NCA Founder, Executive Director, and Piano Chair
Jacqueline Banks, M. Mus.
Jacqueline Banks was born in England and raised in Miami, Florida. She began taking piano lessons from her mother when she was three years old and began formal piano instruction six month later through the Suzuki method. Until Jacqueline went to college, she was under the tutelage of piano teachers primarily trained from the National Conservatory of Havana, which shaped her musical development and overall style. She studied at the University of Miami's, Frost School of Music's Preparatory Program, Keyboard For Kids, for 5 years before attending Xavier University of Louisiana on a full music scholarship. From Xavier, she earned a Bachelors of Music in Piano performance and was awarded the Sister Elise Sisson Award for excellence in Music; the highest honor awarded from the Xavier's school of music. She also studied vocal performance and music management at Georgia State University. Jacqueline is also a Certified Yamaha Music Educator from the Yamaha Music Education Institute, L.A., Calif. 2013. She earned her certification in Kodaly Methodology from New York University Steinhardt School of Education and Arts Professions. Jacqueline also has a Masters of Music in piano pedagogy from Georgia State University.
Hailed for her distinctive musicality and expressive warmth, American pianist Jacqueline Banks is quickly establishing herself as one of the country's most sought after rising stars for a variety of repertoire specializing works by African American and women composers. Mrs. Banks has a wide range of repertoire from C.P.E Bach, Domenico Scarlatti and Chevalier de Saint-George to Bela Bartok, George Walker and Tania Leon.
Mrs. Banks previous engagements have included recitals in Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C and New York City. She has performed at such venues as the Levine School of Music, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, New Orleans Piano Institute and Festival, and annual African American Music Festivals in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jacqueline Banks has been teaching piano and voice for approximately fourteen years and nine years, respectively. She also teaches composition to musically gifted children. She has held faculty positions at several institutions and nonprofit organizations, and specializes in piano instruction, composition, music history, solfege and the Kodaly Approach to music education. She teaches private piano and group piano classes throughout the DMV area. She has also published a plethora of books, 7 are available on Amazon Books, on the subjects of piano, piano pedagogy, and music education for children Pk-12th grade. Mrs. Banks is also the founder and Executive Director of Music Education Today, a publishing company dedicated to the promotion of cutting edge concepts and applications of music education.
Mrs. Banks' students have placed in several piano competitions including the Rising Star Piano Concerto Competition, where her youngest student was 9 years old, performing Mozart’s Piano concerto in A Major, K. 488. One of her student’s also earned a scholarship to Harvard University for Musical Theatre.
Jacqueline Lives and works in Washington, DC with her husband and two daughters.
Strings Department Chair & Violin, Viola, Cello Instruction
Lisa Darby Walker, D.M.A.
Dr. Lisa Walker is an American Violinist and International String Coach from
Chicago who is currently developing the next generation of classical musicians in Jamaica. She has a doctorate in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from Claremont Graduate University and over twenty years’ experience in violin pedagogy, including international master classes and workshops. In addition, she has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician in North America, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Caribbean.
Dr. Walker has worked effectively with diverse student levels and cultures using various curricula including Suzuki, ABRSM, RCM, ASTACAP and standard Traditional literature. She was recently a violin professor at a prominent international school in Paris where she coached over 400 students from 73 nations - from beginners through IB Music Advanced. She has also served as chairman of the panel of judges for Florida Federation of Music and adjudicator for Florida Youth Orchestra, Florida Federation of Music, and All- city Music Festival in North Carolina.
A winner of several competitions and awards, Dr. Walker was trained in the prestigious Chicago Symphony Orchestra Civic orchestra program where she earned leadership positions and won the highly competitive concerto competition. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony and other professional orchestras throughout the United States and had several performances in the famed Carnegie Hall in New York.
Dr. Walker has a 4.0 Grade Point Average on all her undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral work and is fluent in Spanish and conversant in French. Based on her outstanding academic and professional achievements and extraordinary leadership ability, Dr. Walker was awarded a Fulbright Professorship by the American Government in 2004 to lecture as a String Music Performance Specialist at the National Autonomous University of Honduras.
Marta Tadesse, M. Mus.
Marta is a Viola, Violin and orchestra teacher. She graduated from Addis Ababa University with a Bachelor of Arts in Viola Performance in 2006. After her graduation, she worked at the director of the Yardis School of Music for 2 years. Throughout her teaching years, she performed in many solo concerts, quartets, classical string chamber groups and symphony orchestras.
Marta also acquired her M.A. degree in Multicultural and Multilingual Education from Addis Ababa University in 2012. In order to advance her music-teaching career at higher educational institutions, she also took a Higher Diploma Program from The College of Performing and visual Arts/ AAU. All of these experiences have enhanced her skills as a music teacher in individual and group instrumental teaching techniques. She hasalso had several successful musical performances and workshops in European. Marta is excited to be a teacher at National Conservatory of Arts and is dedicated to helping her students find a love and appreciation for music.