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.
Erin Rubin, Founder and Owner (she/her) - West Seattle/Vashon
Piano - Guitar - Ukulele - Voice

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.

Erin started teaching music lessons out of her home in 2010. She opened Erin Rubin Piano Studios and then made the leap to owning her own music school, when she opened Mode Music Studios in 2014. She is not only passionate about music education, but strives to create an accepting and inviting environment for all of the students and teachers who come to Mode. Erin also started the non-profit Mode Music and Performing Arts with the goal to reach kids who may not have access to quality music and performance instruction.

VENMO: @ladyerin

Ricky Claudon (he/him) - West Seattle
Piano - Guitar - Ukulele - Bass Guitar

Ricky brings together his background as a tutor and paraeducator with his lifetime experience in music for an individualized approach to music education that focuses on memory, fluency, and music appreciation. As a working musician he has spent time developing his skill by adapting and learning a variety of styles on piano and guitar.

In piano, he specializes in theory, memorization, performance, and improvisation, has a deep knowledge of classical style and teaches popular Baroque and Romantic repertoire. Ricky also teaches Blues, R&B, and Rock & Roll styles, and in general encourages his students to explore a diverse range of music.

In guitar/uke/bass, Ricky enjoys teaching finger picking style, improvisation, and basic theory. He also teaches students who want to learn to sing+play, and write their own music. He specializes in combining rhythmic and lyrical styles and teaches techniques on how to effectively memorize lyrics and changes in songs.

VENMO: @Maximilion-Mondale PAYPAL: ermarchantc@gmail.com CASHAPP: $StickyRixky

Dick Cady (he/him) - West Seattle
Piano

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.

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. Dick has been providing instruction steadily for over 25 years to all ages and levels.

Venmo: @ladyerin (put "For Dick Cady" in the notes)

Brandon Bermudez (he/him) - West Seattle
Drums - Music Production - Bass Guitar - Ukulele - Piano - Guitar

Brandon has been a working musician, producer, and engineer in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the past decade. He regularly plays in and around the Seattle area and sometimes tours in other countries. Brandon 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 the ability to perform in many styles of music by sharing from his 20+ years of composition and performance experience.

VENMO: @ezekiel-lords

Brian Spenser (he/him) - West Seattle
Guitar - Ukulele - Drums

Brian is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who grew up in Seattle. He has been playing drums since he was 8, and learned from legends including Michael Shrieve and Jerry Garcia. He has been touring for a dozen years with bands including Isenordal, Impulse Noise, Endorphins Lost, Wilt, and Asymmetric Warfare, among others. Brian volunteers at local all-ages DIY venues, and loves encouraging and empowering young people to build their own joy, freedom, and culture through the egalitarian DIY approach that has always been so important to him. He is fun-loving, non-judgmental, and has worked with students from the ages of 4 to 64.

A lesson with Brian usually focuses on a song (or some parts of it) that the student has identified or expressed interest in. Brian loves the opportunity to help students connect not only with what an artist played, but also the music theory and culture that informs how and why they played it that way. During lessons, he often makes quick observations about the theoretical structure or cultural tradition of the song so his students are able to naturally pick up important music theory concepts from multiple different examples without feeling lectured. Brian has great success relating to and working with students who have attention disorders or learning disabilities.

Brian has a broad taste in music ‒ he likes everything from Brutal Deathgrind to Funeral Doom. Sometimes he even listens to music that isn't some obscure subgenre of heavy metal! Actually, Brian loves all kinds of music and is happy and able to dive into any style students are interested in. Some of his favorite styles include post-punk, black metal, '70s jazz fusion/prog, and modern opera.

VENMO: @Brian-Spenser

Gianni Aiello (he/him) - West Seattle
Bass - Guitar - Piano - Drums - Ukulele

Gianni Aiello is a Burien born multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer. He is driven by a strong musical curiosity which has taken him from learning Beatles tunes on the piano as a child to touring across the country in his rock band Naked Giants. In addition to his bass work with Naked Giants, he has played guitar and piano with Car Seat Headrest on such stages as Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show, and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, and he also plays drums in the Seattle-based band Pablo’s Legs.

