Meet Our Music Instructors
We take great care to assemble the best available instructors to coach and encourage students to always do their very best, never to give up, to set high goals, and to believe in their talent and a promise for their future.
Instructor: Dean Neasham
Teaches: Guitar, Bass, Voice, Music Theory, Lessons Co-ordinator
Dean has been teaching for over 10 years. He teaches all musical styles and all ages. Dean is also a contemporary worship leader. Feel free to contact Dean with any questions, comments or concerts regarding the lesson program.
Teaches: Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo
Professional musician Brad Bays has been playing guitar for 36 years, teaching for 20 years. He has a BA in music from NAU, many hours recording, countless solo performances, and has played with several bands around the US. Brad teaches classical, jazz, rock, folk, country, slide, and bluegrass styles on guitar. On banjo he teaches bluegrass, clawhammer/frailing, and plectrum styles. He teaches mandolin as well as other folk instruments to all ages and levels of students.
Born and raised in the Cajun Country of South Louisiana, Craig Yarbrough began piano lessons at age 5 before discovering the beauties of guitar as a teenager. Craig moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in classical guitar performance, studying with John Rankin at University of New Orleans and Elias Barriero at Tulane University. After completing his undergraduate studies, he moved to Arizona to study with Frank Koonce at Arizona State University. Earning a Master's Degree in Musical Arts in 1997, he came to Flagstaff to be closer to the Grand Canyon.
In 2003, Craig founded the Grand Canyon Guitar Society, a non-profit arts group dedicated to guitar education and performance in Northern Arizona. Craig continues to lead this group as the Executive Director.
Craig has performed extensively in the Southeastern United States and the Four Corners Region, and has performed in Master Classes for artists such as Manuel Barrueco, Christopher Parkening, Paul O’Dette, Jorge Morel, Andrew York, Eduardo Fernandez, and Adam Holzman. Craig has also studied privately with Michael Lorimer, William Kanengiser, Maximo Pujol, and David Leisner.
Craig Yarbrough currently teaches guitar privately at Arizona Music Pro and class guitar for numerous local schools & organizations, and can be found in performance around Northern Arizona when not backpacking in the Grand Canyon.
Specialities: Classical Guitar
Born in 1991 in Phoenix, Arizona, Kyle is an artist that emerged out of the Independent Music scene in the Downtown and East Valley areas. Since moving to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2010, Kyle has earned his BA in Music Performance, studying classical guitar under Tom Sheeley.
During Kyle's time living in Flagstaff, he has performed at a number of venues, including the Orpheum Theatre and The Main Stage. He has also performed at several festivals, including Gumptionfest, Wild Wild West Fest, and the Arizona State Fair. Recent projects include The Big Zona Burlesque Project, Firefly Gatherings, Diamond Down String Band, and an instrumental improve group named Grouper Soup.
Today, Kyle continues to inspire through teaching and performing Classical music, Jazz Fusion, and much more.
Specialities: Guitar, Bass
John T. Wooten, aka JT has been teaching at Arizona Music Pro for more than two years. JT teaches Guitar and Bass with a focus on fretboard visualization and music theory. JT specializes in lead guitar, and teaches students the basic understanding of music theory that will serve them well throughout their musical paths. Students that like classic rock and heavy metal will be best suited to JT as a teacher and will learn many techniques such as sweeping, tapping, and finding their own musical ear. JT's students are encouraged to find their own style of music. JT wants to instill the idea that your instrument is something to have fun with, the better you get and the more you learn and apply, the more fun you will have!
