Faculty: Violin & Viola
Prices displayed below are for 30 minute lessons. 45 and 60 minute lessons are available by request.
Jami Bale (violin) Taking a "road less traveled," violinist/flutist Jami Bale has spent a lifetime pursuing achievements on two diverse orchestral instruments. A native of Kansas City, she has returned to her home town after spending many years as an active free lance musician on both instruments in Pittsburgh, PA and the surrounding tri-state region of Ohio and West Virginia. She currently serves as a tenured member of the violin section in the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra (PA), and performed frequently with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony (WV).
Versatile in many musical styles, Jami is in high demand as a classical chamber and orchestral musician. She has played for Broadway shows with Pittsburgh's Civic Light Opera, and has also performed in concert with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Michael W. Smith, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Moody Blues. Other career highlights include performing in concert with Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and appearing in several installments of the acclaimed PBS Doo Wop television series.
In addition to an ongoing career as a free lance flutist, Jami was a National finalist at the MTNA Young Artist Competition. As part of her continuing education, she has either studied with or performed on the master classes of many of the principal flutists from top U.S. orchestras and teachers from the most well known music schools such as: Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, Jeffrey Khaner, Lorna McGhee, Jim Walker, Thomas Nyfenger, Peter Lloyd, Carol Wincenc, and Samuel Baron.
While enjoying an active performing career, Jami returns to Kansas City bringing several decades of teaching experience. In Pittsburgh she previously held the positions of violin and flute instructor at PYCO School of Music, Musik Innovations, Adjunct Instructor at Duquesne University, and for the City Music Center at Duquesne University. Jami holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music, Master of Music (violin) and Master of Music (flute) from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the Artist Diploma from Duquesne University.
Jami believes that a solid foundation of classical training in fundamental technique, basic music theory, and an understanding of performance practice in the different eras of music history allows a student to explore and enjoy any musical style. She enjoys teaching students of any playing level beginner through advanced, and a wide range of ages from as young as six years old through adult. Lessons may be scheduled on either violin or flute.
*Although Jami's schedule displays primarily afternoon and evening time slots, she is available for daytime lessons per special request.
Dima Estanbuli (violin) was born in Damascus, Syria, where she lived and studied for 22 years before moving to Wichita, Kansas, to continue her education. Dima started piano lessons at age 6. Her fascination with the violin began 3 years later when she heard a performance of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ and she decided she wanted to play the violin.
Dima studied at the Russian Cultural Center in Damascus, and in 2008 she began studying violin at the Conservatory of Music in Damascus with Professor Uliana Golicova. In 2012, she was invited to participate in the "Playing for Peace" program with the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. The same year, Dima was accepted into the music program at Wichita State University, earning her Bachelors degree in Music Performance.
Dima is currently pursuing her masters degree at Park University Ben Sayevich. Dima has taught violin, aural skills, and harmony to many students of different ages and levels. She loves to teach, and enjoys getting to know her students and tailoring her approach to best help each student excel.
Andrew Naylor (violin/viola) was born in the small town of Lamoni, Iowa where he began playing violin at age four. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Graceland University where he studied with Tracy Finkelsheyn, and a Master of Arts in Violin Performance from the University of Iowa, where he studied with Scott Conklin. Andrew has participated in festivals, competitions, and solo opportunities throughout his 26 years of playing, including master class sessions with the JACK Quartet, Cavani String Quartet, Turtle Island String Quartet and renowned Bulgarian violinist Yossif Radionov.
Andrew accepts students ages four through adults and is experienced in teaching students of beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. His primary focus is to foster solid technique, a thorough aural understanding of melodies and harmonies, and a strong foundation interpreting and reading music. Andrew's concentration is primarily classical, but he is happy to incorporate jazz, bluegrass, and rock pieces as student interests dictates. Andrew enjoys continuing to adapt, grow, and learn new ways to share his love and devotion to music with his students. Andrew believes music is a gift and he enjoys guiding his students to develop purpose in their playing and to help them share the gift of music with all!
