Michael Davis

Michael Davis graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Jazz Studies Percussion Performance. He majored in percussion, but he also plays guitar and bass. During his time at GMU he played drum set in the DC metro area with various Big Bands, Jazz combos, Rock groups, R&B bands, and theater companies. After graduating from GMU, Michael joined the United States Marine Corps Band. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and had the opportunity to perform throughout Asia and the Pacific.

While in the Marine Corps Band he was given the opportunity to play at the Virginia International Tattoo, where he played snare drum for the Quantico Marine Corps Band drumline and won 1st place in drumline battles. He also performed at the Japan Self-Defense Force Marching Festival in Tokyo Japan, The 72nd Guam Liberation Day Parade and Celebration, Ground-Zero and 9-11 Memorial Ceremony, the Marine Corps Marathon, and NFL football games. Michael is well versed in Concert and Marching percussion, as well as Mallet and Drum set performance.

Michael has a unique approach to teaching drum set that is customized for every student. He emphasizes the importance of practice and skill development that will be applicable to drum set performance. Michael’s students develop the skills to perform confidently and appropriately while also growing as a musician and an artist. Michael looks forward to working with you on developing your percussion skills.

Travon Williams

Travon Williams is a percussionist and music educator. From the age of 4 he had been mentored by great minds within the world of drums and music. Through his training he has acquired skills of 4 snare drum marching techniques, bongo/hand drum accompaniment, drum set, jazz and concert percussion. During his high school years he served as the Tenor Section Leader of the Highland Springs High School Band, 2009-2013. Here is where he learned diversified skills in the world of drumming as the house drummer for all school events home and away (theater, drama club, jazz and pep band).

Travon has performed nationally with recording artists whose genres range from jazz, gospel, and concert percussion. Since graduating, Travon’s career has led him to become a part of a successful rock wedding band, The Commonwealth RVA, that has been fortunate enough to tour the East Coast since 2010. In 2014, Travon had the opportunity to accompany world renowned recording artist Plunky and the Band, and Earnest Pugh on a separate occasion during their summer tours, traveling throughout North America. He is well versed in studio session work and he has the privilege of studying many different drumming and music styles as well as technical and conceptual theories.

Aside from drums and percussion, Travon also play upright bass and is currently mastering the piano. He strives to be the best teacher he can be, which means he is also still learning and finding new ways to apply all that he learns to his lessons. Over the last 8 years Travon has been teaching students of all ages, from 3 year old beginners, to young adults in search of a hobby or aspiring professional musicians, to adults in search of a creative outlet. Travon customizes his lessons to the individual and will help you reach your goals!

Scott Burkhart

Scott Burkhart has been playing guitar since the age of 9. His influences include Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Marty Friedman, Yngvie Malmsteen and Jason Becker. His style includes Classic Rock, Blues, Heavy Metal, Finger Style Acoustic, Chicken Picking and Neo-Classical guitar.

Scott was chosen in 2013 to open at a Steve Vai show after winning a Sam Ash contest.

As an instructor, he offers a structured schematic to allow the student to learn different styles while keeping it fun and informative.

Megan Walter

Megan Walter started learning piano at the age of 7 and has since studied under Janet Atkinson and Martha Puig. She started teaching at the age of 15 and has since been teaching from her home studio. Megan has over 8 years of experience teaching students of various ages, levels, and even languages as she is currently fluent in French, proficient in Spanish and Haitian Creole, and learning Chinese.

Megan’s teaching style consists of a mixture of songs, music theory, practice, and fun. Each lesson is tailored to the individual student’s learning style – whether it is auditory, visual or kinesthetic – according to the student’s personality and the style of music they most enjoy. Hard work and fun is combined in learning songs, memorization games, fun challenges, and rewards.

Larry Cauley

Larry Cauley is a percussionist and music educator. His experience includes rudimental percussion, drum set, and concert percussion. He has performed in the U.S. and internationally, including with The Cadets Drum Corps in the snare-line as their section leader, at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida as a percussionist in the millennium celebration parade “Tapestry of Nations”, and as a lead performer in the percussion group “6 to 1” during tours of South Africa and Taiwan. As an educator, Larry has taught orchestra, band, class guitar, and music theory at the high school level, and is a former assistant band director at The University of Virginia. In 2010 he helped start and performed with The Philadelphia Eagles Drumline. He currently teaches strings and choir at John Rolfe Middle School, and is the assistant band director for “The Peppas” band at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Larry studied music at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV, and received his Master of Arts in Teaching from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He has studied saxophone, percussion, piano, and music theory, and is admired for his comprehensive experience in multiple genres of music and musical instruments. Larry has experience teaching students of all ages and ability levels, from pre-kindergarten to adult, beginner to students with advanced facilities.

Larry admires talent, but builds his teaching philosophy around hard work, persistence, and desire. He approaches each student with an objective of achieving a balance between time-tested methods verses each student’s individual goals. He is a passionate teacher excited to share his knowledge with students of all backgrounds, ages, and ambition.

