Teaching Philosophy

“What I love about music is that it can bring people together, change hearts and heal divides. Studying a musical instrument gives you the opportunity to create a routine, build coordination, concentration, and learn more about yourself and your own innate creativity. As you get excited about making a pleasing sound, performing with others, or even writing songs, you improve your skills. I promote having fun playing music! I teach lessons in an organic way catering to my students and their goals and interests. Music is my calling and I find it an honor to work with each student."

Tobi teaches kids and adults, all levels, a well-rounded approach to fundamental technique, tone, reading, rhythm, theory, improvisation, and practice habits. Inspiration taught here!

Tobi also draws from years of Yoga, Meditation and the Alexander Technique to help students with posture, breathing and body awareness. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, animals, volunteering, gardening, camping, sports, nature, and traveling.


Former students include members of the award winning Mt. Si Jazz Band at the Essentially Ellington Contest, Eastman School of Music graduate, University of Washington graduates in music education and performance, professional musicians in Seattle and New York.

Tobi grew up in Washington State, in a musical family, learning guitar from a young age. She started band in 5th grade on her Dad’s vintage Bundy clarinet. When she heard a professional saxophonist perform at her middle school, she fell in love with the sound, and had the opportunity to take lessons. She was blessed to have family and community support to continue studying music, taking saxophone and clarinet lessons through high school, picking up flute and piano studies at University of Washington where she graduated with a Bachelors in Music Performance, emphasis in Jazz Studies.

Tobi has studied with masters: Don Lanphere, Bert Wilson, Nancy King, Jay Thomas, Rob Schepps, Michael Brockman, Randy Halberstadt, Bill Smith/William O. Smith, Jordan Ruwe, Darren Motamedy, Paul Harshman, Cynthia Hughen, Ann Reynolds

Over last 24 years, Tobi’s performing career has spanned touring and recording with The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums in Europe and US from 2002-2007, Reptet Jazz Septet in the US from 2001-2008, to playing regularly at Benaroya Hall with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra from 2012-2015. She has played in dance bands, small jazz groups, and performed on live radio broadcasts KEXP, KPLU, and on t.v. KING 5. Tobi has appeared with Dave Brubeck, Kristen Chenoweth, Branford Marsalis, Anat Cohen, Meshiya Lake, Don Lanphere, Nancy King, and Bert Wilson. She has had the opportunity to play with The Seattle Symphony, The Tacoma Symphony, Clave Gringa, Septet of Darkness, Picoso, Choro Loco, Big World Breaks, Zubatto Syndicate, Cataldo, Kissing Potion, Publish The Quest. She is a former member of Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Thione Diop's Afro Groove, The Jefferson Rose Band, B'shnorkestra, Ann Reynolds Jazz Duo, Night and Day Trio, and Susan Palmer Jazz Duo.

Experience with these musical genres: Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues, Classical, Klezmer, African, Brazilian, Reggae, Pop, Folk, Electronic and Improvisational Music.