Pianist. Instructor. Collaborator
Liz Kohl is a pianist, instructor, collaborative musician, and yoga instructor based in Portland, Oregon. She holds degrees in music from University of Washington (B.A. in Music, Dance Minor, cum laude) and Baylor University (Master of Music, Piano Performance and Pedagogy), where she was awarded a full graduate assistantship. Liz has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Portland State University since 2016, where she teaches her original course material, “Yoga for Musicians.” She also maintains a thriving private piano studio in SE Portland, teaching students of all ages (from as young as 3 years old to adults).
Liz the Pianist
Liz Kohl is a classically trained pianist who has studied piano under the late, world renowned concert pianist Joanna Hodges as well as Dr. Susan Chan, Dr. Regina Yeh, Dr. Nancy Jang, and Artist-in-Residence (and student of the esteemed Emil Gilels), Ms. Krassimira Jordan. It was an honor for Liz to have a strong foundation in piano instruction from her early years in Joanna Hodge’s piano studio. Not only was Ms. Hodges internationally esteemed as a concert pianist, she was also a highly sought after educator and the founder and former artistic director of The Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (now Waring International Piano Competition).
From this rigorous studio, she had numerous performance opportunities: monthly workshops and annual concerto recitals (learning at least one movement of a different concerto every year), state adjudications, annual Guild adjudications, and year end recitals from a young age. She received high marks every year in her adjudications and was a finalist in All-Classical Portland’s Young Talent Search. Liz gave her first solo recital at 16 and performed subsequent solo recitals before moving to Seattle to attend University of Washington.
Liz the Collaborative Pianist
Her experience as a pianist spans decades of playing as a soloist and collaborative pianist. She has worked with a variety of musicians and/or their students in the Pacific Northwest and Central Texas: Allen Vizzutti (Trumpet), Thomas Harper (Voice), Stephen Fissel (Trombone), Michael Brockman (Saxophone), Ronald Patterson (Violin), Melia Watras (Viola), Tess Altiveros (Voice), Wiff Rudd (Trumpet), Brent Phillips (Trombone), Jeffrey Powers (French Horn), Dr. Sandor Ostlund (Bass), Dr. Kathryn Steely (Viola), Sean Fredenburg (Saxophone), and JáTtik Clark (Tuba).
Liz enjoys working on new and interdisciplinary musical performances. Some of her recent collaborations include: Trevor New (Composer/Violist, 2018), Adam Eason (Composer/Cellist, 2018-19), Washington Dance Creative (2018), Classical Revolution PDX (hosted/curated/performed in Bachxing Day 2018), and the Cabaret Series: Cassi Q. and the PDX Stew (2014-15). She has performed throughout the country for weddings (Chicago, Dallas, Portland, and Seattle), Fast Forward Music Festival (Austin, TX - 2012), Violin or Cello Studios (Seattle, Portland Vancouver, WA), numerous vocal and instrumental juries/recitals & has accompanied or music directed for Godspell (CYT - 2006), The Sound of Music (Mt. View H.S. - 2010), and Seussical (Portland - 2012). Liz also worked under composer and music director of the dance department Paul Moore during her time at U.W. She was happy to unite her work as a dancer and pianist in working with Mr. Moore and playing improvised piano for dance classes and performances.
Liz the piano instructor
Liz was fortunate to begin her work as a piano instructor under the care of Joanna Hodges in 2003. Along with private piano lessons, Liz taught music theory classes to beginning and intermediate students. She has continued her teaching experience through her time in Vancouver (WA), Seattle (WA), Waco (TX), and Portland (OR). Liz has been a member of MTNA (Music Teacher’s National Association) since 2007 and has served as founder/president of U.W.’s Collegiate Chapter and president of Baylor’s Collegiate Chapter.
With a Master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy (the study of how to teach), Liz has been exposed to a variety of methods and views on education. A curious person by nature, she is constantly aiming to adapt and work with a variety of students. After completing her Master’s degree, Liz was hired by Joseph Hoffman as a piano instructor and subsequent Hiring Manager, Teacher Trainer/Mentor, Director of Piano Studies and Co-Director of Education at Hoffman Academy in NW Portland. Here she was trained in Joseph’s original method, which incorporates ideas from great pedagogues like Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Though Liz teaches with her own style, she is grateful for the education she continued while working at Hoffman Academy (2012-2017).
Liz is constantly learning from her students, aiming to serve her students by staying present and adapting to different learning styles and needs. She is passionate about connecting with others and seeks to do this through teaching students of all ages in her private piano studio in SE and in her full, performing schedule. Whether she is collaborating with instrumentalists, vocalists, choirs, or dancers, Liz is thrilled to make music and connect with others.
chamber music house shows
This past year, Liz has begun an intimate concert series in her home studio which showcases local musicians and music we love to play. At these Chamber Music House Shows, musicians sharing chamber music from the classical repertoire, as well as some arrangements of popular music. Liz strives to create a fun, casual setting for audiences to enjoy music from the classical repertoire in a more approachable way. Find out more here (including previous and upcoming shows):
yoga for musicians
Liz is a member of the adjunct faculty at Portland State University where she teaches "Yoga for Musicians." In developing this class and its curriculum, her aim is to cultivate more awareness in the body, mind, and daily lives of the musicians she guides. Liz is currently working on expanding her Master's Thesis into a book about integrating yogic practices into the musician's life.