Teaching Mentors

The KMTA Teaching Mentor program seeks to improve the quality of independent music teaching and studio management in Kitsap County by creating a database of experienced and certified independent music teachers who may share their expertise with other music teachers.

Below is a listing of KMTA teaching mentors and a description of the teaching mentor program. Any KMTA member is free to contact any of these teachers for teaching and studio management ideas. For questions or assistance, please contact Joann Richardson, teaching mentor coordinator at organistjoann@gmail.com.

(Contact information for these teachers is on the Find a Teacher page)

• Burns, Darden: Piano
• Devine, Leslie: Itinerant Teaching
• Florian, Debra: Piano
• Melin, Jane: Violin
• Johnston, Dianne: Piano
• Karr, Marilyn: Special Needs Students
• Richardson, Joann: Teaching Mentor Coordinator; Piano and Organ

Program Details:

In order to be a KMTA Teaching Mentor, the teacher must:
1. be a Nationally Certified (NCTM) or Washington State Certified (WSCTM) teacher of music
2. have 10 or more years experience as an independent music teacher
3. be an active member of KMTA as demonstrated by fulfilling at least two of the following criteria:

  1. Attend two (2) or more KMTA chapter meetings during the current season
  2. Serve at one or more KMTA sponsored events during the current season
  3. Serve on one or more KMTA, WSMTA, or MTNA committees during the current season
  4. Serve as an elected officer for KMTA, WSMTA, or MTNA
  5. Provide other evidence of active involvement in the organization

Expectations of KMTA Teaching Mentors
KMTA Teaching Mentors must be willing to:
1. open their studios (by scheduled appointment) for observation
2. discuss pedagogical matters and studio management
3. act as a resource for questions that may arise
4. observe another teacher’s teaching, if requested, for the purpose of providing ideas for growth (provided a mutually agreeable time can be arranged)
5. commit to a one-year term as a KMTA Teaching Mentor. Term will automatically renew until the teaching mentor informs KMTA that he/she no longer wishes to serve.
6. If a new teacher requests a one-on-one assignment with a KMTA Teaching Mentor, the association facilitate an assignment.
7. In the case of a one-on-one assignment, the KMTA Teaching Mentor will initiate contact on a monthly basis with the assigned mentee to for the purpose of answering questions and/or providing encouragement.


1. I have many years experience and a college degree but I’m not certified. Why can’t I be a KMTA teaching mentor?  —  In order to be a KMTA teaching mentor the mentor teacher must have qualifications that meet the requirements of our professional organization. Some of these requirements are not part of most college degree programs. The MTNA Professional Certification program is objectively administered in a uniform manner to ensure fairness, accuracy, validity and integrity. NCTM or WSCTM indicates that a teacher has been evaluated according to five standards: (1) Professional Preparation; (2) Professional Teaching Practices; (3) Professional Business Management; (4) Professionalism and Partnerships; (5) Professional and Personal Renewal.
2. I want to partner with a teacher who is not on the KMTA teaching mentor list. Is that okay?  —  Independent teachers of music may, on their own volition, seek advice from anywhere. The KMTA Teaching Mentors are yet another resource.
3. I’m a KMTA Teaching Mentor. How can I discuss business practices in light of the FTC ruling?  —  KMTA, as an organization, may not prescribe how an independent music teacher should run his/her business. In an educational setting, however, KMTA member teachers can answer questions and provide a plurality of examples that show a variety of ideas from which an independent music teacher may garner ideas in order to formulate an independent studio plan.
4. Will a KMTA Teaching Mentor be automatically assigned to new KMTA members?  —  No. Use of a KMTA Teaching Mentor is completely optional. However, should a new member wish to have a teaching mentor assigned, KMTA will facilitate an assignment.
5. I’ve been teaching for years, but I’d like to get some new ideas. Can I also work with a KMTA Teaching Mentor?  —  Yes!
6. I’d like to observe more than one studio and talk with more than one teacher. Do I have to pair with just one teacher?  —  No. KMTA teaching mentors are simply there as a resource. Feel free to set up appointments with as many KMTA teaching mentors as you’d like.