About Us

Our History - Our Team
  • Engaging young minds through interactive learning, music and arts

    About Illumination Learning Studio


    Since our first Illumination Learning Studio concept opened in the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge neighborhood in April 2013, it has been a privilege to share our business of educating school-age children in the arts within our local neighborhoods and communities. By presenting a fun and engaging cultural, performing and fine arts curriculum which includes instruction in music, drama, voice, and fine arts, we have had a positive influence in thousands of children’s lives.

    We are an independent family business, employing many specialty arts instructors and teaching staff who develop our proprietary arts curriculum to inspire students every day.  It is our mission to engage and enlighten young minds through our programs. We offer an exceptional mix of cultural arts and academic based learning to benefit a child in their social-emotional and educational development. Our team works hard to form strong and impressionable relationships with our students, encouraging a passion for learning that lasts many years to come.

    Community is important to us and that is why Illumination Learning is a member of the Phinney Neighborhood Association, formerly serving on the small business advisory board and the Ballard Alliance of Businesses. We are active in Ballard, Greenwood, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge participating in community events year-round and taking part in charitable giving to help improve the lives of everyone living in our community. 

  • Affiliations

    ParentMap 2017 Golden Teddy FinalistRed Tricycle Totally Awesome Award Illumination Learning Studio   2016 Golden Teddy   golden-teddy-2015   golden-teddy-2014   pna   red-tricycle   seattle-good-business-network   think-local   family-works   seattle-art-museum

  • Our Founders

    • Mike and Molli Piper
      Mike: Co-Founder, Molli: Preschool Program Director & Co-Founder

      Mike and Molli Piper

      Mike: Co-Founder, Molli: Preschool Program Director & Co-Founder

      Co-Founder and Preschool Music Teacher, Mike Piper has spent a lifetime immersed in music and has trained in a variety of musical instruments, with a primary focus and passion for piano. With a degree in Early Childhood Education and Music, Mr. Mike worked for 17-years as a Music and Cultural Arts Instructor for the Chicago Parks District, expanding their programs across multiple parks and teaching music to large numbers of students in the community. Mr. Mike pushes to make a positive difference in the lives of his students by encouraging musical exploration through movement and delivers one-on-one private lessons as well as instructing our music staff.

      Co-founder, Preschool Program Director and Lead Pre-K Teacher, Molli Piper follows the philosophy that Early Childhood teachers lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Molli holds a Type-04 Early Childhood Teaching Certificate and has over 15 years of experience teaching Preschool age children. The Early Childhood curriculum she has refined for her classroom promotes advanced reading, writing, math and language skill development in our youngest students. Her teaching strategy is to provide children with hands-on, engaging learning experiences, that are fun but also serve to challenge students to use their “higher order” thinking skills.

  • Our Business Office

    • Will Piper
      Director of Operations

      Will Piper

      Director of Operations

      Will holds a MBA with a HR Management focus from Central Michigan, and a BS in organizational Leadership from ASU. Will has over 7 years experience teaching music privately, and has provided music lessons at Illumination Learning Studio since its opening in 2013. Will works to support all ILS staff as they create environments of learning that allow students the opportunity to explore and create in the different art forms. He strives to provide a structured environment of progression and creative exploration in hopes that he can instill understanding, passion and love for the cultural arts in the students at ILS.

  • Our Creative Arts Team

    • Taylor McKinnon
      Creative Arts Instructor - Drama

      Taylor McKinnon

      Creative Arts Instructor - Drama

      Taylor enjoys using the performing arts to provide a space for students to explore and express themselves in a safe and supportive environment. In drama class students get to explore a variety of creative topics such as: Improv, Shakespeare, film making, directing, etc. It is Ms. Taylor’s biggest goal for students to find their creativity and grow their confidence through these interactive lessons.

      “ILS’s Drama class allows students the opportunity to explore many different areas of the performing arts, and I enjoy encouraging them to explore these ideas and watching find their own ways of self-expression.”

    • Bridget Kirk
      Creative Arts Instructor - Dance

      Bridget Kirk

      Creative Arts Instructor - Dance

      Bridget attended East Carolina University for her undergraduate studies, earning a BFA and teaching license in Dance Education, as well as a teaching license in Special Education. In summer of 2022, she obtained her MA in Dance with a concentration in education from Texas Woman’s University. With her background in Special Education, she has a true passion for cross-curricular integration – teaching writing, math, science, etc. through creative movement. Through her dance classes, she hopes to develop students’ motor skills, critical thinking skills, self-confidence, abilities to work in groups, and appreciation for what other people have to offer us through movement.

      “The space in which I teach is a safe space where risks are rewarded, not for their success, rather for their bravery of their attempts.”

    • Cindy Winemiller
      Creative Arts Instructor - Fine Arts

      Cindy Winemiller

      Creative Arts Instructor - Fine Arts

      Cindy Winemiller studied Fine Arts at Washington State University where she specialized in Graphic Design. She spent the next twenty years working in advertising as an Art Director, where she collaborated with some of Seattle’s most creative writers, photographers and illustrators. She stepped out of the workplace to raise her two daughters and soon realized how much fun it was to teach and explore art with them. Soon she was subbing for their art teachers and taught several summer art classes for children. She is thrilled to bring her knowledge and love of art to the students of ILS!

      “Visual Arts classes will provide students the opportunity to advance their art skills, ignite their imagination, and deepen their art history knowledge, through painting, drawing, sculpture and collage. With some fun crafty stuff sprinkled in along the way!”

  • Our Site Supervisors

    • Syd Hernandez
      Site Supervisor at Greenwood Studio

      Syd Hernandez

      Site Supervisor at Greenwood Studio

      Syd Hernandez graduated from Champlain College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Media in Burlington, VT in 2021. Originally from New York, Syd now lives in downtown Seattle with a growing garden of indoor plants. They love comics, tea, and keeping the arts accessible and enjoyable for all ages!

    • Yi Lin Naumman
      Site Supervisor at K-1 Extension Classroom (WPUMC)

      Yi Lin Naumman

      Site Supervisor at K-1 Extension Classroom (WPUMC)

      Yi Lin studied Computer Information Systems at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Originally from Beijing China, Yin Lin currently lives in Ballard with her husband, two sons and dog Paulie. She is passionate about children and education, and strives to create a fun, supportive and safe environment for her students.

    • Jordan Taylor
      Site Supervisor at Ballard Studio

      Jordan Taylor

      Site Supervisor at Ballard Studio

      Jordan grew up in North Carolina, but is excited to be back in Seattle for the second time!

      She was previously an assistant at the ILS Locks Studio, and has since worked as a Youth Services Library Assistant, a first grade TA for the NC public schools, and most recently run an aftercare classroom at a private school.

      When she’s not teaching, she’s probably working on her second novel or gardening with her corgi, Ein.

  • Contact Us

    Contact us for enrollment information or to schedule a tour