Meet Our Instructors
HERE TO GUIDE, INSPIRE AND SUPPORT
Who a teacher is, is more important than what he or she teaches. Our teachers create opportunities for exploration and learning by establishing engaging environments where students feel safe and confident. We have exceptional instructors who are caring, enthusiastic, and dedicated to helping students exceed their every expectation. The Overture School of Music selects professional musicians with a love for teaching. Read some of their stories below. More qualified staff will be joining us soon!
Meet The Instructors
Harp and piano instructor
Ms. Caitlin is a harpist based in Houston, TX with degrees from both Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, having achieved a Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music respectively. An active performer, she has performed numerous times as a concerto soloist, most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig and National Repertory Orchestra.
In addition to performing with many professional orchestras such as the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Ms. Caitlin has been the Outreach Director and Harpist for “The Syndicate for the New Arts” since 2014, a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also a core member of Loop 38, a contemporary music ensemble bringing new music to the heart of Houston.
An active freelance performer in the contemporary, classical, and jazz genres, Ms. Caitlin also enjoys teaching students of all ages! She has taught many young musicians, college students, and adult beginners, and always strives to work with the individual to help them achieve their unique goals in music. She has studied the piano since age four, began her study of the harp at age nine, and is a native of Thornton, Pennsylvania. When she’s not playing the harp, she can probably be found enjoying the outdoors, listening to good music with friends, or daydreaming about dogs!
Ms. Anna Maria
Ms. Anna-Maria is an orchestral conductor, classical pianist and piano instructor. She has performed in venues in Greece, Germany and the USA. Alongside solo repertoire she engages in projects of chamber music and collaborating with orchestras. A native of Athens, she holds a piano performance and a music theory degree from Philippos Nakas Conservatory. Ms. Anna-Maria has earned her MA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently she is pursuing her DMA in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Houston. Among her awards are the Schissler Foundation Fellowship, the University of Houston Graduate Tuition Fellowship and the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas Award. Professor Franz Anton Krager says that Anna Maria is a natural talent. He continues “As a young and aspiring conductor, I would place Anna Maria Gkouni in the top 1% of her peers! As a scholar and caring human being, she also ranks in the top 1%!! She is also a fine pianist... Her knowledge of piano playing and pedagogy is part of her musical mechanism, and will certainly serve as a foundation of understanding as she works with orchestras now, and into the future. She has accrued significant public conducting and teaching experiences in her native Greece. Her inspired work is nothing short of exemplary, and as her major teacher, I am pleased to express my pride and admiration for her artistic & organizational work”
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Ms. Rachel is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Houston Ballet Orchestra and also performs with Houston Grand Opera, Mercury Houston, and works as a substitute violinist for the Houston Symphony and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. Rachel is a devoted teacher, with over ten years of teaching experience. She has worked as a violin and viola instructor for the Houston Youth Symphony Melody and Coda programs since 2013, teaching individual lessons and group classes. Rachel has also worked as a chamber music coach and sectional coach for AFA’s Chamber Music Academy and Summer Music Festival since 2014, serving as acting String Department Head in the summer of 2019. Rachel completed her Masters of Music degree from Rice University, studying with Kenneth Goldsmith, and her Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University, where she studied under Eliot Chapo. She received further pedagogical training at the Greater Austin Suzuki Association in the summers of 2018 and 2019, completing the Suzuki Violin School Teacher Training for Suzuki Books one and two.
Rachel tailors her lessons to fit each student’s level and goals. She believes in being flexible to respect individual interests and will work on different genres of music as well as classical and music theory. She has worked with students of all ages and abilities, ranging from five-year-old beginners to advanced high schoolers preparing for college music school auditions. Rachel cares about her students individually and is adept at maximizing their potential through insightful instruction.
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Violinist Kevin Murphy received his Master of Music degree from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music as a scholarship student of Kathleen Winkler. He attended the UNC School of the Arts in both the high school and undergraduate programs, studying with Ida Bieler, Janet Orenstein, and Kevin Lawrence. Mr. Murphy made his debut with the Winston-Salem Symphony at age 16 and soloed with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the 2015 Concerto Competition. He has appeared numerous times as concertmaster and principal second violin in the UNCSA Symphony and Nutcracker Orchestras, and participated in the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra tour to Carnegie Hall in 2016. Murphy attended the Aspen Music Festival in 2015 and 2016 with a full scholarship from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute, where he studied with Naoko Tanaka of the Juilliard School. As a teacher, Mr. Murphy’s main goal is to share his love of music with his students. He guides his students toward healthy and beautiful playing while emphasizing the fun and expressive aspects of music. Mr. Murphy is committed to building confidence by helping his students realize musical goals from big to small. Whether it’s finding a fun piece to play for a recital, preparing for an orchestra seating audition, or aiming toward a competition, Mr. Murphy wants his students to feel that they have him in their corner.
