Meet Our Dedicated Staff
Prestige Music Academy offers you private lessons taught by some of the most highly skilled music instructors. They are men and women who dedicate their lives to providing quality music education for people like you.
Naira is an active member of the Phoenix Music Teachers Association (PMTA) and has taught piano lessons for the past 17 years. She attended the Russian Music School and Music College, and she has extensive experience working with students of all ages, and at all levels, as well as those with disabilities.
Naira's philosophy of teaching piano is to help students enjoy playing the piano and learn the proper techniques to achieve their goals. The students will learn to read and interpret any music by themselves so they can enjoy playing what they want to play their whole lives. Her students have participated in the Phoenix Music Teachers Association festivals, competitions, recitals, rehearsals, and other performance opportunities.
piano – guitar – ukulele – voice
voice – piano – flute
Megan Law, mezzo soprano, is at Arizona State University completing a Masters of Music degree in Performance (Musical Theater/Opera Performance). She received her Bachelors of Music degree in vocal performance from Valparaiso University.
During her years in Minnesota, Indiana, and Iowa, Megan was actively involved in leadership roles. She served as music director at STAR (a two-week musical theater day camp), as student director of two ensembles, as a pop choir director, and as a section leader in choirs. She has performed in numerous productions in musical theater as well as opera. Her favorite roles have been Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Judah's Wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mrs. Nolan in The Medium.
Ms. Law also has an extensive choral experience, having sung in two highly honorable collegiate ensembles: Nordic Choir and Chorale. She currently sings as the alto section leader and soloist for Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, and is a new alto member of the Carolyn Eynon Singers. In 2016, Megan was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society.
At Valparaiso University, she won the Concerto Competition and sung as a soloist with the Valparaiso Orchestra. She has also received several music scholarships, including the Rochester Music Guild Award and the Special Talent Award at Arizona State University.
Not only does Megan sing, but she also plays multiple instruments, including the flute, piccolo, piano, and ocarina, and enjoys teaching any of them. With teaching, she strives to help her students reach their goals while maintaining healthy technique and a strong musical foundation. She looks forward to sharing her passion with her students!
guitar – piano
David Anderson is a piano and guitar teacher, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, David has recorded for both national and regional clients and has performed across the United States music that spans the genres of rock, pop, jazz, and country. His self-produced album entitled "Anderson & Lill" features his rock, pop, and jazz guitar and keyboard work as well as lead and background vocals. His music is published through JC3 Publishing.
He has recently been involved as a musician and producer at Phoenix area studios, including Porcupine, Arrowhead, and Vendetta. He is on the Adjunct Faculty at Estrella Mountain Community College, where he is the Composer in Residence and Piano Accompanist for DancEstrella. David currently performs with his own group "Contessa Blue" at venues in and around the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Dr. Sarah Off
violin – viola – cello
Violinist Sarah Off has established herself as an innovative and passionate performer and educator. She regularly performs as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed in the Harpa International Music Festival in Iceland, the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont, the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado, and in such venues as Lincoln Center, the Meyerson Symphony Center, Boettcher Hall, and a tour of Latvia. Sarah has performed as soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's "Up Close and Musical," the Boulder Symphony, and Conservatory Music in the Mountains Chamber Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Sarah is a founding member of Phoenix-based Tandem Duo with percussionist Marilyn Clark Silva and is a performing artist with the Fountain Hills Chamber Players in Arizona. She has had the privilege of working and performing with the Brentano, Juilliard, and Orion String Quartets.
Sarah is an advocate for new music and regularly collaborates with composers, including performances of works by Kohei Kondo, Kevin Ames, and Matthew Brown, and collaborations with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble and the American Composer Alliance.
Having grown up in the rural Colorado town of Del Norte, Sarah has a strong passion for finding opportunities for rural areas to experience the musical arts.
She is founder and Artistic Director of the Mt. Blanca Summer Music Conservatory in Colorado and regularly performs in concert series throughout the state with Sona Trio and Tandem Duo. In 2016, she presented on "Musical Arts in Rural Communities" at the Arizona Music Educators Association Conference.
