Grand Rapids School of Music Instructors




Liem Nguyen


Liem Nguyen is a graduate of Godwin Heights High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Nguyen has performed in various ensembles and has taught students at all levels of experience. Currently, he is the brass instructor for Godwin Heights Bands.

David Schultz

Trumpet, French Horn, & Low Brass

David Schultz is a performer, composer, and music educator in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has studied music education, performance, and composition at Western Michigan University and received a Master of Music degree in performance from the Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut. Schultz’s students have earned first chair positions and membership into honors and All-State ensembles. Schultz is an active clinician who works with schools in the area, and he also composes film scores, video game soundtracks, and chamber music.

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Nan DeCook


Nan DeCook has been a music lover from an early age and brings many years of teaching experience to Marshall’s School of Music. She has degrees from Cornerstone University, Calvin College, and Western Michigan University. She has taught in both classroom and private studio situations and is equally comfortable teaching both flute and piano. She has studied with Henry Osborn, Deb Good, and Darlene Dugan. In addition to her music background, she also has training in teaching children with visual impairments and is open to the use of Braille music and rote learning. She truly enjoys teaching students and seeks to inspire her students to grow beyond their expectations.

Mike Petkus

Clarinet & Saxophone

Mike Petkus holds B.M. and M.A. degrees from Western Michigan University. Petkus is retired from the Grand Rapids Public School district, where he was a band director for 28 years. He currently performs with the Kalamazoo Concert Band as concertmaster. Petkus is also the E-flat and principal clarinet of the Kalamazoo Philharmonic Orchestra. He performs with Arcadia Woodwind Quintet and Ensemble des Amis, a chamber group in the Kalamazoo area consisting of clarinet, piano, and strings. Petkus is retired from the Battle Creek Symphony as clarinetist and E-flat clarinetist. He has taught privately in the Grand Rapids area for 25 years and has been with Marshall Music since 1997.

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Orchestral Strings


Lucille Spinner

Violin & Viola

Lucille Spinner, Suzuki-certified Violin and Viola teacher, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and her Master’s in Music Education at Wayne State University. Lucille has studied with Emily Austin of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has studied in the Suzuki Program. Attaining Suzuki certification, Lucille went on to teach in the Suzuki Program at Grand Rapids Community College.


A former member of the West Shore Symphony, Lucille started the Newaygo Community Orchestra and served as the group’s conductor for 2 years. She has been focused on education throughout her career and continues teaching in studios in Hudsonville and Fremont. She is a member of the American String Teachers Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity. Lucille brings a lot of experience and specialized training to her studio at Marshall Music.

Melinda Slater

Violin & Viola

Melinda Slater has been teaching private lessons since 2003. She has experience in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, CMU Orchestra, and currently performs with the Calvin Community Symphony. Slater enjoys playing at weddings, retirement homes, and local events. She has also had the opportunity to judge at a solo & ensemble festivals. She has experience teaching beginning to advanced students, in a wide range of ages and has had the pleasure of teaching at multiple music academies in Michigan. Slater has had opportunities to work with many different learning styles, and adapts to what fits the student best.


Slater got her start with music at age 5 with piano, and started playing violin at age 10. Music has been a central part of her life since middle school, and she participated in as many musical opportunities as she could. This includes attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Seminar at Western, and helping to start the Wolverine String Camp. She is excited to share her love and passion for music with others!

Hannah York

Violin & Viola

Hannah York is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, having earned her bachelor's degree in music education in 2017. York got her start in music in the Hudsonville Schools’ orchestra program and participated in solo and ensemble festivals, as well as other ensemble experiences. She was selected to perform in the All-State Orchestra, Michigan Youth Arts Festival, and the Holland Area Youth Orchestra.


York is currently the music director at Tri-Unity Christian School in Wyoming, Michigan. Prior to taking the position at Tri-Unity, she taught and assisted orchestra classes at Rockford Christian School and Hudsonville Public School and has been teaching private violin and viola lessons since 2011. York enjoys helping students reach their potential and discover their love for music!

