Letter From the Executive Director, Kristin Yost
Welcome to the Centre for Musical Minds! I am so excited you came upon our website and are taking the time to read about who is educating your children, or maybe even you.
The Centre for Musical Minds was founded in 2008 by myself, Kristin Yost, M.M. and Dr. Sam Holland, who is a Professor and the Director of the Division of Music at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Holland and I wanted to create a music lesson center to educate and excite the inner musician of students young and old. Most importantly, we want to make music relevent to the community. While our initial focus was providing superior piano instruction by university trained teachers at an accessible price, we have expanded to include guitar and voice studies based upon our belief that there is music in every person and through music we all can lead happier, more confident and creative lives. With this focus in mind, in just three short years we've more than doubled our enrollment!
The word is getting out about how rewarding music study can be at the Centre for Musical Minds. It is a fun, creative music lesson environment where music instruction is tailored to each individual student. Our student-focused approach moves beyond just turning to the next page in a lesson book every week, it encourages students to develop their inner musical voice through solid fundamental studies combined with exciting music ranging from Bach to the Beatles and beyond. With traditional recitals, CMM Keyboard Jams where students perform with a professional, live rhythm section, composition and CD production with Garageband, group activities like African Drumming and so much more, studying music at the Centre for Musical Minds is a thrilling journey. So come join us and let us help you find your inner musician!
Kristin Yost, Executive Director
An active performer, author, and teacher, Ms. Yost comes with a nationally recognized name attributed to her published works, conference presentations and level of students. In 2006 Ms. Yost graduated with a Master's Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University studying under internationally renowned pianist, Alfred Mouledous. In that same year she also became a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), establishing herself as a professional music educator.
In addition to being a competition winner herself, Ms. Yost was also the musical coach for the 2009 and 2010 Miss Teen Texas Talent Winner, and in 2010 had two students win the Roland Piano Festival Southern Region, advancing them to nationals in Los Angeles, California. Her professional highlights include state-level and university competition wins, awards, scholarships, academic and performance honors, as well as published works in several periodicals across the country including Clavier Companion, The Music Teachers Association of California and The American Music Teacher. Ms. Yost has received awards from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire that include Outstanding Senior in Music Award, the Ada Bors Service Award, Sigma Alpha Iota local and regional awards, the Ruby Sword of Honor, the Sempre Fidelis Award from the United States Marines, and numerous academic and performance-based scholarships throughout her career.
Ms. Yost has played regularly with Celebration Jazz Orchestra in Norah Jones' old spot, and has performed for numerous politicians such as Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
As the founder of The Centre for Musical Minds, Ms. Yost does not come without extensive leadership experience. She has brought herself and the Centre for Musical Minds to an international audience by her presentations across the United States and Europe. Ms. Yost has served on various committees and boards throughout several states. Most recently, Ms. Yost was on the planning committee for The National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy - the world's most respected conference for pianists and piano teachers.
Sam Holland is a Professor of Music, Associate Director for Academic Affairs, and Head of Piano Pedagogy in the Division of Music at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts. Dr. Holland holds degrees in piano performance from The University of Texas and the University of Houston where he studied with John Perry and Abbey Simon, respectively. He received the Certificate in Piano Pedagogy with Distinction from the New School for Music Study and the Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Holland has authored over forty critically acclaimed books and recordings in The Music Tree series (Warner Bros., 2000--). His articles have appeared in every major English language piano journal in the US and abroad. He is the author of Teaching Toward Tomorrow: a Music Teacher’s Primer for Using Keyboards, Computers, and MIDI in the Studio (Alfred, 1993) as well as the Frederick Harris Celebrate Composers editions (2004-), a 30-volume series of standard teaching repertoire with contextual and pedagogical commentary. Dr. Holland has pioneered in the application of electronic and MIDI technology to performing and teaching in both contemporary and classical idioms. His students have achieved top recognition in state, national, and international competitions. Dr. Holland has presented hundreds of concerts and lectures on four continents. He serves as a Trustee and Executive Director of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.