The desire to be a lifelong student of music keeps Gianni reaching for the next steps, and he believes that same desire can be found in anyone. His lessons focus on exploring what excites each student about music - whether it’s personal expression through songwriting, intellectual development through theory and analysis, or just the sheer fun of jamming! While basic techniques are fundamental to any field, Gianni seeks to create a low-pressure learning environment where a student’s progress is determined not by their technical skill but by their enthusiasm for music.

VENMO: @Gianni-Aiello PAYPAL: gianniraiello@gmail.com

Craig Suede (he/him) - Online only
Guitar - Voice - Ukulele - Piano

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.

VENMO: @CraigSuede

Bashar Balleh (he/him) - West Seattle
Flamanco Guitar - Classical Guitar - Guitar - Violin - Ukulele - Oud

Bashar’s been playing and teaching music for over 12 years. When he left Syria for Turkey before settling in Seattle, he founded the band Country For Syria to raise awareness of the overlap between Western and Eastern cultures amid the refugee crisis. Bashar is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in all stringed instruments.

As a teacher Bashar takes a personalized approach to meet each students’ need, and is very invested in his students’ success. 

VENMO: Bashar-balleh

Nick Mendonsa (he/him) - West Seattle
Guitar - Bass Guitar - Piano

Nick Mendonsa (stage name: Nick Nihil) has been playing, writing, and performing for over 25 years, most recently with cinematic art-pop band Hotels, the Prince tribute band Purple Mane, classic soul band The Highsteppers, as well as producing electronic dream pop project Julie Dune and releasing his own material. He also studied jazz and composition and has a deep history with shred and metal. An electric guitarist through and through, an unashamed gearhead, a lover of angular rhythms and melodies, unorthodox sounds and techniques, and the marriage of rigidly regimented funk with hair-raising sonic anarchy and improvisation. Through intimate knowledge of the fretboard, harmony, rhythm, and tone, with focus on arrangement and musicality, Nick will foster creativity by helping the student to learn all the rules and then break them.

Venmo: @Nick-Nihil

Natalie Colvin (she/her) - West Seattle
Voice - Piano - Ukulele

Natalie is a Pacific Northwest Native who honed her crafts at Central Washington University where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. Natalie has also studied with The Actor's Movement Studio Conservatory in New York City.

Natalie has performed in award-winning theatres across the country, most notably, Village Theatre and Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre. More recently, she embarked on AIDA Cruises (Carnival), a German cruise line, where she performed 10 various shows, (some of which were in German and Italian) all over the world for 7 months. Natalie has also gone on tour in Bulgaria and Italy with Varna International in the iconic opera: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).

Natalie most recently released two original singles on all streaming platforms and is excited to help students with their own compositions if they have an interest in composing! Natalie learned to play the piano from her mother at a very young age and has taught and been around education for most of her life. Natalie’s teaching style is warm and inviting and allows for vulnerability. She is passionate about making a safe space for growth and development. “Let’s make mistakes and make it big! Sometimes there’s nothing scarier than baring your soul, but we can build a space together to create safety; that is my top priority for my students.”

VENMO: @Natalie-Colvin

Mischa Yolleck (he/him) - West Seattle
Classical Guitar

Mischa Yolleck is a classical guitarist originally from Montclair, New Jersey. Having grown up in a musical family, he began cello lessons at the age of 6 years old. He began his classical guitar studies under the tutelage of Brett Grigsby at Skidmore College, where he participated in masterclasses with Dale Kavanaugh, the Brazilian Guitar Duo, and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet. While studying abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, he continued his studies under esteemed performer and pedagogue, Esteban Espinoza. Throughout his undergrad education, Mischa performed as a chamber musician and soloist, which, in 2017, culminated in a Senior Recital program consisting of Bach, Roland Dyens, Manuel de Falla, Manuel Ponce, Andrew York, Juan Antonio Sánchez, and Augustín Barrios. Upon finishing his undergrad, he served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, where he continued his music studies with Rubén González Avila, professor of the National Conservatory of the Dominican Republic. While in the Dominican Republic, he was invited to perform in the International Guitar Festival of the Dominican Republic, and subsequently participated in masterclasses with Jorge Luis Zamora, Andrew Zohn, and Congyi Zhang. He continues his studies with Mark Delpriora, faculty at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. He has since taught in class settings and private lessons.

