Studio Owner/Private Piano Instructor
Heather most admires J.S. Bach and Frederic Chopin for their brilliant compositions, and Franz Liszt, Bruce Greer, and Dino Kartsonakis for their piano performances. Her favorite musical group is the Piano Guys.
Heather has performed in St. Petersburg, Russia and at numerous recitals and public events, solo piano concerts, accompanying choirs, and has performed Handel’s Messiah on a harpsichord with the Creekwood Christian Choir. She was the lead church pianist and choir accompanist at Temple Baptist Church of Flower Mound, TX for 8 years, and was the lead pianist, choir accompanist, worship leader, and praise band leader at Creekwood Christian Church. She has accompanied numerous UIL events for LISD and Denton ISD schools.
Heather has produced the album “Sacred Passion”, a collection of original piano solo material, which is available on iTunes. Her latest project is producing music videos that exhibit her solo piano works of art and they are currently being released on YouTube.
Heather started teaching piano lessons in high school by mentoring a few younger students, taught students while studying music in college, and then founded New Song School of the Arts (then known as New Song Piano Studio) in 1999. Heather’s award-winning students have consistently received one pluses (superior ratings) from festival and piano competition judges, received sonatina festival trophies and all star trophies, and have been awarded student scholarships,
Heather’s favorite pieces to play are her original arrangements and compositions, and she enjoys singing the songs that she has written. Her personal practice goal is 2 hours daily (10 hours weekly) and she plays the piano nearly every day of her life. Her practice routine is: sightreading – Bach, Chopin, Gershwin, Handel and many other composers; Jazz study (she regularly studies Jazz to keep her arrangements and compositions colorful); arranging/composition – spend time working on her own original material; songwriting – writing her own lyrics and tunes; and literature learning – regularly learning new works of literature.
Heather wants to be remembered as someone who worked daily to reach her fullest potential in every area of life; someone who took the musical talent that God blessed her with and multiplied it exponentially; someone who, through hard work, good character and discipline, inspired others to strive to reach their fullest potential; someone who passed on a passion and love for music to their students; someone who honored God and blessed others; and someone who built a legacy that touches lives for years to come. Her goal is to live a life full of purpose and make a difference in the world around her. She is most passionate about reaching her fullest potential, exposing her material so it can bless, ministering to and inspiring others, seeing her students succeed in their learning, and seeing them love music for a lifetime.
China-born pianist Meilin has performed over three continents, including countries like
the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and China. She has been described as “one of the best young pianists in her hometown” by Yin Xiang magazine. World-renown pianist and educator Zhou Guang Ren called her a talented rising star. Meilin started playing the piano at the age of 5. She studied with professor Zheng Da Xin in the preparatory school of Sichuan Conservatory of Music and graduated with the President’s Award in 2010. Then she went to America to continuing studying piano performance at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with professor Sharon Mann and graduated with BM degree in May 2014. Meilin gained her MM degree in piano performance in Northwestern University in June 2016. She is currently a doctoral degree candidate in University of North Texas, where she is studying under the direction of Grammy Awards owner Mr. Josef Banowetz.
Along with studying and performing, Meilin also devoted herself in helping students achieving their music dreams. Her private studio has been established for over 6 years, she also taught in music centers and schools. Since 2011, she has been teaching more than 50 students from age 4-18, including more than 30 beginners and young children. And more than 20 students passed ABRSM piano and theory exams in level 5-8 with great grades. Some students showed their talents in studio recitals and local competitions. Both students and parents love and admire Meilin for her patience, passion and sense of humor. Besides, miss Ai taught 24 adult students whose ages ranged from 21-68. She was a graduate teaching assistant in Northwestern University, where she taught 10 advanced level non-major college students. She was also a teacher for the after-school music program in Northwestern University, a program that was devoted to young children and leisure students. Recently, she featured as guest lecturer at North Central Texas College for their music appreciation class. Meilin speaks both English and Mandarin.
Music Education Instructor/MUSIKSCOOL Director
Hannah is a university trained music educator. Her experience includes but is most definitely not limited to working with different Early Childhood music programs conducted through Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas. Hannah’s passion for early childhood music began when she went through the Texas Christian University’s Early Childhood Music program at age of two years old. She continued through the program until she outgrew it. She then continued onto group piano and music theory. From there she went to private piano, theory, and private voice lessons all through the Texas Christian University Music program.
Hannah continued nurturing her own musical talents through her elementary, middle, and high school through her schooling at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. She has been educated through many professors from the University of North Texas from theory to aural skills to voice lessons to music education classes as well. Miss Anthony’s passion is in teaching early childhood music programs!
Piano/Early Childhood Music Instructor
A transplanted Chicagoan, LaNell recently celebrated 30 years as a music educator. She has taught private piano lessons since 1988, coaching numerous competition and festival winners. In addition, she served as youth director at the American Community Church in London, England, leading the student music department. She has also been a faculty member and curriculum specialist at Chicago’s acclaimed Old Town School of Folk Music.
LaNell is a former editor at Clavier magazine, and wrote all the content for Piano Explorer, its companion student magazine. In this role, she enjoyed interviewing numerous artists…from Van Cliburn medalists to award-winning composers and educators. Additionally, LaNell is a seasoned arts administrator, previously holding positions with the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Dallas Chamber Music Society.
