MISSION

The Brownsville Piano Studio is the first specialized school for piano in the lower valley. We are committed to a high level of piano teaching, learning, and playing. Students of all ages are encouraged to delve deeper into their creativity by not only aspiring to play the piano but also aspiring to make music.

Each student is given the utmost attention with personalized lesson plans and carefully selected repertoire. Emphasis is primarily given to technique, sight-reading, and musicianship through interpretation.

Competitions, festivals, and masterclasses are offered in our learning program motivating students to reach their highest potential. From local to national recognition, our students are always well prepared and receive the highest accolades.

At the Brownsville Piano Studio we are also advocates for sharing each students’ talents throughout our wonderful community. Recitals are given at local nursing homes, museums, and churches. Additionally, each student is encouraged to showcase their learning at our end of semester recitals.

Our mission is to give each student the proper tools to succeed in and outside of the music world nurturing discipline, responsibility, creativity, and sensitivity. The Brownsville Piano Studio invites you to join in our mission to help music bring about a better and more united world.

 

WHAT WE TEACH

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PIANO

Private or Group

Instruction Available

Ages 4 & Up

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VIOLIN
& cello

Private

Instruction Available

Ages 5 & Up

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GUITAR

Private

Instruction Available

Ages 4 & Up

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CLASSICAL BABY

Group Classes Available

Ages 0 - 1 years

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VOICE

Private or Group

Instruction Available

Ages 5 & Up

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CLASSICAL TOT

Group Classes Available

Ages 2 - 3 years

 

our founder

Linda Chávez is a Mexican-American pianist from Brownsville, TX. A Magna Cum Laude graduate, she received her Bachelor’s of Music Education with emphasis in piano at the University of Texas at Brownsville (’14). As the recipient of the Scholastic Excellence Award two years in a row, hard work and perseverance have become synonymous with her career path. Among her accomplishments are receiving the University Scholars Scholarship (‘09-‘15), receiving the Brownsville Society of Performing Arts Scholarship (‘13-‘14), winning the 2013 Concerto-Aria Competition, elected President of the UTB Clavier Club, and received the Roberto Pullido Grant (‘14). Additionally, she was awarded a scholarship to study in the Campamento de Piano en Palmares in Costa Rica (‘13), participated in the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy (‘14 & ‘16), was awarded a scholarship to study in the Nuevo Mundo Festival and Academy in Aruba (‘15), and attended the Teaching Artist Program at Lincoln Center in NYC (‘17). 

 

Ms. Linda received a Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts (’16) where she was awarded the Longy Conservatory Dean Scholarship, received two teaching assistantships, served as President of the Longy Student Association, and was a finalist in the Longy Honors Competition. Most recently, she has received much success with her piano duo Table for Two alongside pianist Ilana Cady. Together they opened the Styriarte Music Festival in Graz, Austria by winning their prestigious competition in 2016 with their all women composer program. Since then they have done multiple tours all throughout the United States and sealed their five-concert Spring Tour in New England with high praise. Currently, Ms. Linda works as an Accompanist and Assistant Choir Director teaching over 150 kids at HCISD and is also the pianist for the Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of the American College of Musicians: Piano Guild; President of the NFMC Club in Brownsville, and the founder and organizer of the George Ramirez Young Artist Festival.

 

Ms. Linda has continuously sought to further develop musical growth in Brownsville. It is her mission to give young pianists and musicians ample opportunities to cultivate their talents and creativity. In addition to her full time teaching job with the school district, she currently teaches over 25 students, all of which have shown tremendous progress and improvement. Ms. Linda strives to bring artistry and ingenuity to each of her lessons. Her love and dedication to all of her students and their families is undeniable. 

Ms. Linda is proud to have founded the first music school specialized in piano and is humbled to work alongside such talented colleagues. She hopes to continue to make a difference with her music and with her passion for positive change.

 

MEET OUR TEAM

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Master Instructor

Master of Piano Pedagogy & Performance

University of Lincoln-Nebraska

Bachelor of Music Performance - Piano

UST, Manila Philippines

JAN PACIS-RAMA

Jan Christine Pacis-Rama is a native of Manila, Philippines. She has been teaching students of different age groups for over five years both privately and in a group setting bringing her expertise and artistry to each scenario. She recently wrote a thesis entitled "Teaching Romantic Style for Intermediate Level Pianists," which was vastly well received. One of Ms. Jan’s primary interests has been incorporating teaching musical expression at the early stages of piano playing in order to understand the concept of music. She strongly believes that giving a meaningful musical performance should be every student’s goal. Ms. Jan has now become a permanent resident of The Valley and hopes to share her love of teaching to students of all ages who are avid piano learners and promises to give her best to reinforce the student’s motivation and full capabilities.