Sarah is an avid music educator and is currently the violin instructor and orchestra director at South Mountain Community College in Arizona. She performed and taught as a guest artist at Sam Houston State University, Sacramento State University, and Southern Oregon University, among others. In the summers of 2012 and 2013, she served as violin instructor and chamber music coach at Conservatory Music in the Mountains in Durango, CO.
Sarah received her doctoral degree in Violin Performance at Arizona State University studying with Danwen Jiang. She received her Master of Music Performance from Arizona State University and her Bachelor of Music Performance from University of Colorado under concert violinists Lina Bahn and Judith Ingolfsson. Formerly, she studied with Arkady Fomin, Dallas Symphony Orchestra violinist and artistic director of the New Conservatory of Dallas.
band and orchestra instruments
Daniel Greene has been teaching for 24 years. He is currently the head of bands in the Cartwright District, where he teaches 4th and 5th grade band. Daniel grew up in Long Beach, California and studied privately with Sue Collado of the San Diego Symphony as a child. He began playing in the San Marcos college orchestra during his freshman year of high school.
Through his schooling years, Daniel gained much recognition at local, regional, and state levels. While pursuing his music studies at Northern Arizona University, he played in the Flagstaff symphony, Coconino Orchestra, University Symphony, Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Band. Daniel enjoys pulling from each of these experiences in his day-to-day teaching in both band and orchestra.
voice – piano
Elizabeth Leyva enjoys working with a wide range of students from all sorts of backgrounds. She has been teaching voice and piano, in a variety of settings, for nearly 20 years. Highlights of her teaching credits include California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield College, the Herberger Community School at Arizona State University, and a one-year appointment as a Faculty Associate in the School of Music at ASU. She coaches many styles of music, including classical, music theater, jazz, pop, and sacred.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal arts from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music in voice performance from Arizona State University, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate.
In addition to her work at PMA, she is also the Director of Children's and Youth Choirs at First United Methodist Church of Phoenix, and performs regularly as a chorister with Arizona Opera, most recently appearing in productions of Carmen, Falstaff, Rusalka, and Madame Butterfly.
Dr. Jennifer Waleczek
Pianist Jennifer Waleczek has dazzled audiences in the States and abroad with her sensitive and dynamic approach to repertoire. She has given numerous recitals in the Chicago and Phoenix areas, Vienna, Prague, and New York. She has performed with Northwestern's Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars featuring Meredith Monk, Crossing 32nd Street, and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble.
While at home in the standard repertoire, Jennifer always keeps her eyes and ears open for hidden masterpieces and lesser-known gems. Her curiosity led her to studies at the Prague Conservatoire in the Czech Republic, where she immersed herself in the Slavic beauty of Leoš Janáček and the highly imaginative and elusive music of Bohuslav Martinů. In addition, she is an avid performer of new music and has premiered works by many composers, including Florent Ghys, Baljinder Sekhon, Judy Bozone, Joshua Harris, Ronen Shapira, and John Luther Adams.
As an educator, Jennifer enjoys teaching the piano to students with diverse backgrounds and talents. She has taught in her native Chicago, Arizona State University, Glendale Community College, and Arizona School for the Arts. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), participates in the Arizona Study Program, and regularly adjudicates piano competitions in the Phoenix area. Currently, she teaches a competitive group of students here at Prestige Music Academy and also serves as the choir accompanist at Brophy College Preparatory.
Jennifer holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, a Performance Certificate from the Prague Conservatoire, Czech Republic, and an M.M. as well as a D.M.A. in Piano Performance from Arizona State University. She has also attended festivals in New Paltz, New York, Baylor University, Universität für Musik in Vienna, Bang on a Can, and the Prague Summer Institute in the Czech Republic. She has won top prizes in the ASU Concerto and Klatzkin Competitions, and has received numerous scholarships and awards throughout her studies.
piano – oboe
Kait Ahlschwede was born and raised in Michigan and is now finishing her Arts Administration and Music Education degrees at Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is on staff at the Musical Instrument Museum and has also worked with the Phoenix Symphony, Childsplay, and Phoenix Center for the Arts during her time in Arizona.
