Lynda McDowall AIRMT
Lynda is an experienced early childhood educator (New Zealand Playcentre Federation Certificate), junior music specialist and Registered Music Teacher (Early Childhood). She is also a member of NEWZATS – the organisation for approved singing teachers in New Zealand. In February 1993, Lynda opened the studio in Harrisville Road.
• Organised and conducted the Majors ‘n’ Minors choir for many years and has previous involvement with the orchestras
• A history of staging children’s productions for both schools and churches as well as the Majors 'n' Minors annual productions
• Over the past two decades, Lynda has participated in numerous music camps and workshops both here and in Australia
• Wide experience tutoring adult programmes that encourage teaching music to young children
• Worked for several years as a tutor at 'Music School' in Papakura
• Since 2001 Lynda has been the Instrumental Convenor for The South Auckland Performing Arts Society competitions held annually in July and August. She is also the Vice President / Secretary of this society (SAPACS) and assists with the vocal and piano sections.
Sarah returned to New Zealand in 2012 after 8 years of studying, living and working in London. She has many years experience teaching a variety of music programmes to children of all ages. Sarah has a Masters Degree in Cello Performance from the Royal College of Music (London) and prior to leaving New Zealand she completed an ATCL in voice and studied piano and violin to university level. She has attended masterclasses, performed solo, sung in choirs and played in orchestras in many parts of the world. Sarah is in high demand as a teacher, performer, accompanist, adjudicator, director and conductor in many parts of New Zealand. Her studio teaching is on permanent waitlist. Sarah also directs musical theatre productions (including Annie, Into the Woods, Wizard of Oz, Shrek, Sound of Music, The Lion King, Honk, The Jungle Book, Elf and Cinderella) and she runs a very successful children’s orchestra. Sarah began teaching at the age of 13 at the Majors ‘n’ Minors studio near Pukekohe and she has returned there since coming back from London. To date, she has entered well over a thousand students for ABRSM & Trinity practical music examinations in voice, violin, cello and piano (100% success rate), both in New Zealand and London, with a number of students being asked to perform in the ABRSM High Scorer’s concerts. As well as working full-time in the music industry, Sarah is a busy mum to four children aged 8-14 years, who are all following in their mother’s footsteps. They all sing, and play piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, drums and guitar between them.
Bronwyn SpencerAfter completing an LTCL in piano and a Bachelor of Music majoring in piano performance at Otago University, Bronwyn commenced a successful piano and theory teaching practice, becoming a registered music teacher in the process. After a few years break from music teaching (including two years working for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain) Bronwyn has recently moved to the Pukekohe area and resumed teaching. She has extensive experience in accompanying vocalists, string and woodwind players for exams and competitions as well as 20 plus years as a contemporary church musician and worship leader. Bronwyn has Grade 8 in singing and greatly enjoys choral singing – most recently with Auckland choirs Bach Musica and the Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir. She also has a BA in Psychology and several years experience in working with international students.
Scott is a clarinet and saxophone tutor and player based in Pukekohe. He has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance and is an Associate of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers. Scott teaches privately as well as in the itinerant music scheme through the Ministry of Education. From 2009 to 2013 Scott was the Supervisor of the Papakura Music School, a position that involved organizational and supervisory skills in addition to teaching. As well as tutoring, Scott plays for many types of performance situations and also for session work in recording studios. At Majors ‘n’ Minors he assists with all the major performances and is also the studio's sound technician.
Deirdre NielsenDeirdre grew up in a musical family, learning to play the violin, flute, piano, oboe and recorder. She progressed her musical studies playing violin in National Youth Orchestras and majored in Violin Performance as part of her musical studies at University. Deirdre has had extensive experience in solo, orchestral (some professional) and chamber music ensemble playing in New Zealand and in England. She enjoys performing with the Malvern string quartet and Devonport Chamber Orchestra in Auckland. She achieved her Performers Certificate examination on the flute and has played in a solo and ensemble capacity. When Deirdre isn’t teaching music, she works as a Dietitian in South Auckland.
Lindy Tennent-Brown was raised in the King Country, and studied piano with Judith Clark at Victoria University of Wellington, and with Margaret Fingerhut and Martin Roscoe at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She won the 2000 NZ National Piano Competition at Kerikeri, and held Junior Fellowships at both the RNCM and the Royal College of Music in London. As a Britten-Pears Scholar and Wigmore Young Artist, Lindy was mentored by Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles, and has become one of the leading collaborative pianists of her generation.
Lindy has taught piano and music theory privately throughout her performing career, and was a principal study piano tutor at Trinity School (London’s only all-Steinway school) and Trinity Music Academy in south London. She was frequently engaged as music staff (vocal coach and répétiteur) at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, by English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Productions, Aldeburgh Productions, and Opera Holland Park, among others. Lindy has played keyboards for more than twenty West End musicals, including Cats, Mary Poppins, Ghost, Shrek, and Miss Saigon.
After 22 years in the UK, Lindy returned to New Zealand in 2020 with her two young daughters, and now lives in Clevedon, south-east of Auckland. She is in demand as a vocal coach/accompanist, teacher of advanced pianists, and as an adjudicator for both piano and voice competitions.
From a young age, Bernice enjoyed violin and singing at the Majors ’n’ Minors studio. She found her love for performing and all things to do with music through her involvement at the studio. Bernice progressed in her musical studies over the years by taking part in award winning orchestras and choirs, concerts and competitions throughout New Zealand. She won many awards and scholarships in violin and singing and is now pursuing her LTCL in singing and aiming towards finishing her Bachelor of Music. In 2015 Bernice worked as an itinerant singing teacher at Rosehill College. Bernice teaches at her own music studio in Pukekohe, and enjoys a close association with Majors ’n’ Minors.
Matt GarrattMatt was born and raised in Pukekohe and attended Pukekohe High School where he was part of their Rockquest bands. He has been a part of various Rock, Jazz and Blues bands for 16 years including being the lead guitarist of Fly By Wire who played at festivals such as Parachute and also released an album that received radio airtime. Matt plays most of the Rock/Pop instruments and loves working with student ensembles. He is a fully registered teacher, teaching both Guitar and Bass, something he has enjoyed for 8 years. Matt holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Waikato University.