Carol Liu

Founder and Piano Instructor

Founder and piano instructor of Windermere Music Academy.


Carol is originally from China, and she first became involved with piano at the age of five. Carol was first professionally trained by distinguished Professor Fang Yi, and later by Ling Zhao Professor of Central Conservatory of Music. She grew up practicing classical piano and graduated from the Harbin Conservatory of Music (Harbin Normal University Music College). In 2008, after she received her Piano Performace Degree, she moved to Edmonton. In 2016, she founded the Windermere Dance & Music Academy because of her lifelong musical passion. She would like to share her 25 years of experience in musical learning, performing, and teaching to support other young musicians on their own paths. She hopes to also help her students establish their confidence and peak their interest in music. Carol is a "Music For Young Children" certified teacher. 


Emilio De Mercato

Piano Instructor

Emilio is a concert pianist, composer, conductor, and founder of Alberta Symphony Orchestras. Emilio De Mercato holds degrees in piano and composition from the Conservatory of Music “Giuseppe Verdi” in Milan, Italy. He pursued postgraduate studies in piano performance at the Academy “Marziali” in Seveso (Milan) and at the Musik Hochschule in Bern, Switzerland. Since his move to Canada in 2012, he has been extensively performing in Edmonton, across the province and beyond. Emilio has over 20 years of experience teaching students at any level and age. His students have successfully passed RCM exams of any level, prepared for performances and festivals. Emilio also teaches piano masterclasses to support the studies of advanced students interested in pursuing their performing career.


Allyson Lyne

Violin Instructor

Allyson started violin at the age of 3 as a Suzuki violin student in Edmonton with Yoko Oike Wong. She completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the University of Toronto and a Masters of Music (Performance) at the université de Montréal. Three decades of performing in Québec and Alberta include years at the Montréal Symphony, Montreal Chamber Orchestra (concertmaster), Montreal Baroque Orchestra and Edmonton Symphony. Back in Edmonton since 2005, Allyson has evolved a method of violin instruction adapted to modern families using principles from Suzuki, Paul Rolland and Bornoff methods. The goal is to develop excellent fundamental violin technique coupled with good reading and rhythm skills. Allyson is an advocate of group lessons as well as private.


Jim Findlay

Guitar Instructor

Jim is a composer, musician, and bandleader who enjoys teaching and sharing. Jim currently leads a jazz trio, The Jim Findlay Trio, guitar violin and bass. The trio has been together about 15 years and is very active in the Edmonton music scene. Jim also leads a flamenco quartet, Spiral Flamenco, a traditional Flamenco group, as well as a modern music group “The Joni Project”.  Jim’s compositions and performance are very well received.


Zoe Hawnt

Flute instructor

A well-recognized musician with over 20 years of experience in teaching flute. Zoe was graduated from Concordia University as a (Music Major) and Grant MacEwan University (Music Major-Theatre Arts). Zoe won provincials for best all-around woodwind 2 years in a row at the Alberta Kiwanis Music festival. Zoe's classes are fun and catered to the student’s needs specifically. She is excited to share any and all tips she can pass along to all her students.


David Leibel

Drums Instructor

Born and raised in Edmonton, this amusing and eccentric musician began his percussion studies at age 16 and later graduated from the music program at Grant MacEwan and possesses a diploma in Contemporary And Jazz Performance. David mixes tradition and innovation in both his playing and teaching style and always bases his lessons around the general goals of the student, while at the same time exposing them to new musical styles and concepts. He is a constant devotee and practitioner in the musical styles of Jazz, Rock, Blues, Afro Cuban, Brazilian, Hip Hop and Funk. David finds considerable fulfillment in imparting a love of music, rhythm, and life to others.


Aliona Denysenko

Violin Instructor

Aliona is a certified Suzuki Teacher and a member of the Suzuki Association of Americas.  She graduated from Dnipropetrovsk Conservatory with Major in Violin Teaching and Performance. Continued having private lessons with Nathaniel Vallois, a senior violin tutor at Royal Birmingham Conservatory in England. A member of Borealis Orchestra in Edmonton as one of the first violinists. Aliona is an energetic and passionate teacher with 20 years of experience in music journey. Her goal is to impart a love of music, proper violin technique and correct violin posture.


Reneé Perez

Guitar Instructor

Reneé Perez is a highly motivated and mature classical guitar instructor. He teaches guitar , bass, ukelele , and Electric Guitar for kids and adults of all ages and all levels. Reneé is currently the Vice-President of the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society and the Alberta String Association.   After He got a doctorate degree in Engineering, Reneé  is taking the 4th year of Bachelors in Music in Classical Guitar Performance At  the University of Alberta.  
He is specialized in early guitar music, baroque solo guitar music, and renaissance chamber music.  His musical interests also include basso continuo with theorbo and archlute.  Reneé has toured Houston in the USA and northern Portugal—specifically the city of Porto and vicinity—as a soloist and chamber musician, and toured, playing the Fasch D minor concerto for lute (guitar) and strings with several string quartets and Venezuelan orchestras belonging to “El Sistema”.  In 2014, he was featured as an emerging solo artist by the Calgary Classical Guitar Society.


​Veronica Chung

Piano Instructor

Veronica teaches piano of all levels and ages. Veronica has been playing the piano since she was five. She graduated from the Department of Music of Tainan University of Technology with a major in piano. After graduating from University, she was admitted to the Tainan University of Technology, the Institute of Music, and was the first in class. She also came in first place in The National Musical Competition of the Baroque piano group. Since she was 19, Veronica has been teaching piano with great enthusiasm.


Xi Chen

Piano Instructor

Xi is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music major at the University of Alberta. 
She is academic and musical. With a nice and friendly personality, Xin focused on teaching young students and beginners. Her goal is to help her students appreciate and feel passionate about music. Xi believes that m
usic enriches your life, and each child is encouraged to reach his or her full potential through instruction, encouragement and incentives. Xi Chen is also a Music for Young Children certificated teacher. 


Svitlana Remniakova-Ostrovska

Violin Instructor

Svitlana Remniakova-Ostrovska's passion for music began back in Ukraine, where she studied violin at the Music College of Dniepropetrovsk, and then at the Kiev Conservatory of PT chaikovskiy in the class of a David Oistrakh's graduate Elena Buchinskaya. After graduation, Svitlana worked at the State Circus Orchestra, State Television and Radio Orchestra in Kiev, and then at the Dniepropetrovsk Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gurgen Karapetian and at the Dniepropetrovsk Chamber Orchestra in the Dnipropetrovsk House of Organ and Chamber Music conducted by Anatoliy Abayev.
In 1996, Svitlana's career took a sharp turn, whereby she moved to Egypt and for 23 years had worked at the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in the Cairo Opera House conducted by Ahmed El Saedi. The Cairo Symphony Orchestra has been conducted by many great international guest conductors such as  Daniel Barenboim and others. Among the soloists who have performed with the orchestra are  Mstislav Rostropovitch, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo,Magda Rumiand El Divo, During these years, the orchestra had regularly toured many European and Asian countries with great success.
Since 2019, Svitlana has made Edmonton home, and now she works at the Edmonton Music Academy and is the principal second violin at the Concordia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Danielle Lisboa. Her main passion now lies in the field of teaching violin and organizing opportunities for youth to practice music competitively. Svitlana is the co-organizer of the International String Connections festival.