Faculty

Joel Pietsch, HSMD Cofounder,
Piano and Music Theory Instructor

Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he met his wife and future co-founder of Harbor School of Music & Dance, Tia Pietsch. 

He went on to study Piano Pedagogy and Performance at the graduate level at University of Oregon.  Originally from Grants Pass, Oregon, he moved to Homer, Alaska to begin the Harbor School of Music & Dance with Tia in 2003.  Joel teaches beginning, intermediate and advanced piano students in addition to college preparatory music theory.  

Tia Pietsch, HSMD Cofounder,  
Violin and Piano Instructor

Originally from Homer, Alaska, Tia Pietsch also obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Lewis and Clark College.  Her graduate level studies at the University of Oregon in Eugene encompassed Violin performance and Music Education.  Tia teaches beginning, intermediate and advanced violin students and beginning piano students.  In addition to instruction at HSMD, Tia plays with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra and homeschools her four children. 

Ashley Moore,
Percussion Instructor

Ashley's extensive drums and percussion background includes 15 years of performance in a professional capacity.  In addition to playing and recording with a number of rock and popular bands, Ashley has long-term experience with gospel and worship music performance.  Ashley joined the HSMD in 2010 and began translating his vast professional knowledge into a fun and thorough drum curriculum for students.  Along with rudimentary drumming skills, Ashley emphasizes articistic expression through ensemble performance and versatility of style.  Ashley is married to the lovely and musically talented Tina Moore and together they have three beautiful children.  
 

Tim White, Guitar Instructor

Tim White first fell in love with the guitar while living on Afognak Island in 1958.  He went on to start a rock band called The Marauders of Sound when he and his brothers each received an electric guitar for Christmas. Tim has continued to perform throughout his life, regularly a part of the worship team at his local church, and has been teaching at the Harbor School of Music & Dance since its inception in 2003.  A well-rounded, highly experienced guitarist, Tim's approach to guitar instruction includes elements of classical, blues and rock guitar and he enjoys teaching kids and adults of all ages.  Tim also enjoys his full-time work at the local radio station (K-WAVE) and his time with his wife, Nan, his three children, and four lovely grandchildren. 

Kara Clemens,  Dance Instructor

Natalie Betley, Dance Instructor

Kara Clemens has a wealth of experience as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor.  Her dance background includes Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Folk dance and she has frequently performed with Jocelyn Shiro-Westphal's Jazzline here in Homer. Certified in early movement education, Kara has been teaching Creative Dance at HSMD since 2009. Her local performances have included the  Kara's Creative Dance classes bring out the expressive artist in every dancer of any age, allowing students to progressively learn fundamental dance technique and elements of choreography.  Kara, with the support of her husband, David, and their two children, participates in a variety of arts activities in the community and can always be counted on to cheer on her fellow creators. 
Prior to joining the Harbor School of Music & Dance in 2013, Natalie developed her natural talents as an instructor while working with young children in the SPROUT program. She has studied with a variety of ballet, hip hop and jazz studios throughout the country and settled in Homer to achieve her dream of becoming a dance teacher in her own right.  Natalie's gentle approach to the rigorous discipline of classical ballet is popular with both students and parents at HSMD and lends itself well to the holistic approach to music and kinesthetics favored by the school as a whole. Natalie is both a creative choreographer and a consummate professional, adapting her teaching style to the needs of the students to build confidence and poise in her dancers. 

Nancy Hannan, Piano and Flute Instructor