Teaching Artists

Below is a list of teaching artists in the state of Michigan. This list is to be used as a reference. Please contact Teaching Artists individually for professional references. If you are a teaching artist interested in being included in the database, CLICK HERE for the application. 

Cultural, History, Instrumental Music

Aaron Jonah Lewis

Detroit All Served

Aaron Jonah Lewis is a multi-instrumentalist with experience teaching all ages and skill levels. He is well versed in many styles, especially traditional American music: bluegrass, old time, ragtime, country, blues, jazz, etc.
br>One of his students wrote, "I enjoy his style and temperament. He's patient, knowledgeable and prepared with numerous skill building and developmental activities... He's a well-rounded folk musician who can help people at various stages of learning to play instruments."

He also has experience teaching group classes and workshops as well as more specialized lessons for advanced students. He has taught classes and workshops at schools and festivals in the US and UK, including the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London.

He has won many awards including First Place Neotraditional Band in 2008 and 2015 at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival in West Viriginia, First Place Bluegrass Fiddle in 2007 at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention in Virginia (the oldest fiddlers convention in the country), and First Place Fiddle at the Wilson County Fair in Tennessee (biggest fair in the state) in 2015.

He has also performed at major festivals from the US to the UK and from Italy to Finland and he has appeared on dozens of recordings from bluegrass and old time to swing jazz, modern experimental and Turkish classical music projects. He also plays and teaches banjo, mandolin, guitar, and bass and is currently based in Detroit.

Instrumental Music

Anne & Rob Burns

Rochester, MI 48308 Oakland

Renaissance and Colonial music multi-instrumentalists, Anne and Rob Burns, make early music fun.

Cultural, Dance, History, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Science, Theatre, Visual Arts, Vocal Music

Annie Chapman Brewer

Midland Midland

Annie Chapman Brewer is a hornist, instructor, and entrepreneur based in mid-Michigan. She owns and operates a home studio where she teaches private lessons on horn, brass, ukulele, and music theory, while also holding culinary classes and operating a side photography business. Before she moved back to Michigan from Iowa, she was a guest clinician for the horn studios at University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa, sharing her knowledge on natural and modern horn performance practices. She also performed throughout the eastern region of Iowa through the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo-Cedar Fall Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Iowa. Currently she performs in mid-Michigan orchestras, churches, and chamber ensembles, including the Marquette Symphony Orchestra in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She holds a Master of Music degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Rick Seraphinoff, and received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University under the tutelage of Dr. Bruce Bonnell. In her free time, you can find Annie adventuring on new trails with her husband Rick, and enjoying a cup of Oolong tea.


Anshu Varma

Okemos, MI 48864 Ingham

The Henna Workshop presents the fun and fashionable Indian bridal tradition of temporary tattoo art. Participants are taught to create their own henna art with handmade henna applicators containing organic henna and all natural color enhancers. A variety of traditional and attractive patterns are provided, and individual artwork is encouraged. Henna dyes the top layer of the skin in a burgundy color.

Participants are taught henna techniques, receive personalization instruction and learn about the henna itself, made from henna leaves, eucalyptus oil and brewed black tea. Henna is especially fun for teens, but is also enjoyable for adults of all ages. The Henna Workshop gives participants a cultural experience that follows them home, reminding them of the lessons learned from the traditional Indian art form until the natural dye fades away in a week to ten days.

Cultural, Instrumental Music

Ara Topouzian

West Bloomfield Oakland

Ara Topouzian is an Armenian American musician whose proficiency on the kanun has made him a nationally recognized artist. The kanun is a traditional Middle Eastern lap harp with more than 76 strings. Topouzian is an artist and producer dedicated to recording and preserving world music. He has performed in concerts, music festivals and many celebrated venues across the United States with top musicians in the Middle Eastern music industry.


Barbara Schutzgruber

Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Washtenaw

Gusty girls, wise women, tricksters and string come to life as Barbara Schutzgruber weaves folktales and string stories, sings medieval ballads and shares the history and legends of Michigan.

Barbara Schutzgruber


Beth Donaldson

East Lansing Ingham

This exhibition of fifty-nine photographs celebrates the cultural and historical complexity of southeast Michigan.

Instrumental Music

Biakuye Percussion Group

In Akan languages of West Africa, the word Biakuye means unity. While rooted in the African traditions from which the group takes its name, Biakuye directly combines these traditions in innovative ways with American musical concepts. The group’s American members, Mark Stone and Roger Braun, trained in contemporary percussion through U.S. universities and have extensively studied the music of West and East Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

Cultural, Instrumental Music

Blackhorn Band

Williamston Ingham

What makes a Blackthorn show unique is the variety of tunes, tempos and textures. Each member of the band plays multiple instruments, including wooden flute, accordion, tin whistle, five string banjo, cittern, bones and more. These instruments complement the lead vocal of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the band’s tight blend of four part harmony.


