Walk around the campus of Colorado Academy, and you will hear the sound of music.
In addition to music course offerings, in Schotters Music Center there is an instrumental music program that offers private lessons during the school day in piano, strings, guitar, and wind instruments.
Whether students are singing in a choir, mastering an instrument, or composing their own music in the digital composition lab, CA students learn the joy and satisfaction of being lifelong musicians.
Whether they want to create an audition recording or explore the art and science of sound, students can produce perfectly mixed audio recordings in our state-of-the-art sound and recording studio, located in CA’s Schotters Music Center.
University of Denver - BM University of Denver - MM At CA Since: 1993
Jennifer Arnold has been at CA as the cello instructor since 1993. In addition to private and group teaching, she is also CA's Chamber Music Coordinator and she teaches MS and US orchestra with Javan Carson. She has her bachelor’s degree in cello performance and her master’s degree in cello performance/Suzuki pedagogy, both from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music. Her primary teachers were Richard Slavich, Carol Tarr and James Maurer (Suzuki).
In addition to teaching at CA, Jennifer maintains a private Suzuki studio at her home in Lakewood. She is a former teacher of the group Suzuki program, Denver Talent Education and was the Children’s Music director at Park Hill United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. She is a freelance cellist, playing all around the Denver metro area as well as playing regularly with a string quartet. She is past president of the Suzuki Association of Colorado and remains active in that association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Jennifer is also cellist with the popular '70s band, Mr. Majestyk’s 8-track Revival. Her interests revolve around chamber music and incorporating alternative styles- pop and rock, along with traditional teaching. She is a founding member of Denver Chamber Camp which is a summer music camp for young musicians based out of CA that incorporates rock and roll with traditional orchestra and chamber performance.
Brenda Bartel joined CA from Green Mountain Elementary School in Lakewood, Colo., where she worked as Music Teacher. Bartel has brought more than 20 years of experience to CA, where she serves as Music Instructor for students in grades K-6. In addition to other choral conducting experience, Bartel serves as the Assistant Director of the Evergreen Children’s Chorale and the Prelude to Evergreen Children’s Chorale. She received her bachelor’s degree in music and elementary education from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan.
University of Colorado at Boulder - BM At CA Since: 1978
Becky Burchfield, Private Music Lesson Coordinator, and violin/viola instructor, started teaching at CA in the fall of 1978. In addition to teaching private lessons, Suzuki group lessons, and conducting the divisional string orchestras at CA, she is a professional violinist. She performs with the Simpatica String Quartet, St. John’s Cathedral Orchestra and Holy Ghost Cathedral Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Broadway shows, back-up orchestras for entertainers at Red Rocks and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, and “subs” with the Colorado Symphony. Burchfield has two daughters who are both CA alumnae.
Javan Carson has been teaching private violin, viola, and piano lessons for more than 33 years. She has instructed Suzuki group classes for 15 years, and has taught string classes in four metro-area school districts. She conducted for Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras for five years, was the Music Director and Conductor of Eklectika Youth Ensembles, an innovative youth orchestra that she founded, conducted four orchestras at Denver Young Artists Orchestras for 10 years, and is finishing her third year at the Front Range Youth Symphony as the conductor of two orchestras. Carson has played the violin for most of her life, having started as a Suzuki student at age two. She also has played in a string quartet for more than 30 years, and has performed with countless orchestras, including the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. In the summers, Carson works for Denver Chamber Music, coaching ensembles and directing and arranging music for the camp orchestras.
University of Colorado at Boulder - BM Ithaca College - MM At CA Since: 2004
Connie Char, piano instructor, received her Bachelor's in piano performance from CU-Boulder and her master’s in piano performance with an emphasis on Suzuki piano pedagogy from Ithaca College in New York, where she also taught on the music faculty for three years. She has also taught piano and music appreciation classes at Red Rocks Community College and Aurora Community College. Char has maintained a private piano studio in her home where she has worked with students from ages four to 70. She is a member of the Foothills Music Teachers Association. Char lives in Lakewood.
Andrew Friedrich came to CA in 2017 as the Guitar Instructor. He has over 10 years of experience as a private instructor of guitar, bass, and ukulele. Prior to coming to CA, he taught guitar at St. Elmo Elementary and St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, and at Temple College in Temple, Texas.
