Our Instructors

Ailisa Newhall

With a rich background as a performing artist, video game soundtrack musician, GRAMMY-nominated music educator, and two decades of experience in music education, Ailisa brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a deep passion for fostering musical growth. Equipped with multiple degrees in music, she is dedicated to nurturing a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive arts community that thrives on creativity. She is building programs that inspire and empower individuals, fostering an environment where artistic expression flourishes.



Emily Persha

Emily is a songwriter, vocalist, pianist, and music educator in the greater Seattle area. She strives to craft songs that are catchy, introspective, and melodically interesting with influences such as Brandi Carlile and First Aid Kit. She received her degree in Music Education from the University of Washington and previously worked as an elementary music teacher in Redmond, a choir teacher at St. James Cathedral, and an accompanist for the Bellevue Girl Choir. Emily teaches private lessons in piano, voice, and songwriting and loves working with students of all ages and experiences! Aside from teaching she is an active performer in the community and has recently performed on iconic Seattle stages like The Tractor Tavern and The Royal Room.

Emily is the Social Media Manager for The Seattle Bushwick Book Club. She is passionate about Bushwick’s mission to deliver literature, music, and songwriting to the Seattle community while building the next generation of songwriters.

Wes Weddell

For the past two decades, Wes Weddell has worked multiple shifts in the engine room of Seattle’s roots music scene as frontman, sideman, writer, teacher, and community-builder. “Always heartfelt and well-constructed” (Seattle Weekly), listeners have come to expect Weddell’s regionally rooted songs to “speak for themselves” (No Depression). Along the way he has continued to teach a variety of instruments and styles across generations, helping hundreds find the joy of playing and singing with others. www.wesweddell.com



Liana Green

Liana Green has forged her own path through the music industry. She began playing gigs in the Seattle area as a teenager in the 1990’s, and eventually went on to earn a Master’s Degree from The New England Conservatory, launching her career as a professional trumpet player in the northeast. She played in diverse settings from orchestras to jazz to recording studios and beyond. Along the way, she taught private lessons, worked as a music engraver/copyist (she’s done film scores as well as work for major music publishers), and spent time as an orchestra librarian.

Upon returning home to Seattle in 2007, burnt out on the hustle as a freelance trumpet player, she reimagined her career and leaned into her multi-instrumentalist abilities. She has spent the past ~15 years playing trombone in horn sections of rock/funk/soul bands, playing various low brass instruments in local big bands, chamber ensembles, and orchestras, and playing electric bass on stages around Seattle. You can also quite often find her sitting in the backyard playing clawhammer banjo!

As a teacher, she spent 13 years developing and implementing the music program at a local independent school, and now works for The Rhapsody Project as a member of the Structural Leadership Team, with a focus on curriculum and educator development.

Jed Crisologo

Jed Crisologo asks a lot of questions, probably too many questions. Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Jed cut his teeth on hard core, punk and metal bands until he realized that his dad was right about Neil Young. Since then he has been traveling his roads trying to find his own authentic, honest way to tell the world exactly what he thinks about it. Off the stage you can find Jed as a teacher and administrator for the Rhapsody Project or playing with his cats. He has too many cats.





Debby Boland Watt

Debby is a strong vocalist, improvisational performance artist, coach and master teacher specializing in vocal techniques and production for singers who are interested in all styles of music. Working nationally, with both beginning and professional singers, she has over 40 years experience, performing across every state in the US as well as Canada and Western Europe. Debby has also performed on US and Canadian TV, recorded many audio projects as a studio musician, and directed numerous choirs.




Mariah Fraser

Mariah has a BA in Music from Western Washington University. After graduation, Mariah was in several musical theatre productions in local Seattle theaters before moving to New York City in 2006. In New York she sang with an accomplished singer/songwriter all around Manhattan and just generally loved living there.

She moved back to Seattle in 2011 when she gave birth to twins- and soon after began teaching early childhood music all around Seattle and surrounding areas.  Showing families how to bring music into their lives and how to bring out their inner musicians is one of her greatest joys.


Jeff Lockhart

Jeff Lockhart is a recognized leader skilled in performing arts and nonprofit organization advancement strategies, music industry business and education, business development and management, and creative ingenuity/brand management. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Northwest University (Kirkland, WA) . Currently he serves as the Executive Director of Kirkland Performance Center (KPC) the Seattle/Eastside region’s premiere intimate performance venue. During his tenure he has succeeded in implementing programming, funding, and operational revitalization strategies positioning KPC as the leading venue for the performing arts throughout the Eastside region of Seattle.  Prior to KPC he founded and spearheaded Creatio (music industry business and recording arts program) at Northwest University(NU) in Kirkland, WA. Through Creatio he developed and launched 2 fully accredited B.A. degrees (B.A. Music Business and B.F.A. Recording Arts Technology), as well as implementing industry standard commercial recording studios. Jeff is also an active gigging/touring drummer and founded and currently leads music performance/artist management/event production collective Live Vinyl Productions LLC .

Jamie Maschler

“Jamie Maschler knows the versatility of the accordion better than most. She has played the instrument since she was four and spent years perfecting and competing. Talents like her seem to be increasingly valuable.“ -The Atlantic

Jamie is a musician, music director, educator and an ambassador of the accordion. She is co-founder of the Brazilian bands Foleada, En Canto, and the accordion duo Creosote. She has been heard with the Pueblo Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Philharmonic. Jamie has also played the role of Nelly Friedman in Paula Vogel’s award winning play Indecent twice.

In 2018, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) feature Jamie in their Museum of Making Music exhibit titled “Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA”. Jamie is based in Seattle, WA where she studied accordion under three-time Latin Grammy Nominee Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish College of the Arts.

Jamie works for accordion manufacturer Petosa Accordions, where she is able to share her passion and actively participate in the reinvention and face of the traditional Instrument.