The piano is the symphony wrapped in a single instrument. It's arguably the most versatile instrument ever invented. It serves as a foundation of rock, country, jazz, blues and folk. And if you add in its keyboard brethren (e.g. organ, harpsichord, and electronic keyboards), it's in virtually every style of music.
At Madison Music Foundry we're pleased to offer a diverse selection of great instructors who, combined, can cover a wide gamut of the piano and keyboard repertoire.
We can offer lessons to any age and level at a time that's convenient for you.
Peter was born in northern Minnesota where he began playing piano at the age of five. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a bachelor's degree in Piano Performance. Since moving to Madison, Peter has had the opportunity to perform and tour with many groups, and currently he plays with several ensembles of varying styles. Along with being classically trained, Peter also has ample experience studying and performing jazz, blues, pop, world music, and other genres. Peter welcomes students of all ages and skill levels and enjoys helping students achieve their musical goals. As a teacher, he is patient and enthusiastic. While providing a strong foundation in theory and technique, he is able to cater to an individual's musical interests.
Alison Margaret Bracken
Alison Margaret Bracken’s relationship with music is both deep and broad, spanning the continuum between performance and formal education. She hails from Chicago, where she studied at the prestigious Columbia College, earning a degree in vocal jazz performance with a minor emphasis in classical piano. She has a master’s of music education with a focus on jazz performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Alison has been a music educator for over 18 years. In addition to holding a private studio of approximately 25 students, Ms. Margaret is a faculty associate for the Music Education Area at UW-Madison and teaches courses such as composition, arranging, and orchestration. She has also taught group piano and music theory courses at Madison College. Her educational philosophy is rooted in inclusive schooling concepts and she welcomes students with unique learning styles and music interests.
As a vocalist, Alison leads the “Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet.” The group has performed at Madison’s Jazz at 5 Festival, Milwaukee's 3rd Ward Jazz Festival, the Brink Lounge, Memorial Union, Isthmus Jazz Festival, and a host of other venues. Alison has also performed at many famous Chicago jazz haunts and festivals, including the Green Mill, the Hot House, Jazz Showcase, and the Navy Pier. She is likewise an accomplished Hammond organist in the Madison music scene and performs frequently with local blues bands and leads a jazz/soul group featuring the sounds of Hammond greats such as Chester Thompson, Jimmy Smith, Booker T, and The Meters.
PIANO, DRUM SET, PERCUSSION, GUITAR, ELECTRIC BASS
Eddie Campell first started hitting the drums at age 10 and began learning guitar at age 16. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 with an AB in Biology, minoring in Sociology and Jazz Studies. He studied music theory and performance all four years in the Jazz Performance Program. Eddie has performed a diverse suite of gigs from open mics to showcases, empty crowds to sold-out shows, St. Louis to Shanghai, and jam sessions to recitals. In college, he taught music as a part of a community service group, Beat Therapy, that included improv bucket drumming and after school guitar lessons. Before moving to Madison in 2020, he taught drums, guitar, bass, piano, and band at STL Rock School in St. Louis, MO.
Eddie focuses on nurturing a student’s natural creativity and love of music, allowing them to forge their own musical journey while exposing them to new ideas and developing their inner musician. Whether that be through songwriting, prepping them for an audition, working on music for school, or just jamming, the ultimate goal is to have fun and be excited every time they pick up an instrument! In his free time, he enjoys soccer, cooking, and exploring local parks (the UW Arboretum is his favorite!).
ELECTRIC BASS, GUITAR, PIANO
Josh Cohen is a multi-award winning six-string electric bassist, composer, session musician, and music educator who travels frequently throughout North America to perform and teach clinics/workshops including; Bass Boot Camp 2016 and 2019, Gruv Gear’s Clinic Series at Steve’s Music Toronto, Bass Break Live 2017, the 2019 Waupaca Bach Festival, Solo Bass Night VI and VII and more. He has garnered a lot of attention for his solo electric bass compositions and arrangements, and his arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” was ranked as the number one bass video of 2015 by No Treble magazine.
Josh’s solo six-string electric bass performances, which can be heard on his debut 2014 album Out of the Bassment, use extended techniques to create the sound of an entire band with only one instrument, and without the aid of loop pedals. When listeners hear Josh playing for the first time, they are often surprised to find out that everything they are hearing is being created by one person in real-time.
