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Instructors

  • Melody Balos

    GROSSE POINTE

    Vocals

    Melody Balos is a dedicated and passionate jazz vocalist and educator with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University. With extensive experience as a performer, she has captivated audiences with her diverse repertoire of jazz standards and contemporary music. Melody also excels in teaching, providing private vocal coaching and mentoring to aspiring jazz vocalists. Additionally, her tutoring expertise extends to subjects such as English, Literature, Essay Writing, Psychology, and Italian. Her talent and dedication have earned her awards, including being a finalist for Classical Voice at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Melody brings her knowledge and leadership skills to Grosse Pointe Music Academy, where she is committed to inspiring and guiding students of all ages and skill levels in the art of jazz and classical vocal technique, composition, and improvisation.


  • Curtis Godzisz

    GROSSE POINTE LOCATION


    Guitar • Piano • Bass • Ukulele • Voice • Drums



    Curtis Godzisz is a distinguished music instructor at Grosse Pointe Music Academy in Michigan, bringing a wealth of experience and a diverse musical background to his teaching. With a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Classical Guitar Music Performance and a concentration in Music Composition from Oakland University, Curtis’s expertise spans a broad spectrum of music—from the intricate compositions of Bach to the hard-hitting riffs of Slayer.

    Since beginning his music educational path in 2000, Curtis picked up the guitar in 2004, expanded his skills to include vocal training in 2008, and embarked on his teaching career in 2010. He is passionate about helping his students achieve their full potential, emphasizing that with dedication and the right guidance, anyone can excel in music.

    Curtis’s love for exploring different genres keeps his lessons engaging and versatile. He believes in facing the unique challenges each style of music presents head-on and encourages his students to do the same. As an instructor at GP Music Academy, Curtis teaches guitar, vocals, bass, piano, and drums, catering to a wide range of interests and skill levels.




  • Melanie Kelley

    Grosse Pointe Location

    Guitar • Piano • Bass Guitar • Ukulele • Voice

    Melanie Kelley is a passionate and dedicated music educator with a rich background in vocal and instrumental music. Beginning her musical journey at age 8, she has mastered various instruments, including piano, guitar, and her beloved bass, alongside developing her vocal skills. Her experience spans over a decade of writing, performing, and evolving with bands, one of which she remains an integral part of today. With two years of teaching experience, Melanie brings her extensive practical knowledge to her students, offering lessons in guitar, bass, keys, and vocals to students of all ages. Her teaching style is deeply rooted in the belief that music is a transformative tool for personal and communal enrichment, aiming to empower her students with the technical skills needed to express their unique experiences through music.

    Melanie specializes in a range of music genres, including indie, alternative, psych, and ambient, always eager to explore the limitless boundaries of musical expression. Her teaching philosophy is centered around the idea that music education should be an explorative journey, enabling students to discover their own voices while fostering a profound connection with music. One of her most cherished teaching moments was witnessing the pure joy of a young student improvising on the piano, a testament to the confidence and creativity Melanie encourages in her learners. For her, music is not just a career but a lifelong passion that has molded her understanding of the world and herself. She is committed to instilling a sense of wonder, love, and self-assurance in her students, guiding them towards achieving remarkable things through the power of music.


  • Paige Broadworth

    GROSSE POINTE CLINTON TOWNSHIP

    Piano

    Coach Paige is a piano teacher based in the Grosse Pointe area who aims to help students find meaning, wellness, community, and joy through music. With years of practice and study, including an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from Oakland University under Dr. Tian Tian and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from the University of South Carolina under Dr. Scott Price, Coach Paige has come to the conclusion that the main goal of music learning is exploration and discovery, with a focus on igniting the imagination and musical understanding of students.

    While studying with Coach Paige, students will have the opportunity to discover a wide range of repertoire including pop, jazz, classical, and even Broadway music. They will also learn about music theory, musical analysis, keyboard technique, ear-training, transposition, improvisation, accompaniment skills, lead-sheet reading, and sight-reading. However, Coach Paige recognizes that the lessons will not only be about these musical skills, but also about personal growth and development. Students will become problem-solvers, independent learners, disciplined time managers, and confident young artists. They will be encouraged to make their own musical decisions and take ownership of the messages they communicate through music, ultimately discovering the power of music to connect and unite people. To further support this, students are frequently invited to participate in seasonal recitals, RCM Exams, and Piano SAT Exams. Coach Paige eagerly awaits being your guide on this musical journey.


  • Aleks Starostka

    GROSSE POINTECANTON

    Saxophone • Clarinet • Flute

    Aleks Starostka is a saxophone teacher at Grosse Pointe Music Academy with a passion for helping students discover their musical abilities. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance from the University of Michigan, where he honed his skills under the guidance of renowned saxophonists. Aleks is proficient in a variety of musical styles, including jazz, classical, and contemporary, and he tailors his lessons to each student's individual interests and goals.

    With a focus on proper technique, sound production, and expression, Aleks helps students develop the skills they need to perform at their best. He encourages his students to explore different genres and experiment with their own creative ideas, fostering a love of music that will last a lifetime. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, Aleks is dedicated to helping you reach your full musical potential and have fun in the process.


  • Andrea Montlouis

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Piano • Voice • Ukulele

    Andrea was born into a family of artists; (both visual & musical). Her mother was a professional painter and her grandfather, a naval architect, emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s to beautify the city of San Francisco through ornamental architecture and sculpture. (see "Fire and Gold, the San Francisco Story" by Charles Fracchia, pp 208 - 210).

    Growing up in the Bay Area, Andrea was surrounded by music and musicians; in her early teens, listening to practice sessions - in her living room - by future members of the Van Morrison Band, Journey & Huey Lewis & the News - to name just a few.

    At 9 she picked up a Martin guitar from her neighbor and, with some pointers on harmony, chords and music appreciation from her older sister - began her musical journey, exploring myriad musical genres, including folk, jazz, gospel, pop, Asian & African styles.

