Owner, Piano, Singer/Songwriting, Performance Coaching, Artist Development
I am a professional pianist/keyboardist in San Francisco. I began taking piano lessons when I was 6 years old and fell in love instantly. I had a wonderful piano teacher, whom I adored, who taught me to understand music theory & read music, but also taught me to play by ear & improvise. She taught me to understand the language of music but she also taught me how to stray from the page and create the music that was inside me. To this day, I am eternally grateful for that.
When I was 10, I started playing in my church band. It was here that I discovered my passion for playing music with other musicians. This is still a passion that I share to this day.
I began teaching private lessons to the kids in my neighborhood when I was 13. I have been teaching private lessons and group workshops ever since.
I have a degree in classical piano performance, but have always continued my pursuit of playing in other styles as well (jazz, pop, funk).
Over the years, I have accompanied choirs, accompanied soloists, taught private lessons, taught group workshops, played in many different bands, and have ultimately been narrowing my focus toward the aspects of music that I love the most.
In 2005, I moved to San Francisco and have been actively involved in the music scene here, accompanying the Piedmont Children’s Choirs, the Nationally Renown Head Royce choirs, and soloists such as Megan Hilty from Wicked. Studying with funk keyboardist Jimi McKinney, who has played with Larry Graham and the Graham Central Station, Sly & the Family Stone, and Tower of Power, and grammy nominated jazz pianist Mark Levine, author of “The Jazz Piano Book”, and collaborating with musicians such as George Lacson and Mike Rogers of the John Lee Hooker Jr. Band, I have heavily pursued adding other styles and new repertoire to my classical, pop, and improvisational roots. I am very excited to now be composing and performing with my band, Hidden in the Sun, an amazing group of musicians who borrow from rock, blues, jazz, and funk styles.
Adults- Piano (beginners-intermediate), Voice (beginners - advanced)
Lizzie Clapper, head of the MMS Children’s Department, has her degree in Music Education from San Jose State University. Her teaching philosophy is grounded in her deep belief that music is for everyone and that all beginning music students should have a well-rounded and nourishing experience with equal focus on learning to read music, listening to music, and understanding music from both the classical and jazz/rock/pop perspectives. Lizzie began her journey with music at a very young age, starting piano lessons at age 5. She sang in choirs throughout much of her childhood and well into adulthood, singing with the world renown San Jose State University Concert Choir, where as a part of that group she sang at the Inauguration of the University’s President, Mohammad Qayoumi , and with Andrea Bocelli at the San Jose HP Pavillion.
Lizzie met Ciara McAllister in 2006 when the two began working together as music teachers for a performing arts summer camp based out of San Francisco and the two have been working together ever since. Lizzie is also deeply passionate about singer/songwriters and has been writing her own music since 2005, performing in small venues around the Bay Area. Eventually, Lizzie joined up with Ciara (and other close friends) and helped to form the band Hidden in the Sun, an indie-rock band that features Lizzie as the lead singer and one of the contributing writers. Lizzie is passionate about sharing her talents with the students at McAllister Music Studio!
After spending several years working internationally, pianist-composer Tyler Dennis is excited to return to the U.S. and join the Bay Area’s rich music community! Born, raised, and educated in the Deep South, music has been his primary form of creative expression since he could crawl over and bang on the piano as a toddler. He has worn a wide range of hats in the music industry and is equally at home as an educator, performer, composer, and producer, with live and studio credits on projects by wide range of artists, including Steve Miller, Bruce Hornsby, and George Benson, among countless others. Tyler’s proudest achievement as a teacher was during graduate school when he helped develop an after-school piano program for at-risk students in North Miami and watched it blossom from ten students to nearly fifty in its first year. More recently, he has also enjoyed offering clinics and lessons for budding students across the globe, which has been a mutually rewarding insight into the intersection of culture and music. He recently spent over a year in Macau, China serving as the music director, composer/arranger, and bandleader for Taboo, a modern circus/cabaret production by Franco Dragone, the former artistic director of Cirque du Soleil. He then combined his passions for music and travel and spent six months aboard a small luxury cruise ship, serving as the onboard musical director and pianist while exploring ports of call in nearly forty countries. After a period of meditation and personal reflection on his experiences abroad, he relocated to San Francisco in October 2017 to discover the unique opportunities present in such a prolific crossroads of music, technology, and world culture. As a member of the MMS community, Tyler is thrilled to apply his experience to help students unleash their own unique creative voices!
