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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.

Tegan Miner is a singer, performer and voice teacher with a forte in classical and jazz. At the young age of nine, Tegan began taking voice lessons from some of the most respected vocal coaches in the Chicago area. From there, her passion for singing grew and she became heavily involved in opera and musical theater productions. Through her hard work in the music industry she earned scholarships to attend college as a music education major. As an educator, she focuses strongly on methodology and individualized training with an emphasis on practical application. She has taught vocal technique and stage presence to students of all ages and skill levels, highlighting her many years of experience. Currently, Tegan teaches and performs locally and leads worship performance as the praise band leader at her local church. Tegan is constantly striving to achieve growth and success in all of her students.

Geraldine Morillo Barazarte, Venezuelan born flutist and vocalist, has been dazzling audiences in Central Florida and New England with her music for over a decade. A classical trained musician, Ms. Barazarte earned a Bachelor of Music Performance from Stetson University and has studied flute with world renowned flutists such as Trevor Wye and Walfrid Kujala. She is a founding member of Sabana & Talento, a traditional Venezuelan Folk Music ensemble with a modern twist. She has also participated in other Venezuelan ensembles performing with Venegaita of Boston and has recorded for artists such as Venezuelan Singer/Composer Juan Carlos Salazar and Colombian Flutist/Composer Carmen Liliana Marulanda. Additionally, Mrs. Barazarte is an experienced orchestral, wind ensemble and chamber musician and has held the piccolo chair for the Metropolitan Wind Symphony (2007-2012), the principal flute position for the Nashua Chamber Orchestra  (2015-2017), and has performed at the National Flute Association Convention. She maintains an avid interest in flute pedagogy and enjoys teaching private lessons as well as coaching ensembles. She directed the NEYWE Flute choir at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Campus and was one of two candidates selected to participate in the Teacher Training course at the prestigious Boston Flute Academy. Her primary flute teachers include Dr. Jean West, Susan McQuinn, Sarah Brady, Marco Granados, Sylvia Franklin, Nora Lee Garcia and Judy Grant. Vocal coaches include Jane Christeson and Lloyd Linney from Stetson University.

Lowell Trent is the resident banjo instructor. His formal education includes graduating cum laude from Carson Newman College in East Tennessee with majors in biology and psychology. He worked as an aquatic biologist until retiring from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Lowell taught himself banjo from high school, but in the early 60's his musical fortunes really began to escalate when he started taking lessons from Buddy Rose. A great banjo picker and instructor, Buddy was the only banjo teacher in Florida at the time. Carl Jackson is a product of Buddy's instruction. Lowell has played in many groups throughout his music career, with a special passion for gospel and bluegrass. He has played in many venues in many locations around the world over the years, including bluegrass and campground festivals, churches, nursing homes, and professional meetings. One of Lowell's most memorable gigs was entertaining Donna Douglas (Ellie Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies) when she visited Orlando for a telethon in 1964. This most auspicious performance entailed playing the Ballad of Jed Clampet (Beverly Hillbillies) theme song for Donna on TV! Lowell teaches the Earl Scruggs "three fingers" banjo picking style.

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Apopka guitar classes
Instructor Rich Elkins Demonstration

Apopka guitar teachers
Instructor Tegan Miner Singing

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