We are proud of our outstanding faculty at the Jean Lyons School of Music. Our teachers bring with them experiences from a wide range of musical backgrounds from Europe, Asia, and North America. Languages spoken by our faculty include English, Chinese, Russian, Italian, German and Spanish. As dedicated professionals, they are actively engaged in the performing arts community in Metro Vancouver and beyond. As a team they work together, share ideas, and volunteer countless hours of their own time to offer our students the most supportive and nurturing environment possible.
SUSAN WONG LIM, ARCT, BMus (Principal) is a former pupil of Jean Lyons and has been teaching at the School since 1975. She earned a BMus in Piano Performance from UBC, studying under Robert Silverman. An RCM Certified Teacher (Advanced Specialist) in Piano, Ms. Wong’s students have won Gold Medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music and First Place at the Canadian Music Competition National Finals. As a pianist with the Vancouver Piano Ensemble, she has performed in Canada, Asia and Europe. She serves on the BC Regional Council of the Canadian Music Centre, and sits on the Boards of Directors of the Vancouver Recital Society, Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals Society, and Morningside Music Bridge Foundation. She also continues to foster local talent as the longtime Concert Chair of the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society, of which she is an honorary life member.
GAIL CHIU, ARCT, BMus (Vice-Principal) grew up in Vancouver where she studied piano with Jean Lyons. She completed her ARCT in Piano Performance at the age of 16, and earned her BMus from UBC where she studied with Pawel Chęciński and Jane Coop. Ms. Chiu has been teaching piano and theory at the School for over 30 years to students of all ages. She especially enjoys teaching the Suzuki and Kelly Kirby Piano Methods to very young beginners. Her older students have won countless awards locally, provincially and nationally. She is proud that many of her former students have led successful careers not only as music teachers and performers, but also as doctors, lawyers, and engineers who apply the skills they developed in piano lessons and maintain their love of music for a lifetime. Note: On leave 2020-2021
JESSIE KUMAGAI, ARCT, LRSM, BBA (Director) has been teaching at the School since 1995. A former pupil of Jean Lyons, she received her ARCT in Piano Performance in 1990 and her Licentiateship from the Royal School of Music in London the following year. She has won awards from the Canadian Music Competition, the Seattle Young Artists’ Music Festival, and the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Artists in Germany. Ms. Kumagai graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Business Administration and has also earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology. Her interests include travelling, reading and pilates.
KRISTIN LIM, ARCT, MA (Director) studied piano and piano pedagogy with Jean Lyons and has been teaching piano and theory for the past 15 years. Her students have successfully completed exams under the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Ms. Lim holds a BA in Art History from UBC and an MA in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, UK. She has an extensive background in arts administration, fundraising and communications. Ms Lim especially welcomes new beginners.
JEAN BROWN, ARCT has taught at the School since 1980. A fully trained and certified Suzuki Piano Teacher, she has taught the Suzuki Method to children for the past 30 years. Ms. Brown’s older students have competed at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition and won First Place at the Registered Music Teachers National Competition. Her students have represented Vancouver, Coquitlam, and the Fraser Valley in the Provincial Festival of the Arts, with several First place winners across the province. They have also been recognized with superior results from the Royal Conservatory, including several Gold Medals for various levels, including the Gold Medal for the highest ARCT mark in all of Canada in 1991 and 2016. Ms. Brown frequently adjudicates in Lower Mainland music festivals.
DINA CORRADO, ARCT, MMus earned a BMus in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario and a MMus from UBC. Her teachers include Peter Katin, Robert Silverman, Jane Coop, and Lee Kum-Sing. An RCM Certified Teacher (Advanced Specialist) in Piano and Theory, Ms. Corrado is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music College of Examiners.
HOLLY DUFF, BMus, AVCM has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in various parts of Canada. A teacher and adjudicator for over 30 years, she thrives on instilling a love of music in her students, who regularly excel in their exams and festivals. Trained in both the Orff and Kodály methods of music education, Ms. Duff also teaches music and movement classes for young children by using a holistic approach that engages and nurtures all aspects of a budding musician. Since 1993 she has been a founding director, administrator and pianist with the West Coast Chamber Music concert series and performs as a pianist-storyteller in her own original children’s concerts.
SOW MUN FAN, FTCL, BA (Hons), MMus, PhD, was born in Malaysia and earned degrees in music and business at Trinity College of Music and Middlesex University in London. She went on to obtain Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Leicester, specializing in music education and child developmental psychology. Dr. Fan’s students have won top prizes in international competitions throughout Asia and Europe and earned high scores in ABRSM and Trinity College exams. She has served on the jury of the International Music Competition for Youth “Dinu Lipatti” in Italy, of which she was appointed an artistic director for 2019-2021. Dr. Fan has been recognized for her pedagogical excellence by the Asia International Piano Academy, the Piano Society of Korea, the Accademia Musicale Mediterranea, and the Tainan Music Teachers Association of Taiwan.
