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REW Music has a long standing tradition with Music Education excellence. We take pride in the success our teachers have with teaching students the fine art of making music and being successful on their instrument. Our students perform with top marks are area and state festivals and competition because our teaching staff is the most qualified in the city! Our instructors are top rated in the Kansas City area! We offer lessons on site at either of our convenient locations in Lenexa, KS and Olathe, KS. 

Meet your teacher below!

Click on your instrument family to drop down to your teacher: 


WOODWIND - Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon
BRASS - Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba
ORCHESTRA - Violin, Viola, Cello
GUITAR - Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele


Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon


Amber graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Wichita State University in 2002. In addition, she earned her Masters in Arts Administration and Music Business from UMKC in 2005. Currently, she is working on her Master of Music Education and Instrumental music at Pittsburgh State University. She has been performing and teaching in the greater Kansas City area for over 5 years, and has been playing her flute for almost 20 years.

BIANCA KUMAR - Oboe & Flute

Bianca - Oboe

Bianca - Flute

My name is Bianca Kumar and I am a woodwind specialist, teacher, and performer in the Greater Kansas City area. I have been playing oboe and flute for the past 13 years, saxophone for 9, and clarinet for 4, so I have first-hand insight on how to adapt between different woodwind instruments. My passion lies in fostering appreciation for music across all genres: classical, pop, rock, jazz, folk, film music, and more. As a teenager, I would run home after school to my piano so I could create and record my own arrangements of TV and film themes, original compositions, and improv tracks. Music is such an important facet of my life and being able to share my knowledge with young students is an exciting privilege. I received degrees in oboe performance from The Ohio State University and UMKC Conservatory of Music, performing in orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles, jazz combos, and Klezmer bands.

LINDSEY KNOX - Oboe & Piano

Lindsey's Bio Coming Soon

TORI SIMKINS - Saxophone, Clarinet & Flute

Tori Simkins graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelors and Master of Arts in Music Education. She then pursued a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from Indiana University - Bloomington. Upon graduating from IU, Tori returned to her home state of Iowa and taught music for two years in the West Fork Community School District, as well as serving as the Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. Her goals when teaching students are to find creative and fun ways to communicate new information to her students, learn about students interests and personal goals to incorporate those into lessons, and to create an environment in which students feel comfortable enough to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

STEVE CAPORALE - Clarinet & Saxophone

Steve Caporale’s greatest passion in life is to share the joys of music with other people. Having earned his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and K-12 Education from William Paterson University, he has developed a creative and personalized approach to teaching. He is able to differentiate his instruction to the diverse interests and learning styles of his students, so that they may be fully engaged in their musical development. Steve has been studying saxophone for 11 years and flute for 4. He is versatile in playing varied genres of music, having performed professionally with Jazz Chamber Ensembles, Big Bands, Top 40 Cover Bands, Blues, Indie, Country, and even a live DJ.

KAITLIN MCFADDEN - Clarinet & Saxophone

Hi, I’m Kaitlin McFadden and I’ve been playing the clarinet for the past 15 years and the saxophone for 9. To say that music changed my life sounds dramatic, but it’s true! Being a musician for most of my life has helped me to form friendships and bonds that I know will last a lifetime. I graduated from Friends University of Wichita, KS in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and am returning to school for my Masters of Music Therapy from the University of Kansas. My whole life I’ve felt called to help those around me, and given my passion for music, I wanted to find a way to combine those two things. I am so excited to be teaching private lessons with REW music and look forward to sharing the joys of music with my students.

RICK FIRESTONE - Saxophone & Beginner Clarinet

Rick Firestone is a current doctoral student studying saxophone performance at UMKC. An active teacher and performer, his studies and performances have taken him across the globe, including sites such as the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France, the North American Saxophone Alliance National Solo/Chamber Music Competition in Lubbock, Texas, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. As a teacher, Rick aims to introduce students to the inherent versatility of the saxophone while finding what piques each individual student’s interest. Some of his favorite musical composers/artists are Béla Bartók, Sergei Prokofiev, Akropolis Reed Quintet, The Beatles, and Lake Street Drive. In addition to saxophone, Rick enjoys reading, watching reruns of The Office, and finding local coffee shops.

JEFF ACHESON - Clarinet & Saxophone

Music is fun! When I started playing the saxophone at the age of 10, my instructor inspired me to learn many different styles of music and to learn in many different ways. 37 years later, I still have the passion that was instilled into me from my musical experiences. It is my ultimate goal to teach all of my students to love music and be as successful as they can be.

Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, Tuba


Music is my favorite form of communication. I find that it is often a way to make sense of feelings you can’t verbalize. My goal is to open up that form of communication for my students. Whether that means they take it to a higher level of performance or they just take it on as a hobby, the goal is to find their own love of music. I graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2017 with a BME. My career goal is to achieve a band director or assistant band director position in the KC area.


Nick Howell is a trumpet player, composer, and teacher. He holds a Bachelor's in Music Education from UMKC. He performs regularly in Kansas City with groups such as The People’s Liberation Big Band, The Good Foot, Sansabelt, and Pitch Music Award-winning The New Riddim.

