Lessons and Classes

Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Dulcimer, and Ukulele with Mark WeemsMark Weems

Mark Weems is a thoroughly diverse multi-instrumentalist and singer who plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mountain dulcimer, but is also well known as a singer and composer. He has been studying the nuances of all types of country and folk music for twenty-five years as a veteran of The Stillhouse Bottom Band, Little Windows, The Cave Dwellers, and The Old Jonny Booker Band.

Sing Out! Magazine called him “an exceptionally talented interpreter of old-time vocal and instrumental tunes” and “a gifted composer of timeless music.”  His music has been heard on-stage at Merlefest, highlighted on the NPR programs Thistle and Shamrock and The State of Things, and is frequently heard on WUNC’s Back Porch Music.

He currently tours professionally with his wife, Julee Glaub, as the duet Little Windows. He has taught master classes at the Irish Arts Week in New York, at the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina, and at the Alaska Traditional Music Camp, among others.

For more information, contact Mark at markweems@frontier.com or visit www.nctradmusic.com.


Cello with Sam Howell

Samuel Howell is a lifelSam Howellong Suzuki student and teacher with a decade of teaching experience. He has been privileged to study with a number of exceptional artists and educators including Chris Nunnally (ECU, Juilliard) Sharon Lawrence (Hampton Sidney) John Kaboff (Kaboff cello school, Arlington, VA) Dr Aurelius Gori (NOVA, Gori Voice Studios, Kensington MD) Dr Mark Whitmire (NOVA; St James's, Richmond, VA) and Pamela Devenport (Suzuki Association of the Americas).

Sam takes a holistic approach to music education. He understands music to be intrinsically physical and social as well as artistic. His pedagogical approach places a strong emphasis on healthy, relaxed physical technique applying principles of the Feldenkrais method. His greatest aspiration as an educator is to inspire the artistic awareness in the community through comprehensive musical education and performances that are both illuminating and accessible to local audiences. Sam holds an Associates of Applied Arts in Vocal Performance from Northern Virginia Community College and is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. 

For more information, contact Sam at contact@hopewood-studios.com.


Piano and Voice with Toni HowellToni Howell

Toni Howell traces her love of music and theater to the influences of growing up in a culturally sensitive area, between New York City and Philadelphia, where there was a strong emphasis on the arts. She received her B.A. in Communications and Theater Arts from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania where she studied voice, specifically opera, with James Wilhelm (City Opera of New York and New York Metropolitan Opera).

Toni has directed opera, as well as acted in and directed many plays, sang lead musical comedy roles in summer theater, and spent a short period with Lamb's Players of San Diego. She taught all subjects to 7th and 8th graders and music to K through 8. She has been teaching voice and piano for 20 years, most recently taking the training and becoming registered as a Suzuki teacher. She founded and directed the Storysingers, a music club in Halifax County, as well as directed various choirs and ensembles.

Toni home-schooled 5 children, now grown, who are all excellent musicians, all Suzuki-trained. She practices Suzuki's methods in teaching children and adults because she has found that her students progress more rapidly with it and gain a solid, disciplined technique, but she also recognizes the value of the traditional method with its emphasis on reading and incorporates that emphasis in her program as well. She teaches all styles of singing, but personally loves singing musical comedy, opera, and classic folk. Disciplined performance is a major goal; truth in communicating is another.

For more information, contact Toni at tonihowell@gmail.com.


Violin with Jorge Rodriguez Ochoa - Coming Soon

Jorge OchoaJorge Rodriguez Ochoa started his musical studies at the age of 4 with piano and then included violin at age 8. A native from Monterrey City, Mexico, he graduated from the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey (ESMDM) in 2006. He also has a Bachelor in Communication Sciences from Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM).

Jorge holds an MM degree in Violin Performance from Baylor University (2012). Since coming back to Greensboro, NC; Jorge has held principal positions in regional orchestras in NC and the surrounding states. Currently, he performs with Roanoke Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Symphony of the Mountains and Brevard Philharmonic. Before joining the string faculty at MANC, Jorge served as an adjunct faculty with the Southeastern Community College and taught at the American Institute in Monterrey. He also performed with the state orchestra in Monterrey City and toured Portugal and Spain with Mexican folk groups.

Jorge enjoys crossover styles of classical music as well as folk style music. Jorge is comfortable teaching both in English and Spanish and tries to include some of his piano formation in the study of music theory for all of his string students. He can be reached at jrochoa@musicacademync.org.

Check back soon for updates on how to schedule lessons with Jorge!