Our Staff

Tyler Tossounian

Owner

Tyler found his passion for music at the age of 8 hearing his uncles play. He started drumming at a music academy in Markham, ON at 12 years old. With his passion for drums he got extremely intrigued with music and started to branch off of drums and teach himself guitar, ukulele and vocal, eventually taking lessons in all. Tyler continues to better his understanding and education in music and surprises us all with his great knowledge, he is definitely the go-to person for all musical needs!

Awards: 2020 Business Excellence Award, Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

Education: York University Graduate, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Guitar performances, Minor in Business.

Xaver Dangl

Guitar/Bass/Banjo/Ukulele/Mandolin Instructor

Xaver is one of our longest standing musical instructors at the Academy. His early musical experiences are in various rock groups in the late ’60s – most notably as guitarist in two groups with Geddy Lee (“Judd” and “Ogilvie”). Xaver then began exploration into the classical world through: RCM, Eli Kassner Academy, and Norbert Kraft. His roots in Flamenco began by studying with David Philips, Guillermo Rios, Jose Vahe, and Juan Tomas. Xaver has also worked with various dancers in the art of Latin music. Along with his understanding of Classical and Flamenco, Xaver has experience in jazz music with main influences like Lenny Breau and Ed Bickert. Xaver re-entered the teaching world in 1996 after a stint in the corporate world, and has been with the Academy almost ever since.

Influences: Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert

Jeff Taylor

Violin Instructor

Jeff has been teaching at the Bradford Academy of Music since 1997. Jeff is a performing musician with such bands as The Blazing Fiddles and the Big Sound. His performance highlights have been multiple shows at Massey Hall, including accompaniment for Diana Krall.

Awards: Performance Degree

Education: York University

Luba Mahzor

Piano Instructor

Luba received her education at the National Music Teachers Collage in the Ukraine when they were under the USSR. She continued her studies at the Religious Music Teachers College in Israel. Eventually, Luba found her way to Canada and has been teaching music since 1988. With her European background and amazing piano skills, Luba has advanced many students at the Bradford Academy of Music up to the ARCT level of the RCM.

Melinda Schneider

Flute Instructor

Melinda is a new instructor to the Bradford Academy of Music as of 2019. She has always been fascinated by music, but never had the time for music lessons until she was older due to other commitments. Her entrance into music lessons began in Grade 9 of highschool where she studied the flute. This introduction to music expanded her education so much so that she started private lessons in Grade 12 to prepare to audition for Post-Secondary music programs. During this time, Melinda started studying piano simultaneously with flute. Having only taken four months of lessons, Melinda completed her Grade 6 RCM practical & theory exams, passing both with First Class Honours and with Distinction in theory! She is in the process of completing two major feats in music: her Grade 8 practical exam for piano and finishing her post-secondary education for a Bachelor of Arts with Specialized Honours in Music at York University with a focus in Flute performance!

Randolf Jimenez

Drumming Instructor

Randolf Jimenez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Over the last 20 years, he has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the most prominent, versatile and successful Latin American musicians. He is an accomplished Drummer, Percussionist, Composer and Educator.


He first fell in love with drums at the age of 4 when his parents gave him a small toy drum kit as a Christmas present. He later began practicing drums by himself and by the age of 16, he was already playing professionally in the Venezuelan music scene. As a bandleader, Randolf is a sound innovator with a passion for pushing creative boundaries. He has released two albums ‘Randolf Jimenez Latin Jazz Project’ and the rock fusion project ‘Malosaires trio’ which was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since moving to Canada, Randolf has risen to the top of the Toronto music scene. His musicianship, versatility and professionalism keeps him very busy with a wide variety of bands and musicians and has rapidly become the most sought-after Latin drummer in Toronto. This extremely talented drummer has played in some of the most renowned festivals, venues and stages in Ontario such as Nathan Phillips Square (City Hall), Harbourt Front Centre, Dundas Square, Daniel’s Spectrum Theatre, Opera House, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Glenn Gould Theatre at CBC and many more.

Martin Damsell

Vocal/Piano/Guitar/Drumming Instructor

Born in Bristol, England, Martin came to Toronto and attended St. Michael’s Choir School.  At the age of eight he was performing  at Massey Hall. During the 70’s & 80’s Martin created ‘New Direction’ and ‘Night Fever’, showbands that toured Canada and the U.S. over a 14 year period and still found time to sing on many jingles at various studios. 5 successful seasons at Ontario Place led To an 8 month contract on a small island in the Southern Greadines.

As a songwriter and recording artist he yielded 2 singles, “Tears Runnin’ Down” and “Come Running Back” that hit 12 and 14 on the top 100 Country Chart. He is also a member of the longest running rock & roll band in Canada, ‘Little Caesar and the Consuls’, of “Hang on Sloopy” fame.  The band has released a new album in 2019 recorded at Martin’s  Southern Nights Studios.

In the past few years his passion for writing has been fueled by Meditative, Spiritual and Sound Therapy music, based around the 9 original healing Solfeggio tones.

Martin came to the Academy in 2011 teaching voice, piano, drums, & guitar. He utilizes his vast experience of live and studio performances for over 50 years combined with his St. Michael’s Choir School training to create a teaching style that keeps students engaged and coming back year after year.

Kiara Botas

Social Media Manager / Front Desk Manager

Kiara started her musical journey at 4 years old when she decided to be a triple threat to show her love for singing, dancing & acting. She won her first Broadway Star Best Vocalist Award at the age of 5 and received it again at ages 8 and 9. Kiara took up piano at the age of 5 and received her grade 6 RCM certificate. Afterwards she decided to switch off into drumming, where she found a passion for the beat! Kiara has been working at BAM for several months now and is bringing her new ideas into action everyday!

Awards: Broadway Star Best Vocalist Award (3X), Broadway Star Best Performer Award, 1st place Bradford Idol, Best All-star Vocalist (2X), Certificate of Excellence in Vocal Performance, Platinum Vocal Awards (13X), Vocal Scholarship, Grade 6 RCM piano certificate.

Education: Holy Trinity High School (grade: 10), Bradford Academy of Music and Arts, Spotlight Theatre, Music in Motion Performing Arts, The Arts.

Sammi Lee

Violin/Voice/Piano Instructor

Ms. Sammi Lee has acquired Master of Music Therapy (MMT), and Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours; Specialized in Classical Piano (BFA). She has also been trained in Voice, Guitar, and Orff Instruments. She has a passion for sharing her music through performances, as well as teaching and encouraging her students. 

Ms. Lee is currently an Elementary School Teacher. She is experienced in teaching Music Classroom (Preschool to G12), and Math, Science, Social Science to G4 in Ministry-Approved Private Schools in Toronto. She is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Educator Candidate, as well.

Sammi has 15 years of private lesson teaching experience. She prepared all levels of Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Exams in Piano, Voice, and Theory. She has led many students to win awards in competitions, and her students attend local music events with her every year. She is also capable of teaching Violin, Guitar and Ukulele to young beginners. Sammi also led multiple Music Camps (i.e. Ukelele, Choir, Keyboard Emsemble) with a reputation for “fun-learning” for children aged as early as 3.5 years. 

Ms. Sammi Lee enjoys teaching and sharing the joy of music here in Bradford Academy of Music.