    Shortly after graduating high school (and winning the Arion award for outstanding musical achievement) she was accepted into the Music Academy of the West to begin private vocal instruction under Martial Singher - a leading Baritone with the Metropolitan Opera. From there she continued her formal musical education, earning her BA in Music at Mills college, followed by performance oriented graduate studies at UCSD.

    Andrea's love for languages was further kindled as she began performing songs from Argentina in west coast venues. At this time she was also inspired to begin writing her own songs. Regarding the latter, a local music director is currently in the process of arranging one of her (Boogie Woogie style) kid's songs for children's choir, along with a special "Meet the Composer" event.

    As a teacher, Andrea finds great reward in sitting "right along side" her students, encouraging them in their musical progress every step of the way - where, even after the lesson ends, she continues to remain readily available throughout the week to answer any questions they may have about technique, choice of repertoire, song writing and/or performance opportunities.

    Additionally, through the joy filled and beautifully nuanced Hummingbirds Music Together program - Andrea is able to share her love of music, movement, languages and eclectic styles with children (from birth - Kindergarten) and those who love them.

    Andrea is currently accepting students of all ages in voice, piano, guitar, ukulele and the *Hummingbirds Music Together Mixed Ages class - so sign up today!

    Andrea's additional private instructors include: Allaudin Matthieu (Jazz, piano, theory and composition) and Pandit Pranath (Indian Raga).

    Andrea has also performed with the Jazz band "Downstream", Scott Thunes (from Frank Zappa) and James Trumbo (from Van Morrison).

    It's an evening class so feel free to wear your pajamas!!


  • Barret McKowen

    GROSSE POINTE

    CelloBass Guitar

    Barret McKowen is a cello instructor at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy. With a passion for the instrument and a strong background in classical music, he provides students of all ages with the guidance and training they need to develop their skills on the cello. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, Barret can help you refine your technique and reach your musical goals. With a focus on personalized instruction, he designs each lesson to meet the individual needs and interests of his students, ensuring a supportive and engaging learning experience.



  • Lilit Vanetsyan

    GROSSE POINTE • CLINTON TOWNSHIP

    Piano • Flute

    As a dedicated and passionate music educator, Lilit Vanetsyan is privileged to serve as a piano and flute Instructor at GPMA. Lilit holds a B.M in Music Education from George Mason University as well as a K-12 teaching license.

    With a remarkable decade of experience in the field of education, Lilit has had the privilege of instructing students in a diverse array of settings. Her experience includes teaching in public schools, summer music camp, directing pep band, running sectionals, assisting with band at a private school, creating a music program at a charter school, and teaching private music lessons.

    While she may have had students of different ages, one thing is for sure: everyone has a deep connection with music and the capability to emote through music. Lilit’s goal is to kindle her students’ creativity, foster their personal interests, spotlight their unique talents, and expand their musical horizon.





  • Bobby McManus

    Grosse Pointe Location • Clinton Township Location

    Guitar • Bass Guitar • Piano • Drums • Ukulele

    Bobby McManus is a talented musician and instructor who currently teaches at Grosse Pointe Music Academy. He has a passion for music and has dedicated his life to sharing that passion with others. With over 20 years of experience as a musician, Bobby has honed his skills and knowledge, and has become a highly sought-after instructor.

    Bobby is a versatile musician who is well-versed in a variety of musical styles, including rock, blues, jazz, classical, and more. He has a deep understanding of music theory, and he is able to share that knowledge in a way that is easy to understand and apply. Bobby is dedicated to helping his students achieve their musical goals, and he works tirelessly to make sure that each and every one of his students receives the individual attention and guidance they need to succeed. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced player, Bobby has the expertise and passion to help you take your playing to the next level.


  • David Day

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Piano • Ukulele • Bass Guitar • Drums

    David Day is a talented musician, composer and instructor with over 15 years of experience in the music industry. He specializes in teaching guitar, piano and drums, and has been helping students of all ages and skill levels to reach their musical potential. David is known for his personalized approach to teaching, where he customizes each student's lesson to their specific goals and needs. He emphasizes ear training and improvisation alongside a traditional approach to technique, providing a well-rounded musical education.

    David has been playing music since 2005 and has been performing since 2009, making him a seasoned professional in the industry. His background as a multi-instrumentalist has given him a unique perspective on the music-making process, and he is able to offer students a wide range of insights and techniques to help them grow as musicians.

    As a teacher at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy, David brings his passion for music and dedication to his students to every lesson. Whether you are a beginner looking to pick up an instrument for the first time or an experienced musician seeking to take your skills to the next level, David Day is an excellent choice for music instruction.


  • Dean DiPierro

    GROSSE POINTE


    Piano • Voice • Trumpet

    Dean DiPierro is an experienced Music Director with 20 years at Brother Rice High School and 38 years as a performing musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist with expertise in keyboards, trumpet, guitars, and percussion, and has served as a recording vocalist. Dean's understanding of analog and digital music systems adds to his versatility. He holds a Master of Music from the University of Michigan in jazz studies, piano performance, and composition, and a Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University in music theory and composition, along with piano performance.



  • Elise Komer

    GROSSE POINTE

    Violin

    Elise Komer is a talented and experienced music educator who teaches at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy's Grosse Pointe Woods location. She is passionate about instilling inspiration and confidence into her students, and her approach to teaching reflects her commitment to helping each student reach their full potential.

    With a Bachelor's of Music from Wayne State University, Elise has a strong foundation in classical music. She has studied with highly-respected violinists such as Gabriel Bolkosky and HaiXin Wu, and has performed with various ensembles including the Detroit Chamber Orchestra, the Macomb Ballet Company, and the Macomb Symphony Orchestra. Elise is also a versatile performer, having played jazz, avant-garde, and classic rock violin at venues such as the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Cliff Bells, and The Loving Touch.

