Dr. Hunter is an award-winning teacher and pedagogue, and has had students win and place in various state, national, and international piano competitions. She was awarded the StAR Award in 2008 by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for her "academic excellence, successful teaching experience and demonstrated leadership abilities", the Oscarson Grant from BYU in 2006, and was also elected to the Presidents Leadership Council of BYU in 2007 for her distinction in academic and musical achievements. Her students have gone on to compete, teach, and have been awarded scholarships to music programs at various colleges and universities. Student achievements include first place, alternate, and honorable mentions in the Arizona MTNA competition, followed by honorable mention in the Southwest Division MTNA competition; National Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program (awarded to students achieving the highest mark in the country on their playing and theory assessments); second and third place awards from The American Protégé competition resulting in performances in Carnegie Hall; and many other awards in local and state competitions. She has given masterclasses and judged festivals and competitions across the western United States. Dr. Hunter co-presented at The Forum of the International Association for Word and Music Studies: Music and Sexuality, and she is involved in research involving Norwegian folk music and its appearances in classical Norwegian piano works. She is the Founder, Owner, and Musical Director at Hammer & Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, AZ.



Hammer & Strings Conservatory exists to provide the highest level of music education. Our program immerses students in all aspects of musical art, including performance, collaboration, technique, history, theory, and pedagogy. We believe strongly in utilizing elite music teachers that musicians and parents can trust. They are trained in the art of teaching, and have extensive real-life performing experience at the collegiate and professional levels.


Each Conservatory hopeful goes through an interview/audition process before any instruction begins. This allows students to visit the site and meet in-person with faculty and staff. Teachers can assess a student’s current skill set and determine the best fit for classes and private instructors.


Policies and Procedures

Policies are in place to make sure that H&S is a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment for students and teachers alike.

Classes and Programs

Private lessons are the core of an elite music education. When paired with the benefits of group and class study, the results are far and beyond what can be accomplished by private study alone.