Metropolitan Strings Academy

**Students must attend Border Star Montessori in Kansas City, Missouri to be eligible for the Border Star lessons program.

Fall 2016 Border Star Class Options

As co-founder of Strings For Uganda (in partnership with Change the Truth) Nick secured stringed instruments, accessories, sheet music, and instructors to help build a sustainable orchestra program at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage Motherhood (SMKOM) in Kajjansi, Uganda.​

Nick is a member of the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, the Missouri Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association.  

Mike Yunghans-  guitar

Mike Yunghans has been playing the guitar since he was nine years old.  He received a BA in Music Education from Baker University and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory.   He studied guitar with jazz master Tim Cross, flamenco guitarist Beau Bledsoe, and American classical guitar virtuoso, Doug Niedt.

Mike’s playing experience ranges from banjoist in a Dixieland jazz group to lead guitarist in pit orchestras for theater groups such as "Music Theatre for Young People of Kansas City."  Currently, Mike represents half of the chamber duo Pararo, a group dedicated to performing art music of Spain and South America.

Mike uses his practical experience to inspire a love of music in his students. He has taught music in public schools, private studios, and universities. Mike served as adjunct professor of guitar at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.  During his term in the U.S. Peace Corps, Mike even taught music in Mauritania, West Africa.  This wealth of teaching experience has produced a patient yet enthusiastic teaching style that is as effective for a five-year-old beginner as it is for an adult seeking a new skill.  

The Border Star Montessori Music Lessons Program is an extension of a Suzuki based violin program formerly funded by the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District. Once the program funding was no longer offered, the parents at Border Star joined forces with the administration to keep the program alive. The Metropolitan Strings Academy has now been granted the opportunity to further expand the program with course offerings in violin, viola, piano, ukulele and guitar.

Nicholas Jarrett-  violin, viola, piano

Nicholas Jarrett has been a musician for over 27 years, starting violin at the age of four.  He studied violin, piano, and voice at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music.  

Nick maintains studios for private lessons and directs string ensembles in Leavenworth/Lansing, Prairie Village, Olathe, and Merriam, Kansas, and  Kansas City, Missouri.  He has worked with students with cochlear implants at St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf in Lenexa, Kansas and was director for the summer school music program at St. Monica's elementary school in Kansas City, Missouri.  Nick is chairman of the KCMTA Concerto Competition in partnership with the Heritage Philharmonic,  annually adjudicates for MAMA, and is a contributor to the Gemini Project. 

Border Star Music Program Faculty

Border Star Montessori Music Program

Natasha Kwapich-  violin, viola, cello

Natasha will not be actively teaching at Border Star this semester.  She will substitute teach if the other instructors are absent and assist with administration and recitals.  She will miss her regular students very much and is excited to see their progress at the recital!

Natasha Kwapich played violin with the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Webster University Chamber Orchestra.  After moving to Kansas City, she studied with renowned violinist Benny Kim at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  She performed frequently with “Musica Nova” an ensemble devoted to premiering the work of new composers and served as Principal Second in the first Kansas City Puccini Festival.   She played fiddle with "ROBE" and won Q104’s  Battle of the Bands in 2009.  She and ROBE opened at Yallapalooza in 2009 and 2010.  

While Natasha enjoys performing, her true passion is teaching.  She believes in every student’s potential to excel and carefully adapts her teaching methods to suit the age, personality, and special gifts of the individual student.  

Natasha is a member of the Olathe Music Teachers Association, the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, the Kansas Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association.  Natasha has served as orchestra director at KC Strings since 2005 and at the Metropolitan Strings Academy since 2012. She has taught private lessons and directed strings ensembles since 1999.  Natasha designed the toddler/preschool focused curriculum for the Metropolitan Strings Academy's Bubbles & Bach program.  
Natasha conducts 4 honors orchestra groups.  This year, her Advanced Chamber Strings students were selected to perform at the Kauffman Center's first annual Future Stages Festival.