Meet Cynthia

Cynthia Kinnunen began making music as a child, with myriad musical influences from classical to world music, big band to rock, jazz and punk. Over the years, she has studied piano, flute, bassoon, oboe, voice and ukulele. After completing her Grade Ten Conservatory certificate in piano, she went on to pursue a university honours degree in music with a major in piano and a diploma in arts/non-profit management. Cynthia is a Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher and has been an instructor with James Hill in that three-year teacher training program. She is also Director of Engagement for James Hill’s Ukulele in the Classroom program. (Doane/Hill)

“Cynthia is a terrific teacher. She’s experienced, dedicated, and knows how to teach core concepts while keeping the learning fun and accessible. I’ve hired her for several of my ukulele events and recommend her to both students and festival organizers.” – James Hill 

Teaching: Passionate about music education throughout our lives, she provides instruction to students aged 6 – 106. This includes private piano and ukulele lessons in Guelph, as well as workshops, classes and custom group sessions in Guelph and nationally/internationally.

Performing: She performs as a solo artist as well as half of Transit Lounge (ukulele & bass duo).

Royal City Uke Fest: Cynthia is also founder and director of Guelph’s annual ukulele festival, Royal City Uke Fest.


Cynthia spent over twenty years working in marketing, fundraising and events in the non-profit sector, most recently in strategic planning at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.

She’s married to a bass-playing engineer and is mum to three wonderful kids who all keep her on her toes and thankfully haven’t gone completely mad from all of her ukuleles in the house. 

“FABULOUS! Cynthia’s kind and enthusiastic approach has delivered outstanding results with our students. They progressed extremely quickly in learning this great little instrument under her guidance. Cynthia successfully led students into becoming a great group of performers. After only 3 short months, over 50 students performed in front of an audience during a school-wide assembly. Thank you Cynthia!” – David Marquis, Principal

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