Faculty

  • Michael Ridenour

 

Music Academy faculty members are selected from the finest area music teachers and performers.  All of our faculty members hold advanced degrees in their field of study, have decades of teaching and performing experience, and teach all styles of music.   In addition to their teaching credentials, our faculty members have warm personalities, are extremely friendly, and dedicated to teaching you the style of music that you want to learn in your music lesson.

Please select an instructor from the drop-down “Faculty” menu above or the list below to read their biography.

Administration

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Director – Faculty Member Since 1997)

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Electric, Acoustic, Classical Guitar, Ukulele – Faculty Member Since 1997)
Tyler Cason (B.MEd., M.MEd., Acoustic Guitar – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Andrew Thelston (B.A., Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Electric Bass – Faculty Member Since 2018

Drums & Percussion

Joshua Dunn (B.MEd., M.M., Drums & Percussion – Faculty Member Since 2017)

Piano & Keyboard

Lauren Cason (B.A., M.M., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Melanye Crayton (B.M., Piano  – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Jessica Walizer (B.A., B.F.A., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Voice

Tyler Cason (B.MEd., M.MEd., Classical & Commercial Voice – Faculty Member Since 2016)

Orchestral Strings

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Cello – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Carol Bjorlie (B.M., M.F.A., Cello – Faculty Member Since 2014)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., Viola/Violin – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Eben Mann (A.D. Violin – Faculty Member Since 2018)
Matthew Pierce (B.M., M.M. Cello – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Carolyn Tackett (B.MEd., Violin – Faculty Member Since 2012)
Emily Vaughn (B.M., B.M.E., M.M., Violin/Viola – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Folk Music Program

Tyler Cason (B.MEd., M.MEd., Folk Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Mandolin, Songwriting. Voice – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., Fiddle – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Carolyn Tackett (B.MEd., Mark O’Connor Fiddle Method – Faculty Member Since 2012)

Brass & Woodwinds

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Bill Funderburk (B.M., M.M., Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium – Faculty Member Since 2013)

Songwriting

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Songwriting – Faculty Member Since 1997)
Tyler Cason (B.MEd., M.MEd., Songwriting – Faculty Member Since 2016)

Ensemble Directors & Coaches

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Woodwinds Ensemble – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Tyler Cason (B.MEd., M.MEd., Folk Band Coach – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Melanye Crayton (B.M., Serenata Chorale Director – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., String Quartet Coach – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Andrea Dennis (B.MEd. Sonata Strings Director – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Fusion/Rock Band Coach – Faculty Member Since 1997)
Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Guitar Ensemble Director- Faculty Member Since 1997)
Elizabeth Terry (B.A., Cadenza Strings Director – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Elementary & Middle School Music Class Development & Instructor

Emily Vaughn (B.M., B.M.E., M.M., Elementary/Middle School Music – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Accompanists

Lauren Cason (B.A., M.M., Staff Accompanist/Piano – Faculty Member Since 2016)
Jessica Walizer (B.A., B.F.A., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2018)
Vance Reese (D.M.A., Staff Accompanist/Piano – Faculty Member Since 2014 

Give us a call at 828-693-3726 to schedule your FREE introductory consultation to meet perspective faculty members, tour our facility, ad discuss your musical direction before you commit to private lessons.