Willis Koa

Willis K.

Okemos, MI
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About

Willis passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Willis delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+

Teaching since:
2013

Willis Koa is a cellist and teacher based in East Lansing. He is a regular member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and West Michigan Symphony and recently joined the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal. Willis frequently performs with other regional orchestras in West Michigan. He has performed as a part of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and Holland Symphony Orchestra.

As a collaborative musician, Willis was a primary member of the UT Contemporary Music Ensemble, UT Graduate Quartet/Quintet, Western Michigan University’s Birds on a Wire contemporary music ensemble. In addition, he has participated in chamber ensembles at several music festivals including Round Top Festival Institute, Wintergreen Summer Music Academy, and Meadowmount School of Music.

During his studies, Willis has had the opportunity to perform in various masterclasses with prominent performing artists and professors. He has performed for David Ying, Stephen Balderston, the Doric String Quartet, and others.

An active teacher, Willis has been pursuing training in the Suzuki Method. He is a member of the Suzuki Association and plans to continue training for the benefit of his students. Willis teaches a private studio and has also assisted collegiate level and non-major students during his time at UT.

Willis is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Cello Performance at Michigan State University, studying cello with Suren Bagratuni. He completed his Master’s in Cello Performance at the University of Tennessee where he served as graduate teaching assistant and holds a BM in Cello Performance from Western Michigan University and was awarded the Herbert Butler Scholarship. His primary teachers were Wesley Baldwin and Bruce Uchimura.

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Experience

Assistant Principal Cello
Sep 2017 - Present
Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra

Section Cello
Sep 2015 - Present
Lansing Symphony Orchestra

Section Cello
Sep 2015 - Present
West Michigan Symphony

Education

Doctor of Musical Arts - Cello Performance
Aug 2017 - Present
Michigan State University
Master of Music - Cello Performance
Aug 2013 - May 2015
University of Tennessee
Bachelor of Music - Cello Performance
Sep 2008 - May 2013
Western Michigan University

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Mandarin Chinese
Limited Proficiency

Certifications

Suzuki Book 3
Jul 2016
Chicago Suzuki Institute

Teacher Trainer: Barbara Wampner

Suzuki Book 2
Jul 2016
Chicago Suzuki Institute

Teacher Trainer: Barbara Wampner

Suzuki Book 1
Jul 2014
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Teacher Trainer: Melissa Kraut

Every Child Can!
Jul 2014
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Teacher Trainer: Melissa Kraut

Awards

School of Music Scholarship
Aug 2017
Michigan State University
Birds On A Wire Scholarship
Sep 2013
Western Michigan University
Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Aug 2013
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Leonard Rose Memorial Fellowship
Jul 2013
Wintergreen Summer Music Academy
Herbert Butler Scholarship
Sep 2010
Western Michigan University

Affiliations

Suzuki Association of the Americas
Jul 2014

The Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) is a coalition of teachers, parents, educators, and others who are interested in making music education available to all children. The SAA provides programs and services to members throughout North and South America.

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