Meet Our Instructors
World-renowned neo-classical concert pianist and composer Bogdan Ota’s music has thrilled crowds as large as 45,000 in Norway, Romania, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and the United States. His modern contemporary symphonic compositions appeal to all types of listeners. Combinations of ethnic percussion, broad orchestral sound, rock elements and outstanding classical piano themes evoke profoundly deep emotion. Awarded a contract with Sony Music, Mr. Ota has scored movie soundtracks as well as music for national events and television, recently releasing his third album. He has taught master classes in composition, orchestration, film and commercial music in the United Kingdom, Norway, Romania, Nevada, Colorado, and Liberty University in Virginia. He received a B.A. in Piano and Composition from the George Enescu University of Arts in Iasi, Romania with a specialization in Instrumental Performance and was nominated for the "Who is Who European Personality of the Year" in 2013.
"I met Bogdan, for the first time in March of 2016. A short time later, I started a serious study of the piano at the age of 36. My whole purpose and goal was to learn well enough that I could play with confidence in front of people. It took some time, and a lot of practice on my part; and a lot of patience on Bogdan's part. We started with scales and arpeggios and very simple songs, but I have been taking lessons for nearly three years and my confidence is growing steadily. The most important thing that Bogdan has taught me, is a love for the instrument , because I enjoy playing for myself. And that has made an incredible difference in the enjoyment I have for playing and continuing pursuing lessons with Bogdan. "
"I have been taking lessons 3 times a week with Bogdan Ota for the past 2 1/2 years. He is not only a musical genius, but kind & very patient. Having previously been with a teacher who only taught from a book, learning from Bogdan was a wonderful breath of fresh air, and he has taught me so much more than I expected from myself. No other teacher rivals his experience & knowledge in music."
As Artistic Director of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra and Summer Music Nights at the Bohemian Forests, Jan has conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Talich Chamber Orchestra, Pavel Haas Chamber Orchestra, Vidin Symphony Orchestra, Ghana National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Bethel Park Orchestra, Orchestra Enigmatic as well as orchestras in Thailand, Japan and the United States. He has led performances with the Pilsen Opera and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and in 2007 led the Prague Karlin Theater Orchestra on an eleven-city tour of Romania. The following year he led the Berlin Newklassiker Symphony Orchestra on a New Year’s concert tour of China and the Czech Youth Symphony Orchestra on a tour of France. A native of the Czech Republic, Jan Pellant studied at the Prague Academy of the Performing Arts and holds degrees from the Prague Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University. Jan has served on the faculty of the International Conservatory in Prague as conducting instructor. He is a DMA candidate at the University of Kentucky (ABD) where he studied with John Nardolillo.
An accomplished music educator and performer, Michael Harrison currently serves as Director of Instrumental Music at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy and conductor of the Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra. He has played trumpet in numerous musical settings including Disney College All-Star Band, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Jazz Orchestra, Arizona Theatre Company, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Broadway productions of Chicago, Legally Blonde, High School Musical, The Rat Pack and Full Monty. He has performed across the United States, Europe, and Japan and was featured on the 2009 and 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA National Telethon. Michael has performed on-stage with such musical legends as Jerry Lewis, Linda Rondstadt, Art Garfunkel, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Doc Severinson, Marvin Hamlisch, The Smothers Brothers, The Lettermen, and The Temptations. Mr. Harrison has a Bachelor of Music Education and Trumpet Performance from the University of Arizona. Click here to read about Michael in the Coeur d' Alene Press. Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra: www.cdayo.org/
With a welcoming style and masterful teaching methodology Nicola Curry cultivates the art of piano playing to a new level. Students from beginner to collegiate level experience an individualized approach as they study music artistry, interpretation, theory, ear training, and reading skills. Her fresh and creative approach develops exquisite touch and intriguing expressive techniques in her students. As a teacher of classical, pop, jazz, Broadway, Christian, and world music, Nicola’s style shows the influence of her native Ireland. Professional recordings of compositions and arrangements she has done for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Asha Kiran Special Needs School in India demonstrate elegance and sophistication which has delighted audiences the world over. After completing the Royal School of Music exams in Great Britain she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies from Warner Pacific College with a piano pedagogy emphasis. She has served as District President of the Oregon Music Teachers Association, Composition Festival Chair, Junior Bach Festival Chair, and Oregon State Composition Festival Chair and is currently a member of the North Idaho and Washington State Music Teachers Associations.
“Taking piano lessons with Nicola was a great platform to prepare for a bachelor of music in my conservatory. More importantly, however, I will cherish Nicola's dedication, warmth, and keen attention to me as an individual student. It was this nurturing approach to lessons that helped me develop holistically as a person by cultivating both skills that will help me no matter what career I pursue and also an appreciation for music's connections to everything that will enrich me throughout my life.”
Playing, performing, and teaching the piano has been Linda Allen’s first love for a lifetime. Her gentle and detailed manner leads the student not only into the world of excellence but also into an intense appreciation of the piano as the grandest of all instruments. Her fine ability to coach students from beginner to advanced is evident in the amazing results she gets from them. A careful balance between serious study and lighthearted music-making fun makes taking lessons a true joy. Although her vast accomplishments in the world of piano may have made her the consummate professional, her gifts are multiplied many times over as her students work towards mastery of the instrument. Mrs. Allen is the instructor of celebrated pianist Rebecca Budai. Click here to read about her honored student.
