Who We Are
Fostering Love for Music
Located in Camas, Washington, Perfect Harmony is a professional music program that provides lessons to those interested in a career in the music industry as well as casual music enthusiasts. Opened in 2014, Perfect Harmony was founded by Chris Merrill, former professional musician and award winning songwriter from Rockwood, Oregon, with the goal of establishing a music education program centered on the mantra: fostering a love of music will lead to a lifetime of creativity, self-expression, and critical thinking.
Perfect Harmony has a rich history of educating children and adults throughout our community. Over the past 3 years, despite covid closures, we’ve continued to grow our student population, added RockStar Academy band program for kids and adults, and developed a program specifically designed for students ages 3-8, Mini-Mozart KinderMusic. This past year, we had multiple students achieve all-state honors in choir, orchestra, and band, as well students being casted to leading and supporting roles in local plays and musicals. In years past, we’ve also had students participate on music programs such as The Voice and American Idol.
The hard work and dedication of our students is what makes our educational programs so successful. From halftime performances, to parades, concerts, contests, and the classroom, our students continue to excel in every aspect of the program. Our music programs and one-on-one lessons teach our students lifelong skills such as, discipline, strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, musicality, camaraderie, sportsmanship, respect, and self-confidence, to name a few. Perfect Harmony is highly respected and is crucial in building tomorrow’s leaders.
With an amazing ensemble of caring, passionate, and knowledgeable teachers, Perfect Harmony is the “perfect” place for your musical journey to begin, or continue.
Our Directors and Teachers
Vocal & Performance Director
Voice • Piano • Guitar • Bass • Drums • Ukulele • Violin • Performance Coaching • Music Therapy
RockStar Band Director
Guitar • Bass • Drums • Piano • Ukulele • Voice
Joe has been a professional musician for the last thirty years, and music instructor the last twenty. Joe has shared the stage with Ben Harper, The Barenaked Ladies, Mark Ford/The Black Crows, Harry Nilsson and Govt. Mule. Joe has taught guitar, bass, vocals, drums, and piano at Portland Community College, School of Rock, and PPS Creative Science School. He has also been involved in musical arrangement at a local theater program. Joe believes everyone is musical and loves to share his passion for music with his community.
Mini-Mozart KinderMusic Instructor
Piano • Guitar • Voice • Ukulele • Percussion
Voice • Piano • Guitar • Bass • Ukulele • Mandolin
Laura is a classically trained vocalist, studying opera first before branching into contemporary styles. Since her start, Laura has toured nationally as a songwriter and performing musician. Outside of private lessons, she has taught master classes in performance, songwriting, production and engineering. Outside of the classroom, Laura still performs regularly as well as working as a studio musician. Laura is also our in-house luthier and can service all your stringed instrument needs.
RockStar Associate Band Director
Guitar • Drums
First came the pots and pans. A 3-year-old Ian Engelsman would pull them out of the kitchen cupboard, bang and clang them for about half an hour several times a day. A couple years later, he turned to Ovaltine cans and paper plates that he wrapped in aluminum foil. He was also good at drumming on the back of the car seat to the rock music his father cranked up while driving. In the years since, Ian has poured his heart and soul into music, becoming an accomplished percussionist and guitarist, and earning his degree from Clark College. According to Ian, whether it’s playing jazz greats like Count Basie and Duke Ellington, orchestra and concert-band composers from classical to modern, or rock legends such as Pink Floyd and Metallica, interacting with students and having a good working relationship “helped me grow as a musician and a person.”
RockStar Band Mentor
Guitar • Piano • Ukulele • Bass • Drums
From North Louisiana and then New Orleans, Jason has made a career out of being a sideman in all styles of music. Well-versed in New Orleans music of all kinds, Cajun, and Zydeco, Jason has played with many big names such as Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, James Andrews, and members from the Irma Thomas band, just to name a few. Jason has opened for major label acts such as Morris Day and The Time, New Orleans funk legends Galactic, and Meters founding member Leo Nocentelli.
Teacher Spotlight – Ian Engelsman
Below is an article written about our very own Ian Engelsman. While all students that have interacted with Ian since he joined Perfect Harmony in October of 2022 understand how important Ian is to our school and RockStar band program, it's good to know where Ian...
Luthier Services Now Available
Perfect Harmony is excited to share the news that we will have an onsite luthier available for student repairs as well as offering services to members of our community. A price list will be available in the coming weeks for set-ups, pickup installs, and small...
10 Music Practice Tips
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, practice, practice!” You’ve heard that one, right? Well, it’s a truism that we shouldn’t forget as musicians. If you want to improve on your instrument, practicing is 90% of the process. (We’ll get into the other 10%...
RockStar Summer Band Camp Presale!
Our RockStar Band Camp is for all skill levels, ages 6-17. No experience necessary! Students will explore their instruments through musical games and activities. Our nurturing environment makes this the perfect camp for budding musicians.
Join our RockStar Ensemble & Performance Program!
We’re excited to kick-off our Spring season RockStar Band Program at Perfect Harmony. Being a part of a musical ensemble at school can be fun. But being part of a band is even more fun, and is something everyone should have the chance to take part in. The lights on...
Music Training Increases Brain Power and Language Skills
Ever wondered what impact music has on the brain? Consider this: Albert Einstein was a master violinist. His mother, also a talented musician, made sure musical expression was a part of the daily home life of her children growing up. Einstein himself began playing the...