Adult Piano Retreats

More information coming soon.

Inspiring and supportive instruction for adult amateur pianists

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts offers adult, amateur pianists an exciting opportunity to experience four memorable days of inspiring and supportive instruction and performance in a spectacular retreat setting in the Cascade Mountains near Leavenworth, Washington. The immersive program includes scheduled private lessons, private practice, master classes, individualized movement assessments, group Alexander Technique sessions, special topics, gourmet dining, optional outdoor activities and a faculty concert in Snowy Owl Theater.

No audition necessary. Limited to 12 participants.

$650 per person per retreat registration fee (includes 3 private lessons, 1 ticket to faculty concert, 2 master classes, 3 special topic sessions, and individualized physical assessments.

Registration requires a $325 deposit.  See cancellation policy below for details.

First come, first served basis. Once cabins are filled, alternate lodging in the area is available to you at your own expense.

$150/night single occupancy, $75/night double occupancy in cabins at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Limited spaces – first come first served basis. Sharing cabins (double occupancy) is encouraged.

Lodging will not be included in your registration total. Payment for lodging will be billed separately after housing assignments are finalized.

$260 for catered meals including four breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners; hors d’oeuvres at BYOB social hour; coffee/tea service and healthy snacks.

Other no-host options include conveniently located O’Grady’s Pantry and numerous restaurants/delicatessens in nearby downtown Leavenworth. Sleeping Lady’s Grotto bar available for cocktail hour and evening festivities (no host) and is within walking distance.

  • Steinway D concert grand
  • Steinway L
  • Kawai concert grand
  • Kawai grand
  • Yamaha grand
  • Kimball grand
  • Steinway K upright
  • Steinway Model 40 upright
  • Chickering spinet

Check in at 3 PM on day one, check out by 2 PM on day five. Retreat includes a final, participant’s private sharing of music followed by box lunch on day five.

  • $325 deposit required with registration.
  • Full refund less $50 processing fee 20 days or more before the session start date, after which no refund is given.


May Retreat

Brazilian born pianist, Geisa Dutra, specializes on exploring the rich piano repertoire from Brazil and Spain in addition to the traditional classical repertoire. Her teaching is based on musical and emotional understanding of the music score, emphasizing conscious and intentional practice, which allows for better technical solutions, performance ability and memory enhancement.

Composer and pianist Steven Luksan helps musicians of all ages dive into music with a balance of child-like wonder and intellectual curiosity. Steven’s teaching has been influenced by his training in the Suzuki Method and his years of collaboration with choirs and opera singers. He encourages pianists to internalize and embody the music as they explore the vast repertoire of piano compositions available to us.

October Retreat Faculty

Director Lisa Bergman enjoys exploring humor and enjoyment at the keyboard as a welcome balance to the demands of practice and the challenge of learning processes.   She advocates playing “for fun” whenever possible and encourages involvement with other musicians.  She focuses on expediting learning by embracing mindful, thorough practice.

William Chapman Nyaho brings a fresh view to the standard keyboard repertoire with works influenced by Africa, South America and the Caribbean with workshops advocating music by composers of the African heritage. He believes that Icicle Creek Center for the Arts Adult Piano Retreat program is an absolutely wonderful place to explore all aspects of music making in a safe environment. He hopes his work with retreaters will encourage confidence and joy in sharing music through holistic practice habits, discussion and implementation.

Both Retreats

Movement and wellness coach and assistant director Gayle Holeton encourages mindful exploration into optimal use of the body’s design for more ease, agility, strength and balance for pianists. An experienced private piano teacher, she embraces a teaching philosophy filled with humor and the joy of learning which she describes as “exploring a person’s boundaries to expand and live fully.”

Lisa B SOMA photo

Lisa Bergman

Program Director & October Retreat
A passionate promoter of classical music, Lisa Bergman is a national Gracie Award-winning radio announcer on Classic KING-FM streaming worldwide. A concert pianist specializing in collaborative piano and chamber music she is a graduate of the Juilliard School, Stony Brook University and the University of Washington, cum laude. A former member of the University of Washington Music Faculty, her discography includes six CDs.

