Instructors - Nora Bellows, Micha Watson, Kathleen Alexander, Adrianna Mittler & Mary Varni
104 Elm St., Washington, MO 63090 ~ (636) 432-2903 ~


Violin Instructor Biography

Nora Bellows enjoys a life-long relationship with the Suzuki Method. Enrolled at the age of three in the University of Arkansas' Fayetteville Suzuki School, under the guidance of Martha Shackford, Mrs. Bellows received her foundation in Suzuki Methodology. She continued her instruction with traditional teachers upon moving to Maine at age 14. As a teenager, Mrs. Bellows enjoyed playing in the local youth orchestra and joined the University of Maine orchestra at 16. While earning her B.S. in Education, Mrs. Bellows studied under Dr. Anatole Wieck, an international performer educated at Julliard. Dr. Wieck's insightful instruction on technique and musical interpretation further educated Mrs. Bellows as a teacher and performer.  

Mrs. Bellows began her career in Suzuki instruction at RDL Strings Studio in Bangor, Maine in 1997. In addition to her private students she created and implemented introductory Suzuki violin programs for two local Montessori schools.  Mrs. Bellows was also an instructor at the Norfolk Virginia Academy of Music instructing Suzuki violin lessons, both private and group, as well as daily pre-school music classes.

After relocating to St. Louis Missouri, in 2005, Mrs. Bellows joined the Kirkwood Academy of Music as a private Suzuki violin teacher. In 2006 Mrs. Bellows opened a violin studio in Washington to provide quality education and performance opportunities for the children of Franklin County MO. Currently Mrs. Bellows is a faculty member of the Kirkwood Academy of Music, General Music Teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Union Mo and the Owner/ resident Violin Instructor of Washington Academy of Music. Her love of music and children continues to create a nurturing environment that inspires musical excellence.

Mrs. Bellows is a Registered Suzuki Violin Instructor with training from Capital University, Columbus Ohio, the Chicago Suzuki Institute, IL and two apprenticeships with Suzuki Teacher Trainer Joesph Kaminksy, St. Louis MO. Other Suzuki Teacher Trainers have included Linda Steig and Michelle George. Mrs. Bellows is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Currently Mrs. Bellows is the Vice President of the Saint Louis Metro Violin Association.  Mrs. Bellows is a member of the Saint Louis Philharmonic for concert information visit  

For lessons call 636-432-2903 or email

Piano Instructor Biography

Mr. Micah Watson

Voice Instructor Biography

Kathleen Quint earned her degree in vocal performance from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  She studied with Dr. Raymond Feener for four years and learned classical voice technique.  At the UMKC Conservatory she performed in many operas including roles in Albert Herring and Dido and Aeneas.  Kathleen also enjoyed her vocal pedagogy class taught by Dr. Anne Delaney.

At age seven Kathleen sang her first solo "A Whole New World" from Disney's Aladdin and fell in love with music and singing.  From there she joined the St. Catharine Children's Choir in Manchester New Hampshire. She was also a member of Attitudes, a singing and acting group, where she sang at local nursing homes, yearly productions, and in Las Vegas.

Kathleen moved to the Washington area in 2000.  That year she began voice lessons with Rhonda MacAffee and continued lessons until thriugh college.  She sang with choirs like: the St. Francis Borgia Adult Choir, the Combined Christian Choir, the 2005 and 2006 Missouri All-State Choir, the Washington High School's Chamber Choir and the Meistersingers.  At WHS Kathleen also performed in musicals including roles in Footloose and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.In addition to those roles Kathleen performed in HONK! and in the review Broadway and Beyond at East Central College.  During the summer of 2004 she enrolled in the Opera Theater of St. Louis' Young Artist Program and fell in love with opera.

Kathleen continues to advance her singing ability through private study with Christine Armistead at Washington University. Kathleen is the General Music Teacher and Children's Choir director at Saint Ignatus.  Kathleen maintains a private voice studio at the Washington Academy of Music teaching students classical vocal technique and musical theater. 

Violin & Viola Instructor Biography

Adrianna Mittler has been playing violin since the 5th grade.  She started through the public school program at Washington and her playing continued to blossom through private teachers and many outside musical activities including the St. Charles Community Symphonic Youth Orchestra, playing for numerous musicals, and receiving superior ratings at the District Solo and Ensemble Festival. 

Mrs. Mittler has completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Violin Performance at Lindenwood University.  During her time at Lindenwood, Mrs. Mittler was the concertmaster of the Lindenwood Orchestra, 1st violin of the Lindenwood Quartet and performed two recitals under the direction of Susie Thierbach.  She is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Missouri Baptist. 

Mrs. Mittler is in her fifth season performing with the Saint Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. This Orchestra performs concerts throughout the year with a variety of music from Baroque to Modern.

Outside of teaching, Mrs. Mittler actively leads and participates in organizations including the Missouri Music Educators Association and is a member of the Kappa Nu Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for women. 

Piano Instructor Biography  

Mary Varni’s first memories of music were with her grandma, who taught Mary and her sisters how to play fun tunes on the piano. Her dad was also instrumental in encouraging a love of music in his daughters; Mary was part of the band and helped lead singing at St. Francis Borgia Parish in grade school and junior high.

In fifth grade, Mary enrolled in private piano lessons with Mrs. Jacqueline Miller, Washington. “Aunt Jackie” challenged Mary to broaden her musical studies beyond weekly lessons. With her encouragement, Mary attended master’s classes, played at recitals, entered local and state piano competitions and shared her gift of music with the community.

As Mary’s creative interests grew, music remained an important part of her life. While she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Culver-Stockton College, she continued taking private piano lessons, singing in the campus choir, participating in recitals and playing piano at college and church events.

Over the years, Mary has been invited to play piano and sing at numerous weddings, and has served as a song leader and choir member at several Catholic parishes, the Washington Civic Chorus and Combined Christian Choir of Washington. She also volunteered her time and talent to Catholic youth ministry, playing piano with the Washington Life Teen Band and at Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreats.

Mary enjoys teaching beginner and intermediate pianists of any age; her current students range from kindergarten students to grandparents. She wants to not only help her students improve their abilities, but also encourage them to love and appreciate music.

She has taught piano privately since 2009 and at the Washington Academy of Music since 2011. In addition, Mary joined the national, state and local chapters of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in 2014.

In addition to teaching, she currently accompanies the Immaculate Conception Parish Children’s Choir in Union, directed by academy owner Nora Bellows.

Washington Academy of Music • • (636)-432-2903 • 104 Elm St. Washington, MO