OUR Teachers

Meet Kate Owner of Mosaic String Academy

TEACHER KATE — photo credit Nathan Khalsa

TEACHER KATE — photo credit Nathan Khalsa

Hello! I am a classically trained violinist with 15 years teaching experience. I teach from the classical perspective, utilizing many aspects of the Suzuki Method as well as my training in the Western Classical school. I believe the classical technique is the best vehicle towards playing beautiful and meaningful music of any genre on the violin/viola or cello. I also play and teach Old-Time fiddle and improvisation techniques. I am always curious to explore all kinds of music!

I believe that everyone and anyone can learn to play an instrument. This is also the fundamental principle of the Suzuki Method. I endeavor to make learning all styles of music fun, easy and accessible.  It is also my job to teach beautiful tone, technique and good practice habits. In the end, I wish to teach artistry.

I am so thrilled to present Mosaic String Academy. I have created this program in order to provide what I believe are the essential elements that will engage people of all ages, maintain the beautiful tradition of these instruments and prepare students for whatever future they desire with music. There is a modern movement with professional and amateur players to explore and reinvent how strings are involved in art and music. At Mosaic, students receive private instruction in classical technique and repertoire while also playing in monthly group classes where we explore music in genres such as mariachi, fiddle, blues, pop, improvisation, jazz, eastern European and songwriting. It is crucial that the players of today experience the different environments where strings belong, and find in their own hearts where their music fits into the greater picture. At Mosaic we strive to help students tap into the timeless and worldly nature of these instruments. We strive to help each student find their own voice with their instrument and experience what it’s like to share this with other players of their age group. It is my passion to provide a fun and nurturing environment where this unveiling may occur.

I come to this place honestly. I have played violin and sang in various rock/pop and folk bands in Portland, OR. I have toured the US and Europe with numerous groups and record with many different projects. I have played with the Tillicum Chamber Orchestra. Currently, I am writing and singing song with my guitar. I’m a happy Momma to an 8 year old boy, a dog and a cat. Contact: kate@mosaicstringacademy.com

Mosaic has opened a new world of musical exploration for our son. Kate has a warm, supportive approach to private lessons that call on her deep musical and teaching talents. The variety of opportunities to play with other students in small groups, and especially the pop orchestra, have made lessons and performing challenging, engaging, and fun.




Alexis Mahler holds a bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from Lawrence Conservatory of Music. She currently teaches violin and cello lessons at the Community Music Center in Southeast Portland and is a teaching artist with the Bravo Youth Orchestras in North Portland. While she loves playing classical chamber music and symphonies on violin, she also enjoys performing in more alternative settings and ensembles. As a cellist, she enjoys collaborating with fellow songwriters in Oregon, California, and back home in Michigan, and is currently experimenting with writing her own songs, some of which appear on her first solo EP, Low Moon, released November 2018. 

Alexis has always loved teaching music, and she truly believes in the power and importance of making music accessible to people of every age, experience, and style. Alexis’ teaching style is a hybrid of the Suzuki method and traditional styles. She believes it is important to present a holistic understanding of music theory and the instrument as soon as it reaches the hands of the student. Above all, Alexis is most passionate about teaching and working with the bright and fearless young musicians in her community. One of her strengths as an educator is her ability to connect with her students, which allows her to identify and facilitate the specific needs and goals of the student. She believes in every student she works with, and is always eager to find new ways to challenge her students and herself in a fun, safe, and focused learning environment.

In the rare moments Alexis is not creating, absorbing, or discussing something musical, you might find her spending time in nature or exploring this beautiful city.

Contact: alexis@mosaicstringacademy.com




Andrea began her musical experience as a violinist in Ashland, Oregon at the age of 11 where she had the privilege of studying with musicians of the Rogue Valley Symphony and Britt Festival Orchestra. She held the position of concertmaster of her high school chamber orchestra while also playing with the award-winning Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon. Since receiving her BA in Music from Portland State University she has been teaching at Micha-el Waldorf School in addition to maintaining her private studio and co-teaching with Kate O’Brien.

She maintains a busy freelance schedule performing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Portland Columbia Symphony as well as three touring bands. She has a wide array of experience performing with ensembles ranging from string quartets and pit orchestras, to bluegrass, country, electronic and progressive rock bands. Andrea is eager to teach students of all walks of life the joy of playing violin, viola, and piano. Contact: andrea@mosaicstringacademy.com



Jean Mastaler is a Portland based Violinist/Violist.  She performs both Classical and Contemporary music, and does studio work for various projects.  She is currently involved with groups such as the Portland Opera, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Newport Symphony, and local Orchestral Indie Rock band The Cabin Project www.thecabinproject.com.  While she primarily performs on strings, she also composes, sings, and plays guitar.  Although classically trained and active in the symphonic world, her improvisations and composition skills have led her to be a commanding voice on stage with folk/indie/rock groups, with a style that is mixed with Slavic and Classical roots.  Jean offers private lessons to students of all ages and skill levels.