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Our Teachers

Our teachers (we’ve nicknamed them the bee-keepers!) are highly trained and experienced to provide you and your child with an outstanding learning experience that is both nurturing and fun. For us, the best element of our job is that we get to play a special part in your child’s development and watch them learn, grow and create.

Vanessa Lynch

Hive Director

Vanessa has a B.Ed (hons) – Bachelor of Education with a major in Music and has spent several years teaching classroom music in high schools and primary schools in London. Vanessa is an accomplished pianist and flute player and has achieved an ATCL level in performance.

While studying an honours degree in Music Education, with a focus on neural research on children’s intellect and cognitive function, she discovered that music is especially powerful in shaping a child’s interests and abilities in the preschool years. Opening Hive, a creative learning studio for local families, was a natural step in her desire to give children the opportunity to develop the cognitive and musical skills that early childhood music training offers.

When she’s not buzzing at Hive, Vanessa spends her spare time being creative with cooking, baking, sewing and playing music with her kids Zara, Jayden and Brianna – they even have their own little family band!

Alex Hussein

Director & Teacher of Drama & Theatre

Alex graduated from Newcastle University in 2011. She was awarded first class honours with the university medal for her double degree in Primary teaching and Arts, majoring in Drama and primary music. Alex has also taken courses in acting at NIDA and the Urdang academy in London.

Prior to completing her degree, Alex worked as an Actor in both Australia and London. Aside from performing in classical theatre, Alex performed in a variety of Children’s shows which toured extensively throughout the UK and Victoria. Alex has also appeared in numerous tv commercials and short films as well as working for Newcastle’s NXFM and KOFM for over ten years.

Alex is a very passionate drama teacher who aims to teach children the classical craft of acting and performance skills.

Alex is the daughter of Victor Emeljanow who is the longest serving Professor of Drama in Australian history as well as an accomplished Director and Author. Alex is also proud mum to her two little girls, Aria and Ayla.

Beth Aubrey

Drama & Theatre Teacher

Beth graduated from NIDA’s Acting course in 2006 and has worked extensively in all areas of the professional industry. Her comic flair and ability to deliver edgy performances has landed her Television roles in ‘Rake’, ‘Home and Away’, ‘Janet King’, ‘East west 101′ as well as touring nationally for 3 years in various Shakespeare and Contemporary productions.

She is the voice over artist used in the Radio and Television campaigns for The Sunday Telegraph, Weight Watchers, Foxtel, The Forsher Express and corporate video Narration and between acting jobs she loves to teach.

Beth has been a regular tutor for NIDA’s Open Program for the past 8 years teaching The craft of Acting to ALL age groups and has taught nearly every course Nida has to offer both Nationally and in Sydney.

Beth specialises in ‘Improvisation’ which gives her classes a fun blend of comedy and creativity. She is thrilled to be joining the team at HIVE to share her knowledge and enthusiasm as both a teacher and performer.

Amanda Batterham

Director of Bee-School | Kindermusik Teacher

Amanda is a very talented singer, songwriter and performer, with numerous appearances on stage at local events, including the popular Speers Point Carols by Candlelight. Amanda is a qualified Early Childhood Music Teacher and has spent numerous years working with vocal groups, choirs and in performing arts.

With years of experience in teaching children both in Kindermusik classes and in private lessons, Amanda is a supportive, kind and inspiring teacher for our young bees.

Amanda’s cheerful, energetic and enthusiastic approach to our creative classes is contagious.

Katie Tennyson

Drama Teacher 

Katie has taught drama in high schools for almost 20 years. She has spent the last 15 years teaching drama at a selective performing arts high school in Newcastle and has extensive experience creating and delivering gifted and talented programs. She has experience as an HSC Drama marker and has been a guest tutor at NSW State Drama Camp. Katie has a background in physical theatre and musical theatre and is an experienced director specializing in production design. A country girl at heart, she enjoys working on her acerage with her husband, 2 children and her mob of alpacas. 

