Valerie Young is a highly-specialized educator of children who has taught piano and Kindermusik for over 20 years.  Valerie holds a degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Canada) and an associate diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, Canada).

Dr. Christopher Hahn is a well-respected pianist and performer, teacher, adjudicator, clinician, and author. He has been teaching piano to students of all ages for over 25 years. Dr. Hahn is professor of piano and pedagogy, and Chair of the Keyboard Division at the University of Montana where he has been on faculty since 2004.

Karly Barthels is a junior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, where she studies piano and cello. During her high school years she participated in five national piano guilds, two spring festivals, and two Royal Conservatory assessments. Karly has traveled overseas multiple times to serve and teach at an orphanage in Thailand. Her time spent with the children and teachers there kindled a passion for meaningful connections with others, especially through music. 

Clara Hahn is a senior at Sentinel High School where she participates in pep band, wind ensemble and is drum major for the marching band.  She has studied piano for 9 years and has participated in numerous recitals, festivals, and Royal Conservatory assessments.  Clara loves to sing and dance and has studied ballet for 14 years.  This year will mark her 11th season of performing in the Garden City Nutcracker.

Beth Mast earned a bachelor's of music in music theory from the University of Montana, studying both piano and voice. In addition to teaching at PLAY, she works in arts administration for The College Music Society and teaches yoga. She enjoys singing in the choir Dolce Canto, hiking, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.


Laura Matzke has enjoyed teaching piano in Missoula for the past eight years. She is a nationally certified teacher of music, and earned a degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Montana, studying under Dr. Hahn. Laura loves to travel, experience nature, spend time with friends, and share her knowledge of music to foster meaningful relationships and inspire creativity.

Elin Peterson

Elin Peterson holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Montana. Elin began teaching private voice in 2015 at On Center Dance Studio. In 2016 she moved to the Seattle area to join the music leader team with Musically Minded serving as a music educator for children ages birth-five. She also served as a sought after music instructor for Voice in the Valley Music Studio (Maple Valley, WA). She also taught as a preschool teacher, sharing the gift of music with her classroom each day. Elin recently moved back to Missoula to be closer to family and friends. She is very excited to be teaching a new class, Play With Me, at the Play Piano Academy!

Abby Van Allen is working towards a bachelors in music education, studying piano as her main instrument. She is a second generation piano teacher, and has been playing since the age of 4. Abby has taken opportunities to teach English abroad in Thailand, and teach piano classes to children in Hawaii! She loves to travel, participate in outdoor activities, and loves teaching music! She finds fulfillment in connecting with people, witnessing their growth both as musicians and in their personal lives.