Peachtree tries to promote this pursuit of excellence by:
Interviewing each private instructor and following up with references
Submitting each new private instructor to a background check
Requiring each private instructor to provide:
A brief biographical sketch which includes his/her teacher qualifications
A statement of his/her philosophy of education as it relates to his specific art discipline
An outline of what he/she feels are reasonable expectations for each level of learning and his/her requirements for students who desire to pursue those goals
An example of how lesson time is spent
Approved private instructors are then provided studio space and are charged for that studio space by the half hour and hour.
Peachtree Learning Center is excited to partner with private instructors in the following areas:
All private instructors are required to maintain the same policy for cancellation. That policy is as follows:
In the event of a missed lesson, please note the following:
· Tuition is not refunded unless the missed lesson is a result of the instructor’s absence and a make-up lesson cannot be scheduled.
· If you know in advance (a minimum of 24 hours’ notice) that you will be absent, your instructor may be able to schedule a make-up lesson, however, the instructor is not required to offer this service as providing instruction to other students who are in attendance is a priority. Make-up lessons will not be offered for last minute cancellations.
· If your child becomes sick and needs to be absent, please notify your instructor as soon as possible. Your instructor will try to schedule a make-up lesson if possible.
Per insurance, if Peachtree Learning Center has to close due to inclement weather, every activity held in the building that day must be cancelled. If a make-up lesson cannot be provided, the student will be credited for that lesson.
If there is a stormy weather (possible tornados), Peachtree may not have time to make a call on cancellation. This would be left up to the teacher & parent. If a teacher or parent feels unsafe travelling, a make-up lesson should be offered.
Private Instructors are responsible for:
Determining their own tuition rates (based on experience and education)
Determining their own business policies and directly billing their own students
Providing student contracts and registration forms
All communication with students and parents (schedule changes, recitals, etc.)
Private Instructors in music and dance will collaborate throughout the year to provide performance opportunities both in the community and in a recital setting. Some private instructors will also provide opportunities for adjudication through National Guild programs.
To help connect students with teachers, Peachtree Learning Center provides a Private Instruction Coordinator. This Coordinator will evaluate your student’s needs and connect you with the appropriate private instruction teacher. The Coordinator is also responsible for scheduling lesson/studio time.
MEET OUR PRIVATE INSTRUCTORS
Guitar, Drums, Ukulele, Bass Guitar
Originally from Florida, Jesse Atkinson now lives in Nashville. He has played guitar since age 7, and counts as mentors Mitchell Stevens, Alan Brandell, Mario DaSilva, and James DaSilva. His skills have been shaped by influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to his home church worship pastor, David Grimm. He has played at illustrious venues such as the Grand Ole' Opry and the Bluebird Cafe. He has attended various music camps including performing in and working at the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, often performing original music.
Olivia Atkinson is a homeschool graduate and is blessed to have been teaching at Peachtree for 8 years, She is a certified Family Herbalist through Vintage Remedies, has formally studied photography, and has a professional photography business. She has studied piano, theater, and voice over the last 10 years with the Annie Moses Conservatory, and has furthered her classical vocal career with Melissa Shippen Burrows. Olivia has participated in a number of shows through the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival and Conservatory, taking her to Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole’ Opry, and a roles in the premieres of “Merry Christmas, Uncle Scrooge!” and "Tom Sawyer", as well as a drama masterclass with acting legend John Rhys-Davies. Olivia was a member of Peachtree’s bell and vocal choirs from their beginning through her graduation. She loves working with young children and helping develop their creativity, and is thankful for the opportunity to share her interests with children while encouraging them to develop their talents to use for God’s glory.
After graduating from Tennessee Tech University in 2013, he has taught 9 years of high school math and assistant band director, as well as private piano. He and his wife, Paige, are blessed with six children.
Guitar, Classical Guitar
Mr. Mario DaSilva offers lessons in advanced jazz, improvisation, & classical guitar. Mario DaSilva comes to Peachtree with degrees in Commercial Guitar, Composition & Arranging as well as a Masters Degree in Church Music & Classical Guitar from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mario has played extensively around the country in a variety of genres and with artists ranging from Little Big Town, Lari White, Michael O’Brien, Felipe Delarossa, and various Chamber Orchestras. He has also arranged & composed for many artists including Josh Turner, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Frist Visual Arts Center, and Barbara Mandrell. He has taught at the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community College, and currently at Indiana University Southeast and Belmont University. He is thrilled to offer both intermediate and advanced classes and lessons to students and adults here in the Peachtree community!
Elizabeth began her musical journey at the age of five, and has been playing the violin for ten years. She is classically trained, but enjoys many different genres such as bluegrass, jazz, worship, and pop. Elizabeth has attended various music camps including the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival and the TTU Summer Music Institute. She enjoys competing in fiddlers competitions and performing publicly in Peachtree Learning Center ensembles. Currently, Elizabeth is continuing her musical education under Sarah Merrit’s violin instruction, and Katie Farmer’s piano instruction. She is also pursuing her certification in the Annie Moses Method. She realizes the importance of sharing the gift of music to the glory of God.
My name is Katie Farmer, and I have been playing piano for fifteen years. I graduated from Daniel 1 Academy in 2014, and continued my musical education under the instruction of Camille Wolaver DaSilva of the Annie Moses Band. I am classically trained, but also have experience playing in my church’s worship band. I am also a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, having students who scored superior and superior plus.
“Education is designed to form character, and not merely to communicate instruction.” (John Angell James from Female Piety) It is my desire and intention to not only communicate instruction in how to play piano, but also to help form good character in each student. As they learn to enjoy the gift of music, play a piece well, overcome challenges, and share their abilities to benefit others character is built. A character to reflect God’s creative and redemptive design to a dark and broken world.
