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Hirtenstraße 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany
(+44) 871.075.0336
ouroffice@cortex.com
 

Music Teachers

All of the teachers at Mode Music Studios are working musicians getting paid to write, perform and record. Our teachers also have a passion for what they do. We feel fortunate to be able to pass that down to the younger generation and get them excited to play music in the same way we have been throughout our careers. All Mode teachers have passed a Washington State background check.
All of the teachers at Mode Music Studios are working musicians getting paid to write, perform and record. Our teachers also have a passion for what they do. We feel fortunate to be able to pass that down to the younger generation and get them excited to play music in the same way we have been throughout our careers. All Mode teachers have passed a Washington State background check.

Erin Rubin

Erin has been playing music since the age of four. At twelve, she was on stage with the local working musicians at The Scarlet Tree every Tuesday night. She has written music for and performed with many Seattle bands including: Wesafari, The Exploding High-Fives, People Eating People, and “Nouela.” Erin has worked as a hired studio musician since the age of 17 in Bellingham, Seattle and Los Angeles. Erin found her calling as a teacher in her early twenties and dedicated over three years at Westside Music Academy. She believes a healthy balance of technique, theory and arranging songs the child loves is the fast track to any student’s success in music lessons. Ready to go out on her own, she started Erin Rubin Piano Studios in the basement of her West Seattle home in 2010.

Erin teaches piano and voice.

Dick Cady

In 1978 Dick Cady attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the 2-year diploma program for writing and arranging. On returning to Seattle in the mid 80’s he studied with the storied jazz piano teacher Jerome Grey for 3 years. Since the late 90’s he has attended many of the Golandsky Institute summer seminars, first at Williams College and later at Princeton and studied with many of the staff including John Bloomfield and Kendall Feeney. In 2004 he began studying with Charlie Banacos for several years until Charlie’s death.

He was a regular on the Seattle music scene for many years doing club dates with his own group and many other instrumentalists and singers including Ernestine Anderson and Pete Seeger. He was the music director for the Orion Street Youth Theater. Providing instruction steadily for 25 years to all ages and levels, Dick teaches piano.

Brandon Bermudez

Brandon is a working musician, producer, and engineer in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the past decade. He regularly plays in and around town, sometimes tours countries, and frequently collaborates with many professional musicians in the area. Recently, he’s played bass with prog-rock band Bone Cave Ballet and alt-rock band Starry-Eyed Samurai, and drums with both new-wavers Trick Candles and pop-fusion band Nitrogen Lion Society.

Brandon believes that consistency, versatility, and attitude are the traits that make great musicians. With his interactive-guidance teaching approach, the student controls the pacing of each lesson, which alleviates classroom anxiety and helps the lesson material become more comprehensible. With a heavy emphasis on creativity and technique, Brandon will improve the understanding of rhythm and ability to perform in many styles of music by sharing from his 20+ years of composition and performance experience.

Brandon teaches drums, bass, and guitar.

Jen Wood

Jen Wood was born and raised in Seattle – she played her first show at the age of 15 and began recording in studios and touring at the age of 16. She has over 20 years of working experience as a singer-songwriter – on her main instrument which is the guitar, though her next favorite instrument is the piano. Wood comes from a musical family and naturally gravitated towards it. She started out as self-taught guitarist, learning how to sing and play by ear, which developed her musical intuition and creative approach to songwriting; she discovered alternate tunings at the age of 17 and was hooked. Jen has recorded several albums and toured the U.S and Japan. She is perhaps most known for her work as a guest vocalist for bands such as: Juno, Jeremy Enigk, The Black Heart Procession, Joan of Arc and most notably the Postal Service. Jen has studied voice with Sue Carr over the last 10 years and returned to college last year to study the fundamentals of music that pertain to her teaching career. Jen is very passionate about working with kids and young people; she loves helping to empower them to find their own voice through music. She also believes that having fun, being collaborative and spontaneous are the magical keys to learning new skills.

Jen teaches voice, piano and guitar.

Nate Rogers

Nate Rogers has a diverse background in the arts, having worked on professional film sets and for literary journals, but music has been the constant throughout his life; his musical endeavors (and teaching) are informed by that multivalent background. His first and primary instrument is the piano, which he studied classically starting in the first grade and continued to do so actively through college. He also began playing in jazz combos and rock bands starting in middle school, the age at which he also picked up guitar and saxophone. An occasional DJ, Nate listens widely and loves drawing connections between diverse styles of music across the world, in his own playing and his teaching. He has played in numerous bands in Seattle, including Friends and Family, Pampa, ANDY, and The Quiet Ones, and they have played alongside such notable groups as The Polyphonic Spree, The Moondoggies, and Blitzen Trapper, both in the Northwest and on tour. He loves to instill the same diversity of interest in students that his teachers gave to him.