Instructor: Rachel Burnett
Specialties: Violin, Fiddle
Current Bands: The Burnett Family Bluegrass Band
The dawn of Rachel's musical career began very early in her life. At age two, she shared the stage with her older sister, mom, and dad singing the old hymn standards at church. By age four, she began playing Y8 violin. She soon displayed a rare and sparkling talent that magnified the status of a then unheard of band Burnett Family Bluegrass. She proved her shining fiddle prowess when she won first place at the Julian C. Adult Fiddle Competition in 2003. Then onward to a first place win in the Telluride Bluegrass Competition in 2004. Next stop, 2005, Nashville, Tennessee, for a command performance at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association). She has an annual performance at Pickin' in the Pines with her band for the last ten years. Rachel started teaching at age 17. Since then, she has taught violin, piano, voice, guitar and beginning uke. You can catch Rachel at one of her shows locally.
Specialties: Violin, Piano, Cello
Kayla began the piano at the age of 7 and violin at 8. Since then she has participated in school orchestras in middle and high school, honors regional orchestras and became a member of the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra at 14 years old. For two years she was a member of the Seattle Philharmonic then returned to Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University. For the last year, Kayla has applied her understanding of music and stringed instruments to the cello under the direction of Dr. MaryAnn Ramos. Kayla is currently a member of the NAU Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and a frequent substitute member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. She teaches violin, cello, and piano at Arizona Music Pro and continues to hone her own musical skills under the direction of Dr. Louise Scott and Dr. MaryAnn Ramos. After the completion of her Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance and Bachelors of Science in Psychology in December 2016, Kayla plans on pursuing graduate degrees in Music Cognition and Neuromusicology.
Instructor: Robb Belcher
Specialties: Brass, Trombone, Trumpet
Current Bands: Trilllium
Robb Belcher (M.M., B.M.) has been teaching brass instruments at Arizona Music Pro since 2006 when he started working in the store. He has a Master’s degree in trombone (Univ. of Cincinnati, ‘81) and a Bachelor’s in Music Education (Ohio Northern Univ., ’78). He played in the Midland-Odessa (Texas) Symphony and their brass quintet (The Lone Star Brass) from 1984-1992. He taught at Temple College (Temple, TX) from 1992-2000. He has played with various pick-up groups to accompany visiting artists, and has a long list of musical pit orchestras he has played in.
Cayson has been drumming for more than 20 years and teaching at Arizona Music Pro for 6. He enjoys teaching interested people of all skill levels and ages. Drums and rhythm teach important lessons for musicians of any instrument which extend into lessons that apply towards life. Cayson teaches in a way that a student learns techniques for listening, focus, relaxation, independent thought, communication and time travel. He especially enjoys and teaches polyrhythms, jazz, improvisation and ideas that break convention. Cayson's intention is for the student to incorporate what s/he learns in her drum lesson and to apply and/or notice it artistically in the world that surrounds.
Instructor: Ron James
Ron James started playing drums at age 8 and studied percussion throughout school including a full scholarship at the NAU school of music. He has been teaching and playing professionally in Arizona for over 25 years in addition to touring Europe, Asia, and the U.S. with all styles of bands. Ron brings his experience and education into the drum studio, teaching every style imaginable while never forgetting the basics that helped him get to where he is today. He also encourages students to bring in music they want to learn and he will play along with them on bass or guitar to get real experience working with other musicians. From Jazz to rock, drum line, classical percussion and more, Mr. James teaches with professionalism while keeping a relaxed atmosphere at AZ Music Pro.
Instructor: Boone AKA:Eric Dale
Specialties: Drums, Percussion
Boone has been playing drums and percussion for over 15 years. He has vast performing and recording experience. Boone teaches all ages, skill levels and styles.
Instructor: Patty Gross
Patty Gross started her career as a musician at age 3, singing with her father on the radio. She started piano lessons at age 7, and from the ages 13 and 17 she studied under Austrian concert pianist, Margaret Neufeldt. Patty continued her education at New England Conservatory where she studied voice, piano and advanced theory. Mrs. Gross moved to Flagstaff in 1996 and began involving herself in several music programs and teaching privately. She has been with AZ Music Pro for over two years now. She loves to mentor the younger (and sometimes the older) people in our community with playing, singing, or performing.
