MEET THE TEACHERS 
  Rachelle Swank     

My name is Rachelle and I have 20 years of teaching experience, a Master Degree of Music Education K-12 from Boston University, a Bachelor of Music Education from Grand Valley, a former music teacher K-12, and also hold a current Michigan professional teaching license. In addition, I have experience working as a K-5 para-pro as well as fulfill all requirements to remain a highly qualified teacher under Michigan state law.

 

I have taught private lessons in the Grand Rapids area since 2001 and cater to students of all ages; however, my forte is establishing a firm musical foundation for beginning through intermediate students. I have a keen understanding how young and adolescent brains learn and the importance of connecting learning to familiar concepts being taught in other academic studies. 

 

My main instruments are french horn, trumpet, trombone, and piano, however, I work with beginning band students regularly. I am a member of the Piano Teachers Forum of Grand Rapids & the Music Teachers National Association. Currently play french horn with the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band as well as around the greater Grand Rapids area with various other ensembles or quintets. I have the privilege to work with 65-70 piano students and 20-25 band students every year.

 

 

Professional Teaching Certificate

Origination Date: 05/01/2005

Issue Date: 7/27/2017

Expiration Date: 06/30/2022

License Number: PF0000000947292

Michigan Teacher Certification Status Lookup

https://mdoe.state.mi.us/MOECS/PublicCredentialSearch.aspx

Rachelle's Qualifications:

  • Master of Music Education K-12 from Boston University

  • Bachelor of Music Education K-12 from GVSU

  • 20 years of teaching experience

  • Current Professional Teaching Certificate

  • Considered highly qualified in the state of Michigan

  • Completed 4 credits beyond Masters Level

  • Former general music, band, choir teacher K-12

  • Work with 65-70 piano students annually

  • Work with 20-25 band students annually

  • GR's annual Michigan Music Conference presenter & attendee

  • Member of Grand Rapids Piano Teachers Forum

  • Member of Music Teachers National Association

  • Para-pro experience grades Preschool-5th grade

  • Tutoring experience grades Preschool-8th grade

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience

  • Love teaching

My name is David Schultz, and I am a performer, composer, and music educator.  

 

I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music degree from The Hartt School, a conservatory at the University of Hartford.  Both degrees reflect extensive work in performance, music education, and composition.  I have been teaching music for 14 years, with elementary to high school-aged students, extending all the way to adult beginners.  My primary instrument is the trumpet, although I have experience teaching private lessons on all woodwind instruments, brass instruments, and piano.

 

One of the greatest benefits that I offer in music lessons is the nurturing of curiosity.  Through curious and thoughtful practicing of a musical instrument, my students have demonstrated a heightened capacity to identify and solve problems independently.  Students of mine have earned first chair in their school bands, and recent students have won auditions to perform in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.

 

I currently perform as Principal Trumpet with the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band, as well as being a performer and founding member of the local brass quintet, Beer City Brass.

  David Schultz    

David's Qualifications:

  • Master of Music from Hartt Conservatory

  • Bachelor of Music from WMU

  • 14 years of teaching experience

  • Work with 15-20 piano students annually

  • Work with 20-25 band students annually

  • Active Composer (2018 Art Prize submission)

  • Music Theory Emphasis

  • Member of Grand Rapids Symphonic Band

  • Current Assistant Band Director at local K-8 School

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience

  • Active musician in West Michigan

  • West Michigan native who is passionate about his community

  • Enjoys nurturing musical curiosity

 

Vanessa Heuck received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from GVSU (2008) with honors in Clarinet Performance, Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from Central Michigan University (2014), and Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting from Texas Tech University (2017).

Dr. Heuck is a K-12 certified music educator with teaching experience across the state of Michigan. She has taught private music lessons for over 15 years, her resume includes Band Director and General Music teacher of Hillsdale Community Schools, High School Band and Choir Director of Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools, Assistant Pep Band Director at Davenport University, Music Director of the Saginaw Eddy Concert Band, and has been a guest conductor and clinician for middle, high school, collegiate, and community bands.

Do you think Dr. Heuck is Awesome? We do Too! recommend her to Guest Conduct your school band. Contact: vanessa.heuck@gmail.com
   Dr. Vanessa Heuck    

Vanessa's Qualifications:

  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting, Texas Tech 

  • Master of Music in Conducting, CMU

  • Bachelor of Music Education from GVSU

  • 15 years of teaching experience K-12

  • Extensive Collegiate Marching Band experience

    • GVSU Drum Major​

    • CMU Assistant Marching Band Director

    • Texas Tech Assistant Marching Band Director

  • Marching & Wind Ensemble Conducting Emphasis

  • Choral teaching & a capella experience

  • High Level Music Theory 

  • First Chair Clarinet of Grand Rapids Symphonic Band

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience K-12

  • Co-Founder of first female a capella at GVSU, Midnight Snack

  • Michigan Music Conference Participate and Clinician

  • Active musician in West Michigan

  • West Michigan native who strongly supports local music programs

  Heather Huber  

Heather's Qualifications:

  • Bachelor Music Education K-12 Degree from Eastern Michigan University

  • 7 years classroom teaching experience

  • 10 years private lesson teaching experience

  • Piano emphasis: beginner - advanced

  • Choral & Band Teaching 

  • Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Ukulele

  • State Certified Teacher; JX Music K-12 highly qualified 

  • Member Grand Rapids Symphonic Band, Saxophone

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience K-12

  • Pit/Musical musician

My name is Heather Huber and I am an experienced educator, musician, performer and composer. I hold a degree in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University.