Nate teaches piano and guitar.

Ricky Claudon

Ricky has been studying, writing and performing music since his childhood, and has played guitar and piano for about 23 years. He works as a para-educator at the Academy for Precision Learning, and as a recording/touring musician. As a musician, he has put out three albums, toured the United States, and he looks forward to touring in Europe in the near future for the first time this spring. He is knowledgeable in a variety of styles on the guitar, but is most proficient in Blues, Rock n Roll, and Post-punk.

Growing up, he was instructed by a professor of music theory and history, on the piano; this education has formed the foundation of his knowledge of these subjects and informs his instruction in both instruments. Ricky also has quite a lot of experience working with students from a diverse range of developmental levels and is trained in methods intended to address the individual needs of neurologically diverse populations.

Ricky teaches piano and guitar.

Alex Meyers

Alex fell in love with music at a young age, picking out melodies from children’s songs on piano by ear. He quickly expanded his repertoire by diving headfirst into learning trumpet, piano, ukulele, guitar, and almost any other instrument that came his way. He explored nearly every music opportunity available to him, eagerly joining jazz combos, men’s choirs, concert band, marching band, bluegrass groups, and founded a number of rock bands, all before graduating high school. Alex received a Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University, Decatur IL, focused on classical & jazz guitar performance and audio engineering. During this time, he was fortunate enough to manage the school’s recording studio, which allowed him to work with a variety of musicians and artists, learning new musical ideas from each meeting. After spending two years in Chicago working as a freelance audio engineer and session player, Alex came to Seattle to explore the thriving and welcoming music community here.

In lessons, Alex’s approach starts from the idea that we all have an inherent potential for musicality, whether we have tapped into it or not. Like laughter, music is a common language that can connect humans across the globe. From this perspective, Alex teaches with the goal of helping the student grow as a musician, using ear training, music theory, improvisation, song analysis, call-and-response, and songwriting techniques. Alex’s aim is to provide a welcoming, supportive environment for the student to become comfortable in their musicality, while learning the technical skills necessary for their instrument of choice.

Alex teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin, and beginning piano.

Malia Alexander

Malia Alexander has a been a moving, shaking member of Seattle’s all-ages and DIY community for most of her life. She brings an inter-disciplinary approach to her teaching, as Malia has spent years working with youth as an after-school educator, a licensed therapist and most recently a Registered Nurse. In between those endeavors, Malia found time to be a volunteer drum instructor at Rain City Rock Camp for Girls. She is passionate about music as a tool to foster community and confidence, especially for youth from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds.

Malia plays in Seattle in 3 music projects, all very different stylistically. Malia is ecstatic about bringing music to people of all-ages and considers drums in particular to be a very important and cathartic outlet to stay sane in what can feel like a very insane world.

Malia teaches drums.

Erin Rae Murray

Erin Rae Murray has been singing her little heart out professionally for the last few years although her love for music goes as far back as she can remember. Her childhood was steeped in the rich four-part harmonies of the Mennonite tradition and the daily DJing her father did around the house. In elementary school, she sang in choir and fronted musicals, picked up the guitar in high school, and sang in gospel choir in college. After graduating, she spent her time adventuring and teaching around the world; from teen empowerment in the mountains of Guatemala, to preschool in urban El Salvador, to 6th grade English in South Korea, to Spanish at a Montessori school here in Seattle. All of which has brought her here to Mode, where she couldn’t be happier to finally combine her passion for teaching with her love for music.
Erin teaches voice, guitar, ukulele and beginning piano.

Ronan Delisle

Ronan Delisle is a native of the Pacific Northwest and is involved in various facets of the Seattle music scene. After having led his own creative projects to fruition and enjoyed a successful freelance career while in school at the University of North Texas, the undeniable energy of the Seattle music community called upon him to return in 2015. He can be heard often as a guitarist in jazz and improvised music settings around the city, but also as a songwriter in his longtime project, Señor Fin.

In the last few years Ronan has become passionate about passing on his knowledge and love for music to anyone that finds themselves interested in music performance, music theory, and writing music of any kind. In lessons, Ronan strives to foster an environment of experimentation and student-led to discovery, as opposed to the traditional spoon-feeding of answers. When a student’s curiosity leads the way, true learning and enjoyment can happen.