LaNell studied piano at the University of Evansville and University of Tennessee. She performed at Illinois Music Teachers Association (IMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) conferences, as well as participated in numerous masterclasses. She is a certified Harmony Road instructor, receiving her training under the program’s founder, Jan Keyser. Although she instructs students of all ages, LaNell has extensive experience teaching very young children, and champions discovering the world of music in early childhood.
In addition to teaching, LaNell is a church musician, and is a soprano in the Prestonwood Choir (Plano). She also consults for a music education software application company in Dallas. When not working, practicing, or performing, you can find LaNell watching sports (especially college football and basketball), and spending time with her dogs Kramer and Farley.
Drums/Guitar/Beginning Piano Instructor
Nate has been teaching drums, guitar, and trombone for over 15 years, first starting on drum set 24 years ago, learning both drum set and trombone from teachers at the University of Connecticut while in elementary school. He graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in music. Nate is currently in his third year of doctoral studies pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of North Texas, with research focused on African traditional and contemporary music.
Nate offers a balanced mixture of teaching styles, stressing the importance of reading music notation while valuing the development of a musical ear. Nate tailors lesson plans to the interests and abilities of the individual student, challenging the student to make noticeable progress while maintaining a fun and positive environment.
Piano/Voice/Musical Theatre Instructor
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Sydney has always been an advocate for the arts. While in Austin, he was awarded “Outstanding Musician” from the Kealing Magnet School (2007), “Outstanding Musician” from the McCallum Fine Arts Academy (2011) and “Outstanding Musician” from the Austin Chamber Music Center (2011). He’s performed in various venues around Austin including: The Paramount Theatre, State Theatre, The Frank Erwin Center, the Long Center, The Glimmer of Hope Foundation, weddings, receptions, restaurants, etc. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for teaching. At the age of 15 he started teaching students from his former private instructor’s studio run by Daphne McDole. It was through her studio, the “Keys of Life” program, that allowed him to have various performing opportunities and early experience in teaching children.
Sydney has an earned Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from University of North Texas an artist diploma from Macullum Fine Arts Academy. He is a trained pianist and vocal pedagogue. In addition to being a full time teacher at New Song School of the Arts, other job titles include: Pianist/Accompanist, Conductor, Music Director, Judicator, and Guest Artist. That being said, Sydney has worked with a number of organizations including: University of North Texas (pianist), various High/Middle School (teacher/pianist), Music Theatre of Denton (director/pianist), various theatre companies around DFW (pianist), Booker T Washington (judge), Mansfield Symphony Orchestra (pianist), various churches around DFW (pianist), etc. Since 2016, the bulk of his performing has been Musical Theatre Productions all over DFW including: Mary Poppins, Shrek, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Sister Act, Evita, Patsy Cline, Big Fish, 9 to 5, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, Will Rogers’s Follies, and many more.
Vocal experience includes: Singing in top vocal ensembles at UNT both classical and jazz; performing at Dallas Winspear Opera House; performing at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival; teaching at various schools and churches around DFW; Performing in various theatre productions around DFW.
Originally from Northeast Tennessee, Peyton fell in love with music at a very early age and started playing piano at the age of ten. Her love for music only grew as she got older. She began singing and playing piano for her church. In high school, she was a substitute piano, voice, and guitar teacher at her local arts center. She continued teaching a few young students throughout college as well.
Peyton recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Music and Culture. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Music Therapy at Texas Woman’s University.
For the past four summers, Peyton has had the opportunity and privilege to be a counselor at the Fresh Air Home, a camp for underprivileged children in Tybee Island, GA. At the Fresh Air Home, she led music with all campers and worked primarily with six to eight year-old girls. She has always loved kids and is grateful to be able to continue to share her passion for music through teaching
Guitar Instructor/Beginning Piano/Drumset Instructor
Dallas is a University of North Texas trained musician, teacher, and composer. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Dallas relocated to Texas to study jazz at the University of North Texas. He has an earned a bachelors degree in jazz performance from UNT.
Starting his musical experiences at a young age, Dallas has studied guitar, bass, piano, and percussion with numerous teachers for the majority of his life, and has also taken on many roles teaching private students and leading ensembles. In high school, Dallas led as the president of the Tri-M music honor society, and took section chair positions in All County Jazz Band, All County Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Marching Band, Orchestra, and Steel Band. Dallas also actively played in the central Maryland area, performing on guitar and bass in various jazz and R&B groups.
Currently, Dallas stays busy teaching and performing in the DFW area. Dallas teaches guitar, drums, and beginning piano to students of all levels and ages. He customizes his lesson plans and expectations to meet the needs of each student and seeks to inspire them through this passion for music. His performance experience includes regular performances with the UNT Super 400 Guitar Ensemble, 8:00 Lab Band, Third Street Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the 2:00 Steel Band. He is currently writing music for his quartet, as well as multiple new collaborations in the works. On most Sundays you can find Dallas playing with the worship team at FBC McKinney, and has been actively working with the team for a year now. Dallas has twice toured the Province of Valencia, Spain with the group, playing electric and acoustic guitar in a variety of styles.
