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Hands of Dara Bean, playing at Asbury United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.

Faculty: Piano & Keyboards



Keyboard Department Chair,

Piano and Organ



Nevilla E. Ottley

Nevilla E. Ottley-Adjahoe has been teaching piano since she was a teenager back in the 1960s, when some students were in elementary school and others were in college. Since then she has gone on to get her own Music Education Bachelor's degree with in piano as her main instrument, and a Master of Arts with organ as her main instrument, and a Master of Music degree in conducting. Her earliest students are now all over the world in careers from teaching to law to medicine, engineering, ministry and various other careers including music performance. Her piano students have always rated very high in both the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and of the National Guild of Piano Teachers annual examinations and auditions.

Over the past 55 years, her piano, organ and voice students have taken (and are still taking) places of responsibility in the music world and other fields internationally. Most of them have gone on to colleges and universities around the world as students and professors, such as

  • Johns Hopkins University in MD,

  • Andrews University in MI, 

  • Western Michigan University,

  • Loma Linda University in CA,

  • University of Southern California,

  • Spelman College in GA,

  • Morehouse in GA,

  • Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.,

  • Columbia University in New York,

  • Ithaca College in New York,

  • University of Maryland,

  • Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL,

  • Duke University,

  • Howard University,

  • Berkelee School of Music,

  • Morgan State University,

  • Juilliard

  • Bethune Cookman College in FL,

  • Mannes College, NY

  • Princeton, NJ

  • Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica

  • University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago

  • Bowie State University and others.

Mrs. Ottley-Adjahoe makes sure her students learn the techniques, literature, ear-training and theory, and they participate in monthly recitals. Those who are more advanced are invited to perform in the quarterly concerts presented by Ottley Music School, and they also are given opportunity to serve in nursing homes, civic organizations, and church services of various Christian denominations. Many of Mrs. Ottley's students stay under the care of the Ottley Music School till they graduate from high school and move away to college. Then they or their children or parents later return to study.

She encourages all parents to enroll their children in a music lesson wherever you are in the world, because it is music lessons, especially piano, that is one of the large factors in enhancing the development of children's brains, giving them more facility in achieving top grades in the subjects that they study. It is a proven fact that those who study music attain at least 40% higher scores on standardized tests in all subjects.  Some of her students who have done well can be seen on the Ottley Music School Youtube.




Piano and Sax Teacher

David Byass at the Keyboard

David Byass comes from a musical family, with dad playing the piano and a bass singer, and brother Dominique as a trumpeter.  David started piano lessons at the age of 6, and despite moments of wavering enthusiasm, took quite a liking to it. However, his musical interests would soon expand further. As a result of hearing his older cousin, Courtney Fadlin, play saxophone in various concert settings, the desire to pick up the smooth-sounding instrument soon blossomed. Upon reaching the 5th grade, Mr. Byass started to play the alto sax, and piano was still a big part of his life. Throughout high school and college, he was exposed to jazz, R&B, and gospel, which greatly influenced his playing style on both instruments.

Mr. Byass attended Washington Adventist University, where in addition to playing in several different musical groups, he pursued a double major in both Music Education and Music Performance. He currently is the music director (directing the band and the chorus and general music classes) at Central High School in Prince George's County, Maryland.  He teaches Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano at Ottley Music, and plays a variety of gigs on both saxophone and piano, ranging from wedding receptions and studio work to church services and revivals.

NAOKO KAWASHIMA, B.Mus., Piano/Composer


Naoko Kawashima, piano teacher since 2008

Naoko Kawashima, piano teacher

Mrs. Kawashima with a National Guild Judge and student with her dad

Naoko Kawashima is a concert pianist, composer, and a teacher of piano music.  Hailing from Japan, she came to Ottley Music School in 2008 and brings a fresh new outlook in teaching piano.  Besides the regular "classical" music, Mrs. Kawahsima (formerly Maeda) performs jazz and has embraced the classical music of African American Composers as well.  She teaches students of all ages.  Photos 1 and 3 by Nevilla E. Ottley.  Photo 2 courtesy of Ms. Kawashima.


Piano and Voice


Piano and Voice teacher, Karla Rivera

Karla Rivera at Takoma Park SDA Church, with Min of Worship Anwar Ottley & 2 singers & Patrick McCoy

Karla Rivera singing

Karla Rivera playing the piano

Karla Rivera with Nolan Williams and another singer

  •     Ms. Karla Rivera joined the faculty of the Ottley Music School in June 2016 as a teacher of Voice and Piano
        She is also a Voice Teacher/Vocal Coach at Red Bridge Studios and Takoma Academy.
  • She also serves as Office Manager at The Takoma Park Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Online Teacher for Music Appreciation at Andrews University
  • Former Administrative Assistant at World Headquarters of Seventh-day Adventists
  • Ms. Rivera studied Vocal Performance at University of Maryland, College Park, receiving a M.Mus.
  • and Vocal Performance at the former Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, receiving a B.Mus.
    Other talents besides voice and piano, Ms. Rivera plays the violin, and has performed with the New England Youth Ensemble.

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