Ronan teaches guitar, ukulele, piano and voice.

Tess Freedel

Tess teaches voice, piano, guitar and ukulele.

Eva Walker

Eva teaches voice, piano, guitar and drums.

Heather Dickson

Heather has been a music lover her entire life. She started competing as a classical pianist at the age of 6. She completed all 10 levels of the Certificate of Merit program (California) and has a strong background in music theory, sight reading, ear training, and performance. Heather attended the University of Utah on scholarship as a Piano Performance Major. She is also the bass player/backup singer in the local band, Tiger Rider. Heather is currently attending UW for Entrepreneurship, and hopes to one day use her degree to spread music through her community. She loves both classical and rock music, and believes that a strong rhythmic background is the key to appreciating and playing music.

Heather teaches piano, bass, guitar, ukulele, and voice.

David Totten

In his youth, David started picking on the guitar and never set it down. He is trained in rock, folk, and jazz. David’s curriculum focuses on finding a musical style or idea that resonates with his student and using it as a springboard into theory, sight reading, and ear training. He loves teaching all different kinds of styles, but his personal favorites include metal, progressive rock, and American Primitive–an acoustic folk movement from the 60’s and 70’s, that blends ragtime, blues, folk, and world music into a unique blend of Americana. He believes that learning an instrument should be fun, therapeutic and a valuable creative outlet. He has toured the country and played in many bands and stuff.

David teaches songwriting, ukulele, and vocals.

Rachel Ewen

Rachel was raised in a family of musicians and has been pursuing a life in music from an early age. Her experience in music began with taking private voice, and piano lessons throughout her childhood and participating in musical theater productions. She was trained as a classical vocalist and moved on to focus on jazz vocals and composition while studying at Cornish College of the Arts. She has been involved in the Seattle music community since 2010, writing music and performing with various local and touring artists from the Pacific Northwest. Her lessons are tailored to fit each student’s musical interests and strengths.

Rachel teaches piano and voice.

​Kenneth Aramaki

Kenneth Aramaki, a Seattle native, has experience playing classical piano for over 25 years and Jazz Piano for over 15 years. He has over 14 years of professional music experience as a music educator, performer, recording musician and composer. During this time he has taught a range of experience levels and ages. He is connected and engaged with the local community working on projects, performing, and touring with Seattle bands of varying musical genres. He is musically ambitious and teaches new students by establishing the fundamentals of piano but also loves building a students’ knowledge using improvisation, theory, and song writing. He has established a passion of his career, making his number one priority to share this passion with others.

Kenneth teaches piano.

Kevin Slota

Kevin first picked up the trumpet at age 10, as many children do in their 4th grade band class. But this was only the beginning as he would soon pick up guitar and start learning his favorite songs and writing his own. Soon he would perform and promote house shows with neighborhood friends. Trumpet is one of the most versatile instruments and can be found in almost any genre of music making it a great tool to cultivate lifelong relationships. It can be a challenging and frustrating instrument but its versatility is welcoming in that there truly is a style for everyone. Trumpet has provided Kevin with a great number of unique performance opportunities over the years including musical theatre, variety shows, blues/jazz/soul/r&b/indie/country/rock bands, festivals, street fairs, orchestras, brass ensembles, private/corporate events, and recording. He has had the pleasure of performing with great local bands such as Cooper Smith and the Vouyers, EXOHXO, KITHKIN, Ravenna Woods, Twilight Motel, and Vicious Petals. He also plays in the Seattle Rock Orchestra/Street Band/Social Club, West Seattle Community Orchestra/Brass Sextet, Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, and recently sat in on a performance with Thalia Symphony Orchestra. Kevin is also involved in brass coaching with WSCO Debut and Intermediate Orchestras as well as the Michael J Owen Music Education Fund supporting local, under-served elementary school music programs. While trumpet is his main instrument, Kevin teaches beginning french horn, trombone, and baritone; focusing on breath support and fundamental tone production while connecting with a student’s musical needs and aspirations.

James Squires

James has been playing music since the age of six, starting with the piano. A Seattle local, he participated in the renowned Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble and continued to study music privately. James attended Berkeley School of Music and studied drum performance. He plays locally with Maiah Manser (a favorite Mode Music alum), blues-rock band C-Leb & The Kettle Black, psych-rock band Supermother and local country acts. James also has been working as a producer and engineer for the last five years and teaches production using Ableton Live and other programs.

James teaches drums, piano and audio production.

