Mark Boyce - Piano, Drums, Guitar, Bands
Partner, Music Director - 4S Ranch, Partner - Music Pillars, LLC
Native Philadelphian, Mark Boyce, brings a background of performance and music education to Music Pillars. After studying classical piano at Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music, Mark went on to attend Temple University for music composition. As a recording artist, Mark has worked for Sony Music, Columbia Records, Geffen Records, and most recently Brushfire / Universal Records. He has currently recorded with G. Love and Special Sauce and Lucinda Williams for an October 30th release of “Love Saves The Day”. Presently, his jazz trio, Krass Bros., has been nominated for a San Diego Music Award for Best Jazz Artist. As an educator, Mark was a founding teacher at School of Rock working at the flagship school in Philadelphia.
April Drury - Piano, Voice, Bands, Early Childhood, Classroom
Partner, Vice President - Early Childhood Education
Born and raised in Northern California, April was raised singing in choirs from the age of 8 to college graduation. 3rd in the lineage of family pianists, she continued piano lesson from the age of 10 on. She has a B.A. in Piano Performance from Cal State East Bay with a minot in Early Childhood Development. She was licensed with Kindermusik in 2004 and has a passiona for Early Childhood Music Education. Her vision is to create programs that meet the developmental needs of the young child while exposing them to the genres of Jazz, Pop, and Rock.
Julie Bassett Morton - Oboe, Piano, Guitar, Early Childhood, Classroom
Vice president - classroom education
Julie Bassett Morton's earliest memories include dramatic interpretations of classical music by her father and sitting in the balcony for Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra concerts. At the age of 12, she started playing the oboe. She earned a Bachelor’s in Music from Eastman School of Music in 1996 and a Masters in Music from AZ State University in 1998. She also plays and teaches piano and guitar.
In the last ten years, Julie has pursued Elementary/Middle School General Music Education and teaching students privately. The challenge of connecting every student to the joy of music, in whatever form it may take, is the best part of her job. She is passionate about every child experiencing music education in a fun, meaningful way!
Outside of teaching, Julie enjoys time with her family, friends and dogs!
Rachel Nokes, Piano, Voice, Bands
INSTRUCTOR - Assistant Music Director, Studio Coordinator
Instructor - Born and raised in San Diego, Rachel has a Bachelor's of Music degree with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and business from San Diego State University. Rachel began studying the piano and singing at the age of 8. She completed her senior level in Certificate of Merit at the age of 17, participated in musical theatre for several years and sang in various choral ensembles and acappella groups up through college. More recently, Rachel joined the Music Teacher's Association of California in 2014.
Kia Portafekas, Piano/Voice
Kia is a musician, composer, teacher and author. She graduated from NYC the famous "Fame School"-Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS of Music and Art. Kia studied music theory and composition at Mannes Conservatory, NYC and received a BA-Music Major from Aaron Copland School of Music/Queens College/CUNY. She took Graduate courses studying Special Ed/Music Therapy at Lehman College, NY. After in depth research with creating highly motivational music programs for all ages, as well as children that had ADD, Autistic or Asperger’s Kia was awarded a grant from the music Grammy's to write a book. She traveled to Europe and the Far East teaching creative music workshops. She has been teaching piano and voice-beginner and intermediate levels for 22 yrs. Teaching music is a way of life. Kia believes we are all creative individuals. The key is how to express ourselves fully through music and enjoy the journey as we learn and grow within our musical expression.
Kia is the author of Making Music With Your Child, funded in part by a grant from National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences,(Music Grammy's) and published by MMB Music.
Her teaching, book, and/or research has been featured/reviewed by The Music Educators Journal, Grammy.com, Symphony Magazine, American Music Teacher Magazine, the Orff Echo, The Arizona Republic, and many others.
Aku Adjibolosoo, Piano/Drums
Aku has a degree in Music from Point Loma Nazarene University, and is will complete her Master's in Marriage and Family Counseling this December. Lucky for us, she has decided after some reflection to pursue music upon completion of that Master's degree.
Aku has been teaching for 5 years now, and has a caring and wonderful way in which she connects with students. Aku is also an active keyboard player for Skyline Church’s young adult service. Aku is also a percussionist; she has participated in many ensembles including the Point Loma Nazarene University Concert Band, Orchestra, Choral Union, and the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra in San Marcos. Aku is currently a member of San Diego State University’s South Coast Percussion Ensemble.
Scott is committed to giving students and parents a world-class music teaching environment. He constructed and developed the "Pillars." This was developed by both experiencing the various schools of thought regarding music pedagogy, and then also working as a paid musician. Pillars is a fusion of Suzuki, Classical, kodaly, and Jazz. He made a wonderful living as a pianist from the age of 15 until 25. Totaling over 3,000+ actual hours performing live. (for all you math-scholars, that is the equivalent of being on stage 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 18 months). He was a Merit-based Buck Family Music Scholar from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. Because of that dual background in a formal classical conservatory, and also as a paid musician, Scott set out to establish a music studios in the U.S. to teach "musicianship" rather than simply technical mastery on the piano.
To read more about our teaching philosophy, please click here.