Guitar, ukulele and piano instructor
Mr. Jim is a full-time professional musician, teacher, and transcriptionist. He is a graduate of prestigious Berklee College of Music and has a Masters in Business Administration in marketing from SNHU in conjunction with Berklee College of Music. Mr. Jim has toured and played in many bands across most genres; as well as gained experience in pit/theater shows with such establishments as the AD players and the Music Box Theater.
Over the years, Mr. Jim has taught at School of Rock in Katy, Children's Learning Adventure in Cinco Ranch, Sense and Color in Austin as well as KD Music and Arts in Katy. Mr. Jim has had several students audition for music conservatories and all of them got into their first choice! What’s more, several of his students have performed in bands that Mr. Jim booked for them in the community and local music venues. This gives the students a greatly enhanced recital experience, real-world music industry exposure, and a huge boost to confidence, performing, and public speaking abilities.
Punctual, hardworking, and dedicated, Mr. Jim has put together an adaptable, in-depth curriculum for every instrument he teaches that he tailors for the individual interests and goals of every student.
Piano, guitar and composition instructor
More staff will be joining us soon. For more information on our courses or meet our staff, we invite you to get in touch and schedule a meeting!
Guitar, ukulele and piano instructor
Mr. William is a singer-songwriter and a music teacher. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in English. While at SHSU he was also a guest lecturer in History of Twentieth-Century Music, excerpts of which were later published in the textbook for that class. Upon graduation, he returned to his hometown of Houston where he created and distributed a magazine dedicated to the local live music scene. Since that time he has released and performed original music, as well as playing both original music and covers with bands of various genres including folk, country, indie, alternative, and punk rock. He plays electric and acoustic guitar, synthesizer keyboards, and vocals. He has also ghostwritten lyrics for several artists and runs his own music publishing company.
His teaching credentials include private lessons, group lessons, videoconference lessons, and show productions, over the course of ten years, both freelance and at various music schools. Mr. William was one of the most popular faculty at the School of Rock prior to joining Overture.
His passions include music, travel, rock climbing, camping, and exploring our National Parks.
Violin and piano instructor
Ms. Patricia was born in Havana, Cuba, and she started playing the violin at the age of eight. She graduated from The Superior Institute of Arts, University in Havana. Since then, she has performed as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana and the Philharmonic orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela. Patricia worked as a Concertmaster at the Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra in Cuba, and Chamber Orchestra of Havana. Being the founder of Havana String Quartet, Patricia is also a member of the Sphinx Virtuosi. She has toured around the US in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Library of Congress bringing classical music, masterclasses, and outreach activities to communities nationwide with students of all ages.
Patricia holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as a Diploma in Solo Performance and a Performers Diploma in Chamber Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Besides performing, Patricia also enjoys teaching! She was part of the faculty at the Institute Superior of Arts, and the Conservatory of Music Amadeo Roldan in Cuba, as well as a teaching assistant at Indiana University. Recently, as one of the Community Embedded Musicians at the Houston Symphony, she was involved in developing and teaching orchestra-based classroom lessons and pre-concert visits for elementary, middle, and high school students. Patricia’s goal for her students is to have fun with the instrument and love the process of learning it.
Dr. Shane completed his doctorate in music from Rice University in May of 2018 and holds a bachelor’s and master's degree in composition. For Overture, Shane teaches piano and guitar—classical and beginner and intermediate flamenco guitar as well as popular styles of acoustic guitar. He has studied piano and composition since age 12 as well as classical guitar and flamenco since he was young. He has played Renaissance lute and archlute (theorbo) for Rice University’s Collegium Musicum. Additionally, Shane Monds performs on sitar and surbahar (Indian lutes) in the traditional forms of North Indian classical music – his primary research area.
As a teacher, Shane believes in practice. We must love our practice and find joy in seeing ourselves improve and find strength in the battle to become better. Practice will develop our patience, discipline, and change the way we see all tasks.
As a teacher, he gives lots of practice tips, how to avoid fatigue, how to keep it fun and interesting, and how to approach the same material from many different directions. Practice is not preparation for a performance! It is the essence of what it means to experience music from a musician’s point of view.
