Piano – Amy Reiber
Amy has been playing piano for twelve years, the last seven of which have been spent teaching students of all ages. She studied piano under Leszek Bartkiewicz at Macomb Community College, where she graduated with an Associate of Arts and Music Performance. Along with reading music, students will be exposed to theory and ear training, though lessons are catered to compliment the goals of each student. Her teaching style differs from student to student, depending on each individual’s strengths and needs. Though proper playing techniques are highly valued and strived for, she also believes that music should be fun, and focuses on balancing hard work with enjoyment. The goal here is not to simply impart knowledge, but to teach others how to independently analyze, process, and practice music in a meaningful way.
Piano – Bradley Crooker
Mr. Crooker began his piano studies at Ardis Music in 1997, starting his teaching role in 2006. Mr. Crooker also studied clarinet and mallet percussion, playing for his high school marching band, East Side Fury, and the Wayne State University Wind symphony. In over a decade of teaching, he has had the opportunity to instruct students of all ages and backgrounds, many with no prior musical exposure.
Mr. Crooker believes a broader teaching of music parallels a sound piano training. Students learn fundamentals of music—learning to read the notes, rhythms, and methods to convey the expression—in addition to the techniques unique to the piano. He also recognizes that each student has his or her own ambitions behind the decision to journey into the world of music and supports each student to achieve his or her individual goals.
Outside of Ardis Music, Mr. Crooker offers his piano performing abilities as an accompanist for soloists and for special events. His interests include music theory and composition, and can often be heard learning new classical music at the piano. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and is a juris doctor candidate.
Violin and Piano – Janine Rossol
Mrs. Rossol has played the piano for 56 years and the violin for 50 with 25 years of teaching experience. She has studied under DSO violinist Gaye Rose, and John Miller and Ramon Garza who are both violinists with several distinguished orchestras.
Her areas of expertise include classical, traditional, pop, new age, theory, teaching Sukuki and classical violin methods together. She plays: solos for weddings, parties, church, solo/ensemble at MSBOA and MMF competitions, accompaniment, and worship team. She has been a member of the Macomb Symphony Orchestra and Lake St. Clair Symphony Orchestra, Chamber groups and quartets.
Mrs. Rossol strongly advocates a classical approach to learning music with intentions of springboarding to all types of music. Teaching/learning music is a very individualistic experience. Through interaction with the student, the best teaching methods are determined in order to best catapult the learning experience.
Percussion – Mike Walsh
Mr. Walsh has been playing percussion for sixteen years, and has been teaching for nine. Mr. Walsh has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Oakland University, and has studied music with notable artists Steve Adams, Nick Backos, and Ralph Biggs. He has been playing in bands since beginning his music studies, playing bass and tenor in L’Anse Creuse’s marching band, as well touring with Hollow Earth for five years. Mr. Walsh’s area of expertise is rock music, with emphasis on rudimental chops. He also has experience with recording in various studios and settings.
Brass – Thomas Haney
Mr. Haney has been playing brass for eleven years, and teaching for four. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Studies from Wayne State University. He plays trombone for Midtown Sounds, a jazz band of which he is a founding member. Mr. Haney has also performed with Wayne State University Big Band, as well as performing at the Detroit Jazz festival, and with greats like Danilo Perez and Joshua Redman. His area of expertise is brass instruments, particularly trombone.
Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Ukulele – Joe Pajakowski
Mr. Pajakowski has been playing guitar for forty-eight years, and teaching for twenty-five. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication, and a Master of Arts in Visual Communication. He has studied music privately for eighteen years, as well as playing in middle school jazz band, and in high school band. Mr. Pajakowski has performed as a solo acoustic artist for fifteen years, as well as playing in bands for special events. His areas of expertise include guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, vocal instruction, music theory, and music writing.
Woodwinds and Piano – Jake Shadik
Jake earned his Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies from Wayne State and has studied under Rodney Whitaker, Kris Johnson, Chris Collins and more. He has been playing for 14 years and teaching for over 5. In addition to teaching he is a freelance musician working with many popular Detroit bands. His areas of expertise include Jazz, improvisation, and harmony.
Saxophone, Clarinet – Walter McCray
Mr. McCray has been playing woodwinds for 28 years, and has taught for twenty years. Mr. McCray studied saxophone and music education at Wayne State University, and has played in various pit orchestras. His areas of expertise are saxophone and clarinet, and he teaches at L’Anse Creuse High School.
Guitar, Bass – Frank Marinello
Frank has been playing for 47 years and teaching for over 40! He has extensive knowledge of all styles of play and has performed with groups all over. His educations includes Macomb County Jazz Band, music theory, classical guitar. Frank studied at the prestigious Musicians Institute with Joe Pass, Radde, and Joe Diario.