Outside of music, Dallas loves to spend time in the outdoors, backpacking and rock climbing. He avidly pursues photography on the side through these activities, traveling and exploring new places.
Jazz Piano/Classical Piano/Beginning Voice Instructor
Voice/Musical Theatre Instructor
Bette is a graduate of University of Texas Austin, with a degree in Music Education, Voice Principal. She also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Choral Conduction from University of Texas San Antonio. Bette has 35 years of experience in private vocal instruction, music teaching, and choir directing in Texas Public Schools from Pre-Kindergarten through High School ages.
With regard to private instruction in voice, Bette has taught private lessons to all levels and ages. In her private lessons, her teaching develops the student in areas such as vocal technique, solfege, sightsinging, audition preparation, stage presentation, commercial gig prep, musical theatre, etc. Bette’s goal is to develop the student’s vocal abilities with a balanced approach. She takes the student’s interests into consideration while also introducing them to repertoire styles that will broaden their capabilities. Bette desires for her students to be well rounded musicians, ready for any opportunity that may come their way. Over the years, her former students have gone on to become music teachers themselves and one recently went on to explore a New York Broadway role.
With regard to her school teaching she has prepared students for regional choir, all state choir, and solo competitions, musical theatre roles, etc.
Bette also has an extensive dance background that includes being an officer in the Kilgore College Rangerettes. She has directed, produced, and choreographed music programs and musical theatre shows for schools and churches in the Houston and San Antonio areas. She has served as choir director for churches in both cities as well.
During her career she has directed or co-directed productions such as: Calamity Jane, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Brigadoon, Carnival, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie, Company, Mame, and Amahland the Night Visitors. Her choirs have won University Interscholastic League awards and she has had numerous students in region choirs and All-State choirs.
After retiring, Bette began to write children’s musicals with a friend from her UT Austin days. One of those shows Circus Train was performed at Artsview Children’s Theater in Longview, Texas.
Bette and her husband Luke reside in the Argyle area where she continues to work in the music industry. Bette and Luke have a son, Matthew, who lives in Dallas.
Lea believes that nurturing a positive relationship with playing music is essential in music lessons. One of her main goals as a music teacher is to inspire students to become life-long musicians and music lovers. In service of this philosophy, Lea always asks which styles and aspects of music interest each student. From there, they will choose pieces and assignments that support the student’s growth towards their specific goals or interests. Lea uses humor to keep the energy in music lessons light, fun and engaging. Students will learn to sing/play piano, read music, develop a “good ear,” sight-read, and learn the fundamentals of music theory while studying with me. Interested students can also learn how to write a great song- and how to write it down!
Lea has over ten years experience in teaching both piano and voice. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at University of North Texas giving jazz vocal lessons. As a Harmony Road certified piano teacher, Lea has taught Harmony Road piano preparatory classes for over 8 years.
Lea earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, studying with Patrice Maginnis and Nicole Paiemont. Lea also has an earned Masters Degree in Jazz Studies/Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. At UNT, she studied with Rosana Eckert, Jennifer Barnes, and many other wonderful jazz faculty members. She is also Level 1 certified in Somatic Voicework(tm), which she studied with Jeannie Lovetri.
Lea has performed with several small opera companies including San Francisco Lyric Opera and numerous choirs, including IOCSF and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. For seven years, she gigged extensively throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with my band, an indie-folk-jazz piano trio, performing in a wide variety of venues including the bar at Yoshi’s Lounge, one of San Francisco’s premier jazz venues, and PLACE for Sustainable Living, an educational collective in Oakland, CA. She has written, recorded and released two albums on which she plays piano and sings. In addition to her work as a jazz vocalist and a singer/songwriter, she has sung backgrounds for various indie artists, including Derek Sup, Anita Stryker and Andy Mason. Over the years, she has also lent her voice to a few commercial and t.v. spots with companies such as Disney, Pepsi and Barbie.
Violin (Suzuki and Traditional)/Viola Instructor
Emily began playing the viola when she was twelve years old when she joined the orchestra program at her middle school. She immediately grew a passion for music and knew she wanted to be a musician for the rest of her life. Ms. Emily currently attends the University of Texas at Arlington where she is studying Viola Performance with Catherine Forbes. Ms. Emily has also attended competitive music festivals in Canada, New York, and Oregon where she studied with various world-renowned instructors from prestigious schools like the New England Boston Conservatory and Eastman School of Music.
Fortunately for Ms. Emily, she shares her passion for music every week through her professional career as a performer and a teacher. She performs with every ounce of energy and elegance for every event and hopes to inspire her students to love and care for music as she does.
HAN, soprano, is a doctoral candidate from Taiwan under the tutelage of Molly Fillmore at the University of North Texas. Ms. Hsiao is a past winner of the South Sea Rotaract Club Award Vocal Competition and a recipient of both the Toulouse Academy Achievement Scholarship and Winspear Opera Scholarship. Previous credits include Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana with Asian Opera Project, the chorus of La Traviata with Kaohsiung Spring Festival, Sapho with National Theater and Concert Hall workshop, a spirit in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and the principal role in the Educational Outreach Program with Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Hsiao was invited to perform with NTNU Symphony Band and C.Y.C Wind Orchestra as the solo singer around the world, including China, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. Most recently Han has performed Marguerite in Faust, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with UNT Opera, and Don Elvira in Don Giovanni with The Fillmore Studio. Upcoming UNT opera role will be Clorinda in Madrigals of Love and War by Monteverdi.
