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.
Cassandra Bak received her Bachelor’s in Piano Performance at Grand Canyon University and just recently graduated from the University of Montana with her Masters in Piano Performance. She enjoys sharing her love for music with others both through teaching and being a collaborative pianist.
Dylan Bautista is a jazz piano major at the University of Montana, originally from Great Falls. He enjoys classical piano, trombone, and genealogy research.
Landon Kleeman began music lessons at age 3 and continued throughout high school. Currently, he is a performance and pedagogy major at UM and hopes to one day become a performer/composer/ instructor. He is thrilled to be able to pass along his ever-growing knowledge of the piano to the next generations. During his free time he enjoys reading, noodling on the guitar, woodworking, watching sports, listening to records, and building cars.
Beth Mast earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory from the University of Montana, studying both piano and voice. She enjoys singing in the choir Dolce Canto, yoga, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Abby Loewen is working towards a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Montana. 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.
Isabelle Meissner Pearson is a composer, flutist, and pianist whose works cover a wide range, from wind ensemble and orchestra to solo pieces. Born in Bozeman, Montana, much of Isabelle’s music evokes images of landscapes and weather patterns, mimicking the area that she grew up in. The relationship between sound and place is a concept that she enjoys exploring throughout her music. Isabelle holds degrees in Music Composition, Piano Pedagogy, and Performance, Flute, and German from the University of Montana. In her free time, she enjoys riding her horse Clark, hiking, reading, and dancing!
Elin Peterson holds a Bachelor of Music degree 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 Play With Me! at Play Piano Academy!
Sylvia Wood grew up in the secluded forests of Quincy, California. She graduated in May of 2023 from the University of Montana with a BM in Composition, a BM in Flute Performance, and a minor in Climate Change Studies. There, she played principal flute in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and performed as a soloist in a wide variety of recitals and concerts. She is currently the pianist for the Missoula Community Chorus, collaborative pianist for vocalists and instrumentalists, and flutist with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra. She also composes, often theming her pieces around the natural world. She loves to use music to turn her impressions of the world into something that resonates with others and questions their perspectives. In her free time, she also loves baking, skiing, rock climbing, and bothering anyone who will listen with Hamilton trivia.