Lessons Info

K.C. Strings Music Program Policy and Procedures.

Lesson Scheduling:


Private lessons may be scheduled with K.C. Strings or by contact with individual teachers.  Teachers choose their own days and time periods to teach.  We now have teachers in studio nearly every day of the week.

The studio is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sunday.

Most private lessons are 30 minutes once per week.  Longer lessons, group lessons, ensemble lessons, or a less regular schedule are available by arrangement.


Lesson fees :

The usual fee for a 30-minute lesson is $25.  Fees for longer lessons are prorated.

Ensemble and group lesson fees are set by the teacher in consultation with K.C. Strings.

Lesson fees are paid by credit card.  K.C. Strings charges for the full month's lessons at the beginning of each month.  K.C. Strings then pays the teachers.

Lesson fees are calculated by counting the number of lessons the student is scheduled to have within the upcoming month and multiplying that by the lesson fee.  Example: If a Monday student will have five lessons in a certain month and pays $25 per lesson, the charge would be $125.

Each teacher helps K.C. Strings to insure accuracy of fees charged by communicating 'days off', 'make up' or 'extra' lessons, or planned breaks from lessons. Example: If the teacher takes vacation or holidays, the student will not be charged.

Please be aware that to schedule lessons creates a commitment between you, the teacher and K.C. Strings. Regular attendance and payment of fees is necessary, both for you to make progress and because your reserved time period is not easily used by another student. 

Fee payment :

K.C. Strings will have your credit card number on file for all automated payments. K.C. Strings will automatically charge the fees for the upcoming month's lessons within the first five days of the month.

If a student's family prefers to pay by check, cash, or non-automated charge, there will be a $5 bookkeeping charge added to the base cost of each month's lessons.  Non-automated fees are due first lesson of the month. 

Non-automated 'late payments' are subject to an additional  $5 per week late fee per student. Please be aware that if lessons are not paid for, they will not be taught.

Any client who pays in advance for three months lessons will be granted a  5% discount from their fee, whether the fee is paid by credit card, check or cash.

If a scheduled lesson is not used due to non-payment of fees, the lesson time is forfeited and can be filled by another student.

Lesson cancellation and rescheduling :

K.C. Strings policy is that each student is entitled to one makeup lesson per school semester (fall and spring) and one in the summer.  However, some teachers are able to make up lessons when rescheduling is done in advance.  Twenty-four hours notice is minimum for the lesson to be rescheduled. 

Any lesson that is a "no-show" by the student or cancelled on the day of the lesson will not be rescheduled and the fee will not be credited.  This is because your lesson time is reserved for you, and last minute cancellation does not allow that time slot to be used by any other student.

Cancellation and rescheduling must be done through your teacher via his/her personal telephone or e-mail.  K.C. Strings staff will not take messages for teachers unless the message is for that day and the teacher is in studio.  Example: if you are running significantly late for a lesson or at the last minute cannot come, call as early in the day as possible - this is so that the teacher has as much opportunity as possible to adjust his/her schedule toward meeting your and other students needs.

(If your message is not given on the day of the lesson, K.C. Strings staff will ask you to contact the teacher directly.)

In case of inclement weather, illness, or other exceptional events:

K.C. Strings works cooperatively with teachers to determine if lessons should be cancelled either before the teaching day or in the middle of studio time. We will try to contact you about cancellations.  However, please call the studio if you need information before coming to a lesson.  Even if schools are cancelled, lessons are not automatically cancelled – check with the instructor and/or K.C. Strings.


Lessons cancelled by the studio or individual teachers (and not rescheduled) will be credited to you on next month's charges.


If the teacher is in studio and you choose not to come to lesson, no credit or rescheduling should be expected.

If you decide to cancel lessons or to take an extended break:

Please inform your teacher and K.C. Strings as soon as possible if you will be discontinuing lessons, so that another student can fill your spot. 

At least two weeks notice is necessary to no longer be charged for lessons.  An "Intent to Discontinue Lessons" form must be filled out and signed at the K.C. Strings shop desk.


Communicating with your teacher and K.C. Strings staff :


The teachers and all of us at K.C. Strings are most pleased that you have chosen to come here for your string instrument lessons.  We are happy to answer your questions about studio policies, your instrument, your schedule, your account or our policies (as well as your music and how to play!)  So if you have concerns, please ask.  We look forward to having you as our client for a long time to come.
Thank you for choosing the K.C. Strings music program.