Kevin Slota (he/him) - Online Only
Trumpet - Trombone - Flute - Clarinet

Kevin has been teaching at Mode Music Studios since 2014. He teaches trumpet to all levels as well as beginning trombone, clarinet, and flute. In addition to teaching at Mode, he also works with the non-profit Michael J. Owen Music Education Fund coaching band students at several Title 1 schools in the Seattle Public School district.

Since trumpet can naturally elevate almost any style of music, Kevin actively seeks out the most diverse performance opportunities trumpet can offer. He plays principal trumpet with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra with additional orchestral performances including Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, Thalia Symphony Orchestra, Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra, who he performed with at the Sasquatch Music Festival, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Summer Meltdown, as well as several other summer festivals, large local venues, and a special performance with Devotchka at The Moore.

He has performed musical theatre shows with Studio East, Driftwood Players, and Twelfth Night Productions. He also plays solo trumpet in the non-profit Geetanjali Tamil Band/Orchestra, performing many Bollywood soundtrack favorites to raise money for education in India.

Kevin has performed and/or recorded with several Seattle based bands including Vicious Petals, Knathan Ryan, Emily McViker, Okham’s Razor, Family Worship Center, Seattle Rock Orchestra Street Band, Twilight Motel, Wind Up Bird, Kithkin, Ravenna Woods, and Exohxo. He has participated in events for Musicares, Artist Home, and the annual Tom Waits tribute at Conor Byrne Pub. Kevin also performs yearly for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas services at various churches in the Seattle area. He also offers brass and orchestral arranging services for any style of music.

PAYPAL: @KevinSlota

Matt Moore (he/him) - Online Only
Saxophones - Clarinet - Flute - Guitar - Bass Guitar - Ukulele - Piano - Drums

Matt Moore is from Austin, Texas. He picked up guitar at the age of 7. In middle school, he began with the saxophone. During high school, he learned piano and drums. Through college, he learned to play the clarinet and flute as well as perfected the rest of the instruments he teaches. Matt graduated cum laude from the University of North Texas at the Music School with a B.M. in Jazz Studies. From then, he has performed in many professional bands and formed his own groups, such as Nowsterday. Matt has a vast amount of experience in all the instruments he teaches.

Matt likes to combine what the students want to learn with his knowledge of that particular style of music. He likes to integrate music theory lessons as well as teaching to read and write music. Most importantly, he wants his students to have fun during lessons and gain a deep love for music and their instrument.

Venmo: @nowsterday PayPal: mattmozoso@gmail.com

Jared Mitchell (he/him)
Voice - Piano - Guitar - Songwriting

Jared's love of music began in elementary school, always jumping at the opportunity for a solo, or auditioning for honor choir. His interests shifted to drums and percussion in middle school, where he found a position in his church's youth group band for a few years. Jared transitioned back to choir in high school. He joined honor choir, all state choir, and spring musicals, and eventually found a love for songwriting, which led him to Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Jared was able to take private voice, guitar, and piano lessons, enhancing his abilities in both songwriting and playing parts in studio sessions.

In 2010, Jared graduated with a degree in Music Business, with an emphasis on Songwriting. He released his debut album, The Maiden Voyage, two years later. In 2014, Jared signed an independent publishing deal with Catch This Music. Between 2015 and 2020, he was performing between 100 to 150 tour dates a year, building towards dreams of owning his own studio and space. His newest releases include The Last Gemini in 2017 and This Week-Last Year in 2020.

Angie Dane (she/her) - Online only
Drums

Dr. Angela Dane lives in Seattle, Washington, and is a Women's Studies instructor at the local college. She is a Staff Writer and Editor for Tom Tom Magazine, the only publication in the world dedicated to female and non-binary percussionists. She owns and operates the only female and black-owned drum studio in Seattle dedicated to empowering women through the drum kit, Atrocity Drums. Additionally, she is the drummer for the all-female heavy rock bands Atrocity Girl and Kitty Junk, whose members are recording engineers in their own right. She also co-founded gear fanatix, a site dedicated to empowering underrepresented voices in audio through demos, reviews, and a forum.

