Meet Our Instructors

Our Instructors

Our experienced instructors can help you improve technique, build skill and perfect your sound! Their wide range of playing stules and music genres makes the learning process unique to each student.


Eric Ottinger


Akira Kaku


Pianist Akira Kaku is a current doctorate student at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. He has 8 years of experience teaching piano in the Ann Arbor (MI) and Houston (TX) local scenes prior to arriving in Bloomington. Over this time, Akira has taught students ranging from beginner to advanced levels. His prior degrees include a Master's Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University (OH).


Noel Koontz


Noel Koontz is an artist, musician, and teacher who has been playing guitar and ukulele for many years. He teaches at The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship and is a current PhD student in art education with a focus on drama education and performance at IU. He is excited to share his joy and lifelong love of making music.

Tom Petry


Tom has been playing guitar for over 10 years and excels at many different styles and genres. Tom is also a licensed teacher and teaches 3rd grade at Spencer Elementary.


Dave Dwinell


Dave is currently the drummer for Nashville recording and touring artist Jake Dodds. Dave Received his Bachelor’s in Percussion from The College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and his Master’s from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Cincinnati and his Master’s from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he also served as an Associate Instructor. 

In orchestral performance, Dave has appeared with multiple regional orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony and youth orchestras, Columbus, Evansville, Owensboro, Camerata, and Bloomington Pops orchestras. As a teacher Dave has taught numerous high school drumlines as well as front ensembles for drum corps. He has been a visiting instructor of percussion for Morningside College, served as a consultant for Marcato Independent indoor drumline, and an assistant band director.

John Donlon


Born in the legendary music city of Memphis, Tennessee, John grew up around many greats from Blues, Funk, Rock, and Country genres. This sparked him to pick up the drums over a decade ago.

Since moving to Bloomington, John has studied under Luke Narey (10 Years, Brave The Royals, Blue Rising) for multiple years, and taken instruction at IU for Jazz and Latin Percussion. 

This has led to performing or recording with roughly 10 different groups including Dacota Muckey, Jukebox Luke, Hank Ruff, and Lilly Meister to name a few. These connections have taken him to many different states playing at music festivals and other reputable venues, opening up for national and regionals acts. 

John has a fun, easy-going attitude with all the experience and skill to prepare you for success whether it be studio work, songwriting, or playing live in ANY genre.


Zoe Willingham


Bio Coming!

Katherine Deneris

Violin / Viola

Katherine has experience working with violinists and violists of all ages and experience levels, and focuses on creating an environment where students feel engaged and supported in their learning through a growth-minded approach to teaching. She completed her Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2022. She is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, and attended the University of Utah for her undergraduate studies, majoring in viola performance and minoring in physics.

Katherine currently performs with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.


Brianna Martinez


Brianna Martinez is a flutist, artist, and educator from San Antonio, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a Minor in Art History from Texas State University, where she studied the flute with Dr. Adah Jones. Brianna has been teaching the flute since 2016, both privately and in masterclass settings, while her love of making music has led to performances with influential musicians such as Jim Walker, Ian Clarke, and PROJECT Trio. 

Ms. Martinez has a unique artistic background that influences her music-making. Along with her musical passions, Brianna is a visual artist and has extensive experience working with dancers. From 2016 to 2019, she performed as the Resident Musician for the Transient Dance Collective where she improvised music for dancers. Brianna has taken art classes since her youth and enjoys combining her visual arts experience with her musical process.


Alyssa Holley


Alyssa is currently a Doctor of Music in Voice student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Vocology and is minoring in Music History and Literature.

At the Jacobs School of Music, she has
recently appeared in Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon, as well as scenes from Anna Bolena, Les Dialogues des Carmelites, and Le nozze di Figaro. This past March, she performed her second doctoral recital, which included works by Rachmaninoff, Poulenc, and Brahms.

Alyssa has experience teaching a variety of ages and skill levels, and she is passionate about cultivating a healthy, sustainable vocal technique.

Outside of singing, she is an avid Cleveland sports fan (her hometown) and spends most of her free time either cooking or at the gym.