Alfred Tam
  guitar

Alfred Tam, a native Houstonian, received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas and Master of Music from the University of Houston. He has been teaching acoustic, classic, and electric guitar as well as electric bass since 1996 and enjoys teaching a wide range of styles to his students. Mr. Tam is also active in the live music community, performing in a variety of venues here in Houston and abroad. 
 
Ann Gore
  piano

Ann Gore, a native Houstonian, is an accomplished performer who began piano studies at the age of six. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with the renowned Dr. Lita Guerra under a Presidential Scholarship. Since then she has pursued additional studies with Malinee Peris. In addition to solo piano performance, Ms. Gore frequently performs in chamber music ensembles and has been under the tutelage of the Miro Quartet.
 
Ms. Gore’s piano teaching experience began when she was still in high school and since then she has taught students of all ages and levels in Houston, Austin, Washington, D.C., and Beijing.
 
While music is her first love, Ms. Gore has also pursued an interest in international affairs and Chinese language and culture. Achievements in this area include BA and MA degrees as well as Fulbright and Yale Law School research fellowships.
 
Ayako Onishi
  piano

A native of Tokyo, Japan, Ayako Onishi began piano lessons at the age of seven with Noriko Nakamura. She learned solfege, sight-reading, and music theory at the Music School for Children Toho Gakuen School of Music while taking lessons with Machiko Kurihara and Mami Kumabe until she moved to the US. In 1998 she entered Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a scholarship and studied in the studio of Lydia Frumkin. As a soloist and accompanist, she performed at many recitals and concerts including a master class with Jeremy Denk and the Interharmony International Music Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. After earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in 2002, she pursued her piano studies with Nancy Weems while earning a scholarship at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music.

After completing her Master of Music in Piano Performance in 2004, she joined the teaching staff at The Moosic School. She has been teaching students from age three to adult and from beginner to advanced. Many of her students take the ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music) exams and successfully pass with Merit or Distinction.
 
Brittany Polhemus
  voice & piano

Brittany Polhemus began studying piano at the age of six. Over the last seventeen years, Ms. Polhemus has competed in numerous competitions, has had the opportunity of participating in Masterclasses with great 21st century pianists such as Mihaeala Ursuleasa and Antonio Pompa-Baldi, and performed in dozens of recitals and concerts. Ms. Polhemus is currently earning her piano performance degree at the Moores School of Music.

Ms. Polhemus is extremely motivated in helping her students reach their highest musical potential. She has a strong focus on technique so that her students are not only able to play musically, they are able to play well. Ms. Polhemus is quick to discern her students' needs and meet them at their level, whether they are just beginning or very advanced. Regardless of whether her students are taking piano lessons for the fun of it, or they are taking lessons to advance as a serious musician, Ms. Polhemus focuses on helping each of them create interpretations, discover the musical ideas behind each piece, and understand the difference between playing notes and playing music. Ms. Polhemus views every lesson as an adventure, and she does her best to fill each lesson with fun, enjoyment, and purpose.
 
Christian McGee
  piano

Christian McGee from Florence, Alabama, ​is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Piano Performance at the University of Houston. She has been teaching since 2010 and has a passion for helping her students discover joy in finding a personal connection to music, as well as developing an understanding of life skills learned through music.

In 2011, she was chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall and has since then given numerous recitals across the South. Past orchestral performances as a concerto soloist include collaborations with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Community Orchestra, Auburn Community Orchestra, and the Auburn University Symphonic Winds. In 2014, she received second prize in the Zelpha Wells Piano Competition, Music Teacher’s National Association Alabama State Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. Most recently, she has served as a collaborative pianist for the International Performing Arts Institute in Germany.
David A. Benitez
  guitar

David Armando Benitez started his musical career at the age of 13 when he started to learn his first instrument, the trumpet. He quickly developed a natural inclination towards music and continued to play the trumpet throughout his high school years, playing trumpet for the Nogales High School Regiment in La Puente, CA helping the organization earn numerous awards across the state and across the nation. It was in his junior year in high school that David started to teach himself how to play the guitar, and quickly started playing for the jazz band and drum line. After graduation David moved to Texas where he would attend school for his BA in music, starting first at Wharton County Junior College and transferring to the University of St. Thomas where he recently graduated in the summer of 2013 with his BA in Music.

David can be seen playing with various musical groups and solo jazz guitar across numerous stages in the Houston area and also with his ministry Shaddai in various churches around the Galveston-Houston area. Being self-taught David fell in love with playing guitar and playing music in general, and later developed skills for the ukulele, bass, piano, and drums. He works to instill that same excitement he still feels to his students, teaching that although learning an instrument isn’t always easy, the rewards of playing and creating art are always worth the hard work. 
Jack McLaughlin
  piano

Born and raised in Houston, Jack McLaughlin began playing the piano at the age of nine and quickly developed a passion for it. Since then he has performed recitals around Houston and entered in piano competitions, winning second place in the Houston Music Teachers Association’s piano competition and competing in the Music Teachers National Association’s piano competition. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in piano performance with highest honors at the University of Houston in May of 2015 studying under the world renowned pianist Abbey Simon. He is now pursuing a Master’s degree in the same subject at the University of Houston and plans to graduate by the end of 2016.