Rachel Ewen (she/her) - West Seattle
Voice - Piano - Guitar - Ukulele - Flute

Rachel Ewen is a Seattle based vocalist, songwriter, and educator. She has taught voice, piano, and guitar for 6+ years, and strives to nurture confidence and creativity in her students. She is a classically trained vocalist who specializes in a variety of vocal styles such as pop, jazz, R&B and musical theatre. Rachel has performed with various bands and musicians throughout her career such as Mary Lambert, Jimmie Herrod, Baby Jessica, and Maiah Manser. Let's make music together!

VENMO: @Rachel-Ewen

Emily Jensenius (they/them) - Online Only
Viola - Violin - Piano - Ukulele

Emily Jensenius was born in Issaquah, WA, into a family of music lovers that includes several pianists, an opera singer, and a zither player. As a teen, Emily played viola in the Seattle Youth Symphony and also performed on Classic King FM radio with their string quartet. Emily went on to study viola performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University, and Florida State University. Their major teachers were Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, James Dunham, and Pamela Ryan. At FSU, Emily received assistantships to coach viola and chamber music, as well as to play with the College of Music's Eppes String Quartet, which collaborated with student composers on new works. The Eppes was coached by cellist Greg Sauer and mentored by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

As an orchestral musician in Florida, Emily played with many professional ensembles, including the Tallahassee Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and the Albany Symphony. After graduation Emily was fortunate to live in Oxford, England, for a few years, where they taught privately and performed as a member of the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and the Oxford Sinfonia. Emily currently lives near Washington, D.C., and teaches for Mode online.

Emily encourages students to be self-directed, and will follow each player's musical interests while also fostering healthy technique and critical listening skills. A lesson with Emily will typically focus on physical setup, pitch and rhythmic awareness, style and phrasing, and strategies for efficient practice. Emily's goal is for every student to enjoy being a musician and to feel increased self-confidence as they improve. Some of Emily's other interests are distance running, watching video essays, listening to oldies, folk, or pop music, and baking pies.

VENMO: @ej_viola

Nimm Lefcourt (they/them) - West Seattle
Voice - Piano

Nimm Lefcourt is a classically trained vocalist who has been singing and training for 13 years. They graduated with a Bachelor's of Music in May 2021, and have experience singing various kinds of music. Half of their BA was done through the lens of musical theatre, where they performed in various musicals and recitals, and the other half of their BA was done with a focus in opera and modern classical composing. Now, alongside practicing opera, Nimm enjoys learning different renditions of video game and movie scores on the piano. They also enjoy writing music for tabletop role playing games, and will often do custom themes and songs for various characters. Their interests outside of music are video games, animals, and crystals.

Nimm’s hope is to always help students enjoy music as much as they do, and make sure they are always excited to learn more. They always endeavor to strike a balance between learning music the student has interest in, and focusing on the building blocks of music. Nimm is also always open to changing their teaching style based on the student’s needs, goals, and learning style.

VENMO: @nimm-lefcourt

Jonah Byrne (he/him) - West Seattle
Violin - Viola

Jonah Byrne has been playing violin for over 30 years, teaching, performing, recording, and composing in a wide variety of styles. He started playing the violin at age six when his mother inherited an old violin from her great uncle and wanted to keep a family tradition alive. He grew up taking lessons and playing in school orchestras, youth orchestras and string quartet throughout his young life.

Jonah spent a year studying music composition at University of Colorado, and has been active in the Seattle music scene since moving here 15 years ago. In that time, he has been a DJ at Seattle’s eclectic Hollow Earth Radio, played fiddle and violin in country bands, experimental bands, indie bands, post-rock bands, and more. He currently plays with country bands Country Lips and Gus Clark and the Least of His Problems, and with pop/r&b singer Sphie, and has performed live with acts including the Breeders and Jamie Wyatt.

As a teacher, Jonah believes strongly in creativity and exploration in music. He teaches a broad array of genres and styles, and encourages his students to follow their own musical interests. He has worked with students to arrange and play songs like the Star Wars and Harry Potter themes, music from Minecraft and Five Nights and Freddy’s, and songs by Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, ABBA, and the Beatles. Jonah is a lifelong learner of music, and is thrilled to be able to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for music.