Along with his performance career which includes opening up for highly regarded fellow bass players Stu Hamm, Michael Manring, and Kai Eckhardt, Cohen has been teaching private lessons for over a decade at multiple music schools. He believes in dedicating time to his students both in the lesson and outside of the classroom preparing personalized exercises, transcriptions and other learning materials. When students study bass, piano, guitar, theory and/or jazz improvisation with Josh they have a teacher who takes pride in the accomplishments of his students and constantly strives to provide them with the best instruction and opportunities possible. Many of his students have gone on to have professional careers in music (e.g. Ronald Poon - bassist for Canadian Ska band Adam's Mind) and/or have continued their studies at post-secondary institutions.
While Brendan makes his living these days as a musician and educator, his musical beginnings stuttered before taking off with rocket boots. Initially setting his guitar aside out of frustration, power chords and the promises of youthful punk rebellion were enough to rope a young, teenage Brendan back in. Teaching himself was great, but his desire to learn more about music beyond what he and his friends could figure out led him to study music at Edgewood College. While there, studied classical guitar under Nathan Wysock and jazz under Daniel Wallach before receiving his BS in Music in 2012.
In his tenure as a music instructor since 2004, Brendan has helped his students graduate to milestones ranging from playing in first bands, writing first songs, to even successfully auditioning for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Brendan welcomes students of all ages and skill levels. He believes in not merely teaching students notes and songs, but also how to learn and apply their musical knowledge they an grow more well-rounded as musicians. He also recognizes that no single teaching approach works for everyone or even every song/concept for a single student, so he teaches in and encourages an open, friendly, and flexible style that best suits each student.
Brendan currently plays with award-winning Irish rock band The Kissers and Chicago's Last False Hope.
PIANO, HAMMOND ORGAN, GUITAR, ELECTRIC BASS, STRING BASS, FRETTED STRINGS, VOICE, ABLETON LIVE
Kevin Knapp is a freelance multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator living in Madison, WI with over 30 years experience. Having grown up in a home full of educators and music, Kevin is passionate about music education. He focuses on keeping music fun and helping students explore music that excites them.
Kevin’s early accomplishments include acceptance to Interlochen Summer Arts Camp with an emphasis in composition and the Chopin Award for piano performance. Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from University of Wisconsin, Madison. During his time at UW, he was awarded multiple scholarships, composed numerous pieces for performance by the UW Chior and UW Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded the UW Composition Prize.
These days, Kevin plays Hammond Organ and piano at multiple Madison area churches, provides dance accompaniment to the UW Dance Department, and teaches music privately. He also performs regularly with a variety of Madison-area ensembles with styles ranging from pop to classical.
VOICE, PIANO, SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, TRUMPET
Evan Mitchell has been teaching voice, piano, and instrument lessons to students of all ages, varieties, and styles for the past 9 years. He is a graduate of Luther College and McGill University, where he has advanced degrees in Music Performance. He has performed both classical and pop music throughout the United States and Canada as a recitalist, lead singer, chorister, accompanist, and director. He has taught at the college level, specializing in music history, performance, and literacy courses, as well has holding his own private studio. In addition to 19th century French opera and Cole Porter standards, Evan holds a deep interest for novelty and humorous songs- be sure to ask him what that means, and he will be sure to give you some great music to listen and sing to that will be sure to make you laugh!
Nancy Rost took piano lessons back in the 1960s and '70s, but her more formative education came in the 1980s when she began sitting in at piano bars and busking with a blues band. Inspired by her hands-on experience and independent study of music theory, in 1988 she developed an "Instant Piano" course for adults. She specializes in teaching students to play by ear and improvise, whether playing solo, accompanying their voice, or playing with others.
An award-winning and prolific songwriter in jazz, pop/rock and folk genres, Nancy strives to share a creative, fun approach to learning piano. Nancy currently records as a session player and performs as a solo singer-songwriter, with the acoustic trio Two Johns & A Nancy, and with the Madison Area Ukulele Initiative. Her students have gone on to study music in college, to compose, perform and record, and to share music with their grandchildren.
Nancy also teaches Music Theory and Songwriting.