Meet Our Teachers

Scott Himel


Scott Himel is the owner of the Music Academy and has also been the head band director for Liberty Christian School for the last 15 years.

While serving as the head director for Liberty Christian School, he was awarded the TAPPS Fine Arts Teacher of the Year for all of Texas in 2015 and led the school to 8 state championships

Philip Williams


Philip Williams has been teaching voice for 7 years in Houston and North Texas and actively performs as a soloist and ensemble member of the Fort Worth Chorale. He holds degrees in Voice/Pedagogy from the University of North Texas and Pepperdine University.

Aaren Cadd


Aaren Cadd is a native of Kentucky, where she graduated from Murray State University with her B.A. in Music Vocal Performance. Aaren is currently finishing up her Masters in Music at UNT and teaches piano and voice at the Music Academy.

Travis Udal


Travis Udall is a double and electric bassist, composer, and educator from Houston, Texas. In 2018 Travis earned his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies - Bass with honors at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Travis has studied with several renowned bassists, including Lynn Seaton, Dr. Gudrun Raeshen, Damon Smith and Jeff Hill. He has been playing bass and other instruments, such as guitar and piano, for a decade and is a freelance musician playing with some of the best musicians in DFW with bands like Saints Eleven and The Texas Gypsies. When he isn’t maintaining a busy freelancing schedule in the DFW area, Travis teaches double bass, electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar, and piano.

Henry Lim


Henry Lim is a compassionate musician who is deeply committed to the success of his students and his community. His dedication for others has taken him across DFW performing for charities and nonprofits. As a violinist and pianist, he holds a B.A. in music from the University of North Texas. His time away from music is spent conducting medical research in Dallas or spending time with his dog. 

Tanya Melendez


Tanya Melendez is a Private Voice and Piano Teacher who works with students to learn and improve on their technical, theory, and musicality. She strives to guide her students to develop their skills and have an appreciation for music.

She was born in Boynton Beach, Florida, but has lived most of her life in the DFW Metroplex. She completed her bachelor’s degree in music education at the University of North Texas in 2017. Before starting her voice studio, Tanya worked as an Elementary Music Teacher in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD.

Bruno Ribeiro


Bruno Ribeiro, a native of Portugal, has extensive experience in performing and teaching piano. Bruno enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, and works with each one to meet their individual needs.

Jinsook Kwak


JinSook Kwak is a Summa Cum Laude graduate in music composition from Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea, and a professional classical/jazz pianist. She is currently finishing her musical studies in Jazz Performance at the renowned University of North Texas under the tutelage of Dan Haerle and Pat Coil.

Santiago Velosa


Santiago was born in Colombia in 1995. He started playing the guitar in 2008 and moved to the US in 2016. He is currently a senior at UNT in the jazz guitar program. Santiago has been teaching since he was 16 years old, and his first professional gig was around that time as well. He specializes in jazz, rock, blues, funk, R&B, and Latin genres and is an arranger and composer, too. 

Carleigh Reese


Having graduated with a degree in Vocal Jazz Studies at UNT, Carleigh Reese has a vast background in varying genres (Jazz/Soul/Pop/Classical). Currently, you can find her performing her original music at venues all around the DFW area.

Roger Hunt


Roger Hunt grew up in the Atlanta area and began taking guitar lessons at the age of 12. After playing frequently alongside Atlanta blues musicians, he moved to Denton, TX, to study Jazz Guitar at the University of North Texas, where he graduated with his bachelors degree in May 2017. Roger is now performing in the area with local artists including Josh Osgood, Derek Anthony, Alex Blair, Trumpeter Jeremy Sinclair, and former UNT Drum-set Professor Ed Soph.

Carlos Pacheco


Carlos Pacheco is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and educator from El Paso, TX, currently residing in Denton, TX. He received his bachelors degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas in May of 2017.

Kayla Nanto


Kayla Nanto recently completed her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at University of North Texas and received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Northern Colorado.  She is currently a performing artist with The Dallas Opera’s Education and Outreach program and teaches at various locations in DFW.  Most recently, Kayla appeared as the Alto Soloist in Messiah with the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra and as Ulisse in Orchestra of New Spain’s world premiere of the opera Achillo in Sciro.  Kayla teaches a range of styles, including pop, musical theater, and classical.

Micael Ramirez


Michael Ramirez is a native of South Texas and is currently obtaining a Bachelor of Music in Composition at The University of North Texas. A writer of musical theatre and chamber music, Michael teaches voice (musical theatre and classical), trumpet, and piano. He is also a freelance music director and works with theatre companies of all experience levels across the DFW area.

Jesse Washmon


Jesse Washmon is a freelance guitarist native to Denton, TX, with a Masters of Music degree in Jazz studies from UNT and a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Guitar from TCU. As well as teaching privately for over 5 years, he has performed extensively in a variety of styles around DFW for weddings, musicals, corporate events, and much more.

Tristyn Purcell


Tristyn has been singing since she was 5 years old and participated all four years in her high school‘s solo ensemble competition and received a superior rating each year. During her senior year, she received “Outstanding Performer” for McKinney North High School and was also nominated “MNHS Choir President”.

While working and developing her vocals, she discovered a love for playing piano.   When she completes her degree, she hopes to be a music teacher at a university. Most importantly, Tristyn loves sharing her music knowledge with others.  She takes pride in helping shape her students into great performers and musicians.

Ruben Salazar


Ruben Salazar is a working musician with 3 kids and a wife. He loves performing, producing, composing, and most of all teaching music.

Louis Kirk


Louis has been playing music in a live professional setting for 14 years. He started playing guitar when he was 10 years old, and started playing the drums when at 13. Louis formed his first band six months after taking drum lessons, and has been playing in bands ever since. Louis has been studying Jazz performance in drum set at the University of North Texas for four years now.
Music has been a passion of his for as long as he can remember, and he loves writing music and experimenting with musical ideas with his friends.