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OUR INSTRUCTORS

REW Music has a long standing tradition with Music Education excellence. We take pride in the success our teachers have with teaching students the fine art of making music and being successful on their instrument. Our students perform with top marks are area and state festivals and competition because our teaching staff is the most qualified in the city! Our instructors are top rated in the Kansas City area! We offer lessons on site at either of our convenient locations in Lenexa, KS and Olathe, KS. 

Meet your teacher below!

Click on your instrument family to drop down to your teacher: 

 

WOODWIND - Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon
BRASS - Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba
ORCHESTRA - Violin, Viola, Cello
PERCUSSION
PIANO
GUITAR - Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele

 


WOODWIND INSTRUCTORS
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon

AMBER UNDERWOOD - Flute

Amber graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Wichita State University in 2002. In addition, she earned her Masters in Arts Administration and Music Business from UMKC in 2005. Currently, she is working on her Master of Music Education and Instrumental music at Pittsburgh State University. She has been performing and teaching in the greater Kansas City area for over 5 years, and has been playing her flute for almost 20 years.


BIANCA KUMAR - Oboe & Flute

My name is Bianca Kumar and I am a woodwind specialist, teacher, and performer in the Greater Kansas City area. I have been playing oboe and flute for the past 13 years, saxophone for 9, and clarinet for 4, so I have first-hand insight on how to adapt between different woodwind instruments. My passion lies in fostering appreciation for music across all genres: classical, pop, rock, jazz, folk, film music, and more. As a teenager, I would run home after school to my piano so I could create and record my own arrangements of TV and film themes, original compositions, and improv tracks. Music is such an important facet of my life and being able to share my knowledge with young students is an exciting privilege. I received degrees in oboe performance from The Ohio State University and UMKC Conservatory of Music, performing in orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles, jazz combos, and Klezmer bands.


LINDSEY KNOX - Oboe & Piano

Lindsey Knox has been teaching oboe in the Lawrence, KS area since 2003, and at the REW Music Store since 2007. In addition to teaching students, Lindsey also plays in local community performances as much as possible. She is currently working on a doctorate degree in oboe performance studying with Margaret Marco at the University of Kansas where she teaches oboe lessons, oboe reed making, woodwinds methods class, and assists with conducting the KU Double Reed Ensemble. Lindsey is a member of the KU Wind Ensemble and Orchestra and she also is a member of an upcoming woodwind trio called Un Deux Trois. Lindsey received her Master of Music degree from UMKC Conservatory where she studied with Barbara Bishop.


TORI SIMKINS - Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute

Tori Simkins graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelors and Master of Arts in Music Education. She then pursued a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from Indiana University - Bloomington. Upon graduating from IU, Tori returned to her home state of Iowa and taught music for two years in the West Fork Community School District, as well as serving as the Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. Her goals when teaching students are to find creative and fun ways to communicate new information to her students, learn about students interests and personal goals to incorporate those into lessons, and to create an environment in which students feel comfortable enough to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.


KAITLIN MCFADDEN - Clarinet & Saxophone

Hi, I’m Kaitlin McFadden and I’ve been playing the clarinet for the past 15 years and the saxophone for 9. To say that music changed my life sounds dramatic, but it’s true! Being a musician for most of my life has helped me to form friendships and bonds that I know will last a lifetime. I graduated from Friends University of Wichita, KS in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and am returning to school for my Masters of Music Therapy from the University of Kansas. My whole life I’ve felt called to help those around me, and given my passion for music, I wanted to find a way to combine those two things. I am so excited to be teaching private lessons with REW music and look forward to sharing the joys of music with my students.


TIM TIMMONS - Saxophone & Clarinet

TIM TIMMONS is a professor emeritus at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance where he served as professor of saxophone, Division Chair, Associate Dean and an Olson Professor. He has performed many times with the Kansas City Symphony (including their Grammy Award winning recording of Benjamin Britten), Lyric Opera, and Kansas City Ballet. He has performed throughout Europe and the United States as a soloist and clinician. He has premiered and recorded works written especially for him by major composers. His students hold positions at universities and in top military service bands. I try to get to know the goals of each student and the family. I strive to give each student the embouchure and technical skills needed to meet goals and perform the music that is interesting to them. I find it important to challenge each student with goals that they will be able to obtain and create confidence and a feeling of accomplishment.


