Learn about our University Degreed Music Teachers

We are a team of highly qualified and dedicated professional who excel both in the field of teaching and also in the field of performing.

We are serious about high quality instruction and bringing music to all lives!  All of our teachers hold at least one university degree in music.

Want to schedule a free 15 minute trial lesson with any of our teachers?

Dr. Kathy Rabago

Dr. Kathy Rabago

Director, Velocity Music Academy. Piano Teacher

Dr. Kathy Rabago founded Velocity Music Academy in 2010 as a way to spread her love of teaching to the Cedar Park and Austin area. She has 20 years of teaching experience in both the private area and at the University level. She holds 3 degrees in music, including a doctorate in musical arts from UT-Austin. Along with directing and teaching at Velocity, Kathy also teaches music at St. Edward’s University and is raising two young musicians of her own.

More about Kathy

Dr. Kathy Rabago holds three degrees in piano: BM in Piano Performance from Trinity University, MM in Piano Performance from Southern Methodist University, and DMA in Music Education Piano Pedagogy from the University of Texas at Austin. She also has additional training from the Aspen Music School, and has studied music in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Rabago has always been an active forerunner in the field of technology and music. Since she already held a minor in German, she was able to take multi-media computer design classes in lieu of her foreign language requirements while working on her doctorate in music. Dr. Rabago was the first pedagogue to write an online database for music selection in 2003, making her dissertation available for anyone through the internet. She has also worked for an internet music company from Dallas, creating and recording instructional DVDs for piano instruction. She has written articles about research in technology for Roland U.S., and had presented lectures on technology and music at the Association for Technology in Music Instruction National Convention, and at Music Teacher’s National Conventions. She utilizes web instruction in her lessons, and creates audio recordings of student performances through various programs for every student. Her iPad is at home on her grand piano, assisting students with music theory and recordings! An active web developer, Dr Rabago is the web designer and developer for this website and several others.

Dr. Rabago has worked at the University level, teaching music theory and piano at Trinity University and St. Edward‘s University. She has also worked in arts administration through the National Symphony Orchestra’s Education Department at the J.F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and in the field of multimedia musical instruction. Currently she is an adjunct professor of music at St. Edward’s University, and teaches piano and administers the music program at Velocity Music Academy. She is also in demand as an organist, an adjudicator, and a lecture/author at national music conventions. Most importantly, she is mother to two beautiful children who share her love of music.

Bradley Emerson

Bradley Emerson

Piano

Brad Emerson is currently studying with Anton Nel as a doctoral candidate in Piano Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a M.M. in Piano Performance from UT, and a B.M. in the same discipline from the University of California Santa Barbara. His prior teachers include Nancy Garrett and Charles Asche, as well as individual and group pedagogy instruction under Sophia Gilmson and Martha Hilley.

More about Brad

As a young child, Brad had initially asked to learn piano while pretending to play sitting on his mother’s lap. At age seven, he first began formal instruction. In his teaching, Brad incorporates sight reading, music theory, improvisation and aural skills into lessons. In addition to his focus on the classical piano repertoire, Brad started as a church accompanist after only four years of study, and has experience in liturgical styles ranging from gospel to chant arrangement.

Brad’s musical interests extend also to theories of musical meaning and interpretive analysis. His current work on the pianist-composer Nikolai Medtner, a contemporary of Sergei Rachmaninoff, concerns narrative design and symbolic meaning found within his piano sonatas. Brad’s research is being presented at the Semiotics Society of America and in a forthcoming lecture recital on the UT campus.

Ashley Cannon

Ashley Cannon

Piano, Voice, and Violin

Ashley Cannon holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Baylor University. Her private lessons were under the instruction of Julianne Best. She has been teaching piano and voice and violin since 2011.
"The first time I ever knew I had a passion for music was when I was three years old when I sang with my mom on mother’s day. Since then music has been the only thing I have wanted to do. Everyone in my family is musical, so it was easy to follow my musical dreams. I have been playing the piano for twelve years and have been singing with instruction for fourteen years. Prior to attending Baylor, I was chosen for the All-State Choir seven times, was first chair violin in my high school orchestra, and studied piano privately."

