Styles - Rock, Bluegrass, Funk, Blues, Old Time, Country
Techniques - Music Theory, Instrumental Mechanics, Practice Skills, Improvisation, Playing with Others, Jamming, Musical Vocabulary, Ear Training, and More
“Take care of the Music and the Music will take care of you.”
Mike is a multi-instrumentalist and performer who possesses a cornucopia of talents, skills, and ideas to offer students. He is adept in a multitude of different genres and playing styles, which has allowed him develop his own approach to performing, arranging, and teaching. In Mike’s view, all music comes from the same place. From Metallica, to Louis Armstrong, to Appalachian folk, he loves to connect the dots.
Mike is a true-blue Midwesterner whose friendly and goofy personality is evident in his playing style. He grew up in Peoria, Illinois, where he studied with down-home pickers and shredders, including the illustrious Andy Hatfield. In his teens, Mike played garage rock, bluegrass, reggae, heavy metal, and jam band music. In college, he studied Music Business and Jazz Guitar, which gave him unique insight into the role music plays in the world around us. After graduating, Mike began working in the Music Store at the Old Town School, which made it possible for him to fully immerse himself in the wisdom provided by the teachers and staff at the school.
Mike’s primary goal as a teacher is to help students have as much fun as possible playing music. His motto for students is “The more you practice, the more you learn, the more you grow, the more fun you can have.” Although Mike makes learning fun and relaxed, he also knows how to challenge his students. He is an adamant proponent of maintaining a strong practice regimen that will develop musicianship as a whole. Mike knows how to connect with his students personally and will make sure his students are making progress. To him, to grow as a musician, we must also grow as people.
Mike plays in Growler, a contemporary bluegrass band, as well as the Freedonian Municipal Band, a 9-piece experimental rock band. You can also catch him playing small gigs around town, collaborating with OTSFM staff, and attending local jam sessions throughout Chicago.
Education: Bachelor in Music Business, Columbia College Chicago, 2014
Started at the Old Town School in October of 2015