Instructors

Instructors

Americana instructors are professional musicians and teachers involved in local, regional and national bands and music organizations. Many perform regularly throughout the area.  To schedule a lesson or get more information, call our executive director, Peter Lague, 785-830-9640, or email, americanamusicacademy@gmail.com, and he will put you in touch with an instructor.


Michael Paull - Piano, guitar, bass, voice, music theory Michael Paull was born and raised in Ft. Collins, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. He moved to Lawrence in 1993 ("I thought I'd go see what the horizon looked like.") where he has lived ever since. In January of 2003 he became a staff teacher at the Americana Music Academy and keyboard player in a number of musical groups promoting awareness of the school's community outreach programs. He teaches all skill levels on piano, incorporating early jazz, classical (including Ives and Copeland), folk blues, country, rock n' roll and any creative mixture of these styles for composition and improvisation. Michael performs his own works frequently and coordinates other performers for benefits and various local music events.

Michael Paull - Piano, guitar, bass, voice, music theory

Michael Paull was born and raised in Ft. Collins, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. He moved to Lawrence in 1993 ("I thought I'd go see what the horizon looked like.") where he has lived ever since. In January of 2003 he became a staff teacher at the Americana Music Academy and keyboard player in a number of musical groups promoting awareness of the school's community outreach programs. He teaches all skill levels on piano, incorporating early jazz, classical (including Ives and Copeland), folk blues, country, rock n' roll and any creative mixture of these styles for composition and improvisation. Michael performs his own works frequently and coordinates other performers for benefits and various local music events.

Matt Pelsma - Electric/acoustic  guitar, bass, mandolin, and kid's rock band Matt has been a student of music all his life, which fuels his fervent desire to teach. He graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s in Music in guitar performance and studied with Craig Owens and Jerry Hahn. Matt has also worked with jazz and music industry greats such as Bruce Arnold, Pete McCann and Paul Lipson through programs at New York University and Berklee College of Music. Matt’s current interests have taken him back to his home of Lawrence, KS to give back to the community that educated and nourished him as a young musician.

Matt Pelsma - Electric/acoustic  guitar, bass, mandolin, and kid's rock band

Matt has been a student of music all his life, which fuels his fervent desire to teach. He graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University with a Bachelor’s in Music in guitar performance and studied with Craig Owens and Jerry Hahn. Matt has also worked with jazz and music industry greats such as Bruce Arnold, Pete McCann and Paul Lipson through programs at New York University and Berklee College of Music. Matt’s current interests have taken him back to his home of Lawrence, KS to give back to the community that educated and nourished him as a young musician.

Cyril Cook - Suzuki Method Violin Cyril had been teaching violin for ten years and playing for twenty-one when he wandered into Americana Music Academy.  Since everyone there is uncommon friendly, they didn’t turn him out, and he now teaches anyone who wants beginner or intermediate lessons on the violin and viola.  Cyril has particular experience with the Suzuki Violin Method, which emphasizes ear training and provides an excellent foundation for learning a broad range of playing styles.  He enjoys teaching and usually loses track of when the lesson was supposed to end.

Cyril Cook - Suzuki Method Violin

Cyril had been teaching violin for ten years and playing for twenty-one when he wandered into Americana Music Academy.  Since everyone there is uncommon friendly, they didn’t turn him out, and he now teaches anyone who wants beginner or intermediate lessons on the violin and viola.  Cyril has particular experience with the Suzuki Violin Method, which emphasizes ear training and provides an excellent foundation for learning a broad range of playing styles.  He enjoys teaching and usually loses track of when the lesson was supposed to end.

Linda Tilton - Ukulele Linda got interested in playing ukulele when she regularly attended old-time music jams. Tired of being an observer, Linda mentioned to a friend that she wished she had a banjo ukulele to play at the music sessions. Two years later that friend surprised her with a Christmas gift of a 1926 Sears and Roebuck banjo ukulele – the $3 model! Since 2006, Linda has been a performing member of the Kansas City Ukesters, a ukulele club in Mission, Kansas. She also teaches ukulele workshops at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Linda's classes focus on beginning and intermediate students who play soprano, concert and tenor-sized ukuleles. These sessions are tailored to the preferences and interests of the student. Beginning sessions include tuning, entry-level songs, how to learn and remember new songs, and jamming etiquette. Intermediate classes include: songs using more advanced chord progressions, transposing and strum patterns.