    In addition to her classical training, Elise has completed the String Academy of Wisconsin's "Teaching the Violin to Children" workshop under the direction of Mimi Zweig, a renowned violin pedagogue. She has also completed the Suzuki Institute Book I Teacher Training workshop, and she teaches beginning piano students using the Suzuki Method. Elise's teaching style combines elements from both of these schools, with a focus on nurturing each student's mental health and overall well-being.

    If you are looking for a music instructor who is dedicated to helping you reach your musical goals and fostering a love for music, Elise Komer is an excellent choice. With her strong background in classical music, versatility as a performer, and commitment to student growth, she is sure to provide a supportive and inspiring learning experience.


  • Emmanuelle Baker

    GROSSE POINTE

    Voice

    Emmanuelle (Elle) Baker is a dedicated and experienced music instructor at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy. She graduated from Wheaton College's Conservatory of Music in 2010, and has since gained a wealth of experience contributing to her growth as a music teacher.

    During her time in Chicago, Elle became interested in coaching other singers, and held positions at the British International School of Chicago where she taught group lessons and was involved in individual projects as part of a larger music curriculum. She also supported the school's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and worked as an after-school teacher at a public school, teaching elementary students music history.

    Through her work with Lessons At Home, Elle gained experience teaching private voice and piano lessons to students of all ages. She also worked with adults with intellectual disabilities at L'Arche Chicago, where she learned how to individualize lessons to suit different types of students and their learning abilities.

    If you are looking for a music instructor who has a passion for teaching and a wealth of experience working with students of all ages and abilities, Elle Baker is a great choice. With her background in music education and performance, and her commitment to creating personalized lessons to suit each student's needs, she is sure to provide a supportive and engaging learning experience.


  • Hans Barbe

    Hans Barbe is a skilled and dedicated music instructor who specializes in teaching piano and vocals. He has received his training from the prestigious Cincinnati Music Conservatory and has been honing his craft as a teacher for several years. With a deep understanding of music and the ability to break down complex concepts into simple terms, Hans is well-equipped to guide his students towards their musical goals.

    At the heart of Hans' teaching philosophy is a focus on creating a supportive and positive learning environment. He believes that each student is unique and deserves a tailored lesson plan that caters to their individual needs and aspirations. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, Hans is committed to helping you reach your full potential.

    Along with his expertise in piano and vocals, Hans places a strong emphasis on ear training and improvisation. He believes that these skills are crucial for all musicians, and will help his students build a stronger appreciation for music and a deeper understanding of their instrument.

    If you're looking for a passionate and experienced music instructor, look no further than Hans Barbe. With his engaging teaching style and personalized approach, he is sure to provide you with a rewarding and challenging musical journey.

    Hans Instructs in-person lessons in Nokomis, Florida.


  • Holly Matthews

    GROSSE POINTE

    Piano

    Holly studied classical piano for six years at Interlochen Arts Academy—four years as a boarding scholarship student and two years privately with Charles Asche. She then moved to San Francisco, where she got her B.A. in English from San Francisco State University and her M.F.A. in Dance from Mills College. She was a ballet accompanist for 10 years at universities and professional ballet companies, including LINES Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco, and Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. Holly has taught piano and/or dance for many years in various settings: privately, at studios, universities (Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University), and University Liggett School.

    Holly has completed the Level 1 piano pedagogy certification course through the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She is currently pursuing her M.M. in Piano Performance from EMU. She has created, and directs, a glockenspiel/xylophone music program for seniors at Beaumont Commons in Dearborn, and believes that music study can be rewarding, beneficial, and therapeutic for all ages and levels. She is an instructor of classical piano at Grosse Pointe Music Academy and provides a nurturing learning environment that seeks to foster a love of music in her students, which she feels is the foundation for learning.


  • Jake Schwandt

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Bass Guitar • Piano • Drums

    Jacob Schwandt is a Detroit-based jazz guitarist and producer. He has performed professionally since the age of 16 and has shared the stage with many well known artists including Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, Wendell Harrison, Jerry McKenzie, Marion Hayden, Greg “Vibrations” Williams, and Pamela Wise, among others. Jacob is currently a member of Wendell Harrison’s group, Tribe, who perform regularly throughout Detroit. His recorded contributions can be heard on releases by Wendell Harrison, Pamela Wise, and Black Shampoo.

    Jacob is a student of Steven Carryer and holds a BFA in Jazz Guitar Performance from Wayne State University. He believes that education is important and has dedicated his musical talents to teaching students of all ages, and to inspiring the next generation of musicians. He is currently working on two unique projects. Empyre Blue features all of Jacob’s original music in large group ensembles, pulling from jazz and funk influences. Jacob also produces a solo electronic and vocal set which he performs under the name Space Junky.


  • Jim Barretta

    GROSSE POINTE LOCATION

    Drums

    Jim Barretta is a highly experienced drum instructor with 19 years of teaching experience at Grosse Pointe Music Academy. He is well-versed in all styles of drumming and can provide lessons in a variety of drum set styles. With his deep understanding of drumming and versatility as a teacher, Jim is an excellent choice for anyone looking to learn and improve their skills on the drum set.


  • Jon Georgievski

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Bass Guitar

    Jon Georgievski is a versatile guitar teacher at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy, offering lessons in Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Bass Guitar. He is a talented musician, holding a Bachelor of Music in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music in Boston. In addition to his musical skills, Jon is also an experienced Interactive Sound Designer and Audio Engineer with a broad range of experience in game development, live sound, and studio production. With his diverse background and expertise, Jon is a great choice for anyone looking to learn and improve their guitar skills.


