I’m extremely grateful to Dr. Heather Taves for her discernment in teaching me; by nurturing my passions and burning curiosities in undergrad, she gave me the tools I needed to keep building my knowledge.  It’s hard to narrow a list which could take several pages, but once thing which always stuck out was that she saw potential in me which was pretty well-hidden at the time.  This faith definitely carried me at times of lower motivation, and is now an inspiration for me to keep striving to unlock more of what’s inside.  We never stop learning!  It’s a good life, and I’m thankful to my teachers for helping me (continue to) acquire the skills which I needed to get the most out of it.

In September 2013,  Jason White moved to NYC to join the contemporary performance master’s program at the Manhattan School of Music. Since graduating from WLU, he has been involved in his community’s arts scene in Kitchener-Waterloo, from project managing for the Open Ears Festival to sitting on boards of directors for arts organizations to co-founding a non-profit jazz club in Waterloo at the Huether Hotel.  He opened a music school in uptown Waterloo and taught 60 students per week for 9 years, during which time he became an examiner for Conservatory Canada, a frequent adjudicator for festivals, and the coordinator for the youth jazz workshop at the Waterloo Jazz Festival.  He was the first-call Pops pianist for the K-W Symphony and the second-call pianist for the main series, playing 4-8 shows per year.


Jason White

Heather encouraged me to explore the piano repetoire beyond what I needed for pure technical growth. We examined it stylistically, historically and compositionally. The valuable lesson imparted to me was to look at music from other angles and perspectives. I attempt to bring this to my own teaching.

Owen received his B. Mus in Compostition from Wilfrid Laurier and his M.Mus in Composition from the University of British Columbia. He is busy as a music director, music educator and composer. Owen is a member of the xenharmonic collective tranSpectra and the interdisciplinary ennsemble SlanT.

www.musictogetherofkw.com Owen Bloomfield

I’ll never forget my piano lessons with Heather. Whether we were focusing intensely on micro-technique, practicing yoga on the studio floor, battling a Chopin etude or analyzing a Beethoven sonata, there was always laughter, insight and warmth in the room. Thank you for an amazing undergraduate experience!

Glenn James is a songwriter, pianist and composer. He majored in composition at Wilfrid Laurier University (BMus) and the University of Toronto (MMus) His music has been performed by Tapestry New Opera, Digital Prowess, The Sneak Peek Orchestra, TorQ Percussion Quartet, junctQín keyboard collective and the Vancouver Symphony. He is currently pursuing his DMA studies in composition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.

www.reverbnation.com/glennjamesmusic Glenn James

I  am ever grateful to Dr. Heather Taves for encouraging me to pursue graduate studies in piano performance. Her belief in my abilities as a musician helps me to attend to the challenges of this demanding career. I always turn to Dr. Taves for guidance when I am faced with difficult decisions in this aspect of my life.

In 2011, Diana Dumlavwalla became the first pianist to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts Performance degree at the University of Toronto. She studied piano with James Parker and completed pedagogical research under the direction of Midori Koga. Diana serves as assistant professor at Western University where she teaches the doctoral and undergraduate pedagogy courses as well as piano. Previously, Diana was on faculty at the University of Windsor. She is also Director of the Children’s Piano Pedagogy Program at the University of Toronto, a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners and a sought-after private teacher in Brantford.Diana has performed in North America and Europe. Along with violinist, Emma Banfield, she is the pianist of the San Agustin Duo. Her numerous awards include prizes at the Royal College of Music Contemporary Piano Music Competition and the NUMUS Pan-Am Chamber Music Competition. She was nationally recognized when she received the Marusia Yaworska Scholarship and the Elizabeth Massey Award from the Canadian Federation of University Women.

www.sanagustinduo.com Diana Dumlavwalla

Great teacher, wonderful friend, wise advisor, strong woman, dedicated mother, amazing artist, free spirit…

Afarin Mansouri Tehrani is the co-founder of “ICOT” – Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto- a group formed to create new music related to Persian Culture and tour it around Canada. In summer 2012, she became an associate composer of Canadian Music Centre, and an advisory committee member for North York Arts (an initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation) . She is currently a PhD candidate at York University, researching on Children’s Music and Canadian Children’s Opera. Afarin is the winner of prestigious award from 24th International Fajr music Festival Composition Competition in 2009 for her work “The fallen soldier” written for orchestra and choir.  She has collaborated with festivals and Ensembles such as Toronto Nuit Blanch, KW Open Ears Festival, Windago, TorQ Percussion Ensemble, Iranian Heritage at Royal Ontario Museum and Iranian Association of Waterloo.  She sincerely believes in the value of early childhood music education and runs her own program, MUSIC NEST.

www.afarin.net Afarin Mansouri Tehrani

Heather was not only an exceptional teacher, but was an important mentor in helping to shape my career in the arts. The guidance in interpretation, improvisation, and artistry were essential for success in finding a place in the arts community.

Jeff MacLean is a Junior School Music Teacher at Havergal College in Toronto. He previously taught at Mentor College, where he developed a respected vocal music program. His choirs consistently won at local festivals and were repeatedly provincial finalists. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University. For six seasons, he was a member of the staff of the Oakville Children’s Choir, where he served as conductor, vocal coach, accompanist and soloist. Jeff has also collaborated with Toronto’s theatre and classical music community. Jeff MacLean