Kristie Smith

Kristie S.

Las Vegas, NV
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About

Kristie passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Kristie delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5 to 85 and special needs

Teaching since:
January 2004

Kristie is a professional musician based in Las Vegas, with a strong background in both teaching and performing music. She has over ten years of experience teaching music lessons to students of all ages and levels. Kristie is accepting new students for weekly 40-minute lessons.

*** Kristie's Teaching Background ***
Kristie 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 she studied with Dr. Paula Fan, Regents Professor of Piano and principal pianist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Kristie was honored as the Outstanding Senior of her undergraduate class. She is now a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

As a doctoral candidate at Indiana University, Kristie has the background and capability to teach beginning to advanced students. With a doctoral minor field in music theory, Kristie provides students with a thorough understanding of how music actually works.

Kristie also teaches improvisation and playing from lead sheets.

*** Ten Great Reasons to Join Kristie's Music Studio ***
1. Kristie loves to really get to know her students, so that she can tailor lessons to fit each student's particular goals and interests.
2. One of Kristie's foremost priorities as a teacher is to help her students learn to teach themselves. Independent learning skills are valuable in all areas of life, particularly schoolwork.
3. Kristie seeks a balance between challenging her students and cultivating creativity.
4. As a professional musician with over fifteen years of experience, Kristie has the capability to take those students who are serious about playing music from the absolute beginning to the advanced collegiate level.
5. Kristie is a nationally award-winning musician known for her impeccable technique, beautiful tone, and precise rhythm. She is committed to imparting these qualities to her students.
6. Kristie uses her strong background in music theory to help her students understand how music is put together, from the simplest concepts of key and meter to complex theories of phrasing.
7. Kristie teaches a range of musical skills, including improvisation and composition.
8. Kristie has been privileged to study with wonderful, internationally respected teachers. She loves to learn and is active in the musical community, both online and locally. This allows her to continually add to her knowledge of the piano and her teaching skills.
9. Kristie encourages all her students to have fun playing music!
10. 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, Kristie will get to know you and ask questions about your goals and interests, so that she can tailor the lessons to fit your needs.

If you are a brand-new beginner, Kristie 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 Kristie an idea of what you already know and where you would like to grow.

*** Lesson Details ***
For beginning piano students, Kristie uses the Faber method.

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 harps

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

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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.

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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.

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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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Photos & Videos

Teaching a piano lesson

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Playing the piano

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Pianist headshot

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Taking notes at a piano lesson

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With a student at her harp lesson

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Teaching a harp lesson
+ 1 more

5 Reviews

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Lisa Jul 30, 2019
Harp · In 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.

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Derek Jul 22, 2019
Piano · In 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!!!!

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Christina P. Oct 17, 2014
Piano · In 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.

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Abraham S. Aug 5, 2014
·

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.

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Gordon C. Jun 19, 2014
Harp · In 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?

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