Piano - Vocal

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Emily Pratt

Piano/Vocal

Jennifer Gun
Piano/Vocal

Jennifer Gunn

Piano/Vocal

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Kaarin Safsten

Piano/Vocal

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Matt Witter

Piano

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Molly Bass

Piano/Vocal


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Natasha Sobotovych

Piano/Vocal

Band - Strings

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Kim Fullerton 

Clarinet/Alto Sax/Flute

Robert Bednar
Trumpet/Trombone/Tuba

Robert Bednar

Trumpet/Trombone/Tuba

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Victoria Choin

Violin/Viola/Cello

Piano


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Tyler Clifton-Armenta

Clarinet/Alto Sax/Flute


guitar - bass - drums - ukulele - MANDOLIN

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Charles Watson 

Guitar/Bass/Drums

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Tory Edwards

Guitar/Bass/Drums/Mandolin

Strings

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Skully Lawrence

Guitar/Bass/Drums/Ukulele/Mandolin

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Tim Harper

Guitar/Bass/Drums

Charles Watson

 Instruments taught: Guitar/Bass/Drums

Years Experience:  30+ years

Years at AMA:  2004

Education/Background: Studied guitar privately and attended Mesa Community College as a music major. He attended Arizona State University, Music Education.

In 2006 he taught guitar at Center for Educational Excellence and Grand Canyon Preparatory charter schools. 

Something no one knows about ME: Charles has been performing professionally since the age of 9.


Extended Biography: He has performed in two Arizona based stage bands and is an acclaimed performing Classical Guitarist. Charles Watson has a CD album released with Universal Records Platinum Plus label in Spring 2008.







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Emily pratt

 Instruments Taught:  Piano/Vocal  


Years Experience: 15 years  


Employed at AMA:  2015  


Education/Background:  Ottawa University, Bachelor of Arts, Music Education, 2009
 

Something no one knows about ME:

Extended Biography: 

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Jennifer Gunn

 Instruments Taught:  Piano/Vocal

Years Experience: 35 years

Employed at AMA:  2011

Education/Background: 8 years formal education in music, Musical Director at Chandler Children's Theater, Board Member at Chandler Children's Theater, as well as experience in performance, choir directing, talent promoting, and musical directing.

Something no one knows about ME: I was introduced to music by my mother who was a former NY Rockette Dancer. I was trained in singing, acting, and dancing by the age of seven performing my first Broadway stage musical and ending with 'West Side Story' at age of 31, while raising a family of five. 

Extended Biography: Jennifer joined the AMA staff in 2011. She has been teaching Piano/Voice for 30 years in California as well as Arizona.  With all of her experience she brings enthusiasm and love for music to each student. Jennifer’s mission is in bringing the individual to the realization of self confidence, self discovery, and to an emotionally satisfying experience through the world of music. 

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Kaarin Safsten

Instruments taught: Vocal/Piano

Years Experience:  20+ years

Year at AMA: 2010

Education/Background: Ms. Safsten holds a Master of Music (Voice) and Performance Diploma in Professional Opera Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music Performance and Pedagogy (Voice) from Brigham Young University

Something no one knows about ME: I collect teacups and love to host tea parties for my young nieces. 

Extended biography: Kaarin Safsten has taught voice lessons for 20+ years.  She currently is teaching music courses and voice lessons at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in addition to teaching at Arizona Music Academy and maintains a private studio in Mesa. Ms. Safsten has sung several operatic roles, including Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Marie (Wozzeck) and Electra (Idomeneo). She has also sung, recorded, and toured the United States as a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and served as secretary in the local Valley of the Sun NATS Chapter for two years (2008-2010). 

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Kimberly fullerton

 

Instruments Taught: Bass Clarinet/Clarinet/Saxophone/Flute

Year at AMA:  2018

​Background/Education: Kimberly is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance at Arizona State University. Previously, she received her Bachelor’s in Clarinet Performance at Idaho State University and her Master’s in Clarinet Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to the clarinet, Kimberly also specializes in teaching and playing both the saxophone and flute. Throughout her studies, Kimberly has maintained a private teaching studio and seeks to offer lessons to anyone who wants to learn, no matter their background or experience. Kimberly has a passion for teaching and seeks to tailor each lesson to the individual student.