Craig Suede

Craig is transplant from San Diego where he played music for a living in casinos, bars and restaurants between tours, travel, and shows. He got his musical start singing in various audition choirs, competing in vocal competitions, and performing in musical theater. He started playing guitar in 8th grade and that began shaping his future path of songwriting and singing/playing guitar in a variety of bands. He currently fronts and tours with the indie rock band Happy Heartbreak, sings harmonies and plays lead guitar for local pop-soul/ R&B singer Young-Chhaylee, and plays lead guitar and performs harmonies/alt-voicings for emo-revival/post-hardcore band, Dearheart.

After several years of running education programs for students and teachers around the World, Craig has decided to settle in Seattle and re-focus his efforts on music and its local educational impact. He bases his teaching strategies in brain-based learning and finding simple connections between music theory and the joy of playing music. The ability to connect and express through music increases confidence and critical thinking. Strengthening these skills can also increase retention of information in other areas and improve quality of living. Music and learning should both be joyful experiences that encourage us to continue moving forward to connect, create and share.

Craig teaches guitar, vocals, ukulele, and beginning piano.

Andy King

Andy teaches drums.

Heather Thomas

Heather is a drummer, singer, songwriter, and ukulele player. She plays drums with Mary Lambert, leads (from the drum set) the Heather Thomas Band featuring all-original music, and co-fronts psychedelic rock band General Mojo’s alongside Dune Butler. ​ Heather is a versatile musician with an ear for melody and a groove that comes from years of jamming with excellent musicians in Seattle and across the country. Her experience on festival stages, arenas and amphitheaters, and live television, including Good Morning America, LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and VH1 You Oughta Know, has honed her presence and established her as a well known player in many scenes. She’s currently working on demos for her next album and touring with Mary Lambert.

Heather teaches drums and piano.

Jonah Byrne

Jonah Byrne has been playing violin for over 25 years, performing, recording, and composing in a wide variety of styles. He studied music composition at University of Colorado and has been active in the Seattle music scene for the past ten years. In that time he has played with country band Country Lips, experimental bands Beast Please Be Still and Snowman Plan, indie rock band Pilot Lights, and many others, alongside teaching and writing music. He believes a good ear and good technique are the foundation that lets us play and enjoy any kind of music there is.

Jonah Byrne teaches violin and viola.

Liam Downey

Liam teaches guitar, piano and drums.

Nicki Danger

Nicki Danger is a multi-instrumentalist from Seattle with 20 years of experience. She started on trumpet at age 10 and carried on to the age of 15. She got an old, beat up acoustic guitar and plugged away until it sounded good. She moved to Seattle at 17 to attend the Art Institute. While studying Audio and Video production she met some people that had bands! She was extremely inspired and upgraded to an electric guitar. At 21 she formed her first band called Tigernaut. Following Tigernaut, Nicki fronted and played guitar in Darlings of the LoFi, Chartreuse and Soda and Glitterbang. She switched gears a bit for electro-pop band Glitterbang and started working with Ableton live. Here she learned to program electronic music, play bass and piano. She worked on Glitterbang for six years, honing her skills as a song writer and producer. At that point she started playing a ton of tribute nights. This taught her an amazing amount about song structure and technique. She currently drums for 90’s grunge inspired band, The What For. She also fronts and writes for the female punk band, Pink Parts. All in all Nicki is a very well rounded musician. She can play nearly anything and writes hooks for days. Her projects have been direct support for acts such as Mudhoney, Pussy Riot, Peaches, Fujiya and Miyagi, Com Truise, Poolside, Jd Samson and Men, Am & Shawn Lee, Imperial Teen and many more. Nicki is currently on tour, playing guitar for SSDD.

Nicki teaches voice, guitar, ukulele and beginning piano.

Cristina Bautista

Cristina Bautista was three years old when she discovered her personal north star: early 90s MTV. However, she found little joy in her childhood piano lessons and never connected what she learned in choirs and school musicals with the music she loved. Then at age nine, she unearthed her mom’s pawn shop guitar. Armed with the chords to “House of the Rising Sun” and a sense of wonder, Cristina became a songwriter, learning through a combination of independent experimentation and research. Upon moving to Seattle, she found her home in the local music community, starting her first band and performing professionally when she was 14. This gave her the confidence and drive she needed to thrive in private voice lessons and the music program at Bellevue College before moving to Los Angeles to study vocal performance at the Musicians Institute. Craving the community she left behind, Cristina returned to Seattle to record, perform, and tour with numerous artists and bands including Visqueen, Shelby Earl, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra in addition to her own solo project.