I enjoy meeting each new student, and desire to build not only a healthy teacher/student relationship, but a personal friendship with each one. It gives me great joy to share the love and knowledge I have for music, and to see my students thrive and put into practice what they learn. I encourage all of my students to do their best, have fun, and above all use their talents for the glory of God.
Art, Sewing, Photoshop Skills
Jessica Hagar grew up in McMinnville TN where she attended F.C. Boyd Christian School and after graduating decided to major in Art Education at Tennessee Technological University. Her experience as a student at TTU and the Appalachian Center For Craft encouraged her to not just be a teacher but also a professional artist. Jessica is a Textile Designer and owns her own design business. She has a degree from TTU in Art Education as well as Fiber Arts and a minor in Psychology. Her love for teaching art and also being a maker lead her to Peachtree. Jessica has been teaching art and sewing at Peachtree for 4 years. She loves to see her students excel and believes that art is an integral part of a student’s complete education.
“ I have come to believe through personal experience that the arts teach a student to make decisions and to problem-solve. The arts harbor a sense of value and accomplishment and help foster an individual sense of identity which in turn helps a student develop as an individual. Through their experiences in my class I hope they will come to know the importance of the visual arts and understand how it contributes to every aspect of the world they see.”
Sarah is a violinist and mandolinist. She has been classically trained at the Conservatory of Annie Moses, where she is now a faculty member. Alongside her classical repertoire and skills on both instruments she has studied fiddle and folk music extensively. She regularly writes her own music, often collaborating with her singer-songwriter sister, Olivia. You can follow their band, Aster, at astermusic.net.
As a student of the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, she has performed on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and the Bluegrass Underground. She was in the orchestra for the Annie Moses Band’s PBS show “The Art of the Love Song." She has recorded with local orchestras/groups, published a solo EP of Appalachian music in 2016, and in 2019 added a classical music video to her portfolio, which can be found on her YouTube page @SarahMerrittMusic.
Sarah has taught at Peachtree Learning Center since 2012, and was excited to formally help organize Peachtree’s strings program in 2017. She is certified in the Annie Moses Method and in the Suzuki Method through level 2. She believes that the pursuit of excellence in music is a powerful tool in the Kingdom of God that can give the young and old alike a platform for spreading the Gospel of Christ. Her favorite part of teaching is to see the potential in a child and partner with their family to help train and bring out the most in them, garnering musical and life skills.
Classical Guitar, Voice
Jennifer Poore holds a degree from MTSU, where she studied classical guitar performance and vocal/general education. She has been teaching all ages privately since 2012, as well as leading a couple guitar classes at the Senior Citizens Center. In 2019, she thoroughly enjoyed getting to step back into the classroom setting for JR High Choir. She offers voice and classical guitar lessons from beginner to advanced, theory lessons, and the occasional beginner-level acoustic guitar, piano, and ukulele lessons. Her vocal students have made mid-state and all-state in their choirs, as well as earning lead and supporting roles at Cumberland County Playhouse, Cookeville High School, Prescott Middle School, and Cookeville Children’s Theatre.
Besides the never-ending variety of teaching voice and guitar to various ages and levels, Jennifer most loves getting to be a part of students' musical and personal growth. She deeply believes in music-making as a way to lean into our role as image-bearers of God, reflecting him in the creation and enjoyment of beauty. She also enjoys reading, long walks with friends, and being pushed by her students to get out of her musical comfort zone.
My name is Joni Stewart and I am a longtime fan of Peachtree! My children were all raised with Peachtree as a core of our homeschool experience, and I have previously taught Music Classes and private piano. I love seeing children learn to appreciate music and believe that expressing ourselves musically is a core skill in worship of our Creator. Being able to see notes on a page and transfer them to our hands is such an amazing skill! I have classical training, worship team and accompanying experience. I love the Lord and want to serve Him in all things, and I look forward to loving and teaching your children! Lessons will focus on technique, theory, rhythm and musicality, and I will challenge students to practice so as to make the most of our time.
Debbie is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a B.S. in Music Education and a B.S. in Music Therapy. She has been teaching private piano lessons for over 35 years. Debbie served as the
chairman for the National Piano Guild and an active member of the Plateau Music Teacher’s Association and the Tennessee Music Teacher’s Association. She currently serves as the pianist for her church and
directs the adult choir. She has spent many years directing children’s choirs and school musicals.
It is her desire to encourage children to use the gift of music to worship in spirit and truth from their hearts and give all the glory to the One whom makes it all possible!
Ashlyn is a violinist and pianist. She has been classically trained in the violin from the age of 7. She has been studying at the Conservatory of Annie Moses since 2019 and continues to study there. She has also been classically trained in piano since she was 4. She has participated in the National Piano Playing Auditions for 10 years, earning 12 years of credit, along with the Paderewski medal. She studies piano at the Conservatory of Annie Moses as well.
Ashlyn performs frequently with her brother and sister leading worship at her church and playing at various events. She frequently collaborates with them to write and compose original music. A highlight for her and her siblings was to go to Poland in 2019 and perform at a Warsaw community center, a church, and at a camp there. She has also been a part of Cowboy Joe's Good Medicine Show, playing alongside Joe Babcock (Hee Haw) and Jim Buchanan (George Jones' band). She has also gotten to work with Andrew Greer (Tune My Heart) leading worship.
Ashlyn has been teaching piano and violin since 2018. She believes music is a gift from God and enjoys helping students learn to love playing their instruments with excellency to the glory of God.