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Private Instruction

Peachtree tries to promote this pursuit of excellence by:

  1. Interviewing each private instructor and following up with references

  2. Submitting each new private instructor to a background check

  3. 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:

  1. Piano

  2. Voice

  3. Violin

  4. Cello

  5. Classical Guitar

  6. Acoustic Guitar

  7. Bass

  8. Ukelele

  9. Clarinet

  10. Mandolin

  11. Drums

  12. Sewing

  13. Photo Shop

  14. Art


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:

  1. Determining their own tuition rates (based on experience and education)

  2. Determining their own business policies and directly billing their own students

  3. Providing student contracts and registration forms

  4. 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.



Jesse Atkinson

Guitar, Drums, Ukulele, Bass Guitar

Originally from Florida, Jesse 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


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.

Jessica Campanelli

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.”

Kenaniah Caron

Advanced Drums

With over 20 years of experience, Kenaniah finds joy in drumming, producting, and teaching.  Kenaniah is currently on tour with We Are Messengers and has played for many Christian, Country, and Pop artists such as Casting Crowns, Taylor Holder, Leanna Crawford, Ben Fuller, David Leonard, and more.  When not on tour, Kenaniah enjoys being home with his wife Chelsea and their 2 boys. 

Elizabeth Edwards


Elizabeth's Registration Form

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.

Katie Farmer


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.

Katie's Registration Form

Adah Gaby


 When I was eight I picked up my first cello and was soon placed under the private instruction of Dan Alcott. The ensuing three years were spent in the Suzuki method, before transferring to the Annie Moses Conservatory to study with Benjamin Wolaver at the Conservatory of Annie Moses. While there, I studied chamber music, stage performance, and music theory. About three years later I again switched teachers, this time to Sari Reist. Additionally, I joined the Curb Youth Symphony through Vanderbilt’s pre college program and separately helped teach a strings class there. For the past few years I have enjoyed attending Tennessee Highschool Honors Orchestra and Nashville Summer Orchestral Institute.  During the last two summers I have had the opportunity to attend Sewanee Summer Music Festival and Hilltop chamber Festival. 

Sarah Howell

Violin, Mandolin

Sarah is a violinist and mandolinist. As a graduate of the Conservatory of Annie Moses, her studies included focuses on classical technique and repertoire as well as composition and pedagogue, where she studied intensely with Annie Dupre. She joyfully served on the faculty team at the Conservatory for over 5 years.  Alongside her classical 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 and  


Sarah has performed in orchestras on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center.  She has recorded in many various projects ranging from a solo Appalachian EP, singer-songwriter projects, and orchestral works. Her graduating portfolio project was a performance music video of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, which can be found on YouTube @sarahmerrittmusic.  You can follow her instagram @Sarah.stringplayer to keep updated with her artistic pursuits. 


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 is an active member of the MTSBOA, and has had students participate in the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.  

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.

Lucy Knowles


Lucy is a 2018 homeschool graduate of Daniel 1 Academy. She first came to Peachtree as a student over 10 years ago and has been a part of the handbells program since its inception. Since then she has taught Handbells, Music 1 and 2, Ear Training, Music Theory, Songwriting, and private piano. 

Lucy is a classically and commercially trained pianist, having studied over 15 years. She is a national member of the Piano Guild Auditions, scoring Superior Plus for three consecutive years until she completed the program in 2018. She is currently studying for her certification in piano tuning and repair from Piano Technician Academy. 

Lucy is a prolific composer, songwriter, and arranger. She has composed scores for short films, underscores for live shows, and in 2021 she was selected as a finalist in the Christian Worldview Film Festival scoring competition. She has written several Broadway-style musicals and often arranges music for her classes and Peachtree shows. 

Lucy has a passion for musical excellence and the development of disciplined skill. Since music is a gift we carry into eternity, she believes it is crucial to cultivate it to the glory of God. She is excited to share this vision with Peachtree families.

Hannah Knowles


 As well as being an artist, actress, and amateur author, Hannah Knowles is a musician and accomplished pianist, having already studied piano for 11 years. In 2016, her studies shifted to be more classically oriented, and since that time she has also developed her skills as a vocalist, performer, musical arranger/composer, and songwriter (including original musical theatre). Hannah has been with Peachtree since 2011 and currently aides in Art classes and Intro to Drama.

Lydia Love


Lydia has been sewing in classes and lessons since she was a very young girl, making her own formals and special clothing for herself and others.  As she has grown, she has learned to love sharing this with younger students as a private sewing teacher. 

Shelby Mitchell


Shelby Mitchell has been playing the piano for over 22 years, 10 of which were spent teaching private lessons in Savannah, GA.  She was trained primarily classical methodology, but also enjoys exploring jazz and spiritual styles.  She loves helping her students gain a good understanding of piano technique and theory, as well as encouraging them to recognize their God-given creativity as they continue to advance in their knowledge and skill. 

Thamara Nascimento


Thamara Nascimento is a passionate Brazilian who started in church music! Having studied clarinet for 16 years in Brazil, she part of one of the Top 10 Symphonic bands in Brazil, has played with artists from Brazil and Italy and also has participated in a variety of international music festivals. She loves working with students helping them do develop creativity and exploring their skills. She is currently at TTU majoring in Music Education and will be helping spearhead Peachtree’s Jazz Band!

Olivia Williams Lee

Piano, Voice

Olivia is a recent graduate of Lee University with a degree in Music Business with a vocal emphasis. She has extensive training in voice, piano, and dance. While at Lee, Olivia trained in classical voice with a taste of musical theater and worship music in the mix. Olivia combined her training in voice and dance to be part of an ensemble called Opera Theater where she performed in operas and musical theater scenes. Her favorite role she portrayed was Gretel in the opera Hansel and Gretel. Olivia loves using music and the arts to tell stories and bring joy into people’s lives. Most importantly though, Olivia finds herself feeling the closest to her Savior when she is involved in music making, dancing and glorifying Him through the gifts He’s given her. She feels so blessed to be joining Peachtree and having the opportunity to shape
students’ lives and help them see God’s blessings and character through music.

Debbie Wood


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!

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