GREG HARTLEY, B.Mus; ARCT (Performer); ARCT (Piano Teacher); R.M.T. has been teaching piano and music theory for over 30 years. As a theory specialist, Mr. Hartley has taught advanced theoretical courses since 1994. His teaching style is best described as exacting, but nurturing, with a precise attention to detail which regularly helps students achieve above average results. He has experience working with students with special needs such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, Down’s Syndrome and brain injury. Mr. Hartley graduated from the Bachelor of Music program at Carleton University with highest honours, and holds Associate Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) in both performing and teaching. In addition to teaching, Mr. Hartley is active as a composer, writing music for a variety of solo instruments and instrumental ensembles. His works have been presented in concerts at the National Gallery of Canada, at Carleton University and on radio broadcasts by the CBC.
JUSTIN K. LIM, ARCT, BA Hons, MPhil specializes in teaching music theory and history to students of all ages. He studied piano with Angela Barbour and Henri-Paul Sicsic and theory and pedagogy with Jean Lyons. He holds degrees in comparative literature and musicology from UBC, Cambridge, and UCLA. In the early 2000s, he assisted Jean Lyons in revising her Harmony workbook series and served as Co-President of the CMC BC Society. A member of the Music Teachers National Association and an RCM Certified Teacher in Theory and History, Mr. Lim is also a Steinway Educational Partner and runs professional development training in music integration for school teachers.
MAY LIM, PMP was born in Java, Indonesia. After high school, she left for Germany to continue her education at the Stuttgart Music Universität (previously the Stuttgart Staatliche Hochschule für Musik) and earned her Piano Music Pedagogy degree. She immigrated to Canada in 1969 and taught in Kamloops for one year before moving to Vancouver. She has been teaching at the School ever since. Her students have won countless awards at competitions, including performances with the Seattle and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras. She also coaches the Lyons Quatuor Piano Ensemble, which won the 2008 International Piano Competition for 6 and 8 Hands in Germany and the 2009 North West Piano Ensemble Competition in Vancouver.
MARIANA MEDVEDEVA, BMus was born in Kaliningrad, Russia and majored in Piano Pedagogy and Collaboration. She has taught piano for over 35 years and was an accompanist at the Kaliningrad Music College where she participated in festivals and competitions. She has been teaching at the School since 1994. Her students have won numerous awards and competitions, including RCM Gold Medals.
CHRISTINE NGAI, ARCT, MMus, CSPM studied piano with Susan Wong Lim and May Lim at the School. Her many awards include a Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory, First Prize in the Canadian Music Competition, and a scholarship to Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she earned a BMus (with Distinction) in Piano Performance. She went on to receive a MMus and CSPM (Certificat de stage de perfectionnement en musique) from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, studying under André Laplante. Ms. Ngai has performed in festivals and masterclasses in Canada and Europe. With a wealth of insight into different approaches to piano performance and pedagogy, Ms. Ngai loves to communicate her passion and knowledge for music through performance, chamber music, and teaching.
VICTOR NORIEGA, BMus was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and obtained his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Washington. Mr. Noriega has been a featured artist in such music festivals world-wide including the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Earshot Jazz Festival, the Bumbershoot Festival, the Filipino-American Jazz Festival, and the Philippine International Jazz Festival, and has performed in premier music and jazz venues in North America and other parts of the world. His three albums of original compositions and arrangements — Stone’s Throw (2004), Alay (2006), and Fenceless (2008) — each recorded with his trio, earned critical acclaim, and he was honored with three Golden Ear awards by Earshot Jazz, recognizing the best of the Pacific Northwest jazz scene. Victor’s commissioned original work for the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Generations, Directions, which premiered in April 2012, features the journey of three generations of Filipino immigrants in North America. His latest recording, 2 Trios (2013) features a collection of unique improvisatory sketches with long-time Seattle collaboraters. A versatile player, Mr. Noriega currently works on a diverse set of projects and collaborates with artists from a wide range of musical backgrounds.
JENNIFER WONG, ARCT, FLCM, MMus, grew up in Vancouver, where she studied with Edward Parker. In addition to her ARCT, she earned Licentiate and Fellowship diplomas from the London College of Music. She received her BMus from UBC as a scholarship student of Jane Coop, then moved to New York to earn her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied on a scholarship with Constance Keene and served as her teaching assistant for over 10 years. Jennifer has won numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. Performances include the Vancouver Orpheum and Government House for the Lieutenant Governor of BC, as well as Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. A Steinway Educational Partner and member of the Leschetizky Association, Ms. Wong was previously head of piano at the Larchmont Music Academy in New York.