mas·ter·y/ˈmast(ə)rē/ noun 1.) comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.

Our team of expert instructors is crafted with this definition of mastery at the forefront of our mind. We pick our professionals because of their education and experience, and keep them on board because of their commitment to your growth. This is where we refuse to compromise, and you won’t find a team like this staffing your ordinary lesson studio. We pick the best and make their profit our business, so that they can make your success their business. Let’s grow places.

Kate Bankston

Teaches: Piano, Voice, Theory, & Songwriting

Kate is the owner and founder of Transience Coaching. After spending six years teaching for a lesson studio in Columbia, SC, she decided that there had to be a third option for musicians and students. Thus began Transience–the Airbnb of music lessons. Kate has a degree in piano performance and music education with a vocal emphasis from Columbia College. She began playing at age twelve, and is passionate about music literacy and the therapy that playing an instrument can provide each student. The deep conviction that music is not only for the elite and a belief that musicians should earn a competitive wage based on their proven experience are the pillars of Transience–both things that her teacher from Louisiana instilled as Kate apprenticed and began teaching at age sixteen while still in high school. You can catch her band DownTime playing around town and find her singles (and soon album!) on Spotify and other streaming platforms. Her biggest hope is that together, we can grow places.

To Contact Kate, Email:

Nick Kervin

Teaches: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Guitar, Ukulele, & Theory

Nick currently studies under Bert Ligon and James Ackley at the University of South Carolina, where he is pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies. He has performed with many different ensembles during his time at USC such as the Left Bank Big Band and Carolina Alive Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Outside of school, he regularly performs and records around Columbia as both a trumpeter and guitarist. Nick hopes to build a career as a versatile performer, and to use this experience to create a fun environment where students can pursue their own musical goals.

To Contact Nick, Email:

Arlington Akers

Teaches: Piano, Organ, Bass, Guitar, & Music Production

Multi-instrumentalist, Arlington Akers is an evident master of the piano through his dexterity and deeply intuitive playing. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Benedict College with a bachelor’s degree in music performance, he taught group piano at Carolina School for Inquiry, providing each child an introduction to music in an atmosphere of creativity and kindness. Through teaching he gives students solid skills and a voice of expression as they navigate music and life. Playing gospel music in church at age nine, he brings a vast breadth in the diversity of his expertise–from classical to country to jazz. Additionally, his foundation in theory, composition, and arranging facilitates his work as a producer for clients all over the Southeast. Arlington has accompanied national and international artists and Stellar Award winners Jonathan Nelson, Angela Christie, Daniel Johnson of Israel Houghton and Newbreed, Chad Chambers and gospel recording artist and songwriter, John Lakin.

To Contact Arlington, Email:

Sebastian Strevens

Teaches: Saxaphone & Woodwinds

Sebastian Strevens is a jazz saxophonist in pursuit of a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management, while minoring in Jazz Studies. He strives to maintain an active schedule in music by performing in multiple groups such as the Left Bank Jazz Band, The Left Bank Combo, and Station Seven Band. Sebastian finds the most enjoyment in playing music for others that also find music to be an essential part of their lives.

To Contact Sebastian, Email:

Robert Wilkinson

Teaches: Piano, Voice, Songwriting, Bass, Strings, Guitar

Based in Columbia, SC, Robert graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2018 with a degree in Music Composition, as well as a certificate in Vocal Performance. Growing up in Augusta, GA, Robert began piano lessons at a very young age and continued through middle school, where he also began playing cello, bass guitar, and acoustic guitar, and singing in the grammy-nominated Davidson Fine Arts Chorale. During this time, his experience with classical music, as well as his passion for the driving rhythms and aggressive tone of modern rock set the stage for a pursuit of furthering education in the form of private lessons, as well as attending college for music. While at USC, the influence of minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich combined with his desire for driving rhythms and powerful harmonies, Robert composed pieces performed by the Spark Ensemble, as well as the USC Symphony. Along with his schoolwork, Robert also began playing in multiple original and cover bands around Columbia, regularly performing at venues such as the Tin Roof, New Brooklyn Tavern, Wild Wings, and the White Mule. His current project, the Unapologetic Kind, is currently booking shows throughout the southeast and has recently released their debut album online, No Hard Feelings. In addition to working with different musical groups, he also performs solo for weddings and special events, teaches privately, and is in training to become a Registered Piano Technician. Along with his wife, Zoe, Robert is very involved in his local church, Midtown Fellowship, where he helps to coordinate and play for various worship services and ministries.

To Contact Robert, Email:

Erika VanDriel

Teaches: Drum Kit & Percussion

Erika VanDriel is a passionate teaching artist from Greeley, Colorado. Erika constantly keeps a full schedule of students and performances as she balances her varied career as an educator, local musician, and mother of three. After graduating with a music education degree in percussion from Colorado Mesa University in 2014, Erika relocated to Columbia, South Carolina, where she quickly joined the local music scene as a percussionist and drummer. She taught at St. Joseph Catholic School for a few years, and currently, she teaches percussion and world music at Dent Middle School. You can catch her playing every Sunday evening at Jewels Lounge with Antron Rearden and the “It’s All Good Band”, while also occasionally pinch hitting as the drummer for the Columbia band, DownTime and sitting in at Pearlz Upstairs and other jazz jams around the city. Her sound sits deep in the pocket and can be described as a synthesis of creativity, taste, and essentialism with playing that adds to the momentum and artistry to whatever group she is playing for without dominating the or monopolizing from behind the kit.

To Contact Erika, Email:

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