An active performer, researcher, and presenter, Kristen holds her Master of Music degree from Baylor University School of Music where she specialized in Piano Pedagogy and Performance.
She received both her Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and Associate of Arts in Bible at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, summa cum laude. Her primary teachers have included Professor Jane Abbott-Kirk, Dr. Amanda Lee-Hing, and Dr. Chan Kiat Lim. Kristen Neel is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in Piano by the Music Teacher's National Association and a certified MusikGarten instructor.
While at Baylor, Kristen held a dual assistantship as an intern teacher and assistant in the Piano Department and as an academic mentor in Baylor's Academic Support Programs. Her piano department responsibilities have included teaching applied lessons, group piano courses, MusikGarten classes, and Baylor's Piano Lab Program (a group and private lesson class for young community students). Additionally, she held the position of academic mentor in Baylor's Academic Success Programs. She has also previously held a teaching assistantship in the piano department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she began her graduate studies and taught group class piano.
Kristen possesses several years of experience in collaborative work, especially in the area of piano ensemble and duo performances. Her passion for music is not only seen through her Classical performances, but also through her experience with church music, Jazz, and other genres. Throughout her time at Southwestern, Kristen held a three-year position as the pianist for Southwestern's Jazz ensemble (receiving Outstanding Soloist award), and also as an Assistant Leader in the Chapel Worship department.
She currently serves as the worship pastor for a local church in the Dallas area where she
oversees all of the campus' worship experiences and directs both the church's instrumentalists and vocalists.
Her deepest desire is to inspire and encourage students and other colleagues in their musical journeys through inspirational performances, personalized lessons, and high-quality pedagogical research and presentations.