Meet our teachers
"I am so proud of the teachers at Downtown Piano Works. All have degrees in Music. All are working musicians. Every teacher holds performances and gives students opportunity for feedback and growth. I see their students enthusiastic about learning and I love hearing their progress. Not only do our teachers provide traditional structure that occurs in conservatory style lessons, but they teach students to create music and appreciate all genres. High level classical music, improvisation and arranging, applied music theory. singing and songwriting as well as the unique ability to help students find their own voice makes our teachers some of the best in Maryland."
- Theresa Shykind / Owner
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Thomas Edison State College, graduating with the Arnold Fletcher Award. Sarah has studied with Dr. Darryl Gilbert, Dr. John Wickelgren, and Adrienne Sirken and Edna Golandsky of the Golandsky Institute.
She has taught private piano lessons for over eight years, and children's group classes for three years. Catering teaching style and curriculum to the individual needs of each student, Sarah encourages students to understand, experience and create music, and thrives on helping students achieve their musical goals. Besides teaching the basics of good technique, note reading, and rhythm, her curriculum incorporates hands-on music theory instruction through improvisation and creativity, and her students play a variety of repertoire suited to develop their musicality and maintain their interest. She loves the challenge of discovering what makes each student "tick," and figuring out how to best nurture a love of music in each individual student.
She enjoys collaborating with other musicians, accompanying at festivals and competitions, and providing music for events in the Maryland area, and loves to arrange and compose. She is a member of the FCMTA, MSMTA and MTNA.
Jordan is a pianist and composer living in Frederick, Maryland. In 2006 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Michigan, where he studied piano, composition and arranging with Ellen Rowe, Geri Allen and Dennis Wilson.
Jordan has been a performer in choirs, concert bands, jazz bands and combos, a cappella groups, church bands, and pit orchestras. As a composer, Jordan creates new music for different ensembles, environments, and film.
In 2013 Jordan received his Master's degree in Composition and Music Theory: Scoring for Film and Multimedia from New York University, where he studied with Mark Suozzo.
Having taught lessons for over six years Jordan truly enjoys watching his students achieve their musical goals. Experienced in classical, jazz, and popular music, Jordan teaches students of all ages, and likes to incorporate into his lessons, music students are personally interested in playing.
Raised in a musical family, it was natural for Miyako to show an interest in music at a young age. Piano was Miyako’s first instrument, but throughout her childhood she played and performed on many others, including recorder, euphonium, double bass, koto, harpsichord, organ and drums. Miyako earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Musashino Music Conservatory in Tokyo, majoring in piano. She received her Master of Arts from the State University of New York, Purchase with Dr. Edith Oppens, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi with Dr. Mary Ann Stringer. Since 2005 Miyako has attended seminars in Vienna, Austria under the tutelage of Prof. Elzbieta Wiedner-Zajac. She also takes part in Taubman Technique symposia lead by Edna Golandsky of The Golandsky Institute. She has been teaching piano privately for more than 20 years and is a member of the FCMTA, MSMTA and NMTA. Miyako resides in Frederick with her husband, surrounded by the woods, with many birds and deer.
Miyako specializes in teaching all levels of classical piano from school age to adult.
Natalie Ahearn is a pianist and composer who has been playing the piano since she was very young, having grown up writing music and learning by ear. In high school she attended and graduated from the Arts & Communications Academy at Thomas Johnson High School. She trained classically through various teachers including Theresa Shykind and faculty at Shepherd University as well as Shenandoah Conservatory. In college, she gradually made a shift from a classical focus to a jazz focus and graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory with a degree in Jazz Studies in 2017. Natalie played in the school’s premiere jazz ensemble, the Shenandoah Conservatory Big Band for over two years, toured the Pacific North West with the band, and has been a part of a variety of jazz/fusion groups stretching from D.C to NYC since graduating. She is now the leader of her
own funk/rock band where she plays a variety of synthesizers and keyboards and features her original music. Natalie has played at some of the best music venues in the area such as the 930 club on multiple occasions, Rock & Roll Hotel, The Kennedy Center, and more.
Natalie began her teaching career in high school. She enjoys creating unique relationships with each and every student, embracing their individual strengths, and applying focus to their weaknesses. Her classical background allows her to teach students proper technique, reading skills, and the ability to interpret music. Her jazz background allows her to teach students a
thorough application of both classical and jazz music theory, improvisation, and command over their instrument. In addition, she promotes creativity and composition to students across the board.
Natalie seeks to steer her students in the right direction, driven by their own interests, and guided by their teacher.
Matthew Carey is a composer, musician and educator from Frederick, Maryland, where he owns and operates his own small recording studio. He has studied Piano with Mr. Gary Mullenax and Dr. Robert Scott Beard at Shepherd University, where he was awarded accolades for his pianistic accomplishments. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he studied electronic music and composition with Dr. Anna Rubin. In 2015 he was awarded research scholarship to pursue sound studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he studied with acclaimed composer Pauline Oliveros.
Matthew has publicly performed repertoire from the Classical and Baroque periods as well as Modern Popular Music. In 2009 he won the Mountain State Piano Competition for performing Aram Khachaturian’s Toccata, and was presented with Music Teacher’s National Association’s Student Achievement Recognition Award. He has performed professionally in the Hagerstown and Martisnburg, WV area with the jazz quartet The Rushin’ Blues and currently performs as part of an improvisational trio in Baltimore with Percussionist Shelly Purdy and Guitarist Matthew Burke.
Matthew loves teaching and has been teaching Piano for over a decade. He is experienced teaching students of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. His approach is to find out what interests the student, and then develop a personalized curriculum to help the student reach their goals. Whether it be Classical, Jazz or Popular music, Matthew loves finding ways to keep lessons fresh and fun. He looks forward to working with you at Downtown Piano Works!