Kessa Mefford
Peekskill, NY
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Kessa Mefford

Kessa M.

Peekskill, NY
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have been teaching piano almost as long as I have been performing, coming up on 10 years. I started teaching beginners when I was just a teenager, and as I learned more about pedagogy and about piano myself, I branched into teaching more advanced students. To date, I have taught lessons to over 100 different students ranging in age from 5 to 70, and ranging in skill from complete beginner to college piano performance major.

Not every student is going to think I’m the best fit for them. I expect consistent practice, completion of assignments, and attention to detail in music. I have had many trial lessons that don’t pan out because the student or parent thinks my expectations are too high for them. Make no mistake; I expect a lot, but I also care deeply about music and have great understanding and sympathy for those who genuinely try. Whether your goal is to learn to read music, improve rhythm, learn to play the great classical repertoire, or simply have a good time learning the piano, I can and will help you achieve it.

About Kessa M.

I received my BM in piano performance from Brigham Young University, studying under Dr. Richard Anderson and Dr. Irene Peery-Fox. While there, I studied pedagogy from master teachers Dr. Irene Peery-Fox and Dr. Jared Pierce, who taught me both how to run a studio and how to manage individual lessons at different levels. Right out of college, I got my first teaching job at the Utah Piano Conservatory, where the fast-paced nature of lessons taught me how to adapt quickly to students’ needs and be efficient with limited time. My second job, I had the opportunity to be the first ever teaching assistant for the now famous Key Lime Piano Studio in Lehi, UT, just as it started expanding. Here I got the opportunity to teach on a more individual level and learn how to build a quality teacher-student relationship, as well as learn to develop my own teaching style with the freedom afforded to me. These opportunities prepared me greatly to be a self-sufficient private teacher now. I then proceeded to earn my MM in piano performance from the Mannes School of Music, where I studied under famous concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein. She was a fantastic teacher and taught me not only more deeply about the piano, but about the kind of teacher I wanted to become: someone caring about students, thoughtful about music, and holding high expectations without ever being cruel or harsh.

Reviews

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4.8
4 Reviews
5
75%
4
25%
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Caleb
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had the opportunity to work with Kessa when we were both in undergrad and I was trying to decide whether or not to become a music major. I was feeling pretty discouraged with my current piano teacher at the school and talked with Kessa since we had a class together and I knew she was a piano major. I had a few lessons with her and she gave me so many helpful ideas about how to approach my pieces and improve my practice habits. She was very kind and didn’t make me feel bad at all, but still pushed me hard in those lessons because she believed in me. Even though I ended up deciding not to go into music after all, I still value those few lessons I had with her and recommend her to everyone at any level.

Posted Nov 22, 2020
Marissa
Profile-location-online Online

Kessa is a very professional and talented piano teacher. My son loves going to lessons and we love hearing him practice such pretty music. We're impressed with Kessa's ability to explain confusing concepts and to encourage my son when he is having a tough time. She's done so well with transitioning to Zoom lessons during the pandemic and we love being able to have lessons from home.

Posted Nov 22, 2020
Connor
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My lessons with Kessa were amazing! They often involved focused improvement on technique, and in-depth learning of the assigned songs. She was very friendly, and patient. Altogether she helped me improve my performance in so many ways! A really awesome teacher!

Posted Nov 20, 2020
Drew
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Kessa was one of my main instructors right after I graduated high school. I had always been one to skimp on full practice but Kessa pushed me to work hard and improve the fundamentals I hadn't fully developed. And as the lessons went along, her teaching style became more friendly and personalized, which really helped me enjoy the experience. Great teacher!

Posted Nov 20, 2020

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos

Experience

Performing Artist
Sep 2018 - Present

The Piatigorsky Foundation

I perform solo and collaborative concerts in tours all around the US in underserved communities or small towns that don’t have the same access to classical music as big cities.

Concert Pianist
Jan 2018 - Present

Self-employed

I have been performing piano in public since February 2009, and have been giving paid performances since January 2018. I released a CD of live recorded piano repertoire in December 2019, have gone on multiple tours, and have started my own concert series called Whimsical Birdsong focusing on the works of Maurice Ravel that include piano.

Piano Teacher
Jan 2010 - Present

Self-Employed

I teach private piano lessons to students of all ages and skill levels.

Teaching Assistant/Piano Teacher
Jan 2018 - Apr 2018

Key Lime Piano Studio

I taught full-length lessons to students specifically assigned to me, where I was given mostly free reign to teach what I felt was appropriate for the student.

Technique/Theory Teacher
Jun 2017 - Dec 2017

Utah Piano Conservatory

I taught ten-minute technique focused lessons to six different students per hour every shift, learning how to quickly help students overcome technical challenges and better connect with their body. I also worked as a TA in the theory lab, helping students of all levels to understand age-appropriate music theory.

Education

MM Piano Performance
Aug 2018 - May 2020

Mannes School of Music

BM Piano Performance
Sep 2013 - Aug 2017

Brigham Young University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

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