Meet our Piano Teachers

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Reid Turner has extensive piano performance experience in classical, jazz, latin jazz, rock/alternative, accompaniment roles, and more. With a background of percussion performance and composing music for indie video game projects, Reid possesses a unique rhythmic improvisational style and creative flair. He graduated with degrees in Musical Arts and Economics from the University of South Dakota in 2013, then obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa in 2018.

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Sarah Baldus holds an active Iowa Teaching License with K-12 Music endorsements. She graduated with a BA degree in music education from Iowa State University in 2009. She began teaching instrumental music in Iowa Schools in 2010. She is a firm believer in putting the “fun” into every students’ musical education. As a professional musician, Sarah has performed with small ensembles, bands, and orchestras throughout the state of Iowa, as well as, touring Europe with the ISU Wind Ensemble.

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Marvel Jones graduated from William Penn University with a double major in Music Education and Human Relations and a minor in Psychology. She has over 40 years of teaching experience and loves working with beginning piano students. Her teaching style emphasizes the positive and keeps the learning process fun.

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Marek Szmyrgala gives piano and guitar lessons. Originally from Poland, Marek graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He then moved to Boston and worked with music and business before moving to Iowa to open the Music4life studio.

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Zoraida Oyola Rebaza is an avid artist and teacher, often performing with regional orchestras.. Originally from Peru, Ms. Oyola Rebaza came to Iowa to study music at the University of Iowa and graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. She served as the violon/cello teaching assistant and leader of the University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.

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Emelyn Harris is a native of Cebu, Philippines,  where music is part of our culture.  She has previous musical training from her time in the Philippines on ukelele and guitar. While living in Iowa she has continued her music education on piano at Music4life for almost 7 years. She is excited to now be part of the team of teachers! She works very well with young, beginner piano students. Emelyn has also volunteered for 3 years playing at UIHC with the Music Therapy team  in the cancer unit.

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Originally from the Dominican Republic, Laura Canelo Cohen, began her musical studies at the National Conservatory of Music of Santo Domingo. Ms. Canelo Cohen graduated with honors from Columbus State University where she obtained a Bachelor degree in music performance, and holds a Masters in Contemporary Music from the University of Valencia. She obtained her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Flute Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa with a focus in Orchestral Conducting and Jazz Studies. 

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Originally from Vietnam, Bao Dragoiu is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a BA in Piano Performance, and of The Music Conservatory in Saigon, Vietnam. She specializes in classical and sacred music. With 13 years of teaching experience, Bao is passionate about helping students of all ages discover the beauty of music. Her teaching philosophy seeks to provide a creative environment in which students can reach their full artistic potential while enjoying the learning process. 

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Sebastian New received his Bachelor of Arts in Concert Piano while attending Moscow State Conservatory in Russia. He has performed as a chamber musician worldwide. Sebastian is also a prolific composer and has created original compositions for international films. He has taught piano with the Venezuela National Youth Orchestra, as well as, Universidad de Los Andes.

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Anna Koogler graduated from the University of Hartford in 2017, majoring in vocal performance and music education. She taught voice and piano for three years before moving to Iowa City, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.