Skye Barker Maa

Executive Director

Skye has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Denver, Daniels School of Business and a Bachelors of Arts in English and Philosophy.

As a studio owner and manager, Skye wants your child to learn the universal language of music and hopes that your child will move beyond simple exposure and expand to an interest that includes music history, theory, performance, and perhaps composition.

At the heart of her work experiences, Skye has always found herself empowering individuals to participate in complex processes through education, whether it was simplifying information by creating games and exercises that appealed to broad audiences for Denver’s FasTracks Outreach Program, or while working with DPS students from Manual High School. During her MBA program from Daniel’s School of Business, Skye began developing a keen interest in education which further focused to the Early Childhood Learning period following the birth of her own two children.

Kenny Martin

Cello

Kenneth Martin is a registered Cello teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. He began studying cello at the age of nine, and graduated from the Suzuki Method in the studio of Tracy Sands of Lincoln, NE. He has taught cello, strings, and chamber music in Denver, CO at the Lamont Summer Academy, El Sistema Colorado, and Rocky Mountain Cello Fest. Martin was also lead cello instructor at the Philomusica European Music School in Fort Collins, CO. Kenneth has been Principal Cellist with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lamont Symphony, and the Colorado State University Symphony and Sinfonia Orchestras. Kenneth has studied with cellists Charles Tucker, Gregory Clinton, Barbara Thiem, Richard Slavich, and Jurgen de Lemos. He has also been a section cellist with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra and the Lincoln Symphony. Martin has participated in master classes with well known musicians including Dennis Parker, Joan Jeanrenaud of the Kronos Quartet, John Sant’Ambrogio, the Eroica Trio, Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Julie Albers, Benjamin Zander, the Borromeo Quartet, and Zuill Bailey. He earned his Master’s of Music Degree in Suzuki Pedagogy-Cello from the University of Denver where he completed Long Term Teacher Training with Suzuki Pedagogue Carol Tarr. Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Colorado State University where he graduated cum laude and completed the intensive Cello Pedagogy Certificate under the guidance of Barbara Thiem. In addition to teaching cello, Kenneth has over two decades of experience as a Floral Designer in the Denver area.

Mark Emmons

Drums

Mark Emmons has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and has been performing and teaching for over a decade in Colorado.

While at MSU, Mark studied jazz drum set with local legend Paul Romaine for two years, and studied jazz piano for one year with Justin Adams. He performed in several ensembles on both instruments, ranging from big band jazz to experimental music.

As an active performer in the Denver music scene, Mark has shared the stage with some of Denver’s greatest jazz artists such as Joe Bonner, Pat Bianchi, Greg Gisbert, Laura Newman, Kim Stone, and many more. Mark has also recorded five albums with five separate artists, and is currently hosting three weekly jam sessions in Denver including the “Westword’s Best”, Meadowlark Jazz Night.

As an educator, Mark has developed a passion for teaching music and has experience teaching at any ability level. Mark’s goal is to make a personal connection with each student and to inspire them to learn and find the joy in drumming and making music.

Amy Shelley

Drums

Always working to master a variety of styles and genre’s, Amy Shelley has been an active drummer in the Denver Metro scene for over a decade. Whether playing avant-garde jazz with Art Lande and Juli Royster in the band Cuddle, or playing a variety of instruments between drums, ukulele, and keyboards in the indie-rock duo High Fiction, Amy manages to balance assertive and grounded forward-motion playing with a deep sense of listening and responsiveness.

As an educator, Amy focuses on creating a strong foundation in technique and theory in order to provide students a solid base and options as they move forward. She loves discovering what individual students are passionate about, and she loves sharing her joy in music. Teaching private lessons for 17 years, Amy has developed systems, materials, and games to help find the fun side of learning technique and theory as well as more complex concepts like musicality, phrasing and creative expression through music. She has taught individuals ages 4-adult, and has taught master classes at the middle school, high school and university levels. She has deep roots in jazz, rock, funk and Brazilian music, as well as a great deal of experience with classical, bluegrass, and pop forms and working with singer/songwriters.