At Mode, Cristina emphasizes self-awareness and empowerment through music and enjoys helping students discover their own strengths and goals by tailoring lessons and exercises to individual needs and interests.

Cristina teaches voice, beginning piano, bass, guitar and ukulele.

Ana-Carita Mon

Ana-Carita teaches violin, cello, voice and piano.

Sphie Holman

Sphie teaches voice, piano and ukulele.

Erin Rubin

Erin has been playing music since the age of four. At twelve, she was on stage with the local working musicians at The Scarlet Tree every Tuesday night. She has written music for and performed with many Seattle bands including: Wesafari, The Exploding High-Fives, People Eating People, and “Nouela.” Erin has worked as a hired studio musician since the age of 17 in Bellingham, Seattle and Los Angeles. Erin found her calling as a teacher in her early twenties and dedicated over three years at Westside Music Academy. She believes a healthy balance of technique, theory and arranging songs the child loves is the fast track to any student’s success in music lessons. Ready to go out on her own, she started Erin Rubin Piano Studios in the basement of her West Seattle home in 2010.

Erin teaches piano and voice.

Dick Cady

In 1978 Dick Cady attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the 2-year diploma program for writing and arranging. On returning to Seattle in the mid 80’s he studied with the storied jazz piano teacher Jerome Grey for 3 years. Since the late 90’s he has attended many of the Golandsky Institute summer seminars, first at Williams College and later at Princeton and studied with many of the staff including John Bloomfield and Kendall Feeney. In 2004 he began studying with Charlie Banacos for several years until Charlie’s death.

He was a regular on the Seattle music scene for many years doing club dates with his own group and many other instrumentalists and singers including Ernestine Anderson and Pete Seeger. He was the music director for the Orion Street Youth Theater. Providing instruction steadily for 25 years to all ages and levels, Dick teaches piano.

Brandon Bermudez

Brandon is a working musician, producer, and engineer in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the past decade. He regularly plays in and around town, sometimes tours countries, and frequently collaborates with many professional musicians in the area. Recently, he’s played bass with prog-rock band Bone Cave Ballet and alt-rock band Starry-Eyed Samurai, and drums with both new-wavers Trick Candles and pop-fusion band Nitrogen Lion Society.

Brandon believes that consistency, versatility, and attitude are the traits that make great musicians. With his interactive-guidance teaching approach, the student controls the pacing of each lesson, which alleviates classroom anxiety and helps the lesson material become more comprehensible. With a heavy emphasis on creativity and technique, Brandon will improve the understanding of rhythm and ability to perform in many styles of music by sharing from his 20+ years of composition and performance experience.

Brandon teaches drums, bass, and guitar.

Jen Wood

Jen Wood was born and raised in Seattle – she played her first show at the age of 15 and began recording in studios and touring at the age of 16. She has over 20 years of working experience as a singer-songwriter – on her main instrument which is the guitar, though her next favorite instrument is the piano. Wood comes from a musical family and naturally gravitated towards it. She started out as self-taught guitarist, learning how to sing and play by ear, which developed her musical intuition and creative approach to songwriting; she discovered alternate tunings at the age of 17 and was hooked. Jen has recorded several albums and toured the U.S and Japan. She is perhaps most known for her work as a guest vocalist for bands such as: Juno, Jeremy Enigk, The Black Heart Procession, Joan of Arc and most notably the Postal Service. Jen has studied voice with Sue Carr over the last 10 years and returned to college last year to study the fundamentals of music that pertain to her teaching career. Jen is very passionate about working with kids and young people; she loves helping to empower them to find their own voice through music. She also believes that having fun, being collaborative and spontaneous are the magical keys to learning new skills.

Jen teaches voice, piano and guitar.

Nate Rogers

Nate Rogers has a diverse background in the arts, having worked on professional film sets and for literary journals, but music has been the constant throughout his life; his musical endeavors (and teaching) are informed by that multivalent background. His first and primary instrument is the piano, which he studied classically starting in the first grade and continued to do so actively through college. He also began playing in jazz combos and rock bands starting in middle school, the age at which he also picked up guitar and saxophone. An occasional DJ, Nate listens widely and loves drawing connections between diverse styles of music across the world, in his own playing and his teaching. He has played in numerous bands in Seattle, including Friends and Family, Pampa, ANDY, and The Quiet Ones, and they have played alongside such notable groups as The Polyphonic Spree, The Moondoggies, and Blitzen Trapper, both in the Northwest and on tour. He loves to instill the same diversity of interest in students that his teachers gave to him.

Nate teaches piano and guitar.