Voice/Piano/Musical Theatre/Early Childhood Music Instructor
Tara is an educator and vocalist. Her training and experience have spanned the genres of opera, musical theatre, folk and jazz. A few of her favorite roles she’s played are Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Clarice in A Servant of Two Masters, and Jeanette in Barbara’s Blue Kitchen.
Finding her love for classical singing at the age of 14 in West Point, New York, she began training under the guidance of soprano Catherine Flynn. There she sang with NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Area All State Choir and in the Boston Music Festival. Both her voice teacher and her choir director, Chris Reynolds had a profound effect on her life as they encouraged her to pursue singing and demonstrated a pedagogy rooted in the joy of music. Tara remembers her voice teacher taking her to see the St. Olaf Choir sing at Carnegie Hall and how it felt to have an educator truly invest in the growth and enrichment of their students.
In college, Tara first studied with Gerald Dolter at Texas Tech University. During her time in Lubbock, she appeared in productions with the Texas Tech Opera, Texas Tech Theatre and Lubbock Moonlight Musicals. She was a soloist for the Texas Tech Jazz Combo, Choral Scholar at First Christian Church and a soprano in the Lubbock Chorale. Under the baton of John Dixon, she toured England with the Summer Choral Institute of St. John’s College, Cambridge University premiering pieces by
Eric Whitacre. One of her fondest musical memories is singing beneath the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and hearing the long echoes up and down the aisles.
Tara went on to study voice at the University of North Texas with Jeffrey Snider and Inci Bashar, who was named 2009’s Teacher of the Year’ by Classical Singer Journal. While in Denton she was the music director for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with Denton Community Theatre’s Summer Camp and has appeared in productions with Denton Music Theatre and Denton Black Box Theatre. She is currently the Artistic Director for ‘Cirque du Horror’ composed by local musician David Pierce.
After college, Tara taught voice, piano, aural skills, theory and early childhood music at the Julio D. Perfecto School of Music, a non-profit aiming to make quality music instruction accessible to lower-income students. This project of love furthered her determination to hone her pedagogical skills. She realized she enjoyed teaching as much as performing and loved passing on the excellent technique and the joy of music that had been instilled in her by her teachers.
Tara has also taught English in both Japan and Mexico and is grateful for the musical exchanges and experiences these stints abroad have brought. She was a soloist at the Jozenji Jazz Festival in Sendai, Japan and the first American to play taiko drums in the Mito, Ibaraki Summer Matsuri, a traditional Japanese festival.
Tara now lives with her husband in Denton, Texas. Her current projects include creating life-size puppets for a vaudeville style musical circus, performing with local literary and artist collective ‘Spiderweb Salon’, and writing songs for use in early childhood education.
Piano/Voice Instructor/Master Classes
Anatolia enjoys a versatile career as a teacher, performer, collaborative pianist and coach.
Ms. Ioannides has performed in a number of national and international venues and festivals such as Voces Intimae and Opera in Concert, the Mozarteum Sommer Akademie. She has served as staff pianist for the Piatigorsky International Seminar for Cellists, UNT-Clarinet essentials, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, and has performed for the Jugend Musiziert Wetbewerb, and the Women in Music Composers’ Conference, USC-Visions and Voices and KUSC-Sundays Live with the Rick Todd’s USC Wind and Percussion ensemble.
As artistic director and founder of the chamber ensemble Cmc3+, she produced outreach programs in arts education. She has also developed multidisciplinary performances such as “Art and Hellenism” in collaboration with the Consul General of Greece and Loyola Marymount University (2004) and “A Roving Eye on Cyprus” (2008) at USC’s Fischer Museum of Art in conjunction with former US Ambassador Donald Bandler’s exhibition of photography. She was one of the lead-pianists in the world premiere of the commissioned performance and multichannel video exhibition “Piano Destructions” by the Frankfurt and London based artist Andrea Büttner, produced at the Walter Phillips Gallery and the Banff Centre in Canada (2014).
In addition to coaching and accompanying college students and performing with faculty and guest artists at UNT and SMU, Dr. Ioannides and teaches piano and the art of accompanying and chamber music to pre-collegiate music students in the Denton- Dallas metropolitan area.
She has recently developed a summer workshop dedicated to providing coaching and performance opportunities in instrumental and vocal chamber music to pre-collegiate performers; and making collaborative piano repertoire an integral part of the young piano student’s musical training and development. An active member of Music Teachers National Association, she is in strong demand as adjudicator for young artist festivals and competitions in Texas and California.
Dr. Ioannides is the pianist and co-founder of TrioPolis, an ensemble dedicated to the promotion of new works and forging innovating, interdisciplinary collaborations across the performing arts, with UNT faculty clarinetist Kimberly Cole and violinist Felix Olschofka.
She serves as accompanist and coach for UNT’s ClarEssentials Summer Workshop and is actively involved with UNT-CollabFest, a two-day festival celebration and exploration of all things collaborative piano.
