In addition to my faculty positions at The Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and Loyola University, I teach private composition, voice, piano, and theory/musicianship in the Baltimore/D.C. area, and anywhere online. My students range in age from 5 to 73 and come to me with varying experience levels and musical interests.

I work with students exploring all different styles of music including...
Western Classical
Electronic Sound Design
Musical Theater

Style is never a limiting factor to the students I work with. I love so many different types of music from Bach to Nine Inch Nails and many things in between.

My experience teaching at four academically and musically contrasting schools, and working with children and adults has required me to adapt materials and teaching style to a wide spectrum of learners. I am particularly adept at finding ways to guide students with varying experience levels and learning styles. I remain flexible in my approach without sacrificing intellectual or artistic standards, or the student's enjoyment of the musical experience.

I primarily teach virtual lessons, but can meet with students in my home in north Baltimore (just into the county). I would love to discuss private music lessons for you or your child. Please contact me and we'll talk about what you are hoping to get out of lessons and see if I can help you achieve your goals.

Featured Student Works

I am lucky to work with some very talented composers. Take a listen to their music!

LEO R. - Blue Whale
solo saxophone

JOHN R. - Fog (La Caligine)
solo piano

MATT S. - Three Movements for Solo Violin

SARAH B. - The Moon
solo piano

LOGAN P. - Song 57
electronic sound design

SAMMY L. - Character Piece No. 1: Shark

DAVID L. - Ballade
solo piano

JOFF P. - Trivergent
electronic sound design

ROCCO L. - Number Music
solo piano

TAYLOR T. - Untitled
hip-hop beat

What are lessons like?

Lessons are fun! We have a great time exploring a variety of music and working through the techniques of performance. 

Composition Lessons are as unique as the individual student. I organize lessons around the specific goals of each student, and their musical interests. We may spend the entire lesson working through a particular passage in a student's work. We will also explore repertoire that connects to your compositional ideas and goals. Depending on your goals and interests, we may also explore the capabilities of individual instruments, and incorporate the study of music theory as a way to gain further insight into other composer's styles, and to aid in the realization of your own musical ideas.

Voice Lessons are centered around the production of a healthy sound. Because the voice is a unique instrument that changes as we age, I recommend beginning voice lessons no earlier than 8 years old. Young voice students will focus on the essentials of pitch recognition, rhythm, breathing, and score reading, while singing songs written specifically for young singers. Teenage students focus on technique, breathing, producing healthy tone, score reading, and aural training. Adult voice lessons include focus on proper technique, breathing, producing healthy tone, score reading, aural training, discussion of vocal anatomy, and if appropriate singing in different languages.

Piano Lessons are designed to encourage the exploration of the entire instrument. Students are encouraged to experiment with sound, melody, harmony, and rhythm as a way to better understand the capabilities of the instrument and to engage in active music making. New-to-the-piano students begin with fundamentals, such as fingering, score reading, and technique, while intermediate and advanced students will work on scales, finger exercises, repertoire, and if desired performing and the composition of your own piano pieces. 


References can be provided upon request.

Michael is a very thoughtful instructor and does an excellent job of helping students achieve their objectives within the context of their particular goals and the genre of the piece at hand. His compositional ideas are fresh across all genres and leave me feeling very satisfied with the progress of my pieces. Michael is a great listener, humble, and easy to get along with. – Taylor - 26, composition

Michael has proven to be a creative & patient instructor and we are thrilled with his ability to adapt the lessons to best fit our autistic son’s learning needs. Rather than simply focusing on learning to play scales and individual pieces, Michael is instilling a love of music through creative pattern exploration, composition, and technique. I am often impressed at Michael’s ability to shift his approach, mid-lesson, to meet our son’s needs in the moment and keep him engaged in a meaningful way. Michael is professional, responsive to our emails/texts, & flexible in scheduling and we look forward to working with him for years to come. – Jennifer - 8, piano

Michael is communicative and responsive to our goals. [Our daughter] feels positive about what she is learning. Michael has been willing to be flexible in lesson planning in response to [her] goal of doing better in school auditions for musicals. He is flexible with time/ locations to meet. He always responds to texts. We appreciate the work they are doing. – Beth - 13, voice

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. HOW ARE LESSONS SCHEDULED? - You can reach out via the contact page. I'll get back to you quickly to discuss your goals and how I can help. Lessons can be in person or online. It is far better to have a consistent weekly (or every/other week) schedule to keep yourself motivated and working. It also helps to ensure my availability. Scheduling preferences are always giving to those students who keep a regular meeting schedule.
  2. HOW MUCH ARE LESSONS AND HOW DO I PAY? - Tuition is billed monthly. Please contact me for current rates. Payment can be made via the following: Venmo (preferred), check, cash, or PayPal.
  3. WHERE WILL LESSONS TAKE PLACE? - I primarily meet students virtually. I also teach out of my home or my studio (both in Towson, MD). Depending on circumstances, I may travel to student homes, however this is generally rare.
  4. CAN I TAKE LESSONS ONLINE? - Absolutely. With today's technology, having lessons online is a great way to avoid traffic and it provides more options for meeting times. I can meet with you via Zoom, Facebook Messenger Video Call, FaceTime, Google Duo, and Skype.
  5. WHAT IF I EXPERIENCE A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP AND CAN NO LONGER AFFORD LESSONS? - If during our time together you feel like you can't continue taking lessons, then please talk with me – we may be able to work something out. Although I teach to make a living, I absolutely love what I do and want you to continue exploring music. I am willing to work with you.
  6. WHAT IF I HAVE A QUESTION BETWEEN LESSON TIMES? - PLEASE STAY IN TOUCH! You should feel free to send me emails, text messages, Facebook messages, or call if you have any questions/ideas/concerns/etc. between lessons. Your lesson fees are not just for your one-on-one time with me, but for my continual guidance along the way. I'm here to help, so don't ever feel like you're bothering me if you have questions outside of our meeting time.
  7. WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL A LESSON? - If you need to cancel a lesson, then please do so as early as possible. This will give us more time to figure out a time to reschedule. Cancelled lessons are not refunded, but I will always try to offer a time to reschedule. Depending on our scheduled this may or may not be possible. If for some reason I need to cancel a lesson, then I will credit your account and you will not be charged for a lesson that I cancel. This is VERY rare.

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