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"Since Nunavut does not yet have a university or a music conservatory where music education is provided or many professional music educators to provide music lessons for children, The Iqaluit Music Society regularly contracts 'southern' professional music educators to teach at our annual summer music camp or at a special workshop during the school year.  Debbie Miles is one of our most experienced and valued itinerant music educators.  She has taught with us annually at least fifteen times over the past decade and a half!

We look forward to her visits for these reasons:  

  • She understands our context and our children.

  • She is an energetic and engaging instructor who is highly capable of teaching a diverse group of students, as well as providing 1:1 enrichment lessons for individual learners. 

  • She has a wonderful ability for arranging popular songs or traditional dance tunes so that players at all learning stages can contribute to the success of the whole ensemble and feel proud of their performance.

~ Darlene Nuqingaq, Volunteer President

The Iqaluit Music Society, Nunavut   

"Ms. Miles is an inspiring and knowledgeable teacher. She really cares about each one of her students' development and finds unique and effective ways to connect and motivate them to reach their goals. Studying with her was also a lot of fun! One of the highlights of 

my early musical development was being in the group "The Timmins Fiddlers" that Debbie started. It was great to learn with friends and perform together in a supportive environment! I was given a strong foundation that has served me well in my career as a professional 

musician. I would not be where I am now, in a successful professional string quartet and on the strings faculty at the University of Seattle in Washington, without the wonderful teaching I received under the guidance of Ms. Miles! "

- Dr. Justin A. Kurys,

 Violist and founding member of the Skyros Quartet,

 Professor of Viola at the University of Seattle, 

 Artistic Director of Chamber Music Guild 

Co-Founder of Constellation Creatives arts non-profit organization

"Debbie Miles is my “go to person” when a professional violinist is required at Grace United Church, either to accompany the choir or be part of an instrumental group. Debbie is very flexible and creative when working with other musicians and it is very adaptable when improvisation is required. Debbie is always very pleasant with the choir members and works well with guest accompanists. I never have moments of  worry when Debbie is taking part in any of our musical events. On time and ready to play are qualities that are so important when a group of musicians is assembled and ready to rehearse or perform. A sensitive musician with careful attention to detail - all reasons why Debbie is the “go to violinist” at Grace United Church."

~ Malcolm Bradley, Director of Music

Grace United Church, Nova Scotia

“ I started taking lessons with Debbie when I was about 4 years old. There is no doubt in my mind that I loved my instrument and kept practicing because Debbie was a kind, motivating and extremely talented teacher.

 I always looked forward to lessons because Debbie made learning fun.
I attribute my love of violin and my ability to play at an advanced level to her teaching.”

~ Katie Malo 

"Sport, music, dance and creative endeavours were always a major part of my life as a child. As an adult I had gradually excluded these activities from my life due to the demands of my work and parenthood. The ability to be present in each moment was a casualty of this exclusion. When my daughter began violin lessons with Debbie, I decided that it was time to make room in my life again for music. 

Debbie is a very talented and skilled musician and teacher who is open minded and fun loving...the perfect person to take on the task of teaching a child as well as an adult learning a new instrument!
She has a very flexible teaching style and is able to attend to the learning needs of children as well as adults.

The introduction of violin to our lives has been very rewarding and has facilitated mindfulness in both my personal and professional life...this has been especially important during the pandemic.

Thank you Debbie!!"

~Jennifer Jones

(Adult violin student & parent of violin student)

“I can't overstate how impressed I've been with Debbie Miles as a violin teacher. I remember the first time I saw her in action at a school concert. My daughter was not yet old enough for her program, but Debbie's infectious enthusiasm and obvious talent for teaching convinced me immediately that we would be signing

up for lessons! Throughout the years since, I have been thoroughly impressed with her professionalism and commitment, and only wish I'd had a piano teacher with the same sense of fun when I was young and slogging through boring lessons! I recommend Debbie whole-heartedly - for group or solo lessons, and for kids or adults.”                                                                                 

~Nancy Regan

Presentation Coach, MC,

Host of The Soul Booth & The Canadian Love Map podcasts

“Debbie Miles was phenomenal!!

She played before and during our ceremony and learned songs just for us.

We loved having her play for us, it made the ceremony extra lovely.”

~Laura & Mike Marino

“Debbie played our wedding with her pianist Shawn Whynot and it was absolutely perfect! We had one FaceTime meeting before the ceremony and that was all that it took to completely nail the music and atmosphere we were going for.  Debbie had a great catalogue of song options and even learned songs that we requested in advance.

She was communicative and easy to reach through the planning process and I did not need to do a thing the day of - they were just there and ready to go!

I would highly recommend Debbie and Shawn for any wedding or special event!”

~Jamie Watson & Dan Power

“I can’t thank you enough, Debbie and Shawn! I’ll never forget when you picked up your violin on our Zoom call to play a sample of what you had learned for us, as I got instant goosebumps (and might have stopped a tear or two!) You are both so professional, talented, and incredible to work with. Your music was a highlight of our day. We received so many comments on how beautiful it was. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Hilary & Tyler

Debbie was great to work with and played everything we requested beautifully and made our special day that much more special!”

Susan McCarthy & André L’Ecuyer

“We hired Debbie to do the music for our pub wedding this summer at the Lower Deck Taproom. She was such a pleasure to work with- fun, friendly, knowledgeable, and down for any suggestion or request!! She was able to learn some kind of obscure requests for my gaming enthusiast husband and did a beautiful rendition of Lord of the Rings for me. She wrapped up the formal portion of the evening with some really fun upbeat Celtic music that got everyone in the partying mood. Highly recommend her-live music makes all the difference for a special event!”

Grace Atkinson & Bretton McRae

“Debbie and Shawn were absolutely fantastic! From start to finish, they both made this experience so comfortable and took so much of the pressure off my wife and I. Their performance was outstanding and they adjusted to our needs on a regular basis. Would hire them again in a heartbeat and would recommend them to anyone looking for a violinist and pianist for any event!”

David & Kayla Morgan

“We hired Debbie to play at our December wedding. She was absolutely amazing to work with. She took the time to sit down with us and discuss exactly what we wanted. She was able to cater to my wife’s request of Disney music and her performance was flawless. We highly recommend Debbie to add the special touch of live music to your big day!”

Brock & Ashley Govan

“We hired Debbie to play for us at our wedding in the UK. Even with the distance between us leading up to the wedding, she could not have been more attentive and totally got our vision from the get-go.
The wedding package included everything we could have wanted on the day, and more, as Debbie truly embodies the phrase ‘going the extra mile’.

The personal touches she provides are just magical and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. The music she played was beautiful and we loved the variety of music she was able to offer, always considering our preferences and wanting to make it as special as possible for us both. From The Greatest Showman to Elton John, Taylor Swift to Shania Twain, she made it all look effortless.
Debbie was the perfect addition to our wedding day and I would highly recommend her to anyone.”

Keely & Sam Hardy

“Debbie and Shawn are amazing musicians. From the moment we set up a Zoom call with Debbie to get to know are flexible in any genre of music that you are looking for. They have great suggestions if you are like us who don’t know what type of music they want, when you walk down the aisle to your cocktail hour.

My husband wanted to surprise me with our signing song. Debbie and Shawn made sure it was a secret and they played “Where You Belong” perfectly.

Words cannot even express how happy we were with the music that was played on our wedding day. 

Debbie and Shawn were the missing piece of our wedding to make it that much more special.”

Brennan & Renee Bates

Testimonials: Student Testimonials
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