Jaroslav Novak 3

Jaroslav was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and is of mixed Czech, Maori ( Ngati Kahungnunu, Ngai te Rangi, Tuhoe) and Pakeha (NZ European) ancestry.  He started his musical education at the age of 13 with well known Dunedin teacher Elizabeth Bouman and within 3 years he had passed all the grades in Piano and Music Theory, and gained his Associate Diploma.

After completing high school he started studying music at the University of Otago with a major in Piano Performance under Professor Terence Dennis. At Otago he received the prizes for top piano student and top conducting student.

Also while a student at Otago Jaroslav held the position of Deputy Director of the Southern Youth Choir.

As a concert pianist, chamber musician, and jazz pianist he has performed in many locations across New Zealand, Australia, and Europe and in 2012 he released a CD of piano music called "Classical Chill Out". More information is available at the music section of this website.

In addition to his studies at Otago Jaroslav sat and gained the Fellowship Diploma of St Cecilia School of Music. He is a trained Music Examiner for St. Cecilia School of Music and has worked in New Zealand and Australia as an examiner and music adjudicator.

Jaroslav is also an active composer. He has performed many of his solo compositions in concert as a pianist and several of these pieces are published.

He started teaching piano shortly after gaining his first music diploma and has now been teaching for over 10 years.  His experiences in music education led him to start producing materials for learning music and to establish Music Ecademy.

Jaroslav also has a Master’s degree in business, with a specialisation in entrepreneurship. As part of this degree Jaroslav studied web applications in e-learning. This degree combined well with his passion for music education and technology and gave him a foundation to build Music Ecademy.

In 2015 Jaroslav co-founded Music Ecademy, a web application that teaches music theory and aural skills in a fun and engaging way.

The web application is used by schools in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and has many more individual users worldwide.

in 2016 Music Ecademy was selected to join high-tech startup accelerator Lightning Lab, based in Wellington, New Zealand.



  • Master of Entrepreneurship, University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Music, University of Otago
  • Fellowship Diploma, St Cecilia School of Music
  • Certificate of Czech Language, Charles University in Prague

Professional Affiliations

Jaroslav is a member of Music Education New Zealand and the Australian Society of Music Educators.