Exhaustive research reveals that music education has beneficial neurological effects. In addition to teaching music, our goal is to improve cognitive and emotional development by increasing neuroplasticity. It's not enough that our students master music, they also engage their senses, psychomotor skills, emotional intelligence, and intellect.
Valerie Kasmir founded Lessons On The Lake Music Arts Academy in 2000. Her mission is to enrich lives through the majestic effects of music. She holds a BA in Music Education K-12 and a Masters degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction. She has presented at various Music Workshops and States Conferences of topics including, "Music and The Brain," "Piano Parent Coaching," "Motivating Students to Practice: applying neurological tools and techniques to engage students." and "Vocal Coaching Techniques."
She has been teaching (Piano and Vocal), performing, recording, and writing for over 30 years. Her 14-year public school teaching experience includes three different school systems. Music is her passion, which exudes through her teaching.
McKenzie McGee has an authentic love for teaching children and creating a safe and fun environment! She has worked with children for 10 years. In addition to caring for our precious children, she's also an experienced assisted living facility Certified Nursing Assistant.
She has shown exceptional leadership skills early in her tenure at Lessons On The Lake Afterschool Music & Arts Program. As a result of her outstanding work and leadership, she's been promoted to the Afterschool Director. Ms. McGee is extremely excited to work with your children. When McKenzie isn't caring for your children, she loves listening to Dolly Parton and drinking iced coffee.
Troy Newell has been performing live for several years. He studied music for 8 years before joining the Lessons On The Lake Music Arts Academy Staff. He continues his music education and training with our Master Teacher, Valerie Kasmir.
Annie Neely is a native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Anne has been playing the violin since age 10. While in high school she performed at Carnegie Hall and was awarded the Carnegie Medal.
Anne attended Edinboro University and has a degree in Music Education. While in college she was the Concert Mistress for the University's Symphony.
Desiring to be near family; brought her to North Carolina in 1997.
Continuing her love of music, Anne has taught in private schools and is the Concert Mistress for the Lake Norman Orchestra. She also founded a string quartet, The 4 Bows. This group traveled to Washington DC and played twice at the White House. The quartet also performs at weddings, local and private events.
Anne has also traveled to Austria with the Lake Norman Orchestra, performing in Salzburg and Vienna. Anne continues to teach private violin and piano lessons.
Madeline Crow is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. She graduated in 2018 with a bachelor's of science in Music Technology from UNC Asheville, where she studied everything from music theory to modular synthesizers. Madeline has been playing the piano since preschool and has picked up singing and drumming along the way. She is excited to share her knowledge and love of music with others!