About Our Teachers

Mrs. Karen Shaffstall

I began my music career at the age of 8 by taking two years of private piano lessons. Playing the piano came easily for me so my mother encouraged learning another instrument and the trumpet (cornet) was added to my study.  I basically taught myself how to play these instruments and thus the love of music lead me to excel throughout high school and then to West Chester University as a Music Education major.  I became a cornet soloist playing with a few of the country’s best brass bands and studied with principal trumpet Phil Smith of the New York Philharmonic. I have taught music K-12 in public and private schools, conducted a 100+ chorus and 35 piece brass band, taught piano and orchestral instrument lessons in music studios, and eventually had my own private studio of 50 students. I continue to play cornet with the world-famous New York Staff Band having just returned from a tour of Japan (pre Covid), continue to serve as a piano/organ accompanist and conductor of various vocal groups. My expertise in recognizing and analyzing the music potential in each person and teaching and motivating them to utilize those skills continues to bring me great joy and satisfaction.