VENMO: @jonah-byrne

Grant Mullen (he/him) - West Seattle
Guitar - Drums - Bass Guitar - Ukulele - Piano - Voice

Grant is a multi-instrumentalist musician who grew Seattle. He has years of professional experience touring and recording in both his rock band Naked Giants, and as a member of indie rock band Car Seat Headrest. Holding down the guitar and vocals as well as songwriting, he has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, toured through the USA, Europe, and Australia, and played notable festivals and venues such as Primavera Festival, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits, SXSW, Sydney City Limits, Firefly Festival, Madison Square Garden, and many others. Grant takes a personalized approach to each student and their individual needs. He chooses to prioritize their growing relationship with their instrument of choice, and meet them where they are at while giving them the skills to steadily progress as their own autonomous musicians.

VENMO: @Grant-Mullen

Pablo Melcher-Ordonez (he/him) - Online only
Double Bass - Bass Guitar - Piano

Pablo Melcher-Ordonez is a native Seattleite who began studying classical piano at age five and was later introduced to his primary instrument, the double-bass, through the Seattle Public Schools' music programs. With the encouragement from his supportive music teachers such as Anna Doak, Jordan Anderson, and Marcus Tsutakawa, Pablo attended San Francisco Conservatory of Music and later transferred to University of Michigan Ann Arbor to complete his BA in Double-Bass Performance. His teaching method is influenced by his own teachers Margaret Brink, Anna Doak, Jordan Anderson, Scott Pingel, Max Dimoff, Dianna Gannett, Joe Gascho as well as many others encountered in workshops and masterclasses such as Matthew McDonald, Herbert Meyer, Tim Cobb, Doug Balliett, David Allen Moore, Ranaan Meyer, Artem Chirkov, Stephen Tramontozzi, Jeff Bradetich, and many more. Pablo is currently a teacher and freelance musician living in Seattle.

Although he has primarily been an orchestral player focusing on the standard symphonic repertoire, Pablo enjoys variety in music and has played with ballets, musicals, operas, free improv groups, chamber ensembles, baroque improv groups, baroque dances, waltzes, concertos, and more. Aside from the stage of freelancing gigs, you are most likely to find him on stage with the band PAMPA.

If you were to look in Pablo's personal listening playlist right now you would find Mahler, Ladytron, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, J.S. Bach, Bjork, Jason Becker, Beethoven, Gojira, Iron Maiden, Mingus, Pat Metheny, Pink Floyd, Schumann, Couperin, Interpol, Green Day, and even a little My Chemical Romance.

Apart from teaching and performing music, Pablo loves to compose, garden, walk, cook, exercise, meditate, play Starcraft, go to local coffee shops, and of course spend time with family and friends!

Venmo: @Pablo-Melcher-Ordonez

Drew Brady (they/them) - West Seattle
Piano - Voice - Trumpet - Euphonium - Melodica

Drew Brady (they/them) is all about keeping music lessons fun. They graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music Theory, but they’re innate musical curiosity led them to become a singer, pianist, trumpeter, euphonist, guitarist, producer, and occasional gamelan player. They believe that music theory is a valuable resource that can do anything from helping people learn how to play their favorite songs to helping people learn how to write their own songs. They are well-versed in compositional techniques from various styles and time periods; from Beethoven to Webern, from Miles Davis to Thundercat, and from the Beatles to Olivia Rodrigo.

Drew wants to emphasize that playing music is just that, play. A student’s relationship with music shouldn’t be one dominated by feelings of stress or inadequacy, and Drew knows those feelings because they have had those feelings from music lessons before. While studying children’s musical cultures with Dr. Patricia Campbell at the UW, Drew learned that children are profoundly and innately musical, and Drew’s goal is to foster that musical relationship, regardless of age or experience.

Venmo: @Drew-Brady-1

Blake Madden (he/him) - Online only
Electric Bass - Upright Bass - Guitar - Music Theory - Songwriting - Ukulele

Blake Madden has twenty years of experience composing, recording, and  performing music in New York and Seattle. He is the bass player and musical director for the Prince tribute band Purple Mane, and the bassist, lead singer, and principal composer for his own noir pop group, Hotels. Blake has performed live on KEXP, studied music theory and composition through the Pacific Northwest Film scoring program, and studied electric bass with Todd Kovell at Seattle School of Strings.