RICK FIRESTONE - Saxophone & Beginner Clarinet

Rick Firestone is a current doctoral student studying saxophone performance at UMKC. An active teacher and performer, his studies and performances have taken him across the globe, including sites such as the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France, the North American Saxophone Alliance National Solo/Chamber Music Competition in Lubbock, Texas, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. As a teacher, Rick aims to introduce students to the inherent versatility of the saxophone while finding what piques each individual student’s interest. Some of his favorite musical composers/artists are Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev, Akropolis Reed Quintet, The Beatles, and Lake Street Drive. In addition to saxophone, Rick enjoys reading, watching reruns of The Office, and finding local coffee shops.


JEFF ACHESON - Clarinet & Saxophone

Music is fun! When I started playing the saxophone at the age of 10, my instructor inspired me to learn many different styles of music and to learn in many different ways. 37 years later, I still have the passion that was instilled into me from my musical experiences. It is my ultimate goal to teach all of my students to love music and be as successful as they can be.




BRASS INSTRUCTORS
Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba

JUSTIN CROSSMAN - Trumpet

Music is my favorite form of communication. I find that it is often a way to make sense of feelings you can’t verbalize. My goal is to open up that form of communication for my students. Whether that means they take it to a higher level of performance or they just take it on as a hobby, the goal is to find their own love of music. I graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2017 with a BME. My career goal is to achieve a band director or assistant band director position in the KC area.


NICK HOWELL - Trumpet

Nick Howell is a trumpet player, composer, and teacher. He holds a Bachelor's in Music Education from UMKC. He performs regularly in Kansas City with groups such as The People’s Liberation Big Band, The Good Foot, Sansabelt, and Pitch Music Award-winning The New Riddim.


IAN LESTER - Euphonium, Trombone, & Tuba

A native Michigander, Ian earned his bachelor's degree in euphonium performance at Oakland University in the metro-Detroit area and is currently pursuing his master's at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he serves as the euphonium graduate teaching assistant and is principal euphonium of the UMKC Wind Symphony. He has won numerous awards at prestigious competitions across the country and excels in band, chamber, brass band and solo settings. Ian has been teaching low brass privately to all ages for 8 years and believes that with dedication and quality instruction, anyone can become a successful musician.




ORCHESTRA INSTRUCTORS
Violin, Viola, Cello

KIMIA EBRAHIMZADEH - Violin & Beginner Viola

I started my violin when I was 11-year-old. I’m from Iran and I’ve got my bachelor’s in music from Tehran University of Art. I remember playing in orchestra was so exciting for me, so I tried hard to be in ensembles and orchestras in my home town when I was 14.I have a big journey because of my violin and still love to learn more about this amazing instrument. I moved to USA to improve my experience and knowledge in music. This is all my goal. I’m so glad that I can help everyone who wants to learn violin. Always try to learn new things about music, this clear and pure thing in our life.


CASEY GREGORY - Violin

Casey Gregory is an energetic and passionate violin teacher and performer. Casey began playing violin at the age of 13, and finished his degree in Violin Performance at KU School of Music. Casey has performed at venues across the US and Germany. Casey believes it is important to teach and perform all genres, making violin exciting to learn for everybody.


KARIANNE WATERLAND - Violin & Viola

Karianne Waterland has a Music Business degree from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Karianne is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has completed Books 1-3 Teacher Training in the Suzuki Method. She also plays in the Northland Symphony and is Executive Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Kansas City. Additionally, Karianne assists with the REW Homeschool Orchestra ensembles.


MATTHEW IMBER - Cello

Matthew Imber has been playing the cello for 16 years. In high school, he was a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He studied the cello and composition at Grinnell College. Back in Kansas City, he likes to introduce young musicians to the possibilities of the cello in different genres and styles, like pop, rock, metal, bluegrass, and jazz. Besides being a classical music nut, he is a Beatle-maniac, history buff, bookworm, and total nerd. His favorite living composers are David Lang, Judd Greenstein, and John Luther Adams. His favorite dead guys are Bach, Shostakovich, and John cage.


MICHAEL WAGER - Cello

Michael's Bio Coming Soon!