  • Kyle Rozich

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Bass Guitar

    Kyle Rozich is a guitar and bass instructor at Grosse Pointe Music Academy. He has a Bachelor of Science in Music Business with a focus on guitar performance from the Mirriam Cannon Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. With over 20 years of playing experience, Kyle has a broad understanding of different musical styles, including jazz, classic rock, blues, funk, soul, outlaw country, jazz-funk-fusion, progressive rock, and thrash metal. He has a passion for sharing his knowledge of music and the instrument and has been a private teacher since his late teens. Before joining Grosse Pointe Music Academy, Kyle was a faculty member at the School of Rock Portland, teaching guitar, bass, early rock programs, and performance groups.



  • Sean Donnelly



    Grosse Pointe

    Guitar • Ukulele • Piano

    Sean Donnelly is a multi-instrumental music teacher specializing in guitar, piano, and ukulele with Grosse Pointe Music Academy. He has 10 years of experience playing the guitar and 6 years of experience playing the piano. With a background in teaching and mentoring music programs, Sean is passionate about sharing his love of music with students of all ages and skill levels. He has a special rapport with children and has experience working with those with developmental disabilities. Sean's approach to teaching emphasizes making the learning process fun and comfortable, while providing students with fresh techniques to improve their musical abilities. He is dedicated to helping his students become confident and skilled musicians.

  • Sean O'Connell

    GROSSE POINTE • CANTON


    Violin • Piano



    In addition to his teaching experience, Sean is also an active performer, playing with the Toledo, Dearborn, and Plymouth orchestras, as well as the musical troupe La Compagnie. He has been playing the violin since he was 7 years old, and cites his current teacher, Kypros Markou, as his favorite. Kypros is not only a talented violinist, but also a conductor of orchestras. Sean has also been greatly influenced by the renowned violinist Hilary Hahn, who he cites as his favorite musician.

    To continually improve his own skills, Sean participates in a 100-day practice project each year, showcasing his dedication to his craft. He is eager to pass on his love and knowledge of music to his students, and help them reach their own musical goals and dreams. Whether you're a beginner just starting out or an experienced player looking to take your skills to the next level, Sean's lessons are tailored to meet each student's individual needs and provide a supportive and encouraging learning environment. Come join Sean on your musical journey and let him help you unlock your full potential as a musician.


  • Tristan Russano

    GROSSE POINTE

    Guitar • Piano • Bass Guitar • Ukulele

    Tristan Russano is a graduate of Grosse Pointe Music Academy, where he started taking lessons at the age of 12. He is a talented musician, with 15 years of experience as a guitarist and 6 years as a pianist. Tristan also played stand-up bass for 7 years under James Gross at Grosse Pointe South. During his sophomore year, he received a scholarship to attend Interlochen Music Camp, where he studied with Bobby Koeble, the lead guitarist of the band Death. Tristan has performed in several musical groups, including the Wayne State Guitar Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band, rock bands, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society orchestra. He earned a BA in Music with a full scholarship. Currently, Tristan is the lead guitarist and main composer for the band Forge the Sun. He is also the guitarist of Blood Rune Sigil, and lead guitarist Big Four tribute: Slayer, Mega Death, Thrasher, and Metallica.


  • Wolfgang Rumstadt

    GROSSE POINTE LOCATION


    Violin • Viola


    Hello, my name is Wolfgang Rumstadt, but since I have lived in America since 1998 I just go by Wolf.

    I’m here with the GP-Music Academy teaching violin. I live in GP, and enjoy playing in the Grosse Pointe Orchestra and sometimes in the Oakland Symphony Orchestra as my favorite hobby.

    When I reached 3rd grade my parents thought it was about time to learn an instrument! As I'm one out of seven children and my 2 older siblings had already mastered the Cello and Piano, it was decided that I pick up the violin. Thanks to the consistent gentle encouragement from mostly my mom :-) I kept at it.

    The joy really started right when I made it into the school orchestra, in 5th grade. Not just practicing anymore at home only just for myself or performing on these mostly nerve-racking recitals. Playing weekly in an orchestra with ~ 25 students was such an awarding feeling.

    My first trip to America was with that same school orchestra, as we had just recorded our very first record - Vivaldi: The four seasons - and got invited from our sister city in Lancaster Pennsylvania, I was 17 and in 12th grade. It was the event of our life being allowed to represent my hometown playing in various churches and orchestra halls in Lancaster - and while we had a guided tour through Carnegie Hall, we got to play for 60 seconds in that famous Hall

    Throughout high school, university and professional work life, I always had and have played the violin as it serves as an important balance, making friends in an orchestra setting is very easy. I got to experience this in my 7 years living in Luxembourg and ever since I moved to Michigan.

    The beauty of playing the violin is that there are so many endless opportunities for playing in a small group, in solo ensembles, all the schools here in MI have programs for young students, my favorite is the amazing OYO (Oakland Youth Orchestra), as it has always openings for any level in the 4 orchestras, as soon as we have reached a good basis.

    Having 2 daughters playing violin and viola (currently at UoM) as a hobby makes me happy and proud as the reward from teaching brings so much joy - and this is what I would like to pass on to any potential student, find that joy in playing and developing the skills and nourish the talent to be eventually find them sitting in that orchestra.


  • Nick Holder

    GROSSE POINTE

    Saxophone • Clarinet • Flute

    Nick Holder is a performing artist from the Metro-Detroit area. Along with saxophone, he is proficient in his flute and clarinet playing. Nick has received his Bachelor degree in Jazz Studies at the prestigious Michigan State University program. At Michigan State, Nick studied with some of the best saxophone adjudicators such as Diego Rivera and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra tenor, Walter Blanding. He has shared the stage with legends such as: Melissa Aldana, Nicole Glover, Wycliffe Gordon, Sean Dobbins, Rodney Whitaker, Paul Keller’s Jazz Orchestra, and many more. Nick is also versed in the musical theater world having played Legally Blonde and Seussical the Musical. Regardless of the musical setting, Nick Holder has proven himself to be a crucial part of any group and is always looking to make the music shine.