As a professional vocal instructor, pianist, worship leader, recording artist, and songwriter Rosalie Ingraham develops excellent rapport with young vocalists. Decades of teaching experience have made her an expert at helping voices of all ages to produce a beautiful and well-controlled sound. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to piano and vocal students studying classical, pop, musical theater, and contemporary Christian genres. As an inspirational worship leader for many years, she specializes in coaching worship bands to become the best they can be. She has been the featured artist at Sea World and Knott’s Berry Farm. She has toured America and Europe, appeared on several television shows and even gave a private concert for actor John Wayne and his family. Rosalie Ingraham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a Vocal Emphasis from the University of Memphis and is a certified Harmony Road Music Education System Instructor.
“All staff members are very courteous and knowledgeable. The private voice lessons with Rosalie were very enjoyable and I learned a lot. By the end of my lessons I was able to hit all the notes correctly and learned how to use the diaphragm. My length of endurance improved dramatically. I learned how to move smoothly from chest voice to head voice.”
As a virtuosic performer whose violin studies began at a very young age, Sophie Saurette has a wealth of information to share with students of all ages. She has held positions as 1st violin in the Whitworth Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Spokane Youth Symphony Orchestra, winner of the Spokane Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, performer on KPBX Radio and competitor in Musicfest Northwest many times over. Years of teaching alongside 18 years of personal violin study enables her to infuse students with a passion for excellence as they discover the joy of playing the violin. Miss Saurette is finishing her B.A. in Accounting at Eastern Washington University in addition to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in violin.
Skilled at guiding students down the path of passion and discovery, Brian Margell can help you achieve your musical dreams. From classical to folk, rock, alternative and Christian styles of music, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with students from beginner to advanced levels. His passion for music theory and performing with ease will give you the tools you need to become a great musician. His varied expertise develops technique that is confident, precise and strong. An enthusiastic break dancer, Brian has studied drumming, swing dance and Tango. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, Brian attended graduate level courses and master classes taught by some of the world’s foremost classical guitarists including Jorge Caballero, Marcin Dylla, Fabio Zanon, and Xuefei Yang. He also trained under highly acclaimed composer/guitarist Kevin Callahan.
Over 40 years of band performance experience throughout the Midwest and Northwestern U.S. has given Jim Turner a great deal of versatility in both his playing and teaching abilities. As an instructor of folk, rock, big band, and jazz music for 32 years, Jim has taught hundreds of students everything from beginner basics to more advanced guitar styles. As head coach of the Northwest Academy rock band ensembles he has taken students to the pinnacle of professional performance skills in their guitar study. He has played in everything from rock bands to large, orchestrated ensembles. His love of the learning process and of imparting his musical knowledge to students makes him an ideal instructor for both the beginner and more accomplished player.
"I have been taking guitar lessons from Jim Turner for several months now and found him to be very knowledgeable, easy to understand, patient and kind. I would recommend him to anyone looking to take lessons."
Brittany Engle, Coeur d'Alene
“I bought my guitar over 35 years ago and decided I now needed to learn how to play. Northwest Academy of Music, along with my instructor Jim Turner, has been very supportive in helping a retiree”
Ed Muehlback, Coeur d’Alene
Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet are the instruments of choice for Bruce Hume. A founding member of the Spokane Jazz Society and Spokane Jazz Orchestra (including sixteen years as featured soloist and lead), Mr. Hume has also performed at the Opera House, Coliseum shows, Civic Theater, Spokane Symphony, and with numerous bands and chamber groups. He taught music at Gonzaga University and has also taught at Spokane Falls Community College. He has done professional recording work on numerous instruments and holds a B.A. in music From Eastern Washington University. Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra: www.cdayo.org/
A master at coaching artistic expression within his students, Scott Grunsted’s exceptional technical instruction has produced contest winners again and again. His inspiring pedagogical approach develops well-rounded independent performers who know how to share the joy of their instrument with others in varied styles. He has created and directed numerous choral programs, instrumental and orchestral groups, and Broadway-style musicals in schools. He has traveled abroad as a performer and been an active member of the music ministry in various churches. Mr. Grunsted has a B.A. in strings from San Jose State University and a Graduate Certificate from Multnomah School of the Bible. He is a member of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony and the Helena Symphony Orchestra.
- Coeur d' Alene Symphony: www.cdasymphony.org
- Helena Symphony Orchestra: www.helenasymphony.org
- Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra: www.cdayo.org/
A lifetime of experience in musical pursuits combined with a commitment to excellence enables John Wheeler to impart a wonderful perspective to his students. The son of a flautist and pianist for the St. Louis Symphony, his grandfather was a concert pianist and founder of the Washington Conservatory of Music. At age 14 he was the youngest cellist accepted into the Phoenix Symphony. Over the years he has performed in numerous symphonies in Arizona, California, Montana, and North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, the Coeur d’AleneSummer Theatre and Opera Coeur d’Alene. He has taught master classes at summer youth orchestra camps and worked with Coeur d’Alene youth orchestras. His expert coaching draws students into a new world of beauty and expression. Mr. Wheeler holds a Masters in Physics from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Masters in Business from USC.