Meet Our Instructors
As Artistic Director of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Lexington Chamber Orchestra and Summer Music Nights at the Bohemian Forests, Jan has conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Talich Chamber Orchestra, Pavel Haas Chamber Orchestra, Vidin Symphony Orchestra, Ghana National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Bethel Park Orchestra, Orchestra Enigmatic as well as orchestras in Thailand, Japan and the United States. He has led performances with the Pilsen Opera and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and in 2007 led the Prague Karlin Theater Orchestra on an eleven-city tour of Romania. The following year he led the Berlin Newklassiker Symphony Orchestra on a New Year’s concert tour of China and the Czech Youth Symphony Orchestra on a tour of France. A native of the Czech Republic, Jan Pellant studied at the Prague Academy of the Performing Arts and holds degrees from the Prague Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University. Jan has served on the faculty of the International Conservatory in Prague as conducting instructor. He is a DMA candidate at the University of Kentucky (ABD) where he studied with John Nardolillo.
Decades of experience combined with musical fun is the hallmark of Melissa’s teaching style. Students are drawn to her infectious personality which inspires creativity in her students. Her commitment to excellence produces unmatched results in performance skills, music theory comprehension and professional skills in students of all ages. In addition to teaching elementary school music in Oregon, Wisconsin, California, Hawaii and Idaho she has been a worship team leader at numerous churches and sung at Carnegie Hall. She became a member of the North Idaho College Wind Symphony after playing saxophone and clarinet through the collegiate level. Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Piano Performance from the College of Idaho.
An accomplished music educator and performer, Michael Harrison currently serves as Director of Instrumental Music at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy and conductor of the Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra. He has played trumpet in numerous musical settings including Disney College All-Star Band, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Jazz Orchestra, Arizona Theatre Company, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Broadway productions of Chicago, Legally Blonde, High School Musical, The Rat Pack and Full Monty. He has performed across the United States, Europe, and Japan and was featured on the 2009 and 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA National Telethon. Michael has performed on-stage with such musical legends as Jerry Lewis, Linda Rondstadt, Art Garfunkel, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Doc Severinson, Marvin Hamlisch, The Smothers Brothers, The Lettermen, and The Temptations. Mr. Harrison has a Bachelor of Music Education and Trumpet Performance from the University of Arizona. Click here to read about Michael in the Coeur d' Alene Press. Coeur d' Alene Youth Orchestra: www.cdayo.org/
With a welcoming style and masterful teaching methodology Nicola Curry cultivates the art of piano playing to a new level. Students from beginner to collegiate level experience an individualized approach as they study music artistry, interpretation, theory, ear training, and reading skills. Her fresh and creative approach develops exquisite touch and intriguing expressive techniques in her students. As a teacher of classical, pop, jazz, Broadway, Christian, and world music, Nicola’s style shows the influence of her native Ireland. Professional recordings of compositions and arrangements she has done for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Asha Kiran Special Needs School in India demonstrate elegance and sophistication which has delighted audiences the world over. After completing the Royal School of Music exams in Great Britain she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies from Warner Pacific College with a piano pedagogy emphasis. She has served as District President of the Oregon Music Teachers Association, Composition Festival Chair, Junior Bach Festival Chair, and Oregon State Composition Festival Chair and is currently a member of the North Idaho and Washington State Music Teachers Associations.
“Taking piano lessons with Nicola was a great platform to prepare for a bachelor of music in my conservatory. More importantly, however, I will cherish Nicola's dedication, warmth, and keen attention to me as an individual student. It was this nurturing approach to lessons that helped me develop holistically as a person by cultivating both skills that will help me no matter what career I pursue and also an appreciation for music's connections to everything that will enrich me throughout my life.”
Playing, performing, and teaching the piano has been Linda Allen’s first love for a lifetime. Her gentle and detailed manner leads the student not only into the world of excellence but also into an intense appreciation of the piano as the grandest of all instruments. Her fine ability to coach students from beginner to advanced is evident in the amazing results she gets from them. A careful balance between serious study and lighthearted music-making fun makes taking lessons a true joy. Although her vast accomplishments in the world of piano may have made her the consummate professional, her gifts are multiplied many times over as her students work towards mastery of the instrument. Mrs. Allen is the instructor of celebrated pianist Rebecca Budai.
As a professional vocal instructor, pianist, worship leader, recording artist, and songwriter Rosalie Ingraham develops excellent rapport with young vocalists. Decades of teaching experience have made her an expert at helping voices of all ages to produce a beautiful and well-controlled sound. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to piano and vocal students studying classical, pop, musical theater, and contemporary Christian genres. As an inspirational worship leader for many years, she specializes in coaching worship bands to become the best they can be. She has been the featured artist at Sea World and Knott’s Berry Farm. She has toured America and Europe, appeared on several television shows and even gave a private concert for actor John Wayne and his family. Rosalie Ingraham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a Vocal Emphasis from the University of Memphis and is a certified Harmony Road Music Education System Instructor.
“All staff members are very courteous and knowledgeable. The private voice lessons with Rosalie were very enjoyable and I learned a lot. By the end of my lessons I was able to hit all the notes correctly and learned how to use the diaphragm. My length of endurance improved dramatically. I learned how to move smoothly from chest voice to head voice.”
As a virtuosic performer whose violin studies began at a very young age, Sophie Saurette has a wealth of information to share with students of all ages. She has held positions as 1st violin in the Whitworth Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Spokane Youth Symphony Orchestra, winner of the Spokane Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, performer on KPBX Radio and competitor in Musicfest Northwest many times over. Years of teaching alongside 18 years of personal violin study enables her to infuse students with a passion for excellence as they discover the joy of playing the violin. Miss Saurette is finishing her B.A. in Accounting at Eastern Washington University in addition to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in violin.
