We think that music is so important and beneficial to communities and individuals that everyone should have access to a quality music education.
Professional teachers coupled with instruments, computer games and electronic rewards, all make learning piano fast, fun and pro-active. There is never a dull moment!
Our programs aims to make music education accessible to children of all walks of life. Thanks to generous supports from foundations and individuals, we keep tuition low and music lessons affordable.
The Tacoma Music Academy is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization formed for the purpose of advancement of music education.
Our mission is to provide quality music education opportunities to children of Tacoma and Pierce County, regardless of income and ability to pay; to make music education accessible to underserved populations; and to promote the overall developmental benefits of music education..
Known for her rich vocal timbre and unique theatrical air, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Ann Mayer is an emerging artist and voice pedagogue in the Puget Sound area. Ms. Mayer grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and has returned after spending time teaching and performing throughout the country and abroad. Recent roles include Edka in Jake Heggie's Out of Darkness: Two Remain, Ragonde in Le Comte Ory, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dorothée in Cendrillon, and both Mago and Eustazio in Rinaldo. She has also enjoyed exploring many partial roles, including Gertrude Stein (27, Ricky Ian Gordon), The Secretary (The Consul), Presendia (Dark Sisters), and The Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte), among others. Additionally, Jennifer has performed as a featured soloist in various concert settings.
Ms. Mayer holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Here, she studied with Dr. Steven Rainbolt and Dr. Robert Muckenfuss to not only hone her craft as a singer and performer, but also to rene her skills as a teacher of voice.
In 2015, Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Communication Studies from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Jennifer has participated in masterclasses and coachings with mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, composer Jake Heggie, and dramatic soprano Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet, among others.
Jennifer is the proud recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, multiple rst place prizes in NATS competitions, and several endowed awards from her time at the University of Puget Sound and the Peabody Institute.
As a voice teacher, Ms. Mayer’s priority is to guide students in understanding all aspects of their musicianship – as a singer, student, and artist. Her teaching rests upon a foundation of vocal pedagogy that employs traditional bel canto technique, as well as a modern, scientic understanding of the voice. With extensive background in the study of interpersonal communication, Jennifer taylors all of her lessons to each individual students’ needs. She aims to create a learning space where the student is able to explore and create music in the most comfortable and eective manner.
Storm Tucker is a guitarist and a Tacoma native. Picking up the guitar at 16, he turned his love of the instrument into something more. In 2018, he graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor's degree in guitar performance.
A classically-trained guitarist, Storm has performed with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the PLU Symphony Orchestra, the PLU Jazz Band, and the PLU production of Dido and Aenaes. In addition to the guitar, he also plays the ukulele and the lute.
Having been an instructor for 5 years, Storm has taught lessons for guitar, ukulele and piano for the YMCA, Music & Arts, and as an independent instructor. He teaches students of varying ages and levels of playing experience. Whether you're an intermediate who has hit a rut in your playing or have never picked up an instrument in your life, Storm is willing to teach you.
Originally from Ukraine, Svitlana Smaga received her Masters degrees in Piano Performance from the Donetsk State Conservatory and Mariupol Music College, taught at the School of Arts in her hometown of Mariupol and performed as a soloist and collaborative artist.
After relocating to California in 2005, she served as a piano instructor and staff accompanist at the College of the Siskiyous. Svitlana also enjoyed a professional career as a collaborative pianist for Tacoma Opera. Svitlana is a registered Music Together® teacher and a guest pianist for the internationally acclaimed Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Willie Garza is a multi-instrumentalist, educator, clinician, and composer/arranger originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in Afro-Latin percussion while exploring other sounds of Arabic, Flamenco, Brazilian and Vocal-Percussion. Willie has been an active free-lance professional musician and recording artist contributing his talents to many regional and international artists throughout his music career.
Willie holds both his BM, MM with emphasis in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University where he studied composition, arranging alongside instrumental music pedagogy. Willie is also a graduate of the School for Music Vocations founded by jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Phil Mattson. Willie has been an active composer & arranger who has had commissioned works and arrangements performed by elementary to college university programs.
As a music educator in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Willie taught instrumental music for Early Learning Institute in Palo Alto, CA, and U Music Educational Foundation, Milpitas, CA. Willie was adjunct faculty at VCS Conservatory of the Arts in San Jose, CA while also being director of Jazz Band II and assistant director Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble at SJSU School of Music. Willie was also part of an artist outreach “arts angel” program from San Jose Jazz Society assisting band directors with their students, and implementing new beginning instrumental music programs for school districts in Santa Clara County, CA.
Willie believes that music can uplift the human spirit, and music education can help one find their place in society and cultivate humanity in the world. His goal is to assist on the journey.