Josh Zallar

Violin & Viola

Josh Zallar came to West Michigan in the fall of 2016 to accept a position as the assistant orchestra director for Jenison Public Schools. Prior to coming to Jenison, he taught orchestra for eight years in Wisconsin, most recently as director of orchestras at West Bend High School, where he oversaw the program’s growth to become the largest high school orchestra in Wisconsin.

Zallar started violin at the age of four, learning primarily through the Suzuki method for the first several years. He received his professional training and degree in music education from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Zallar has enjoyed performing as a violinist with the West Michigan Symphony and the Holland Symphony. He is excited to be teaching at Marshall Music and is looking forward to helping his students reach their full musical potential through a fun and engaging method of instruction tailored to each individual student’s needs.

Stephen Bollinger


Stephen Bollinger teaches orchestra and music theory in Grand Rapids Public Schools. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he holds a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education and a minor in leadership studies. He primarily plays cello and focuses his time on string instruments, but started music with piano lessons at an early age. He also has percussion experience playing in competitive world class ensembles.


At Central Michigan University, Bollinger studied cello with Dr. Jamie Fiste and conducting with Dr. Jose-Luise Maurtua. He has assisted with the CMU Symphony Orchestra, spent four years assisting with the beginning strings classes in Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, and served as the music director of Vintage String, an adult community orchestra in Alma, Michigan, during their inaugural season. Bollinger is excited to share his passion with cello students at Marshall Music!

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Guitar & Percussion


Christopher Belland


Christopher Belland is a classical guitarist from Grand Rapids who began his studies in classic rock/blues music at age 10 and transitioned into classical studies at age 16. After receiving his Bachelor of Music at Grand Valley State University, he was awarded a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where he completed his master’s degree in classical guitar under the instruction of Clare Callahan. At CCM, Belland kept a busy teaching and performing schedule as a graduate assistant, teaching elective guitar classes, private lessons, classical guitar technique, and a music education course.


Belland has received formal training in current pedagogical approaches to music and specifically to the guitar. He has had the privilege of performing in master classes with artists such as Oscar Ghiglia, Aniello Desiderio, and Marc Teicholz, and possesses a thorough knowledge of the classical guitar repertoire, as well as modern trends in popular music. Belland can teach all kinds of guitar, from electric guitar/bass to classical, as well as ukulele and mandolin. He is excited to share his passion for the instrument with guitarists of all levels and ages.

Ben Ferrell

Guitar, Bass Guitar, & Ukulele

Ben Ferrell is a music education and classical guitar performance major at Grand Rapids Community College who plans to transfer to Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2019. Currently studying under Brian Morris, Ferrell has earned scholarships on guitar and has been a featured soloist in almost every GRCC student honors recital offered during his stay at GRCC.

Having an interest in music at an early age, Ferrell started playing the drums at age eight and took to playing cello in middle school. He eventually began playing guitar at age 15 and received private instruction from Grand Valley guitar professor, Kyle Thompson. Starting with rock and roll and folk-style tunes, Ferrell soon began learning classical guitar.


Ferrell has received master classes from multi-Guitar Foundation of America winner, Xavier Jara; GFA semi-finalist, Robert Gruca; and former member of the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet, Michael Stockdale. Ben loves to write songs of his own and performs in a band called Stormo. He teaches all types and styles of guitar and is excited to help and inspire aspiring musicians of all ages.

Jack Martinez


Jack Martinez joined the staff at Marshall Music after retiring from a successful career as a middle school band director in Clinton, Iowa where he directed the sixth grade concert band, both middle school jazz ensembles, and co-directed the middle school marching band. He also taught individual band lessons on all instruments to students in grades 5–8 and percussion lessons at the high school. He has helped many beginning students develop into advanced players, helping them to achieve honors such as conference, district, and All-State recognition.

Martinez holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College, Illinois, and a Master of Music Education degree from the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He loves to share his passion for music with students at all levels.

