Our Teachers & Staff
We are a team that strives to inspire a lifelong love of music in every student that comes through our doors.
At Highland Music Studio, our teachers:
- Have passion to inspire and motivate students of every age
- Work together as a team to continually improve upon our lessons and programs
- Are highly qualified with advanced degrees in music education and music performance
- Have many years of teaching experience with all ages
- Love the art of teaching music and changing lives every single day
Kaitlyn Davidson – owner, piano teacher & Music Together teacher
Hello there! I’m Kaitlyn and I am the piano teacher, Music Together teacher & founder of Highland Music Studio. Before living in Atlanta, I grew up in Macon, Georgia, a town known for its rich musical history – a place that put some soul into Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers and Little Richard, to name a few. I began piano lessons at age eight, with inspiration from my grandmother and great-grandmother, who were also piano teachers. By the time I graduated high school, I also learned other instruments such as clarinet, trumpet, guitar and ukulele.
I entered college on the Johns Hopkins Piano Scholarship and earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia studying Music Education and Piano Performance. I studied under concert pianists Edward Eikner, Gila Goldstein and Richard Zimdars. Since completion of my degree, I’ve been certified for ages K-12 in music as well as trained in the Music Together curriculum. I taught music classes for 3 years in public schools, which included elementary music, middle and high school choirs. Nowadays I enjoy teaching and creating fun and innovative music programs for Highland Music Studio.
Konner Scott – piano, guitar & ukulele teacher
Konner Scott is an Atlanta-based freelance songwriter, composer, and instrumentalist. He draws influences from all varieties of music styles, which primarily include rock, classical, folk, blues, hip-hop, pop, and R&B. He boasts a prolific songwriting portfolio containing 300+ original tunes, the bulk of which cover a wide variety of genres and styles. He is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, specializing primarily in guitar and piano. In addition to his writing and performing background, Konner has a profound passion for music production and engineering, and during his free time, he also dabbles in rap and poetry.
Scott Plato – guitar teacher
Scott received his Bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance from Georgia State University under the instruction of John Sutherland, a protege of Andres Segovia. He recently completed his Master of Music degree at Adams State University. In 1995 Scott founded the guitar department at Gainesville College in Gainesville Georgia and was the Head of Guitar Studies there until 2000. His book on guitar improvisation, “Creating Guitar Solos,” is now being sold worldwide on www.lulu.com. Previous collaborations have included performances with members of the Atlanta Symphony and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Scott currently maintains a busy schedule as a performer and teacher in the Atlanta area and is Head of Guitar Studies at Gordon State College.
Scott is endorsed by and exclusively performs with D’Addario strings. In 2017, Scott released a solo CD “Sacred Music on Solo Guitar”. For sound samples visit https://scottplato.hearnow.com. Scott is a voting member of the Grammy Recording Academy. Each year he is an active voter in the Grammy Awards.
Priyal Shah – piano teacher
Born and raised in a musical family in Mumbai, India, Priyal has grown up learning Indian and Western classical musical forms on the piano. Her love for music took her to the United States where she pursued her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Furman University and New York University.
Having taught all genres of music on the piano for over 9 years, Priyal firmly believes that the secret behind getting the best out of a student is by adopting a teaching method that caters to the student’s needs and abilities and by creating a friendly teaching environment that allows free and candid communication between the student and teacher. Apart from teaching piano, Priyal is an active performer in the Atlanta metro area, collaborating with other musicians and composers.
Clara Vargas – piano & Music Together teacher
Coming from a musical family, Clara Vargas began piano lessons at age six. Clara received her B.A. in music from the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, where she studied oboe and secondary organ, and completed her M.M. in music performance at Georgia State University. She has worked as a pianist and organist at a variety of churches and as an accompanist for several local school’s choirs Large Group Performance Evaluations. Having taught piano to all ages groups for several years, Clara enjoys working with students of all skill levels.
In addition to teaching piano, Clara is an affiliate with Andover Educators, and is committed to incorporating body mapping principles to her instruction, particularly with younger children. When not teaching piano, Clara’s musical pursuits include performing as a multi-instrumentalist with a variety of local ensembles, musical theater playhouses, and as a vocalist in area church choirs.
Emmy Lawalin – piano, guitar, voice & ukulele teacher
Originally from Gainesville, GA, Emmy received a music education degree from the University of North Georgia with concentrations in piano and voice. She student taught at Flowery Branch High School where she directed the chorus, prepared students for All-State auditions, and accompanied performances.
After graduating college, Emmy began a private studio in Gainesville, GA. For the next six years, she built up her studio, held two recitals each year, and took many students to perform in Junior Festival. Emmy has now been teaching piano, voice, guitar, and ukulele for eight years — she firmly believes in tailoring each lesson to the student’s unique aspirations and learning style. Since moving to Atlanta in 2016, Emmy has continued to teach and work on her career as a singer-songwriter. She releases music and performs behind the stage name Emmy Law, and is very involved in Atlanta’s local music scene.
Samantha Puckett – piano & voice teacher
Samantha Puckett is a mezzo-soprano originally from Katy, Texas. She attended West Texas A&M University for her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music. Samantha pursued her Artist Diploma at Georgia State University. She is currently an alto Staff Singer at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Samantha’s operatic roles include Magda Sorel (The Consul); Charlotte (Werther) and Rebecca Nurse (The Crucible). Miss Puckett continues her vocal study and often performs as a guest soloist in Atlanta and the surrounding area.
Ben Fraser – piano, guitar, ukulele & violin teacher
Ben Fraser is a professional musician and private music instructor in the Atlanta area. He plays and teaches piano, guitar, violin, and ukulele. After being classically trained on the piano, guitar, and violin throughout his youth, he chose to study Guitar Performance at the Georgia State University School of Music.
He currently performs in several ensembles, spanning multiple different genres, including classical, jazz, rock, pop, folk. Florence Kopleff Recital Hall, Rialto Center for the Arts, and Fulton County Auditorium are a few of the venues in which he has performed. Some festivals he has played include the Peachtree Corners Festival, Friendship Music Festival, and the Night Market in Peachtree City.
Music education is a great passion of his. He teaches students of all ages and all skill levels, from beginners to more advanced players. Providing personalized lesson plans to a wide variety of students, he has crafted an effective methodology that improves upon technique and increases musical understanding.
Emily Yu – piano teacher
Emily Yu is a pianist originally from Taiwan but raised in the US. She attended the University of Florida for undergraduate studies, receiving a BA in Piano Performance. She also attended Roosevelt University for her Master of Arts in Education. Emily has enjoyed broadening her musical areas of interests. She pursued Orff Schulwerk pedagogical methods classes at DePaul University. She also enjoys attending local workshops with clinicians like jazz composer Eric Baumgartner. Mrs. Yu enjoys sharing piano playing with others – from university orchestras to professional small ensembles to the local community. She believes music is a gift intrinsic in everyone and hopes to spark musical joy in others through teaching.
Lauren Hemmings – piano & voice teacher