Dr. Ioannides received her B.M in piano performance and pedagogy from the Universitat für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She completed her M.M and D.M.A in Keyboard Collaborative Arts at the University of Southern California.
She is a Royal Conservatory of Music registered teacher and a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Texas Music Teachers Association (TMTA).
Jamila began playing the piano at the age of 5. Her oldest sister was pursuing her dream of becoming a professional pianist and she inspired Jamila and guided her first steps in piano playing. The first tune she learned to play was “The Sick Doll” from the Children’s Album by P. I. Tchaikovsky. She also plays the pipe organ and the harpsichord. Both of her parents played musical instruments as well.
Jamila holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, majoring in Organ Performance with a minor in Music Theory under the supervision of Dr. Lenora McCroskey. She received her Bachelors and Masters degree in Music Theory and Organ Performance from Azerbaijan State Conservatory under Dr. Tahira Yagubova. Jamila has a Performing Organist Licentiate Diploma from the Associated Royal Schools of Music, and a Diploma from the Conservatory of Amsterdam where she was a student of renowned Professor Jacques van Oortmerssen. She also studied with world-recognized musicians including Andrea Marcon of Italy; Jean Boyer, Naji Hakim and Michel Bouvard of France; and Hans Ola Ericsson of Sweden.
Jamila loves classical music and regularly attends Dallas Symphony Orchestra concerts. She enjoys playing music from the Baroque Era. Jamila majored in organ performance and most admires J.S. Bach because his music is considered the best for organists for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual strength.
Jamila has taught music lessons for over 30 years and is passionate about public performance and the learning process. Visit her website for more information and videos of a few of her organ performances –www.jjavadovaspitzberg.com.
Alli is a folk singer and multi-instrumentalist. She is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the award-winning Dallas-based Celtic group The Selkie Girls and also serves as the director for North Texas School of Irish Music Gaelic Youth Chorus. In addition, she teaches private vocal and guitar lessons and conducts Irish and Scottish Gaelic singing workshops throughout the year.
She comes from a family of musicians and was singing harmonies with her mother and siblings for as long as she can remember. A member of several performance choirs and ensembles throughout her youth, by the age of 16, Alli began performing professionally, singing and playing guitar in venues around the Dallas area. Since then, she’s worked as a demo singer and played in numerous bands, largely focusing on acoustic-driven music.
In 2013, she became the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the popular Celtic group The Selkie Girls. In 2015, the critically-acclaimed Selkies were honored to win a Celtic Radio Music Award for their version of “The Gaelic Song.” The Selkie Girls have been featured performers at premier festivals throughout the county, including the Austin Celtic Festival, Oklahoma ScotFest, Maryville, TN Highland Games, Texas Scottish Festival, and North Texas Irish Festival, among others. They have performed live on the Good Day Fox 4 morning show several times.
In addition to her work with the Selkies, her vocals have been featured on several instructional publications for Hal Leonard Corporation, including Guitar for Kids – Book 2, Ukulele for Kids, Bass for Kids, and How to Record at Home on a Budget.
Chad’s passion for education goes beyond just writing curriculum for students. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with students of all levels and ages through hands on teaching in both private and group guitar and ukulele instruction. With years of experience in the music education field, his approach to teaching students is both effective and motivating.
Chad is a professional music educator, performer, and writer. Chad has authored over 80 instructional books for Hal Leonard Corporation, including The Hal Leonard Acoustic Guitar Method, Guitarist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords, Bassist’s Guide to Scales Over Chords, Pentatonic Scales for the Guitar: The Essential Guide, Nirvana Guitar Signature Licks, All About Bass, How to Play Solo Ukulele, and How to Record at Home on a Budget, to name but a few.
Chad’s passion for education goes beyond just writing curriculum for students. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with students of all levels and ages through hands on teaching in both private and group guitar and ukulele instruction. With years of experience in the music education field, his approach to teaching students is both effective and motivating.
As an active performing musician, Chad has toured and performed throughout the east coast in various bands and works as a session guitarist, composer, and recording engineer when not authoring or editing.
In his free time, Chad enjoys life with his wife and two children.
Spyros is a Greek American concert pianist and started to play the piano when he was 9 years old, performing his first solo recital a year later with works of Bach, Mozart and Chopin. Early musical training includes the violin, french horn, music harmony & counterpoint and conducting. Spyros is the recipient of many scholarships, prizes and awards around the world. He has performed recitals in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, England, Czech Republic and Spain. Recent American performances in Texas, Kentucky and Antigua, Guatemala.
He is equally at home with standard repertoire and new music. He enjoys composing, accompanying singers and instrumentalists. Spyros is also a dedicated piano teacher and believes in a healthy and balanced approach between technique and music interpretation. He has taught piano and theory lessons for many years with successful results. Many of his students get the highest ratings in festivals and competitions around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Spyros has taken lessons and participated in masterclasses and piano festivals around the world with famous pianists and renowned pedagogues such as Misha Dichter, Eliso Virsaladze, Leonid Margarius, Pavel Gililov, Andrej Jasinski, Peter Lang, Rolf Plagge, Daniel Pollack, and Alan Feinberg among others.
