Gregory Foreman holds a Certificate of Piano Performance, Bachelor of Music Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching. He has also completed 45 post-graduate hours in instructional technology integration and differentiated instruction. In addition to teaching piano at Music/Arts Institute, Mr. Foreman is an author and clinician for Alfred Music Publishing, Inc. as well as, an adjunct professor for the Edmund. J. Gleazer School of Education, Graceland University.
As the winner of the graduate piano level “Kansas City Symphony Honors” audition, Mr. Foreman has performed Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto with the Kansas City Symphony. He was also selected as graduate piano winner of the “Concerto-Aria” competition and performed as soloist with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Orchestra. He has been featured soloist on both Kansas and National Public Radio broadcasts and was selected to perform as soloist with the Youth Symphony of Kansas City as part of its 50th anniversary season. In addition to performing, Mr. Foreman has presented workshops at many Music Educators Association state conventions and technology conferences.
During his successful career as a music instructor in the Lee's Summit School District, Mr. Foreman was selected the recipient of “The Excellence In Teaching” award, “Learning for Life” award, and the “Hertzog Leadership” award. These honors were presented in recognition for his outstanding service as "Music in Education" keyboard lab facilitator, professional staff development affiliate, district lead music teacher, mentor teacher, and his work with music curriculum development.
James (Jim) Gamble is primarily a piano instructor at MAI, although he also instructs organ, cello, and bass. As an MAI alum, has been teaching at the school for 12 years and is an experienced accompanist.
After beginning piano lessons at age 7 with his father, Jim transitioned through several teachers until beginning his studies at MAI at 10 years old. Homeschooling afforded him great practicing opportunities that his parents encouraged him to take advantage of. There, at MAI, he studied piano under Dr. O. Wayne Smith, and cello under Ho Anthony Ahn for 6 years. During this time, Jim won several local competitions and achieved 1+ ratings every year at MAI and in the community. At 16 years old, Jim became the first pianist to ever win the Young Artist Competition sponsored by the Independence Symphony (now known as Heritage Philharmonic) resulting in his first concerto performance with a full orchestra. He then studied with Iris Logeman on piano, competing nationally and preparing for college.
Jim attended the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservatory of Music where he studied Piano under Robert Weirich, and John McIntyre. Other studies in college included organ with Dr. John Ditto, cello with Carter Enyeart, orchestral conducting, and music education.
Currently, Jim resides in Independence with his wife, Danielle and 2 children, Evie and Brian. Outside of MAI, he enjoys conducting and performing in chamber groups with his friends, spending time with his family, and his involvement in church. He is also a pilot who loves to fly often, and is pursuing numerous ratings and certificates in flight school.
Elena Korchak holds a D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts) degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her M.M. (Master of Music) and B.M. (Bachelor of Music) degrees - are from the Gnessin State Academy of Music, Moscow, Russia. She has combined performing and teaching piano in various capacities for over 25 years.
Concert appearances throughout the United States and Europe have brought her numerous awards, most notable is the First Place for the Best Collaborative Performance ("Voices of Russia" auditions, 1988). She collaborated with such well known artists as cellist Alexander Rudin, the Bronze Winner of the Tchaikowsky International Competition in Moscow. Dr. Korchak has seven certificates of achievement for artistic talent, including an Honorable Certificate from the Senate of Texas (1995). She is a member of the College Music Society (CMS), American Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC).
Elena, in addition to being a faculty member here at Music/Arts Institute and an instructor of the students at our After School Enrichment Music Program at Barstow School is also a faculty member at Blue River Community College. In her teaching Elena has a strong commitment to excellence. She has prepared students for local, state, regional, national and international competititons. Her students regularly participate in MTNA's Fall Festival and Achievement auditions, as well as in District and State auditions and other events.
Cynthia Simmons has taught music for over thirty years in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri. She has been a choral instructor on the high school, middle school, and elementary levels, as well as a teacher of elementary general music, grades 1-6, music appreciation and private piano and voice lessons.
While in Michigan, Cynthia directed the Troy Honors Choir, an auditioned group of 4th-8th graders from the Troy School District. She also served as a choral and vocal solo adjudicator for the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, including the state solo contest to choose the Michigan Youth Arts finalists.
Cynthia’s choirs, ensembles and piano and voice students have won many superior ratings and awards over the years. In 2003 one of her vocal students was a finalist for the Michigan Youth Arts Award. She has a long track record and reputation for encouraging students to continue in music and for rescuing students who would have otherwise quit. She also has a reputation for transforming choirs and improving tonal production.
Cynthia began teaching private lessons at MAI in 2005 and was chosen by Millicent Daughtery in 2008 to direct the Young MAIstersingers. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Educators, and the Missouri Music Educator’s Association.
Cynthia was taught and mentored in piano by the internationally renowned piano teacher and Interlochen faculty member, Lawrence Morton. She believes that part of the success of teaching piano involves a vast knowledge of repertoire and matching the repertoire to the temperament to the student. She has experimented for years with the idea of finding just the right piece to encourage the student to want to practice. She aims to expose each student to all periods of piano literature as well as giving them a strong foundation in technical development and music theory. Every year she has had several students represented in the MAI Honors Recital.
Cynthia’s philosophy of choral and vocal music instruction includes the idea that every child has a singing voice and can be assisted in discovering that voice. She loves teaching the middle school age because this is the age when many students get discouraged and quit music. Cynthia has had great success with mentoring and counseling students through this stage and seeing them continue their musical careers throughout high school, college and beyond. She has particularly studied and experienced success with boy’s and girl’s changing voices. She also believes in using music, particularly in the choral setting, as a vehicle for teaching character development and principles.
Presently, Cynthia also volunteers as the vocal coach for the Kansas City Girls Choir. She loves staying in touch through Facebook with many former students who are music teachers, music ministers, opera singers, and continuing music lovers.