VENMO: @SoupIsLove

Celeste Felsheim (they/them) - West Seattle
Voice - Songwriting - Guitar - Piano

With experience in both professional orchestras and rock bands, Celeste is a lover and appreciator of many different musical genres. Celeste is a Seattle native who got her musical start at the youth summer program, Rain City Rock Camp as well as the global year long program School of Rock. (yes, it’s just like the movie!)

Celeste currently attends Cornish College of the Arts, pursuing a Bachelor's of Music in composition and songwriting, and she also plays all around Washington under the stage name King Sheim with a band of rotating Seattle musicians. She loves to teach the passionate beginner and the weekend musical-lover alike!

VENMO: @celeste-felsheim

Jeff King (he/him)
Bass / Cello / Violin / Guitar / Piano
Jeff began his journey as a musician when he was a young student, taking lessons for contra (upright) bass violin, as well as playing it in school orchestras and jazz bands. As an adult Jeff continued to grow his instrumental skills, learning cello, viola, and violin, as well as guitar, bass (guitar), drums, and piano.

As a professional musician Jeff has recorded, performed, and toured with various bands over the past twenty years. For thirteen of those years Jeff was also a music venue manager, booker, and live sound engineer. Jeff is currently in two bands and occasionally works as a freelance studio musician.

Jeff lives in the Ravenna neighborhood with his partner Lara, their dog Emmitt, and their cat Hunter

Nate Rogers (he/him) - West Seattle
Piano - Guitar - Ukulele

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 multitalent 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 own teachers gave to him.

VENMO: @nathaniel-rogers-2 PAYPAL: nathanieletrogers@gmail.com

Scott Langdon (he/him) - West Seattle
Piano - Drums - Ukulele - Guitar

Scott is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years experience on drum set, mallet percussion, hand percussion, piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, and various percussion instruments. A native of Bremerton, Washington, he was exposed to music early in childhood, thus developing a deep familiarity with music from day one. After high school his musical passion led him to Washington State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music: Percussion Performance with a Jazz Emphasis degree.

After a year teaching and performing in the countryside of central California, Scott returned to the Puget Sound to continue pursuing his career. He’s been an instructor for the Northwest Percussion Festival, a clinician at the Northwest Percussion Project, and a clinician for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho. He has played throughout the northwest with The Gods Themselves, Purple Mane, Nowsterday, Halley Greg, and Trick Candles, as well as freelance work.

Venmo: @Scott-Langdon-2

Veronique Littlefield (she/her) - West Seattle/In-Home
Piano - Ukulele - Voice

Veronique was introduced to the piano at the age of 7. She was born and raised in Marseille, France. She was trained classically and attended her city conservatory from 11 to 17 years old. She moved to Seattle at age 22 as an Au Pair to become fluent in English.

Veronique eventually met her husband Chris Littlefield, a professional, local musician. She’s always been passionate about early childhood education and taught preschool for the last 20 years. As well as continuing to play the piano as an adult, she learned to play the ukulele and enjoys singing in French, English and Portuguese.

She is currently tutoring French to students of all ages and is passionate about teaching, connecting with her students, and finding ways to teach each student (young and old) in their best learning styles.

Destin Mai (he/him) - Online Only
Production - Piano

Destin has been working as a producer, rapper, pianist, and singer-songwriter in Seattle and Los Angeles for the past 8 years. Best known as one of the founding members of music collective, Ambient Village, he has played legendary Seattle venues including Chop Suey, KEXP, and The Skylark Cafe. On the side, Destin also has production credits on BAD 4 U by THEM, Dropped Calls by Othelle Omega the Oracle, and 4EVA by Destin Mai totalling to 100,000+ streams on Spotify.

He believes in finding passion in learning and allowing students to find themselves within their teachings. Destin will improve the understanding of not only knowing the material but being able to know why it's important and how to apply and use those tools. Destin teaches beginning to advanced production using Ableton Live.

Ken Jacobson (he/him) - Vashon
Guitar - Classical Guitar - Bass - Oud - Piano - Ukulele - Production - Theory - Cello - Dulcimer - Mandolin - Banjo

Ken Jacobsen is a guitarist, cellist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer who currently lives in Tacoma WA and teaches there as well as Vashon Island. He has a degree in classical guitar performance and has performed and recorded many different classical styles including Renaissance, Baroque, Spanish/Flamenco, Brazilian guitar, Tango and modern music. He performs regularly as a solo guitarist and with various ensembles including Tacomas's Verde ensemble and the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber Orchestra.