Currently, Amy performs regularly with her bands High Fiction and Cuddle, and in the bands Monica Whittington & the Blue Hearts, Dave Tamkin & Co., andMonocle. Beyond these gigs she remains an active freelance performer and recording artist. Amy is also the Executive Director of Evolving Doors Dance, where, among other things, she accompanies modern dance classes using drums, vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano, octapad, and a variety of percussion hand drums and toys. She also composes music to be performed live during performances, as well as creates pre-recorded soundscapes to be used during performance.

Amy began playing at the age of 11 in Riverton, Wyoming, and she received her Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance with a certificate in jazz studies from the University of Colorado in 2002.

Thomas Jennings

Guitar

Originally from Ipswich, MA, Thomas has been playing music since he was 5 years old and playing guitar for over 13 years. As a child, he remembers scatting along with Louis Armstrong recordings and learning Neil Young songs on the guitar. He performed and composed all through high school with his band, “Pill Bug Light Reaction,” named after a biology lab. After four intensive years studying jazz, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the Lamont School of Music and is now an active performer and teacher in Denver.

As a teacher, Thomas wants to share his love of music and the joy of playing the guitar. The best learning is based in curiosity and self-discovery, and Thomas hopes to facilitate that for his students, acting as a guide and a resource. He also feels it is important to cover music fundamentals and sight reading to help his students become passionate and well-rounded musicians. He aims to balance challenging material with musical games to keep things light-hearted and fun.

In his spare time, Thomas likes to take pictures and brew coffee with his Aeropress.

Bob Songster

Guitar, Bass, Clarinet

Bob has been an active educator and performer in Colorado for over 10 years. He began studying music at an early age with piano, violin and clarinet; and later added the guitar and bass as his primary instruments. Bob received a world class music education from the University of Northern Colorado where he studied with Dana Landry, Jonathan Leathwood and Kyle Malone.

As an educator, Bob has taught ensembles, clinics and privately to students of all ages. Whether leading the youngest ensemble to awards at the Greeley Jazz Festival, or staring the Evergreen School of Music Middle School Jazz Combo, Bob has enjoyed mentoring students to succeed personally and in front of an audience. He believes that through music students can realize their unique abilities and strengths.

As a performer, Bob has had the opportunity to tour the world with music, play with many of Denver’s most respected jazz and blues artists and perform both with his own group and as a sideman at several the top rated venues. Bob has performed with David Booker (Best Bluesman, Denver Westword), Princess Cruises, Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, William and the Romantics Big Band, Greg Harris, Mark Emmons, Justin Donovan, The Black Resonators, Danny Meyer, Erik Applegate, Tom Ball, Josh Maxey and Andy Dahlke.

AJ Salas

Piano

AJ Salas has been a performer and educator since 1996. Starting piano at age six, AJ progressed very quickly. He had written his first song by age nine and arranged it for a ten piece Tower of Power/Earth Wind and Fire style R&B group. At age 13 he had written and arranged a “boogie-woogie” style piano concerto for the Colorado Symphony and performed it at a contemporary artist tribute in 1998. Salas wowed large crowds at the People’s Fair, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and several other big-time local events.
He’s also jammed with the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz and hung out with B.B. King. By the time he had approached high school he had opportunities to share the stage with Stanley Turrentine, and Ike Turner, as well as perform live on FM 103.5 the Fox’s Radio show Strictly Blues. In 1999, Salas received a scholarship to the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, where he studied closely with local and national greats such as Paul Romain, Eric Gunnison, Greg Gisbert, Ken Walker, Jeff Jenkins, Pat Bianchi, Paul Musso, Hugh Reagan, and more.

After high school he quickly took the opportunity to tour the world with music, seeing Africa, Europe, South America and most of North America. AJ is currently pursuing an active career in music production, and will attend school in the fall of 2013 with the end goal of receiving a Master’s degree in Film Scoring.