Blandford on the Road

Grand Rapids Kent

Blandford’s On The Road programs bring environmental education to your school, senior center, or company gathering. We offer wildlife presentations, schoolyard activities, and lessons that engage everyone in discovering their relationship to natural systems and food cycles.

Cultural, Instrumental Music

Blue Water Ramblers

Grand Rapids Kent

The Blue Water Ramblers sing extraordinary folk music- the folk song of Michigan, America and YOUR life. We perform wherever people want to celebrate: Folk festivals and concerts, paddle wheelers and lake ships, in cities and out in the woods, on stages and around campfires, at church gatherings and traditional dances.



Royal Oak Oakland

Founded in 1987 by actor/director/writer/teacher Geoff Safron, Brainstormers! is a company of professional actor-educators, technicians and media artists. Our specialty is combining learning and laughter in equal measure, empowering young people to express their creativity both on the page and on the stage. Our core product is a series of high-energy Creative Writing shows, harnessing the fun and excitement of Improv Comedy to change kids' attitudes about writing.

Instrumental Music

Brass Band of Battle Creek

Marshall Calhoun

The BBBC will provide low brass and percussion master classes to schools within a 90 mile radius of Battle Creek, Michigan. Individuals or small groups of musicians are available to teach master classes at the high school level. Master classes must take place during the school day on a Thursday or Friday prior to a regularly scheduled BBBC concert series. Master classes should conclude before 1 p.m. to allow BBBC musicians time to travel back to Battle Creek, Michigan for their scheduled rehearsal time.

Instrumental Music

Brian Morris

Byron Center Kent

Each of the four members of the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet is impressive, award-winning musicians on their own, and is show-stopping as an ensemble. The four guitarists include West Michigan residents Andrew Bergeron, David Martin, Brian Morris and Michael Stockdale. For the past five years, The Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet has received an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences at sold-out performances at colleges, universities, art centers, chamber music series and community concert series. The Quartet presents programs including a variety of transcriptions and masterworks, Latin music and original compositions, along with entertaining, informative and often humorous explanations about the music.

Visual Arts

Brian Skol

Detroit Wayne

I have over five years experience teaching both privately and for institutions like the Ann Arbor Art Center, and the Birmingham Bloomfield Arts Center. I also teach workshops, and now have my own Atelier where I teach full time study in the classical methods of drawing and painting through the Detroit Realists of Art Atelier.

Cultural, Instrumental Music

Carl "Bearfoot" Behrend

Munising Alger

Folksinger and author Carl Behrend brings to life true stories and legends from a wealth of Great Lakes history for the enjoyment of contemporary audiences. His ballads tell the tales of ships and sailors lost, true loves found and the great lighthouse beacons that guard the rocky coast.

Cultural, History, Instrumental Music

Carolyn Koebel

Kalamazoo Kalamazoo

Dunuya Drum and Dance is a global drumming collective presenting music and dance from Africa and the Diaspora. The group moves easily from traditional West African choreography and rhythms through Middle Eastern medleys, Garifuna songs and social dances, Brazilian samba and Caribbean music styles, including bembe, rumba, Puerto Rican bomba and more. Following the heritage of these traditions, programs include extensive use of call-and-response and audience participation, making the five-member Dunuya Drum and Dance a performance that is appealing to broad demographics.


Chad Patterson

Grayling, MI 49738 Crawford

With theatre and a child's imagination, Acting Up Theatre Company believes that anything is truly possible. Since 1997, Acting Up has been introducing young audiences to theatre in fun, educational ways. Acting Up offers residencies, workshops and original plays for schools, libraries and organizations.

Instrumental Music

Chamber Music Society

Farmington Hills Oakland

For the 20 years, Chamber Music Society ensembles have visited classrooms in schools all across Southeast Michigan: from Central Detroit to the suburbs, from Pontiac to Downriver communities. Now reaching as many as 20,000 children each year, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit has become Metro Detroit's single largest provider of in-school classical music performances, taking great professional music-making to places where students actually live and learn.


Chippewa Nature Center "On the Road"

Midland Midland

Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) offers science - and history-based programs for preschool to high school groups both at the nature center or "On the Road" - where we go to the school. The programs are geared to meet the curricular needs of the teacher while being engaging and interesting for the students. All of the programs are correlated to Michigan's Great Level Content Expectations. We have more than 40 program offerings, as well as "traveling trunks" for rent, and educator workshops.