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Matt Witter

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Instruments Taught: Piano

Year at AMA:  2016

Years of Experience:   10+ years

Education/Background: Matthew began playing the piano at the age of 7 and studied under music professor, Bob Sherwood, into his college years. 

Something no one knows about ME: During high school, Matthew won the competition to perform the Warsaw Concerto with the PJC/UWF Wind Ensemble. 

Extended Biography: Very involved in church music in various capacities and playing sacred music. ​

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Molly Bass

 Instruments Taught: Piano/Voice

Years Experience: 10+ years

Employed at AMA: 2018

Education/Background: Molly Bass holds degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and Vocal Music Education from Bemidji State University and is currently licensed in K-12 Vocal and Classroom Music from Minnesota.

Something no one knows about ME: I love old books and can spend hours perusing in libraries or bookstores.

Extended Biography: Molly Bass has extensive experience working with students of all ages, having begun teaching music lessons while in high school and accompanying high school choirs. She has taught piano and voice lessons, played at several churches, and accompanied numerous soloists and large groups over the past ten years. She has also been a volunteer camp counselor and teacher at Bemidji Musicamp in Bemidji, MN since 2014. Along with these, Molly has experience substitute teaching in public schools back in Minnesota. Molly has performed the roles of Pamina, The Magic Flute, and Peep-Bo, The Mikado, while at Bemidji State University and was a soloist in several Opera Night Galas. She continues to push her own education by participating in programs like L’Opportunita, vocal intensive training program in MN 2018, observing master teachers such as David Jones, vocal teacher training seminar in MN 2017, and working as a vocal coach with the Summer Vocal Institute for high school students, in MN 2018. She loves teaching students of all ages and backgrounds and finds great joy when they experience success in whatever they do.

 

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Natasha sobotovych

 

 

​Instruments taught: Piano/Voice/ Music Theory 

Year at AMA:   2018

Years of experience: 20+

Education/Background: Natasha received her Master of Music Degree from State Conservatory in Ukraine.

Something no one knows about me: Natasha loves playing golf.

Bio: Natasha began her teaching and performing career in Ukraine and moved to Dubai in 1999 where she taught piano, singing and musicianship, guiding many multinational students through successful exams and performances. Natasha is also a versatile performer, having worked as a resident pianist at some of the most popular and exclusive venues in Dubai. In 2017 Natasha moved to Arizona with her family. Here she continues teaching music and inspires many more young talents to excel. 

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robert bednar

 

 ​Instruments Taught:  Trumpet/Trombone/Baritone/Tuba

AMA Employed:  2016

Years of Experience:  11

Education/Background:  Robert graduated with a B.M. in Music Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has several years of performance experience with the trombone . He also studied other instruments including euphonium, tuba, trumpet, piano, and even vocals. He began teaching lessons privately in 2013.

Extended Biography: Robert has performed a wide range of genres including classical, jazz, concert band, musicals, and many more. In his ensemble experiences he has performed in several honor band clinics and ensembles, including:

  • Principle Trombonist of The Triangle Youth Symphony of North Carolina
  • Principle Trombonist of University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Band
  • Principle Trombonist of University of North Carolina at Greensboro Symphonic Band

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skully Lawrence

​​Instruments taught: Guitar/Bass

                                             Ukulele/Mandolin/Drums 

Years Experience: 35 years

Year at AMA:  2008

Education/Background: Professional tour experience

Something no one knows about ME: My name is Scott

Extended Biography: Skully Lawrence is a native of Sierra Vista, AZ and moved to Norwich, England at age 21 to play with an American childhood friend and 3 British lads in a band named “Allied Forces”. After much touring and efforts to launch the band he returned to Phoenix, AZ.  Within a couple of years he joined up with Lurch Killz (original bass player for Sacred Reich).  As a  follow up stint he released several epics with Alowicious Toole together with The Flotsam & Jetsam guitar player, Mark Simpson and another local metal outfit called Blind Rage. Skully has played bass for the AK Corral, with Eric A.K., and Ed Carlson, from Flotsam & Jetsam, Scott Goodwine of S.I.L., Tory Edwards, a local fiddle phenom, and Rob Kippart of the Rush tribute band Freewill. 

