Our Teachers 

Erin Hales

A fourth-generation native of Arizona, Erin Hales began her formal pianistic studies at the age of five with Zhu Hong, under whose instruction she quickly gained local notoriety. Professional study of the instrument began for Hales at seventeen, when she received a full scholarship to join the studio of Stanislav Ioudenitch, gold medalist of the Van Cliburn competition and founder of the International Center for Music at Park University, Kansas City, Missouri. Upon completing her studies with Ioudenitch, she embarked on postgraduate work with venerable pedagogue William Grant Naboré at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.

As of 2016, Hales also holds the honor of being the first American woman ever accepted to the legendary International Piano Academy Lake Como.

Through extensive research and adoption of historical performance techniques, Hales has earned particular esteem for her renditions of the music of J.S. Bach and the French Baroque keyboard masters. Her distinctive style and commanding presence have garnered her performances across the United States, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Russian Federation.

Hales' debut album, comprising Book I of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, was released worldwide in September 2015 as part of a collaboration between Artalinna (www.artalinna.com) and Academy Classical Music Productions (www.academy-classical-music.com). Widespread critical acclaim of the work led London’s International Piano magazine to include her in their July/August 2016 feature of ten noteworthy pianists under the age of thirty. She plans to record the second book of the Well-Tempered Clavier as well as the complete set of Bach’s variations for keyboard. Hales currently works as an independent piano and music theory instructor.


David Paonessa



David is a musician from Phoenix, AZ.  After playing in piano and trumpet in grade school, David continued his passion for music at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University, studying with acclaimed pianists Nick Manson and Mike Kocour.   He can be found teaching and playing regularly at local venues throughout the Valley of the Sun. Career highlights include Orchestra musician for Phoenix Theater’s Production of Mama Mia, Orpheum Theater’s Director’s Choice Ballet, and sharing the stage with  nationally acclaimed musician Chris Mann at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Christina Lafferty

Voice, Piano

  Christina Lafferty began her musical career at Mesa Community College and continued her undergraduate at Grand Canyon University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music. She has studied voice with Dr. Cathy Hauan and Carol Jennings. Christina continues to perform as a Soprano in Dr. Craig Peterson’s Canto Vivo Chorale. As an instructor in piano and voice, Christina focuses heavily on music theory and healthy technique. It is her goal as a teacher to help students realize that music theory is fun and exciting! Christina’s areas of interest are in music theory, vocal pedagogy, and ethnomusicology.

Terry Schreier

      Guitar, Bass, Ukelele        

Terry Schreier has been a private modern strings instructor for over ten years. In his time teaching he has accumulated an extensive repertoire and has taught and tutored students who have gone on to become professional musicians and casual lifelong musicians. Terry has played in 9 groups throughout his musical career and has taken on a multitude of roles therein. Terry is currently available for lessons in guitar, bass, and ukulele. Terry has instructed many students over his years of teaching and some trained some to play their own accompaniment while singing. He has a B.A. degree that he finished at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Amethyst Stark 


Amethyst Stark has been a musician over 25 years composing, performing, and accompanying regularly. She has studied in upstate New York with Mark Evans and at ASU with Dani Shraibman as well as attended master classes with John Kamitsuka. Her lessons emphasize safe, proper technique, music theory, composition, music history, performance and ear training. Her teaching style is light and playful and she urges students to explore their own voice, the lives of our famous composers, and to generate a life-long love and appreciation of music. A mother of two, she is emphatic to family needs and dynamics which has helped her create strong and lasting relationships with her students and their families. 

Louisa Gonzales 


Louisa began her college studies for Piano Performance at Scottsdale Community College in 2014. Under the direction of Dr. Andrew O’Brien, she studied various types of music theory, aural perception, and studied many classical works such as from Bach, Chopin, and Liszt. She received her Associates in Arts in 2017, and decided to pursue a Music Business degree. Louisa will be attending Arizona State University to pursue an inter-disciplinary degree with the concentrations of Music and Business, Class of 2021. Originally a self-taught musician , Louisa learned styles of music from classical to rock on piano and cello. She enjoys learning and teaching music through theory and rote. 



Monday-Friday 10:00am-7:00 pm

Saturday 8:00am-5:00pm

Sunday Closed





2055 W Campbell Ave.

Phoenix, AZ 85015

© 2019 by Blooming Cactus Music