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Piano & Voice


Barb Daugherty


Barb Daugherty—lover of all things music—has enjoyed teaching piano lessons, accompanying choirs, and playing piano and organ duets in churches for many years. She continues to perform in a praise band at her church on a weekly basis. Daugherty also enjoys playing for weddings, receptions, and local events. She brings a variety of experiences to her lessons. She studied with Mamie Malinowski for 10 years and then took specialty lessons with Dori Meendering in her later teen years. Going to piano teacher workshops has kept Daugherty current with what is going on in the music industry and allows her to make the most of her time with her students.

She loves playing duets with all her students, which include adults and children of all ages. She has taught several special needs children and enjoys working with them. She is excited to share her love of music and vast musical experience with her students at Marshall Music.

Nan DeCook


Nan DeCook has been a music lover from an early age and brings many years of teaching experience to Marshall’s School of Music. She has degrees from Cornerstone University, Calvin College, and Western Michigan University. She has taught in both classroom and private studio situations and is equally comfortable teaching both flute and piano. She has studied with Henry Osborn, Deb Good, and Darlene Dugan. In addition to her music background, she also has training in teaching children with visual impairments and is open to the use of Braille music and rote learning. She truly enjoys teaching students and seeks to inspire her students to grow beyond their expectations.

Nellya Mironova


Nellya Mironova has over 20 years of experience teaching private piano lessons and playing extensively. She has also directed and accompanied church choirs for many years. Mironova received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance and she holds a Master of Music in choral directing from Tashkent State University of Culture in Uzbekistan. Mironova has been with Marshall Music since 2003. She greatly enjoys the opportunity to work with advanced piano students and loves seeing the rapid progress of beginners.

Becky Petersen


Becky Petersen brings over 40 years of piano teaching experience to the Marshall Music staff. Originally from the Sacramento, California area, Petersen received her bachelor’s degree in music education and performance from Maranatha Baptist University in Wisconsin. In addition to teaching piano, she also taught kindergarten for 17 years. She has continued to teach piano lessons consistently throughout her adult life.


Petersen is a positive, energetic, and caring teacher who loves working with students to help them flourish in their piano development. She considers teaching piano an honor and is excited to teach students of any age and ability.

Sonja Schultz-Fryer


Sonja Schultz-Fryer is a graduate of Rogers HS and Alma College. She studied piano under Dr. Paul Russell and Miriam Bellville and woodwinds under Dr. Jack Bowman. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education with a minor in theatre. She has been a teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools for over 30 years and is passionate about teaching music to students. She has won grants for teaching music and musical theatre from the Grand Rapids Foundation, the SPLC foundation, and the Michael Jordan Foundation. Her students have participated in MSBOA Solo & Ensemble festivals and received division I ratings. Throughout her career, she has been a member of community bands and directed adult and high school choirs and hand-bell choirs. Schultz-Fryer has also accompanied middle, high school, and church choirs. She is currently the director of bands at Burton Middle School in Grand Rapids and the department chair for instrumental music in Grand Rapids Public Schools. “Research proves that learning music makes you smarter and I am excited to teach at Marshall Music.”

Sue Vuyst


Sue Vuyst has been teaching piano for over 30 years. Her students have ranged in skill level from beginner to advanced performers, and in age from 4 to 64. Playing by ear and improvisation are two of her favorite things to teach, while providing a comprehensive musical foundation.


A West Michigan native, Vuyst studied music at Reformed Bible College. For over 40 years she has played piano for fun, for worship, and as an accompanist for choirs and events like solo & ensemble festivals and weddings. She taught two years in the music program for Byron Center Public Schools and is excited to share her love of music with her students at Marshall Music.

Kristi Wheeler


Kristi Wheeler has taught piano for 24 years. She received her degree in music education from Western Michigan University. Wheeler has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus for five years. She has taught K–8 vocal music for six years and is currently in her fourth year teaching preschool in Grandville. She has been teaching at Marshall Music since 2007.

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