Linda M. Smith Jones

Owner, Piano/Keyboard Instructor, KINDERMUSIK* Educator

Linda began her music education at the piano, at the age of 6. She continued piano instruction and also began to sing in choirs and choral groups through high school and college and began to lead music groups in several churches in the Phoenix area for over 10 years. Her teaching experience began in the early 1990’s as a private piano instructor and a General Music Teacher for 1st – 8th grades, at a local private school. During her time at Grand Canyon University, she accumulated over 30 credit hours from music related courses and began teaching in Buckeye, Az, as an extension of the GCU Preparatory Program. In 2007, she began her training and licensing process to become a Licensed Kindermusik* Educator. Later in 2007, she accepted a teaching position at the Arts Academy @ Estrella Mountain (a PLC Charter School) which turned into a full-time General Music teacher in 2008.


Having an extensive prior background in business as a licensed Realtor in the state of Arizona for 20+ years and building her business through strong customer service skills and high ethical business principles, she, along with 2 partners, opened their own Realty Executives branch office in Avondale in the late 1990’s. After having enjoyed a long-standing and successful career as a Realtor, Linda made the decision to make a complete career change and opened the Brio Music Learning Studio in April of 2008. As of May 2010, Brio Music is her only full-time pursuit not only as the owner but also teaching piano/keyboard lessons and Kindermusik* classes.

Teresa Kartler

Piano/Voice Instructor

Teresa has music in her blood, having professional musicians in her family for generations. Teresa has been performing publicly since the age of 6. As a child, she studied piano for five years. She participated in her High School Band and In her teenage years, she studied voice under Deborah Bronner, a level five speech-level singing clinician. Teresa has recorded on various albums, has performed in 10+ musicals, and currently directs a children’s choir of 50 students. She also tours the United States as a member of Mass Anointing Choir and sings background vocals for Dove Award performer David Cobb. Teresa has been teaching voice and piano lessons at the Brio Music Learning Studio since March of 2009.

Ken LaFave

Piano & Vocal Instructor

Born in Tucson, Ken LaFave earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Arizona, where he studied piano with Richard Faith. After graduation, Ken moved to New York City, where he worked in music publishing and as a Broadway pit musician, returning to Arizona to serve as music critic for The Arizona Republic, 1995-2005. Since 2005, he has taught dozens of beginning and intermediate piano students; written and published three books about music, including Experiencing Film Music (Rowman & Littlefield), praised by the Wall Street Journal for “the clarity with which the author explains the dramatic function of film music”; and earned a PhD in philosophy from Switzerland’s European Graduate School. Throughout his varied career, Ken has composed music, including commissioned scores for The Phoenix Symphony, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Chorale, the Chicago String Quartet, Close Encounters with Music, and Arizona State University School of Music. A member of ASCAP and the father of two musical sons, Ken is currently working on a fourth book and a new musical project.

Jason Fay

Drums/Percussion and Piano/Keyboard Instructor

Jason earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from ASU in 2006. Jason is a qualified and active Instructor of the “Elements Music” a program which is brought into public and private schools for piano/keyboard instruction for grades K-8. Jason has 20 years of playing/performing experience and has been teaching in the Phoenix area for the last several years. Percussion genres include concert, rock, latin and jazz. Jason has been teaching piano and drums/percussion at the Brio Music Learning Studio since May of 2009. A brilliant instructor full of creativity and energy!

Richard Alton

Guitar Instructor

Richard is an extremely versatile and highly talented performer and instructor. He has been involved in music virtually his entire life and can teach and perform all genres from rock to jazz, country and gospel. He has done it all and has the communication and people skills required to make him an excellent instructor! Richard holds a degree in education. Richard has been teaching at Brio Music since 2011. Whether you are interested in acoustic, electric, bass…whatever guitar, he’s your man and even has taught banjo and ukulele!