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Our Teachers

Piano & beginner Voice with Sevima


Sevima Dozo started playing piano when she was 7. Originally from Europe, she finished Elementary music school, Music High School and then she graduated from the Academy of Music with degree in Music Education in Sarajevo, Bosnia. After college she got married and moved to Iowa and she has been teaching piano last 5 years.  She believes that every kid has a unique perspective of music and her goal is to help them on their journey to find the beauty of piano melody!

Piano and Guitar with Marek

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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.

Piano, Ukelele, and French Horn with Sarah


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.

Clarinet, Piano, and Voice with Hayley

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Hayley Graham graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015 with degrees in clarinet performance and public relations. She then went on to complete her master's degree in music therapy at the University of Iowa in 2017. Currently, Hayley is a board-certified music therapist who enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities. She has experience teaching and performing on a variety of instruments, including clarinet, voice, piano, and guitar. Hayley believes in creating space for joyful exploration and expression through music.

Cello with Ryan

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Cellist Ryan Doerr grew up in Sioux Falls, SD where he studied cello starting at the age of sevenwith Karren Melik-Stepanov. Ryan holds a B.A. in Music from Drake University where hestudied with Ashley Sidon. After his undergrad, he studied cello for two years with LA PhilCellist, Gloria Lum. He is currently doing his M.A. in Cello Performance at the University ofIowa, where he studies with Anthony Arnone. Ryan was appointed Associate Principal cello with Orchestra Iowa in 2022 and was appointed asAssistant Principal Cellist with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra in 2023. He also served asPrincipal Cellist at Opera in the Ozarks during their 2022 season. In addition to performing withthese orchestras, Ryan serves as the cello teaching assistant at the University of Iowa.

Piano with Reid


Reid 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.

Violin and Viola with Tony


Tony Chang is a dedicated violin performer and educator with over 28 years of experience. He studied violin performance at Indiana University. He has taught violin and conducting at Central College and Simpson College, performed with orchestras in the US and Japan, and maintains an active private studio. He is accepting violin and viola students of all ages and skill levels. He uses both Suzuki and Traditional Orchestral methods to bring out strong skills of musicianship with his students.

Clarinet and Piano with Mina


Mina Jerome is a graduate from the University of Iowa, where she received a B.M. in Clarinet Performance. Originally from Iowa City, she started piano at the age of four, studying at the Preucil School of Music. At the age of eight, she became a winner of the Iowa Music Teachers Association’s piano competition. She started playing clarinet at the age of ten, and played at Carnegie Hall as part of the Young Adult Honors Performance Series band and in Vipiteno, Italy as a part of the Orfeo Music Festival. Currently, she plays clarinet and saxophone in local theatre and opera productions including Three Decembers, Footloose the Musical, and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Drums with Curtis


Curtis Boysen graduated from Northwestern University . He actively  performs in local Jazz, Latin,  Funk, and Rock Bands. He also has experience touring. He is passionate about establishing the academic foundation of drumming so students can excel. He sees his students having a great time learning and playing. He meets students where they are and adjusts his teaching style to fit their individual interests and desires. Curtis composes his own methods and materials for students for more individualized instruction.

Piano, Voice, and Oboe with Sam

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Sam Hoying has had a passion for music his entire life. He began playing piano, oboe, and singing Bass/Baritone at a very young age. Sam has years of experience teaching all three instruments and currently is a student at the University of Iowa. At the University, he is in involved in the Voice, Opera, and Oboe studio. Sam also arranges and is involved in the University’s Tenor Bass A cappella group. Sam is looking forward to helping others find joy through music.

Guitar with Dr. Mike Jones


Mike earned his PhD in music from the University of Iowa in 2009. Mike plays folk, rock, blues, jazz, and classical guitar. He has over 30 years experience teaching guitar and over 20 years experience teaching music theory at the college level. Mike has taught guitar, music theory, and music history at the University of Iowa, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Coe College, and Kirkwood Community College. He has played at area hospitals, weddings, and other events. He has performed in classical guitar masterclasses for David Russell and Manuel Barreuco and currently serves as the President of the Iowa City Classical Guitar Society. Mike’s love and enthusiasm for music shows in everything he does and he passes these to his students.

