Kate performs regularly with Kate & The Crocodiles and is often a featured guest soloist with Pink Martini and the Utah Symphony. She has many vocal competition wins to her name including the National Arion Award for Music. Kate began playing ukulele, tenor guitar, and banjo to develop her own songwriting. Lessons with Kate will cover technique, strum patterns, chord progressions, and fingerpicking and will be tailored to each of her students.
What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
There have been so many music lesson experiences in my life that it is difficult to point to just one. I began taking private vocal lessons once I realized it was something I truly loved. As one one of six kids in my family, money was always tight. So I got a job in order to pay for my own lessons (I like to think it made me value the lessons more). Over the years, some of the musical experiences were very positive, and some very much the opposite—to the point a few times that I stepped away from performing altogether. Luckily, my love of music couldn’t be stopped for long, especially once I realized that while not every teacher is a positive influence, I wouldn’t let that eclipse the truth that it’s all about the music. I didn’t like the feeling that I’d lost part of myself and my voice because I got scared of someone else’s approach to something that was such a big a part of me. After some starts and stops—some amazing and some heartbreaking—I want to share the lessons I’ve learned with students who are looking for the positive aspects of music and music performance—and to help them find their own voices.
What are your favorite bands or musicians?
Earth Wind & Fire, Heart, Dolly Parton, Sara Bareilles, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt, Al Jarreau. I love songwriting, strong and clear voices and thoughtful musicality.
Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
There are too many to count, but recently performing with Pink Martini, Ari Shapiro, Edna Vazquez, the Von Trapps and the Utah Symphony a few times is definitely up there. Although, there was the time I showed Daryl Jones from The Rolling Stones how to play my tenor guitar at the NAMM show just as Keith Urban walked up and wanted to play it, too. Taj Mahal and Hugh McDonald (bass player for Bon Jovi) sauntered through that day, so I got to meet and hang out with them as well. How did this happen, you might be wondering? I was working in the trade show booth I designed for Schoen Guitars, who made my custom tenor in trade for my work in designing the booth and the company website… I expect there’ll be plenty more highlights ahead in my life, to be sure!
Describe your ideal student.
Someone who loves music and is eager to learn to play an instrument and/or perform, but who may not yet understand the theory and mechanics of it. Or someone who has never played the ukulele but has always wanted to learn. It’s such a fun and happy instrument! I want to share music with people of any age who just want to get started and find their own voice—whether through an instrument or vocally. I also want people who are committed to practicing and being ready for lessons each week.
Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons.
We’ll talk about the students’ current musical skills, as well as any past experiences; about what students’ are seeking to learn from their lessons; and we’ll walk through some basics to have them playing after their first lesson. I tailor each student’s lessons to them so they get the most out of each session together.
Why did you want to become a music teacher?
I love music and can’t imagine my life and the world without it. It can be such a self-soothing and positive part of anyone’s life. Sharing music with other people is incredibly rewarding.