About Me

Hi, my name is Pat Kilmer, and I teach music in and around Olympia, WA.

Here’s a little of my history and philosophy:

Making Music:
My earliest memories include strolling down country roads with my siblings, singing Go Tell Aunt Rhody and The Ants Go Marching One by One, and singing along with their transistor radio to fresh Beatles tunes.  One sister taught me to read music when I was 5 so I could play our electronic organ. I played pieces from my family’s lesson books, songs by ear, and gathered knowledge and skills from friends, and family until I was 14. That winter, I received the unbelievable gift of a piano and lessons – which I devoured, practicing 2 to 3 hours almost every day.  A few years later, without the funds for tuition, I continued learning without a teacher – just more slowly. During that period, I took up guitar, coached by another sister. As a teen and young adult, I translated piano music to guitar, guitar music to piano, composed songs, accompanied school choirs on piano and my church choir on guitar, sang harmonies with my musical friends, took guitar lessons and college music theory classes. I played at weddings, sang around many campfires, and continued exploring my chosen instruments.

Teaching Music:
When I moved to Olympia in 1994, I took another year of piano lessons and started teaching a few students here and there, which became my full-time profession 15 years ago.  I recently studied 3 years with a master teacher, and I participate in hosting competitions, musicianship testing, and recitals with the Olympia Music Teachers Association. I regularly attend state and national conferences and professional webinars. The learning and comradery I experience at those events and at our local association meetings continues to nurture my growth as a music teacher.

Teaching Philosophy:
I believe that anyone who wants to play music, is committed to a year of lessons, has a supportive family and a consistent practice routine can become a satisfied, successful musician. I want to help students reach their potential as musicians, realizing that I am part of the learning team: a teacher-guardian-student team. I, as teacher, (mostly) control what happens at lessons, going with the flow when necessary. Guardians of school-age students (mostly) have control of practice environment and scheduling, taking into account siblings, economics, student’s habits, and other demands on their time. Students (mostly) control their practice habits and attitudes, with their social, emotional, and physical abilities effecting the outcome.

I use structured method books, rote learning, improvisation, composing, internet tutorials, games, and music literature to design and implement individualized lessons for my students. We all learn differently, and I seek out the most effective means for each student. This takes time and careful assessment of a student’s abilities, home support, lesson time behavior, and attitudes and culture around learning by practicing.

My vision for Pat’s Music Studio is to meet my students where they are and to guide and inspire them toward increased musical creativity, artistry, and enjoyment.

My mission is to guide my students of all ages in the exploration of music-making with authenticity, enthusiasm, and humor.

Use the Contact Me page to get in touch if you have a student who is interested in beginning their journey in learning music!