Linda Tilton - Ukulele

Linda got interested in playing ukulele when she regularly attended old-time music jams. Tired of being an observer, Linda mentioned to a friend that she wished she had a banjo ukulele to play at the music sessions. Two years later that friend surprised her with a Christmas gift of a 1926 Sears and Roebuck banjo ukulele – the $3 model!

Since 2006, Linda has been a performing member of the Kansas City Ukesters, a ukulele club in Mission, Kansas. She also teaches ukulele workshops at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Linda's classes focus on beginning and intermediate students who play soprano, concert and tenor-sized ukuleles. These sessions are tailored to the preferences and interests of the student. Beginning sessions include tuning, entry-level songs, how to learn and remember new songs, and jamming etiquette. Intermediate classes include: songs using more advanced chord progressions, transposing and strum patterns.

Joe Pickett - mandolin Joe is a Lawrence native who is known for his meticulous rhythm and clean style on the mandolin. He began playing the mandolin at the age of nine and has been performing in local bands for over twenty years. Joe was a two-time Kansas Fiddling and Picking youth award winner and in 1999 was named the Kansas Fiddling and Picking mandolin champion. He also won the RockyGrass mandolin contest in 2000. In addition to his fine mandolin technique, Joe holds a Master’s degree in Education.

Joe Pickett - mandolin

Joe is a Lawrence native who is known for his meticulous rhythm and clean style on the mandolin. He began playing the mandolin at the age of nine and has been performing in local bands for over twenty years. Joe was a two-time Kansas Fiddling and Picking youth award winner and in 1999 was named the Kansas Fiddling and Picking mandolin champion. He also won the RockyGrass mandolin contest in 2000. In addition to his fine mandolin technique, Joe holds a Master’s degree in Education.

 
Jim Krause-Finger style guitar, old-time fiddle, and claw-hammer style banjo. Jim has been playing guitar since his teens, and fiddle and banjo since the early 1980s. In the early 2000s, he became interested in the folk traditions of fife and drum corps, having realized that many of the old fiddle tunes were used as marches by fifers during the early days of the Republic. He has performed and toured with such groups as The 97th Regimental Stringband, and The Euphoria Stringband. Jim specializes in fife, finger-picking guitar, old-time contra-dance style fiddle, and the claw-hammer style of banjo playing. Jim is a former banjo contest award winner at the National Fiddling and Picking Championships and a 1975 graduate of Bethel College, N. Newton, KS, with a BA in Vocal Music Performance.  He currently performs with the alt-country group Getty Township playing 6- and 12-string guitars, fiddle and vocals.

Jim Krause-Finger style guitar, old-time fiddle, and claw-hammer style banjo.

Jim has been playing guitar since his teens, and fiddle and banjo since the early 1980s. In the early 2000s, he became interested in the folk traditions of fife and drum corps, having realized that many of the old fiddle tunes were used as marches by fifers during the early days of the Republic. He has performed and toured with such groups as The 97th Regimental Stringband, and The Euphoria Stringband. Jim specializes in fife, finger-picking guitar, old-time contra-dance style fiddle, and the claw-hammer style of banjo playing. Jim is a former banjo contest award winner at the National Fiddling and Picking Championships and a 1975 graduate of Bethel College, N. Newton, KS, with a BA in Vocal Music Performance. 

He currently performs with the alt-country group Getty Township playing 6- and 12-string guitars, fiddle and vocals.

Greg Pelligreen-Guitar, harmonica, and songwriting. Greg is a long-time Americana community member, and hosts the Saturday community jams, as well as Americana night Wednesdays at Cutter's in Eudora.  He usually finds himself in a working band, playing around town, and focuses on techniques helpful for playing in a group in his lessons.  Greg can help you learn classic rock, blues, folk, and many other styles, as well as songwriting, and singing and playing guitar at the same time.  And if you want to learn harmonica, Greg is your man.

Greg Pelligreen-Guitar, harmonica, and songwriting.

Greg is a long-time Americana community member, and hosts the Saturday community jams, as well as Americana night Wednesdays at Cutter's in Eudora.  He usually finds himself in a working band, playing around town, and focuses on techniques helpful for playing in a group in his lessons.  Greg can help you learn classic rock, blues, folk, and many other styles, as well as songwriting, and singing and playing guitar at the same time.  And if you want to learn harmonica, Greg is your man.


