Community Music School Faculty

Bethany Barroso


Bethany joined The Music Center in 2022 and was actually a student here many years ago. She embraces the diversity of the center’s staff and student body because everyone can learn from one another — both as musicians and people. Today, she continues this welcoming tradition with her students.

Melissa Baxter

Piano (Studio Full At This Time)

Teaching piano for The Music Center since 2017, Melissa shares her passion for music with students of all levels. She stresses the fundamentals using method books but often supplements lessons with games and technology. Melissa also teaches ear training (aural skills) using lead sheets. “I’ve met many special students — such as a four-year-old with an amazing ear, a doctor and a lawyer who were fulfilling their dream to play piano, and countless others who impressed me with their stamina and work ethic,” she says.
Holly Bolthouse

Holly Bolthouse

piano (studio full at this time)

Holly has taught piano at The Music Center since it opened in 2000 and is skilled at motivating young children through her practical yet engaging teaching style. Her technique includes learning through note reading and aurally taught pieces while rewarding students for goal achievement.

Miranda Bowdish

Music First

Miranda joined The Music Center in 2023 and enjoys introducing music to children of all ages — and being part of the learning options offered to the entire music community. She was drawn to the center because of its inclusivity and variety of opportunities for everyone in the community.

Brittany Carey

Music First

Brittany began teaching at the Music Center in 2023 and loves working with children of all ages, developing their skills, and building a lifelong passion for music. “I love the community aspect of The Music Center,” offers Brittany. “You see all walks of life coming together for a common and beautiful purpose.”
Janet playing the french horn

Janet Channells

HORN (French Horn)

Janet, one of our most tenured instructors, has taught at The Music Center since 1992. She finds value in practice, commitment, and working hard to achieve mutual respect between student and teacher. Janet feels each lesson should be stimulating and informational and encourages her student’s interest in music by applauding their efforts — while ensuring they have the belief to succeed.

Timothy Cuffman


Timothy began teaching at The Music Center in 2021. Committed to his students’ development, he stays flexible to their goals while establishing a foundation for growth as violinists. His ability to connect with a variety of students, from adults to young kids, with different goals and musical aspirations is key to his success.

Dennis Downing


Dennis has been teaching at The Music Center since 2011 and is passionate about making new connections while giving back to his community. He enjoys getting to know his students, sharing his musical talents and interests, and striving to provide students with challenges based on their skills and interests.

Glenn Getty

Piano, Organ

Glenn has taught at The Music Center since 2021 and embraces the diversity of his students and colleagues while enjoying a first-class learning environment. He believes in empowering his students and connecting his experiences and expertise with their interests, goals, and personalities. “I balance the student’s focus on technical and analytical skills with creative play and experimentation at the keyboard, aspiring for a holistic approach,” he adds.

GeDeane Graham-Gipson

Voice, Piano

GeDeane joined The Music Center in 2021, teaching all levels of voice and beginning levels of piano. She was drawn to the center because of its mission of reaching underserved communities with music. GeDeane connects with her students by giving them a safe place to express themselves while encouraging them to try different techniques. “I make the language of music accessible no matter their skill level,” she adds. “Instilling confidence in my students is another priority because the fear of failing was a personal challenge I had to overcome.”
Jeff Hale

Jeff Hale


Jeff has been an instructor with The Music Center since 2016. He specializes in drum set instruction with and without written music, classical and rudimental etudes, ensemble performances, double bass drum techniques, and correct technique to avoid injury. Jeff also focuses on encouraging a rewarding learning experience for his students.

Lindsey Marks


Lindsey joined The Music Center in 2023, instructing our Music First Classes. She enjoys sharing her love of music with students of all ages and skill levels. She connects with students by encouraging them to try all forms of music and explore new ways of self-expression. “I especially love working with preschoolers and toddlers, seeing music ignite their imaginations and joy,” adds Lindsey. “There’s nothing purer than seeing a young child discover their love for music.”

Teri Noaeill

Community Music School Artistic Director/Music First Instructor

Teri is a former educator in the Battle Creek area and currently serves as Artistic Director for The Music Center. She has been with the center since 2014 as an instructor for Music First, a class designed to teach Early Childhood Music via Gordon Music Theory.
Cindy Rose

Cindy Rose


Cindy began teaching at The Music Center in 2012. Her teaching philosophy includes meeting students where they are skill-wise and strengthening their musical foundation. Cindy’s goal is to instill a passion for music in her students and encourage them to bring beauty into the world through their playing.

Zollie Schut


Zollie began teaching percussion at The Music Center in 2022. He enjoys focusing on his students and seeing them reach for their dreams through their passion for music.

Nora Shaffer

Voice, Piano

Nora joined The Music Center in 2021, teaching voice and piano to students of all skill levels. She was drawn to the center because of its dynamic approach to teaching while encouraging students to embrace all forms of music. Nora connects with her students by establishing goals and cultivating a plan of action.

Hannah Stevens

Voice, Music First

Hannah joined The Music Center in 2022 to teach voice and is thrilled to share her abilities with students of all ages and levels. Her goal is to help students explore their unique voices’ beautiful colors and layers, learn to sing with ease, drop the tension, and pick songs that suit them perfectly while presenting a challenge. “Seeing a student discover that lightbulb moment when working on a challenging piece is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” she explains.
craig suhusky

Craig Suhusky

clarinet, saxophone

Craig has taught at The Music Center since 1996 (before it was even called The Music Center!). He enjoys the diverse music repertoire at the center but also the wide range of students he gets to meet and teach. Craig strives to develop a rapport with all students while embracing their unique personalities and needs. Once a connection is made, he works with each student to map their own woodwind learning journey.

Ed Swarthout

guitar, bass guitar, ukulele

Ed has taught at The Music Center since 2008 and offers specialized instruction on various string instruments, including guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin. His greatest reward is making a breakthrough with a student, allowing their talents to shine, and enriching their life. He adds that learning to play and embracing musical techniques must be exciting and gratifying for everyone. “It has to be fun, or it’s not worth doing.”

Tahmoures Tabatabaei

Piano (Virtual Only)

Tahmoures has taught at The Music Center since 2019 and was the school’s first entirely virtual instructor. He has also been performing as a soloist and within chamber ensembles for 12 years and teaching privately. Tahmoures takes a flexible approach, basing his instruction on each student’s individual needs. He shares his passion for music with all his students and encourages them to develop their unique musical voices.

Elva Tang

Flute (Virtual Only)

Elva has taught at The Music Center since 2021 while living in Michigan and attending Michigan State University. She now teaches virtually for the center from her home in Hartford, Connecticut. Since 2016, Elva has taught flute lessons in private and group settings to students from elementary through university ages with diverse backgrounds and music goals. Passionate about teaching and invested in her students, she fosters strong flute-playing fundamentals and creates a positive space for students to learn and express themselves.

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