  • Charlotte Farrell

    GROSSE POINTE LOCATION

    Violin • Piano

    Charlotte Farrell teaches fiddle, classical violin, and piano to children and adults of all ages. She
    is fluent in many styles of fiddling including bluegrass, old time, Western swing, Texas-style,
    celtic, blues, jazz, and rock.
    She works with each individual student to find music that inspires them, and build the techniques
    necessary to play that music. She crafts fun exercises and practice strategies so that her students
    can achieve their musical goals. Lessons in her studio include a strong emphasis on
    improvisation and learning by ear as well as sheet music reading.
    Charlotte graduated from NYU with a bachelors’ degree in Violin Performance and minors in
    Journalism and the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. She has studied with
    Tammy Rogers, Hanneke Cassel, Mark Mutter, Gabe Bolkosky, and Paula Elliot.
    She is certified in both the Suzuki Method (Books 1-3) and the Mark O'Connor Method (Books I
    and II), and she is a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).

  • Stephanie Hooper

    GROSSE POINTE LOCATION

    Hi there! I'm Stephanie Hooper, a private music instructor specializing in violin, viola, cello, and beginner piano. I have a passion for teaching both kids and adults, and love helping my students unleash their creativity through music. I use a variety of visual aids, such as PowerPoint slides, music composition apps, and YouTube videos, to make learning easier and more engaging. With a degree from both Oakland University and Indiana University, I have over 8 years of teaching experience and am always excited to take on new students. Whether in-person or online, I'll be here to support you on your musical journey. Get started today!
  • Benjamin Green

    GROSSE POINTE

    Trumpet • Trombone • Piano • Voice

    Benjamin Green is a Detroit-based musician known for his versatile talents as a trumpet player, teacher, composer, and jazz musician. With an impressive musical journey spanning over a decade, Benjamin has honed his craft with 12 years of expertise on the trumpet, 10 years in classical voice, and 7 years in jazz voice. His proficiency extends to the piano with 8 years of experience, as well as musical machine programming, including synthesizers and drum machines, for 7 years. With 6 years of professional touring experience and an additional 6 years in audio engineering, Benjamin brings a rich blend of skills to the world of music. His dedication to academic excellence is evident through the prestigious Jean Fairfax Award for Academic Excellence received during his tenure at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with Honors Cum Laude with a BFA in Jazz Studies and a Minor in Art History in 2020. Benjamin's passion for music led him to the School of Improvised Music at the Brooklyn Conservatory, where he was a selected attendee in 2018, and he has had formal music instruction spanning an impressive 16 years.



  • AJ Cornett

    GROSSE POINTE


    Guitar • Piano • Bass Guitar • Drums






  • Mari Grate

    Mari began playing the violin at 12 years old in her middle school orchestra, quickly falling in love with the instrument. Over the years, she has participated in numerous ensembles, including Battle Creek Youth Orchestra, Sturges-Young Auditorium Pit Orchestra, Blue Lake Symphony Orchestra, and various quartets. In high school, she received several accolades, culminating in the prestigious National School Orchestra Award during her senior year. With over 17 years of playing experience, Mari currently performs with the Detroit Community Orchestra.

    During high school, Mari offered free violin lessons to elementary and middle school students, ensuring access to music education for those who otherwise couldn't afford it. She recently earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan and is passionate about sharing her love for music with beginner and intermediate students of all ages. Mari is dedicated to fostering a supportive and enriching learning environment for her students.

  • Parker Grissom

    Parker Grissom is a multi-instrumental musician with a deep-rooted passion for drums, guitar, and bass, influenced by iconic rock bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. He started his musical journey at the age of 7 or 8 and has since gained extensive experience touring and recording with various bands, alongside earning a degree in Music Technology from Wayne State University. Parker has a rich history of teaching at multiple music academies, including where he first fell in love with music—the School of Rock in Rochester.

    Parker’s teaching philosophy is centered around making music fun, fostering an environment where students look forward to practicing because they enjoy their experiences during lessons. He specializes in modern, rock, and pop music, with a particular affinity for genres like punk, emo, hardcore, as well as groovier sounds like pop, soul, and indie.

    One of Parker’s proudest achievements is seeing his students form bands and excel musically, continuing the cycle of passion and performance that he cherishes. He believes music is a tool for continual personal improvement and curiosity, and he aims to instill these values in his students, encouraging them to always strive for personal and musical growth.
  • Kara Halleck

    CANTON

    Piano • Voice

    Ms. Kara is a highly experienced music instructor with 17 years of experience in teaching piano and voice lessons to students of all ages. She has a strong educational background in music, holding a degree in classical voice performance and a secondary degree in piano pedagogy. Her expertise and passion lie in teaching piano to young beginners and teenagers, helping them to develop their skills and find joy in playing music.

    In addition to her teaching, Ms. Kara is also a talented performer. She plays keyboard for local rock bands and churches, and enjoys accompanying local students in their musical performances. Her musical influences are diverse, ranging from renowned classical singer Renee Fleming to popular rock band Kaleo, and she is also a fan of the works of composer Dan Forrest.

    Ms. Kara's passion for music and her extensive experience make her an excellent choice for anyone looking to learn piano or voice. She is dedicated to helping her students achieve their musical goals, and her enthusiasm and encouragement will make the journey both enjoyable and fulfilling.


  • Andrew Dyl

    CANTON LOCATION

    Electric Guitar • Acoustic Guitar

    Andrew Dyl is a talented electric and acoustic guitarist with 18 years of playing experience in hard rock, blues, and heavy metal genres. He is passionate about music and finds great joy in teaching, adapting his lessons to each student's unique strengths and interests. This approach allows students to develop a strong foundation in musical theory while learning songs they are passionate about.

