Keys of Joy! Studio was opened by Evan and his sister, Paige, in August 2011 with 12 students. Paige married in 2014 and now lives with her husband and her cats in Kansas City. Ching-Wen (Vivien) Chang, Evan, Nathalie, and John, are the studio’s instructors.
We now help more than 100 students of all ages express their natural musicality and we are the fastest growing piano studio in the region. About 30% of our students are adults ages 18 and up; the rest are children ages 5 to 17.
Ching-Wen (Vivien) Chang, Instructor, Simply Music Piano
We are thrilled to introduce Ching-Wen (Vivien) Chang. Born in Taiwan, Ching-Wen is a pianist, teacher, and accompanist who brings an innocent, lyrical style to the piano. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Kansas, a Master of Music and Teaching Artist Certificate from the Longy School of Bard College, a Music Certificate from Bowling Green State University, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, MTNA, and KMTA
Ching-Wen enjoys giving recitals and playing as an accompanist. She likes to study and explore new repertoire, and she recently delivered a lecture and recital on “The Eccentric Humor in Erik Satie’s Piano Music.” She enjoys playing chamber music and concertos, and has performed in various recital venues, sanatoriums, hospitals, and even in street performances with her musical friends.
While doing college work in Taiwan, Ching-Wen provided private piano lessons for students of all ages, including adults. As an assistant, she also taught group piano classes for adult beginners at the Taichung University of Education. While studying in Longy, Ching-Wen studied piano pedagogy for her Teaching Artist Certificate. While studying at KU, she also participated in a KU project which provides online piano lessons to public school students in Douglas County.
Ching-Wen has created a YouTube channel here, where you may listen to her recordings.
Ching-Wen wants to help create a world where everyone plays, and she loves to help students become musically expressed. Ching-Wen believes music can inspire people, color the world, and bring happiness and deep experiences to both performers and audiences everywhere.
Brian Nelson, Instructor, Simply Music Piano
Brian Nelson has loved music for nearly his entire life. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin and began composing at age twelve. He earned his Bachelor of Composition degree from the University of Michigan in 1990 and he completed a Master’s degree in Composition at the University of Wisconsin in May 2000. Brian holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (Composition, 2011) from the University of Kansas, where he studied with James Barnes. He is the Director of Sacred Liturgy and Music at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center in Lawrence, KS.
A prolific composer of sacred music as well as chamber and orchestral works, his growing catalogue includes his Te Deum for Full Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists; Ballade for Violin and Piano; Mass of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne; Two Pieces for Orchestral Brass; and Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas, a collection of responsories based on the Catholic lectionary.
Brian’s music is characterized by a strong melodic sense and an original tonality – his work is deeply engaging, and in each piece, he clearly demonstrates his mastery of form, structure and powerful expression. He continues to compose both commissioned and non-commissioned works across a wide variety of genres and forms.
The piano has been a companion to Brian for many years, and he enjoys playing many styles of music. He enjoys teaching students of all ages and is excited to help our students enjoy the piano as a companion for a lifetime.
Nathalie Klasky, Instructor
Nathalie grew up in Baxter, Minnesota. Creative to her core, Nathalie loves to paint with acrylics and watercolors, she creates projects with wood, she dances, and she plays the piano.
Nathalie is a certified Speech Language Pathology Assistant and she worked as a special needs educational assistant in the Minnesota Public Schools. She loves working with children and she is highly regarded for her patient, loving approach and for her endlessly creative ways of helping them learn.
John Hunter, Studio Manager, Instructor, Simply Music Piano
John earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland where he studied film and early childhood educational psychology. John designed and taught supervisory development classes for banks and technology companies and supervised call centers. Most recently, John was Director of the Composite Materials Laboratory for the Department of Aerospace Engineering at KU from 2008 to 2016.
John has loved classical and pop music for many years and often wished that he could play his favorite tunes. He even tried to learn piano twice before, but failed both times. He had nearly given up when he heard of Simply Music. Simply Music was a life-changing program. John began lessons seven years ago and he now has more than 100 songs of widely varying styles, including pop, classical, jazz, and even his own compositions in his active playlist. Simply Music has unlocked a gift that he didn’t even realize he possessed, and now John gets to show people of all ages and levels of experience how to express their innate musicality. John’s students range from 7 to 75 years old and he loves to say, “If I can do it, anyone can!”
Evan Hunter, Owner and Director, Instructor
Evan is not your typical piano teacher. Evan studied music composition with the internationally renowned composer, James Barnes, and trumpet with Professor Stephen Leisring. Evan holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the University of Kansas and he has played piano and trumpet since he was 12. He writes symphonic works for wind band and orchestra as well as pieces for small ensembles and choir. Evan has won the Claude T. Smith Award and the Lawner Prize for composition. Evan tutors graduate students in music theory, writes commercial music, writes music and arrangements for his church choir, and plays the trumpet for worship services. One of these works, Pastorale, was played recently at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Overland Park and another composition, Fantastic Scenes, was played by the KU Symphony Orchestra at the Lied Center in Lawrence. Evan loves to help students of all ages discover their natural musicality!
A world – class facility
This is not just another piano studio. We built a new facility from the ground up for just one purpose: To enable you and yours to become musically expressed for a lifetime. To that end we operate a working piano lounge with seating for 69 people! Our students can play for friends, family and others who just happen to be in the lounge. The lounge is equipped with a Steinway grand and digital instruments, has room for a small ensemble, and is equipped with state of the art Bose sound reinforcement systems.
Our classrooms use new Kawai acoustic pianos, HD video displays and Bose sound systems. There are no toy pianos in our studio! No other studio in the area, outside of a university music department, provides the facility, equipment and outstanding methods that are offered at Keys of Joy!
Lobby looking toward the piano lounge. Offices and classroom to the right.
Lobby looking toward the far wall, Classroom 2 to the right
Lobby looking toward the front windows
Classroom 1 looking toward the lobby
Piano lounge, looking toward the stage
Piano lounge, looking toward the lobby
Let our highly skilled and patient teachers help you and yours become musically expressed for a lifetime.
Our teachers are ready to help and we can accommodate nearly any schedule. New classes start frequently. Would you like to know more? Come to a Free Introductory Session and learn how you can…
Make the piano a companion for a lifetime at