The K.C. Strings teachers and staff


K.C. Strings Studio Violin & Viola Teachers
Susan Fuller
Bob Hagenbuch
Pat Ireland
Ethan Kuba
Naomi Miller
Joseph Toma
Violin, Viola
Violin, Viola, Composition, Theory
Violin, Viola
Violin, Viola
Violin, Viola
Monday Afternoon/evening & in Oalthe
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday &in North KCMO
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday afternoons
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Monday/Tuesday afternoons &evenings
Tuesday/Friday afternoons & Saturday
K.C. Strings Studio Cello & Bass Teachers
Jodie Fuentes
Rachel Fuentes
Gerald Spaits
Monday afternoon/evening
Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday afternoons/evening, Saturday
Wednesday & Friday afternoons

K.C. Strings studio lessons are at the Merriam shop - for available times please call (913) 677-0400
5842 Merriam Drive, Merriam, KS 66203

For Olathe & south Johnson County students:

Metropolitan Conservatory -- (913) 227-4642
15208 S Blackbob Rd., Olathe, KS 66062 (inside KCS Olathe shop)


Teacher Bios

Jodie Fuentes - Cello

Jodie Fuentes is a native of Springfield, Missouri and began studying the cello at age eight. In Springfield she performed with the Springfield Youth Symphony (principal cellist senior year), the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Drury College Orchestra. She also began teaching private cello lessons while still in high school. She left Springfield to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

Jodie Fuentes graduated from the UMKC Conservatory and received a Ford Foundation award to attend graduate school and participate in a graduate string quartet. This quartet traveled to various schools in the area to support non-string-playing music teachers with teaching string classes, to give some private instruction to select string players and to help teachers with recruiting new students. The quartet also performed extensively.

She is currently principal cellist of the Heritage Philharmonic and a long time member of the St. Joseph Symphony. She has performed with the Northland Symphony Orchestra, Northland Chamber Orchestra, Messiah Festival Orchestra, Civic Orchestra, and Liberty Symphony Orchestra as well as performing in trios and quartets in various venues across the area.

Susan Fuller - Violin/Viola

Susan Fuller received her B.A. in Music Performance from Sacramento State University. She received extensive Suzuki Violin training from San Francisco State University and from Suzuki Institutes across the country. A former violinist with the Sacramento Symphony, she is currently principal violinist with the Olathe Community Orchestra and a member of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Susan Fuller is an orchestra teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and has a home studio in Olathe.

Robert Hagenbuch, Jr. - Violin, Viola, Music Theory & Composition

Robert Hagenbuch, Jr. is a diverse musician with extensive performance, teaching and composition experience in both Kansas City and Northern California. Many of his students frequently gain first chair/first stand orchestral seating and are also awarded 'I' ratings at District and State Music Contest Festivals. From 1993 - 2008, Mr. Hagenbuch maintained a full schedule of private violin, viola and composition students at Antioch Music Center in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2009, Hagenbuch opened his own private studio, STRAD Enterprises, in the Northland. He also maintains a busy schedule teaching at the K.C. Strings Conservatory, where he is the annual Music Camp Director, and Events Coordinator. He has gained great respect in the music arena and is highly sought after as an inspiring and motivating instructor, clinician, adjudicator and commissioned composer.

As a violinist, Mr. Hagenbuch has performed with numerous symphonies, choirs and string quartets. During his California residency he was concertmaster of the Eureka Symphony, the Humboldt Symphony, the Humboldt Chorale Orchestra and the Humboldt Oratorio Society Orchestra. Mr. Hagenbuch played second violin with two, performing string quartets, 'Quartetto con Brio' and the 'Capiccione Quartet.' His ensemble experience also included singing lead tenor and descant with the Humboldt Men's Chorus of which he was assistant director.

In Kansas City, Mr. Hagenbuch performed with the Liberty Community Theater as the 'Fiddler' in Fiddler on the Roof, and in numerous collaborations with the Jacomo Chorale, Jeffrey Carter, director. He presented a violin recital in 1996 as a Music/Arts Institute, solo faculty performer. In 2002, Mr. Hagenbuch performed two violin recitals, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and as an invited concert series performer sponsored by the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral Summer Music Concerts. In July of 2010, Robert performed a violin & viola recital at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. The recital featured 3, World Premieres of Hagenbuch's string & piano compositions. Mr. Hagenbuch also co-organized and performed numerous recitals and events from 1996-1999 with the string quartet, 'Scherzo Strings.' In the Fall of 2011, colleagues collaborated with Mr. Hagenbuch to form a new string quartet, "Ad Astra String Quartet." The quartet premieres with two recitals in May of 2012, and plans to perform concert literature twice annually. In the spring of 2005, he became a member of the Liberty Symphony Orchestra, Tony Brandolino, conductor. Mr. Hagenbuch serves as Assistant Principal 2nd Violin, and Assistant Principal Viola with the Liberty Symphony.

Mr. Hagenbuch is a very active, prolific composer and receives frequent commissions for his original music. To date, Robert has composed over 200 works - solo, small ensemble, and large ensemble for all instrument and voice types. He is an internationally recorded composer, with ERM Media CDs, under the direction of Robert Ian Winstin. His principal composition teachers at Humboldt State University, Aracta, California, were Charles Moon and Duane Heller. He has presented six composition recitals solely of his own music with the most recent recital on February 3, 2007 at William Jewell College. Mr. Hagenbuch performs on 1992 K.C. Strings Krutz Violin, and a 2004 K.C. Strings Viola.

Naomi Miller - Viola/Violin

Naomi Miller studied the violin with Mrs. Eleanor Allen. She attended the Suzuki Institutes at Ottawa, Kansas and the International Suzuki Institute at Edmonton, Alberta.

