Piano Lessons

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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.

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.

Sarah Howard
Voice - Piano - Guitar - Songwriting

Sarah Howard began singing and playing piano in church at age 8. By 14, she was playing guitar and writing songs. Sarah was playing live in and around her native North Carolina by the time she was 18 and by 21 had traveled across the US playing music. Working as a songwriter and hired studio singer in Los Angeles eventually brought her to the NW in 2009. She has written and performed with many Seattle bands including Roxbury Pound and Carnival Knowledge. Also a dance teacher, Sarah is a self-confessed rhythm nerd and combines theory and technique with a practicality that keeps music fun and easy. Her teaching style approaches each student individually and gives them a broad picture of what music can be. She is still traveling, playing music and teaching down the west coast and Mexico.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Scott Langdon
Piano - Drums - Ukelele - 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.

Lucas Van Linden (he/him) - Online Only
Piano - Voice - Guitar - Ukulele - Violin

After being asked to sing with a contemporary music ensemble at church, an 8-year-old Lucas learned the thrill of performing. His first ventures into music were mostly at other churches, where he gained the confidence he needed to audition for community musical theater. Known for his singing ability, he won roles in a variety of productions and joined the Repertoire Touring Company, a musical theater troupe that performed for local schools. After many years of performing in musicals and with his school's choral ensembles, he began writing his own songs, eventually performing them for local talent shows and showcases.

Lucas graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a B.M. in Vocal Performance. This degree program included four years of classical voice training as well as music theory, music history, ear training, piano study, and music composition. Out of undergrad, he continued to sing classically, eventually coming back to songwriting. A new addition to the Seattle music scene, he has been frequenting open mics and finding opportunities to perform his music while also teaching here at Mode. He has years of experience teaching beginner to advanced voice students of all ages, and has developed his skills with teaching beginner to intermediate piano students.

Daisy Sky (she/her) - West Seattle
Cello - Voice - Violin - Viola - Piano - Ukulele - Songwriting

Daisy Sky grew up immersed in music. Her father, George Shangrow, was a prominent figure in Seattle’s classical music scene and there were always rehearsals, auditions, and post-concert parties happening in her home. Her mother, Julie Reed, is an active cellist and singer, so Daisy Sky was enveloped in the vibrations of cello and voice before she was even born. Daisy Sky started on violin and piano before she even started kindergarten, but realized within a couple of years that she was truly born to play the cello. She studied privately with Mara Finkelstein for nearly ten years, and she played in the Seattle Youth Symphony, Young Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, and in several school orchestras and chamber ensembles growing up.

After a series of mental and physical injuries that she incurred through competitive classical playing, Daisy Sky shifted her attention to the healing potential of playing music, which is a primary focus in her teaching. Daisy Sky received her BA in Psychology from The Evergreen State College and she applies her learning to create an environment for students that is developmentally appropriate and nurtures continual growth. Daisy Sky is committed to teaching students to play their instruments in a way that supports positive mental and physical health as well as greater mindfulness, self-expression, emotional intelligence, and confidence! Daisy Sky is passionate about using music as a tool for empowerment with her students of all ages, and brings an encouraging, uplifting attitude into the lesson room.

Daisy Sky also is an avid singer and songwriter! She has led sections in Northwest Girlchoir and the Amherst College Choir, and was a singer in the Seattle Chamber Singers and various church and school choirs. From a young age, she studied music theory, ear training, music history, performance, and creative expression at the Seattle Conservatory of Music. Since 2019, Daisy Sky has been singing and playing cello with Wolfchild, a Seattle-based indie band. She hopes to support her students in developing a foundation to fully express their creativity in any style of music they want to play.

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.

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.

Jordan Brawner (she/her) - West Seattle
Guitar - Ukulele - Bass Guitar - Drums - Piano

Jordan Brawner has been playing guitar for 15 years and has been a professional working musician for over six years, completely steeping her life in guitar and music theory. She has worked in the Grammy-award winning studio Orbit Audio as an assistant engineer and session musician. Jordan has also toured and recorded with her own bands Meanderthals and Hurry Up Snufkin.

Jordan attended Shoreline Community College's music program, and has worked with artists of every genre and skill level. Possessing a background in childcare, Jordan has had many opportunities to work with young children and has experience working with musical students of all ages. She has been devoted to developing her guitar chops through years of practice. Jordan has a personal fondness for jazz fusion and punk rock. She currently lives in Bothell with her cat Paul. She teaches guitar, ukulele, bass, drums, piano, theory, composition, and music technology.

Josh Russell (they/them) - West Seattle
Drums - Ukulele - Piano - Bass Guitar - Guitar - Flute - Trumpet

A Southern California native, Joshua Russell is a multi-instrumentalist, session drummer, and songwriter. Having started on piano at the age of 3, Josh has a firm and structured musical history background. During their primary education years, they learned the trumpet and flute and then decided to ardently dive into percussion. In their Junior year of high school, they earned a 3rd Place SCSBOA championship with the Lancaster High School Marching Band as well as taking fourth in Percussion overall, despite having no instructor at the time. Continuing with instruction from Tony Capko's School of Drumming and session artist Noah Hecht, Josh began instructing professionally in 2015 and began formally teaching in 2017 out of Mel Booker Music. In 2018, Josh began frequenting and playing music in Washington state, eventually moving to Seattle the following year to further their musical endeavors. Josh has been performing in live concerts and shows for over 10 years.

