Find a Teacher
MTACC teachers are private studio teachers and college music faculty in SW Washington and Portland. We are all committed to providing the highest quality of music education, are individual business owners, have our own styles and specialties, and look forward to becoming an important part of your family's life. All of our teachers are well-trained and dedicated; however, some have taken the additional step of becoming Nationally Certified Teachers of Music. You will find the initials NCTM by their names.
Below, in alphabetical order, you will find teaching specialties, qualifications, and contact information for our wonderful MTACC teachers.
Piano, Taubman Technique
Vancouver Heights, Clark College
Andrea Llafet, NCTM
Masters of Teaching in Music; Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and Teaching; Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), Active member of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC)
Andrea Llafet has a passion for collaborative music. She has worked as an accompanist for recitals, concerts and competitions across the Northwest, and is currently on staff with the Evergreen School District as choral accompanist and assistant choir director. An active pianist, teacher and accompanist for over 25 years, she loves to play and teach a variety of styles. Andrea has studied the Taubman approach to the piano since 1995, and incorporates this philosophy of synchronized hand and arm movement in her approach to piano technique. Her passion in sharing the gift of music is to inspire other students as she has been inspired, and enrich their lives with a greater understanding and appreciation of music. Andrea holds a BM in Piano Performance, a Master’s degree in Teaching Music, and is MTNA certified.
Vancouver Heights, Clark College
Masters of Science in Teaching; Bachelors of Arts in Music; Active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
April Duvic, professor emeritus from Clark College in Vancouver, WA, is passionate about helping students understand how to best develop their voice. Comfortable in working with singers of all ages, she utilizes a wide variety of teaching methods to assist students in understanding healthy vocal technique that is grounded in science. At the same time, she nurtures artistic musicians, giving them tools to better communicate the composers’ and poets’ intentions. Equally at ease in teaching classical vocal repertoire and music for the theatre, her students are frequent winners at NATS auditions and two have won the MTNA high school national performance competition. She is a frequent adjudicator for both choral and solo vocal competitions and conducts master classes in Oregon and Washington.
Bachelors of Science in Teaching; Active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC); Active member of the National Guild; Elected MTACC President
With some 20 years of professional experience, Brenda Staub is excited to bring her expertise as a teacher, performer, and collaborative pianist. Brenda's passion for music extends to students of all ages, music levels, and cultural backgrounds through private lessons, local and national online lessons, master classes, and summer camps. As a teacher, Brenda strives to provide a fun, interactive, and rigorous instructional program. Brenda offers K-12 students numerous performance opportunities that assist in building experience and confidence, establishing stronger mental focus, and creating a musical identity. For her adult recreational players, she offers a program that provides both depth and enjoyment, culminating in greater musical and technical mastery.
Whether she is providing solo or collaborative performances, Brenda draws on an extensive musical background, her professional experience, and a variety of styles and genres. Her passion and commitment to musical integrity informs her connection to audiences.
When Brenda is not working in her studio or fulfilling performance engagements, she enjoys hiking, camping, and backpacking through the many scenic locations in the Northwest.
Piano, Collaborative Music
East Vancouver, Fishers Landing
Cinda J. Redman, NCTM
Masters and Bachelors in Piano Performance; Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM); Active member of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC)
Mrs. Redman has studied piano in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Portland. She has performed widely in concerts throughout the United States, Japan, New Zealand, France, Austria, and Israel, and has performed s a studio instrumentalist and vocalist in Hollywood. Cinda taught piano at the University of Southern California while working on her Masters degree. Cinda is listed in Who’s Who of American Women and performs regularly with her piano partner Elena Vozheiko-Wheaton in The East Meets West Piano-Duo.
Cinda is very involved with local Clark County music organizations, such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, regular accompanying, is a past president for the MTACC, and currently serves as the District IV Vice President for the Washington State Music Teachers Association. Cinda is a collaborative artist and teaches a full schedule of private piano students. Cinda aims to teach her students skills with an informed sense of musical style, until they are fully independent.
