Dr. Catharine Lysinger, Artistic Director
Dr. Catharine Lysinger is the Artistic Director of the Piano Preparatory Department and a lecturer in piano pedagogy in the Meadows School of the Arts. After her arrival at SMU in 2004, Dr. Lysinger quickly gained enthusiastic praise for her energetic leadership of SMU's celebrated piano preparatory department and for her expert guidance of the graduate teaching assistants who provide a significant portion of the instruction for the preparatory students.
She has developed an award-winning studio of pre-college students. Dr. Lysinger was formerly the founding Director of the University of Houston's Moores School of Music Preparatory and Continuing Studies Department, currently serving over 300 students of all ages.
Dr. Lysinger has been a prizewinner in national and international piano competitions, earning top prizes in the Music Teacher National Association National Young Artist Competition, the Shreveport Symphony Wideman Competition, and the Corpus Christi International Young Artist Competition.
Matthew Kline NCTM, Executive Director
Matthew Kline is the Executive Director of the Piano Preparatory Department and a senior lecturer in piano pedagogy in the Meadows School of the Arts. Matthew has lectured and taught in Texas and Michigan and is beginning his sixth year teaching in the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU, where he currently holds the position of Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy and is the Executive Director of the Piano Preparatory Department. In his time at SMU, Mr. Kline has developed an award-winning pre-college studio.
He holds the position of President of the Dallas Music Teachers Association, and Dallas Center Director for the Royal American Conservatory Examinations. He holds a Bachelor degree from Hope College where he studied with Joan Conway, and Masters in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from SMU where he studied under Alfred Mouledous and Pedagogy from Sam Holland. Additionally Mr. Kline holds a Master of Social Work from Western Michigan University.
When he is not teaching, practicing or preparing lessons, Mr. Kline enjoys playing with his eight year old greyhound, "Biscuit", flying his kite and training for multi-sport endurance races.
Kevin Gunter, Senior Faculty
Kevin Gunter is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He received his B.M. in Piano Performance from Samford University and his M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University. Mr. Gunter teaches at SMU, where he is the Class Piano Coordinator for the Division of Music, as well as the Theory/Musicianship Coordinator for the Piano Prep Dept. During the summers, Mr. Gunter also teaches piano camps at Samford and SMU. In May 2005, Mr. Gunter received the Roy and Sue Johnson Award from the SMU Division of Music for excellence in teaching.
Vivian Chen is a junior undergraduate student seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance. She is also earning a minor in graphic design. In addition to her studies, she leads a Plano Community orchestra for children of all ages, touring senior residences and nursing homes around the metroplex. She is from Plano, Texas. Her graduation date is May 2013.
Ryan Greene grew up in Dayton, Ohio and is currently pursuing a M.M. degree in piano performance and pedagogy at Southern Methodist University. He earned his B.M. degree in piano performance from Butler University where he studied with Kate Boyd, Anna Briscoe, and pedagogy with Karen Thickstun. Ryan spends his summers in northern Michigan where he serves as piano teaching assistant at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. Before moving to Dallas, Ryan performed extensively in the Indianapolis area including serving as pianist at Heartland Unitarian Universalist Church. While in Indianapolis, Ryan also spent three years as a teaching fellow at the Butler Community Arts School, Butler Summer Piano Camps, and Christel House Academy. He is an alumni of PianoSummer at SUNY New Paltz, Oberlin College Piano Festival, and has served as a pianist for La Musica Lirica, a five-week intensive opera festival held in Novafeltria, Italy.
Mari is a student of Professor Mouledous in her Junior year at Southern Methodist University working towards a dual degree in Music and English. Mari has taken piano lessons since the age of 5, and has studied with Frances Cheng-Koors in Baltimore, Maryland and Dr. Eric Street in Dayton, Ohio. She has participated in the National Piano Guild auditions as well as the annual MSMTA Spring Festival. She began teaching piano at the age of fourteen and remains enthusiastic about passing along the joy of music to her students. Along with her passion for music, Mari enjoys reading and writing poetry.
