Music Teachers

Music Plus teachers have college and university level music training and professional experience performing. Their ongoing professional development ensures that you receive instruction best suited to your learning style and musical goals. 

Janice Wrhel  – Piano, Guitar, Vocal Instructor

Female music teacherSelf-discovery and fun!  That is what Janice Wrhel believes learning music is all about.  As a performing musician and teacher, Janice toured the nation with Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project.  Adapting to local school curricula along the way, she taught songwriting and performance to students from kindergarten to college.  At Music Plus Janice uses techniques honed in classroom, private lesson and seminar settings to tailor a fun learning experience and inspire passion and excellence in her students.

EXPERIENCE | Electric Bus National Tour, Experience Music Project, Seattle; speaker and seminar presenter, Grammy Week, South by Southwest and New Orleans Jazz Festival.
EDUCATION | Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle

Kenny Sager- Percussion Instructor

KennyKenny’s teaching style is energetic. He believes in working hard to reach learning goals while having fun. He is noted for leading many percussion sections in the area to new levels of achievement through serious encouragement. A music education degree from EWU’s esteemed teaching program, as well as experience teaching at the graduate level has equipped Kenny with a broad musical background and the ability to teach at all levels. Kenny has honed technique and theory, while performing with jazz and pop ensembles. All of this, along with a friendly professional outlook makes Kenny Sager an excellent fit for Music Plus!

EXPERIENCE| Music educator and percussion specialist: Gonzaga University, Eastern Washingston University, Mead, Lewis and Clark, East Valley, Medical Lake, Cheney High School. Private and group instructor, elementary through collegiate levels. Performing Several times a week: Local jazz, funk, country, and rock bands. Gonzaga and EWU Jazz wind and percussion groups.

EDUCATION| University of Montana: general percussion, ensemble percussion and jazz performance. Eastern Washington University: Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.


Bailey Sager – Ukulele Class and Percussion Instructor

Bailey is a lifelong learner, a crusader of knowledge, and passionate music educator. Her energetic teaching style encourages her students to have fun while working hard towards their goals. Bailey believes that through a positive learning environment filled with love, laughter, and learning, anyone can obtain the knowledge and skills for future learning and success. As an active member of the National Association for Music Educators, Bailey is always tailoring her lessons to provide each student with the best music experience possible!

EXPERIENCE: Elementary Music Teacher: Newport Public Schools. Percussion specialist: Mead, Lewis and Clark, University, Sedro-Woolley High School. K-5 General Music Boys and Girls Club. Private and Large Group Instructor. Performing percussionist: Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Washington-Idaho Symphony, British Brass Band, EWU Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Concert Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, and pep band Code Red.

AWARDS: EWU Music Educators Award, Tawanka Alumni Scholarship, Trustees Scholarship, the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship, National Association for Music Education Professional Achievement Award.

EDUCATION: Eastern Washington University: Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

Cole Peterson – Guitar, Piano, Bass, & Voice Instructor

11870660_1477657725884277_7192849366129181677_nCole is an experienced working musician,
arranger/composer, songwriter, Worship leader,
and teacher. He believes that hard work is the
foundation of success, and tries to apply lessons
about life, work ethic, and self-esteem in his
music curriculum. If you were to ask him about
his favorite music, he would most likely stammer
on about some combination of Irish Folk,
Americana, jazz, and choral music.

EXPERIENCE: Proficient in guitar, bass, piano,
voice, mandolin, ukulele, and can sometimes play
percussion. He’s toured the west coast with a
country band, sang Handel at Lincoln Center in
NYC, and briefly appeared on season 3 of NBC’s
The Sing-Off. His scope of musical experience is wide, and he believes that all
forms are musical experience are equally worthy.

EDUCATION: Cole is a graduate of Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, OR,
and has a BA in Music from Whitworth University. At Whitworth, he studied
classical voice, jazz bass, classical composition. After graduation, he took
additional courses in Music Education at Portland State University.
FUN FACTS: Cole loves NBA basketball, pizza, and his cat. At any given time, he
is most likely drinking espresso.

Julia Howatson – Piano, Voice,  Guitar, Trumpet 

Julia’s encouraging and enthusiastic manner make for a truly supportive teaching style. Her broad background in music and a variety of instruments makes her a great choice for students young and old.  In a stimulating way, she infuses all her lessons with the fundamentals of music theory.