Violin, Cello, Viola, Theory
Bachelor's of Music
Cynthia Thomas-Hargunani received her Bachelor's Degree from Cal State University of Long Beach through multiple scholarships. Besides teaching private music lessons, she has coached and adjudicated chamber music ensembles and teaches online theory classes to string players. She has developed strings programs and taught beginning and orchestra classes. Her teaching technique includes both traditional and Suzuki methods while also combining theory and ear training along with repertoire into lessons. Students participate in festivals, recitals, theory classes, holiday concerts and sometimes evaluations and small ensembles throughout the year.
Cynthia has performed in many orchestras both within and out of the Los Angeles area, performed concert tours in Asia, recorded for film, performed concerts in Europe and has appeared in TV shows, commercials, and movies.
Cynthia currently teaches all levels of violin, beg. to intermediate viola and beginning cello out of her home studio in Felida, Vancouver, WA.
Piano, Taubman Technique, Suzuki Method, Chamber Music
East County, Camas
Masters of Music in Piano performance; Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance; Active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Suzuki Association of the Americas
Mrs. Lee believes children are products of their environment. The Learning Triangle, including student, parent, and teacher, creates the nurturing environment to help the student thrive and be creative. Mrs. Lee began teaching piano in 1991 and has maintained an active private studio. Throughout the year, students participate in events, such as recitals, festivals, workshops, and adjudications, to keep them challenged and motivated. In addition to their private lessons, the students attend group classes that are designed to strengthen overall musicianship.
When Mrs. Lee is not teaching, she supports music and art advocacy groups and mentors high school and college students who are pursuing careers in music. She is also a frequent adjudicator at festivals in California, Washington, Oregon, and Texas. Mrs. Lee studied piano performance at University of California, Irvine under the instruction of Nina Scolnik.
Dorothy Sylvia Bauer
Dorothy Bauer began her musical training with piano lessons at age five in Montreal, Quebec where she was born and raised. She attended the University of Colorado and obtained a double degree in vocal performance and bassoon performance. She was awarded an outstanding student award for her efforts in bassoon and voice. She was also elected a member of Pi Kappa Lambda the honorary music society.
Upon graduation she was hired as a company member of the Portland Opera and sang professionally there for three years. She then attended the University of Oregon pursuing her Masters of vocal performance and teaching voice to undergraduate students. During this time, she was a winner of the N.A.T.S competition as a soprano in the master’s category.
She later was hired by the Seattle Opera as a company member and sang professionally for three years. She attended the University of Washington as a vocal performance major again pursuing a master’s degree. During this time, she sang as the soprano soloist in a performance of the Verdi Requiem, featuring the combined choruses and symphony of the University of Washington directed by Abraham Kaplan. She also sang as guest soloist with the Seattle Philharmonic under the direction of Hans Wolf.
She currently resides in Vancouver, WA where she teaches piano and voice lessons in her home studio.
Piano, ABRSM Theory
Vancouver, Hazel Dell
Elena Vozheiko-Wheaton, Dr.
Doctors of Music in Piano Performance, Literature, and Chamber Music from the Tchaikovsky Music Conservatory in Moscow, Russia; Active member of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC)
Dr. Elena Vozheiko-Wheaton is an active solo, chamber, and piano-duet performer. The East-Meets-West Piano Duo with her partner Cinda Redman has performed in Russia, France, Austria, and throughout the Northwest. They appeared with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and 2010. Elena has performed as a solo artist with the VSO Chamber Music Series in 2012, 2015, and 2016.
Along with a busy performance schedule, Elena maintains a full-time piano studio. Her students consistently win top prizes at local, district, and international competitions and perform throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. Elena currently serves as accompanist for the Oregon and Washington State Music Festivals, fund-raising concerts, and competitions. She is past president of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County and is listed in Who's Who of American Women.