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Master Instructor

Master of Piano Performance

Eastern Kentucky University

Bachelor of Music Education - Piano

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Josue medellin

Josue Medellin is a Mexican-American pianist from Matamoros, Mexico. Medellin began his formal music education at Colegio de San Juan Siglo XXI at age eight. He graduated with a Music Education degree from the University of Rio Grande Valley on 2016 where he was the recipient of several scholarships. On May 2020, he received a Masters of Piano Performance at the Eastern Kentucky University where he also worked as a graduate assistant in the areas of piano and jazz.

Medellin was a piano instructor for the UTB Music Academy from 2012 to 2016. He taught private as well as group piano lessons to students and prepared them for recital, competitions, and music festivals. He has also worked with different churches and schools in Mexico and the US teaching contemporary piano, worship ensemble, and music theory.  

Medellin has participated in several music festivals such as the Schlern International Music Festival held in Italy, and the Nuevo Mundo International Festival in Aruba. He received a Gold rating at the NOVY competition (’16) and the second prize at the Josephine Walker American Music Competition (’19) in Richmond, KY.  

Currently, Medellin is an active musician teaching and performing at diverse venues such as concert halls, churches, musicals, social events, and schools. 

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Senior+ Instructor

Bachelor of Music Education - Piano

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

ADONAI RAMSES AVALOS

A native of Brownsville, TX, Adonai Ramses Avalos began playing the piano at the age of 8. Two years later, he enrolled at the UT Brownsville Music Academy as a scholarship student. Mr. Ramses was a semifinalist at the prestigious piano competition Concurso Nacional de Piano Federico Chopin (’10) held in Morelia, Mexico. During his enrollment at UTRGV, he was the first pianist to be awarded the prestigious Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship by the Texas Association of Music Schools, was a finalist in the Tuesday Musical Club’s Young Artists Competition (’14), received Honorable Mention at the Texas Music Teachers Association Student Affiliate Performance Contest (’15), and obtained the Outstanding Accompanist award by the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (’16). Since graduating from UTRGV, Mr. Ramses has done extensive work as a collaborative pianist for various ensembles and solo musicians in the South Texas area.

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Senior+ Instructor

Bachelor of Music Education - Piano

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Liliana De Luna Chávez

Liliana De Luna Chávez grew up in Matamoros, Mexico receiving her piano training in prestigious private music academies. In addition to performing as a soloist, she is in high demand as a collaborative pianist. Her success as a private piano instructor is directly correlated with her professionalism and commitment to excellence. Ms. Lily currently serves as the President of the UTRGV Clavier Club and the Music Coordinator for the UTRGV German Club, both of which have been active in presenting outreach recitals throughout the entire community.

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Senior+ Instructor

Bachelor of Music Education - Piano

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

JACQUELINE GUEVARA

A Brownsville native, Jacqueline Guevara has been educating young pianists for over five years as a private piano instructor. She has taught and captivated students, ages four and upwards, with her charming and vivacious personality.Ms. Jackie has participated in the Semper Music International Festival in Völs am Schlern, Italy (’17 & ’18) where she was a selected performer various times. She has also participated in the Novyi Piano Competition (’16) and most recently presented her Senior Degree Recital obtaining high praise for her enchanting musicality.

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Master Instructor

Master of Music Performance - Violin

Bachelor of Music Performance - Violin

Andrews University

Melissa Ayon

Melissa Rivera is a graduate of Andrews University holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Violin Performance. Ms. Melissa has been teaching students of all ages for over 10 years as a private instructor.  She was accepted to participate in various prestigious festivals such as the Suzuki International Music Festival in Guanajuato (‘05), Orchestral Festival in Costa Rica (’11), and has attended several Masterclasses with important figures of the pedagogical and performing worlds. In October, she will receive her Suzuki Violin Method Certification making her the only certified instructor in Brownsville, TX. Ms. Melissa has a true passion for teaching and enabling students to reach their full potential.

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Master Instructor

Master of Music Performance - Cello

The Florida State University

Bachelor of Music Education - Cello

The University of South Carolina

Natalie Haugeberg

Natalie Haugeberg is a graduate of The Florida State University, where she was a member of the Eppes String Quartet and earned her Bachelor of Music Education at The University of South Carolina.  At USC, Ms. Natalie was actively involved in the String Project, where she taught strings of all ages and abilities.  She has been teaching in the public schools for six years and privately for fifteen years. Ms. Natalie is currently teaching at Gutierrez Middle School in the Harlingen School District and is an active performer with the Valley Symphony Orchestra and the McAllen String Quartet.