Alla Wijnands (violin/viola) holds a Master’s Degree, as well as an Artist Diploma from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and previously studied at the Sverdlovsk music school for gifted young artists. She has toured over forty states and internationally with the St. Petersburg String Quartet. She also performed as member of the Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon LeZion and was concertmistress of the Miami City Ballet Orchestra for three years. Mrs. Wijnands appeared as a soloist in some of the major theaters and performing centers around the world with the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra, as well as with the Miami City Ballet Orchestra. She has recorded under Marquee and Melodia labels with the St. Petersburg String Quartet. Since her relocation to the Kansas City area, Alla collaborated with the Kansas City Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Symphony of Northern Arkansas and NAVO Chamber Orchestra, and often plays for the KC Rep, Music Hall and Starlight theaters.
Mrs. Wijnands started teaching over thirty years ago, as a teaching assistant at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She has also taught at the St. Petersburg International Summer Academy, Beit Barbur Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, and has given chamber music and violin master classes around the world.
Allison Griesbach (violin/viola) has taught in the Kansas City area since 2000. Allison teaches “Traditional Method” which focuses on learning to read music as the student learns to play, opening up a rich world of musical possibilities for the student. Allison teaches beginning through advanced levels of playing ages 5 (and reading) to adult, including adult beginners. Allison’s current students include elementary through high school players as well as adults. Her current students also participate in school orchestra programs, solo and ensemble festivals, church music, and The Kansas City Youth Symphony. Allison’s past students have gone on to study everything from science to music education. Allison is a native of the Kansas City area and has a life-long love of music and hopes to foster that love in all of her students. She is an alum of Shawnee Mission North Strolling Strings as well as The Kansas City Youth Symphony. She went on to earn her Bachelors of Music Education from the UMKC Conservatory of Music. Allison’s teachers include Monty Carter, Paul Coletti and Scott Lee. Allison is working to earn a Master of Arts in Music Therapy at UMKC. She is excited to begin her internship in the fall at the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. Allison has served as a public school orchestra director, adjudicator, and a licensed Kindermusik Educator. She was awarded the Ruth D. Anderson Fund for the 2014-2015 school year to provide a Kindermusik class to children with Special Needs. Allison has a special interest in teaching students with special needs and currently teaches violin and viola students with special needs. Allison would be happy to discuss any adaptations that would help your child to succeed in music! Allison is married to Bill, an elementary music teacher and they are the proud foster/adoptive parents of two amazing children!
Keith Stanfield (violin)
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK, Keith served as a teaching assistant to Professor Remus Azoitei from 2011-2013.
Upon moving to Kansas City, he was appointed to positions at Benedictine College and Cottey College, and most recently to the faculty of the Heartland Chamber Music Junior Festival.
Keith's students have participated at all levels of the Kansas City Youth Symphony, district and state orchestras in both Kansas and Missouri, and have won music scholarships to various colleges. Some of Keith’s students also compete in local competitions frequently.
Keith is Concertmaster of the Northland Symphony Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra. He is a substitute player with the Kansas City Symphony.
He was featured on KCUR’s “Central Standard” with Gina Kauffman. His Facebook page, which is frequently updated, https://m.facebook.com/fiveminutesofmozart/ shows videos of recent performances with various orchestras as well as the full length radio interview.
His recordings of Bach and Mozart are available on iTunes.