Grace Ho started piano lessons at age 5, under the guidance of Edward Parker. She performed at local festivals, recitals, and accompanied choirs from her local church and schools for over 13 years. By 15, she received her Piano Performance Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada. She then studied with Alice Enns at the UBC School of Music. During her undergraduate years, she studied piano pedagogy with Mary Tickner and began to teach piano privately, teaching beginner and intermediate level students of all ages. In 2009, she received the Associate of Royal Music Teacher Certificate at the Elementary Level. In 2010, she graduated from UBC with a Bachelors of Secondary Music Education. During this time, she participated in the Atlantic Music Festival summer program and performed in Maine. There, she was strongly inspired to pursue her love and interest as a professional piano teacher and felt a desire to travel and experience more music from around the world. This year, she moved to Dallas from Vancouver, Canada, and is currently pursuing her M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at SMU.
Eun Hye Lee
Eun Hye Lee graduated from Kaywon Arts High school and Sookmyung Women's University in South Korea and earned her Master's Degree from CCM as a student of Awadagin Pratt. She was the winner of a Mozart Concerto Competition as an undergraduate student where she played Mozart Concerto K 537 with Sookmyung Symphony Orchestra. She recently won 2nd prize in the CCM Concerto Competition with her performance of the Beethoven Choral Fantasie. She is pursuing a Performance Diploma as a student of Dr. Carol Leone.
Yeona Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea. She started piano lessons at the age of 6 and began playing in public the following year. She has successfully performed throughout South Korea and the United States, participating in competitions, notable church events, and at public venues. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Sungkyul University in South Korea, and Master of Music in Piano Performance from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She was awarded the James McKinney Outstanding Performer Award in 2010 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and through the award she played Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 with the selected Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at the annual gala concert at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mrs. Yeona Lee is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at SMU.
Daniel begrudgingly started taking piano lessons at the age of 11 because his parents “made” him. However, he would later find that piano had become one of his most important and fulfilling passions, thanks to his parents. In 2001 and 2004 Daniel was the All-State musician in his division in piano, and throughout the latter half of his high school career he was invited to play at numerous honor recitals, two of which were held and hosted by Steinway Halls in Dallas. It was at one of these venues that Daniel met his future professor Dr. Carol Leone at Southern Methodist University. Through Dr. Leone he was invited to attend the prestigious Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 2006, and was privileged with the opportunity of performing in a recital given there at Bösendorfer Hall. Daniel has also had many opportunities to play in the Meadows Jazz Orchestra at SMU and was awarded the Carol Leone Jazz award in 2007. He has worked on multiple musical theater projects, from Urinetown to simple song cycles.
Hannah began her piano studies at the age of 5 with the highly praised Dallas teacher, Jennifer Harrison Powell. While studying with Ms. Powell, Hannah received numerous awards in competitions across the state and participated in master classes including Van Cliburn winner Jose Feghali, Ronald Rathbun, Pauline Bjorem, Carol Leone, Sam Holland, and Mark Puckett. After graduating from Lake Highlands High School, Hannah began studying piano at Southern Methodist University with acclaimed pianist and teacher Alfred Mouledous. For two consecutive years at SMU, Hannah was presented with the Paul van Katwijk award as the outstanding undergraduate pianist. She has been the accompanist for the SMU Concert Choir, SMU voice students, and has played in a trio for several years. She has participated in master classes with Carol Leone, Pamela Mia Paul, Joaquin Achucarro, and Jerome Rose. She teaches pre-college students in the SMU Piano Preparatory Department, where she was one of the first undergraduates to be asked to do so. In the SMU preparatory program, Hannah has received one-on-one and group training with the leading piano pedagogues in the country, studying how to teach piano specifically to pre-college students.
Faron Vassen is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Southern Methodist University under the instruction of Dr. Sam Holland and Dr. Carol Leone. In 2011 he received his Bachelor of Music from Florida Gulf Coast University, where he received thorough pedagogical instruction under the mentorship of Joanne Smith. Equally at home as a teacher, a recitalist and chamber musician, Faron uses acquired knowledge and experience to cultivate the unique and individual qualities found within each student. Maintaining a private studio since 2008, Faron has experience teaching students of all ages, whether it be young beginners or adults seeking an outlet.