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Chick Piano Co.


















Music Lessons

Welcome to Chick Music Academy

Chick Music Academy offers music lessons for most instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, violin, cello, clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, drums and voice. Lessons are $25.00 each for a 30 minute lesson once a week. There is a $20 non-refundable registration fee due at signup. Chick Music Academy is under the direction of Christy Shepherd Rochon. She may be contacted via e-mail at christy@chickmusic.net. Click here for Student Registration and Studio Policies .

Piano Teachers

Kenny's love of music began very early. He learned his first song at age three. By the age of six he had a repertoire of about eight songs. His formal training started at age six and studied with Michael Fox in Columbus GA for six years. In 1967 and 1969 he earned awards regional recitals in the Columbus area. At age thirteen, he began playing in local bands. Approximately a year later, he had a duo gig at a popular restaurant four nights a week. In 1977 he worked in radio jingles at Studio 4 in Dothan, Alabama. In 1978 he received a scholarship to Chattahoochee Valley Community College and earned an Associate of Arts degree. This was his first experience teaching music by tutoring students in music theory.
Kenny has performed with many bands and record labels including; The Headband, Pritchett Band, 441 Express, John Berry, Capitol Records; Ichiban Records, several Nashville performers, and countless other groups. His performing has taken him all over the South East on music tours including the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the S.S. Emerald Seas out of Miami, Knoxville Tennessee (at the 1982 world fair), the J&J Country Showcase, and 2 extensive tours of Europe. In 2007, he married his wonderful bride, and moved back to Athens. Together, they play in churches around the area. Currently, he plays and tours with the Georgia Satellites and John Berry. His teaching places a strong emphasis on piano improvisation and ear training.

Cody has been playing piano for many years. Much of this time has been devoted to playing various styles of music in his local church and throughout the community. He has been privately teaching for 5 years and enjoys pouring his gift of music back into people of all ages. Cody has had the privilege of studying classical piano and piano pedagogy under Dr. Emma Pettyjohn and he owes a great deal of his success musically to her and the rest of the staff at Emmanuel College. He will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Church Music and Piano Performance from EC this year and plans to continue on to a Masters Program. Cody has a wonderful wife and daughter at his home in Commerce.

Melinda, originally from Lenoir, N.C. has lived in Bogart, Georgia for the past 13 years. She is married to her dynamite husband, Tim Smith, and they have three beautiful daughters.
She graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance. Since college she has been on staff at 4 churches as Music Minister and taught private voice and piano lessons for 25 years. She had been assistant director of the Singing Christmas Tree of Prince Avenue Baptist Church for several years. Currently she is assists in the Music Ministry at Prince Avenue Baptist Church. Melinda enjoys performing opera, Christian music, and performing in musicals and dramas and teaching others the joy of music.
Teaching and ministering to others is a pure joy and brings lots of pleasure!!

Braxton began piano at age 12. He enjoys teaching, as well as playing, the many styles of music that the piano has to offer. He graduated from UGA with a degree in clarinet performance in 2011. He has studied piano under Mrs. Jane Lester and currently studies with Mr. Jason Bennett. He has also been an organ student of Dr. David Burton-Brown.


Guitar Teachers

Sean received his Bachelors in Music Performance from the University of Georgia, studying classical guitar under John Sutherland (a protege of Andres Segovia). While at UGA, Sean also had the privilege to study jazz improvisation under Steve Dancz, to perform as solo guitarist with the UGA Symphony Orchestra and combined choirs, and to give a performance as guitarist for the UGA Men's Varsity Singers. Other notable performances include master classes with Pepe Romero, Sheron Isbin, and Eduardo Meirinhos. He frequently attends clinics where he's had the opportunity to observe the playing of many wonderful musicians from multiple genres, keeping him up to date on modern styles and techniques. Sean has been lead guitarist and vocalist for several rock groups, been a member of multiple jazz combos, and currently performs with his group, the Georgia Guitar Duo. Sean is in pursuit of a Masters degree in classical guitar performance, and he teaches a Guitar Methods course as a teaching assistant at UGA. Lessons are taught in a variety of styles and genres including classical, jazz, rock, blues, fusion, folk, pop, country, and metal, from beginner to advanced in most categories. Lessons for beginner bass and ukulele are also available. For more information, visit his website: http://www.seanthrower.com/

Rick studied guitar with Mary Akerman at Kennesaw State College and John Sutherland at the University of Georgia. He won the Award of Excellence in 1999 from the Georgia Music Teacher's Association guitar competition. Rick has taught at several Schools of Music in the Atlanta area. He has also attended masterclasses taught by Oscar Ghiglia and Christopher Parkening.

