Teacher Spotlight

In the spotlight:

Piano Pathways’ Greg Watson

Spring 2020

Greg studied classical music theory for two years at the University of Montana, followed by two years of jazz training at the Berklee College of Music. He gave private lessons and played in bands for six years, touring the midwest and performing up and down Colorado’s front range. For most of his later career, he worked as a software engineer and did various music projects on the side. He was musical director for a Denver performance of Sweet Charity, recorded two advertising jingles for television, and has been a performing member of several church music worship teams.

Greg teaches piano in three areas: 1) beginning, 2) jazz, and 3) blues. Beginning piano covers the basics regardless of style, building skills in ear training, finger technique, music notation, scales, and introductory music theory. Jazz study focuses on lead sheets, where a specific song is analyzed, practiced, and improvised over. Blues piano is mainly improvising and “playing by ear.” The emphasis here is on building technique with specific blues exercises and some moderate music theory and studying classic songs in the blues tradition.

Greg typically uses a standard method (such as Bastien or Alfred) for beginners. For more advanced students, he customizes the teaching around their specific needs. For very young beginners, he typically starts off utilizing the Suzuki method, where children practice hearing and repeating melodies with a minimum of theory.

We are delighted to have someone of Greg’s experience and ability to teach these very popular music genres.


Angie OlsenPiano Pathways’ Angie Olsen
Spring 2017

Angie Olsen is a Piano teacher at Piano Pathways. We think our piano teachers are wonderful and want you to get to know them on a personal level. Below we talked with Angie. Check back soon for more PnP teacher interviews!


Angie grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she first started playing the piano as a young girl. She moved to Colorado when she was a teenager, and after being separated from her great piano teacher, she lost interest in playing the piano for a while. She continued to love creating music, and in her 20s, she played bass in an all-original band. She had two young children at the time, and keeping up with the band’s gigs was difficult. So she broke away from the band, and family became her priority. Angie worked as an accountant for many years after that, but music always remained a passion. About 10 years ago, she saw an ad that Ken Trujillo (owner of Piano Pathways) ran for a part-time piano teacher. He hired her for adult group lessons, and she learned his custom accelerated adult program. She highly respects his teaching method and started teaching one-on-one lessons through PNP. She has been teaching piano ever since and now collaborates with other teachers at PNP, and plans to do some performances and recitals soon.

Q: When did you first learn to play the piano?

A: I started playing the piano when I was about 8 years old, living in Salt Lake City, Utah. My family would be watching TV or doing something else, and I would go upstairs and play the piano instead. My grandma bought me my first piano. I practiced until I got to the level to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata original composition. I still love to play that one. I also loved to play a piece my grandfather gave me called Cordoba, by Isaac Albeniz.

Q: What is your favorite song to play on the piano?

A: The fun of playing is learning new music. So my favorite song to play is usually whatever I am working on at the time! I love learning and making new music.

Q: What and where was the most beautiful piano you have ever played on?

A: The coolest piano I have ever played on was an Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano in the King Center on the Auraria Campus Downtown Denver. What was unique about that piano was that they added 8 extra strings to get even lower, broodier notes for the romantic composers (like Chopin) in the very lowest register. The 8 added keys were blacked out on the lowest end to distinguish them and not confuse a pianist in the peripheral. The exterior of the piano was glossy black with brass inside and gold trim. It was beautiful. I believe it is a permanent piece that they have stored on campus and pull out every once in a while for performances. It is not the typical piano that people would play, but it was exciting.

Q: How long have you been teaching piano lessons?

A: I have been teaching for about 10 years now. I started teaching with PNP doing group lessons, and then added individual lessons. I do a little composing on the side as well.

Angie Olsen

Q: What is your teaching method? How do you feel about wrong notes, mistakes, and slow learners?

A: I use a few different method books. When deciding which one to use during a lesson, I assess the student’s age and what they can absorb. I started supplementing their lessons using a write-it-out method, where kids can take a few lines from a song they like and combine it with other songs. That way, they can “compose” and be more invested in the music we are playing.

If you play a wrong note, I tell my students to keep going and not lose concentration. Wrong notes happen sometimes. If you make a wrong note in a performance, you can’t stop; you just have to roll with it and keep going.

I also encourage singing with the piano that helps me learn pitches and notes!

Q: Is there a perfect age to learn to play the piano? Are you ever too old/young?

