Erin Cook

Erin Cook has been passionate about music since she can remember: singing as a toddler and starting piano lessons at the age of five. Throughout grade school Erin continued piano lessons and sang whenever she could, including joining a barbershop chorus with her mom while in high school. As a pianist, Erin participated in many festivals, recitals, and technical skills events.

Erin’s love of music led her to a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Piano Performance from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Outside of class Erin filled her time by accompanying choirs at school, playing the piano for various churches, directing student-run a cappella groups, and forming chamber ensembles with friends who played other instruments. Barbershop was also in the mix wherever life took her.

Erin has taught music students of all ages privately, in the public school system, and as the director and/or pianist of community and church choirs. She knows the value of getting to know each of her students and helping them toward their goals. While passionate about teaching music theory and sight-reading, she gets most excited when it comes to teaching musicality and making the music come to life.

Noah Stidham

Noah Stidham has been playing music for over 10 years. His main focus is guitar, mandolin, and piano, but plays a variety of stringed and keyboard instruments. He was the jazz band guitarist and pianist at his high school as well as the choir pianist. He has taken advanced guitar and music theory lessons with Danny Knicely (Furnace Mountain), Pat Donahue (solo guitarist, guest on “A Prairie Home Companion”), Greg Ruby (gypsy jazz guitar virtuoso) and others. He currently manages a local band called “The Mailmen” as well. 

Noah takes a holistic approach to music and music education. He tries to not only help students achieve their musical goals, but to help expose every aspect of musical brilliance in the blossoming student or the well-seasoned player through discographies and music history.

 

Micah Lee

Micah Lee became an instructor under the strangest of circumstances. He was once a percussionist in middle school that was transitioned to trombone. Then after his 2nd year in high school, he ended up on tuba. Micah had very little experience playing this horn, yet took on the challenge of majoring in Music Education at Virginia State University.

During his years at Virginia State, Micah learned the secrets to unlocking musical potential in students who may not have had a proper foundation. He became a low brass specialist with a concentration on tuba. He performed with many of the university’s band and choral ensembles and grabbed every morsel of knowledge he could so he could give it back to his future students.

Currently, Micah teaches at two middle schools in the Richmond area where he is the band and orchestra director. As director, Micah believes in a strong musical foundation rooted in theory and consistent application. He wants his students to enjoy all aspects of music and have fun learning as much as they can!

Jason Kincy

Jason Kincy is a woodwind doubler on Clarinet and Saxophone originally from a small island in Washington state, who has found himself in the midst of Richmond’s thriving music scene. His incredibly diverse musical background has afforded him the opportunities to perform in a litany of performance scenarios, both as a freelancer, and as a part of a band he co-founded, Simple Minded Symphony. These performances include classical chamber and full-size ensembles, musical theatre, local religious organizations, small jazz ensembles, big bands, rock bands, and many more. The settings of these performances are as varied as the music itself, ranging from nightclubs and venues to music festivals and performance halls.

Jason is currently finishing up his Bachelor’s in Classical Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University, while also pursuing jazz and audio production avenues. His close work with VCU’s world-class faculty has armed him with a diverse and well-rounded understanding of classical and jazz performance, as well as education. His work as a freelancer and band member/leader has also given him a wealth of knowledge on the business side of music, and how to market yourself in the ever-changing, hyper-competitive profession that is the music industry.

Jason believes that with proper guidance, anyone can hone the musicality that we all intrinsically possess. He’s comfortable working with students both young and old, experienced or beginner. His hope is that each student walks away with a clear understanding of their strengths and limitations, and how to exceed and improve on them.

Max Barrett

Max Barrett is a freelance upright and electric bassist based in Richmond, VA. Max has an extensive background in classical, jazz, rock, and bluegrass bass performance. Growing up in Northern Virginia, he began public performance on upright bass at the age of 9.

Max holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from James Madison University. He has Studied with: Millie Martin, Glenn Dewey, Sam Cross, Karine Chapdelaine, Michael Priester, Chunyang Wang. During his academic career at JMU, Max has had the opportunity to perform as the primary bassist with the JMU Jazz Ensemble, the JMU Symphonic Orchestra as principal bassist, The JMU Wind Symphony, and several jazz combos. Through the JMU Jazz ensemble, Max has had the privilege to perform with amazing artists such as: Nate Smith, Jim White, Joe Sullivan, Matt Niess, Bob Hallahan, Chuck Dotas, Andy Connell, David Pope, and John D’earth. In the JMU Symphonic Orchestra, Max was able to perform with Patti LuPone.

Max has taught students with a wide range of backgrounds and styles spanning in age from 9 to 50. He has worked as a camp counselor and clinician for the James Madison University Spring String Thing orchestra camp. Max’s custom approach to each student allows the student to pursue the music that interests them most. From beginners to hobbyists to developing professional musicians, Max will create your individualized path to musical success.

Jack Tierney

Jack Tierney has been playing and studying the guitar since 2002. Like many young guitarists, he began by studying the classic rock guitarists of the 60s and 70s. During high school he attended intensive programs at Berklee College of Music and Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he
became acquainted with jazz music. He is currently studying jazz guitar performance at VCU.

Jack has performed professionally in various jazz, pop and rock outfits, and as a singer/songwriter in Richmond and the DC area.

As a teacher, Jack tailors the structure of his lessons to the needs of each particular student, while ensuring that the essential aspects of technique, rhythm, and harmonic vocabulary are included. His specialties include jazz, pop, music theory, songwriting and improvisation.

Tom Gascon

Tom Gascon is a positive and encouraging Drum Teacher who will challenge you to become the drummer you desire to be.

