Instructors

Veena_K_Kulkarni Photo-thumbVeena K. Kulkarni is the Lead Instructor at the Faber Piano Institute, and delights in teaching piano students of all ages from the earliest years of study through advanced concert repertoire. She has also taught at Madonna University and at the University of Windsor. As a worship leader at the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church, Veena is at home in both the contemporary worship band and on the concert stage. A solo and chamber musician, she performs regularly in the Midwest. In 2011, Veena won the Best Liszt Interpretation prize at the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition and gave two East Coast premieres. Veena earned a doctorate in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under Logan Skelton and John Ellis at the University of Michigan. Prior to that, she studied at Indiana University with Emile Naoumoff and Professors Brancart, Auer, Gulli and Tocco and at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne.


JonOphoff_smallJon Ophoff
  is Director of Production and Technology at Faber Piano Adventures, working with Nancy and Randall Faber on all aspects of book production and multimedia support. As a workshop clinician, he educates teachers in effective use of the publications in studios across the United States and Canada. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan School of Music where he studied Film Music Composition, and was a winner of BMI’s Pete Carpenter Fellowship. He has produced custom music for media, with brands including Best Buy, Levi’s, and Dockers. At the Faber Piano Institute, Jon enjoys teaching students of all ages. He encourages creativity through composition and improvisation, incorporating music technology alongside traditional tools.

 

J. Amber Kao is the Director of the Faber Piano Institute, and enjoys teaching all ages from the young beginner to advanced piano students. She began her artistic studies as a pianist, and graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan, under the tutelage of Dr. Logan Skelton. Throughout her undergraduate training, she also studied violin with Aaron Berofsky and performed with the University of Michigan Philharmonic. Ms. Kao received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and has presented her choreography and collaborated with artists both locally and internationally in Italy, Portugal, Taiwan, Singapore, and New York. She was most recently awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in dance and music in Taipei, Taiwan at Taipei National University of the Arts and with Cloud Gate Dance Theater. Ms. Kao enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration across all art genres, and at present, uses her background as a musician and dancer to explore points of intersection between these disciplines.

 

 

IMG_2767Justin Snyder joins the staff of the Faber Piano Institute with a wide variety of teaching and performance experiences. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Michigan, he stayed in Ann Arbor to complete a Master of Music degree, studying with Martin Katz. His interest in collaborative piano led to a second Master of Music degree from the Guildhall School of Music in London. With more than 10 years of experience teaching piano to students of all ages, Justin is inspired to be a teacher who makes a real difference in the lives of his students. He also maintains an active performance schedule. In 2013, he performed for an 8-city tour of China, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of State.

 

 

 

 

Kate Acone was a zoology major at the University of Oklahoma before she realized that the joy she finds in music is unparalleled by dissections. Her journey since then has taken her to two degrees in piano performance and pedagogy (B.M. from the University of Oklahoma, summa cum laude, and M.M. from the University of Michigan), and teaching and performing all over the country. She delights in teaching all ages and stages, whether that is four-year-old beginners, competitive high school students, or senior citizens. Kate won the state MTNA in her undergraduate, is regular summer faculty at The American School in Switzerland, and continues to concertize with an emphasis on audience engagement and educational outreach. Because of her unconventional journey into a musical career, she emphasizes longevity in music and holistic musicianship, believing that students thrive best when they love what they do. Previous teachers include Drs. Logan Skelton, Jane Magrath, and Edward Gates.

 

 

 

 

Lois Kim holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Piano Performance and Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She has taught at San Diego State University, University of Michigan and Schoolcraft College. She has performed in Spain, the Czech Republic, Canada, South Korea, and the United States. In 2010, she toured several cities in the Philippines where she was sponsored by the U.S embassy and made her concerto appearance with San Diego State University Symphony. Her teachers include Julian Martin, Ick-Choo Moon and Logan Skelton.

 

 

DSC04885Annie Jeng is a versatile pianist, teacher, and collaborator originally from Washington D.C. She strives to make music fun and accessible to audiences of all backgrounds by performing in alternative venues and focusing on audience engagement. During her undergraduate studies, Annie was awarded the Presser Award for starting the music series, “Music with a Vue,” at Bellevue Hospital to bring music to patients, workers, and visitors of the hospital. Annie received a Bachelor’s in Music (BM) and a minor in Public Health from New York University where she studied with Anne-Marie McDermott, Miyoko Lotto, and Dr. Jose Ramon Mendez. She completed her Masters in Music (MM) at the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy with Dr. Logan Skelton. As a pedagogue and strong supporter of performing works by living composers, Annie received the 2018 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship to create a pedagogical resource that will introduce contemporary works and unconventional piano techniques to intermediate piano students. She is also a member of the piano and percussion duo, Back Pocket Duo.