Tom Ray

Tom Ray

Guitar and Rock Band Coaching

Tom Ray first picked up the guitar at young age after hearing the band Deep Purple- in his shining career, he has never looked back. His early studies consisted of the jazz, rock, and blues styles: his musical range has been growing by the day.
Tom’s talent on the guitar, spurred by his intense passion, developed at an immense rate. A few years after starting with the guitar, Tom began teaching students of his own and even founded a small studio. His musical interest brought him to the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory (Ohio) where he increased his repertoire under the instruction of Loris Chobanion, attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

More about Tom

Tom proceeded to teach guitar at the Aurora School of Music (Ohio) where as a leading professor for four years, he taught over 50 students of various ages and levels in classical, rock, and jazz guitar. After the tenure at the Aurora School of Music, Tom moved to New York to pursue a career in music. He has performed in several solo recitals in addition to gigs and recordings with many local bands, recording artists, and pit orchestras.
Tom always explores the boundaries of the guitar’s capabilities. To date, Tom has maintained the drive to learn as many styles and techniques as possible. An approachable and energetic virtuoso, Tom cares to inspire a passion for music and the guitar into the hearts of people.

Abigail Hammond

Abigail Hammond

Suzuki Cello

Cellist Abigail Hammond is a recent transplant to Austin and loving it so far! She has a Bachelor of Music degree from NYU and a Master of Music degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, both in cello performance. Abigail became Suzuki registered in books one through five after completing a two-year Suzuki training course with Pamela Devenport at Georgia State. While in Atlanta she served on the cello faculty of several music schools, including the Georgia Academy of Music and the Peggy Still School of Music.

More about Abby

After a move to Dallas, she grew her Plano-based studio from 40 students in her first year to 75 by her third. Several of her students were honored with various accolades, including being selected for the competitive All-Region Orchestra and Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.

In addition to teaching, Abigail has played with a wide variety of orchestras and other ensembles across the country, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Rome Symphony Orchestra in Georgia, and as backing band member at Town Hall in New York City.

Abigail is excited to be living in Austin and when not playing or teaching the cello, she enjoys exploring her new city by bike and eating delicious food with her husband James.

Thil Rathnayaka

Thil Rathnayaka

piano, violin, and voice teacher

Thil Rathnayaka received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of North Texas and a teaching certificate for K-12 Music from Sam Houston State University. She studied violin, voice, and piano from a young age and has performed in several operas, playing the roles of Dolcina in "Suor Angelica," the Sandman in "Hansel and Gretel," a fairy in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," and a chorus member in "La Boheme" and "Le Nozze di Figaro." Thil teaches voice, violin, and piano at Velocity Music Academy.

Eric Slavin

Eric Slavin

Guitar

Eric Slavin was born on a United States Marine Base in Hiroshima, Japan. He is a bilingual (English and Spanish) professional guitarist and teacher. He comes from a musical family, and his grandmother, Elena Slavnaia was a celebrated soprano singer who sang at the Steinway Concert Hall in 1931. Eric’s musical aspirations started as a child studying piano under the Hungarian pianist, Agi Rado. He later studied guitar and music most notably in Washington, D.C. under John Marlow, Jerzy Sapieyevski and Haig Mardirosian. In 1988 he was an intern at the Hector Villa-Lobos Library and Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the ensuing years he had the privilege to study with well-known Latin American guitar pedagogues and composers such as Abel Carlevaro and Guido Santorsola. Eric is a founding member of the award-winning Santa Fe Guitar Quartet from Argentina which has toured the world for 25 years including performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center here in the US. Eric is a graduate of The American University, Washington, D.C. and has a Masters Degree in Chamber Music and Pedagogy from New Mexico State University. Eric has two solo CDs, Serenade (2010) and his new CD entitled Dreamscapes which is a collection of songs realized in dreams from composers throughout the world.
*Please note that Eric would like all of his beginning students to have a nylon string guitar (also known as a Spanish guitar or Classical guitar).

