Originally from Georgia, Kari Engleson has lived throughout the Southeast and considers North Carolina her adopted home state. She studied piano in high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Brevard Music Center, and at the Tibor Varga Festival in Sion, Switzerland. She completed undergraduate studies at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin and graduate studies at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Her primary teachers have included Robert McDonald, Kathleen Murray, Ted Rehl, Catherine Kautsky, and Naomi Oliphant.
As Executive Director for Prairie Music & Arts, Kari’s role includes overseeing the day-to-day operations and development of the school. Prior to starting PMA in 1999, she taught at the Lawrence Academy of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, was a teaching assistant at the University of Louisville, and ran an independent piano studio in Louisville, Kentucky.
In addition to teaching group and private piano at Prairie Music & Arts, Kari is an early childhood group music educator. A belief that music making is for everyone regardless of age, background or ability, she has coordinated and taught music education grant projects for the American Family Children’s Hospital, The Foundation for Music-Based Learning, and the Sun Prairie Area School District.
During her varied experiences, Kari developed a strong belief that the arts are all interrelated and was fortunate to experience teachers, musicians and artists from around the world who greatly shaped her teaching and administrative philosophy. “I believe that the arts should be accessible and available to everyone. They fill us up as human beings, connect us, and give us means to express ourselves. It is my hope that Prairie Music & Arts will be that place for our community – offering a positive and holistic environment for artistic exploration, personal growth, and collaboration.” When not at Prairie Music & Arts, she enjoys paddling, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family.