Ricky Claudon

Ricky has been studying, writing and performing music since his childhood, and has played guitar and piano for about 23 years. He works as a para-educator at the Academy for Precision Learning, and as a recording/touring musician. As a musician, he has put out three albums, toured the United States, and he looks forward to touring in Europe in the near future for the first time this spring. He is knowledgeable in a variety of styles on the guitar, but is most proficient in Blues, Rock n Roll, and Post-punk.

Growing up, he was instructed by a professor of music theory and history, on the piano; this education has formed the foundation of his knowledge of these subjects and informs his instruction in both instruments. Ricky also has quite a lot of experience working with students from a diverse range of developmental levels and is trained in methods intended to address the individual needs of neurologically diverse populations.

Ricky teaches piano and guitar.

Alex Meyers

Alex fell in love with music at a young age, picking out melodies from children’s songs on piano by ear. He quickly expanded his repertoire by diving headfirst into learning trumpet, piano, ukulele, guitar, and almost any other instrument that came his way. He explored nearly every music opportunity available to him, eagerly joining jazz combos, men’s choirs, concert band, marching band, bluegrass groups, and founded a number of rock bands, all before graduating high school. Alex received a Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University, Decatur IL, focused on classical & jazz guitar performance and audio engineering. During this time, he was fortunate enough to manage the school’s recording studio, which allowed him to work with a variety of musicians and artists, learning new musical ideas from each meeting. After spending two years in Chicago working as a freelance audio engineer and session player, Alex came to Seattle to explore the thriving and welcoming music community here.

In lessons, Alex’s approach starts from the idea that we all have an inherent potential for musicality, whether we have tapped into it or not. Like laughter, music is a common language that can connect humans across the globe. From this perspective, Alex teaches with the goal of helping the student grow as a musician, using ear training, music theory, improvisation, song analysis, call-and-response, and songwriting techniques. Alex’s aim is to provide a welcoming, supportive environment for the student to become comfortable in their musicality, while learning the technical skills necessary for their instrument of choice.

Alex teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin, and beginning piano.

Malia Alexander

Malia Alexander has a been a moving, shaking member of Seattle’s all-ages and DIY community for most of her life. She brings an inter-disciplinary approach to her teaching, as Malia has spent years working with youth as an after-school educator, a licensed therapist and most recently a Registered Nurse. In between those endeavors, Malia found time to be a volunteer drum instructor at Rain City Rock Camp for Girls. She is passionate about music as a tool to foster community and confidence, especially for youth from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds.

Malia plays in Seattle in 3 music projects, all very different stylistically. Malia is ecstatic about bringing music to people of all-ages and considers drums in particular to be a very important and cathartic outlet to stay sane in what can feel like a very insane world.

Malia teaches drums.

Erin Rae Murray

Erin Rae Murray has been singing her little heart out professionally for the last few years although her love for music goes as far back as she can remember. Her childhood was steeped in the rich four-part harmonies of the Mennonite tradition and the daily DJing her father did around the house. In elementary school, she sang in choir and fronted musicals, picked up the guitar in high school, and sang in gospel choir in college. After graduating, she spent her time adventuring and teaching around the world; from teen empowerment in the mountains of Guatemala, to preschool in urban El Salvador, to 6th grade English in South Korea, to Spanish at a Montessori school here in Seattle. All of which has brought her here to Mode, where she couldn’t be happier to finally combine her passion for teaching with her love for music.
Erin teaches voice, guitar, ukulele and beginning piano.

Ronan Delisle

Ronan Delisle is a native of the Pacific Northwest and is involved in various facets of the Seattle music scene. After having led his own creative projects to fruition and enjoyed a successful freelance career while in school at the University of North Texas, the undeniable energy of the Seattle music community called upon him to return in 2015. He can be heard often as a guitarist in jazz and improvised music settings around the city, but also as a songwriter in his longtime project, Señor Fin.

In the last few years Ronan has become passionate about passing on his knowledge and love for music to anyone that finds themselves interested in music performance, music theory, and writing music of any kind. In lessons, Ronan strives to foster an environment of experimentation and student-led to discovery, as opposed to the traditional spoon-feeding of answers. When a student’s curiosity leads the way, true learning and enjoyment can happen.

Ronan teaches guitar, ukulele, piano and voice.

Tess Freedel

Tess teaches voice, piano, guitar and ukulele.

Eva Walker

Eva teaches voice, piano, guitar and drums.

