study music at the Mountain View studio!
Hi! Thanks for visiting Kait's studio page. If you are interested in taking lessons or finding out more information, please use the contact form below, or write to kait (at) kaitdunton.com
About the studio:
Kait is a classically-trained pianist and composer working in contemporary genres including jazz, rock, pop, funk and world. Her studio is equally varied, comprising students of many different ages and interests. Keyboard-centered instruction is available for any instrument, with topics ranging from general musicianship and music theory, to songwriting, jazz harmony, and composition. Kait is especially passionate about coaching her students to find their own voice, a personal musical journey that can be enriched by music theory and an understanding of the emotional connection behind the notes. Here are some examples of what her students are learning:
Music theory: Building a theoretical foundation of music via the piano for use in songwriting, composition, improvisation or analysis.
Composition & songwriting: Jazz, classical or pop. For any instrument or voice. Creating and performing personal repertoire.
Beginning piano for adults: Piano fundamentals, theory and sight reading. Repertoire and technique.
Jazz piano: Emphasis on harmony & theory, aural skills, and interpreting lead sheets.
Improvisation: Coaching students to find their own voice via a discussion of different techniques and approaches
Kait's teaching philosophy:
My teaching philosophy is one of flexibility, with a focus on comprehensive musical development. I strive to provide a unique experience for each student, with an emphasis on musical growth. There is no specific way to learn music, and every student has different interests, desires, strengths & weaknesses. As such, I do not use a specific method! There is also no age at which music ceases to be relevant: it is always a great time in your life to start or continue your music education. Although lessons are piano-centered (using the piano as the main teaching instrument), the studio is not exclusive to pianists. Rather, the studio is open to anyone seeking to expand their musicianship and musical understanding. I am particularly passionate about teaching music theory. Music theory is the gateway to a deeper understanding of music, and is essential for anyone seeking to learn how to compose or improvise.
Thoughts on Artistic Development:
Music as a form of personal expression cannot be taught; it can only be learned. You have to ‘find your voice’, as the saying goes. And this is ultimately a journey into and through the self. A teacher can guide you on this journey, but it is one that can only be taken by you.
To start, the desire to create must be there. Next, the foundation must be strong: understand your craft and its conventions (i.e. ‘learn the rules so you can break them’), study other artists and styles, and most importantly - listen and listen deeply. Then: practice, practice, practice! Creativity is a skill like any other, and must be honed. Write, play, imagine, repeat! And throughout this process, we work tirelessly on the most important yet most elusive piece of the puzzle: the self.
For creative thought to be expressed, it must first pass through the physical and the psychological self. This is the channel through which inspiration becomes art. Thus we want this channel to be as physically ready and as psychologically open as possible! Physically, we develop technical skills and deepen our understanding of the subject so that we are not hindered by insufficient ability or knowledge. Psychologically, we strive to be open-minded: receptive to possibility, inquisitive, nonjudgmental & fearless, thus allowing the self to freely receive and transmit creative messaging.
The paradox of the selfless channel is that it must also be you. It can only be you. You must become yourself. Just be you - at once the easiest and hardest thing to do! Let’s get to work!
KAIT DUNTON is a Los Angeles based composer & pianist with an unconventional approach to composition and to the piano trio, best expressed by her genre-pushing super group, trioKAIT.
Kait has produced and released five albums of original compositions, with a sixth featuring her inventive arranging style. DownBeat awarded 4.5 stars to Kait’s 2018 album, trioKAIT 2, writing that “Dunton brings a Technicolor sensibility to everything she touches.”
Classically trained for 15 years, Kait found her true passion in college where she discovered jazz and composition, later earning both a Masters and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz. As a performer and composer, Kait has received numerous accolades throughout the industry. A full performance bio is available on her website. As an educator, she has been teaching private piano lessons for over 15 years. In the collegiate arena, she has taught at the University of North Texas, USC's Thornton School of Music, Musician's Institute, Chaffey College, and most recently at Los Angeles College of Music (LACM) in Pasadena, where she developed their new Piano Department and served as its inaugural chair.
USC Thornton School of Music: Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Jazz with an emphasis in composition and pedagogy.
University of North Texas: Masters in Jazz Piano Performance
University of Virginia: BA in Spanish
To contact Kait with questions, or to schedule your first lesson, please fill out the following and hit "submit":