Voice with Alice

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Alice Feldmann received her Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa where she studied voice and piano. After graduating she taught for 23 years in public schools directing: Choirs, Show Choirs, and over 15 musical productions. In the last 15 years Alice has taught private voice and piano lessons. She enjoys performing styles from Rock & Roll to Musicals to Jazz.

Piano with Aaron


Aaron Schultz is originally from Cedar Falls, but moved to North Liberty in 2005. Aaron has over 12 years of piano experience. In addition to piano, he also plays and teaches saxophone. He graduated from Liberty High School with achieving honors in music and is currently attending Kirkwood.

Piano and Flute with Molly

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Molly Vacek has been passionate for music and education since her youth. She holds an active license in both American Sign Language Interpreting as well as Substitute Teaching. Molly hasher Associate Degree from Scott Community College and 5 years of experience in the education field. She has been playing piano since she was seven and has 16 years of flute experience along with a few other instruments.Her favorite quote is from Henry Longfellow, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Molly looks forward to enriching students' lives with music lessons!

Trombone with Martin

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Martin Gelwasser is a freelance trombonist and teacher based in Eastern Iowa. Starting Fall semester 2023 Martin will be the trombone teaching artist at St. Ambrose University. In 2017 Martin completed a Master’s degree in Orchestral Studies from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he studied with Jay Friedman and Reed Capshaw. Prior, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Trombone Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2016, Martin was awarded the Anthony P. Hopkins Memorial Scholarship for outstanding trombone students. Martin currently resides in Iowa City with his fiancé and three cats, Marie, Colby-Jack, and Squid.

Bass with Askar

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Askar Khaetov is a bass player, performer, composer and teacher. He holds a Bachelor's and two Master's in Jazz performance from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan and in Jazz Studies from the University of Iowa. He has shared the stage with some of the finest jazz musicians such as Benny Green, Chris Coles, Christie Dashiell, Anibal Rojas, Aaron Gosh, just to name a few.During his Master's at the Universityof Iowa, he worked as a teaching assistant of jazz history and was an assistant director of a jazz combo. He also worked as an electric bass instructor at the state Conservatory of Uzbekistan and as a guitar teacher at British school of Tashkent.

Guitar with Mike Jones

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Since 2005, Mike has shared his joy and passion for making music with students age 6 to over 65 in Cedar Rapids & North Liberty. Honing a balance of classical technique and fun learning through song, the student's goals and joy are always priority. Come see how fun music can be! I love when students find their joy in music, and I love seeing them grow in confidence and ability. No matter what your goals are, our approach will be as unique as you are!

Voice and Piano with Zachary


Born and raised in West Liberty, Iowa, Zachary Archer received a Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa, specializing in choral education. Graduating in 2020, he has taught choir and music across several areas, ages, and abilities. He has settled in Williamsburg, Iowa with his wife and three dogs.

Saxophone with Dennis


Originally from Hong Kong, Dennis Kwok holds BM, with the addition of the Meredith Willson scholarship, MA and DMA from the University of Iowa, under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Tse. During his study, he had also performed with multiple renowned classical saxophonists, including Nobuya Sugawa, Vincent David, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, just to name a few. Outside of university, he instructed the saxophone quintet from the New Horizons Band in Iowa City from 2017 to 2018. Currently, he is managing a private studio in Iowa City. Dennis is passionate about drawing audiences deeply into the art of music and inspiring younger generations. As an educator, his focus is to bring joy in music learning and help students achieve their musical goals.

Percussion with Luke


Luke Swearingen has a rare flare to percussion.  He began by marching DCI for three summers before getting his bachelors in Ethno-Musicology from Wichita State University.  Luke has studied ethno-music and percussion in Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Germany, Mexico, England and Latvia.   His flare for percussion has led to performances with many modern day orchestras including Orchestra Iowa, Des Moines Symphony, Canton Symphony, and the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.  His touch to percussion is one that calibrates time with rhythm to modern music making.

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