Heather Dickson

Heather has been a music lover her entire life. She started competing as a classical pianist at the age of 6. She completed all 10 levels of the Certificate of Merit program (California) and has a strong background in music theory, sight reading, ear training, and performance. Heather attended the University of Utah on scholarship as a Piano Performance Major. She is also the bass player/backup singer in the local band, Tiger Rider. Heather is currently attending UW for Entrepreneurship, and hopes to one day use her degree to spread music through her community. She loves both classical and rock music, and believes that a strong rhythmic background is the key to appreciating and playing music.

Heather teaches piano, bass, guitar, ukulele, and voice.

David Totten

In his youth, David started picking on the guitar and never set it down. He is trained in rock, folk, and jazz. David’s curriculum focuses on finding a musical style or idea that resonates with his student and using it as a springboard into theory, sight reading, and ear training. He loves teaching all different kinds of styles, but his personal favorites include metal, progressive rock, and American Primitive–an acoustic folk movement from the 60’s and 70’s, that blends ragtime, blues, folk, and world music into a unique blend of Americana. He believes that learning an instrument should be fun, therapeutic and a valuable creative outlet. He has toured the country and played in many bands and stuff.

David teaches songwriting, ukulele, and vocals.

Rachel Ewen

Rachel was raised in a family of musicians and has been pursuing a life in music from an early age. Her experience in music began with taking private voice, and piano lessons throughout her childhood and participating in musical theater productions. She was trained as a classical vocalist and moved on to focus on jazz vocals and composition while studying at Cornish College of the Arts. She has been involved in the Seattle music community since 2010, writing music and performing with various local and touring artists from the Pacific Northwest. Her lessons are tailored to fit each student’s musical interests and strengths.

Rachel teaches piano and voice.

​Kenneth Aramaki

Kenneth Aramaki, a Seattle native, has experience playing classical piano for over 25 years and Jazz Piano for over 15 years. He has over 14 years of professional music experience as a music educator, performer, recording musician and composer. During this time he has taught a range of experience levels and ages. He is connected and engaged with the local community working on projects, performing, and touring with Seattle bands of varying musical genres. He is musically ambitious and teaches new students by establishing the fundamentals of piano but also loves building a students’ knowledge using improvisation, theory, and song writing. He has established a passion of his career, making his number one priority to share this passion with others.

Kenneth teaches piano.

Kevin Slota

Kevin first picked up the trumpet at age 10, as many children do in their 4th grade band class. But this was only the beginning as he would soon pick up guitar and start learning his favorite songs and writing his own. Soon he would perform and promote house shows with neighborhood friends. Trumpet is one of the most versatile instruments and can be found in almost any genre of music making it a great tool to cultivate lifelong relationships. It can be a challenging and frustrating instrument but its versatility is welcoming in that there truly is a style for everyone. Trumpet has provided Kevin with a great number of unique performance opportunities over the years including musical theatre, variety shows, blues/jazz/soul/r&b/indie/country/rock bands, festivals, street fairs, orchestras, brass ensembles, private/corporate events, and recording. He has had the pleasure of performing with great local bands such as Cooper Smith and the Vouyers, EXOHXO, KITHKIN, Ravenna Woods, Twilight Motel, and Vicious Petals. He also plays in the Seattle Rock Orchestra/Street Band/Social Club, West Seattle Community Orchestra/Brass Sextet, Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, and recently sat in on a performance with Thalia Symphony Orchestra. Kevin is also involved in brass coaching with WSCO Debut and Intermediate Orchestras as well as the Michael J Owen Music Education Fund supporting local, under-served elementary school music programs. While trumpet is his main instrument, Kevin teaches beginning french horn, trombone, and baritone; focusing on breath support and fundamental tone production while connecting with a student’s musical needs and aspirations.

James Squires

James has been playing music since the age of six, starting with the piano. A Seattle local, he participated in the renowned Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble and continued to study music privately. James attended Berkeley School of Music and studied drum performance. He plays locally with Maiah Manser (a favorite Mode Music alum), blues-rock band C-Leb & The Kettle Black, psych-rock band Supermother and local country acts. James also has been working as a producer and engineer for the last five years and teaches production using Ableton Live and other programs.

James teaches drums, piano and audio production.

Craig Suede

Craig is transplant from San Diego where he played music for a living in casinos, bars and restaurants between tours, travel, and shows. He got his musical start singing in various audition choirs, competing in vocal competitions, and performing in musical theater. He started playing guitar in 8th grade and that began shaping his future path of songwriting and singing/playing guitar in a variety of bands. He currently fronts and tours with the indie rock band Happy Heartbreak, sings harmonies and plays lead guitar for local pop-soul/ R&B singer Young-Chhaylee, and plays lead guitar and performs harmonies/alt-voicings for emo-revival/post-hardcore band, Dearheart.

