Meet Our Teachers!
Phyllis Montgomery has been a music educator for over 25 years and brings a multitude of experience to her students. She received a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Music Education from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. Piano is an instrument on which she loves to perform and has taught students of all ages for many years. While living and teaching in Texas; she won a grant for 24 keyboards to enable all students from kindergarten through third grade to learn keyboard skills. She has accompanied solo and ensembles in several venues, including the Indiana Solo and Ensemble competition in Indianapolis this past year. She believes that keyboard skills improve scholastic and social proficiencies in all people; and everyone is capable of learning. With a focus on rhythm and note reading, Ms Montgomery works with each student to achieve success in a fun, energetic way.
Alyse Kellog studied music at Ball State and brings a steady foundation of theory, rhythm, and technique to our beginning piano students with a patient and dedicated approach to her students. As a teacher, Alyse knows how important it is for each student to be able to perform essential fundamental skills while having fun through the joy of music. She enjoys working with beginners and loves to see how each student uniquely grows!
Voice & Performing Arts:
Alyse Kellog studied music at Ball State and is a well-trained vocalist who incorporates theory, sight singing, rhythm, and vocal techniques to the vocal coaching experience in order to ensure her students are well rounded and have the tools they need to sing and perform successfully. She is a dedicated teacher with a proven record of student successes including several Indiana State School Music Association solo and ensemble winners at the local, regional, and state levels. She has also led several college bound students to successful college vocal auditions, most recently including DePaul University. You will be sure to grow and see the rewards of working with a skilled vocal instructor under the guidance of Ms Kellog!
Keith Lemmer has played, studied, and taught the guitar for over twenty years! He has also played semi-professionally throughout the area. He first learned guitar from his father, who also taught him to play the banjo. After college Keith played professionally with a bluegrass band throughout the Chicago area. He found a renewed love for the guitar through this experience and began studying classically with several top instructors in the Chicago area. Teaching guitar is a passion for Keith and he is extremely dedicated to the success of his students. He strives to develop fundamental skills and a broad understanding of the guitar in order to empower his students and help them learn the music that they find fulfilling.
Jennifer Vannell received a Bachelor of Music in performance from Mercyhurst College and studied guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, as well as with several other private instructors in the Chicagoland area. She has over 15 years teaching experience and is dedicated to teaching and helping students of all ages realize their potential as a musician while having fun exploring music. She has a unique, laid back, patient approach to teaching the guitar and encourages students to explore various rock and folk styles while establishing fundamental skills on their instrument. In addition to learning fundamental skills students learn song structure, explore strumming patterns and rhythms, practice varied pick techniques, and more. She currently teaches guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, and all drum/percussion private and group classes.
Drums & Percussion:
Jennifer Vannell received a Bachelor of Music in performance from Mercyhurst College. Her teachers include Mark Marchant (Erie Philharmonic Orchestra) and Brad Amidon (Erie Philharmonic Orchestra) to name a few. She has been performing and teaching for over 15 years and has experience working with students in both private and group settings. She enjoys the challenge of helping students find success in music and treats each student as a unique individual in order to help them achieve their absolute best, and give them the best experience possible. In addition to teaching, she is an active composer and arranger for competitive high school marching bands and over the past 12 years has worked with and coached several competitive drumline/pit, orchestral, school band, and alternative music programs. She currently teaches guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, and all drum/percussion private and group classes.
Patrick Terbrack received a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies from Michigan State University and a Master's of Music in jazz studies from Northern Illinois University. He has studied with Ron Carter, Willie Pickens, Steven Duke, and Diego Rivera among others. He was the named Outstanding Musician of the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in 2009 and 2008 Signature Songwriting Competition Winner in the jazz category for his work "6 Here, 12 There". He has been teaching classical and jazz woodwinds for over 7 years and has had an extensive performing career, including several recordings, over the past several years. Patrick is a compassionate, dedicated music educator looking to give each student what they need to have the most positive experience discovering music. He is currently teaching Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, jazz and pop theory, and jazz improvisation.
Richard Watson a Bachelor of Music in tuba performance from the University of Michigan and a Master's of Music in tuba performance from Northwestern University. He has performed with the Honolulu Symphony (12 years), the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony, Utah Symphony, and Houston Symphony to name a few. Richard is also currently very active performing in Northwest Indiana with the LaPorte Symphony, among others. He studied under some of the most prestigious low brass instructors of our time including Arnold Jacobs (Chicago Symphony), Roger Bobo (LA Philharmonic), Roger Rocco (Chicago), and Abe Torchinsky (Philadelphia Orchestra). He works with students of all ages and levels of ability and enjoys challenging his students to be the absolute best they can be!
Amber Walton-Amar received a Bachelor's of Music from the University of Toronto and recently received her Master's of Music from DePaul University. Ms Walton-Amar began playing the cello at age three after hearing a perfomance by Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy. Her studies continued at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for eleven years. She has participated in several festivals worldwide including the Casalmaggiore International Chamber Music Institute in Italy and the Kronberg cello festival in Germany. In addition to being a devoted chamber and orchestral musician, Ms Walton-Amar prides herself in dedicating the highest level of expertise and guidance to each student to meet their needs in a supportive, patient learning environment.
Pre-K & Children's Music:
Emily Maurek received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Ball State University and a Master's in Music Technology from Indiana State University. She is a certified instructor for the 'First Steps in Music' program, a unique music curriculum designed to develop early musical skills to children from birth to 5 years of age. Emily has almost 15 years of experience bring music education to children of various ages and currently teaches music at Bibich Elementary in Dyer, In.