Our Teachers & Staff

Kat’s Artist Tree has the best teachers available in their discipline.  Every one of our teachers is an expert in their field and have a passion for passing their knowledge on to their students.  Most importantly, they are loved and respected by our students.  An Academy is only as good as its teachers, and we have the best!  Learn more about the fantastic family of Kat’s Artist Tree teachers below:

Dani Shraibman ~ piano

Israeli Pianist, Dani Shraibman, began studying the piano at the late age of 14 and half, but within three short years, graduated with honors from the Conservatory of Music in Ashdod, Israel under the renowned professor, Yanina Kudlik. Mr. Shraibman continued studies receiving a Bachelor of Music from the Buchmann-Mehta School at Tel-Aviv University with … Continue reading Dani Shraibman ~ piano

Helen Brons ~ Piano

Helen was born and raised in the Netherlands, and in 2000, her family moved to a small town in Iowa. In 7th grade, she started to accompany her grade school choir, which sparked her interest in accompanying/collaborative piano. In high school, she became the accompanist for the Siouxland Boys Choir for 6 years, recorded 12 … Continue reading Helen Brons ~ Piano

Armand Sanchez ~ Guitar

My musical journey began when I was fairly young.  Although no one in my family was a musician, I was greatly inspired but the music my father played around the house on his old vinyl records.  I picked up the clarinet in the fifth grade and learned how to read music, count, and understand basic … Continue reading Armand Sanchez ~ Guitar

Alyssa Craft ~ Dance

Alyssa Craft was born in Columbus, Ohio and started dancing the age of 4. She quickly fell in love with the Art and continued with a new studio when she moved to Arizona at the age of 8.  Through this new studio where Alyssa was fortunate to receive a wide range of experience including competing … Continue reading Alyssa Craft ~ Dance

Filip Voia-Tipei ~ Drums

Born and raised in Romania, Filip Voia-Tipei grew up in a musical environment from an early age. At the age of 7, he was enrolled into a music school and studied violin for the next few years. While there, he won several local and national competitions. This helped establish a strong musical education and performing … Continue reading Filip Voia-Tipei ~ Drums

Christina Lafferty ~ Piano & Voice

Christina Lafferty was born and raised in Arizona. She started piano and violin lessons temporarily as a child and picked back up her music education in college at Mesa Community College, where she was studying to be a Choral Conductor. She later transferred to Grand Canyon University and began studying Vocal Performance. She graduated from GCU with … Continue reading Christina Lafferty ~ Piano & Voice

Devin Simpson ~ Guitar & Piano

A native from Phoenix, studied music and classical guitar at the University of Southern Mississippi. Graduated with a Bachelor’s in music and a minor in audio production in 2014. After graduation, he returned back to his roots to teach music and guitar. Thankfully, Kat’s Artist Tree gave him the opportunity to do what he is … Continue reading Devin Simpson ~ Guitar & Piano

Michael Benner ~ Piano, & Voice

Michael was raised in southern Ohio. His hometown was fortunate to have a highly trained piano teacher whose pedagogy began with Beethoven. After high school he was accepted into and graduated from the College-Conservatory, University of Cincinnati with a BM in Music Theory and an MM in Choral Conducting. While at CCM he studied Music … Continue reading Michael Benner ~ Piano, & Voice

Ewa Medynska ~ Fencing

Ewa Medynska has been coaching internationally and locally for 21 years. She was a fencing coach in AZS Wroclaw and AZS-AWF Wroclaw team (both are academic sporting clubs) from 1990 to 1996. The fencers trained by her achieved high scores in junior’s classifications and tournament in Poland and Europe. Ewa held also duties in the … Continue reading Ewa Medynska ~ Fencing

Jenny Bement ~ Brass & Guitar

Jennifer was born in Laredo, Texas and was raised in Glendale, AZ from the age of two. She was born into a musically inclined and artistic home. Music and arts have played a major part of her upbringing. Suffering from a learning disability, Jenny was unable to learn and had little interest in school other … Continue reading Jenny Bement ~ Brass & Guitar

Brittany Johnson ~ Woodwinds & Piano

Originally from Grove City Ohio, Brittany is a woodwind specialist and teacher in the Phoenix area. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Otterbein University and has a Master’s degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University. Brittany is very passionate about performance and pedagogy, and has studied a wide range of instruments; … Continue reading Brittany Johnson ~ Woodwinds & Piano

Fran Valladares ~ Voice, Piano

Soprano Francis Valladares, an Arizona native, has been involved with music since she was 7 years old.  She was exposed to piano and cello first, and shortly thereafter began taking voice lessons with Isola Jones, a former mezzo soprano with the Metropolitan Opera. In high school she was involved with the school’s symphony orchestra, and … Continue reading Fran Valladares ~ Voice, Piano

Kathy Smith ~ Piano & Harp

Although her professional career was in the field of Nursing, Mrs. Smith has been an active student and performing musician since the age of eight.  She has experience with a wide array of instruments including Accordion, Organ, Piano, and Celtic Harp as well as Singing.  Mrs. Smith has been an active church musician  since the … Continue reading Kathy Smith ~ Piano & Harp