Learn to think about and write music the right way.

Our theory & composition teachers are all professionals with years of training and experience that enhance the way they teach their students. In theory lessons, we focus on learning how and why music works the way it does, and how melody, rhythm, and harmony all work together differently from one style of music to the next. In composition lessons, we work on applying those concepts and tapping in to the students' creative voice to develop his/her proficiency as a writer. Whether you're 5 or 55, brand new to music or already a professional, our goal is to help you become not just someone who can hear or play music, but someone who can truly understand and create it.

You can also view our theory & composition teachers' bios below to see who's right for you.

Andy Greenwell, B.A.

Instructor of Piano, French Horn, and Theory & Composition

Andy Greenwell.jpg

Accepting new students: Yes

Centralized teaching area: Indianapolis (South)

Personal studio: No

Travel lessons offered: Yes

Andy Greenwell is a music teacher and professional pianist with more than 20 years of experience. Coming from a vast musical pedigree, Andy began piano lessons at the age of 4. He soon added violin to his repertoire at age 7, and joined the Franklin Community band program playing the French Horn at age 11. He performed with the Indiana University School of Medicine Orchestra for 3 years during his high school tenure, and held the lead role in two separate musical theatre productions at Franklin Community High School. 

Andy continued his music education through piano at Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts, where he studied under Dr. Kate Boyd, Dr. Matt Pivec, and Indianapolis Jazz Hall of Fame pianist Gary Walters in both the jazz and classical arena. During his time at Butler he also participated in numerous jazz combos and sang with both the all-male acapella group Out of the Dawg House and the Butler University Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Eric Stark. His experience at Butler was pivotal in molding his proficiency in a wide range of genres. He is passionate about all styles of music, and his excitement is what drives him and his students to continuously educate, create, and innovate. These days Andy can be found playing piano and singing backup vocals with the Bluewater Kings Band at high profile corporate events and weddings, performing with Loo Abbey at numerous venues, teaching brass sectionals at Creston Middle School, and teaching private lessons.

Stuart Ross Johnson, B.A.

Instructor of Guitar, Voice, Composition, and Ukulele

Stuart Ross Johnson.jpg

Accepting new students: No

Centralized teaching area: Indianapolis (North)

Personal studio: Yes

Travel lessons offered: Yes

Stuart Ross Johnson is an experienced guitarist, songwriter and band leader who recently moved to Indianapolis from New England. He has been studying guitar for over 10 years and has a diverse musical background. Having lived all over the country, he has influences from the South West (country, americana), Appalachian Mountains (bluegrass, folk) and his father’s Delta Blues records. Stuart attended UNC Asheville where he studied classical guitar and general music under guitarist David Stevenson. He has been teaching music lessons for over 3 years both in private and group settings. In addition to teaching guitar, Stuart has experience with songwriting, vocal coaching, piano and ukulele.

Stuart currently performs around Indianapolis in a group called Ross Hollow, playing songs he has written and some covers. His influences go back as far as Van Morrison and James Taylor and reach to modern influences such as Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Brandi Carlile, Shakey Graves, Bon Iver, Andrew Byrd and more.

Tyler Long

Instructor of Saxophone, Piano, and Music Theory

Administrative Assistant

Tyler Long.jpg

Accepting new students: Yes

Centralized teaching area: Hamilton County

Personal studio: Yes

Travel lessons offered: Yes

An avid supporter of the arts in developmental education, Tyler Long is an active music educator, conductor, and worship leader. His historically grounded, yet innovative approach to all three areas set him apart in the field. As an educator, Tyler was a co-founder of the Indoor Percussion Ensemble at Indiana Wesleyan University, assistant conducted both the Wind Ensemble and University Chorale, and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the music theory department. In the public school sector, he has led visual programs at the marching bands of Pendleton Heights High School and Marion High School. Tyler also serves as the Minister of Music at Living Water Community Church in Anderson, and has been in various church pianist positions for over 10 years. Creating and producing worship material also consumes much of his time. He has developed a passion for interweaving traditional, time-tested music with current sounds being heard by all ages today.

As a performer, Tyler has traveled and conducted all over the world with the University Chorale and Wind Ensemble at Indiana Wesleyan. He has also performed in principal chairs on saxophone and bassoon with such notable ensembles as the Ohio State Honor Band, the Columbus Youth Symphonic Band, and the IMEA Intercollegiate Masterworks Ensemble. Tyler will receive his music education and church music degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2018 following a semester of student teaching within the Hamilton Southeastern Schools corporation in Fishers, Indiana. While on campus, he studied saxophone with jazz legend Todd Williams (Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra) and conducting with Michael Flanagin (Director of Bands, IWU). In his spare time, Tyler enjoys arranging music for marching/concert band, all things sports, and playing board games.

Jordan Koehlinger, B.A.

Instructor of Trumpet And Theory & Composition

Jordan Koehlinger.jpg

Accepting new students: Yes

Centralized teaching area: Carmel

Personal studio: No

Travel lessons offered: Yes

Jordan Koehlinger is an avid trumpeter, teacher, and musicology scholar with interests in a variety of musical styles from orchestral, to chamber, to jazz.  With performing experience both in the United States and abroad, she has played with the Symphony of the Lakes in Warsaw, Indiana; served as auxiliary brass for Ernie Haase and the Signature Sound; and performed in the Opera Maya festival orchestra in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Jordan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Music and Honors Humanities from Indiana Wesleyan University where she excelled both academically and musically.  While at Indiana Wesleyan, Jordan participated in numerous ensembles, serving as the principal trumpet player for the Indiana Wesleyan University Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Honors Brass Quintet, as well as participating in the IMEA Intercollegiate Band in Fort Wayne, IN. In her spare time, Jordan enjoys reading, attending plays and concerts, knitting, listening to podcasts, and enjoying symphonic film scores.

Cassie Whetstone, B.S.

Instructor of Piano and Theory & Composition

Accepting new students: Yes

Centralized teaching area: Castleton

Personal studio: No

Travel lessons offered: Yes

With a degree in Educational Studies and a minor in Keyboard Pedagogy from Taylor University, 2018 graduate Cassandra Whetstone is eager to begin her career in music education. Her musical journey began as an enthusiastic 8-year-old enrolled in piano lessons. Since those days, she has continued developing her classical piano skills as well as piano education, song writing, and contemporary worship leading. Her favorite classical performances at Taylor University include Handel’s Piano Sonata No. 37 and a set from Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op. 15. As an undergraduate teacher, she taught her first piano students through Taylor’s Center for Musical Development. Over the past ten years, she has had the opportunity to serve as a worship leader at her local church and as a visiting worship leader and musician at places like David’s Tent in Washington, D.C. and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.

Her formative musicianship was shaped by Mrs. Tina Norris. Under Mrs. Norris’ balanced curriculum of classical and contemporary instruction, Cassandra laid the foundation for what would become a central part of her identity as a musician and educator. She strives to be as encouraging, patient, and wise as her mentor. During her four years at Taylor University, she studied piano under Dr. Leon Harshenin and her pedagogy mentor was Mrs. Kathryn Grile. It was under their guidance she discovered a passion for music theory and developing the musicianship of young students. Her mission in teaching piano is to broaden her students’ musical perspectives, cultivate their creativity and expression, promote confidence, and develop life skills that they can take beyond the piano bench.