to my lessons and help them enjoy playing and practicing their music.

During my education at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, I placed music as my priority and had a willingness to do music as my primary career. I gained diverse experiences there, such as performing in chamber groups, and as a soloist, I challenged myself to do competitions and eisteddfods. After graduating high school, I am currently studying my Bachelor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

In my teaching, I especially love to teach young children. I look forward to helping more students to experience the joys of playing the piano. I want to help them understand that when you apply yourself to study the piano, you will have such a rewarding and enjoyable experience!

Jessie Jung
Jessie JungPiano Teacher

My musical journey started in a rather typical way. I started learning piano when my mum enrolled me into a musical school at the age of 5. Ever since then, music has been an important part of my life. I accompanied my friends on the piano and also played in the wind band throughout my high school life with my second instrument, the flute.

It may sound like it was expected of me to take music as my career, however I discovered my passion to take music professionally during my senior years of high school. During my early years of high school, I had a “love-hate” relationship with music. Although I loved playing both the piano and flute, the pressure and stress from having to learn pieces that I did not enjoy practicing overwhelmed me. However, during my senior years of high school, I discovered lots of pieces that I absolutely admire and started enjoy practicing as I learnt more about the composers and the history of music.

After discovering my own taste and joy of practicing, I decided to study a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Melbourne. I believe that early learning experiences have a huge impact on the progress of a student’s musical journey. My goal is to make every lesson fun and enjoyable for students so that they get excited and look forward to learning new music every lesson. I’m excited to share my knowledge with future musicians!

Jeannie Kim
Jeannie KimCello Teacher

I began playing the cello when I was eleven years old. Although I enjoyed the sound of the cello and playing in ensembles, I did not find much joy in practicing solo repertoire by myself. However, as I started to attend the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, I was more exposed to talented musicians and I received diverse musical education. This new environment changed my perception of music and this is when music became a predominant part of my life.

Through being exposed to different performing opportunities, both solo and in ensembles, I gradually learnt that music is not only about playing notes, but about portraying storylines that is created with musical lines and emotions. As I began to explore the ways to play with meaning, cello playing became more enjoyable and rewarding. That was when I decided to continue pursuing music in my tertiary studies and also in the future.

I am currently studying my Bachelor of Music course at the University of Melbourne.

I believe music lessons are where the musical journey for the students begin. Therefore, as a music teacher, I want to provide reason for the students to pursue their musical journey by forming enjoyable musical experiences through their lessons. I am excited to be working with young musicians!

Sangmi Kim
Sangmi KimPiano Teacher

Born in the Republic of Korea and raised in Australia, I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies in Canada and US. I recently returned to Australia, and I am currently pursuing a PhD degree in Piano Performance at the University of Melbourne.

My musical journey has covered a wide range of topics in solo and collaborative performing experiences at prestigious venues throughout Australia, Europe and North America. In addition, as an active music educator, I taught students from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and The Young Pianists Program at Indiana University. Through various mentors, teachers, and coaching experiences, I have learnt the importance of creative practice, motivational teaching, and the growth of music education and bringing it back to communities.

It is an absolute pleasure to share my musical beliefs, and it is a joy to be a part of music education for the next generation.

Andy Zhou
Andy ZhouPiano Teacher

Music had always been something that I held closely to my heart as I grew up. It had always been the first thing I went to if I was feeling down, stressed or just wanted to relax. I started piano at 6 solely because my parents forced me to, and it was a rough beginning. I hated the rigid teaching style of my first piano teacher. However, I started loving it when I entered a classical band and we performed for concerts, charities, and orphanages and this made me feel really good that I was helping others in the way of music. I’ve taken many ABRSM exams and participated in a few piano competitions in high school. I love teaching piano to see students learn to love it the way I do as well as giving them a different, more fun and flexible experience than I had in my beginning years.

Aside from piano, I’ve always been a theatre kid from middle school to now. I’m always either onstage or backstage preparing for productions or concerts or hosting. I deeply enjoy the thrill of being onstage and bringing entertainment or even something more to an audience.

I’ve lived in China for 11 years before coming to Australia. I love eating different things, sometimes even strange things to reach my goal of eating everything there is that is edible. I love comedy so I’ll always be in for a giggle whenever there’s a chance.

Suzy Zong
Suzy Zong Piano Teacher

I began my journey with the piano at six years old and music has since been a significant part of my life. The more I learn from music, my appreciation for it grows stronger.

Practice was very repetitious and automatic when I was younger, which has now shifted to a more conscious learning process that I am still shaping in my music studies at university. Practice comes with frustration and difficulty, but it shows me what I can achieve and discover through persistence. I am thankful that my teachers guide me through learning and understanding music, teaching me the values of dedication and patience, building techniques to explore music even further.

I can say that music challenges me but is also extremely kind to my soul.

I enjoy playing piano in an ensemble, discovering how music connects us as a community as much as we connect to it individually. I hope I can share this joy of experiencing and learning music with others and be a part of the student’s musical journey as they discover their own connection to music.

