Nova Karina Devonie

Electric Bass, Piano Accordion, Ukulele
Ages: Young Adult, Adult
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate
Availability: Sunday
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Nova has been playing piano accordion since the age of eleven and teaching the instrument since the late 1980’s. Focusing on tunes and technique with a bit of theory thrown in, she aims for fun and ease while moving at a comfortable pace for the student. She utilizes both reading written music and playing by ear, and especially enjoys helping beginners develop good habits and intermediate players broaden their skills. Nova draws from her years of experience listening to and playing with top-notch musicians in a variety of styles.

Nova toured as a member of the cowgirl supergroup Ranch Romance in the early 1990’s and now performs regularly in several Seattle bands, including Miles & Karina, The Buckaroosters, and The Rolling Blackouts. (You can catch the latter every Monday night at Columbia City’s Royal Room!) Nova has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, and the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival.

Whether it’s piano accordion technique, theory, repertoire or all the above, Nova is ready to help! She’s also available to teach beginning ukulele and beginning electric bass.


Susan Howell

Mountain dulcimer, ukulele
Available: By appointment
Ages Taught: 8+
Levels Taught: All
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Susan spent her childhood and adolescence in musical theater. In college, she majored in music before moving on to primary education where she taught grade-school for twenty years, and served as the music resource person for grades K-5. Susan moved on from folk music and the mountain dulcimer to swing guitar and vocals and then fell in love with the ‘ukulele. Susan has been a member of the Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA) since its formation and has taught private music lessons in Seattle for more than a dozen years. She plays in two ukulele groups, Ukestra Seattle and the Greenwood Trio, and has published a popular book of arrangements using chord melody technique for the ‘ukulele.

Susan loves getting people hooked on the ‘ukulele. Mastering the ‘ukulele involves learning strums, chords and where the notes are, as well as transposing and arranging tunes and song accompaniments. She can teach you all of these. Even if you’ve never played a stringed instrument, Susan quickly gets you playing the ‘ukulele; you’ll be playing with others and singing along on the hundreds of songs that she has available. These cover many genres but display a particular fondness for the music of the 30’s-60’s. For more about Susan's ukulele teaching, check out suekulele.com.

Susan has also been the primary Appalachian (mountain) dulcimer teacher in Seattle for fifteen years. She enjoys teaching all styles: traditional folk music, song accompaniment, swing tunes, and more. Susan has taught at dulcimer festivals around the country and has published two books of dulcimer arrangements. Take a look at seattledulcimer.com.


Erie Jones

Banjo, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, singing, ukulele
Available: Wednesday - Saturday
Specializes in early learners ages 4+
Levels Taught: All

Erie specializes in working with young people. Each child brings something wonderful and different to the table and Erie seeks to engage with that while challenging students musically. Musical rigor, emphasizing creativity, humor and playfulness, are a significant part of the process. From the get go, he teaches and supports creating music as well as performing it. When a student creates and (formally or informally) notates music, she gains a deeper understanding of her developing concepts and skills. One of Erie’s main goals is to foster autonomy, whereby the student becomes his or her own teacher.

Erie uses tablature, staff notation, playing by ear, observation, audio recording, singing, and more—in whatever mixture best benefits the student. Erie plans for immediate success so his students can start making a joyful noise right off the bat. There is no one “right path” but there is a great feeling of “rightness” when students learn and produce music which grows naturally from their creativity and aspirations. In addition to playing music, Erie encourages and helps his students to create and write their own musical pieces.

Erie grew up in a musical household and has been playing music since junior high school. A former Seattle school teacher, he taught music the last several years of his career there. He’s excited to now be in the middle of a second career teaching young people (and adults too) the mysteries and joys of the various fret boards.


Birch Pereira

Upright and electric bass; Birch also teaches piano, guitar, and ukulele
Available: Tuesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: All
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Birch is a well known stand-up and electric bassist in the jazz, funk, hip hop, Americana, and rock scenes. His secondary instruments are piano (beginner to intermediate jazz/pop), guitar, and ukulele (beginner to intermediate folk/jazz), and he also teaches music theory.

Birch has built a strong reputation in the Northwest as an accomplished bass player, composer, and producer. His diverse musical background includes playing in symphony orchestras, a jazz performance degree from the University of Washington and years of gigging experience ranging from jazz to Americana, funk, hip hop, salsa, Brazilian, and Afro-pop bands. Birch starts with a focus on good technique and then explores the genres of music in which the student is interested, helping them grasp the rhythms, harmony, patterns, and feel that gives each style of music its distinct character.


Sunga Rose

Ukulele, voice
Available: Tuesday
Levels taught: All
Ages taught: 7+
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Sunga Rose is an experienced teacher & performer. For 9 years, she has been the bandleader, vocalist and ukulele-strummer for the 1920s trio Miss Rose & Her Rhythm Percolators. She and her partner, Michael Alexander form the vocal & ukulele duo, the Honeyville Rascals, which features a variety of music, including vintage Hawaiian jazz and their own jazz/blues/folk originals. In June of 2015, Sunga formed Ukestra Seattle, a 14-member ukulele orchestra based in Seattle that plays everything from Beethoven to the Beatles.

Sunga picked up her first ukulele 9 years ago and hasn’t put it down since, which makes riding a bicycle somewhat awkward. She has been running her own studio and teaching group ukulele classes and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle for 7 years and is a certified instructor in the James Hill Ukulele in the Classroom teaching method. She has also run the beginners’ ukulele jam at Dusty Strings for over 6 years, providing fun & guidance for newer players. Sunga has taught ukulele, vocal performance and songwriting at the Northwest School’s summer camp for the past 2 years, working with kids, aged 10-16, from all over the world. She also taught ukulele classes at the prestigious Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in 2016.

Sunga has been singing for as long as she can remember and has studied musical theatre, opera and jazz. She offers vocal lessons for non-singers who think they can’t carry a tune as well as coaching for singers who are pursuing a career in music. Learn more about Sunga at sunrosemusic.com.