Our Instructors

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

 

 

 


Aaron Sternke

Aaron Sternke is a versatile musician and producer known for his eclectic and tasteful blend of electronic music and live instrumentation. Getting his start in Nashville, his album credits  include offerings from Vince Gill, Amy Grant, The Classic Crime, Mandisa, Halley Greg, and many others. Aaron brings a unique and dynamic perspective to his productions, creating immersive sonic landscapes that captivate audiences worldwide. 

 

 

 

 


Dave Keenan

Dave Keenan is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, teacher and filmmaker from Seattle, WA who has taught at many music camps across the US and Canada including Nimblefingers, Bluegrass in the Gorge, Swannanoa, Voiceworks, Kaufman Camp, The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and several others. His Bluegrass band The Downtown Mountain Boys have released 3 albums on which he plays banjo and fiddle; and 3 albums with his band Miles & Karina plus over a dozen original film scores commissioned for silent films over the last decade. (ask him about that) His film “Talk Tale” has received 5 nominations for film festival awards in 2023. www.davekeenan.com 

 

 


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. 

 

 

 

 


Yaz

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 blues. In the last few years she’s played several popular stages across Seattle including Neumos and the legendary Crocodile.

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 and shows around the PNW with local Seattle riot grrrl band, Lemon Boy.

 


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.