From the classroom, to the studio, to the stage, this active recording and touring musician will help you reach your goals. He has been professionally drumming for 15 years and is currently the drummer for Lacey Sturm. His talent has allowed him to share the stage with acts such as Switchfoot, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Sevendust, Newsboys, and many more! From playing small clubs to arenas, as well as a variety of music festivals, including events with the Billy Graham Association, the Shiprocked Cruise, and The Carolina Rebellion; Tom’s extensive live playing experience will help you prepare for your show!

Tom has played a wide variety of music styles such as Rock, Country, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Pop. He also has several years of Jazz, Concert and Marching Band experience. After receiving private drum lessons in college to later giving private drum lessons out of his home, his passion for people and seeing them excel is what inspired him to become a teacher.

All lessons are designed personally for you and your goals. Whether you are looking to play drums as a hobby, want to play in a band, or want to further your education and skills for a career in music, Tom has the knowledge and skills to help get you there!

Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley has been playing saxophone for almost ten years. He is attending Virginia Commonwealth University in pursuit of a degree in Jazz Studies and Performance, where he has been on the Dean’s List every semester and recently received a Jazz Scholarship. Michael is a prominent soloist in the VCU Peppas and performs with the top VCU Jazz Orchestra. He also plays with the alternative rock/fusion band Bonne Chère.

Michael is proficient in both jazz and classical playing styles. He works with students of all ages and skill levels and has experience working with special needs children. Michael believes in making learning fun and exciting for his students. He caters to the needs of each student and comes up with personalized learning strategies for each. He also incorporates goals and milestones into lessons to keep his students excited to learn and for them to have something to set their sights on. Being able to share his passion for music with others and encouraging them to be the best that they can be is of the utmost importance to him.

Jeff Price

Jeff Price began playing trombone at age 11, and added other brass instruments in his teenage years. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education as a euphonium major from Michigan State University, where he studied with the euphonium virtuoso, Leonard Falcone.

After graduation, Jeff served as a member and euphonium soloist with the United States Marine Band (“The President’s Own”), then he returned to Michigan State where he earned a Master’s degree in bass trombone performance. Later, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in tenor trombone performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Jeff spent many years as a college brass teacher and band director, in addition to working as a professional musician performing on trombone, euphonium and tuba. He has performed with a number of orchestras, including the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony, and the Salem Philharmonic. His background also includes performing in big bands, musical theater, concert bands, and chamber music.

Having taught all brass instruments since he was a teenager, Jeff believes in helping students develop all aspects of technique while imparting an understanding and feeling for musical expression and interpretation. He wants his students to have fun while also experiencing the satisfaction of progressing toward excellence in performance.

Gabriel De Los Santos

Gabriel De Los Santos is a percussionist based out of Northern Virginia. Early on in his career, Gabriel built a name for himself by gigging with jazz combos in the DC and Fairfax area as well as instructing students in the local communities in drum set and rudimental/marching snare drum. Interested in new experiences as a percussionist and drummer, Gabriel sought out a musical career in the Army. As a bandsman his responsibilities include concert percussion, ceremonial percussion (marching band), as well as playing drum set in rock, jazz, and orchestra groups. His experiences as a military musician have been valuable in expanding his repertoire in the field of percussion and music. The eclectic nature of performing in an environment where a working knowledge of many different styles of music is paramount has greatly expanded Gabriel’s ability to execute his craft in many different forms. This knowledge has also contributed to his performances in the many groups that he records and plays with across Virginia. With over 10 years of experience in the field, Gabriel continues to seek new opportunities to perform with, teach, and learn from other musicians and students.

Gabriel’s primary focus is drum set, but he also teaches the fundamentals of rudimental snare drumming. Lessons include a structure that is tailored to fit their needs and desires. Such lesson plans may include developing a solid foundation in varying musical styles on the instrument (rock, jazz, Latin, funk, etc.), developing coordination and limb independence, rudiment studies and their application on the drum set, as well as in-depth technique studies, reading sheet music, and performance techniques. Aside from drum set, Gabriel is able to teach auxiliary percussion, timpani, orchestral snare drum, bass drum, and cymbals. Gabriel’s style of instruction is relaxed, yet focused, and he has worked with students of all skill levels. From those just beginning to explore the instrument to regular performers, anyone who is eager to learn or experiment with the percussive arts will stand to gain from experiences with his instruction.

Aubrey Smalls

Aubrey Smalls started playing the saxophone in 1995. After he graduated from high school he knew he wanted to pursue music at Virginia Commonwealth University but wasn’t sure what his area of study was going to be. He did not get accepted the first audition nor the second. With time and determination he finally was accepted on his third audition. From 2004 to 2007 he studied music performance. In 2007 Aubrey decided to transfer to Berklee College of Music where he was accepted on his first audition. Once he was accepted he decided to major in music education and graduated in 2011.

Aubrey currently works in Chesterfield County Public Schools teaching elementary music and has been with the county for five years. He has also worked with the Monacan High School marching band and played in the musical Spamalot. Aubrey is also a current member of The Waller Family Band and Will Hamblen and the Troublemakers.

Aubrey’s philosophy is that music isn’t just a part of life, it is life. He would like to share his love and passion for music with whomever has the desire to learn.

Art Hodges

Art Hodges is a professional guitarist with over 17 years of teaching experience. He recently relocated back to Richmond, after spending 6 years living and working in Tokyo, Japan. While in Japan, Art performed extensively and recorded a critically acclaimed album of jazz standards for solo guitar.

Art has been playing the guitar for over 30 years and has studied and performed in a variety of guitar styles and genres including rock, jazz, and classical. Art attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied both classical guitar performance and jazz. He was a private student of John Patykula, Corey Blake, Mike Ess, and Tim Reynolds.

Art is a creative, resourceful teacher and focuses on keeping students engaged and motivated. Not only does he balance fun with fundamentals, but Art encourages students to find their own “voice” and expand their musical horizons.