Dylan Bassett-Percussion. Dylan is a composer, percussionist, and teacher. He has been playing percussion for over 20 years and holds a B.A. in Music. His 17 years of experience teaching include work with the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, Drury University, Webster University Dance Institute, Missouri State University, the Missouri Arts Council, Gash Voight Dance Theatre, Americana Music Academy, and out of his private studio. Dylan teaches private lessons in drum set, snare drum, keyboards, congas, djembe, orchestral and marching percussion, as well as traditional African, Cuban, and Brazilian drumming. He has performed in numerous jazz, rock, African, blues, and fusion bands throughout the U.S and in Africa. Dylan is currently directing the KU African Drum and Dance Ensemble and performing with the afro-jazz-funk band SUNU and various jazz bands in the area

Dylan Bassett-Percussion.

Dylan is a composer, percussionist, and teacher. He has been playing percussion for over 20 years and holds a B.A. in Music. His 17 years of experience teaching include work with the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, Drury University, Webster University Dance Institute, Missouri State University, the Missouri Arts Council, Gash Voight Dance Theatre, Americana Music Academy, and out of his private studio. Dylan teaches private lessons in drum set, snare drum, keyboards, congas, djembe, orchestral and marching percussion, as well as traditional African, Cuban, and Brazilian drumming.

He has performed in numerous jazz, rock, African, blues, and fusion bands throughout the U.S and in Africa. Dylan is currently directing the KU African Drum and Dance Ensemble and performing with the afro-jazz-funk band SUNU and various jazz bands in the area

Steven Bergdall - Piano, brass, beginning woodwinds Steven has been a music maker since early childhood and began formal study of piano at age 11.  Since then he has been blessed with opportunities to play classical, jazz, rock, salsa, and many other styles of music.  He studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory and jazz piano at Indiana University.  In recent years, he was fortunate to be mentored by Claude Sifferlen and Max Hartstein, two Indianapolis musicians who helped Steven connect with the deep roots of Midwest jazz.  Certified in Sound and Music Healing by the California Institute of Integral Studies, Steven is also an accomplished French horn player and has experience teaching brass and woodwind instruments in addition to piano. 


Steven Bergdall - Piano, brass, beginning woodwinds

Steven has been a music maker since early childhood and began formal study of piano at age 11.  Since then he has been blessed with opportunities to play classical, jazz, rock, salsa, and many other styles of music.  He studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory and jazz piano at Indiana University.  In recent years, he was fortunate to be mentored by Claude Sifferlen and Max Hartstein, two Indianapolis musicians who helped Steven connect with the deep roots of Midwest jazz. 

Certified in Sound and Music Healing by the California Institute of Integral Studies, Steven is also an accomplished French horn player and has experience teaching brass and woodwind instruments in addition to piano. 

David Ludwick-Piano, mandolin, guitar, voice, and percussion. David has played music professionally since junior high school in various groups and styles. His most recent ventures include the Lawrence City Band, Ottawa Symphony, several rock and country dance bands, and a ballroom dance band called the Prairie Dogs. After getting a music degree from the University of Kansas, he has taught many types and genres of music. His teaching history includes twenty years of college and elementary music classes and thirty years of private students. David is proficient playing and teaching piano, guitar, mandolin, voice and percussion.

David Ludwick-Piano, mandolin, guitar, voice, and percussion.

David has played music professionally since junior high school in various groups and styles. His most recent ventures include the Lawrence City Band, Ottawa Symphony, several rock and country dance bands, and a ballroom dance band called the Prairie Dogs. After getting a music degree from the University of Kansas, he has taught many types and genres of music. His teaching history includes twenty years of college and elementary music classes and thirty years of private students. David is proficient playing and teaching piano, guitar, mandolin, voice and percussion.

 
Jim Jeans-ukulele, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, and guitar Jim has been an active supporter, teacher, and board member for Americana for years.  Active in many local bands over time, he currently picks with Pickett, Paull, and Jeans, a cafe jazz trio, playing guitar and mandolin. Jim is a talented multi-instrumentalist teaching lessons on mountain dulcimer, ukulele, mandolin, and guitar.  He is also a luthier and instrument expert.  If you have  any questions on what type of instrument to buy for your lessons, he's the "in house" authority.

Jim Jeans-ukulele, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, and guitar

Jim has been an active supporter, teacher, and board member for Americana for years.  Active in many local bands over time, he currently picks with Pickett, Paull, and Jeans, a cafe jazz trio, playing guitar and mandolin.

Jim is a talented multi-instrumentalist teaching lessons on mountain dulcimer, ukulele, mandolin, and guitar.  He is also a luthier and instrument expert.  If you have  any questions on what type of instrument to buy for your lessons, he's the "in house" authority.