Songwriting Instructors

Caleb Roman

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals, trombone, songwriting, Improvisation and Music Theory

Caleb is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and trombonist from Lenexa, Kansas and has been playing music since he was five years old. He is a trained professional music teacher. He has been in many bands through the years encompassing many styles including jazz, rock, and pop. He loves to improvise and write riffs, and often can be found sitting in front of a pair of speakers playing along or soloing over whatever music happens to be on.

In high school Caleb was in the Kansas All-State Orchestra as a trombonist and the Kansas All-State Choir as a Tenor. He plays trombone in the Concert Jazz band at the University of Missouri and has also been in Marching Mizzou. In 2009 he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied under Robin Stone and Sal DiFusco while pursuing a degree in Music Production and Engineering, with guitar as his principle instrument. After spending a couple of years in Boston he has come back to Columbia to get his degree from Mizzou and he is excited to play music with you!

Dominic Lardizabal

Piano, Clarinet, Improvisation, and Music Theory.

Dominic is a pianist and clarinetist studying Music at the University of Missouri. He has been playing clarinet since the age of 10 and piano since the age of 12.

Throughout high school, Dominic has participated in one of the states top high school wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and marching band. Along with competing in Missouris state and district competitions, he has had the opportunity to perform and experience music locally, throughout the state, and nationally.

Currently, Dominic plays clarinet for Mizzous ensembles and performs piano in a rock band. He enjoys all types of music including classical, jazz, rock, pop, electronic, hip-hop, and more.

He dedicates his life into preserving music and being able to share his knowledge.

Robin Jumper

Vocals, Piano, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Robin was raised in the Glasgow, Missouri area where her family has a farm. She is from a musical family and started piano lessons at 5 years old along with her two older sisters.

She went on to pursue and attain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from BJU in Greenville, SC. and a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at UNO in New Orleans, LA.

Robin has two children, Emily who is 25 and lives in New Orleans, and Timmy who is 15 and has Downs Syndrome. They both mean the world to her and are such blessings.

She has taught private voice and piano lessons for 25 years, has helped write a preschool music curriculum, and has taught a music class in the O'Fallon, Missouri area for over 10 years. She especially enjoys recital time when performance is the key to the musical experience.

Maciej Dwornik

Guitar, Bass, Improvisation and Music Theory

Maciej is a trained and professional music teacher, who excels in the fundamentals of guitar and beyond. He is a very personable friendly teacher who does a fantastic job explaining complicated things in an easy way.

He first started guitar when he was 11 years old. Music quickly became his life and he always set aside some time each day to play his instrument. He plays a lot of rock and its derivatives (blues rock, psychedelic rock, alternative rock etc), but he also plays and takes interest in all styles.

Born in Poland and raised in the city of Chicago, he is a Junior at Mizzou working on a double major in Psychology and Biology. He plans on going to graduate school for developmental/educational psychology, doing research in the field of teaching and trying to find the best way to learn for different types of students.

When he is not doing school work or playing guitar, he enjoys being outdoors. Whether its hiking, running, biking, or fishing, he loves spending his free time out in the elements, rain or shine.

Ashley Ourada

Piano, Vocals, Organ, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Ashley grew up on a cattle farm in a small town called Lucan found in the southwest corner of Minnesota.

Ashley loves music, she has been taking piano and organ lessons since she was 7 years old and continued taking lessons until her sophomore year in college at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. During this time of lessons, she participated in solo performances, studio forums, and dozens of piano and organ competitions where she usually ended with a perfect or near-perfect score!

Ashley's main focus at college was to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. But she also pursued minors in Animal Health, Biology, Chemistry, and Music. In addition to taking piano lessons at college, Ashley was also involved in the Women’s Chorus for three of the four years at SDSU.

Ashley graduated from SDSU May, 2017. And she recently moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. Music will always be an important part in her life. Even while in college she has done everything from accompanying soloists (vocal and instrumental) and choirs, to playing piano/organ at various churches, to playing piano/organ in weddings!

Ashley is excited to teach students through A Major Music. Music seems to be a dying art, and she wants to keep the love music alive. She cannot wait to share her talents with the students and help them develop their own talent and passion for music.

Rachel Middendorf

Piano, theory, improv and song writing.

Rachel Middendorf started taking piano lessons when she was 5 years old. She comes from a very large and musical family who encouraged the importance of knowing an instrument and participating in public performances. She participated in many musical competitions as a child and teenager. Later she Graduated from College of the Ozarks where she studied Agriculture, Social work, and Music. Music remained a steady, beloved, constant throughout her life and studies.

Now, Rachel is a full-time mother to 3 children. She plays music very loudly throughout the house for her and the family. She has IPOD fights with her sons. They always default to Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash and she nearly always chooses worship, classical or jazz. She throws dance parties in the living room where her all-frills daughter happily participates. Her familys favorite time of day is when Mom plays piano for the kids to fall asleep.

Rachel sees teaching music as an honor. It is a way to gift someone with the ability to express themselves and share their gift with a world that needs so much. It is a way to literally develop their mind and offer up a challenge that is so worth all the effort.

Her life motto that applies to everything but especially music is this: One small step every single day.