Morris Crayton

Morris Crayton

Voice and Choir

I have sung and performed all my life, and classify myself as a lyric baritone. I earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy degree from Baylor University, Waco Texas and a Master‘s of Music Education from Kent State University. My passion is teaching music to young people, which I’ve been doing for many years. I have been teaching music and working with children and adults in the church setting, theatrical environment, choral experience, public education as well as private lessons since 1983.
I consider teaching music to be more than a passion. I believe it is my calling to instill a love of music in students and guide each of them in the quest for excellence in all of their musical endeavors.

More about Morris

In 1986, I founded a choral organization, the Austin Boys Choir,  where I taught hundreds of students over the next ten years. We toured the nation every summer, performed regularly with the Austin Lyric Opera, and Ballet Austin. In addition we gave a private performance for Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Austin during the early 90’s.

I have studied voice with George Bragg, Dr. Elam Ely, Dr. Lee Thompson, and John McFadden as well as choral conducting with George Bragg, and Dr. Linda Bolding.

Shane Lamb

Shane Lamb

Piano Teacher

B.M. in Composition, University of Texas at Austin; Piano Performance Certificate, University of Texas at Austin.

Shane is a versatile musician performing and composing all different styles of music. In addition to composing concert music, Shane plays keyboard and writes songs for two different rock bands in Austin.

More about Shane

Shane began his study of piano at age five. His teachers include Dr. Monica Horn, Dr. Kevin Chance, and Professor Nancy Garrett. Shane also began composing at a young age and studied composition under Professor Yevgeniy Sharlat, Dr. Charles Mason, Professor Dan Welcher, and Professor Leslie Fillmer.

Shane Lamb has been teaching piano lessons since 2003. Shane incorporates music theory, improvisation, and ear training into his teaching, and enjoys working with students of all ages and levels. During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Shane worked for the Scrollworks program, which provides free music lessons for low-income families in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lisa Lamb

Lisa Lamb

Flute and Harp

B.M. Flute Performance and Composition, Penn State University
M.M. Harp Performance, University of Texas at Austin

Lisa has taught private lessons since 2003. She currently directs the Austin Flute Choir and performs in the Austin Civic Orchestra as well as in many ensembles at University of Texas. Lisa has experience teaching flute, harp, and composition/theory in both private lessons and group classes. She enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels. Lisa uses a combination of traditional teaching methods and the Suzuki method, depending on the student’s interests and learning style.

Andrew Phan

Andrew Phan

Voice and Guitar

Andrew Phan originally hailing from Down Under (Sydney, Australia), is a consummate storyteller.
Whether it be on a stage performing, composition or through other mediums, Andrew believes passionately in the craft and power of story. “Singing goes beyond just producing sound, in the rhythm and time and the correct pitch but understanding and expressing the true intent of a song is what really moves an audience.

Gaining his Bachelor of Music in 2008 at Australian Institute of Music majoring in Contemporary Performance (Voice). Andrew has been teaching music for over 8 years, including Music Theory, Guitar and especially the voice.

Andrew currently is working with acclaimed “The Voice” - Vocal Coach Richard Fink IV in editing his book outlining a scientific approach to singing that demystifies many of the intricacies of the voice as well as other film and writing projects.

Tamara Miller

Tamara Miller

Piano and Songwriting

Tamara’s love for music started at the early age of 2 where Tamara performed in a rhythm band. She began studying piano at the age of 5. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music from York University in Toronto in 2000, Tamara pursued her teaching career after graduating with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto.

Tamara is a certified elementary classroom teacher and has been teaching piano lessons for over 15 years. She has a great deal of experience teaching students of all ages and ability levels. Tamara has conducted music for several school bands and concerts and is very passionate about incorporating movement and songwriting into her lessons. Tamara incorporates ear training and theory and loves to inspire her students to achieve both a love of music and a passion for learning a new language that can be carried with them throughout their life.

More about Tamara

In addition to teaching music, Tamara has also been working as a Pop Singer-Songwriter and Composer for TV & Film. She has recorded two albums and several compositions which have been featured on many TV shows including the Dr. Oz Show and Major League Baseball games. Tamara continues to write catchy, emotional, uplifting compositions and enjoys performing her material across multiple venues in Austin.

