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Apopka voice lessons
School Instructors

Greetings from the staff at The Music Den, your number one choice for Orlando music instructors! Customer service is our highest priority at The Music Den! Our knowledgeable and friendly music teachers are here to help guide your musical development. So call today to begin your musical journey!

Richard Elkins teaches drums and was raised in Orlando via Nashville. He started drumming on pots and pans and would sing with friends and family as his dad's quartet practiced vocal parts even before he was 5 years old. Since then he has toured and played at venues such as Hard Rock Int'l, Disney, Seaworld, Universal Studios, House of Blues, Club La Vela, Sloppy Joes, Hogs Breath and many more. His biggest infuences are Jeff Porcaro and Jesus Christ. Richard has recently been co-writing soundtrack songs for multiple award winning documentary films like "A Voice for Life". Throughout his tours in and out of the US, Richard has always mentored new musicians and enjoys sharing new projects, live performances, recordings, and writing down new ideas with collaborators old and young. His active work in the entertainment business sparks a fun professional attitude, which has been the trademark of Richard's spot-on rocking performances. Hang out with him for a few minutes, however and you are bound to hear a wild surfing story or a crazy joke.

Marc Durrance is not only the guitar and electric bass instructor at The Music Den, he is also the owner. Marc has a Minor in guitar from the University of Central Florida where he studied under Eric Lesko. During his studies he also attended master classes under internationally renowned classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco. In addition, he possesses Bachelor degrees in Computer Science, Statistics and Liberal Studies. Marc has many years of private teaching experience, having taught at several music stores including JEM Guitars in Apopka before opening The Music Den. In addition, Marc was the guitar teacher at Forest Lake Academy in Altamonte Springs for several years and has performed in many professional settings over the years in roles ranging from rock lead guitarist to solo acoustic performer. Marc excels in virtually every style of playing, including finger and hybrid picking. He tailors each student’s curriculum to focus on their particular goals, with an emphasis on ear training, timing, applicable music theory and performance of the student’s favorite pieces.

James Simms, piano teacher, was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. Known as a major hub for great jazz music {and BBQ}, there were many opportunities for him to learn music from some of the most seasoned and creative musicians around. James began studying piano when he was 7 and shortly thereafter was accompanying singers in church services, his middle school choir concerts and even special events in the city. While attending high school he studied with the late Marjorie Jarret abd attended some classes at the university of Missouri. During his college years he has traveled the US with many different bands to nearly every major city, including Orlando, where he continues to hone his musical talent and passion for teaching and creativity as a Music Major at Rollins College. James hopes one day to create products that benefit students of all ages and his passion for education drives him to provide the best experience for the students at The Music Den.

Michelle Martin began playing the violin at the age of 9. While her primary instrument is violin, she also plays viola and piano. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Elementary Education from the Crane School of Music at the State University College at Potsdam, NY. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York and the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared on stage with well-known performers such as Tony Bennett and Ray Charles. She currently plays frequently with the worship band at Journey Christian Church in Apopka. Michelle has been teaching private lessons for over 25 years, and taught strings and orchestra for Orange County Public Schools and public schools in the state of New York for nearly 13 years. What sets Michelle apart is her ability to address concepts and techniques in innovative ways so that her students can develop solid technical and theoretical skills, topple personal roadblocks, gain deeper understanding, and ultimately experience the joy of successfully reaching their musical goals.

Antonio Smith, a native of Orlando by way of New York, can hardly remember his life without playing the saxophone. At the age of ten, he decided to join the band at Forest Lake Education Center where he was given a saxophone for the first time. With much determination, the saxophone became a fun instrument to play and he spent countless hours fine-tuning his craft. He would go on to win the John Philip Sousa Band Award right before he left for college to Oakwood University where be obtained a minor in music and saxophone performance. Along with reading and playing music, Antonio enjoys improvising as well as composing and has written songs for his saxophone quartet, Four Winds. Some of Antonio's favorite genres are jazz, soul, R&B, soft rock, and funk. You can catch him playing live around Orlando with his band, BlueMoon, primarily at Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen. He is thrilled to be able to impart some of his knowledge and immense joy of playing the saxophone to others!

Dan Cantwell teaches several instruments, including banjo, mandolin, harmonica, violin and guitar among others. Dan possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Florida State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Mr. Cantwell has taught at several studios in his career. He is the also the recipient of several performance awards, including top 3 finishes in the FL Old Time Music Competition, 2008 Indiana Fiddling and Picking Championship, the Merle Travis Guitar Contest and the Gamble Rogers Guitar Contest. Dan enjoys and excels at many styles, including classical, bluegrass, country, folk and ragtime among others.

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Apopka guitar classes
Instructor Rich Elkins Demonstration





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