Elena enjoys teaching students of all ages. Her pedagogical philosophy is based on the traditional Russian piano school: mastery of physical technique to provide the ability to perform imaginative, artistic interpretations of music. Her motto is: "Don't make music; let music make you."
Classical + Modern Piano, Classical + Modern Voice, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Music Production
East Vancouver, Camas
Elizabeth Morris, NCTM
Masters of Music in Music Education; Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance; Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM); Active member of the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) and the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC); Elected MTACC 1st Vice President
Elizabeth Morris’ passion for music and the arts drives her belief that learning music should be a positive experience for all. Elizabeth focuses on building the essential foundational skills that are vital for students to master, while also providing a smooth transition to intermediate and more advanced levels of study. With 15 years teaching experience, Elizabeth’s Music Studio specializes in private music lessons in classical and modern piano, keys, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and modern voice, and integrates applicable music technology whenever applicable, including studio recording and transcription software.
Elizabeth is passionate about mentoring the next generation of music teachers and launched the Assistant Music Teacher program in 2019 so she could teach advanced students how to teach beginning music lessons. Elizabeth also employs professional Independent Music Teachers, allowing her to network within the Studio and increase student performance opportunities.
Vancouver Heights, Clark College
Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance; Active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the National Guild of Piano Teachers
Judy Ebel does not remember a time in her life when she was not playing some form of piano. Formal lessons began at age seven, and by high school Judy studied music with Bonnie Garrett at Lewis and Clark College. She continued her education at Seattle Pacific University with Wayne Johnson. Later she finished her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Oregon studying under Marlene Thal. Continued studies with Helen Murray in the Taubman method followed.
Judy has maintained a brimming piano studio for 35 years and is active in both the National Guild of PianoTeachers as well as MTNA. Her teaching is structured to emphasize all aspects of 'fine tuning' the pupil, in hopes they might pursue music as a life long passion. She is an accomplished handbell soloist and director, and regularly ministers in music with her husband, Don, a baritone.
Vancouver, Salmon Creek
Kathy Edsill-Charles, Dr., NCTM
Doctors of Music in Piano Performance, Active member of the Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC) and the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA)
Dr. Kathy Edsill-Charles, pianist, is in demand as a teacher, collaborative artist, and chamber musician.
Most recently Dr. Charles was adjunct faculty at Clark College teaching Applied Piano, Music History and accompanying the choral ensembles of Clark College. She has been on faculty at the University of Northern Iowa and Wartburg College teaching applied piano, group piano, piano pedagogy and accompanying. She served as staff accompanist at the University of Puget Sound where she also taught through the Community Music Program. She has performed solo concerts and accompanied performances throughout the Pacific Northwest, Europe, and the Midwest. VSO Piano Extravaganza has featured her in concert with various duo-pianists.
Dr. Charles is the owner of Kathy’s 88 Keys, a private teaching studio in Salmon Creek, WA. She is an active member of Music Teachers Association of Clark County and the Oregon Music Teachers Association. As a Permanent Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, her students have received honors at the local and state level. She is a founding member of the non-profit Music Fusian NW that uses music to empower students, inspire creativity and collaboration, increase cultural awareness and build bridge between cultures.
Cascade Park, Fishers Landing
Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance; Graduate work at the University of Kansas; Active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
Linda Appert, soprano, has been a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Clark College Orchestra, Bravo Vancouver Concert Series, Vancouver Children’s Opera, the Oregon Sinfonietta and has appeared in recital at the Old Church in Portland, Oregon. Along with her husband, conductor Donald Appert, she has performed as soloist with professional orchestras in over ten countries in Europe as well as in Central America. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music, Linda also studied at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the University of Kansas. She is an active member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and is an adjunct instructor of voice at Clark College, Vancouver, WA. Her students have been recognized for their singing talent at the local, state, regional and national levels. Many have and continue to pursue degrees in voice at leading schools of music throughout the country as well as sing professionally in the United States and abroad. Linda enjoys teaching students ages ten to adult.
