Piano Instructor

Jim Guerin

A native New Yorker, Jim Guerin has lived in San Diego since 1989 and runs his private music studio from his home in Golden Hill.  He is a regular performer in the jazz and cabaret music scene in San Diego, and has served for the last three years as music and choir director for St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.

As pianist and teacher, Mr. Guerin is a member of the Music Teacher Association of California and the Suzuki Music Association of San Diego, for which he is on the board of directors.  His teaching is informed by his studies of injury free technique and supportive body movement with Nina Scolnick of UC Irvine and with George Fee in San Diego.

Working with children, Mr. Guerin has 7 years of elementary classroom experience at schools in San Diego and Chula Vista.  His piano students learn improvisation and theory in addition to the classical repertoire.  Serious students have been enrolled in the Certificate of Merit program.  Through his studio he offers group classes, workshops and regular recitals. Jim is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Bogota, Colombia; his extra-curricular interests include yoga and progressive social change.

Kristen Hemke

Kristen stands out as an instructor with her engaging and adaptable teaching style. Her approach to lessons centers on the understanding of different learning styles. She has a genuine interest in meeting people and is enthusiastic about building new relationships. This helps her connect with students and personalize each lesson. No two people are exactly the same, so no two lessons should be exactly the same. This creates an environment where students feel confident about their talents. Kristen has been a clinician for multiple schools, helping students with both classical and jazz music. Her two years working with individuals with developmental disabilities cultivated her talent for teaching private lessons. Kristen directed her enthusiasm and talent toward teaching at the Keyboard Art School of Music, in Wrightwood, CA, with its inspiring atmosphere. Now, she is bringing that energy to the San Diego music scene. She enjoys sharing ideas with students to find creative ways to appreciate music and grow as artists together. Kristen is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California.

Kristen Hemke earned her B.A. in Music Performance from the University of WisconsinMadison, studying with Richard Davis and Les Thimmig. While in Madison, Kristen organized her own jazz group, Green Means Go, in addition to working with various big bands, dance bands, and jazz combos. She has performed with great Wisconsin musicians such as Gerri Dimaggio, Nick Moran, Paul Hastil, Dave Stoler, and the Bill Sargent Big Band. She has provided music for a variety of functions ranging from formal parties to festivals throughout the Midwest. She has also recorded for Madison’s 89.9 WORT radio station. In Wrightwood, California, Kristen recorded for America’s Community Network with Empire Swing and was broadcast in all Southern California McDonalds. New to San Diego, Kristen has performed locally for festivals, private events, and musical theater. Kristen is a member of American Federation of Musicians, Local 325.

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