Music Theory Instructors

Peter Ware, Composer in Residence, Composition, Piano & Theory.
MM Yale University, Composition,
BM Virginia Commonwealth University
RCMusic National Gold Medal Theory Teacher
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Piano Performance
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Elementary, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Theory & History


Peter’s student won 1st prize in the 2013 & 2014 North York Music Festival in the Student Composer category (Eddie Zhang). He studied piano with Florence Robertson who studied with John Powell whose lineage can be traced back to Beethoven. At Yale, he studied with Krzysztof Penderecki, Toru Takemitsu and theorist Allen Forte (Schenkerian analysis). With 38 years of experience, he teaches all RCM theoretical subjects. Former faculty member at Queen’s and Brock University, he taught at Northern Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati.

Peter began his academic career on the faculty at Queen's, Brock and Northern Kentucky Universities. He has been preparing students for RCM examinations in Rudiments, Harmony, Counterpoint and Analysis for over 25 years. He offers students an unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm for the internal workings of music. Peter studied composition at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Cincinnati and Yale University. His principal teachers include Krzysztof Penderecki, Toru Takemitsu and theorist Allen Forte (Schenkerian analysis). As a young person, he studied piano with Florence Robertson in Beethoven's lineage. A top-notch pianist in Virginia, Robertson studied under John Powell, who in turn, studied with Liszt’s pupil F.C. Hahr and Leschetizky. Both Liszt and Leschetizky were students of Czerny, who was a student of Beethoven.

Lynn Ware, Guitar Theory & History Teacher.
MM Kent State University
BM University of Cincinnati
RCMusic National Gold Medal Theory Teacher
RCMusic National Gold Medal Guitar Teacher
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Guitar Performance
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Elementary, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Theory & History


A specialist with young children, Lynn blends warmth, fun and encouragement with high technical expectations. Her guitar students won 1st prizes in all categories entered in the 2013 North York Arts Festival, prompting the director to award trophies to the “best junior guitarist” (Nicolas Lee) and “best senior guitarist” (Kevin Gai). Lynn’s student Helen Lu won the CMC competition for guitar in the under 16 category, while Kevin Gai received the highest mark for string ensemble performance in the Kiwanis Music Festival (Vivaldi Concerto in D Major). With 28 years of experience, her students have received Silver Medals (highest grades in Canada) from the RCM.

As a guitarist, Lynn performed for artists/teachers in master classes including Oscar Ghiglia, Alice Artzt, Sergio Abreu, Eduardo Fernandez and Turibio Santos. Eli Kassner was most influential in shaping her technical development. As a young performer, she premiered many 20th century American and Canadian compositions. She has composed and recorded her own compositions on her 5 CDs including The Many Moods of the Guitar, Impossible Dream, Forest Scenes, Angelica and Americas (includes Variations on O Canada!)

Dr. David Swan, Artist in Residence: Piano, Theory & Piano Pedagogy Teacher
DMA Indiana University Piano Performance
BM University of British Columbia
RCMusic National Gold Medal Theory Teacher
RCMusic National Gold Medal Piano Teacher


David Swan, Piano and Music Theory

A native of Saskatoon, Dr. David Swan is a past winner of the Eckhardt-Granatté and CBC Talent Competitions. A concert pianist, he specializes in contemporary music, appearing regularly on New Music Concerts. He has performed concertos with the Montreal, Calgary, Quebec, Saskatoon and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras. He has served eleven years as organist at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Dr. Swan brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to lessons with over 30 years of piano teaching.

Dr. Paul Jessen, Piano, Piano Pedagogy & Music History Teacher.
DMA University of Montreal,
MM McGill University; Performance Organ
BM Victoria University, Music History
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Piano & Organ Performance
RCMusic Certified Teacher for Elementary, Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Theory


Paul Jessen, Piano and Music Theory

Drawing from a rich background, Paul Jessen earned his graduate degrees in Organ Interpretation. His early piano teachers in New Zealand included a “grand-student” of Anton Rubinstein and Dorothy Davies, a student of Artur Schnabel. He received his Associate and Licentiate performance diplomas from Trinity College in London followed by a B.M. in Music History and organ performance from Victoria University in New Zealand. Before McGill, he continued at North Germany Organ Academy and then expanded to early music at the Bremer Akademie für Alte Musik in Germany. In Toronto, Paul is the church organist and choir director at St. Matthew’s United and St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church and conducts the Christie Gardens Retirement Community Choir.