Music Composition Coordinator & Instructor, Piano Instructor
Brian Golden is Colorado Academy’s Music Composition Coordinator and Instructor of Piano and Music Composition. He is currently in his 21st year teaching at CA. Brian received his Bachelor of Music and teaching certification in music K-12 from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York, Potsdam, where he also earned the Performer’s Certificate in Piano. In addition to his assignments at Colorado Academy, Brian is an established composer and recording artist. His original compositions from his five solo piano albums, as well as his three albums for children’s ballet—recorded with his wife Christy—are streamed worldwide on numerous radio platforms including Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Whisperings Radio, and many other radio stations. Brian has also written a collection of pieces entitled “Twenty-Four Preludes for the Piano in Major and Minor Modes,” written in the traditions of J.S. Bach and Frederic Chopin. Additional information about Brian can be found on his webpage at briangoldencomposer.com.
University of Puget Sound - BM University of Puget Sound - MAT At CA Since: 2010
Nora Golden, a 2000 CA graduate, began teaching at CA in 2010. Golden teaches Kindergarten-Grade 6 general music and music theory. Prior to CA she was an elementary music teacher and choir director in Washington State for four years. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a BM in music education and also holds an MAT from UPS. She completed Level I of her Orff-Schulwerk training at the University of Oregon, Level II at Southern Methodist University, and Level III at George Mason University. She is a member of AOSA (American Orff-Schulwerk Association), and serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of AOSA. Golden and her family can be found running or hiking trails in Denver and surrounding areas.
Phil Jones began teaching at CA in Fall 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree in Music Performance from Northern Arizona University. Jones is an active performer on many different wind instruments and prides himself on his versatility as a musician and teacher. He has been teaching privately for over 15 years and has loved every minute of it! His goals are to foster a love of music in his students, help them to understand music theory and performance, and prepare them for life and career by teaching dedication, discipline, and passion for whatever paths they pursue.
Manhattan School of Music - BA Manhattan School of Music - MA Columbia University - MAE At CA Since: 1999
Joyce Li is a native of Taiwan. At a young age, she excelled in numerous student piano competitions. She attended the Hwa Kang Conservatory at age 14. In the prestigious National Honor audition, she placed in the top three and received a full scholarship to the Chinese Culture University. With support from her teacher Hannah Wang, Li went to New York to study music and piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers included Zenon Fishbein, Dora Zaslavsky Koch, Alexander Alderman, and Earl Wild. Since earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees she has performed in venues around Taiwan and the United States, including the Merkin Center Hall in New York City, the Aspen Music Festival, and Cornell University. She has taught at Columbia University, Yamaha Music School, Red Rocks Community College, and has been teaching at Colorado Academy since 2000. Li is an active member of national and local music teacher associations and enjoys accompanying jobs along with teaching and performance. She is currently the pianist for the Mountain Chamber Music Society.
Eastern University - BA University of Denver, Lamont School of Music - MM University of Colorado Boulder - DMA At CA Since: 2019
Dr. Padworski is a conductor, composer, and career musician who came to CA in Fall 2019 from the Colorado Children’s Chorale, where he served as the Associate Conductor and Technical Coordinator and the Artistic Director of The Colorado Chorale. He is a published composer and writes music for both instrumental and choral ensembles. He was the Principal Pianist and Symphonic Rehearsal Pianist for the Colorado Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in Denver. He has performed on various instruments, sung, and conducted across the United States and in Europe, appearing with the Jubilate Deo Chorale and Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Cincinnati Youth Choir, Colorado Repertory Singers, Choral Arts Society, Colorado Symphony, Colorado Children’s Chorale, Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, Evans Choir, Distinguished Concerts International New York, and MidAmerica Productions. Dr. Padworski has also performed in recitals as a saxophonist, organist, and conductor.
Graceland College - BM University of Northern Iowa - MM At CA Since: 2000
Isabella Ubertone teaches private and group flute lessons and is a chamber music coach. She loves performing as a soloist and with chamber groups. Isabella is a creative pedagogue and enjoys presenting her ideas and teaching philosophies to music educators and performers. While also maintaining a thriving private studio, Isabella also coaches local high school students for music ensembles who are preparing for competitions, concerts, chair auditions and auditions for music camps. As former President and Education Coordinator of The Colorado Flute Association, Isabella remains active in the organization and their events. Isabella has a Bachelor of Music degree from Graceland University and a Masters of Music degree from The University of Northern Iowa, having studied with Dr. Angeleita Floyd. She also has training in young student’s music education through Lynn Kleiner’s Music Rhapsody program. In her free time she loves teaching and doing Taekwondo at United Martial Arts Center. Isabella is the leader of the Little Ninja and Dragon’s Demo Taekwondo Team.