We help our students develop these very traits by teaching sophisticated music-making in an age-appropriate manner.Together we become people who are brave enough to sing in front of a crowd, smart enough to read a music score, able to jam with a group of friends!
Willow Music offers private instruction on piano, violin, drums, voice and guitar to children and adults of all ages. We also offer classes and workshops as well as Music Summer Camp. Our philosophy emphasizes the health and well-being of the students, and as a result we see them become great musicians who enjoy practicing and getting better. There are many different types of musicians.
For beginning students, young children, and adults who deal with a persistent fear of performance, we bring students to a beginning mastery of their musicianship at a pace that is comfortable for them. We promote student understanding of their own learning process so that they can advance their skills at their own rate, always in a place of joy and curiosity.
For emerging musicians of all ages, we offer superior Classical and Jazz instruction on the piano, violin, drums, voice and guitar. Our focus is always on mastery through process-based instruction. “How good can you get?” is always answered only with the question “Better than I am now.” As an example of the progress of our youngest students, watch our Rhythm Explorers grow over 16 weeks.
For creatives, beginning and experienced, who seek to learn to write and compose in an environment that instills confidence in themselves and their emerging process. While our focus is on music, we welcome writers and artists who are looking for a different way to approach their creativity. We develop improvisation and body-listening to unlock the interior voice.
Questions? Contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
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“I wanted a vocal coach because I had absolutely no confidence in my singing voice. I do both jazz and voice, but I did only voice for roughly the first year. Mr. Cole is very good at explaining things, better than most of or all of my teachers at school. This is a feat especially in the context of jazz, which includes very confusing and strange content, or voice, which (since you can’t see or hold it), is hard to describe. He is patient and encouraging as well. At the end of most lessons I ask him unrelated questions, usually about some strange compositional device, and he typically answers it well, completely off the cuff. The results I’ve seen are day and night, honestly. My singing voice has improved tremendously, and I now sing confidently with my band. My piano skills also shot through the roof from where they were. Before I started lessons, I could only play written music on piano, but now I can improvise confidently while playing improvised basslines or playing chords underneath my solos.” Harrison H.
The Director of Willow Music, Adam Cole is a pianist, composer and conductor who has worked professionally in Atlanta since 1991. He also serves as the organist at First Christian Church of Decatur.
A graduate of Oberlin College and Georgia State University, he is the author of numerous books on jazz and classical piano and vocal instruction. A former Choral Director with Atlanta and Fulton County Schools, he has worked as a Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Education to develop Georgia’s Standards for Music Instruction. In addition, Adam earned his Guild Certification in the Feldenkrais Method in 2000. To learn more about Adam, please visit www.acole.net
“In my professional capacity, I routinely observe instruction in settings across the country. I can say with confidence that Adam is one of the best teachers I have ever observed! Adam creates an environment where it is safe to fail, while holding high expectations for quality. He gives clear and precise feedback that helps our son correct his mistakes, but in a way that never puts him on the defensive. Adam expects honesty from his students about how much they practice, but gives advice about the power of discipline and commitment without ever seeming to judge. We have seen our son grow tremendously under Adam’s guidance and look forward to much more beautiful music!” Doannie T.
Brian was a very caring mentor to my son for close to four years. When he had to audition to get into a magnet high school for music, Brian took the extra time to go over the assigned pieces to ensure my son did well. He got into a very good school as a result of Brian’s individual coaching, encouragement and mentoring.
Brian has been teaching my daughter drums since Sep 2017…It takes patience and passion for what you love doing to be able to teach someone. Brian is a phenomenal teacher and he puts a lot of effort in what he does.
Brian grew up in Michigan, just outside of Detroit, and moved to Atlanta in 2010. He has been playing drums for over 30 years, beginning at age 11, after a few years at the piano. He gravitated more toward the hard rock sounds of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but after seeing “The Blues Brothers” movie he became enamored with Blues, Motown, Soul and R&B. It was his private teachers who turned him on to jazz, Latin, and world music in his mid teens. And at 16 he was playing professional gigs, subbing for teachers and appearing with various groups in and around Detroit.
