I have a B.Mus. in Piano Performance. Am also a psychologist, semi-retired. Teach “to the student” both improvisation including jazz theory & reading lead sheets, as well as note reading, piano technique and ear training. Work well with children and seniors.
Ben Dorfan (B.A. in Music, Oberlin College) believes the primary role of a teacher is to help the student reach their goals quickly and effectively. An avid performer of chamber music, he has been featured locally by Santa Cruz Chamber Players and Munching with Mozart and Friends. He accompanies for Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus directed by Cheryl Anderson, and Pacific Collegiate School Choirs directed by Alice Hughes. Ben serves as President of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, Santa Cruz County Branch, and Social Media Coordinator for Santa Cruz Chamber Players.
M.M. in Piano Performance, Indiana University; Certified Master Teacher. Holistic approach to musical pianism, emphasizing anatomical and psychological considerations, strength through balance (observing the rules of gravity and motion), integration of the physical and musical gesture, and elimination of unnecessary tension, both physical and psychological. Special interests: ensemble and chamber music performance and coaching; piano pedagogy mentoring; the development of a healthy, injury-preventive technique; and strategies for dealing with performance anxiety. Decades of experience as a performer, teacher, and coach at all levels, from pre-school to professional.
I have a BA in Music from Bethany Bible College. Have taught piano since the 1970’s both here in Santa Cruz County and in Twin Falls, Idaho for ten years.
I played both piano and organ at Twin Lakes Church and at Santa Cruz Bible church for many years. Have enjoyed accompanying soloists, small groups of singers and large choirs. I enjoy working with children and adults!
Rose Georgi is a concert pianist, teacher, accompanist and arranger for classical and jazz piano. She is a Graduate with Honors of the State Music College and Conservatory of Music, Russia. She studied advanced jazz under Dr. Joe Gilman in American River College. She has 30 years teaching experience for Piano, Music Theory, Ear Training and Sight Singing in Russia, Germany and the USA. She teaches children and adults a wide variety of styles, from beginning to advanced levels. She currently performs as a soloist and in several Santa Cruz area classical musical ensembles.
Colin Hannon is a staff accompanist at UCSC, musical director for the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz, and he regularly performs as pianist and music director for local theatrical productions (SCS, Jewel, Cabrillo Stage). He maintains a private teaching studio on the Westside of Santa Cruz and also at his home in Davenport. Colin received an MA in music from UCSC in 2004 and works with students of all ages to find joy in playing and learning about all styles of music. Musicianship, performance, reading, improvisation, technique, theory, accompaniment.
Barbara Jirsa has been teaching piano in the Santa Cruz area for over 20 years. She has a B.A in Music and History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and studied with Mary Jane Cope, Barbara Wilkens and studied Taubman technique with Marc Steiner. Her home studio, equipped with a computer and media lab, accommodates elementary, middle and high school students, and adults in both private and group lessons. She is a member of MTAC, MTNA and CAPMT.
Nicki Kerns holds a piano performance degree from Dominican College of San Rafael, where she studied piano with Robert Hagopian and Robert Shultz. She also studied with Sylvia Jenkins. She became a piano teacher quite by accident in the early 80’s and discovered she loves it. She specializes in beginners and intermediates, emphasizes theory, improv and duets, and her studio participates in Certificate of Merit each year. She accepts credit cards. Special Note: Her studio, located in her home, has pets, so those with pet allergies may want to use caution.
Nancy Kvam, certified music teacher with a B.A. and M.M.E. in violin performance, teaches private violin/viola students and chamber ensembles in her studio, at Cabrillo College, and teaches in Watsonville school string programs. She specialized in Suzuki violin Training 1-8 and early childhood music. She directs the Cabrillo Youth Strings’ chamber music program and conducts string orchestras in the program. Nancy plays in the Santa Cruz Symphony, has been Concertmaster of Cabrillo Stage, and performed in the Monterey Symphony. She studied with Concertmasters of St. Louis Symphony and San Francisco Ballet.
Carol teaches oboe, piano, recorder, and music theory. She is passionate about music literacy and includes age-appropriate theory in every lesson. Carol, Theory Director of Ragazzi Boys’ Chorus, has developed teaching materials that are friendly to both children and adults and which make no assumptions of knowledge of a musical instrument.
She is also passionate about performance and plays regularly on both coasts.
Carol received a MM from the New England Conservatory, and has been on the faculties of the University of Idaho Music School and at UCSC.
Education: B.A. Queens College, City University of N.Y.C; M.A. in Musicology and Ed.D. in Education-Harvard University. Former UCSC Professor. Studied Piano and Chamber Music with Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio; Composition with Hugo Weisgall and Vittorio Rieti.
Teaching possibilities-piano, theory, composition, analysis, musicianship, chamber music coaching. Many years of “student-directed” individualized teaching (see website ivanpianolessons.com). Accompanying also available.
Lynn Kidder teaches all ages and levels, in the past specializing in adult beginners and advanced students. She teaches classical, ragtime, pop and simple improv, and performs as a soloist, duo-pianist, chamber musician and accompanist. She has a B.A. in Music from CSUFresno and a M.Mus. in Piano Performance from the Univ. of WA in Seattle. Ms. Kidder has received two Professional Development Grants from the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County to study Taubman technique, and has retrained with Elizabeth Swarthout and John Bloomfield.
Heather Thompson Smits has been teaching piano since 1992. She works with children/teens of all levels. She was trained by Dr. Gwendolyn Mok and her mother, Lenora Ford Brown, concert pianist. Heather received a B.A. from the University of Utah and is currently working on a Pedagogy Diploma from The Royal Conservatory of Music, and serves on the board of the Music Teacher’s Association. Heather has extensive performing experience, including a concerto performance with BYU’s Chamber Orchestra. She’s also placed in several Utah piano competitions, including Summer Arts and Young Chang.