After several years of running education programs for students and teachers around the World, Craig has decided to settle in Seattle and re-focus his efforts on music and its local educational impact. He bases his teaching strategies in brain-based learning and finding simple connections between music theory and the joy of playing music. The ability to connect and express through music increases confidence and critical thinking. Strengthening these skills can also increase retention of information in other areas and improve quality of living. Music and learning should both be joyful experiences that encourage us to continue moving forward to connect, create and share.

Craig teaches guitar, vocals, ukulele, and beginning piano.

Andy King

Andy teaches drums.

Heather Thomas

Heather is a drummer, singer, songwriter, and ukulele player. She plays drums with Mary Lambert, leads (from the drum set) the Heather Thomas Band featuring all-original music, and co-fronts psychedelic rock band General Mojo’s alongside Dune Butler. ​ Heather is a versatile musician with an ear for melody and a groove that comes from years of jamming with excellent musicians in Seattle and across the country. Her experience on festival stages, arenas and amphitheaters, and live television, including Good Morning America, LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and VH1 You Oughta Know, has honed her presence and established her as a well known player in many scenes. She’s currently working on demos for her next album and touring with Mary Lambert.

Heather teaches drums and piano.

Jonah Byrne

Jonah Byrne has been playing violin for over 25 years, performing, recording, and composing in a wide variety of styles. He studied music composition at University of Colorado and has been active in the Seattle music scene for the past ten years. In that time he has played with country band Country Lips, experimental bands Beast Please Be Still and Snowman Plan, indie rock band Pilot Lights, and many others, alongside teaching and writing music. He believes a good ear and good technique are the foundation that lets us play and enjoy any kind of music there is.

Jonah Byrne teaches violin and viola.

Liam Downey

Liam teaches guitar, piano and drums.

Nicki Danger

Nicki Danger is a multi-instrumentalist from Seattle with 20 years of experience. She started on trumpet at age 10 and carried on to the age of 15. She got an old, beat up acoustic guitar and plugged away until it sounded good. She moved to Seattle at 17 to attend the Art Institute. While studying Audio and Video production she met some people that had bands! She was extremely inspired and upgraded to an electric guitar. At 21 she formed her first band called Tigernaut. Following Tigernaut, Nicki fronted and played guitar in Darlings of the LoFi, Chartreuse and Soda and Glitterbang. She switched gears a bit for electro-pop band Glitterbang and started working with Ableton live. Here she learned to program electronic music, play bass and piano. She worked on Glitterbang for six years, honing her skills as a song writer and producer. At that point she started playing a ton of tribute nights. This taught her an amazing amount about song structure and technique. She currently drums for 90’s grunge inspired band, The What For. She also fronts and writes for the female punk band, Pink Parts. All in all Nicki is a very well rounded musician. She can play nearly anything and writes hooks for days. Her projects have been direct support for acts such as Mudhoney, Pussy Riot, Peaches, Fujiya and Miyagi, Com Truise, Poolside, Jd Samson and Men, Am & Shawn Lee, Imperial Teen and many more. Nicki is currently on tour, playing guitar for SSDD.

Nicki teaches voice, guitar, ukulele and beginning piano.

Cristina Bautista

Cristina Bautista was three years old when she discovered her personal north star: early 90s MTV. However, she found little joy in her childhood piano lessons and never connected what she learned in choirs and school musicals with the music she loved. Then at age nine, she unearthed her mom’s pawn shop guitar. Armed with the chords to “House of the Rising Sun” and a sense of wonder, Cristina became a songwriter, learning through a combination of independent experimentation and research. Upon moving to Seattle, she found her home in the local music community, starting her first band and performing professionally when she was 14. This gave her the confidence and drive she needed to thrive in private voice lessons and the music program at Bellevue College before moving to Los Angeles to study vocal performance at the Musicians Institute. Craving the community she left behind, Cristina returned to Seattle to record, perform, and tour with numerous artists and bands including Visqueen, Shelby Earl, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra in addition to her own solo project.

At Mode, Cristina emphasizes self-awareness and empowerment through music and enjoys helping students discover their own strengths and goals by tailoring lessons and exercises to individual needs and interests.

Cristina teaches voice, beginning piano, bass, guitar and ukulele.

Ana-Carita Mon

Ana-Carita teaches violin, cello, voice and piano.

Sphie Holman

Sphie teaches voice, piano and ukulele.