Guitar / Bass / Drums / Ukulele / Harmonica / Songwriting / Group Classes
Multi-instrumentalist Spencer Johnson has been helping students reach their potential and grow as musicians for over fifteen years. His especially gentle and patient attitude makes him particularly gifted with students who are shy or nervous to begin taking music lessons. His passion for music is demonstrated by more than twenty years of ongoing experience as a performing musician and his. Students explore their instruments, continually challenge themselves, and experience music from the perspective of an experienced songwriter and performing musician in both his private and group lessons. Spencer's commendable ability has given him the opportunity to travel the country and brought his music to such notable venues as Thalia Hall, Aragon Ballroom, Empty Bottle, Bottom Lounge, and many more. Spencer's expertise and experience makes him an ideal choice for students who want to play in a band, learn their favorite songs, and deepen their knowledge and appreciation for music.
"I love sharing my love for music and helping students achieve their goals"
Voice / Piano / Ukulele / Songwriting
Sonya Major is a talented, dedicated professional music teacher and musician whose passion shows in everything she does. Her enthusiasm for living a musical life conflated with her desire to help students in their own music life creates a comfortable and safe space where students feel the freedom to express, explore, and discover their own voice. Anyone from an absolute beginner to an experienced vocalist will receive individualized lessons to help reach and exceed their personal goals. Sonya's experience in music has been as diverse as it has been exciting. She has been the lead singer of a touring rock band, the musical director and arranger for an award-winning A Cappella group, coached several groups around Michigan, and currently arranges for several groups and has performed at venues like Fox Theater in Detroit, Lincoln Center (NYC), held a monthly residency at MGM Grand Casino (Detroit).
"I believe in the importance of vocal health in singers of all ages and will work with students on a very individualized basis to develop these habits early on."
Bass / Piano / Ukulele
Zachary Kidder is a sincere and passionate instructor dedicated to the musical, social, and cognitive development of each student. His contagious love for music and his casual, immersive teaching style helps students stay curious and motivated throughout the learning process. Zach's experience in music has been diverse as it has been exciting. He has been involved with multiple drum corp organizations, composed and arranged for his local college's string ensembles, helped pioneer an ongoing music festival in his home town, toured with original and tribute acts and has performed at notable venues such as House of Blues, 20 Monroe, United Center, Summerfest Oasis Stage, as well as various churches, clubs, and festivals.
"I am passionate about sharing my love of music and am deeply proud of those that choose to study and develop as goodhearted, curious people."
Music Tech / Guitar / Voice / Bass / Ukulele / Piano / Songwriting
Torin Hopkins is a profound motivator, talented musician, and focused educator. He combines the tried and true handwritten approach to teaching music while embracing our evolving technological world through several alternative education methods utilizing apps, computer software, manipulated playback, and much more. His students are able to quickly learn songs and understand the theory and structure that makes those songs work. Torin is an adept player and songwriter on several instruments and is experienced with Digital Audio Workstations such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and various other production softwares. He is also a co-developer for the popular music education app, Hook Theory and the founder of SolJAMM LLC -- a company which creates digital instruments and computer software designed to make playing instruments a more accessible and fun experience.
"I aim to instill a love for music, enhance cognitive capacity, and to teach the art of respectful, social expression."
Drums & Percussion
Greg Hartman is a passionate, professional drummer that is committed to continually deepening his understanding of music and sharing his experience with others who love to learn. From rock and pop to jazz, Greg's students are able to successfully play the drums in a multitude of musical situations. Greg helps his students grasp musical ideas quickly by slowing down and looping songs, providing his students with notated exercises and transcriptions, creating backing tracks for students to practice with, and much more. Greg's students can expect to walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation for music that can resonate with them for their entire lives. Greg Hartman received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California and his Masters of Music from DePaul University where he studied under world renown percussionists Peter Erskine, Dana Hall, Aaron Serfaty, Joel Spencer, and Bret Sher over his professional and academic career.
"I have been playing music since I was five years old and have been fortunate enough to study with some of the top performers and teachers in the world. I not only love playing the drums, but I love sharing my knowledge and experience with those who are eager to learn. I enjoy forming a relationship with my students and feel pride as I see them grown musically and as people."
The Music Gallery Academy
2558 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, IL 60035