Francis P. Ubertelli, Composition & Theory Teacher
DMA Candidate, U of T Composition
MM Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome Composition
BM Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Composition

Francis P. Ubertelli, RCMusic Composition and Theory Teacher

Francis P. Ubertelli was born in Quebec City. He studied music composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec with Armando Santiago and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Franco Donatoni and Azio Corghi. After years as a teacher of music and French and the publication of his first novel in France, he began a DMA program in composition at the University of Toronto in 2016 with Professor Norbert Palej. His music is marked simultaneously by the Tridentine and Slavonic liturgies, by Morricone’s aesthetic and Donatoni’s musical characters. Francis aims to blur the lines between a more traditional approach to music and paradigms of the avant-garde compositional process. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

James Renwick, Guitar and Theory Teacher
DMA Candidate, U of T Guitar Performance
MM U of T, Guitar Performance
BM, McMaster Unversity, Guitar Performance

James-Renwick, Private Guitar Teacher

James studied classical guitar with Patrick Feely at McMaster and is currently studding with Jeffrey McFadden.  He has performed in masterclasses with world famous guitarists Ana Vidovic, Pavel Steidl and Jérôme Ducharme. Extremely versatile with musical styles, he also enjoyed playing steel string and electric guitar in a band as a young man. A passionate lead tenor with the Kingsway Lambton United Church, he also sang with the Exultate Chamber Singers and the Baroque Arcady Singers.  James is a warm, compassionate and patient teacher who has successfully prepares guitar students for RCM examinations and university auditions.

Shih-Ren Lu, Piano & Theory Teacher, MME & BME University of Toronto, ARCT Piano Performance & Pedagogy
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Piano


Shih-Ren Lu, Piano Teacher

With a master’s degree in music education, Shih Ren is involved with special needs education, focusing on music appreciation.  Her lessons are built upon patience, kindness and flexibility to accommodate personal abilities.  She has 15 years of teaching experience and her students participate in festivals and examinations. She accompanies voice, flute and violin students in school concerts, festivals and RCM examinations.  Shih Ren is a supply teacher for the York Region and York Catholic District School Boards. Cantonese, Mandarin & English

Eric Tan, Piano & Harmony Teacher
BM & BS Cornell University, Piano Performance
ARCT Piano
RCMusic National Gold Medal in Theory Winner

Eric Tan music theory and piano teacher

Eric studied piano with Professor Xak Bjerken and Gloria Saarinen. He performed with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra as winner of the Cornell Concerto Competition. He also won 1st prize at the CMC National Finals and 2nd prize at the CFMTA National Piano Competition. He embarked on a 6-city concert tour of Ontario as ORMTA's Young Artist of the Year. Performance  venues as a soloist include Roy Thomson Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, Bailey Hall, Orford Arts Centre, Classical 96.3 FM and the Newmarket Theatre. He played in masterclasses for pianists Malcolm Bilson, Marc Durand, Gilbert Kalish, Anton Kuerti, Lang Lang, John Perry, Richard Raymond, Lee Kum Sing and Sasha Starcevich. He also received the RCMusic Gold Medal in Music Theory in Canada. As a teacher, Eric aims to bring the best out of every student. Mandarin & English

Jin-Yu Jason Lee, Piano, Rudiments & Harmony Teacher
BMus, McGill University, Piano Performance
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Basic & Intermediate Piano
RCMusic Certified Specialist Teacher for Elementary, Basic & Intermediate Theory
ARCT Piano

Jason Lee, music theory, history and piano teacherJason Lee RCMusic Certification

Graduating from McGill’s Schulich School of Music with a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance, Jason studied piano with legendary pianist Marina Mdivani and in masterclass with Lang Lang.

Jason was the first prize winner of the Age 18 and under category in the CCC Toronto Piano Competition 2012. Additionally, he studied theory at Ware Academy of Music, achieving an average above 90 percent in his theory examinations. Jason has been teaching piano and theory for over five years. Mandarin & English