JENNIFER SHINSKA - Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba

Originally from New Baltimore, MI, Jennifer is a music educator and performer who has experience teaching students from beginning band to college undergraduates. Her approach to teaching low brass students involves building upon their prior knowledge on their instrument and guides them in achieving their personal goals. Jennifer takes into account the learning styles of each of her students as well as their interests in learning music.

IAN LESTER - Euphonium, Trombone, & Tuba

Ian's Video Coming Soon!

Ian's Bio Coming Soon!

Violin, Viola, Cello

KIMIA EBRAHIMZADEH - Violin & Beginner Viola

I started my violin when I was 11-year-old. I’m from Iran and I’ve got my bachelor’s in music from Tehran University of Art. I remember playing in orchestra was so exciting for me, so I tried hard to be in ensembles and orchestras in my home town when I was 14.I have a big journey because of my violin and still love to learn more about this amazing instrument. I moved to USA to improve my experience and knowledge in music. This is all my goal. I’m so glad that I can help everyone who wants to learn violin. Always try to learn new things about music, this clear and pure thing in our life.

LULU YU - Violin

Lulu's Video Coming Soon!

I received my Masters Degree from UMKC Conservatory of Music. Music has been important to me since I was 4 years old, which helps me understand children's desire to learn music. I love every minute when I play the violin. I have performed in concerts, recitals, and many competitions. I hope I can inspire my students to develop their violin skills and provide opportunities for them to enjoy the music world.


Karianne Waterland has a Music Business degree from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Karianne is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has completed Books 1-3 Teacher Training in the Suzuki Method. She also plays in the Northland Symphony and is Executive Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Kansas City. Additionally, Karianne assists with the REW Homeschool Orchestra ensembles.


Matthew Imber has been playing the cello for 16 years. In high school, he was a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He studied the cello and composition at Grinnell College. Back in Kansas City, he likes to introduce young musicians to the possibilities of the cello in different genres and styles, like pop, rock, metal, bluegrass, and jazz. Besides being a classical music nut, he is a Beatle-maniac, history buff, bookworm, and total nerd. His favorite living composers are David Lang, Judd Greenstein, and John Luther Adams. His favorite dead guys are Bach, Shostakovich, and John cage.


Michael's Bio Coming Soon!

Mallets & Drums

BRETT BUTLER - Percussion

Hello! My name is Brett Butler and I graduated from Kansas State University in the Spring of 2017. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education with a emphasis on studying percussion! I was born in Shawnee, KS and I am a native of this area. There is not a day that goes by to where I am not playing drums, or have some type of musical beat stuck in my head. Percussion has been a huge part of my life and I am always intrigued by the different timbres percussionists can produce on their instruments. I studied percussion all through my undergraduate at Kansas State, but first started out playing guitar at the age of 7! I played guitar and percussion throughout my years in high school, focusing heavily on studying music. Jazz music has always interested me and I played in a jazz ensemble while finishing high school. Since percussionists have a slew of instruments to learn, it can be overwhelming, but I am very excited to help those students hop over that edge and explore all of the instruments; pitched and non-pitched percussion. Outside of teaching music, I love to perform as a percussionist in the KC Wind Symphony and also learning on how to record music!

JAMES HARRIS - Percussion

James Harris, a Melrose, Florida native, is a current Kansas City free-lance percussionist. He has earned his master's degree from University of Missouri--Kansas City. James holds positions with the Sioux City Symphony as a section percussionist, and a principal percussion position with the Symphony of North Arkansas. He has taught at Interlachen Florida High School, Lees Summit West High School, and currently teaches at Liberty North High School. He looks to offer students a path to similar performance experiences. He is always willing to help students achieve more titles, performance awards, and recognition, but also strives to have his students obtain happiness when playing their instrument.


LINDSEY KNOX - Oboe & Piano

Lindsey's Bio Coming Soon

Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele

TOM NELSON - Acoustic, Electric, Bass, Ukulele

Thomas M. Nelson is a guitarist and composer of contemporary music, born in Kansas City Missouri in 1978. Beginning music lessons at an early age, his formal music education comes from the Paseo Academy of the Fine and Performing Arts and the Conservatory at UMKC. Part of his education included his compositions performed by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and an educational exchange in Capetown, South Africa. Thomas has been a teacher and performer for over 12 years. In that time, he has performed and taught in a variety of musical genres including classical, jazz, folk, country and rock. Thomas teaches his own method which includes an education in note reading, cords, basic theory and composition. He strives to import a skill set which provides a student with access to music of all genres and an enjoyment of music which can last for the students’ entire lifetime.

JEFF SHIRLEY - Acoustic, Electric Bass, Ukulele

Hi, I'm Jeff Shirley, Kansas City jazz guitarist! Without teaching I would not be the performer I am and without performing I wouldn't be the teacher I am! It's so much fun being a part of the Kansas City music scene, and a part of this great, family-run music company that has a heart for music. I love hearing people grow musically overtime (it does take some time!) And I really like to explain things from the ground up. I think the best approach is to work on the material that the student wants to work on. It's important that practice be fun. It does take hard work, but it should also be fun. So think of a couple songs that you like, and we can focus on those and we will consistently set goals, goals we can achieve!