Jack has studied pedagogy at the university level and taught around Houston the past few years in group and private settings of all different ages.
Janine Arostique
  piano

Native Houstonian, Janine Mae Arostique, began her music studies at the age of six. In her youth, Janine won numerous piano competitions in the Houston area, including awards from Cypress Creek, Northwest Houston, Forum, and Texas Music Teachers’ Association. Previous music intensives include the Texas Music Festival Piano Institute and the University of Minnesota’s Bravo! String and Keyboard Institute. She has received masterclasses from Alexander Braginsky, Timothy Hester, and many others.

In 2015, Janine graduated from the University of Houston with University Honors and cum laude with Bachelor of Art degrees in Music and Liberal Studies. She was the recipient of the University of Houston Academic Excellence Scholarship, Moores School of Music Hirsch Memorial Scholarship, the Anna C. Saunders Memorial Scholarship, and the Christopher James Elder Scholarship. During her time at Moores, Janine studied piano with Dr. Tali Morgulis and piano pedagogy with Dr. Courtney Crappell.

Janine is an avid piano teacher and chamber musician. She is forever grateful to her previous teachers, Miss Colleen Bell and Dr. Ariane Alexander, for introducing her to the versatility and joy of music.
  Ruth Judy Feng
  flute & piano
Ruth Judy Feng earned her Bachelor of Music from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and studied with John Thorne, Cynthia Meyers, and Timothy Hester.  During her graduate performance studies at The Boston Conservatory, Feng was a student of Geralyn Coticone and Dr. Karl Paulnack.

An avid performer, Feng appeared in numerous solo and chamber recitals in Brevard, NC, Boston and Cambridge, MA, as well as the greater areas of Dallas and Houston, TX.  Ms. Feng was a finalist in the 2005 James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute competition in Boston, Massachusetts, and a featured recording soloist with the Hawthorne String Quartet in an independent film in 2004.

In addition to a private music studio since the age of 12, Ms. Feng has taught at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, TX, The Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA, and has joined the Moosic School, Houston, TX since Fall 2013.

 Sayaka Seki
  piano
Born in Japan, Ms. Sayaka Seki began piano lessons at age 5, studying with Ms. Hisae Kashiwagi until age 18. She participated in Joyful Sounds Piano Contest throughout her middle-high school years and won several awards. Accepted by Moores School of Music in University of Houston (UH) with scholarship, she started lessons with Mr. Timothy Hester in 2002. She participated in Schlern Music Festival, Italy in 2003 and 2005, as well as studying abroad in Siena, Italy in 2003 with a scholarship by UH’s Italian department, where she pursued Italian language as minor. After finishing her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance, she continued her studies with Mr. Hester, for her Masters in Accompanying and Chamber Music, which was successfully completed in 2009.

Ms. Sayaka has been enthusiastically teaching piano since 2006, inspired by pedagogy classes with Ms. Alicia Shirley.  She has sent a number of students to the Associate Board of Royal School of Music Exam, and many of them passed with Merit or Distinction. She is also a staff accompanist at UH, as playing music with other musicians has always been her passion. 

 Ton Ta
 
violin & piano
Ton Ta studied violin with his father Bon Ta at the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music and Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music from the age of five until he left for Melbourne, Australia to pursue his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Melbourne. He also began his classical piano training with Ms. Ha Tran, Head of the Piano Department at the Hanoi National Conservatory, at the age of eight. After completing his Bachelors degree with Honors in 2003, he moved to San Francisco and earned his Master of Music Performance degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2006, he joined the studio of the world renowned violinist Fredell Lack at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he completed his Master of Music Pedagogy degree in 2008.

Ton discovered his passion for teaching soon after he began in 2001 and he has not stopped since. His teaching approach focuses equally on nurturing the student’s interest in playing the instrument, improving student’s playing technique, and the ability to read music.

More information about Ton Ta, his performances and teaching can be found on his website www.tatonvn.com

 Wakana Kizu
 
piano
Ms. Wakana Kizu is a concert pianist, collaborative pianist, and piano teacher from Sapporo Japan. She began her piano training at the age of three from her mother, who is a piano instructor in Japan. She was coached by Mrs. Kayoko Shimoya, Mrs. Yasuko Sato from Yamaha Institute, and Mr. Shigeru Maruyama, head of the music department at The Musashino Music University. In 2003, Ms. Kizu came to the U.S. and attended
The University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Dr. Betty Mallard and completed both her bachelor's and master's degrees in Piano Performance. She has performed internationally in numerous solo recitals, concerts as a collaborative artist, and in master classes with Claude Frank, David Chang, William Doppmann, and Anton Nel.

Ms. Kizu is passionate not only for performing but also for teaching piano, and she enthusiastically shares her musical expertise with each of her students. She received piano pedagogy training under Ms. Sophia Gilmson at the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she taught for the UT Piano Project and college piano class PIA201.

She has been teaching private piano lessons and group piano classes at The Moosic School since 2009.

According to Ms. Kizu, the enjoyment of playing the piano is the key to becoming a successful student of the piano.
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