Instructor: Max Welshinger
My name is Max Welshinger. I am a guitarist with a guitar performance degree from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I am 24 years old and I have been playing guitar for 16 years. I have been teaching guitar lessons professionally for 11 years through various schools, summer camps, private teaching businesses, and arts academies, instructing a wide range of musical styles with students of all ages. I have performed and recorded a variety of musical styles, including pop, blues, rock, jazz, bluegrass, and classical. I have performed in a number of different types of settings, including universities, restaurants, schools, churches, musical theater, and outdoor festivals. I enjoy working with students of all ages and at all different levels of experience. One of my core values and principles of teaching is to simultaneously help students to play the music that they are familiar with and which they aspire to learn, while also introducing them to new styles of guitar which may help in broadening their appreciation of music and help diversify and develop their musical palette. Also, it is important to me to integrate in the lessons some form of written representation of the music my students and I are working on. Whether it be a chord chart, a lead sheet, tablature, or standard notation, it is important that students learn to read music in some form of written notation, so that they are better able to develop the ability and self-sufficiency to further their studies through their own efforts. Most importantly, I strive to invest in my students the time and attention they need to develop their musical potential, through having the skills needed to thoroughly enjoy expressing themselves in playing their instrument. After 15 years, I still enjoy playing my guitar as I continue to learn and improve my craft, and I make it my goal to instill in my students that same commitment and dedication to music, and to help my students have the most fun they can learning and playing their instrument.
Instructor: Joey Dutton
Specialties: Piano, Trombone, Drums
Joey Dutton has been around music his whole life and has spent time studying piano theory as well as trombone and percussion. Though largely self taught, Joey studied percussion at NAU with Stephen Hemphill and jazz drumset privately with Frank Rosally and Jarrett Hicks (Chicago, Il). Joey combines his enthusiasm and knowledge for music to help students gain solid internal timekeeping on the drumkit, taste and musicality, development and refining of various feels and styles, coordinated independence through studied application of rudiments, stick control, and other classic method books. Joey has been in flagstaff teaching since 2011, and asks a variety of awareness questions to help his students set goals and overcome challenges, gain understanding and mastery of the materials covered. Beginners welcome. Have fun and expect results.
Kristen Brock is a classical and jazz musician who specializes in Baritone Saxophone. Brock has been performing for 16 years and received a Bachelor Degree in Saxophone performance from Northern Arizona University in May of 2016. She studied 6 years with saxophonist and clarinetist Anita Handelsman, as well as 6 years with the Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northern Arizona, Dr. Jonathan Bergeron.
With performance and teaching experience in flute, clarinet and saxophone, Brock has performed with various types of music groups, such as chamber ensembles, jazz big bands, funk fusion groups and hip hop/jazz fusion groups, as well as 6 years with the Arizona Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. She also performed 3 years with the Young Sounds of Arizona under the direction of Barb Catlin (2004-2006) and 7 years with the NAU Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Joel DiBartolo (2007-2011), Russel Schmidt (2011), Ryan Haynes (2012) and Chris Finet (2013). Brock has also had the pleasure of performing with many famous musicians, including Lucas Pino, The Brubeck Brothers (2005), Bobby Shew (2006), Conrad Herwig (2007), Randy Brecker (2008), David Liebman (2009), The Temptations (2009), Jim McNeely (2010), Dave Pietro (2011), Andy Martin (2012) and Brice Winston (2013).
Brock has over 10 years teaching experience and currently teaches private lessons in saxophone, flute and clarinet in Flagstaff and Northern Arizona. She has performed various clinics at high schools in Arizona and has instructed the marching bands at Sabino and Rincon/University high schools, under the direction of Jeff Marchant for the past 8 years.
Shop our Bestselling Instruments and Gear for Students & Beginners
Browse our online selection of bestselling instruments and gear for beginners and students of violin, banjo, keys, recording, guitar, and bass.
Deciding to Take Music Lessons Can Be a Life Changing Decision.
So what are you waiting for? Seize the day. Put your passion to practice with the guidance of one of our highly experienced and qualified music instructors.