Teaching has always been a passion for Salas. He firmly believes that every person has the ability to do great things, no matter the age. He places an emphasis on ear training, technique and sight reading, while music theory is the driving force of every lesson. With a little hard work and dedication, he can help you develop your own musical voice.

Amy Young

Piano

Amy holds a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music. Her musical training includes extensive voice and piano training, and participation in various instrumental and vocal ensembles. Amy sings in and accompanies choirs, jazz bands, and actively participates in her local music association.

As a teacher, Amy focuses on technique, music theory and history, and world music. She incorporates many aspects of musicianship into lessons to help students become well-rounded, confident musicians. This includes, aural training and sight-reading skills, as appropriate to the students level. Amy believes students should have fun learning and strives to make music lessons a positive experience. She also believes that everyone has the innate ability to learn to make music and works with students to discover their potential and develop musical skill.

Irina Moreland

Piano

Born in Russia, Irina Moreland attended the St. Petersburg Specialized College of Music for Gifted Children (1978-1985). In the following years she earned her Master of Musical Arts with Honorary Diploma from the world famous St. Petersburg State Conservatory (1986-1991), studying with Natan Perelman, Anatol Ugorski and Gregory Sokolov. Her Doctor of Musical Arts (eq.) from St. Petersburg State Conservatory followed in 1992-95, as well as post graduate studies with M.Voskresensky, A. Skavronsky and M. Pletnev of Moscow State Conservatory (1994-1995).

In 1994, Moreland participated in Rudolf Buchbinder’s outstanding Internationale Meisterkurse Fur Klavier in Zurich. In 1995, she was invited to participate in Salzburg Festival with her performing Mozart’s Concerto in C minor.
In 1996, Moreland began her course of studies in America, entering the College of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied with such notable musicians as Angela Cheng, Alvin Chaw, Larry Graham, as well as famous jazz musician Greg Dyes. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts in May 2002. While at Boulder, she received the coveted Robin Sawhill Award for the years premiere piano recital and several Distinguished Honorary Awards for the best piano recitals and won a graduate Ekstpand competition.

In academia, Moreland has held the positions of Assistant Professor for the Keyboard Faculty at St. Petersburg State Conservatory; Adjunct Professor for the Colorado School of Mines Choral Department; and, Graduate Assistant and Accompanist at University of Colorado, Boulder. Since 2005, she has taught as an Affiliate Faculty at Colorado Christian University and, since 2007, as an Instructor for the University of Colorado Denver teaching Music Appreciation, Music History and group piano classes. Recently she has been selected to teach at International College at Beijing in January, 2009.

Her use of innovative teaching techniques, including an extensive variety of media tools and methodologies, characterize her teaching strategy of bringing cutting edge, 21st century classroom teaching and technology to the student. Dr. Moreland strives to make the traditional classroom into a fast paced, media driven, contemporary and life altering experience.

Lily Cooper

Piano

Lily started as a Yamaha Music student in Malaysia and had won numerous awards in the Yamaha Electone instrument nationally and internationally; including Third Prize at the 2008 Yamaha Asia Electone Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from West Virginia University as well as a Master of Music in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from University of Missouri. In just over four years in the States, Lily has directed college jazz bands, coordinated and coached jazz combos, hosted a weekly jam session, and performed with world-renowned jazz musicians. Among them are Byron Stripling, Joe Locke, Geoffrey Keezer, John Clayton, Mike Mainieri, James Carter, and Bob Sheppard. She also led her trio in 2012 to win the University of Missouri School of Music’s Emerging Artists competition: the first jazz group to do so. As an accomplished composer and arranger, her compositions were featured in the two MU Jazz Studies CDs in 2013 and 2014 recorded with Byron Stripling, Bob Sheppard, Jimmy Greene, and Sean Jones.

With over nine years of diverse teaching experiences, Lily has taught students of all ages from beginner to advanced level piano, as well as improvisation. She strives to help create musicians who appreciate and enjoy the art, regardless of age and background.