A: The youngest I have taught is about 6 years old. I wouldn’t recommend putting a child much younger in lessons. Most children that young don’t have the ability to sit for very long and play. When teaching young children, I give them variety and plan lessons only about 30 minutes long. It is excellent for the older learner to play the piano to keep the mind active and sharp. So really any age, 6 and up, is a good age!

Q: What is the best thing about working for Piano Pathways?

A: The best thing for me is that the people at Piano Pathways are like a second family to me. The owners, Ken and Peggy, are such awesome people. Ken is a true professional, knows the business inside and out, and keeps the pianos in such pristine condition, they are so wonderful to play on for lessons. I love the people and the atmosphere and just being surrounded by pianos every day! I couldn’t really ask for more.

Angie teaches in the PNP studio on Fridays and Thursdays and gives private in-home lessons for the rest of the week. If you are interested in taking lessons with Angie, please contact Piano Pathways, and we will coordinate with you!

In the spotlight: Pian Pathways’ Penny Moeller.

Spring 2014

Penny is a highly qualified and gifted teacher who gives private lessons to children and adults at Piano Pathways. Penny has a B.A. in Music Theory from CU Boulder and has an M.A. in Psychology from Antioch University. Her psychology degree explains why she is uncommonly adept at working with very young children. Penny holds a certification in Creative Arts Therapy from the Creative Arts Therapy Institute Orff Schulwerk Workshops.

In addition to teaching, Penny has performed as a pianist and accompanist with several Denver area theater and ballet organizations, including the Eden Theatrical Institute, the Council for Self Development, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School, and Ballet Arts. Penny also plays regularly for churches.

Penny also composes and arranges, and participates in numerous piano teacher workshops, continuously honing her skills.

Penny is active in the music instruction community. She is Secretary for the South Suburban Music Teachers Association (SSMTA) and a member of both the Colorado State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA) and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)

Penny is a Colorado native, born in Denver. Penny says music was essential to her Dad, and she inherited her love of music from him. Penny started teaching while in college as a practice teacher for two sisters. Penny realized that she had a teaching gift when the sisters’ mother happily reported that the sisters were doing much better at their lessons.

Penny has also used her psychology degree, working in the human services field at an adoption agency. Penny went on to adopt her daughter Emily, now 14.

Penny enjoys playing with her cat Sammy and listening to music. She enjoys the music Emily listens to and usually doesn’t change the radio station when Emily gets out of the car. But Penny also likes classical music, particularly Beethoven.

Penny really enjoys kids: she says they are “refreshing and creative.”  She also calls them “little angels” because they are so well behaved when with her–she “can’t imagine them misbehaving at home.”

In the spotlight: Piano Pathways’ Lisa Seigler.

Spring 2010

Lisa hails originally from Chicago, IL, and later from San Jose, CA, and now lives in Conifer. Lisa gives private piano lessons and teaches the “Learn to Play the Piano in 8 Weeks” group lesson series at Piano Pathways.

Lisa in Piano Pathways Classroom

Lisa is an avid motorcycle aficionado. Lisa got her start with a motocross dirt bike but now does mostly road biking. She is currently an officer of the Denver chapter of the Hog Motorcycle Club and is looking forward to summer when she can ride her Harley from the mountains more often.  She greets her piano students wearing tight blue jeans and a leather jacket emblazoned with the Harley Davidson logo. Lisa also loves other outdoor activities, such as camping and boating.

Lisa is a second-generation piano teacher: her mother taught piano. But Lisa’s love of the piano wasn’t from the start. She started at 5 years old taking lessons from family and friends, but admits that it was “awful! I was bored to death.” This was because of the prevailing teaching methods of the time.

When Lisa started college at San Jose State, she majored in Psychology.  She wanted to be a forensic psychologist or an FBI investigator.  But she decided to start teaching piano to cover her school expenses, and it was then and because of her past that she decided she didn’t want any of her students to experience what she had gone through–she wanted the piano to be fun!  And now, all of her students agree that she has succeeded in this.

Lisa has now been teaching children and adults for over 20 years. Lisa loves and teaches a wide variety of musical genres and styles. She particularly loves classical, pops, and show tunes.  She likes to teach students of all ages and musical tastes. She says she prefers  “anybody who likes to learn.”  Her goal is to instill a love of music, to share the enjoyment of learning, and above all, to have fun!  Lisa tailors her lessons to fit each student’s needs, incorporating music theory and technique using traditional teaching methods and the Quick Chord method.

Our students love Lisa and learn quickly under her tutelage. You can call Piano Pathways at 303-933-9390 if you have questions about Lisa or would like to schedule a lesson appointment.

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