    Andrew has extensive experience as a guitar instructor, having taught in China and to students of various ages. He is knowledgeable in classic bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath and incorporates their music into his lessons. He also has studied theoretical composition and musical theory and has a particular interest in lead guitar playing and modal manipulations. Outside of music, Andrew enjoys nature walks, coffee, and is in the process of getting a tuxedo cat named Jack after The Nightmare Before Christmas.


  • Kyle Taulbee

    CANTON

    Electric Guitar • Acoustic Guitar • Bass Guitar • Ukulele • Drums

    Hi! I am a self-made performing musician, songwriter, DIY music producer and, over all, music
    enthusiast. I come from the field of Behavioral Psychology, working mainly with clients on the
    Autism spectrum as well as those diagnosed with Mood Disorders. My job was to teach my
    clients what other people have had difficulty teaching to them and to help them achieve
    independence. Similarly, my goal as a guitar teacher is to nurture my students’ passion and
    facilitate the achievement of their goals so they can experience the fulfillment that comes from
    an active love of music. In the process, my students will become well rounded and competent
    musicians that are capable of expressing themselves fully on the guitar and even of doing
    professional work as a guitarist. I aim to do this the same way I learned myself - by playing
    songs!
    I became interested in the guitar at 8 years old and spent years honing my technique by
    learning songs that I liked. As I improved, I began to understand what makes music work and
    why I liked the music I did. I was able to apply what I was learning to start making my own music
    and performing in bands as a professional musician. Since 2011 I’ve been playing all kinds of
    music; rock, pop, country, metal, funk, disco, and hip-hop, to audiences in both the dozens and
    in the hundreds around Metro-Detroit.
    As a self-taught guitarist, I know what it’s like to learn from the ground up. I also know what it’s
    like to feel discouraged, uncertain about what to do next, and even a little helpless. I’m aware of
    the walls you can run into when learning an instrument or studying theory (I’ve hit a lot of them)
    and I can help to move past them or avoid them completely. I’ve seen firsthand the things you
    can achieve with a focused and directed effort and the opportunities that become available
    along the way. Furthermore, if you are looking for a person-centered, inclusive guitar instructor
    who knows how to work with people from all walks of life, look no further. No matter the person,
    music can work for you.
    What you’ll get from studying with me:
    ● A modern, practical approach to playing/learning guitar, driven by the music YOU want
    to play
    ● Learn any song by ear
    ● Expand your repertoire - have a long list of songs you can play solo or in a band.
    ● A versatile skill set, suited to playing in multiple styles/genres
    ● An understanding of music that you can apply to making your own songs
    ● An effective curriculum with systems in place to track your progress -- watch (and hear)
    yourself improve!
    ● Individualized lesson plans - achieve your goals
    ● An inclusive environment - anyone can learn to play music!
    ● Play cleanly and on time to sound better than anyone else
    ● Play in a relaxed manner to avoid injury and take a lifelong journey on your instrument
    ● Learn to be a competent and professional musician that people will want to work with
    Aside from guitar-focused lessons, I look forward to offering lessons on songwriting, DIY music
    production, and music business.


  • Qinqing Lu

    CANTON LOCATION

    Piano

    Qinqing Lu is a highly experienced piano teacher who holds a Master's degree in Piano Pedagogy from Michigan State University. With nineteen years of playing experience and five years of focused piano teaching, she is ready to help both children and adults of all levels. Qinqing Lu is fluent in both English and Mandarin, making her an accessible teacher for a wide range of students.

    As a patient and friendly instructor, Qinqing Lu aims to help students discover the magic of playing the piano. Her passion for teaching and love of music make her a fantastic guide for anyone looking to start their own musical journey.



  • Greg Ayers

    CANTON LOCATION

    Guitar • Piano • Ukulele

    Greg Ayers is a talented and experienced music instructor at Canton Music Academy. With over a decade of teaching experience, he has become a valuable member of the Canton Music Academy team. Greg is proficient in teaching a variety of instruments including guitar, piano, ukulele and bass guitar. He has a passion for music and enjoys sharing his knowledge and skills with his students. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, Greg is dedicated to helping you reach your musical goals. As a lifelong musician, father, and educator, Greg has a unique ability to connect with his students and bring out their best. With his enthusiasm and expertise, he makes learning music an enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you are looking for a music instructor who truly cares about his students and their success, look no further than Greg Ayers.

  • John Douglas

    CANTON LOCATION


    Trumpet • Piano • Trombone


    For 25 years John Douglas has thrived professionally as he performs in venues around the world. Douglas' dynamic range of sound and space is documented on a variety of television, news magazine, and radio programs, and witnessed at renowned venues across the globe. John performed with Carl Craig (Planet-E), Francisco Mora, and Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), at the 2003 North Sea Jazz Festival. In 2004, he toured with Theo Parrish and the Rotating Assembly for the Import Music Festival and a ParaDisco appearance in Amsterdam. Also in 2004, he played the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland with celebrated Blues Diva Bettye LaVette. Television and commercial appearances include the Ground Zero Blues Divas Festival with host Morgan Freeman, Greektown Casino, Adidas, and Pepsi Cola. He has performed with legends like the Machito Orchestra, Los Munequitos De Matanzas, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Night, Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, The Velvelettes, and Dramatics. John hosts a weekly jam session at Bert's Market Place, where musicians are encouraged to showcase their talents from 1994- to the present. In 2022, John Douglas continues to explore new dimensions and provides an energy that both lights up the stage and minds of audiences everywhere.

    John provides private trumpet, saxophone, flute, clarinet and piano instruction for students of all ages. He develops an individual program for each student according to their personal goals, incorporating technological advances in the evolving curriculum.

  • Mary Lou Auchus

    CANTON LOCATION

    Violin

    Mary Lou Auchus is a highly skilled and experienced violin teacher, offering lessons at both Canton Music Academy and Dixboro Music Academy. With a deep passion for music and a strong background in both performance and education, she provides students with the guidance and instruction they need to grow as musicians. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced player, Mary Lou is dedicated to helping you achieve your musical goals. With her passion for teaching and her expertise in violin playing, she is the perfect choice for anyone looking to learn the beautiful art of playing the violin.


