Our Teachers

Turn Up The Music School Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar

Orchestra, Violin, Saxophone, Clarinet

Natasha is a; violin, saxophone and clarinet teacher. She started playing the violin when she was three years old, clarinet at ten and the saxophone in high school. She went on to study music at Otago University where she did performance in both clarinet and violin. She now teaches music and dance at Wakatipu High School. She has previously played for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphonic Winds, and other such groups.

Since moving to Queenstown she teaches music lessons for violin, clarinet and saxophone in her spare time as well as playing in various groups around Queenstown – in jazz combos, orchestra’s, weddings and other small music ensembles. When Natasha gets a bit of spare time she likes to: dance, go out for a walk, or go snowboarding.

Turn Up The Music School Iraja Max Haas da Silva

Iraja Max Haas da Silva

Trumpet & Concert Band

As the son of a Brazilian Military Conductor, Iraja had contact with music at an early age. His passion for BRASS INSTRUMENTS intensified at 8 after starting with local Marching Bands. By 16 he was working as an auxiliary teacher of Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, French Horn, Tuba and Orchestral Percussion.

In Brazil, he taught musical theory and practice for Brass and Percussion instruments. He was also Conductor of the Doxology Big Band, Chaplain and auxiliary Conductor of the Orchestra.

I currently play the Trumpet with the Queenstown Jazz Orchestra and am Conductor of the “CONCERT BAND” project. This provides beginners with an introduction to BRASS and PERCUSSION instruments, and for students that already play an instrument helping to improve their reading, musical interpretation and techniques.

Turn Up The Music School Singer Piano Kana

Kana Takahashi


I am Kana, originally from Tokyo, Japan. I started studying music when I was five years old and attended Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, graduating with a Bachelor of Art in Music in 1991. I achieved an ABRSM Diploma in piano performance in 2017, and I am an associate member of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers in New Zealand.

I have been living in Queenstown since 1996 and have been teaching the piano for more than 10 years, mainly during school term, also performing for the Queenstown public on occasion.

I am happy to teach a range of students, from beginner to advanced, for Classical, Pop & Jazz and also music theory at Wakatipu High School on Tuesday & Thursday.

Turn Up The Music Claire Wilson

Claire Forrester


Claire is an accomplished and experienced performer, teacher and singer/songwriter. She has played the violin and guitar for over 30 years and has been a member of many orchestras, bands and the traditional Irish music circuit. She has a BAHons, a diploma in Music Education and has been teaching violin and music theory to both adults and children for over 10 years.

Her lessons relay her passion for music, and are fun and enjoyable whilst productive.

Masa Nakazawa


Originally from Japan, I grew up with a piano because my mother was always teaching it to others at home.

Starting with lessons at five years old, I fell in love with the piano and carried on in my training for a further 15 years. Wanting to expand my musical knowledge, I joined school brass bands and began playing the trumpet and tuba for six more years. 

I have now been teaching piano for eight years, and as a professional pianist, I often play for special events and concerts. 

Currently, I am a member of a ukulele group as well as two choir groups as it is enjoyable for me to get to experience music with different people.

Turn up The Music Erandi

Erandi Fernando

Piano & Voice

Hi, I’m Erandi Fernando, music teacher, and examiner from Sri Lanka. I have been teaching since 2005 as a private music tutor at home for beginners till London piano Diplomas. I have done LLCM , ALCM and ATCL in piano, theory of music and singing up to grade 8.

My passion is teaching and to see my students perform and enjoy music to the fullest making their families proud and happy. I also enjoy teaching solo singing and choirs as I know how much I enjoyed being in a group and singing with harmony. Training choirs and the brass band was what I loved the most in my school teaching career the most. I believe musicality is a gift brought from birth which has to be polished adding theoretical knowledge into practice.  today music has been my most favourite companion who walks with me everywhere I go.

Lara Laverdure

Cello, Viola, Double-Bass

Lara trained in accordance with the Vincent D’Indy Music Conservatory curriculum in Montreal, Canada and also studied at College Lionel-Groulx in classical & jazz music performance. She teaches the cello to all level, violin for beginners and double bass to beginners. She has played the cello in classical ensembles, bands, musicals and recorded for a folk band and for an electro-acoustic artist.

Lara enjoys engaging and working with students to improve their technique and to prepare for performances and exams. The basics of note reading, theory and aural will be taught to beginners. She is also following the teachings curriculum of ABRSM NZ.

Turn Up The Music School Michael Eden

Michael Eden


I’ve been playing guitar since I was 9. I have toured with a band in Europe, and recently played the opening act for the Gibbston Valley concert for Billy Idol in front of 17,000 people.

Emily Burns


Jackie Bristow