Veena 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.
Jon 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.
Carol Fedewa has enjoyed teaching students of all ages and levels for over 16 years and continues to find tremendous reward in guiding musical discovery and growth with her students. Carol’s performance background includes accompanist for musical theater productions, keyboard and vocals for popular music bands, accompanist and soloist for weddings and organist and ensemble director of sacred music. For over 20 years, she has served churches throughout Western, Central, and Southeast Michigan and is currently Music Director for St. John the Baptist church in Howell, Michigan. Her undergraduate coursework includes piano pedagogy and performance. Carol has a master’s degree in Organ Performance and Church Music from the University of Michigan.
Justin 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.
Landon Baumgard is a professional pianist, vocal coach, and music educator native to Ventura County, California. He was recently faculty at California State University, Northridge, filling the dual roles of Adjunct Professor of Music and Staff Accompanist. In addition to teaching individual piano lessons for beginning through advanced students, he lectures in music appreciation, class piano, and musicianship. During Fall 2014 Baumgard presented several recitals around the Los Angeles area with the Italian clarinet virtuoso, Antonio Tinelli. Other recitals in 2015 have been with violinists Lorenz Gamma, Tomas Cotik, and Limor Torin, as well as clarinetists Julia Heinen and Nicholas Cox. In 2015 he joined the piano faculty at OperaWorks for their internationally acclaimed winter and summer opera training programs. Baumgard has served as a staff pianist for LA Opera and Los Robles Master Chorale, and has collaborated with groups such as the LA Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale, Vox Femina, and New West Symphony. He holds a Bachelor of Music from California State University, Northridge and a Master of Music from Indiana University. He is currently working on his DMA in collaborative piano at University of Michigan.
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.
Azariah Tan recently graduated with a Doctor in Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, under the tutelage of Professor Logan Skelton. The National Arts Council-Conservatory scholar graduated from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music with first-class honors and went on to study at Michigan, graduating with two Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and in Chamber Music in 2013. Azariah is a recipient of the VSArts International Young Soloists Award in Washington, DC, the NUSS Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement. He has also been a top-prize winner at several national and international competitions.