About Tom

Thanks for stopping by! I'd like to take a few minutes to introduce myself and share my qualifications for teaching music lessons.

I was born into a musical family – music lessons in our living room four days and two nights every week. In addition, my dad and my older brother would play instruments in church regularly. My dad played in a saxophone trio, and my brother played trumpet, French horn, piano and sang in a quartet. As soon as I was able, I joined in on the musical journey, playing the trumpet. 

A scholarship to music camp changed my life. Instead of music being routine, I became excited about excelling in music. I then joined the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and then graduated to the Grand Rapids Symphony in 1970. About the same time, I played trumpet in Ray Gill’s big-band Jazz Band for 3 years.

About the same time, I began giving music lessons – first at home, then at Middleton’s Music Studio in northeast Grand Rapids. I taught cornet, clarinet, saxophone, flute, oboe, trombone and French horn to 40 students/week during my 3+ years at the Studio while I finished high school and Junior College.

After two years as a Music Major at Grand Rapids Junior College, I attended the University of Michigan where I studied Trumpet Performance (with Professor Clifford Lillya) and Music Education, playing recitals, as well as in the Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble. I earned a “Bachelor of Music” degree, and am also two classes shy of a “Master of Music”. I also had the remarkable opportunity to study flute with Professor Keith W. Bryan, and saxophone with Professor Donald Sinta for one summer session.

After returning to Grand Rapids, I taught for two years at West Catholic High School. I also learned to play guitar, and added that and piano to the list of instruments I now teach. I have led worship, playing guitar at several churches and Mel Trotter Ministries. I have played all of these instruments (except trombone, oboe and French horn) in various churches in West Michigan. A few of my students have gone on to become music teachers, professional musicians, and church musicians.

I am now approaching retirement from over 27 years at Autocam Corporation, so I presently give lessons weekday afternoons and Saturdays in our family dining room. Parents are welcome to join us in the dining room or adjoining living room during the lesson period.

I am happily married, with three adult sons, and I attend Georgetown Christian Fellowship in Hudsonville, MI.

Thank you for reading! If you are interested in taking the next step of enrollment or have a few questions, please don't hesitate to send me an email at MusicLessons@USA.com. Maybe I will hear from you soon!



Here are a few photos of my life with music (tap to watch).

Tom's Life with Music