Our Teachers

Karen Bergquist Lüth, Studio Owner and Director, Teacher of Flute and Kindermusik, former Kindermusik mom

Like many children Karen always loved having a song in her head. This early love of music has sustained her through years of experience working with children and music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Thereafter she continued her studies with Samuel Baron of the Julliard School in New York and earned a Master of Arts in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa where she studied baroque and modern flute with Betty Mather. She continued on to do her PhD work in Musicology at Stanford University where she studied baroque flute with Robert Claire, of the acclaimed French baroque orchestra Les Arts Florissants. Karen performs actively in and around Germany in Baroque orchestras and ensembles. Equally at home in historical and modern styles, Karen has premiered numerous new works in close collaboration with composers as part of Ultraschall Festival Berlin,  Darmstadt, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Stanford’s Center for Research in Music and Acoustics, and the University of Iowa Center for New Music.

As a performer, historian and flute teacher she has helped nurture this inner song in many children and young adults, and has been inspired as they have carried this music with them into their lives. Karen aims to create a musical experience that will engage children and their families in the fun and excitement of exploration in movement and song.

She’s learned from some of the world’s best flutists and is eager to share their inspiration!  

Bryan Allen Smith, Kindermusik

Kindermusik educator,  Bryan Allen Smith, was born in California, grew up in Iceland, studied Gospel music in Norway, and has lived in many different places in the world. Music and intercultural education are his lifelong passions. He lives in Hamburg where he works as a teacher in a bilingual preschool and enjoys making music an integral part of life and play with his daughter. He is currently pursuing a degree in Global Education online with the University of Iceland. As a curious person who loves to help people of all different backgrounds and abilities thrive and feel included, he is  honored and excited about empowering children in a way that allows them to develop their passions and talents, learn important skills for life, and grow confident, compassionate, and resilient.


Maiko Yamagami, Piano

Maiko Yamagami began her piano studies at the age of four. She graduated from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and also served as the university chapel organist for four years. Maiko attended Pasadena City College in California for three years where she studied solo piano with Dr. Jacqueline Petitto and Piano Accompanying with Ms. Laraine Stivers-Madden. In 2008 Maiko was awarded First Place in the PCC Classical Solo Performance Competition.  In addition to her studies, she also served as the music department’s piano tutor in PCC. Maiko attended California State University in Northridge, where she earned both BM and MM in piano performance. While in Northridge, she studied with Professor Francoise Regnat, Dr. Dmitri Rachmanov and Ms. Mina Perry.  As a recipient of numerous honors, she graduated from CSUN with the honor of an outstanding student in the graduate piano division. During her study, Maiko started to teach actively and expanded her music studio. In addition to her private music studio, she also worked for a music school in Irvine, California, where she also served as a piano accompanist as well as a private piano instructor.

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