Sofia Nedic is a professional pianist, accompanist, & piano instructor. She started playing the piano at age 5 & music has been a huge part of her life ever since. Coming from a family of musicians, she believes strongly that every person can enrich their life and soul by getting involved in music.
At age 18, she was the youngest student to graduate from the Belgrade Conservatory of Music, where she was top of her class. This is also when she began passing on her love of piano as a teacher. She graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2013 with a Masters Degree in Piano Performance.
Sofia has won over 20 international piano competitions in Italy, France, Austria, Greece, Slovakia, & the US. She has performed solo recitals in Paris, Geneva, Belgrade, Vienna, & San Francisco. She has performed as a soloist with the San Jose Youth Orchestra in the California Theater in San Jose, and also on their European Tour in Prague, Bratislava, & Ljubljana.
Sofia has enjoyed teaching in the Bay Area for the last 4 years, as well as accompanying classical pieces and musical theater for the Berkeley Playhouse at the Julia Morgan Theater. She was also the pianist at the Palace Hotel in SF, where she performed an assortment of famous classical piano pieces along with a popular standards & music from film scores.
Sofia is very happy to share her knowledge, enthusiasm, and broad expertise with the students of MMS.
Adults- Piano (beginners), Voice (beginners - advanced)
Emilie Schattman is a singer and piano player from New York. She has been musical since age 6, writing songs on piano and turning kitchen pans into percussion sets. She studied jazz voice at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC, and completed her BA at Barnard College in 2015. Since moving to San Francisco, she has been teaching students of all ages and performing 2-3 times a week in restaurants, music venues and bars around the city. Performing solo sets for three hours, she has 4+ hours of repertoire in genres spanning from jazz, pop, original, instrumental and R&B. Her most memorable gig was a performance in Antarctica while working as a research assistant, sampling vocalizations of elephant seals as drum beats.
A teacher at heart, she loves encouraging students to pursue music and find their voice. She credits her love and dedication for music to her inspiring teachers that encouraged her in formative years. It means the world to be able to bring the joy of music to her students. For young beginners, she finds it is best to follow rote lesson plans, but also incorporate students’ favorite songs to captivate interest. For intermediate levels, she introduces advanced theory concepts and ear training. She believes a strong musician incorporates a healthy dose of sight-reading and classical training as well as mastering chords and learning by ear. Emilie's philosophy of music education aligns perfectly with MMS' and she is very pleased to be bringing her love of music and talents to the MMS family!
A recent NYC->SF transplant, Aaron Kruziki is equal parts musician, educator and sales man. By day, a Steinway piano sales representative, by night a performing and recording musician and music instructor, Aaron finds comfort (as a Gemini) in the duality of two careers: piano industry & music.
Aaron is a core member of NYC based Dapp Theory, and performs and records on soprano & alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, duduk, vocals and keyboard programming. Aaron's avante-rock band 'Education Reform' features his original song-writing, vocals, keyboard programming and sampled sounds from his experiences as a kindergarten teacher in Queens, NY. Aaron collaborates with other musicians in California, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin. Armed with the knowledge that the best music is beyond category, Aaron's biggest musical goals are the continuous development of good sound and good melody. Some of his biggest influences are David Bowie, Miles Davis and Olivier Messiaen. He is an active composer and producer, and has released 5 albums as a bandleader, and appeared on a dozen-or-so albums as a collaborator / side-man. Apart from numerous grants and awards, Aaron is one of the very few who simultaneously won jazz and classical Downbeat Student Music Awards with the same submission. He currently resides in San Francisco’s ‘Haight-Ashbury’ district and is very excited to bring his expertise and creativity to the students at MMS!
Andy Kwan’s love for music began at the age of 8 when he performed in a simplified version of the opera, The Barber of Seville. Andy was a member of the San Francisco Boys Chorus as a child, the world renowned San Jose State Choraliers as an undergrad, & performed music from Nintendo’s Zelda series with Skywalker Symphony. Most recently, Andy earned his Bachelors in Music Performance from San Jose State University and has performed throughout the South Bay, with Opera San Jose & as a soloist with SJSU Choraliers and Peninsula Cantare. In addition to teaching voice and piano, he enjoys teaching story theater in elementary schools all across the Bay Area. He is excited to share his knowledge of classical, pop and musical theater with the students of MMS. He hopes to help them foster a love for music & healthy performance techniques to support them wherever their goals may lead.