Kait taught her own studio of students while in Michigan and enjoys working with students of all ages and ability levels. Following a performance injury, Kait has conducted and presented extensive research in the area of performance-related injuries specific to the piano and recovery techniques for practicing musicians. She has presented this research to the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy, the Performing Arts Medicine Association, and the American Association for Hand Surgery.
With all of her students, Kait emphasizes the use of proper technique and the formation of healthy performance habits to avoid pain and injury. In her free time, she enjoys trying new coffee shops, traveling, reading, and hiking.
Dr. Miriam Schildkret
voice – piano
Mezzo-soprano Miriam Schildkret received her Doctorate in Voice Performance from Arizona State University, where she also received her Master's degree in Opera Performance. Dr. Schildkret graduated from Ithaca College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. She was actively teaching and working behind the scenes during her studies.
She was an Adjunct Faculty member at Central Arizona College for two and a half years, where she taught private voice and Music Appreciation. She has also taught general music courses at the Summer Festival for the Arts in Bar Harbor, ME, and she worked as a teaching assistant in a second-grade classroom for two years during her time in Ithaca. Although Dr. Schildkret comes from a classical background, she enjoys teaching voice to students with a wide variety of musical interests.
In addition to her passion for teaching, Dr. Schildkret enjoys performing in operatic and oratorio performances across the valley. She has performed many roles with ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre, including "Lumee" in excerpts from Prism, "Third Lady" in The Magic Flute, "Kate" in Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave, the title role in Dido and Aeneas, "Dorabella" in Così fan tutte, "Estrella" in La Périchole, and "Prince Orlofsky" in Lyric Opera Theatre's ariZoni Award-winning production of Die Fledermaus. Other roles include "Mrs. Nolan" in The Medium, "First Shepherd" in Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo, and "Kate Pinkerton" in Madame Butterfly.
She was the study cover for "Cherubino" in Arizona Opera's production of Le nozze di Figaro
in 2013, and she joined the Arizona Opera Chorus that same year in The Flying Dutchman
and La Bohème. In the winter of 2017, Dr. Schildkret was a Teaching Artist in Arizona Opera's outreach troupe OperaTunity, where she sang the role of "The Sea Witch" in their abridged version of Rusalka.
piano – guitar – ukulele – harmonica – banjo
Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Carly Bates is an emerging artist and musician in the valley. Having begun taking piano lessons at age 7, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from ASU, where she pursued both classical and jazz piano training. She is active in the Phoenix arts community as a performer, accompanist, and creative collaborator with all kinds of storytellers: musicians, movers, poets, and actors alike. Carly also works with a local Playback Theatre company called Essential Theater.
Erick Sanchez is a guitarist from Anaheim, California. He has devoted over 30 years to his instrument, playing various genres of music, including classical, rock, and pop. Erick attended California State University, Fullerton, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. During his time at Cal State, he studied under renowned classical guitarist David Grimes, performing in the university's guitar ensemble.
While pursuing his studies in classical guitar, he also studied commercial guitar with renowned session guitarist David Murdy. Erick's years of performing experience provide students with the skills necessary to become successful on their chosen instrument.
guitar – piano – ukulele – bass guitar
piano – guitar – bass guitar – ukulele – banjo – mandolin – harmonica – drums
guitar – drums – bass guitar – ukulele – mandolin – harmonica – banjo
saxophone – clarinet
With a passion for musical diversity and integrity, saxophonist Emilio Vargas strives to adapt to a wide world of musical environments. As an educator and performer, Mr. Vargas has found himself in a wide range of musical settings, including a performance with Catfood Records blues recording artist Johnny Rawles, jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimee, a set of record collaborations with local AZ hip-hop and neo-soul artists, and a beat workshop instructor for girl scouts in Phoenix's Musical Instrument Museum.
While attending ASU School of Music, Mr. Vargas had the great pleasure of working in Latin and big band settings with ASU Jazz faculty Bryon Ruth, Michael Kocour, Dom Moio, and Jeff Libman. Having completed his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from ASU, Emilio now teaches and performs around the state.