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tim harper

Instruments Taught: Guitar/Bass/Ukulele/Drums

Year at AMA:  2019

Years Experience: 40 years performance

10 years music instruction


Education/Background: Studied marketing, attended art school and film school and obtained certifications in accounting and computer operations/IT systems
 

Something no one knows about ME: I love chocolate, horror films and movie musicals.
 

Extended Bio: My love of music began as a child listening to my dad and his brothers play in rock bands together, while my moms family would meet after church on Sunday and play bluegrass music on the porch. I began playing snare drum at age 8 and guitar at age 12. I began performing in musical theater at age 11. I have continued to play guitar and bass and sing in many different blues, jazz and rock bands for over 30 years. I currently play bass in a performing rock band called Flat Earth Riot. I have a regular solo gig playing jazz and blues guitar on Wednesday and Friday nights at Gold Canyon Golf Resort.
I am currently homeschooling my 7 year old son and teaching him six different musical instruments.
 

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Tory Edwards

  

 Instruments taught: Guitar/Bass/Drums

                                               Strings - Violin,Viola,Cello

Years Experience: Lots

Years at AMA:  2010

Education/Background: Phoenix colleges 

Something no one knows about ME: Tory is a Disney Freak! He celebrates his birthday with Disneyland every July 17th!

Extended Biography:   Tory plays a wide variety of music from jazz to rock to country, has recorded with various artists, and has appeared in concert locally and thought the United States. He frequently plays in venues in Arizona, California, and Nevada.  He played the House of Blues in Hollywood and Las Vegas. Additionally Tory has played in concert and recorded with 80's rock band Flotsam and Jetsam, played with various country western groups; AK Corral, the Danny Griego Band, Surefire and a Rush tribute band. He has worked with Tanya Tucker, opened for musicians George Straight, Chris Ladoux,, and Michael Schenker. 

Tory is a versatile musician who is a classically trained violinist and is also accomplished on the   viola, guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, and drums.  

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TYLER CLIFTON-ARMENTA

Instruments taught: Clarinet/Alto Sax/Flute

Year at AMA:  2019


Education Background:   Clarinetist / Director of Social Media, Vientos Dulces

Educator, Mesa Public Schools

MM Arizona State University

BA Colorado Mesa University 


Extended Bio:  Tyler is a clarinetist and educator currently based in the Phoenix Metro area while pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University. He has maintained an active private clarinet studio while attending school and has had the privilege to teach students who have gone on to win assorted contests and competitions and pursue music degrees themselves. As a performer, Tyler enjoys collaborating with chamber groups and large ensembles, as well as performing solo works. Recently, he performed with his clarinet quartet Vientos Dulces at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2019, where they premiered Miguel del Águila’s Transoceánica. Tyler also received his Master’s in Clarinet Performance at ASU and previously studied at Colorado Mesa University, where he earned his BA.

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Victoria choin

 

Instruments taught: Violin/Viola/Cello/Bass
                                             Piano/French Horn

Employed at AMA: 2017

Years experience: 15 - 20 years

Education Background: Central Michigan University, Bachelor of Science in History and Music, 2016. Arizona State University, Master of Arts and Musicology, 2019.

Extended Bio:  Victoria is experienced in teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced students in string instruments and piano along with French Horn. She has been a member of many Symphony Orchestras in Michigan and Illinois. She is ready to share her vast music knowledge with her students.

Victoria is currently the Strings and Music Teacher in the Mesa School District,  AZ.

 

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