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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

About Makala W.

I have loved music as long as I can remember. I know its cliche© to say so, but it's true! :)

For me, having parents of different ethnicity and siblings that were much older than me, I was heavily impacted by the wide variety of music to which my family members listened. The force of this crayon box of rhythms and sounds captivated and affected me so much that it is the key experience that I draw from in making my own music today.

I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska (a small town in the center of the state) so my only option for entertainment and fun was getting involved in the arts! I started performing at a very young age as both a dancer and a musician. I studied classical ballet, modern dance, hip hop and street dance, and world dance traditions throughout my formative years, which helped me to gain rhythmical fluency. I started my formal music training when I began to play the cello. From then on, I was hooked on the sound and I immersed myself in music as much as I could; performing, competing, working in as many musical groups and productions as possible (as both a vocalist and cellist), and even teaching.

I moved to Seattle in 2003 to study opera at Cornish College of the arts, only to later change my major to Jazz, and then again to Latin music studies. Since graduating from Cornish in 2007, with my Bachelor of Music degree, I have been actively and diligently working in the local music scene; performing and recording with artists and groups of many different styles. Everything from various Latin genres, to Rock, to R&B/Soul, to Hip Hop, and Jazz. Through my music, I aim to reach out to people of all cultures. I also aim to teach my own students with the hope that they too can discover the same continuous love of music that I have grown to feel (and still am growing to feel) over the years. :)

*** Studio Equipment ***
88 key piano, cello, various percussion instruments, guitars, ukulele, library, computer, lessons are given in a private studio.

*** Specialties ***
As far as voice goes, I teach all genres and styles but I personally specialize in the Latin genres. I teach all aspects of the music; rhythm, harmony, theory. I even teach performance; how to work with a band in real-time communication, song communication (or story telling as I like to call it), and developing ones own personal style. I believe that there is much more to singing than just vocal technique alone, so I believe in teaching musical fundamentals and functions so that my students will not only be considered vocalists, but competent musicians.

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  • Speaks Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
  • Teaches Beginner
  • Bachelor of Music Degree from Cornish College of the Arts

Reviews (33)

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Randall Oct 17, 2019


Myriam L. Oct 12, 2019
Singing · In home

Excellent teacher and flexible related to schedule so I can take classes and work normally! Full of knowledge. Awesome class👍

Ophelia C. Oct 12, 2019
Piano · In studio

My daughter LOVED her first lesson! She was smiling from ear to ear following her lesson and was excited to share what she learned. Makala provided tips to support at home practice. I am happy to have found such a wonderful teacher to introduce piano to my daughter.

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Bo Sep 30, 2019
Piano · In studio

Makala is an inspirational teacher/mentor. She takes time to learn what I like, and tries to adjust our lessons in-the-moment to my personal learning style. I feel connected and safe in our lessons, and love the way she challenges me. Thank you for making music a positive force in my life, Makala.

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David Sep 24, 2019
Cello · In studio

Very patient, made the lesson fun!

Justin Oct 3, 2018
Spanish · In studio

Very knowledgeable and a great teacher.

Lezlee H. Sep 28, 2018
Singing · In studio

Makayla is an AMAZING teacher. She's professional and fun and I look forwared to my lesson every week.

Kayla Mar 25, 2018
Guitar · In studio

Makala was very friendl, personable, knowledgeable, professional and FUN,

Joshua N. Jan 7, 2018
Cello · In studio

Makala hit it off with our third-grader right off the bat, and she was a great sport about meeting the whole family at the first lesson. She put Josh at ease, evaluated what he already knew without making him uncomfortable, and got right to work improving his fundamentals in a way that seemed to get him really motivated. We're extending our series - thanks Makala!

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Jaaziq Apr 12, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Makala is very seasoned at teaching music. I love that fact that she's patient but at the same time persistent. My daughter has grown tremendously from being under Makala's structured music teachings. Makala is very versatile and has a really open of mind with music. She can sing like an angel and her personality is warm and friendly. You can't go wrong with choosing her to help you with your music.

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Rebecca Apr 10, 2016
Music Theory · In studio

Makala is easy to work with. She makes music so easy to understand and she approaches lessons in funny and focused way that keeps them enjoyable while staying on-track. She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of music across a surprisingly extensive range of styles. Every time I see her I learn of a new artist that I love. Highly recommend Makala!

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Derek Apr 5, 2016
Singing · In studio

Makala's knowledge of music and vocal training really helped me to discover my own voice. She is incredibly positive, patient, knowledgeable, and sincerely cares about her craft and students. I would recommend her to anyone who is beginning or advanced.

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Kimmy Apr 5, 2016
Singing · In studio

Mikaela has helped me improve my voice and confidence an extraordinary amount! She is so knowledgable about music and singing and is also a wonderful human being. I highly recommend her!

Samia Apr 5, 2016
Singing · In studio

Makala as a voice teacher is dedicated to bringing out the best in her students.

Angelica G. Jun 4, 2015
Singing · In studio

My daughter loves how talented and kind Makala is. As a parent, I really appreciate how accommodating she is in regards to scheduling. We both highly recommend her as a teacher!