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Senior+ Instructor

Bachelor of Music Education - Voice

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Karen atkinson

Karen Atkinson is a local valley music lover. Since 2003, her interest in vocal ensemble music led to her decision in pursuing a profession as a Music Educator. Ms. Karen’s passion for music has brought about countless opportunities such as being a member of the All-Region Choir, All-State Choir, Region Choir, Master Chorale, Chamber Singers, NATS Honors Recital, Piano Accompanying Recitals, and UTRGV Bravo Opera Theater. During her studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, she has received recognition in the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and played roles such as Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, Laetitia in Old Maid and the Thief, and Maria in West Side Story. To further expand her experience and skill, she Music Directed A Chorus Line at Camille Playhouse and is currently the Music and Vocal Director at her church located in San Benito. Ms. Karen is both enthusiastic and passionate about teaching and hopes to encourage other singers to find their voice.

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Senior Instructor

Bachelor of Music Performance - Voice

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Brandon Binder

Brandon Binder is a student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley pursuing a degree in Vocal Performance. In his time there, he has been a member of the Master Chorale, Chamber Singers and Bravo Opera Company and has been featured in several of the company’s productions. Outside of school, Mr. Brandon has attended several vocal intensive programs such as Spotlight on Opera in San Marcos, Texas, the Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti in Lucca, Italy, and was hired as a chorus member and featured singer in the 2018 Season of the Texas Outdoor Musical Drama in the Palo Duro Canyon. He has also been an outstanding contributor to his community by working avidly with the Camille Playhouse as music director, choreographer, actor, and singer. Mr. Brandon is an exceptional vocal instructor enhancing his students’ technical and interpretive capabilities.

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Junior Instructor

Candidate for Bachelor of Music Education - Voice

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

CHLOE VERGARA

Chloe Sofia Vergara (she/her) is a student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley pursuing a Bachelor’s of Music Education - Voice. She has participated in the UTRGV Master Chorale, Chamber Singers, and UTRGV Opera Theater. She takes great pride in representing these ensembles. She has been featured in roles such as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and as Lucinda in Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena. She was also featured as a guest conductor in university concerts. Ms. Chloe takes most joy in her work as a private voice teacher. She loves to engage with students in a one-on-one setting where the student can focus on achieving their own goals.

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Master Instructor

PhD Curriculum & Instruction

Kansas State University

Master of Music Performance - Saxophone

Baylor University

Bachelor of Music Education

Ouachita Baptist University Kansas

John Ashburn

Graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in December of 2011, John Ashburn is a committed educator and performer with interests ranging from chamber music to instructional techniques. At Ouachita, he was named the Presser Scholar and won the Annual Winds and Percussion Concerto Competition. Mr. Ashburn earned a MM in Saxophone Performance at Baylor  university where he taught undergraduate and secondary saxophonists for the saxophone studio. Recently, Ashburn has completed the coursework for a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from Kansas State University. While at Kansas State, his quartet won the state round of the MTNA Chamber Music Competition 2 years in a row and placed alternate on the divisional level both years. Additionally, he won first prize in the Graduate Division of Kansas State University’s Honors Recital. Mr. Ashburn has performed as a soloist and chamber musician all around the United States, including a performance as a soloist with the National Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall.

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Junior Instructor

Candidate for Bachelor of Music Education - Guitar

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

AUSTIN AMARO

Bio

 
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DR. KENNETH SAXON

 

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Pianist Kenneth Saxon has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist on three continents, including appearances at the Esplanade in Singapore, the Teatro di Donnafugato in Ibla, Sicily, and La Teatro de la Reforma in Matamoros, Mexico. Known for his wide-ranging repertoire, Saxon has premiered works by Gary Smoke and Maxwell Dulaney and regularly explores works by Schumann, Crumb, Bartok, and Granados. Saxon’s recording of the Rachmaninoff Preludes, Op. 32 was praised for the “fineness of touch . . . and excellent handling of polyphony” by William Kreindler for MusicWeb-International.

Saxon uses color, touch, and timing to create distinct sound worlds for each composer. His distinctive programming helps audiences make unexpected connections between the music and their own lives. An entertaining and engaging presence, Saxon often introduces works with a brief story about the pieces and his own experiences with them.

Saxon premiered Kawai Shiu’s solo work la negacion de simbolos and Bird Whistle, a work inspired by and conducted by composer Harrison Birtwistle. Saxon recorded Shiu’s “Winter Tide” on the album eXchange:China and “clear shade” on music of kawai shiu. In addition, Saxon created the contemporary ensemble Sin Fronteras (without boundaries) and has frequently championed the work if young composers by performing their works.

Kenneth is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He has published articles on sight reading in the Piano Pedagogy Journal, American Music Teacher and Pianist magazine. His book Steps to Success has helped hundreds of musicians improve their sight reading fluency. Saxon regularly offers master classes and workshops along with his performances.

fall 2020 artist in residence