Kevin earned a Bachelors in Music from Kennesaw State University and a Masters from Florida State University, both in Classical Guitar. Kevin also went on to complete one year of his Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. Kevin has been teaching music for 13 years and playing and performing for 23 years. Kevin has earned many accolades such as 1st prize in the Georgia Music Teachers Association Competition in 1999, 1st prize in the 2007 Mississippi Guitar Festival, 4th prize in the 2007 East Carolina Guitar Festival, and several semi-final awards at the 2003-04 Appalachian State Guitar Festival and the 2004 Columbus State Guitar Symposium. Kevin teaches all styles including rock, metal, country, blues, folk, fingerstyle, classical, and alternative. He also teaches Banjo, Bass Guitar, and beginner Mandolin and Ukulele. Kevin currently performs with Athens music favorite 'Love Tractor'

Michael is a musician with a diverse musical background. He first picked up a guitar at the age of ten, where he found a love for classic rock, notably Led Zeppelin. As a school student in Florida, he learned to play the upright bass. Along the way, he also picked up the mandolin. During this time Michael was introduced to blues music & bluegrass music. In high school, Michael was trained in Classical & Theatrical singing, which led to a theatre scholarship at Hope College. While in Michigan attending Hope, Michael began to explore the independent music scene. He found himself at home in it, enjoying its variation and diversity. During this time, Michael was heavily influenced by the music of Sufjan Stevens, steering his musical talents toward the piano and the banjo. In the fall of 2011, upon arriving in Athens, Michael helped form the Americana-Bluegrass group Grassland String Band, known for their powerful, down-to-earth performances. Aside from this project, Michael has performed in a variety of local and regional acts. Michaelís mission in life is to inspire people to embrace their passions, fulfill their creative destinies, and enjoy the beauty of our colorful world.

Banjo & Mandolin Teachers

Rick has taught and performed on Banjo and Mandolin for several years. Please view his Bio listed under Guitar Teachers.

Kevin teaches Banjo & beginning Mandolin. Please view his Bio listed under Guitar Teachers.

Michael teaches banjo & mandolin. Please view his bio under guitar teachers

String Teachers (Violin, Viola, Cello)
Bluegrass Fiddle

KAREN BERGMANN (Cello & Violin)
Karen Michelle Bergmann is a native of central Maryland, where she started on violin at 3 years old and then switched to cello at the age of 8. She attended high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts, then went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree Magna cum Laude with a double major in Music and Religious Studies at Ithaca College in upstate New York. Karen subsequently won a full scholarship to complete her Master’s studies at the Irish World Music Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland. In June of 2002 she relocated to Tuscany, Italy, where she studied at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory and developed her career as a soloist and chamber musician, highlighted by a series of concerts at the historic Orsanmichele church in Florence’s city center. Karen returned to the US in February of 2007, and earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Georgia in May of 2012 with her capstone project focusing on methods for teaching improvisation to string players. She will be returning to UGA to pursue a PhD in Musicology with her area of research interest in the History of Rock and Roll.



Woodwind and Brasswind Teachers

A native of Watkinsville, Georgia, Braxton attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a degree in clarinet performance in 2011. He enjoys playing with local community ensembles and like playing different types of music including classical, polka, and jazz. Prior to coming to UGA, he studied with Mrs. Laura Moates Stanley.

Dr. Cathy Hancock Hicks is a former public school music teacher. She retired from the Hart County School System in 2013; Dr. Hicks received a DMA in flute performance from the University of Georgia in 2004 and has served as an adjunct instructor at Georgia College and State University, Piedmont College, Toccoa Falls College, and Athens Tech. She performed with the Athens Symphony and the Anderson Symphony and is currently a member of the Athens Flute Choir and the Classic City Band.


Pete received his BA degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with studies in trumpet performance, music composition and theory. He received a Masters in Music Performance on trumpet, under the direction of W. Fred Mills, founding member of the Canadian Brass, and Dr.Edward Sandor. Pete is currently completing his Ph.D. in musicology under the direction of Dr. Stephen Valdez.

