The mission of KeySpark is to empower young saxophonists to be skilled, confident, self-guided artists by encouraging creativity, curiosity, and meaningful connections with like-minded peers. Through interactive learning experiences and curated online resources, KeySpark is the student’s inspirational and accessible springboard for all things saxophone.
Our Teaching Philosophy
The learning process looks different for each individual. In founding KeySpark, my goal as a teacher is to meet each student where they are and guide them as they leap hurdles and dream big. KeySpark presents a warm, enthusiastic environment for students to engage in skillful playing, thoughtful practice, and creative exploration.
We believe the study of music expands far beyond mastery of the instrument. At KeySpark, we teach comprehensively to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to grow into well-rounded artists and citizens. Students cultivate their sense of self, build valuable friendships, and realize their potential while becoming unique musicians.
Like any area of expertise, there are numerous routes to musical mastery and fulfillment. An important focus of our teaching is to grow the student’s curiosity and means of discovery. Through asking questions and finding creative solutions, students deepen roots of understanding and discover their own voice. With KeySpark, students collaborate and learn together as they ignite a lifelong passion for music.
You are welcome here. Each and every person is valuable to the success of KeySpark’s mission to empower one another through music and relationships. It is the policy and commitment of KeySpark that we do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression), national origin, native language, religion, or disability (mental or physical). We are committed to fostering a safe space for every individual to learn, grow, and share in the joy of music.
About Hannah Hickman
Founder of KeySpark
HANNAH HICKMAN is a Kansas City-based saxophonist and teacher inspired by connections to her students and community. Originally from a small farming town in Iowa, she has long desired to increase and enhance musical opportunities in rural and underresourced areas. KeySpark, founded in 2020 and inspired by her own experiences, creates an online space for motivated students to connect with like-minded peers, no matter the location or skill level.
Achieving success as a soloist, Hickman has been a prizewinner in competitions from the local to international level, including the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and the Pan-American Classical Saxophone Competition in Mexico City. She has been invited to perform in concerts, conferences, symposiums, and masterclasses across the country, including the Music for All Summer Symposium, Iowa All-State Music Festival, and YlnMN Project, among others.
As an educator with a K-12 teaching license, Hickman has experience teaching private saxophone lessons, woodwind sectionals, masterclasses, elementary music, marching band, and concert band. Her goal as an educator is to empower students to improve self-efficacy through music making, and to realize their immeasurable value as unique artists and persons.
Hickman holds degrees in saxophone performance and music education from the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. Currently, she is an Artist’s Certificate student at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, where she studies with Zach Shemon. Her previous teachers are Timothy McAllister, Preston Duncan, and Eugene Rousseau.