Rita Hovanesian is an award-winning musician and music educator with over 30 years of teaching experience and holds an MFA in Piano Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a rigorously trained classical pianist, she studied with Antoinette Perry at UCLA, received several scholarships, and was an Assistant Lecturer in the Keyboard Department. She has performed in solo, chamber and orchestral concerts throughout the United States. She also studied with John Perry and Eduardo Delgado.
In 2020, she founded Rita Music Studio to share her passion for teaching and her love of music with a broad range of students. In 2012, she founded the Adult and Yamaha Music School program at Keyboard Concepts, serving as Director of Music Education for eight years. Rita has also directed various music programs at local elementary schools and is active in professional music organizations including: Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT). Through her coaching and resources, her students have won top prizes at competitions, found different musical paths to enjoy, and excelled in their pianistic pursuits.
Tina Darden studied piano performance at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where she earned a Bachelor of Music, and at Florida State University, where she earned her Master of Music, both in Piano Performance/Pedagogy. While studying at Florida State, Tina was sent to observe a Yamaha class as part of an assignment. The rest is history. She fell in love with the program and has been teaching the method ever since.
Tina understands how important a child’s first exposure to music is and she sees the research and development that go into the Yamaha curriculum. She also knows how intense the testing and training are for the teachers. As a Yamaha Music Education Specialist for over 15 years, Tina has actively trained and mentored Yamaha teachers nationwide. As the Owner/Director of her own school for over 13 years, Tina’s goal was to ensure each student and parent felt welcomed, valued, and loved. In addition to Yamaha classes, Tina teaches private piano lessons and is the pianist for McKendree United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA. She is an active member of MTNA and the North Fulton and Gwinnett chapters of GMTA.