Steven Smith (viola, violin) holds a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Washburn University of Topeka. Steven served as the assistant conductor for the Orquesta Mexicana de la Juventud in Mexico City in 1982 and has led the Olathe Community Orchestra since 1985. Steven received the 1997 founders award for his conducting work at Theatre-in-the-Park in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, where he has appeared in at least one production per summer since 1985. Steven performs frequently around Kansas City as a saxophonist, violist and arranger with such groups as the Silverwood Quartet (classical), Annalee and the Lucky So-n-Sos (swing), The Brian McCarty Band (polka), and the rhythm-and-and-blues band Loosenz with the Tighten-Up Horns. He is founder and leader of the Sunflower Ragtime Orchestra, an authentic early-Twentieth Century music ensemble. An experienced classroom teacher, Steven recently retired from his long-time position as director of orchestras and instructor of music theory at Paseo Academy, Kansas City’s high school for the performing arts, and he is currently working as a substitute music teacher for several area school districts, including Olathe. Steven’s goal in teaching is to help students discover and develop the innate talent that everyone has for making music. Steven Smith accepts students ages 9 through adults.
Nicholas Jarrett (violin, viola, piano, voice) has been a musician for over 27 years, starting violin at the age of four. He studied violin, piano, and voice at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music. Nick maintains studios for private lessons and directs string ensembles in Leavenworth/Lansing, Prairie Village, Olathe, and Merriam, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.
In addition to private lessons, he has worked with students with cochlear implants at St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf in Lenexa, Kansas and was director for the summer school music program at St. Monica's elementary school in Kansas City, Missouri. Currently, Nick is chairman of the KCMTA Concerto Competition in partnership with the Heritage Philharmonic, co-founder of Strings For Uganda in partnership with "Change The Truth", annually adjudicates for MAMA and is a contributor to the Gemini Project. He also performs as a freelance musician for all events. Nick is a member of the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, the Missouri Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association.
Natasha Kwapich (violin, viola) played violin with the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Webster University Chamber Orchestra. After moving to Kansas City, she studied with renowned violinist Benny Kim at the University of Missouri Kansas City. She performed frequently with “Musica Nova” an ensemble devoted to premiering the work of new composers and served as Principal Second in the first Kansas City Puccini Festival. She played fiddle with "ROBE" and won Q104’s Battle of the Bands in 2009. She and ROBE opened at Yallapalooza in 2009 and 2010. While Natasha enjoys performing, her true passion is teaching. She believes in every student’s potential to excel and carefully adapts her teaching methods to suit the age, personality, and special gifts of the individual student. Whether a student has dreams of becoming a professional musician, a doctor, or an astronaut, Natasha will nurture a lifelong love of music, an appreciation for artistic expression, and a spirit of perseverance that will help the student to shine in whatever career path he or she chooses. Natasha is also particularly sensitive to the needs of adult students, approaching all lessons with respect, patience, and enthusiasm. Natasha is a member of the Olathe Music Teachers Association, the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, the Kansas Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. Natasha has served as orchestra director of the Metropolitan Conservatory Youth Orchestra since 2012. She has taught private lessons and directed strings ensembles since 1999. B.A.- University of Missouri, Kansas City J.D.- University of Kansas
Natasha's schedule is currently booked. To join her waiting list, please fill out the form below:
LOCATION: 119th & Quivira
AVAILABILITY: Tuesdays & Saturdays
Mrs. Yancey is a "Studio in Residence" faculty member.
To schedule a free consultation, or to inquire about her personal pricing and lesson policy please fill out the form below:
Diana Yancey (violin/viola) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia where she earned her degree in violin and viola performance and education. She came to New York in 1976, playing and teaching there for two years. Soon after moving to Kansas City Mrs. Yancey began teaching orchestra in the Olathe School District. She also taught Suzuki method to the very young children at Jonson County Community College.
Mrs. Yancey recently retired after more than 25 years teaching in Olathe; but continue substitute, teach privately and freelance around the city. She has two adults sons. One of them is Anton Krutz, owner of KCStrings!
Mrs.Yancey's philosophy of teaching young students:
1) Building a positive teaching-learning environment between the teacher and the student
2) Nurture the student's love for the instrument;
3) Make sure that the learning material is musically interesting and technically appropriate
4) Encourage and support participation in the school orchestra, playing auditions and/or competitions in- or outside the school district.
Mrs. Yancey accepts most elementary, middle and high school students for 30 min lessons, but typically encourages more advanced students to take 45 minutes lessons.