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 almost 20 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.
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: Patty Gross
Specialties: Piano, Voice
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: Mary Schlanger
Teaches: French Horn, Trumpet
Mary is currently attending Northern Arizona University where she is studying Horn Performance with Nancy Sullivan, Principal Horn Lecturer in Horn and Chamber Music. At NAU, she is a member of the NAU Symphony Orchestra, NAU Wind Symphony, and several Chamber Horn ensembles. In High School, Mary performed with the Coconino High School Band as well as, the Regional Honor Band and the All-State Honor Band. She toured Europe with the Arizona Ambassadors of music, performed with the Curry Summer Music Camp for eight years and Arrowbear Music Camp for four.
After college Mary plans to pursue her love for French horn by getting a Masters and a Ph.D in horn performance.
Instructor: David Martinez
Teaches: Low Brass, Trumpet
Specialties: Brass, Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium
Current Ensembles: NAU Symphonic Band, Brass Quintet, Trombone Quartet, Jazz Band 1, Trombone Choir
David Martinez is a sophomore music education major at Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in trombone. An expert on many diverse brass instruments, David has played in many of the ensembles at Kingman High School, including: principal euphonium in the wind ensemble, and lead trumpet in the second jazz band. In addition, he has played tuba and trombone for the Kingman Community Orchestra. David participated in the Northwest regional honor band and as principal trombone for the Northwest regional honor orchestra for two years. He also had the honor of playing bass trombone for the Arizona all-state orchestra and participating in the Arizona all-state jazz band.
In college, David has served as principal trombone of the NAU symphonic band and wind symphony. He has also been a member of the top jazz band and the NAU trombone quartet. Additional chamber music experience includes substituting for the Elden Brass (NAU’s faculty brass quintet) and his current position with the NAU student brass quintet.
Instructor: Rachel Butherus
Rachel Butherus was born in Greeley, Colorado and moved to Flagstaff in 2016 to pursue a Master's degree in Suzuki Pedagogy at NAU. Rachel received her undergraduate degree in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado where she studied under Richard Fuchs and Margaret Soper- Guiterrez. Butherus has toured with orchestras and played in chamber festivals across Italy, Germany, England, and the Czech Republic. Rachel is currently a member of the Skylight City String Quartet located here in Flagstaff where she enjoys making music with fellow Flagstaff Symphony members and friends.
Instructor: Britany Parker
Brittany Parker enjoys teaching, performing, and studying cello in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is currently a graduate student at Northern Arizona University studying cello performance under Dr. Mary Ann Ramos. Parker graduated from NAU in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in cello performance. She also received certification in Every Child Can! under the instruction of Carrie Reuning-Hummel, in Suzuki cello book one under the instruction of Dr. Tanya Carey, and in cello books two and three under the instruction of Rick Mooney.
Because of her experience teaching students from ages 5-70, Parker believes that music education and participation can have extraordinary benefits across the lifespan. She believes that any student has the ability to fulfill their musical and personal goals with practice, persistence, and passion for what they do. By nurturing each student's unique strengths, she is able to help students grow into their own individuality and musical voices.
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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.