We are very excited to welcome these new teachers to the Place des Arts’ family! We have added to our dance, theatre and music disciplines. We asked them a few key questions to introduce them to our audiences:
When did you get started in your discipline and how long have you been teaching?
What is your teaching philosophy?
What are you most looking forward to as a teacher at Place des Arts?
Michaela Reichenbach (Dance)
I took my first dance class at the age of six and instantly fell in love with the art form. I started teaching dance classes to Olympic skaters at the age of 15 and developed a love for teaching and sharing my passion for dance with others. Since then, I have continued to be a dancer, choreographer and dance educator for 11 years and have enjoyed every moment of it.
My goal as a dance educator is to provide a safe environment where students are encouraged to express creativity and individuality. The most important aspect of my dance class is to improve a student’s wellbeing. I do this by supporting their learning process, encouraging their self-expression and motivating them to look after their physical, mental, social and emotional health. I teach with respect, patience, care and integrity and seek to build a strong relationship with each student.
I’m thrilled to be working this year at Place des Arts. I am looking forward to getting to know my students and sharing my love for dance with them. I look forward to forging long-lasting relationships with my students and the PdA faculty. I am excited to work for an amazing company that truly wants the best for their community.
Tessa Trach (Theatre)
I started taking voice lessons and performing in musicals at the age of six. I was involved in a musical theatre academy in Coquitlam and was performing in community theatre. I started teaching in 2012 right after I got my first professional musical theatre contract. Since then, I have taught private voice lessons, all forms of dance, musical theatre, acting, ukulele and piano.
My teaching philosophy is that if I am not having fun then the students aren’t. I make sure that for each class I teach, I am also learning something new, that way everyone is learning. I also partake in everything that is being done. I demonstrate, put myself out there and make mistakes. Especially when teaching pre-teens and teens, I find it is so important for me to make the first mistake and then they have more courage to try and fail. Dance and the arts are all about putting yourself out there and the safety of the room really relies on that. I create a safe, fun and welcoming environment for all of my classes.
I am very excited about the welcoming environment and inclusivity for all areas of the arts. In many places, the arts are undervalued and it is lovely to be in a space that celebrates artists and learning. I think Place des Arts is a great place to discover what you like and I too am hoping to also partake in workshops and classes to expand my knowledge.
Dayton Chan (Music)
Born and raised in Vancouver, I have been immersed in music starting from the age of six and I am studying the ARCT certificate with Marjory Purdy at Place des Arts. I have been teaching piano since September 2020 under the guidance of Marjory Purdy.
My teaching philosophy is to adapt, advance and achieve. Every musician has weaknesses and strengths, and I believe that it is my job as a teacher to point out those weaknesses and work on it until it becomes a strength. Only then can the student advance deeper into music and achieve the goal they have set themselves.
I am looking forward to guiding and inspiring my students to achieve their own goals. That way, the students will enjoy the music they create even more.
Joani Bye (Music)
I was (and am) the youngest of three singing sisters, so have been singing my whole life. I’ve worked as a performer and studio singer since 1974 and was a voice major at UBC. I started teaching SongShine in 2016, loving the combination of breath, relaxation, linguistics and song to strengthen voices.
My teaching philosophy is that there needs to be a good balance of learning and fun! Laughter is so therapeutic, and I try to make sure that there’s always laughter in the class, quite often at me!
I look forward to reaching a whole new group of people with the joy that is SongShine!
Greg Hartley (Music)
My formal musical journey began at age six when I signed myself up for piano lessons. I teach because helping people learn is something that I find very enjoyable. I cannot imagine a life without teaching. I have been teaching for 35 years, and have taught advanced level theoretical subjects for the last 26 years.
My teaching philosophy is to help everyone enjoy music as much as possible, and create opportunities for people to appreciate how music can enrich their lives and provide enjoyment that lasts a lifetime.
I am looking forward to inspiring students at Place des Arts and helping them understand challenging concepts about music as they work towards achieving their goals with the best results possible. (Photograph by Kate Kim. 2018 Workshop for BCRMTA teachers)
Krystal Morrison (Music)
I started in high school on percussion actually (!), but eventually, I found the rare instrument: the alto clarinet. I thought it sounded so pretty, but it doesn’t get too many exciting parts so I eventually switched to the clarinet, and played saxophone in jazz band. I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years!
Be curious! I want to know what my students are interested in, and hope to inspire their curiosity in their instrument and different genres of music. I love it when I can introduce students to something the didn’t expect to enjoy!
When I lived in Montréal I loved their Place des Arts—concerts, operas, lessons—so I’m hoping for equally good memories from the Coquitlam one!
Monica Han “Dr. M” (Music)
I started my piano studies at the age of four, and have played the instrument every single day since. I have 10 years of experience in teaching the piano, as well as instructing university students in music theory and ear training, as a teaching assistant.
“A good teacher feeds his students, but a great teacher nourishes his students” is my own proverb. Students who are nourished know how to dictate self-growth and enjoy working independently. One day, I hope to be remembered as the teacher who allowed her students to create art by their own definition.
I am looking forward to creating more synergy with my students. I would like to see them mature and flourish, not only as a musicians but also as people.