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Geisa Dutra small

Geisa Dutra

May Retreat
Geisa Dutra is a Concert Pianist, Recording Artist, Master Teacher, Keynote Speaker and Producer. She is the recipient of Washington’s Focus Brasil Award, the 4Culture Grant Award and Artist Trust GAP Award. Geísa has recorded and produced 5 solo piano CDs: Brazilian and Spanish Piano Works; Chopin, Preludes; El Ultimo Tango – (Six Tangos by Astor Piazzolla); The Spanish Piano and her 2021 release : Gingando – 23 Short Pieces from Brazil.

As a subject of a documentary about her career, filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Geisa has also been featured on numerous magazines, newspapers, classical music radio stations, NPR and Television.

She has performed as recitalist and concerto soloist in Brazil, England, Germany, Belgium, United States and Canada. Her debut in Belgium was described as “A brilliant evening” (Woluwe News, Brussels) and England’s Nottingham Evening Post reported “It was a privilege and treat to hear pianist Geisa Dutra… a gorgeous range of expression.”

Additional awards include: the 1983 Johannesen International School of the Arts Award (Canada), the 1985 Cliburn International Institute Award (Texas), the 1986 Ladies Musical Club Award in Seattle, the 1985-87 Milnor Roberts, the 1988 Foster and Houts Awards at the University of Washington.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Geisa started her music education with her mother, pianist, music educator and composer, Isabel Yára Dutra. She has a Bachelor degree in Music from the Escola de Musica of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and received her Master of Music degree in piano performance at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Geisa served as faculty member at the Washington Academy of Performing Arts in Redmond, Washington, was a guest faculty and performer at Vitoria International Piano Festival (Brazil), taught privately in Germany, and has been a lecturer on multiple Music Teachers National Associations’ Conferences. Geisa Dutra is presently on the faculty at Music Center of the Northwest and also teaches at her private studio in North Seattle where she lives with her two black cats and two black pianos.

Steven Luksan small

Steven Luksan

May Retreat
Steven Luksan is a composer, pianist, and educator making music in Seattle, WA. He serves on the faculty of Music Center of the Northwest, is a teaching artist at Seattle Opera, and is the accompanist for the Seattle Mannskor (The Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle). He currently holds the position of Composer-in-Residence with the Northwest Edvard Grieg Society. Steven received a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from the University of British Columbia…

…and Bachelor’s Degrees in Music and Norwegian Language from the University of Washington. Steven is also a certified teacher in the Suzuki Method. Steven is an advocate for the performance of new and uncommon compositions (especially those by Scandinavian composers and female composers), and for the performance of chamber music in intimate settings. He is the founder and artistic director of the Saltwater Music Series (Des Moines, WA), a concert series dedicated to performances of local and off-the-beaten-path chamber music. More information about Steven is at www.stevenluksan.com.

Gayle Holeton

Gayle Holeton

Assistant Director / Movement & Wellness Coach, Both Retreats
An educator, private piano studio professional and Nia Black Belt teacher. She practices in Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Yoga, Martial Arts and Dance. Retreat focus will be mindful exploration into optimal use of the body’s design, for more ease, agility, strength and balance for pianists.


William Chapman Nyaho

October Retreat
William Chapman Nyaho, a Ghanaian American and resident of Seattle, studied at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University (UK), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Honour School of Music. He continued his piano studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, Switzerland, the Eastman School of Music where he graduated with his Master of Music degree, and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Chapman Nyaho is the recipient of prizes from international piano competitions. As a regular guest clinician, Chapman Nyaho gives lecture-recitals and workshops advocating music by composers of the African heritage. He has compiled and edited a five-volume graded anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, published by Oxford University Press. A first of its kind, this is intended to expand the performing repertoire of students and concert pianists, and also to supplement college keyboard literature courses.