He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Piano Performance & Pedagogy (both summa cum laude) at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria studying with Prof. George Kern, distinguished pianist and student of the legendary Rosina Lhevinne. Currently he pursues a Doctoral degree in Piano Performance at the University of North Texas with Dr. Steven Harlos.
Spyros Karavias is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society, and Music Teachers National Association.
Drums/Guitar/Beginning Piano Instructor
Flute professor and former Dean of the College of Music at the University of North Texas Dr. James Scott noted “Hina’s artistry communicates warmth and genuine musicality within a framework of excellent style sense and a command of the flute that embraces beautiful tone and a consistently reliable technique. Her performances represent state-of-the-art professionalism alongside that extra dimension of refined creativity that make them engaging and memorable.” As a flute artist, she always aims for a variety of performances and colorful expressions from classical to contemporary music. In particular, she conveys the Eastern musical spirit and the spirit of traditional Vietnamese music through the classical Western flute. She emphasizes and promotes the integration of cultural elements in each musical work.
As an educator, Hina had taught private and chamber music lessons for over ten years as a member of the flute faculty at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, and a flute/beginner piano teacher at the United Nations International School of Hanoi and the British Vietnamese International School, as well as teaching “Music Appreciation” class for the Troy University inter-college sharing program with the Vietnam National University. She has been working with students of all ages, from elementary to university level. The former UNIS Music Academy’s leader – professor Elizabeth Druitt claimed Ms.Le as a “very patient, experienced teacher and have a great understanding with students, especially with the young ones”.
As a performer, Hina has been invited as a flute soloist to perform with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vietnam Opera & Ballet Orchestra, the Hanoi String Orchestra, the American-Vietnamese Connection Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, and the Danish “Hafnia” Chamber Orchestra. She has taken part in several recording sessions premiering works by the American Grammy-award-winning composer Michael Daugherty with the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, conducted by the legendary conductor, Professor Eugene Migliaro Corporon. She also won second prize at the Maverick Flute Solo Competition in Texas in the U.S. that focuses on contemporary works. She was a member of the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan while studying at the Hanoi Conservatory and was flute principal of the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed hundreds of concerts in Vietnam and at international music festivals in Japan, France, Germany, the United States, England, Denmark and Sweden.
Hina believes that music makes one’s life becomes much more interesting and colourful, and she loves listening to beautiful melodies from her favourite composers, among them are J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy.
She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) in Flute Performance at the University of North Texas (UNT) under the instruction of professors Terri Sundberg, James Scott and Elizabeth McNutt. Her previous principle professors were Sir William Bennett, Toke Lund Christiansen, Henrik Svitzer, Asger Svendsen and Nguyen Trung Thanh.
Piano/Harp/Early Childhood Music Instructor
Monika is from Estonia and she started playing recorder and piano at the age of 7. Her mother inspired her to play music, because she loved to listen to classical music and play piano herself.
Monika is a professional and experienced pianist, harpist, and woodwind instrumentalist. She was awarded first price twice in The National Competition for young wind players in Estonia and the special award for the most creative young artist in Estonia.
She has performed at the Boston, Utrecht, Valencia and Barcelona Early Music festivals with the consort The Royal Wind Music and toured with various chamber music groups all over the Europe and Asia. She has performed on TV in Europe and Asia. She has also played in the Dutch National Opera and the Estonian National Theatre.
She holds a Bachelor and Master degree with teaching certificate from The Royal Conservatory of The Hague in Early Music and is currently working on her postgraduate degree in harp with Dr. Jaymee Haefner at UNT with the related field in music education.
Monika has a passion for Italian 16-17’th century repertoire and French 18th century music. She also admires the composers like, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Chopin.
She practices approximately 5 hours per day. She begins with exercises to warm up, progresses to sight-reading new repertoire and then working on memorizing pieces, technique and musical lines.
Monika would like to be remembered as a caring, kind and inspiring person who is passionate about music.
Violin(Suzuki and Traditional) Instructor
Described as “brilliant and quick, but also kind and patient; just the combination needed in the world of violin pedagogy…” by Todd Ehle, also known as professorV on Youtube, Adrienne leads an active career as a teacher and performer.
As a violin instructor, Adrienne enjoys cultivating her student’s love and curiosity for music. She passionately believes in the importance of a positive learning environment and is dedicated to creating a safe space that allows her students to learn without fear or judgment. She is a member of the Suzuki Association of America and is a trained Suzuki violin instructor, having received formal training in Suzuki Violin Unit 1 and Every Child Can. For Adrienne, teaching music goes beyond the music notes written on a page. As she inspires her students to play with conviction and heart, she values first and foremost cultivating whom to be in her students, challenging her students to be better people and musicians than they were the day before.
Adrienne’s personal experience with the violin first began at the age of six years old under the instruction of Achille DiRusso, a former violinist from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. As a young violinist, she was awarded the outstanding performer award twice at the Texas State Solo-Ensemble Contest. Later, she obtained her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of North Texas, under the tutelage of Julia Bushkova. While at UNT, she placed first with her string quartet in the Chamber Music Studies Competition.
After over fifteen years of experience playing the violin, Adrienne is sharing her love and passion for music through her teaching and performances in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. Currently you can find her jamming out and playing pop covers with her students, accompanying her young four year old kiddos on piano as they begin their first concertos, and performing chamber music with other local musicians. Outside of music-making, Adrienne enjoys sipping on coffee while reading a good book and going on hikes wherever nature takes her.