EXPERIENCE:  In her early years, Julia was very involved in music instruction. She played trumpet in her concert ensemble, jazz band, and marching band. She also studied voice privately and sang in a variety of vocal situations including concert choir, musicals, and as a Cantor for a Parrish during college. She has taught for many years privately, and group classes for Seattle Public School’s after. She also has served as a vocal couch for Broadway Bound Productions. She has experience with students of all ages and with special needs.

EDUCATION:  Washington State University, BA: Music

Esther Kelley – Voice and Piano Instructor

facebook photoWhen Esther’s beautiful disciplined voice echoes through the halls at Music Plus Learning Center it’s like being at the opera.  Esther Kelley is a gifted, talented musician, proficient in piano and voice. Teaching colleagues praise her ability to encourage and support students of all kinds including at-risk youth.

She has traveled to sing in such places as Seattle, Colorado Springs, Denver, Cheyenne, WY, California, New York City, Canada and France. Esther sings with and accompanies the Spokane Community Gospel Mass Choir, has been a featured soloist for the Spokane Symphony Chorale, and is regularly featured in the main cast of Northwest Opera Works (NOW) fall and spring productions.

EXPERIENCE:  Esther is fluent in classical, jazz, Broadway and gospel styles.  She piloted the keyboard and piano studies curriculum for the Holbrook Unified School District in Arizona.  She is currently Director of Music at Morning Star Baptist Church in Spokane.

EDUCATION: Esther is a Washington State certified music teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education From Gonzaga University.

Kristen Schmidt – Early Music Education Instructor

Kristen- bio pictureKristen has a passion for teaching. She loves to create a fun environment in which her students can learn and excel. Kristen believes that within an atmosphere of love and fun, with a little hard work, anyone can learn and succeed. She enjoys helping students reach their goals and adapts teaching strategies to help achieve those goals.

EXPERIENCE:  Teaching has been a part of Kristen’s life for many years. In addition to teaching piano and music exploration at Music Plus, she also teaches Music to elementary grades at Deer Park School District’s Homelink. She enjoys singing on the worship team and with smaller ensembles at her church where she’s also been involved with teaching children music.

EDUCATION: Kristen is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a BS in Biblical Studies. She also studied music theory at Spokane Falls Community College.

FUN FACTS: Kristen loves to travel and visit other countries as well as learn other languages. She also enjoys cooking foods from around the world.

Tyler Coulston – Guitar Instructor

With a friendly intuitive teaching style and loads of focused study, Tyler is one of our resident guitar experts. Tyler believes students are the most productive when learning the music they love to
listen to. Learning tunes is the best way to retain information, make considerable progress and have fun. Exploration and connection to the instrument are important facets of his lessons. Tyler’s approachable nature makes him a  great choice for students from the young learner through older adults.

EXPERIENCE | Tyler enjoys performing throughout the greater Spokane area with various groups, spanning Rock, Jazz, Fusion and Celtic styles. In addition to his formal training, Tyler began private instruction at an early age. He has been teaching privately through local music studios and St Georges School since he was a young adult. He has composed
music for short film and commercials.

EDUCATION: Spokane Falls Community College: Associate of Arts
Eastern Washington University: Bachelor’s of English
Eastern Washington University: Bachelor’s of Music
Berklee School of Music: Certificate in Jazz Guitar
Los Angeles College of Music: Certificate in Jazz Guitar.

Charles Green – Clarinet & Saxophone Instructor

charlescrop A Spokane native, Charles Green has performed with EWU locally and in Canada. A composition of his has been recorded on Network for New Music’s 2008 poetry project cd. His compositions have been featured at local events like Terrain.

EXPERIENCE | Charles has studied with Chip Philips, Todd Delguidice, Dick Hubbard, Daniel Cotter, Ken Harkins, and Jonathan Middleton locally. He also studied with composers Maurice Wright, Matthew Greenbaum, and Richard Brodhead.

EDUCATION | Mr. Green received a Bachelors in Music from Eastern Washington University and a Masters in Music from Temple University in Pennsylvania.