PERCUSSION INSTRUCTORS
Mallets & Drums

JAMES HARRIS - Percussion

James Harris, a Melrose, Florida native, is a current Kansas City free-lance percussionist. He has earned his master's degree from University of Missouri--Kansas City. James holds positions with the Sioux City Symphony as a section percussionist, and a principal percussion position with the Symphony of North Arkansas. He has taught at Interlachen Florida High School, Lees Summit West High School, and currently teaches at Liberty North High School. He looks to offer students a path to similar performance experiences. He is always willing to help students achieve more titles, performance awards, and recognition, but also strives to have his students obtain happiness when playing their instrument.


JACOB WROBEL - Percussion

Jacob Wrobel is a K-State grad with a music education degree who wants nothing more than to share his passion of music with others and hope they hold on to that passion their whole lives. He has been playing percussion since he was a child in the footsteps of his older brother, though his mom was hoping he'd be a trumpet player! Jacob didn't find his love for music until his senior year of high school, but since then has taken every opportunity to share his music through teaching, playing, arranging, or composing. He is the graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he is getting a performance degree, in hopes to someday be a collegiate percussion professor and teach music to people of all ages and backgrounds.




PIANO INSTRUCTORS

WATARU NIIMORI - Piano

I believe that the process of learning music is about teamwork between a teacher and student. I love to share my musical knowledge and experience with my students. I want them to have fun and enjoy music. My goal is finding each student's strength and helping them improve it. I have studied piano and keyboard in classical and non-classical music (jazz, blues, rock, Latin) and enjoyed performing with various ensembles including Glenn Miller Orchestra and UNL Symphonic Orchestra. As a composer, I have been writing music for film and commercials, and at concert venues. Education: Doctorate in Composition from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Master in Jazz Studies from Indiana University, Bachelor in Piano Performance from Temple University.


VANCE BOLLINGER - Piano

Hi, I’m Vance, and I’m from Charleston, IL, a small town just south of Champaign-Urbana. I’ve been playing piano since I was six years old. I love to teach because I’m curious, driven, and I love to learn about music, so helping others achieve their goals is a treat. I’m comfortable teaching beginning to advanced piano students, in classical, jazz, blues, and pop. Fun fact, I just got a puppy and her name is Olive!


LINDSEY KNOX - Oboe & Piano

Lindsey Knox has been teaching oboe in the Lawrence, KS area since 2003, and at the REW Music Store since 2007. In addition to teaching students, Lindsey also plays in local community performances as much as possible. She is currently working on a doctorate degree in oboe performance studying with Margaret Marco at the University of Kansas where she teaches oboe lessons, oboe reed making, woodwinds methods class, and assists with conducting the KU Double Reed Ensemble. Lindsey is a member of the KU Wind Ensemble and Orchestra and she also is a member of an upcoming woodwind trio called Un Deux Trois. Lindsey received her Master of Music degree from UMKC Conservatory where she studied with Barbara Bishop.




GUITAR INSTRUCTORS
Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele

TOM NELSON - Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele

Thomas M. Nelson is a guitarist and composer of contemporary music, born in Kansas City Missouri in 1978. Beginning music lessons at an early age, his formal music education comes from the Paseo Academy of the Fine and Performing Arts and the Conservatory at UMKC. Part of his education included his compositions performed by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and an educational exchange in Capetown, South Africa. Thomas has been a teacher and performer for over 12 years. In that time, he has performed and taught in a variety of musical genres including classical, jazz, folk, country and rock. Thomas teaches his own method which includes an education in note reading, cords, basic theory and composition. He strives to import a skill set which provides a student with access to music of all genres and an enjoyment of music which can last for the students’ entire lifetime.


JEFF SHIRLEY - Acoustic, Electric Bass, Ukulele

Hi, I'm Jeff Shirley, Kansas City jazz guitarist! Without teaching I would not be the performer I am and without performing I wouldn't be the teacher I am! It's so much fun being a part of the Kansas City music scene, and a part of this great, family-run music company that has a heart for music. I love hearing people grow musically overtime (it does take some time!) And I really like to explain things from the ground up. I think the best approach is to work on the material that the student wants to work on. It's important that practice be fun. It does take hard work, but it should also be fun. So think of a couple songs that you like, and we can focus on those and we will consistently set goals, goals we can achieve!




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