Rita Powers is a long time, well known Dallas area professional singer and performer, who has been the opening act for some of the world’s greatest entertainers, such as “B.B. King”, “Lily Tomlin”, “The Platters”, “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band”, “Rosemary Clooney”, and “The Four Tops”, among others. Rita presently sings with several bands, leading her own band, “Rita Powers and Standing Ovation, The New Fab Duo, plus, RP & Harmony. She has been a guest vocalist with several big band orchestras and other bands including: The Les Elgart Orchestra, Moondance Orchestra, The Upswing Orchestra, The Cal Lewiston Orchestra, The Richland College Jazz Band and (Excursion), the UTD Jazz BandRita Powers is a long time, well known Dallas area professional singer and performer, who has been the opening act for some of the world’s greatest entertainers, such as “B.B. King”, “Lily Tomlin”, “The Platters”, “The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band”, “Rosemary Clooney”, and “The Four Tops”, among others. Rita presently sings with several bands, leading her own band, “Rita Powers and Standing Ovation, The New Fab Duo, plus, RP & Harmony. She has been a guest vocalist with several big band orchestras and other bands including: The Les Elgart Orchestra, Moondance Orchestra, The Upswing Orchestra, The Cal Lewiston Orchestra, The Richland College Jazz Band and (Excursion), the UTD Jazz Band.
Rita was a Theatre Arts teacher for 19 years at Marcus High School (16 of which she was department head). She taught all levels of Drama, Musical Theatre, Production, Costumes & Makeup and Tech Theatre. In addition to directing hundreds of musicals and plays at Marcus, she has recently directed musicals such as Mary Poppins at the famed Rockwall Summer Musicals and The Fantasticks at Lewisville Community Theatre, to name a few. Rita’s extensive experience on stage includes starring musical roles in numerous professional and community theatre productions, including Gypsy, Mame, Hello Dolly, Annie, Man of La Mancha, and many more.
Ms. Powers possesses a Masters Degree in Theatre Arts from the University of North Texas, where she graduated #1 in her class with a 4.0 GPA, a Bachelor of Arts. in Music Education from The University of Texas at Dallas (cum laude) and an Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences from Richland College.
She formerly served on the board of the Dallas Summer Musicals Guild and judges for the DSM High School Musical Awards and University Interscholastic League (UIL). Rita is also a published author of “Directing The Fantasticks” and several articles and minor publications.
Although Rita loves singing and performing, she is dedicated to teaching and mentoring students in the Arts. Rita Powers, has worked for the past five years as a University Professor of Education and University Supervisor for student teachers in Theatre Arts.at TWU (Texas Woman’s University) She has also taught private voice/music/piano and theatre and musical theatre students from her home studio for many years.
Rita lives in Argyle with her husband George White, three-time EMMY Award winning director/editor, NBC Network News (retired).
Ms. Lara Ruzevic is an international concert pianist and pedagogue. Her career has taken her to Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Slovakia and the US.
Active as a chamber musician and a collaborative artist, Ms. Ruzevic has been on faculty of numerous music festivals, such as: The Upbeat Summer Music Festival, Croatian String Teachers Association Music Festival, Texas Cello Academy, UNT Summer String Institute, etc. She collaborated with such artist as Dora Schwarzberg, David Grigorian, Gustavo Tavares, Eleonore Schoenfeld.
Ms. Ruzevic holds her degree in Piano Performance from University of Zagreb Academy of Music, and Master of Arts Piano Performance degree from California State University Fresno. She was mentored by many distinguished pianists such as Leon Bates, Jean-Philippe Collard, Rudolf Kehrer, Arbo Valdma, Elena Richter, Pavica Gvozdic, Melita Lorkovic, Dorde Stanetti, Andreas Werz.
During 29 years of teaching, Ms. Ruzevic has taught in Music schools in Europe and US, teaching students of different ages and levels. She has found that each student has his/her unique strengths and weaknesses, requiring a unique approach for each individual. Most students need, more than anything, to be taught how to play their instrument in a natural, relaxed and balanced way. Further, one of the most important goals in teaching is to challenge students to understand not only the creative process of playing/practicing their instruments, but also the art of communication through musical expression. Realizing that music is a language, is the key to the artistic growth.
In order to achieve this goal, students need to learn the foundation of the piano artistry, and how to practice in an effective and a productive way.
Recognized as a dedicated and a successful teacher, Ms. Ruzevic has judged numerous events for the Denton Music Teacher Association, and has given workshops in Piano Performance at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Presently, Ms. Ruzevic resides in Denton, TX with her husband Nikola Ruzevic and their three children. She maintains an active private studio, is accompanist at St. Mark Catholic Church, teaches at New Song School of the Arts, accompanies for Denton ISD students and ensembles, and frequently performs with UNT music faculty and students.
Nicole Stover, soprano, has always had a fierce love for classical music. Her passions focus around opera, choral singing, and baroque chamber music. For as long as she can remember, Nicole has been exposed to the arts. While growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, her father studied the trumpet while her mother studied voice, always filling the house with some kind of music. Nicole is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas with a BM in Vocal Performance. She is currently studying under the vocal instruction of Dr. Carol Wilson and is preparing to begin her Master’s Degree in Opera Performance.