I have 10 years of experience teaching private lessons on piano, bassoon, guitar, and bass guitar. Additionally, I’ve taught choir in the public school system for 7 years. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of teaching young minds both one-on-one as well as in a more collaborative setting.

While I am well-versed in many genres of music, my favorite by far is playing in pit orchestras for musicals. In recent years, I have played for over a dozen community, school, and collegiate productions, including one that I composed. I currently play saxophone and piano with the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band.

I’m Trevor Waldron and I’m a music nerd. I have a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Alma College and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University. When I say I’m a music nerd I mean I spend my free time playing multiple instruments, recreating and recording tracks from my favorite albums. Don’t get me started on the Beatles…..I’ll talk for days. The primary instruments I teach are drums/percussion, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele and piano.

I’ve taught private lessons for 15 years all over Michigan. I’ve instructed bands camps, drum lines, percussion ensembles and mentored aspiring songwriters. I have performed and explored music professionally in vastly different instances including: writing, recording, publishing, digital music marketing, film scoring and radio advertising. I’ve also had the distinct privilege of touring nationally with the Alma College Percussion Ensemble and Michigan indi-pop band,  Those Transatlantics.

No matter what style of music, I emphasize fundamentals to ensure students of all ages develop an understanding of what it takes to think critically, analyze, interpret and explore not only music, but any task that stands in front of them. The concepts we learn in music reach much further than notes on a page; they pave the way to life-enriching experiences for anyone that’s listening. Let’s rock!


Trevor's Qualifications:

  • Bachelor Music Education K-12 Degree from Alma College

  • 15 years private lesson teaching experience

  • Music Instructor at Salvation Army Kroc Center, GR

  • Drum Kit and Percussion emphasis: beginner - advanced

  • Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Ukulele emphasis: beginner - advanced

  • Beginning - Intermediate Piano

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience

  • Active Musician in West MI

  • Active Composer / Songwriter

  • Toured Nationally

  Trevor Waldron  
Need A Percussion 
Instructor?
Contact Trevor 
ts.design.copy@gmail.com
 Ashley Runge  

My name is Ashley Runge and I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Grand Valley State University. I have an active teaching certificate to teach K-12 music in Michigan and  2 years of experience as an assistant director for 6th grade band in the Wyoming School District. Additional experiences include: 2 years as a full time substitute teacher with Wyoming Public Schools,  8 years of teaching  multiple high school band camps, as well as 10 years of experience teaching private lessons grades 5th - 12th. 

Teaching private lessons is, by far, my favorite thing to do. I really like to get to know the students I am working with and how they learn best; so I can make their experience as successful, and fun, as possible.

My main instrument to teach is trombone, but I have experience with all brass and beginning band instruments.  I currently play trombone with the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band.  

Ashley's Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Music Education K-12 Degree from GVSU

  • 10 years private lesson teaching experience

  • Current Teaching Certificate, Music K-12

  • Urban & Suburban teaching experience

  • Active Musician in West MI

  • Marching Band Tech, 10 years

  • Assistant Band Teacher, 2 years

  • Great with kids!

 Denielle Ferrer  

 

Denielle Ferrer began her musical journey at the age of 5 with her first piano lesson, and as the oldest of 4 in a musical family, musical education only continued from there! She started violin lessons with Diana Dyer Anderson of the Toledo Symphony in 2002 and organ lessons with Mr. Todd Carrico and Jim Chidester began later in high school. Winning a 6 week scholarship from the Toledo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists sparked a love of worship and sacred music; which continues to this day. As a winner of the Toledo Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition, Denielle performed Handel’s Concerto in B-flat for organ in 2006, as well as multiple performances in the Buenger Sister’s Trio in NW Ohio between 2000-2007.

 

Denielle attended Bowling Green State University, where she studied violin performance with Dr. Penny Thompson Kruse and Prof. Vasile Beluska and organ performance with Dr. Vernon Wolcott. She went on to earn her M.M.A in violin performance with an emphasis on string pedagogy. In 2006, 2008, and 2009 Denielle attended Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC, and in 2007 she participated as a violin student in the Ionia Music Festival in Corfu, Greece. Denielle has been a violin section leader with several professional orchestras in NW Ohio, Central Pennsylvania as well as Traverse Symphony here in West Michigan.  She has performed with orchestra tours for vocal groups out of New York City performing Gilbert, Sullivan favorites, and an orchestra tour in Japan January of 2014.

 

As a musician who sincerely loves to share the music through performance, Denielle has long since realized that her true passion is investing in the lives of her students. Denielle has been teaching piano, violin, and organ for over a decade and has found the most joy in watching others discover the joy that music brings.   



 

 

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