Louisa White
Louisa White Flute Teacher

I commenced learning the flute in Grade 2 and enjoyed playing it throughout both primary school and secondary school. Although I learnt to play other instruments such as the clarinet, the saxophone and the piccolo, the flute has always held a special place in my heart. Through my education, I focused on completing the AMEB syllabus, undertaking numerous AMEB exams, and exploring music from Grade 1 to Certificate of Performance.

I also enjoyed playing music in more relaxed environments by participating in numerous ensembles and orchestras and being exposed to a wide variety of musical styles along the way. Highlights included playing in pit orchestras for musicals and performing annually at the Melbourne Recital Centre as part of my secondary school education. As I progressed with my playing, I began to have access to numerous leadership opportunities, with the most recent opportunity taking the form of being the 2021 Music Prefect.

As a flute teacher, I enjoy being able to pass on the experience and knowledge that I have gained from my extensive musical education. I am currently undertaking a double degree of Global Studies and Science.

Johnny Chin
Johnny ChinViolin Teacher

Music has been in my life since I was born. My father is a guitar teacher and it is only natural for me to learn guitar as my first instrument. Through my ventures into the musical world, I started to pursue my interest in violin and it soon became my second instrument. Due to the fact that my father teaches music at home, I had access to many other instruments such as ukulele, piano and drum. My father then taught me all the other instruments. I was taught violin by a teacher who was also a conductor for the Sarawak State Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he kindly gave me the opportunity to join his orchestra at the age of 9. As such, I have a huge family of great musicians. I also joined the Malaysian’s Young Talent violin competition when I was 11 and won the best performer’s award. Music teaching aside, I also perform at music venues, wedding ceremonies and state functions.

I have loved playing the guitar and violin; hence they have become the main instruments I play, in which after many years of graded practical exams, I base my teaching on the ABRSM & Trinity syllabus. I have also completed my Certificate of Performance from Trinity (Guitar) and IMEB (Violin). Music is my passion. As a teacher, I believe it is equally important that my students understand the instrument they’re playing and express themselves musically rather than only learning mechanically and methodically. Put simply, I emphasise a thorough understanding of the core elements when playing but also in a way that does not deter them from truly learning.

Cynthia Audrey
Cynthia AudreyPiano Teacher

I started my musical journey in classical piano performance at the age of six under the guidance of Feirist Music Academy and Dr Johannes Nugroho in Indonesia. After completing her grade 8 Piano and Theory Exams from The Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), I completed my Bachelor of Music (Classical Piano Performance) in Australian Institute of Music, Sydney, under the guidance of Dr. Wojciech Wisniewski (2022) and now, with her ever-growing passion in teaching, pursuing Masters of Teaching in Early Childhood and Primary in Melbourne.

In Indonesia, I had participated and won prizes from national piano competitions, performed in various annual occasions, some of which were 3rd prize Indonesia National Piano Competition 2016 in Advance category, 2nd prize in Veranza Piano Competition Indonesia 2017 and performed in special occasions.

Moving to Australia has been an awesome decision and opportunity for me, as I continue to perform, teach as well as accompany students and other fellow musicians around Sydney and Melbourne.

I also enjoy not only listening to classical music, but arranging pop music and well-known songs too. My huge passion in teaching students music to create fun and unique ways to learn music, and I believe music will always play a huge role in every person’s life to express what cannot be put in words.

Daniel Trinh
Daniel TrinhPiano Teacher

Despite being born into a family with minimal music background, my development as a musician began with a small keyboard which had been left alone in my bedroom for years. At 11 years old, I used the internet as a guide to learn to read music notation and to explore some modern music.

After some years, I had eventually begun exploring older music and became captivated by melodies, harmonies and virtuosity offered through the music of the legendary composers such as Beethoven and Chopin. Inspired, I made the decision to upgrade piano and sought guidance from my first piano teacher in 2018, Sharon Pantling, who had helped me drastically develop my skills.

After two years of working with this incredible guidance, I completed my first AMEB examination and then VCE Music Performance. I ended up with enough experience to be accepted into the University of Melbourne which allowed me to begin working with my second piano teacher, Tristan Lee. Eventually, I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2022.

The longer I spend learning music, the more importance it has in my life. I firmly believe that music provides life-changing insights. As a teacher, I aspire to show my students the beauty and value of which music has to offer.

Pamela Chuah
Pamela ChuahPiano Teacher
My journey as a piano teacher is rooted in my childhood fascination with music. I began my music lessons at the tender age of 6, thanks to my mother, who was a piano teacher herself. Her lessons at our home served as the backdrop to my fascination with music. After her students left, I would often go to the piano, attempting to recreate the melodies by ear and memory. It wasn’t long before my mother recognised my passion, which she nurtured wholeheartedly. This early exposure laid the foundation for my passion for music and my eventual career as a piano teacher.
By the age of 15, I had a clear vision: I wanted to share my musical journey with others. With this determination, I pursued a degree in music and gathered over a decade of teaching experience. Beyond the piano, I’m an avid choir member, having sung professionally in Malaysia. I’ve also found joy in performing Christmas carols and dedicated seven meaningful years working at a kindergarten, where my love for nurturing young talents blossomed. My appreciation for diverse musical genres, including funk and jazz, also enriches my passion for music.