Salmon Creek, Felida
Louise "Liz" Nedela, NCTM
Masters of Music in Composition and Piano Performance; Masters of Education in Piano and Composition; Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM); Active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA), and Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC)
Liz teaches piano, composition, theory, cello, nurturing creativity while developing technique and music theory. Adding composition aspects while learning to play creates a composer-eye-view and understanding of learning music. Having many years experience teaching, performing, and as a composer, clinician and adjudicator, she reaches students of all ages and abilities. She is certified through MTNA and carries a Masters of Music in Composition, as well as a Masters of Education in Piano and Composition, where she created a program to teach composition. With a focus on learning styles, she adapts her teaching to meet the needs of each student; many students are award winners and have served as pianists for choirs, accompanying, and composing for special projects. Liz was the 2014 WSMTA Commissioned Composer of the year; and in 2020, she began serving as chair of that project. She is also active in Cascadia Composers and National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA). Liz writes for piano, instrumental, voice; composing solos, duets, ensemble, choir, and orchestra music; with many commissions and winner of many competitions. Liz is published in JWPepper and Sheet Music Plus.
Student of Janos Starker at Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music. 19 years as full-time cellist with Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Teacher to more than 200 students in private lessons over 23 years. Active member of the Music Teachers National Association, Clark County WA chapter.
Pat Bastis is passionate about helping her students build a solid life foundation through the rewarding process of becoming a cellist. Pat's studio mission (see www.innercellist.com for more information on Pat and her studio) is to help each student find and develop their unique "inner cellist," while having a great time doing it! Pat emphasizes the importance of ergonomics while playing cello.
Piano, Guitar, Percussion, Preschool Music, Collaborative Music
Masters of Teaching in Music; Bachelor of Arts in Music; Member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Music Teachers Association of Clark County (MTACC)
Rob Melton is the owner and director of Opus School of Music in Ridgefield and Camas. He opened his studios in 2006 after graduating from PSU to grow artistic spirits of all ages. He supports and trains teachers and oversees the curriculum for piano, guitar, preschool music, various programs for ages 5-9, and choir/glee programs. Opus offers lessons for most instruments, group and private lessons, and music technology. Mr. Melton enjoys teaching, creating curriculum and systems for the school and meeting the parents and students who attend each week. He has a contagious passion for rhythm and enjoys supporting a collaborative spirit between the teachers and the students. He performs with local groups playing variety of genres and with his wife and two young children.
When Mr. Melton is not at his studios, you can find him running, hiking, camping, birding, reading, playing with his family and spending time wondering.
Piano, Violin, Viola
Tatiana Kolchanova, Dr.
Doctor's of Music
Dr. Tatiana Kolchanova earned her Ph.D. from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia. Dr. Kolchanova has been a performer from 1989 and a teacher from 1996. Beginning in 1983 Tatiana toured the world including performances at Carnegie Hall with Zubin Mehta and collaborative performances with Jessy Norman in France, Italy, Lebanon, and Germany. From 1996-2006 she taught at the Moscow Conservatory, and was the first violinist of the Moscow String Quartet for 10 years. A sought-after adjudicator for International Competitions, Tatiana is currently the founder, director, and principal teacher of Music & Arts Academy in Camas, WA.
Piano, Early Childhood, Group Piano
Master's of Piano Performance
Valerie fell in love with music watching her mom teach piano lessons. She began begging for lessons at four and never looked back.
As a teacher, she delights in using the latest pedagogical methods to pass the excitement of piano to the next generation. She aims to give each student the tools needed to make music for the rest of their lives, whether for personal pleasure or as a career.
Valerie has a Bachelors in music education and a Masters of Piano Performance from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. She has performed as a soloist and in chamber ensembles across the US and in Italy, including Longy’s Pickman Hall, New England Conservatory’s Brown Hall, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Collaborations include the Boston New Music Initiative, Boston Children’s Chorus, and the Halalisa Singers.
Valerie has over 15 years of teaching experience and is an active member of MTACC and OMTA.