  • Michael Hurley

    CANTON LOCATION

    Piano • Drums

    Mike Hurley is a passionate and experienced music teacher who has been working at Canton Music Academy for over 8 years. He started his musical journey when he was 6 years old, taking piano lessons. However, it didn't click for him then and he quit at 8 years old. His parents had him try other brass and woodwind instruments, but nothing seemed to interest him until a couple of years later when he started drum and percussion lessons with Johnothan Ovalle, a professor at the University of Michigan. Jonathan quickly put Mike on a path of growth and instilled a hunger for exploring the creative side of music. It was also around this time that Mike discovered music production software, which became his "ah-ha" moment at the age of 12. In high school, Mike was involved in several music programs, including the drum-line, percussion ensemble, wind ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra, and even competed on a national level. After graduating from Canton, he received his degrees in Music Recording Technology from Schoolcraft College and then transferred to Wayne State to study Jazz Piano.

    Aside from teaching, Mike loves to perform and collaborate with others to write original music. He performs regularly for local venues in Michigan and is now playing at music festivals like Electric Forest and Detroit Electronic Music Festival with his new band, Dusk Harmonic. When he's not making music, he enjoys hitting the hiking trails and lakes with his Dutch Shepherd, Dewey.


  • David Warnke

    CANTON LOCATION

    Drums • Piano

    David Warnke is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator specializing in drums and music production. With seven years of teaching experience, he graduated from the Musician's Institute, where he studied music performance, theory, composition, and audio engineering. David's versatility spans various genres, from rock to jazz to Latin. He is recognized for his exceptional drumming skills, as well as his ability to produce captivating music. As a dedicated teacher, he inspires students and equips them with the skills to pursue their musical passions.






  • Jenae Ross

    CANTON LOCATION

    Violin • Piano • Viola

    I have been dedicated to the art of playing the violin for over 11 years. In 2020, I proudly graduated from high school, where I had the privilege of student teaching the 5th and 6th-grade band class. During my high school years, I was honored to receive the John Phillip Sousa Award not once, but twice, recognizing my exceptional contributions to music.

    My journey continued into college, where my commitment to music education was acknowledged with the prestigious Alexander Award Scholarship during my first semester at Eastern Michigan University. My chosen path in college was Music Education, a field that allowed me to combine my passion for music with my desire to inspire and nurture the same passion in my students.

    When it comes to teaching, my philosophy is rooted in understanding the unique needs of each student. I believe in going above and beyond to ensure that every individual gets the maximum benefit from every lesson. My ultimate goal is to instill a deep and abiding love for music in each of my students, just as my own teachers did for me.


  • Abby Carpenter

    Canton

    Guitar • Piano • Voice • Bass Guitar

    Abby Carpenter is a singer and multi-instrumentalist with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Michigan. She began her musical journey with classical guitar, eventually falling in love with singing, songwriting, and music theory. She enjoys teaching voice, guitar, keyboard and bass across a wide range of genres including pop, rock, and classical. Outside of teaching, Abby loves to listen to 70s rock and record music of her own.


  • Ken Ferry

    Canton Location


    Trumpet • Trombone


    Ken started playing piano at age 5, played music all through middle school, mainly percussion, and high school, piano and trumpet. He earned a full ride scholarship to Wayne State University playing trumpet studying jazz. He soon began playing professionally locally before landing a touring gig with The Atomic Fireballs. Shortly after that he was able to play with the legendary Maynard Ferguson's band. For a while Ken worked as a trumpeter on Carnival Cruise Lines before returning back to the Metro Detroit area and playing with many bands locally and nationally. Ken has a vast knowledge of what it takes to be able to play the instrument at a very high level and also has knowledge of all brass instruments.


  • Jonathan Gidley

    Hello there! My name is Jonathan Gidley, and I am a junior Music Education Major at Central
    Michigan University. I study clarinet alongside Dr. Kennen White of CMU, and I am an avid
    woodwind player and teacher. During my time at CMU, I have played in a variety of groups: I
    finished my fourth semester in CMU’s Wind Symphony on both clarinet and bass clarinet, and
    I completed my sixth year of marching band last fall as tenor saxophone section lead. Being a
    huge fan of theater, I also double clarinet and saxophone for CMU’s fall musical productions. I
    have experience playing flute in both community and university bands, along with hundreds of
    hours of independent study. Some of my completed coursework includes music theory, music
    history, woodwind techniques, tonal/post-tonal theory, cognitive development and teacher
    education courses.
    I believe in leading with kindness and meeting students where they are, regardless of ability or
    background. Facilitating student interest and goals while shaping their musical growth is at the
    core of my approach to learning music. Whether you’re in beginner band or preparing for
    college auditions, I have a lot to offer to help you progress and express your musical voice!
  • Zoe Zdrojewski

    VIRTUAL LESSONS

    Voice • Piano

    Zoe Zdrojewski is a talented soprano and experienced vocal and piano instructor at Canton Music Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Eastern Michigan University and has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Muriel J. Gilbert Music Scholarship and the Manilow Music Award. With a passion for classical music, Zoe has continued to grow as an artist and performer, participating in prestigious programs such as New York University's Classical Voice Intensive and now pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance with a focus on Vocal Pedagogy at The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Zoe has a rich performance background, having taken the stage in productions with the EMU Choir, FIO Italia, Ann Arbor Comic Opera Guild, and Detroit's Opera MODO. As a virtual instructor at Canton Music Academy, Zoe is dedicated to sharing her love of music with her students.