After completing all ten Suzuki volumes, Naomi became interested in the viola and studied with Dr. Michael Kimber at the University of Kansas. She was the principal violist in the Kansas District Orchestra, principal violist in the Kansas State Orchestra, and principal violist in the Topeka Youth Orchestra. Her senior year in high school, Naomi was an exchange student in Germany and had a chance to study with Ms. Nabuko Imai in Detmold, Germany. She also toured with the Altena Chamber Orchestra in England and Germany.

When she completed her year in Germany, Naomi returned to the University of Kansas and earned her Bachelor's in Viola Performance with Dr. Kimber. She performed in the Undergraduate Honor's Recitals and was the principal violist in the Kansas University Symphony Orchestra. She also played with the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra and was the Professional Chamber Violist at the Ottawa Suzuki Institute Mid-Southwest Sound Encounters.

Naomi then earned her Master's in Viola Performance with Mr. Yizhak Schotten at the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, she was the principal violist in the Chamber Orchestra, principal violist in the School of Music Opera Theatre, principal violist in the University Philharmonia Orchestra, Pops Orchestra, Conductor's Orchestra, and the University Symphony Orchestra. Naomi also attended the Blanche Bryden Sunflower Music Festival at Washburn University and was invited to perform in the Visiting Artist Series at the University of Kansas.

Currently, Naomi Miller lives in Kansas City. She has a private studio and coaches string quartets. She was also the Conservatory Chamber Coach at the 2007-2008, K.C. Strings Summer Music Camps. She plays co-principal at the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City and freelances regularly in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka.

Pat Ireland - Violin, Viola

Instructed under Michael Ireland, Leopold Shopmaker, Paul Roby at K State, and Hugh Brown with the Conservatory of Music, UMKC.

He has been Concert Master of Wyandotte High School, 4th chair of All State Kansas Orchestra, member and soloist with Medical Arts Symphony and Kansas City Symphony. Pat is the founding member of Etcetra String Band Ragtime Trio as well as recording artist in the trio and folk rock group Missouri Woodland. He has appeared in Hollywood with Al Jarreau and and the Troubadour. Pat has won talent shows throughout Los Angeles including at the Palomino and has led jazz-rock fusion groups with original music, culminating with "Unbound" on Capri Records.

Pat has recorded for Berry Music and Enneagram Records "The Business of Pleasure" and "I'll Give you Paradise".

Pat has been a private instructor in Kansas City since 1973 with Suzuki/Traditional and American/Irish folk music as well as Jazz. He has been an instructor at K.C. Strings since 2004.

Joseph Toma - Violin, Guitar, Piano

Joseph Toma has been playing the violin since he was nine years old and has been teaching others the joy of playing since 1995. Joseph knows first-hand the help that a private teacher can give to students at all stages of their musical development. A graduate of the Fine Arts Institute of Baghdad, Joseph was trained in various styles of music.

While he is an experienced musician, having played with orchestras and bands and in recording studios in four different countries, his true passion is teaching his students. His philosophy of teaching music is to allow students to express themselves through their music. He believes that techniques can be taught in a variety of ways ' and through various styles of music ' so that the students develop a love for playing and for the violin. His current students play everything from Irish jigs to popular country songs to classical concertos.

In addition to the violin, Joseph teaches guitar and piano at K.C. Strings, his home studio and the Lydia Lovan Community School of Music, at William Jewell College. Joseph is part of the Liberty Symphony Orchestra, St. Joseph Symphony, the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, Park University Philharmonia, Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and plays in several ensembles.

Joseph enjoys playing a violin made at K.C. Strings.


.If out of state or far from Kansas City, you can contact me on Skype for Master Classes at all levels. Skype name joseph_toma.)


Gerald Spaits - Double Bass

Gerald Spaits, a native of Kansas City is one of the foremost jazz bass players in the Kansas City area. Gerald is currently on staff at The University of Missouri Kansas City, as the instructor for Jazz Bass under Bobby Watson. Gerald has enjoyed an active career with local jazz artists including Russ Long, Angela Hagenbach, and Tommy Ruskin. He has also performed with Kansas City jazz legends Jay McShann, Marilyn Maye, and Claude Williams. Appearing with national recording artists, Herb Ellis, Karrin Allyson, Kevin Mahogany, Gary Foster, and The Woody Herman Orchestra. Gerald debuted his own; self produced CD, Three Sides in 2000, and has since produced three additional CD's on the Passit Label; Never Let Me Go and Time to Go with the Russ Long Trio and The Westport Art Ensemble. A distinguished jazz musician, Gerald is well known as one of the “first calls” with many artists, and also performs regularly with several of his own groups, including The Gerald Spaits Trio and the Kansas City Bass Quartet, which he founded.

Gerald teaches both Classical and/or Jazz and has published two books on Jazz Bass, which are available at KC Strings.

Now available exclusively at KC Strings:
A Comprehensive Method for Jazz Bass Volumes I and II by Gerald Spaits

Learn how to play Walking bass lines, Jazz Theory and Improvisation.