Mark Mavel

Piano, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Mark is an accomplished piano player and instructor who is also studying Digital Storytelling with a minor in Art and IT at Mizzou. He has been playing piano since his youth, has a classical background, and has also studied jazz.

Mark loves to play all music but he said lately for fun he’s been playing a lot of movie scores and video game themes. Marks great with kids keeping the lessons fun and animated while still learning the foundations. He also loves teaching adults and giving informative lessons at their pace.

Mark is accepting new students and is excited to teach the fundamentals of music and piano and to learn the songs you request and enjoy!

Zack Hoff

Guitar, Saxophone, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Zack is a guitarist, saxophonist, and songwriter from De Soto, Missouri.  He started playing guitar at nine years old and sax when he was twelve.  He has performed with multiple music groups since his early teens, including jazz combos and rock/metal bands.

His favorite thing to do in his spare time is improvising guitar solos to popular songs.

In high school, Zack was the lead guitarist for his jazz ensemble, played the baritone sax for two years in concert and marching band, and also sang for three years in concert choir.

He is attending the University of Missouri for a degree in astrophysics and mathematics, but one of his greatest passions is teaching and playing music.

John Roberts

Guitar, bass, piano, drums, ukulele, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

John is a guitarist, bassist, pianist, and drummer. Born and raised in Columbia Missouri. He has been playing guitar since he was ten and the rest followed not long after. He grew up in a very musical family and was originally taught music by his dad and brothers, though he has had a plethora of music teachers throughout his life.

John Played guitar in his Junior high school jazz band and has played in other bands ranging from punk to funk to reggae. He plays Music from all genres but some of his favorites are Funk, Reggae, R&B, and Hip-Hop.

John loves To play with his band and just about anybody else he can find. He enjoys improvising to the radio and writing songs with his friends. When he's not playing music he can be found reading, drawing, or playing Mario Kart.

Elizabeth McKown

Piano, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Elizabeth is a pianist studying chemistry and international studies at the University of Missouri. Born in St. Louis, she has always had a love for music. She has been playing piano since she was 8 years old. Her insistence on teaching herself piano convinced her parents to start her on lessons. During her middle and high school days, Elizabeth performed in many competitions and recitals.

Elizabeth comes from a musical family with a father who imbued his love of music onto her. She has a very calm, personable, and bubbly personality and is very calm when teaching. And Elizabeth is excited to do just that! She cannot wait to teach her students and foster a love for music that she has had her whole life.

Stephen Lavely

Guitar, Piano, Bass, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Stephen is a guitarist and pianist from O Fallon, Missouri. He has been playing music every day for hours a day for over ten years. He studied music in college and is currently a senior at MU getting his bachelors degree.

He has played with choirs, jazz bands, rock bands, and many other types of bands. He has studied Jazz, classical, rock, country, folk, bluegrass, funk, experimental, and many other types of musical genres in the world.

He loves to jam with friends, improvise along with whatever comes on the radio, performing, and figuring out how to learn songs by ear. In his spare time, he reads all kinds of books including science fiction and history, and hangs out with his cat Jaspurr.

Jashawn Linwood

Guitar, Bass, Violin, Drums, Ukulele, Mandolin, Theory, improvisation, and Song Writing

Jashawn has been playing music since he was 11 years old. He started taking violin in middle school and went on to play in his high school symphony in Indianapolis. In addition to violin, he expanded his musical horizons to guitar and bass guitar from a young age.

Jashawn has played music in a lot of different bands of varying genres of music and instrumentations. He has experience in Jazz, blues, alternative, reggae, funk, hip hop, and more.

In his free time, he likes to dabble in creative writing, he loves learning new instruments, and learning about new cultures. He is very easy going and does an amazing job keeping his students interested and progressing at their instrument. He is excited to help people start or continue their musical journeys!

Tyler Kemp

Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Improvisation and Music Theory

Tyler is a trained and professional guitarist who entered his six-stringed journey after a live album blew his mind. He has a specific taste for an overdriven blues tone, but loves all genres of music from acoustic fingerpicking to progressive rock. Years of vocal experience help give Tyler an ear for notes, and leads to some great jam sessions.

Born and raised in central Missouri, Tyler is a 2014 Mizzou Alum who has not missed many home football games since 1991. With a wide variety of hobbies and skills from working on cars to videography, Tyler is easy to get along with and a patient teacher you are sure to have a fun time learning from.

Owning a small business gives Tyler a fair amount of scheduling flexibility, you can schedule appointments with him during weekday afternoons and evenings. Fill out a contact form to get in touch!

Greg Allers

Owner of A Major Music

Greg Allers is an experienced instructor and founder of A Major Music Lessons and teaches Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals, Theory, Improvisation and Song Writing.

Greg has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old, comes from a musical family, has played in multiple bands during this time, and has a degree in music theory.

Greg has been teaching music professionally since 2008 and over the years he developed teaching strategies and values. Values as simple as always being friendly, caring about your students, teaching them what they want, being consistent, on time, and flexible!

Greg had to stop accepting new private lesson students since he graduated from MU with a mechanical and aerospace engineering degree in 2014, but he loves teaching and spreading the joy of music so he continues to do so by running A Major Music. He helps other teachers that he believes in by training them on his knowledge of music and tactics for teaching that he developed over the years. He holds those teachers to his standard of quality and helps them have the music career he feels so fortunate to have had.