  • Evan Veasey

    VIRTUAL LESSONS ONLY

    Evan Veasey is a talented music teacher specializing in guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, piano, and mandolin. With a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Michigan, Evan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his teaching. He is well-versed in all musical styles, including blues, rock, pop, country, funk, soul, jazz, hard rock/metal, and folk, and has a special expertise in jazz, blues, and fingerstyle acoustic guitar.

    Evan has been teaching music in the Southeast Michigan area since 2015 and moved to Grand Rapids Michigan in 2020 and then to Asheville, North Carolina. Despite the move, he has maintained a small virtual studio on Zoom since the start of the pandemic and is now offering virtual lessons to students.

    In addition to his work as a teacher, Evan is a successful solo artist with a singer-songwriter record out in spring 2022 and a founding member of the Detroit-based Indie Rock band Fallow Land.


  • Emily Watta

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP


    Piano • Cello • Violin • Viola



    Emily Watta holds a bachelor of instrumental music education from Oakland University. As a musician, she has performed as the principal cellist of the Oakland University Chamber Orchestra and the Oakland University Opera Orchestra. She has also performed at weddings, parties, and other events as a member of the Boba String Quartet. Emily has been teaching string and piano private lessons throughout her time as a college student and has completed her student teaching in orchestra classrooms at the middle school and high school level, instructing students from 6th-12th grade on violin, viola, cello, and bass. She has also run a weeklong preschool music camp, teaching students to play piano, ukulele, drums, and sing. As a passionate educator, Emily loves working with students to help them find joy in creating music. She believes anyone is capable of becoming a musician, no matter their age, ability, or background.



    BOOK WITH EMILY

  • Angelina Antico

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP

    Voice • Guitar • Ukulele

    Angelina Antico is a passionate music educator specializing in voice, ukulele, guitar, and songwriting. Currently teaching at GP Music Academy, she brings a wealth of expertise in various genres, including classical, indie, alternative, pop, and musical theater. With experience directing high school musicals and providing private vocal instruction, Angelina is dedicated to nurturing young talent. Her guitar lessons cover scales, sheet music, tablature, strumming/rhythm, and chords, making her a versatile instructor for both beginners and intermediate players. Join Angelina at GP Music Academy in Clinton Township and embark on a musical journey with a seasoned mentor.




  • Ian Blunden

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP


    Guitar • Piano • Drums • Bass Guitar • Ukulele

    Ian Blunden is a versatile music educator and jazz musician based in Detroit, Michigan. With a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University, Ian brings his passion for music to the students at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy Clinton Township Location. He offers lessons in guitar, bass guitar, piano and drums, and tailors his approach to meet the needs and interests of each student. Ian's experience performing at historic venues such as Cliff Bells, The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, and the Detroit Jazz Festival, as well as his experience working with professional musicians across the state, has solidified his skills as a versatile musician and educator. Whether you're an experienced player or a beginner, Ian can help you reach your musical goals.


  • Svetlana Chrin

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP

    Piano

    Meet Svetlana Chrin, a talented piano and based at Grosse Pointe Music Academy in Clinton Township, Michigan. Svetlana was born and educated in Odessa, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus, before receiving her Bachelor's degree in Director of Musical Performance from the esteemed St. Petersburg Conservatory. She has been living in the US for 27 years, and has been sharing her passion for music by giving private lessons for the past 25 years in Michigan. With a wealth of experience playing and performing, Svetlana is well-equipped to help students of all ages and abilities unleash their musical potential. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, Svetlana will work with you to help you reach your goals and make the most of your musical talent.



  • Katie Akers

    CLINTON TOWNSHIP

    Voice

    Meet Katie Akers, your voice teacher at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy of Clinton Township! With a B.F.A in Acting and a minor in Musical Theatre from Wayne State University, Katie has a passion for the art and stage that dates back to her 1st-grade days. She is a working actor and has performed in several productions, including Opera MODO’s “Into the Woods” as Little Red Riding Hood.

    Katie is well-rounded in music and acting and has a passion for teaching others. She offers 1:1 lessons in Music Theory, Acting, and Singing. For Music Theory, students can expect to learn all the basic and intermediate skills of reading, writing, and performing music, with a focus on improving sight-reading techniques. In Acting, Katie provides individual coaching for auditions, school programs, and shows, bringing both her schooling and real-world experience to the table. For Singing, she is perfect for beginner soprano or alto based voices and will help you build a repertoire, improve your warm-up techniques, and aid in performance and audition preparation.

    If you are a beginner or intermediate student looking to hone your skills or dive into the world of the stage, Katie is the teacher for you!


  • Brian McKee

    Brian has been playing drums for over fourteen years and joined his local church band at the age of sixteen. His education at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis greatly enhanced his understanding of studio drumming and recording techniques. He has played in various band arrangements across the U.S. and has developed his guitar and bass skills to aid his songwriting.Teaching music to children has helped Brian refine his central mission: to share his love for music and its transformative impact. His teaching approach centers on making personal connections with students, understanding their interests related to and beyond their musical endeavors to better tailor the lessons. Brian specializes in Indie Rock as a songwriter, enjoys Classic Rock and Worship music as a fan, and has a deep appreciation for Hip-Hop drumming.During his time as a Music Teacher at Santa Barbara Creative Education, Brian led two classes of five to twelve-year-olds in vocal performances of "Deck the Halls" and "Octopus' Garden," which were enthusiastically received by families and friends. It was both memorable and rewarding for him to see the students' growth and happiness from learning and performing the songs. Brian believes that music can more effectively communicate the emotions and soul than words alone. He aims to instill a sense of endless curiosity about music in his students, encouraging them to listen intently, challenge themselves, and enjoy enhancing their performance skills and music theory knowledge. These are lessons he hopes they will carry into many aspects of their lives.
  • Sarah Boyd

    Bio coming soon
  • Emily Schienke

    Bio coming soon
  • Karen Vesprini

    Bio coming soon
  • Meredith Ammons

    Bio coming soon