Nicole’s teaching philosophy focuses around the idea of music as an extension of oneself, using lessons both as a learning experience and as a fun, therapeutic time to explore. She is comfortable teaching both piano and voice students of all ages.
Ruusamari grew up in Finland and began playing the piano at the age of four with her mother and continued at a formal school of music a year later. Her entire family has a love for and a very close connection to music. Her great, great grandfather on her mother´s side was the great composer Jean Sibelius and she has a lineage of folk musicians from her fathers side. In Ruusamari’s mother´s family basically everybody plays an instrument. On her father´s side there are fiddle and guitar players. Ruusamari plays the piano, fortepiano, harpshichord, and organ. The piano is her first instrument, the big love of her life. She later chose other keyboard instruments of which the fortepiano she has the closest relationship.
Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schuberts, Schumann, Sibelius, and Tschaikovsky are the composers that Ruusamari most admires. Of the great performers she loves Emil Gilels, Pinhas Zukerman, Gil Shaham and Yefim Bronfman to mention a few. Her mentors Vladimir Viardo, Christoph Hammer, and Elvia Puccinelli have been the greatest influence. Beyond classical musicians she loves Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Bill Evans. The first tunes that really awoke her love to music were Mozart’s Andante and pieces by J.S. Bach.
Ruusamari has received two second-place prizes in the Bradshaw and Buono piano competition in NY, NY and the Petroff piano competition in San Antonio, TX. She regularly tours with fellow musicians. She played 40 concerts with Finnish cellist, Jussi Makkonen all aroung the US in 2015. The engagements for the summer 2016 include concerts in Germany, Italy and Finland. Ruusamari has performed and interviewed on radio and television in the US and Finland. She received a NOVA scholarship from the UNT College of Music and Finlandia Foundation Scholarship as a highest ranking applicant.
Ruusamari has artist certificates from the Prague Concervatory, Czech Republic and the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, Hungary. Her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in piano performance is from UNT, class of Vladimir Viardo. She is currently working on her DMA in Collaborative piano performance at UNT with Elvia Puccinelli and Steven Harlos. She also has related field fortepiano studies with Christoph Hammer and Paul Leenhouts. Ruusamari has participated in master classes with Dmitry Bashkirov, Yefim Bronfman, Matti Raekallio, Natalya Antonova, and others.
Ruusamari practices from 2-4 hours every day. She uses warm ups, scales and finger exercises as a part of a daily practice routine. She regularly adds new repertoire and technically challenging spots that require extra time, repetition and new creative way of practice. She has been teaching music since she was 20 years old.
Ruusamari wants to be remembered as an honest, sensitive and passionate musician and a happy and friendly human being. The quote from Goethe – “Music starts where the words end” sums up her passion in regard to her work as a musician and teacher. Her great, great grandfather, Jean Sibelius’ words inspire her to be the best she can be – “Music is for me like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces.”
Beginning piano at age 4 and singing since he could talk, Nash has always been a passionate enthusiast for the arts. As a highschooler, he participated in Choir, One Act Play and even founded his school’s jazz band providing vocals and trumpet. Upon discovering a newfound love for this genre he pursued jazz piano instruction as well. During high school, he frequently played at various venues around his hometown of Waco, TX including pioneering a charity even through Mission Waco called “Tips for Bricks” in which he and his twin brother performed at a variety of venues for free asking only for $2 tips that would each fund a brick needed to build a school in Haiti. The goal was met after performing at the “Heart of Texas Jamboree” garnering thousands of dollars of donations.
He and his brother received the 2011 MACT Groovy award for Outstanding Student Musician, and won the Heartland’s Got Talent Competition that year as well.
Upon receiving a full scholarship to UNT, he studied jazz and classical vocal performance, performing with top vocal groups and choirs at UNT. He graduated with his degree in Music Education at the close of 2018.
He currently performs at various weddings, cocktail hours, private parties and the like. He is the resident performer at the Mercury Chophouse in Arlington on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and the Downtown Fort Worth location Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – delicately blending the atmospheres of fine dining and piano bar. He was also recently commissioned to write and record music for a commercial shot for the Arlington location which can be found on their Facebook.
Fundamentally, Nash believes in music instruction that advocates for life-long learning, understanding and appreciation of music. His philosophy is centered around of course, theory, ear-training and technique; but building a personal connection with each and every student is paramount.
Piano (Jazz and Classical)/Voice Instructor
Jack is a multifaceted musician who regularly performs repertoire across a variety of genres throughout both the Dallas-Fort Worth area and his native Seattle.
Heavily immersed in jazz, rock, pop, and folk styles, Jack has been sharing his talents in voice, piano, and saxophone with students for over 6 years. Beginning as a saxophonist turned vocalist, it was clear that his passion lay in voice after auditioning for his high school jazz choir in 2012. In 2015, he began furthering his study within the Jazz Voice program at the University of North Texas.
Since graduating with his degree from the University of North Texas, Jack has been invested in pedagogy and songwriting as his main pursuits in addition to the various groups he regularly plays with in the DFW area.