After high school, Brian attended the University of North Texas where he studied drum set and percussion. He took an opportunity to study abroad in Ghana during the summer of 1993, and in fall of that year, he secured a scholarship and led the university’s West African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
Later into his studies at UNT he developed tenosynovitis, an inflammatory condition in his hands, and had to take a long break from playing. Uncertain about a professional career as a musician, he instead focused on healing and self-improvement. He eventually discovered the Feldenkrais Method which dramatically changed his approach in how to develop greater awareness, skill and finesse as a player and teacher of the drums.
Brian’s teaching philosophy centers on guiding students toward their own interests while introducing key concepts and fundamentals of drums and music. He loves to work with kids and adults of all ages. Currently, he plays professionally in Atlanta primarily with his brother’s jazz group, the Dan Baraszu Trio.
Annie Hsu began playing the violin and piano at the age of five, and won three violin competitions in New Taipei, Taiwan when she was in elementary school. Annie began teaching violin, piano, and music theory when she was 18 years old.She received her Bachelor’s degree in Soochow University.She is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Performance at Georgia State University.She has recently won the Brumby Concerto Competition in 2021 for her performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. She has attended numerous summer music festivals including Walnut Hill Music Festival in Boston, Summit Music Festival in New York, Salzburg Music Festival in Germany, and Enlightenment Music Festival in Taiwan.
Christopher Thurstone started playing the violin at the age of ten. At the age of thirteen he won First Prize in the NCMTA junior division by performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. Christopher has continued to pursue music throughout his education and performed as a soloist with his high school orchestra and the Duke University String School Youth Symphony in 2006.
Christopher has performed in numerous summer music festivals including Interlochen, Hot Springs Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, International Violin Symposium at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the International Music Institute and Festival in Maryland. He has also acted as a counselor and soloist at the Duke University Strings School Summer Camp and more recently at the ACT Music Performance Program in Thessaloniki, Greece. Christopher’s principal teachers and influences have been Dr. Christos Galileas, Dr. Fabian Lopez, Dr. Richard Luby, David Updegraff. Dorothy Kitchen, and Stephanie Swisher. In 2010, Christopher was offered positions in the Durham and Fayetteville Symphony Orchestras and has performed with the China National Orchestra and North Carolina International Orchestra. In addition to music, Christopher’s hobbies include playing racquet sports, golf, billiards, learning new instruments, and freeskating.
Christopher received a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a master’s degree in orchestral performance at Georgia State University. He also received an Artist Certificate from GSU. After performing his last concert as the Concertmaster of the GSU Symphony he now teaches violin, viola, and cello to students of all ages and performs with local chamber musicians and orchestras.
Tamara “Tammy” Harper was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and is proud to call Atlanta, GA her home. She is a graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor of arts degree in music (concentration – piano).
Tammy is currently Executive Vice President, A&R Global and Director of Leadership Development with Wealth Nation/Sony and Empire/Universal, an artist development and brand development company and Vice President of Artist Relations with Rocstar World, an entertainment lifestyle brand, the minister of music for her church, teaches a music class to senior citizens at Senior Day Out and provides musical entertainment for seniors at an assisted living residence. In addition, she is the private piano and voice instructor to over twenty students and the leader of her band, Tam Tunes and The Gents! Over the years, Tammy also has enjoyed volunteering for the National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Bronze Lens Film Festival, WCLK 91.9FM Pledge Campaigns, and Super Bowl LIII (53) in Atlanta! She performed in the Atlanta Jazz Festival – Jazz in the Airport Atrium in 2022 and their Neighborhood Jazz Series in 2015, plus performed twice at Wednesday Wind Down at Centennial Park. She was also excited to see herself on the big screen in the sequel Bad Moms Christmas as the keyboardist in Kenny G’s band! A 2022 highlight is that she was the featured performer at the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball and in 2019, she was a participant in the PlayUSA workshop titled Artistry & Belonging at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY!
Tammy’s pride and joy is her teenage daughter, Gabrielle, who is an amazing dancer! Her mottos are Choose Joy, The More You Give, The More is Given to You, Put Action Behind Your Faith and Dare Greatly!
How can Willow Music help you be the musician you want to be?