Kristie Smith
Las Vegas, NV
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Kristie Smith

Kristie S.

Las Vegas, NV
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Teaching Locations:
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I currently have openings in my studio for private students! I would love to share my love of music and of the piano with you and your family.

About Kristie S.

I am a professional musician based in Las Vegas, with a strong background in both teaching and performing music. I have over fifteen years of experience teaching music lessons to students of all ages and levels. I am accepting new students for weekly 40-minute lessons.

*** My Teaching Background ***
I graduated summa cum laude and with Honors with a Bachelor of Music in harp and piano performance from the University of Arizona in 2004, where I studied with Dr. Paula Fan, Regents Professor of Piano and principal pianist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. I was honored as the Outstanding Senior of her undergraduate class. I am now a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University..

I also teach improvisation and playing from lead sheets.

Kristie's piano studio is a nurturing environment where students of all ages and all levels feel safe, welcome and supported in their musical journey.

*** Getting Started ***
At the first lesson, I will get to know you and ask questions about your goals and interests, so that I can tailor the lessons to fit your needs.

If you are a brand-new beginner, I will start with an introduction to music and get you going with several fun pieces to go home and practice.

If you are a transfer student or if you already play another instrument or sing, it is helpful to bring any previous or current music books and to be prepared to play a couple of pieces. These pieces do not necessarily need to be memorized or performance-ready; the idea is to give me an idea of what you already know and where you would like to grow.

*** Lesson Details ***
For beginning piano students, I use a variety of different methods depending on the student’s age, personality, and goals. These include Faber’s Piano Adventures, Irina Gorin’s “Tales of a Musical Journey,” “Piano Safari,” “Music for Mozarts,” and Alfred’s “Premier Piano Method,” among others.

Lessons typically include music theory. Students will be given clear assignments to practice and complete.

Depending on the student's level, background, and interests, piano lessons may also include:
• Scales, arpeggios, or études (technical development)
• Improvisation and playing from lead sheets (for pop or jazz music)
• Composition (learning how to create and notate your own music)

*** Studio Equipment ***
• Kawai baby grand piano
• Lyon and Healy pedal harps
• Salvi 25-string lever harp for young beginners

*** Special Needs ***
Please inquire, as this is on a case by case basis.

Reviews

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Lisa
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Kristie taught my son harp for 1.5 years before he left for college. He absolutely loved Kristie. She is patient, and makes the lessons interesting and engaging. She allows students to choose from a selection of music so that they learn how to play something they like. She encourages experimentation and engagement. My son wanted to learn the harp because it was interesting, not because he wanted to be a world class performer. Kristie really got that and made the lessons something he looked forward to every week. And she herself was a world class performer so if that's what you're looking for in a teacher, she can deliver that to. Kristie is a super teacher; my son still keeps in touch with her and says lessons with Kristie were one of the highlights of high school.

Posted Jul 30, 2019
Derek
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I was nervous walking into my first piano lesson, as I was COMPLETELY out of my element, though I knew that I had a passion to start learning. Kristie made me feel at home and reassured me that this was normal. She is extremely informative, and not only teaches you what you need to know, but explains WHY things are the way they are- which further developed my love for the music. Also, I have noticed that she is good at knowing where to start. She saw that I was picking it up quickly, so advanced quickly to challenge me more. Loved every lesson so far, and look forward to the future ones as well!!!!

Posted Jul 22, 2019
Christina P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We've had the best first time lessons experience with Kristie. She is knowledgeable, patient and extremely flexible. I especially appreciate the way she is able to reign in my seven year old's often wandering attention span. I look forward to continuing to work with Kristie in the future.

Posted Oct 17, 2014
Abraham S.

Kristie is a remarkable musician and teacher. She is persistent in helping her students achieve the impeccable technique, especially good tone and precise rhythm. Kristie is renowned for these qualities in her own playing. But, more than that, Kristie helps her students understand how music is put together, from the simplest concepts of key and meter to complex theories of phrasing. If you love to learn, Kristie will turn you not only into a proficient technician, but a true musician.

Posted Aug 5, 2014
Gordon C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Kristie is an exceptional teacher whom I would recommend to any serious student. I studied with her for a year, which turned out to be one of the most productive periods of instruction that I've had. Kristie is particularly gifted in identifying where attention is needed, explaining and demonstrating clearly what the goal is, and suggesting good practice ideas for achieving the goal. She does all of this in a very relaxed manner that serves to promote growth, rather than to increase tension.

Kristie is also a terrific musician with a deep grasp of interpretation and performance. Her resume speaks for itself. It was always a pleasure just to hear her when she would sit at the instrument to illustrate a point.

On top of it all, she's a great person to know. What more could one want in a teacher?

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Photos & Videos

8 Photos & Videos

Experience

Harpist
Sep 2013 - Present

Las Vegas Wedding Harpist

Kristie plays harp for weddings and events.

Education

Doctor of Music, Harp Performance
Jan 2006 - Present

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Master of Music, Harp Performance
Aug 2004 - Dec 2005

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Bachelor's Degree, Harp and Piano Performance
Aug 2001 - May 2004

University of Arizona

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

Pilates instructor
May 2013

The Pilates Center

Advanced Teacher Training Program--a comprehensive, 950-hour program that includes training on all equipment and mat. This thorough, demanding program is known as the "Harvard school for Pilates."

Awards

Prize Winner
Apr 2008

Indianapolis Matinee Musicale

Prize Winner
Mar 2008

National Society of Arts and Letters

Outstanding Senior
May 2004

University of Arizona Music Department

Prize Winner
Jun 2003

Anne Adams Awards

Prize Winner
Jun 2003

American Harp Society Salzedo Competition

First Prize Winner
Jun 2003

American Harp Society Young Professional Division Competition

Tucson Symphony Young Artists Competition
Dec 2002

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Prize Winner
Jun 2002

Anne Adams Awards

First Prize Winner
Jun 2001

National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Awards

Most Valuable Player
May 2001

Tucson Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Second Prize Winner
Jun 1999

Grandjany National Harp Competition

First Prize Winner
Jun 1999

American Harp Society Intermediate I Division Competition

Affiliations

Music Teachers National Association
Apr 2014
The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.
American Harp Society
Mar 1998
The American Harp Society (AHS) is a non-profit organization whose mission is "to promote and foster the appreciation of the harp as a musical instrument, to encourage the composition of music for the harp and to improve the quality of performance of harpists.
American String Teachers Association
Sep 1995
The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.

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