Pursuing art and music during their youth brought forth plenty of creative ventures and outlets, including planning live shows and concerts, theatrical productions, as well as record engineering and production. Josh has experience teaching students with symptoms of autism and attention deficit disorder and other neurodiverse populations. They emphasize patience and self-confidence during lesson time. Joshua is a Type 1 Diabetic and firmly believes that playing instruments is a healthy source of physical and mental exercise.

Craig Suede (he/him) - West Seattle
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.

David Dolengewicz
Woodwinds - Piano - Ukulele - Guitar

David Dolengewicz grew up on the central coast of California participating in as many musical activities as he could such as marching band, honor band, and youth symphony. His youth symphony went to Europe one summer and he got to play the clarinet solo on Rhapsody In Blue for that, which he thought was really cool. After high school David earned his BA in Jazz Arranging at the University of North Texas where he studied saxophone with Jim Riggs and Tom Luer. Since then David has been residing in Seattle where he has continued to participate in many musical activities such as playing at jam sessions, busking around town with The Speakeasy Jazz Cats, and performing local bands including The Crown Villians, Breaks and Swells, Freudian Slurp, Da Beckoning Band, and sitting in with many others.

As far as teaching goes, David believes that music is an art, a sport, and a game all rolled into one. He has seen the best progress in himself as well as others when they embrace the emotional expressiveness of music, work to train the muscles and the mind to efficiently produce music, and have fun with the process of learning and performing. 

VENMO: @DDolen

PayPal: Saxpedalguy@gmail.com

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.

Natasha Lumba (she/her) - West Seattle
Piano

Natasha started playing piano at age 4, before getting a scholarship at age 8 to the French-American Conservatory of Music. There she studied classical piano for 10 years, performing at many prestigious venues across New York such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Weill Recital Hall, The Colony Club & The Ukrainian Institute of America, to name a few. Her classical training was very structured, but she was always a rock & punk musician at heart. While attending college in LA, she picked up guitar, and started playing in bands.

Functioning primarily as a lead vocalist & keyboardist, she has performed in bands in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Seattle. Currently, Natasha plays keyboard and synth for local Seattle band, Razor Clam ‒ a 5 piece femme band, described as "goth glam" and "mermaid dream punk" whose ethos strives to increase inclusion and representation for women and marginalized communities in a male-dominated music industry.

Natasha uses both her childhood background in a rigorous musical setting, and her experiences in adulthood as a performer to inform her teaching style. She aims to marry the necessary musical skills and knowledge with the freedom of expression that is not always present in classical schooling. Most importantly, she wants to foster a love of music in her students, and empower them to create. But she also wants them to practice. A lot.

Zander Marcel (He/Him) - Online Only
Guitar - Drums - Piano

Zander Marcel began learning drums and guitar at age 11, studying under two legendary artists: jazz drummer Brad Gibson and guitarist/director Thaddeus Turner (a.k.a. Thaddillac) of Grammy award-winning Digable Planets and Maktub.

By age 14 Zander played in bands like The Pink Pajamas in Seattle and around the pacific northwest.

He now has an extensive list of collaborations, performances, and musical experiences under his belt, two of his favorite being touring and writing with local breakout group Tres Leches and playing guitar onstage with Soundgarden collaborator Artist the Spoonman.

Zander typically lets students choose a song or genre they are interested in, and often tailors that song or style to a student's individual experience level. Zander often listens to and arranges/transcribes the music in front of the student to demonstrate how specific intervals are heard, eventually challenging his students to hear different rhythms and intervals and find them on their instrument.

As a professional songwriter, performer, and producer, Zander has overcome a childhood diagnosis of Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a disorder which decreases fine-motor coordination, mathematical reasoning, and visuospatial memory, which are all areas of functioning utilized in playing and composing music. Because of this adversity, Zander has developed a keen interest in the neuroscience of music, and a well-structured understanding of ear-training, music theory, and fine-motor skill development in the context of learning an instrument. Zander is a firm believer in the healing power of music and its potential to improve all areas of life and learning.

Véronique 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.

Michael D Marcus (He/Him)
Strings - Piano - Guitar - Drums

Bassist and educator, Michael Marcus was born into a musical family going back 5 generations. Presently his Brother, Sons and Nephew are all actively working as musicians. In 1981 Michael received a scholarship to New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he graduated with academic honors. He has been a private music teacher since 1985.

As the Bassist, Michael has performed, recorded and or toured with many artists since 1977: Ray Charles, Mose Allison, Benny Green, Charlie Haden, Hal Galper, Andrei Ryabov.

In the Seattle Metro and here on Vashon he has performed with: Jose Gonzales, John Hansen, Danny Kolke, Gregg Curry, Rick Dahms, Doug Pine, Kat Eggleston, Rebekah Kuzma, Joe Panzetta, Christopher Overstreet, Michael Whitmore, Wes Peterson, Emory, Roger Taylor, Tony Mann, Jason Lollar, Lonesome Mike, Sarah Howard, Dianne Krouse.