Tamara is currently learning Sign Language and loves speaking Spanish.

Yuan (Penny) Ping

Yuan (Penny) Ping

Violin

Penny Ping is originally from Shanghai, China and attended East China Normal University where she earned a Bachelors of Music degree. While studying in university, she traveled to multiple countries, while performing with the Shanghai City Symphony Orchestra. Afterwards, she decided to further her studies at the University of Texas-Austin and, under the care of Sandy Yamamoto, she received a Masters of Music degree in Violin Performance. Penny has over five years of experience in teaching students and now is a registered Suzuki teacher.

Sam Graf

Sam Graf

Drums

Samuel Graf is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, OH where he earned a BFA with a major in Music. While his primary instrumental focus is drumset Sam has spent a number of years studying guitar and has been a singer all his life, participating in a small, all male a-cappella group during his four years at Kenyon and acting as music director for two of those four.

More about Sam

Sam believes that the study of a single instrument (or group of instruments) can catalyze the growth and maturation of the whole musician and that the teacher should always put the student’s overall musical growth before the achievement of “technical mastery” (inasmuch as such a thing is even possible). In college Sam played in a multitude of cover bands, one-off ensembles, and committed, long-term projects, focusing much of his efforts in the practice room on the development of a solid jazz technique and vocabulary. Since moving to Austin four months ago, Sam has had the good fortune to secure positions as drummer and backup singer for the local bands Mount Pressmore, and The Dirty Good. Sam also performs on a more sporadic and infrequent basis in a jazz trio with Austin pianist Peter Pope and bassist Phil Spencer. He’s excited to begin teaching as a part of the Velocity community!

Alan Le

Alan Le

Piano and Violin

Alan studied piano with Dr. Tim Hester at the University of Houston, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance.
Although he taught violin in his teens (under the tutelage of Mrs. Danette Schuh), he did not officially begin teaching piano until after he began his degree in music. Since then, however, Alan has taught to a variety of piano students (ages 4 to 70). His specialty as a teacher is his ability to communicate and collaborate with young students, finding ways to inspire them and open them to a love for music. Watching a child learn and grow is, for him, a compelling and inspirational experience. Overall, he is a laid-back and observant teacher who stresses good posture and technique, a strong understanding of musical theory, and developing a unique sense of musicality.

More about Alan

Alan’s first experience with an instrument was when he joined his middle school orchestra as a violinist in the 6th grade, and began private lessons with a local violin teacher. Shortly after, he began to take piano lessons. As he learned both instruments side-by-side, he gradually became more fascinated by the piano’s ability to play multiple lines of music with ease. He learned at an early age that the piano could become its own orchestra, and from that concept enjoyed the piano’s possibilities as a solo instrument. Playing both the piano and the violin allowed him to develop dual experience playing with a group and alone. In his late teens until college, he played the violin for various Vietnamese churches (his experience with the churches also allowed him the opportunity to play in a rock band!).

He became interested in Vietnamese traditional music during his university degree and began lessons to learn how to play the dan bu (Vietnamese monochord) and dan tranh (Vietnamese zither). This manifested into an interest in ethnomusicology, which led him to minor in Global and International Studies, facilitating his involvement in the recording and interviewing of a local Cao Dai temple.

Luis Morataya

Luis Morataya

Violin

Luis is a Salvadorian violinist and music educator. He has played the violin for 21 years, and his favorite genre is Classical music. He has been a member of El Salvador Symphony and El Salvador Opera Orchestra. Has has also played with Corona Symphony Orchestra, in California. Luis writes: "every time I have the opportunity, I join small groups to play chamber music; it’s such a great way to make beautiful music!" After finishing his Music Education Major at California Baptist University, he moved to the Austin area, where he joined the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the Williamson County Symphony. He loves teaching the violin to students of all levels and to see them grow musically to reach their highest potential. He tailors his lessons to the student’s particular needs and goals, including exercises for sight-reading and ear training. Luis loves being a part of Velocity Music Academy, since we are committed to give the best music-learning experience to our students.