Estar Cohen

My greatest mentors have opened pathways to discover my own voice in art and music. I strive to create an environment in which my students can take risks, work creatively, and most importantly, be themselves. As an educator, my promise to my students is that I will always be engaged and active in the music community. In other words, as you grow, I grow. I accept students of all ages (beginner piano, and beginner-advanced voice). My specialities include songwriting, arranging, and jazz performance. I work with what my students are interested in, whether it be folk, classical, pop, etc, while exposing them to new genres and techniques.

Some of my most cherished musical experiences have been alongside renowned musicians including Jon Hendricks, The New York Voices, Tad Weed, David Bixler, Vinny Golia, and Ken Filiano. Members of internationally recognized vocal jazz quartet, The New York Voices, have been instrumental in my growth as a jazz artist since I first received a scholarship to attend their vocal jazz camp in high school. When I began college, I met Michigan-based pianist Tad Weed who has continuously motivated me to be a true listener, and to feel empowered to create outside my comfort zone.
I received a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) from the University of Toledo where I studied with Weed, guitarist Jay Weik, and “father of vocalese” Jon Hendricks. Some highlights over the course of those four years include recording my first album, lyricizing the instrumental pieces of late jazz pianist Herbie Nichols, putting on clinics and concerts with my jazz quintet “Talking Ear” at Southern Michigan Universities, and exploring the art of free improvisation and improvised poetry with Weik. In 2015, I was a finalist in the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and in 2014, was given the Craig's Keyboard Student Composer Award.
Since my graduation, I have traveled as a performer and educator throughout the Midwest and in major cities including New York and Chicago. Notable performances have included New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall, Earthwork Harvest Gathering, the Toledo Museum of Art, Ann Arbor’s Edgefest at Kerrytown Concert House, and Michigan's River Street Anthology Project. In addition to private teaching, I teach group songwriting throughout the greater Traverse City area with MI based music label, Earthwork Music.
I am an avid writer, penning lyrics for Midwest jazz artists and for my own projects. My poetry has been published in Ohio Anthology, Bards Again 2016, and in Khroma Magazine. I greatly enjoy workshopping poetry and lyrics with my songwriting students, and encourage them to think about the impact words have in music.