Lastly, he believes that the world does not need just one more great musician, it needs great people. We must find how our music inspires us to change our minds and hearts, and we must let it change us!
Bass and piano instructor
A versatile double bassist and music teacher, Mr. Casey is currently pursuing graduate studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His musical roots are in rock and jazz, and he has received degrees in classical performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. As a professional bassist, Mr. Casey has performed in leadership positions with orchestras across the United States and internationally. His performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have found him on stages including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Chicago Symphony Center.
Mr. Casey believes that music should first and foremost be exciting for the student! He is constantly looking for the best ways to instill a love of music in each person he works with. Mr. Casey’s own love of music started from an early age and was fostered by caring and thoughtful mentors along the way. He hopes that he can be a similarly positive influence on his students and help them to grow as both musicians and people. Constantly striving for personal growth in his own playing and life, Mr. Casey believes that it is important to identify and affirm the strengths of each individual student while helping them to develop the skills they need to meet their own musical goals.
Ms. Rhiannon is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at University of Houston Moores School of Music. In the last few years, Rhiannon has had several notable performances including an international debut in Leipzig, Germany with her solo recital at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig in 2018, performing as the soloist with San Antonio Symphony in 2016, several performances on Austin’s classical radio station, KMFA 89.5, as well as San Antonio’s classical radio station, KPAC 88.3, where she had one of her solo recitals broadcasted. Additionally, she has won 1st place at numerous piano competitions around the United States, with her most recent one being the Texas Music Teachers Association’s Young Artist Piano Competition in 2018, but also include the Marian Garcia Young Artist Piano Competition, New Orleans Piano Institute Competition, Texas State Young Artist Piano Competition, Austin Young Artist Piano Competition and more.
Ms. Rhiannon loves the process of transferring her music knowledge to others. Particularly, she enjoys breaking down the process to make it more accessible and enjoyable, witnessing the joy and satisfaction a student has when they finally accomplish something that is the result of their hard work, such as mastering a difficult passage in a piece or getting a scale up to a certain speed. Through a mix of humor and discipline, her goal is for students to develop a proper technique, understand basic music theory, obtain effortless reading skills and acquire a tasteful musicality.
Violin and Piano instructor
Ms. Natalie is a recent graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where she received her Master of Music degree as a student of Kathleen Winkler. She received her Bachelor of Music degree, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northwestern University. As an avid performer, Ms. Natalie has performed with orchestras all around the world, as well as a member of Lincoln Center Stage, the resident piano quintet on Holland America’s MS Oosterdam. She held the position of co-concertmaster with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons and has also performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra and the New World Symphony in Miami. She has also participated in many music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and AIMS Graz in Graz, Austria.
Ms. Natalie is also a passionate educator and has been teaching for over 10 years. She began teaching in her home school district, providing lessons for beginning fifth-grade students and leading sectionals for the high school orchestra program. While at Northwestern, Ms. Natalie worked with students of all ages in Northwestern University’s Music Academy and assisted with weekly violin group classes. She has also taught local community students at the Chautauqua Music Festival and School and through the P.A.L.S program at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Ms. Natalie strongly believes that music can help students cultivate the skills needed to succeed throughout their lives, such as hard work, determination, and self-confidence, and strives to help every student reach their full potential.
Guitar, ukulele, and piano instructor
Mr. Randy bought his first guitar at age 10 from a now defunct guitar shop in Cypress Texas called "The Guitar Shop". It was there that owner, Bill James and guitar teacher, Gary Kent put the love of music in his heart and gave him the drive to be a professional musician. By age 14, Randy had already written, recorded and released his 1st album, playing shows at local venues in the Houston area on the weekends with his first band. In January of 2001, Mr. Randy was offered a teaching position at the Guitar Shop, where he began to develop his own methodology of getting all of his students able to achieve their goals of being able to play music.
By the time Randy had Graduated Cypress Creek High School in 2002, he was ready to take the show on the road with his band and start booking U.S. tours to support the release of their music.
Mr. Randy also joined several other bands during his twenties including New York's legendary Roger Miret and the Disasters, who also toured the U.S. and Europe extensively. The experience and perspective that these years provided to Randy were immeasurable.
During all of this time, Randy also continued to teach music when not on the road, branching off into teaching more instruments including Bass (electric and upright), drums, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and vocals.
At 36, now a husband and Father, Randy is still just as excited about sharing the gift of music as he was when it was first shared with him all those years ago. With a very high success rate, Randy ensures that each of his students, of any age and skill level, will be shown a customized path for their individual musical goals.