Extensive experience teaching students of all ages and abilities makes Michael Boshka a versatile instructor. Teaching everything from pop, contemporary, bluegrass and jazz to classical, he can teach you what you want to learn. Able to take students to a very advanced level, he teaches the easiest methods of technique, practicing tips, the theory behind guitar playing and how to develop a repertoire of your favorite styles and pieces. An accomplished composer and arranger with band experience, Michael loves to involve his students in the Northwest Academy of Music Rock Band School. While pursuing a degree in classical guitar performance at Pepperdine University, Michael studied under guitar master Christopher Parkening, known worldwide as the preeminent classical guitar virtuoso of our day.
Over 40 years of band performance experience throughout the Midwest and Northwestern U.S. has given Jim Turner a great deal of versatility in both his playing and teaching abilities. As an instructor of folk, rock, big band, and jazz music for 32 years, Jim has taught hundreds of students everything from beginner basics to more advanced guitar styles. As head coach of the Northwest Academy rock band ensembles he has taken students to the pinnacle of professional performance skills in their guitar study. He has played in everything from rock bands to large, orchestrated ensembles. His love of the learning process and of imparting his musical knowledge to students makes him an ideal instructor for both the beginner and more accomplished player.
"I have been taking guitar lessons from Jim Turner for several months now and found him to be very knowledgeable, easy to understand, patient and kind. I would recommend him to anyone looking to take lessons."
Brittany Engle, Coeur d'Alene
“I bought my guitar over 35 years ago and decided I now needed to learn how to play. Northwest Academy of Music, along with my instructor Jim Turner, has been very supportive in helping a retiree”
Ed Muehlback, Coeur d’Alene
A master at coaching artistic expression within his students, Scott Grunsted’s exceptional technical instruction has produced contest winners again and again. His inspiring pedagogical approach develops well-rounded independent performers who know how to share the joy of their instrument with others in varied styles. He has created and directed numerous choral programs, instrumental and orchestral groups, and Broadway-style musicals in schools. He has traveled abroad as a performer and been an active member of the music ministry in various churches. Mr. Grunsted has a B.A. in strings from San Jose State University and a Graduate Certificate from Multnomah School of the Bible. He is a member of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony and the Helena Symphony Orchestra.
- Coeur d' Alene Symphony: www.cdasymphony.org
- Helena Symphony Orchestra: www.helenasymphony.org
- North Idaho Youth Symphony: www.niysmusic.org
"Scott is truly an amazing instructor! He is everything a teacher should be and more. My daughter leaves feeling confident, inspired, and determined to accomplish her goals. After I commented the other day on Lindsey Stirling being her inspiration, she replied, 'Lindsey Stirling is not my number one inspiration, mom. My instructor is. ' "
"Scott has helped me significantly in my lessons with him. It was during orchestra practice I realized even more how much of a difference he has made in my learning. Instead of feeling completely intimidated, as I did the first time, I came home excited and told my husband that I really believe I can learn to play this new music. Interestingly, he told me that he was going to mention that he believes (based on listening to my practice) that I have found a good teacher. When I feel like I am struggling I also know that I am gaining ground in the process of 'learning'. Break-throughs are beginning to happen and will keep happening. I now practice any chance I can get along with studying and finding the music recordings on the computer. I am so thankful for Scott. It feels so good to be learning and getting to enjoy playing music with others!"
"Mr. Grunsted is an incredible instructor who knows how to motivate and instill confidence in all students. There are no words or actions that can express our gratitude for all of his time, dedication, and genuine care for our children."
"Mr. Grunsted is the best and most loving teacher a student could ever have. I am so thankful for his help."
A lifetime of experience in musical pursuits combined with a commitment to excellence enables John Wheeler to impart a wonderful perspective to his students. The son of a flautist and pianist for the St. Louis Symphony, his grandfather was a concert pianist and founder of the Washington Conservatory of Music. At age 14 he was the youngest cellist accepted into the Phoenix Symphony. Over the years he has performed in numerous symphonies in Arizona, California, Montana, and North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, the Coeur d’AleneSummer Theatre and Opera Coeur d’Alene. He has taught master classes at summer youth orchestra camps and worked with Coeur d’Alene youth orchestras. His expert coaching draws students into a new world of beauty and expression. Mr. Wheeler holds a Masters in Physics from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Masters in Business from USC.
Over 35 years of playing, recording, teaching and performing in over 1,000 shows gives Kent Nelson invaluable knowledge and versatility with his students. Rock, Pop, Americana, R&B, Country, Metal, Blues, Bluegrass: he can take you where you want to go whether it be flatpicking, finger style, slide, two hand tapping, hybrid picking and more. Featured multiple times in newspapers, radio and television, Kent has played with Chris Cornell and members of Heart and Alice In Chains. He has opened for bands Nazareth, Cry of Love and Pearl Jam. Several of his original songs have played on major radio stations including KISW in Seattle. Kent’s expertise enables students to learn how to use a wide range of musical equipment from guitar amps to mixing consoles, PA systems and effects in our Northwest Academy of Music Rock Band School. Kent studied guitar with master David O’suna and has an Associate of Arts in Music Theory/ Performance from Shoreline College in Seattle. He also works as a Behavioral Intervention Therapist in the Coeur d’Alene School District.