He also loves playing Jazz guitar, everything from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Bossa Nova, and Cuban Son. Ken has been playing cello as well for many years, beginning in college with an irresistible urge to learn the Bach Cello Suites, and currently performs regularly on electric cello with loops and effects, creating multi-layered ambient soundscapes. His love of world and folk music led him to the Middle Eastern Oud, Hammered Dulcimer, Mandolin and Djembe. Ken's first real instrument was a Fender Stratocaster, and he's always ready for a funky throwdown, having played with bands such as Vashon funk powerhouse Blue Monster. He has more recently been involved in electronic music production and performance, with unique live performances combining hardware synthesizers and drum machines with cello, guitar and percussion. Ken is the Executive Director of Destiny City Music Collective, a Tacoma non-profit dedicated to providing quality, affordable music education and performance opportunities to students or all ages and income levels.

Max Cobb (he/him) - West Seattle
Guitar - Piano - Bass - Ukulele

Max is a professional musician based in the Seattle area. He studied jazz theory and guitar performance at Gonzaga University, and has performed professionally at events in and around Seattle and Austin, TX for over 10 years. Max has taught guitar, bass, keys, vocals, and ukulele to students of all ages - he's been teaching private lessons for over 10 years with kids as young as 5, to adults, seniors, and neurodivergent students. In addition to MODE he teaches privately through his own business Max Cobb Music, and with a nonprofit, The Cobb Foundation NW, where he is on the board of directors and provides music lessons for scholarship students.

Zeke Bender (he/him) - West Seattle
Drums - Bass - Piano

Zeke Bender was born and raised in Seattle, WA. He was banging on pots and pans as well as everything he could get his hands on until his parents relented and allowed him to get a drum kit when he was 8 years old. For years he studied under local drumming savant Mike Peterson, who helped him foster a love for all styles of drumming. He is always striving to learn new skills and help imbue that same love of music in his students.

Zeke has played in and recorded for many local bands over his 10 years in the Seattle music scene, performing a variety of different genres including rock, country, folk, jazz, & punk. He has also been a part of multiple tours across the United States as a band member as well as a drummer for hire. Zeke believes in taking the time to get to know his students, their musical passions, and their growth as musicians. Stemming from experiences in his own drum education, he believes that listening to and dissecting songs that his students are interested in is equally as important as the traditional aspects of drum lessons, such as technique, posture and rudiments. Zeke finds that perhaps the most important lesson that a music teacher can impart on their students is to find their own passion for music playing, listening, and appreciating.

Yaz Ahsani (she/her/they/them)
Guitar - Bass - Piano - Harmonica

At 9 years old, Yaz asked for her first electric guitar, spending hours memorizing scales and learning patterns by ear. With a fascination for gear, she spent her formative years ripping apart guitars and putting them back together. Her love for music theory and improv matured as a guitarist, bassist, and drummer in her school’s jazz band. After being discovered by a local studio manager, she started working as a session guitarist at 16 and performing regularly. She grew to be heavily influenced by most sub-genres of rock, including the intricacies of math, metal, and most importantly, blues.

Yaz aims to understand what excites students, tailoring lessons to meet whatever their goals are, while secretly slipping in healthy habits and tricks that build a solid foundation. She loves breaking down complex concepts and techniques to be more approachable and prove that anyone can sound great with some perseverance and patience! You can find her playing festivals with local Seattle riot grrrl band, Lemon Boy.

Jesse Stern (he/him) - West Seattle
Bass - Guitar - Ukulele - Voice - Piano - Production

Seattle native Jesse Stern is a bassist and multi-instrumental producer, engineer, podcaster, audio professional, and educator. Over a 20-year career in Los Angeles, he has performed and/or recorded with Gloria Gaynor, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Save Ferris, Jordin Sparks, Weezer, Hanson, Chad Smith (RHCP), Andy Vargas (Santana), and hundreds of other incredible artists from around the world. He also practices and teaches meditation, yoga, self-defense, show/performance coaching, and facilitating vocal & musical instrument body health through breathing and movement.