Steve Lazar

Steve Lazar is a multi-instrumentalist (Guitar, Bass, Piano, Saxophone, Ukulele, Violin, Cello, Mandolin, Trumpet) and music educator new to the Richmond area. He has a passion for performing and teaching and enjoys playing in all musical styles including Classical, Jazz, Bluegrass, Country, Irish, Blues and Rock n Roll. His musical endeavors have allowed him to perform at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and he has performed at numerous local and national music festivals such as Lockn’, Riverbend Music Festival and Floydfest. He has shared the stage with Kansas, 38 Special and Foghat and has performed as a studio musician at numerous studios including Gary Paczosa’s studio in Nashville.

Steve Lazar received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Old Dominion University in 2009 where he studied guitar, bass, piano, and saxophone. He has taught private lessons for 13 years in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area. He was the Orchestra Director at Cape Henry Collegiate where he taught orchestra and percussion ensemble in addition to private lessons. Steve currently plays bass in Big Virginia Sky, a regional Americana/bluegrass band, as well as being a sideman for a number of local musicians.

In his lessons, Steve focuses on goal oriented learning where the focus is the interests of the student combined with proper playing technique and FUN, because learning music is a lot of fun! Steve has taught students of all ages and levels is always excited to work with experienced or beginning students.

Amy Drossner

Amy Drossner’s parents gave her a flute for Christmas at 13 years old, and she has been playing the flute ever since. She began taking private flute lessons in junior high school and played in her high school concert and marching bands. She continued on to Florida State University where she was a member of the Florida State University Marching Chiefs and learned much about marching rudiments and techniques.

Amy has been a member of several community concert bands performing throughout the local area. A teacher in the public school system, Amy has been an active supporter of the high school music program at the school where she teaches, helping or sometimes sitting in with the flute section in the concert band and helping the marching band with marching rudiments and techniques on the field. She occasionally is a guest performer with EverWilde Band, playing flute on select southern rock and country songs. She also has recently developed an affinity for playing the ukulele and she enjoys sharing her passion for music with those who wish to learn.

Amy has taught languages in the public school system for many years, and having been a student in a music lesson room herself she understands how students learn. She values the importance of getting to know her students – whether in the classroom or in the lesson room – and helping them to achieve their goals.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old and has been singing for longer than he can remember! He continued learning and is now formally educated in flute, piano, percussion, and vocal performance. Anthony has won several regional and national competitions on each of his primary instruments and has also had the privilege of studying with and participating in masterclasses led by some of the the top artists in the world, including Ransom Wilson, Michael Parloff, and Evelyn Glennie.

Anthony is the Musical Director in Residence for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Richmond and he holds similar positions at Maggie Walker Governor’s School and the Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts (Williamsburg, VA). Mr. Smith is also the Founding Conductor of the Peninsula Youth Wind Ensemble (Newport News, VA) and a member of the Virginia Chorale (Norfolk, VA). Anthony has also worked as pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and orchestrator for several professional theater companies across the country. He has enjoyed a long collaboration with Virginia Repertory Theatre where his credits include: The Color Purple, Nunsense, Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas, Always Patsy Cline, The Producers, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, and several others. Outside of VaRep, his most recent regional and educational credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch – RTCC Nomination (Best Musical Direction) [TheatreLab RVA], Carrie – RTCC Nomination (Best Musical Direction) [5th Wall Theatre], Trojan Women: A Love Story, Spring Awakening [University of Richmond], and Threepenny Opera [College of William and Mary]. In addition to his professional theater credits, Anthony has lent his talents to high school productions of Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Gypsy, Into the Woods, Schoolhouse Rock: Live!, and several others. Currently, Anthony’s work can be heard at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he serves as Bass Soloist and Section Leader, Cadence Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Fun Home, and Virginia Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Mary Poppins!

Anthony teaches piano (classical, jazz, and gospel), flute, voice, and percussion (keyboard and classical). Former pupils of his have continued their studies at the Manhattan School of Music, Vanderbilt University, University of North Texas, Arizona State University, James Madison University, the Eastman School of Music, and many others.

Anthony’s teaching philosophy is simple: to help his students meet their short and long term goals through education, support, and performance.

Peggy Weston

Peggy Weston is a vocalist, actress, arts consultant, and educator. She brings her distinct vocal style to a broad repertoire extending from jazz, to R&B, pop and Broadway. Peggy has performed in the U.S. and internationally in clubs and concerts, television and films, on radio and commercials, adding solo vocal recordings. Her television special Peggy Weston at The Brussels Jazz Club has aired several times in Europe. She has often shared the stage with international jazz artists such as Clark Terry, Kai Winding, Bud Freeman, Eddie Harris, Kenny Werner, Stan Getz’s Quartet, and Toots Thielemans. Peggy is as comfortable performing in an intimate jazz club as she is on a large concert stage.

Peggy studied music and theatre arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, later graduating from Union Institute & University Vermont College with a BA in Business Management focusing on Arts Management. She studied voice in Northern Virginia with Dr. Harold Connell and Jane White. Peggy is admired for her versatility in singing. She attributes this to her studies, the broad diversity of her singing experiences, and a desire to learn and to communicate with people of all tastes.

Peggy is a gifted teacher who is highly respected and loved by students, parents and colleagues. She provides her students with excellent vocal and music skills while supporting their individuality and confidence. She carefully designs lessons to suit each student’s needs, whether beginners or professionals. Peggy’s knowledge, skills, and extensive experience in both the creative and business aspects of the performing arts make her a valuable consultant in her business, Weston World Productions, LLC. She seeks opportunities to share what she has learned and continues to learn in a lifetime in the arts.

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!