Jeff Crouch has been studying and performing music since 1980. At age five, he began playing the cello and did that until he got his first trumpet at age nine. Crouch holds degrees from the University of Georgia (BMEd) and the California Institute of the Arts (MFA, African-American Improvisational Music). Crouch has studied trumpet with Dr. Edward P. Sandor, Fred Mills, John Almedia, and John Fumo. He studied composition and improvisation with Wadada Leo Smith, Charlie Hayden, Susan Allen, Vinny Golia, and Leroy Jenkins. Crouch, a member of ASCAP since 2004, has written pieces for every setting from solo trumpet music, industrial music, rock music, Avant Guard/Improvisation ensembles, acoustic/electronic quartets, and even a four movement composition for Orchestra, Choir, and Improvisation ensemble. He has performed with Martha Reeves, Ike Stubblefield, Bobby Keys, 95 lb. lapdog, the HEAP (formerly the H.E.A.P. Project), Diet Echo, the real CIA, Susan Allen, Vinny Golia, Drivin-N-Cryin, Killick Erik Hinds, Kris Tiner, Bill Clarke, Jason Mears, the Industrial Jazz Group, KOLA (Kreative Orchestra of Los Angeles), the Georgia Guitar Quartet, Fred Mills, Colin Bragg, Tim Morrison, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Band, the 37th Georgia Regimental Band, the Crouch/Lawless Jazz Quintet, the CalArts Orchestra and Improvisation Ensemble, Verge, Uncle Mumps, Mother Jackson, Mark and the SuperNowaks, The Moscow Radio Orchestra, Dave Rempis, the SS Puft Quartet, and many others. SS Puft released 3 albums on the Athens, Ga based label, Solponticello Records label as well as having Crouch's free jazz ode to Arnold Schoenberg, "Blues for Arnold" on the 2002 Athfest CD (Ghostmeat Records). Crouch and his trumpet have been featured on records from Casper and the Cookies, Venice is Sinking, Bill Doss, Henselle and Kensly's "Wiggly Biggly Toes", Jeremiah Cymerman's Big Exploitation,the Vinyl Strangers, Dr. Fink (of Prince and the Revolution) (as well as other artists).

As a educator James Pannell has maintained an active teaching studio of students on trombones, trumpet, euphonium and tuba with numerous students earning spots in GMEA sponsored District Honor and Clinic Bands, All-State Bands, All-State Jazz Band, Governor's Honors Program, and even students to go on and major in music at the University of Georgia. In December of 2010 a member of Pannell's private studio won the second trombone ever to be awarded by the Georgia Association of Jazz Educator's "All-State Jazz Clinic." The first such award was to Pannell in December 2003.
As an orchestral musician Pannell has performed with the the "AIMS in Graz" Festspiel Orchestra, UGA Symphony Orchestra, Transylvania Symphony Orchestra in Brevard, North Carolina, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan Symphony, Ureuk Symphony, MSM Chamber Sinfonia, Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestra as principal trombone, including performances of Saint-SaŽns Symphony No. 3 at St. John the Divine with Kent Tritle as organist, and Monteverdiís Vespers at the same location with Kent Tritle as conductor. Pannell also performs in New York city with the Toast Brass Quintet and has worked under the direction of conductors including, George Manahan, Kurt Masur, Kent Tritle, David Gilbert, Philippe Entremont, Kieth Lockhart, Frank Ticheli Stephen Osgood, Mark Gould, Fred Mills, and Robert Austin Boudreau.
Pannell has performed on four continents and toured all over the United States. At age 18 Pannell performed Dvorakís Te Deum in Liechtenstein Palace in Prague, Czech Republic with the Prague Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and spend the summers performing with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz Austria, with the University of Georgia Bands and Manhattan Symphony Pannell toured China in 2006 and 2014 respectively, and performed three concerts in Argentina in 2010 with the UGA Wind Ensemble. In 2009 Pannell won the UGA Concerto Competition and performed the Launy Grondahl Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra that following year. Pannell has performed in masterclasses for Joseph Alessi, Charlie Vernon, Pete Sullivan, Brent Phillips, and Josh Bynum.
A native of Georgia, James began studies with Dr. Philip Jameson, and continued his studies with Jameson through his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia. In 2010 he graduated with a Bachelorís of Music. The same fall, James began began his Masterís of Music at the Manhattan School of Music studying under Steve Norrell and David Finlayson. Other teachers include David Nelson, Dave Taylor, Tom Smith of the New York Philharmonic, and Mike Becker of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Iain Hunter of the Mexico City Philharmonic. In his free time Pannell enjoys running road races, section hiking the Appalachian Trail, reading, traveling and trying new foods


Voice Teachers

Melinda, originally from Lenoir, N.C. has lived in Bogart, Georgia for the past 13 years. She is married to her dynamite husband, Tim Smith, and they have three beautiful daughters.
She graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance. Since college she has been on staff at 4 churches as Music Minister and taught private voice and piano lessons for 25 years. She had been assistant director of the Singing Christmas Tree of Prince Avenue Baptist Church for several years. Currently she is assists in the Music Ministry at Prince Avenue Baptist Church. Melinda enjoys performing opera, Christian music, and performing in musicals and dramas and teaching others the joy of music.
Teaching and ministering to others is a pure joy and brings lots of pleasure!!



Drum/Percussion Teachers

Fred has been teaching the art of drumming in Athens and surrounding areas for over 20 years. His specialty is in snare drum and drumset studies including double bass work. His teaching offers studies in Jazz, Latin, Rock, Blues, Metal and Improvisation. His instructors have included Leslie Rucker and Dr. Thomas McCutchen. He has participated in drumset workshops under Ed Sopph and Steve Houghton. Fred believes in the value of true musicianship and performance techniques; therefore he endeavors to share these values with each student and professional colleague.

Saturday Jams!

Are you interested in getting together with other musicians on Saturdays to jam? Contact Christy@chickmusic.net for more information.