Melissa Saunders

Director of Music | Kindermusik Teacher | Humming Bees Teacher 

Melissa has a background and qualifications in early childhood teaching and music education – giving you and your child a complete educational and creative experience. Before joining the Hive, Melissa worked as an Early Childhood Teacher and Director and also as a Voice Teacher and Choir Director. Melissa’s skills extend to the stage as well, where she has many years of experience in writing, directing and producing musicals and dramatic theatre productions.

She’s also a singer and songwriter – you might just see her wowing audiences at live performances in local venues around Newcastle.

Melissa is a proud mum to Natasha and Daniel, who share her passion for beautiful music and performance.

Melissa Box

Kindermusik  | Drama  | Musical Theatre | Spanish

Melissa has a background in early childhood teaching, singing, acting and performing – bringing a complete educational and creative experience to her students.  Before joining Hive, Melissa taught in local preschools and performed in Musical Theatre shows.  With her expertise in Musical Theatre and acting she brings a vibrancy to all her classes that is infectious and engaging for kids and adults!

While living in South America, Melissa developed a love for the Spanish language and brings this same enthusiasm for language to her Spanish classes which are full of songs, games, stories and fun.

Melissa is a proud mum to Mollie who shares her passion for musical theatre and performing.

Sia Cox

Art Teacher & Program Coordinator – After School Classes

Sia Cox is an interdisciplinary artist, working across painting, drawing and sculpture. In her art practice, she reflects on relationships between people and place. In 2009 Sia graduated from The National Art School, Sydney and moved to Alice Springs where she spent the next eight years exploring the desert, developing her practice and exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions in Alice Springs, Darwin and Sydney.

Sia has worked as an art teacher at TAFE and in community centres. She has offered professional development in Aboriginal art centres throughout Central and Western Australia and worked as a guest artist with Melbourne based, Kids Own Publishing. Now calling Newcastle home, Sia feels honoured to guide children and young people to explore their imaginative and problem solving skills through rich art experiences at Hive.

Lee Seaman

Art Teacher – Bee-School Program

Hello! My name is Lee and you could say I wear many pants. Wife, mum, Artist, Graphic Designer / Art Director and published Children’s interior stylist. 

I find inspiration for my art/design from all facets of life but mostly from the sheer beauty of kids and my fondness for all things that are colourful, fresh and fun. I am beyond passionate in helping the next generation of little humans find their creative spark by providing them the tools to create projects that push their capabilities so they are continually growing and developing. 

Professionally, I have worked as an art director for over 9 years, and hold qualifications in graphic design and fashion design.  

Hannah Cizzio

Piano Bees | Private Lessons

Hannah has a holistic approach to teaching piano and a high commitment to excellence in teaching. Hannah is in her 4th year of teaching, and works closely with each child to engage them in learning that develops their ear, their reading and their playing technique. She is skilled and qualified with AMEB examinations in classical and contemporary playing which makes her a great teacher for children as well as teenagers.

Hannah is passionate about nurturing creativity and skill in young children and she is very dedicated to her students.

Natasha Gibbs

Piano Bees | Bee-School | Drama | Dance | Musical Theatre

Natasha grew up “on the stage” surrounded by music, dance, art and theatre as her Mum – Melissa Saunders – ran choirs, musical theatre shows and drama groups and both her Mum and Dad taught piano and voice lessons. 

Natasha is a qualified dance teacher, has performed in many musicals as an actress and singer, and she is a qualified Simply Music Piano teacher. A ‘natural’ teacher, Tash is a firm favourite amongst the Bee-School teachers with our littlest students and she has a beautiful way of engaging young children in meaningful learning through happy structured play experiences. 

Get to know Hive

Our 2 Week Pass is the perfect way to find the right class fit for your child at Hive. Attend 2 of any classes within 2 weeks for just $30. Book now:

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