Teachers

Founders Leila Viss & Bradley Sowash
88 Creative Keys co-founders Leila Viss & Bradley Sowash

BRAVO. What you and Leila are doing…………don’t stop!
– Linda King, Founder of the United States International Duo Piano Competition

Leila Viss
Leila Viss

Leila Viss
iPad and “off bench” Teaching Specialist
leilaviss.com

I enjoy teaching music both “on and off the bench” using the ever-changing tools of technology from simple, re-purposed “manipulatives” including boxes, bottles, and pencil erasers to the latest music software, MIDI, and iPad apps. As a classically trained musician, playing “off page” is a more recently acquired skill that has reinvigorated my teaching and personal musicianship. If I can do it, you can do it!

  • Author of The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps
  • Owner of an innovative, tech-savvy, creative-based independent studio in Centennial, Colorado
  • Full time church organist, pianist, accompanist
  • Columnist for Clavier Companion
  • Blogger at 88pianokeys.me
  • Chair of the Creative Pianist Track, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy
  • Frequent presenter at national, state and local conferences and associations
  • MA in in piano performance and pedagogy
sowash-reduced
Bradley Sowash

Bradley Sowash
Improv Specialist
bradleysowash.com

How I wish someone had shown me creative concepts and theory tools like chord symbols, lead sheets, and how to groove in popular styles when I was a student. My teachers explained how to read and interpret written music, but my understanding of how to create my own music was gained much more slowly through experimentation, copying recordings, attending live performances, begging more experienced creative musicians for tips and tricks, and reading everything I could get my hands on about improvising. I enjoy passing along the valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way so that you won’t have to go through the same long process of trial and error that I did. 

  • Touring concert jazz pianist
  • Recording artist of nine albums
  • Owner of a private piano studio specializing in improvisation
  • Author of America’s top-selling, nine-book piano method, That’s Jazz
  • Pop/Jazz Chairperson for Music Teachers National Association
  • Co-Founder of 88 Creative Keys Camp for improvising pianists
  • Broadcast credits include seven seasons on the PBS-TV series, “The Piano Guy.”
  • Teaches master classes nationwide
  • Writes for Clavier Companion, Downbeat, American Music Teacher among others
  • Faculty: Suzuki Music Columbus, Chamber Music Connection, and The Jazz Academy
  • Winner of a special citation from the American Prize in Composition for “his unique skill in combining classical techniques with popular idioms.

Bradley explains his motivation for teaching improvisation:

 

timtopham
Tim Topham

Tim Topham
timtopham.com

Tim Topham is an internationally-renowned music educator, piano teacher, writer and presenter. Tim has 20+ years of experience in education, having taught in the United Kingdom and a number of states of Australia in subjects as varied as music, outdoor education, PE, mathematics and IT.

Through his blog at timtopham.com, Tim regularly inspires over 8000 teachers across the globe with his imaginative teaching tips and ideas. Tim has presented at conferences around Australia and overseas and his writing and products have been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher and journals from music associations around Australia. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

Music Mentor Group
www.themusicmentorgroup.com

musicmentorgroup
Music Mentor Group

Bios from upper left to lower left clockwise:
During the past 20 years, Debra Perez has continued to develop her skills as a business owner, a program builder and an educator.  Her music career includes conducting online training webinars, onsite teacher seminars, speaking engagements at national and state music conferences, owner/operator of two retail piano companies, manager of a team of teachers with 60+ piano classes each week in two locations, founder of a publishing company, music curriculum developer and group piano specialist.

Robyn Harris, MT-BC is the Founder & CEO of Musical Surprise, a full-service music studio and store located in Surprise, AZ. Offering private lessons in all instruments, group classes for preschoolers to adults, music therapy and adaptive lessons for those with special needs and early childhood music programs, Musical Surprise sees 500 students every week in their 5,000 square foot studio and store.

Natalia Huang is the owner of Natalia Huang Piano Studio located in New York City, Greenwich Connecticut, and soon to be in Los Angeles. The studio provides high quality private piano lessons from ages three years old to adults.

Kathy Rabago, DMA, is owner and founder of Velocity Music Academy in the Austin, TX area.  Velocity Music provides private, pairs, and group lessons for piano, voice, guitar, violin, cello, flute and harp.  Lessons are provided both onsite at the studio, and offsite at a local private school.  Velocity Music has been open since 2010 with a current enrollment of 300 students.

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