Silviana M. Sep 26, 2014
Piano · In studio

She's an amazing instructor! She's showing professionalism in a relaxed, personable way, and is able to adjust her teaching to suit the learner.

Laura F. Jun 19, 2014
Singing · In studio

Last summer, I insisted my then 11-year-old daughter take some kind of music lessons. She wasn't excited about it. We found Makala online and based on the great reviews, my daughter and I agreed she would give it a try 6 months. She has been taking lessons from Makala for close to 1 year now.

At one point I asked if my daughter wanted to switch to a music teacher where her friends take was much more conveniently located for me (we live in southeast Seattle), but she said "no way." It actually made me happy to see her commitment to her instructor. And it's been more than worth it to me to make the 45 minute commute to Ballard in order to have her be so excited and engaged in music.

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Stefan K. Feb 3, 2014
Singing ·

Down to Earth!

Makala is a patient person. She really takes a lot of time in explaining things so that you understand them. I took lessons from her for a year. I had never sung a note before. She helped me learn about the mechanics of my voice and taught me a lot about myself as a learner and singer! I wholeheartedly recommend her.

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David S. Feb 10, 2013

Makala is a wonderful instructor. My daughter loves her piano lessons.

My seven year old daughter has had three piano lessons from Makala thus far. Her interest and enthusiasm for the instrument has sky rocketed. Although it takes work, Makala helps to instill in her the necessary motivation to do the work. She is also great at building confidence. I would certainly recommend her for piano lessons.

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KevinS1 Jul 25, 2012


Makala has done wonders for my confidence with her approach and her tender teaching style. She has the skill set to teach classical to jazz and beyond. She is a special and gifted person.Kevin Saunders

AlysonD Jul 3, 2012

Makala is a great musician and has a very clear and comfortable method of teaching music. She knows her stuff!

KateC2 May 11, 2012


I would certainly recommend coaching with Makala. She has a very friendly and sunny approach, who encourages and teaches me new skills every lesson. I always come out of my lesson on a total high and always wanting to do more!

AngelaM2 May 2, 2012

Great with young kids

Makala teaches cello to my 4 year old. I didn't think that we could make it through a 30 minute lesson, but Makala is really good at engaging and keeping my child's attention. We have been taking lessons for two months and my daughter now enjoys practicing and loves visiting Makala!

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RodericD Apr 28, 2012

Makala is professional and fun to work with. My daughter looks forward to her lessons each week!

AdamJ Feb 6, 2012

Friendly and motivating

I looked forward to attending class with Mikaela! She pushes you to make an effort and she is an excellent instructor. Very nice. I 100% recommend her.

JamieC Feb 1, 2012

Exact Guitar Teacher I Want

I don't know how to read music at all. I only know the tab, so Makala changed the content for me, it suits me very well, i appreciate her so much n she really has enthusiasm for her job!

LizB1 Jul 12, 2011

Awesome to work with!!

Patient, sweet, funny, with a great personality. Easy to work with, honest, and very willing to put in as much time as the student is. and she has a very flexible schedule if you need to change a lessons time or date.

AlissaK Jun 28, 2011


My daughter loves going to see Makala! She actually wants to go to the lessons each week and does the assignments. I wish my daughter would be this conscientious about school work!! Makala is very understanding about family obligations that come up and is extremely flexible. We look forward to working with Makala in the future!!

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KristinaH Apr 29, 2011

Great teacher

Makala is a great teacher! She's helpful, she knows what she's talking about, she's patient -- and most importantly she's fun! :)

JenniferO1 Apr 18, 2011


Makala is a wonderful teacher. She has such a heart for her students and a passion for music. Thanks for all you taught our daughter.

NoaH Mar 12, 2011

Awesome teacher

Having a lot of fun learning to play the cello with Makala. Incredibly helpful!

cindyj Feb 1, 2011

Great teacher!

Makala is wonderful. She is very honest but kind, talented and extremely enthusiastic. I am learning so much from her. No only is she helping me with my voice but she is offering me so many ways to enjoy learning about my voice, through rewriting songs and playing the piano and guitar. More than I could have imagined to learn with just voice lessons. I really look forward to my lesson as I am hearing my voice improve each week.

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LelaJ Jan 3, 2011


Makala is an awesome teacher, she is patient and gracious but honest. She is a good listener and has good tricks. She is also very talented. If you are interested in improving your instrument while having a great time and singing fun music, Makala is the right teacher for you.

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Vocal Director/Vocalist
Jan 2017 - Present

Rise Up - Hamilton Tribute Band

I am the vocal director and one of 5 vocalists for the West Coasts Premier Hamilton Tribute band, Rise Up. We perform the music from the Broadway smash hit, Hamilton.

Vocal Jazz Instructor
Mar 2014 - Sep 2015

Seattle JazzED

I instruct kids in how to approach singing vocal jazz. I teach them how to learn tunes, improvisation, and rephrasing. I also show them how to work with a live band and performance techniques.


Bachelor of Music Degree
Aug 2003 - May 2007

Cornish College of the Arts

High School Diploma
Sep 1999 - May 2003

Austin E. Lathrop High School


Brazilian Portuguese

Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency

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