Meet Our Staff and Learn About Their Musical Journeys

"We love the approach to learning and the environment that NewSongs provides for our kids. It’s a positive and fun filled atmosphere that has produced great understanding of music in our kids!"


Get Inspired by Our Skilled Team of Teachers

At Newsongs School Of Music, the main goal is to inspire the young generation and help them cultivate their creativity. We offer the model and ideas to our students, and the creative freedom to make music. We call it "Inspire. Create. Learn."

Programs available in our music school includes:
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Voice
  • Ukulele
  • Bass
  • Violin & Cello
  • Woodwinds: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone
  • Brass: Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn
  • Preschool music and preschool piano (early piano)
Contact us to learn more about our music lessons and programs. Schedule your FREE consultation today!

Meet Our Staff

and Learn About Their Musical Journeys

Mr. Michael Hemsworth - Director

Hi, my name is Michael Hemsworth and I created NewSong school 15 years ago with the sincere desire to see kids and families experience a better life through music. I have grown up as an Elk Grove native, I attended school here, got married here, and raised my own family here, so I love this community. I also had the privilege of studying music as a teenager and graduating from high school early to move on and get my music degree from UC Davis at age 18. 

My wife Cealey and I have three children who inspires us every day. We have four dogs, love family trips to Disneyland, and are involved with our local church. Our desire is to help students at NewSongs be unique, creative, and confident music makers.


Abyee Hemsworth

Office Assistant

Nancy Smith


Jennifer Williams

Office Manager

Piano Department 

Jareth Culwell.pngMr. Jareth Culwell

I first practiced martial arts before expanding my love of piano and ventured into a piano-teaching career. My favorite music is usually loud and dramatic! I love finding ways to approach the complex task of playing the piano into simple pieces, encouraging both discipline and creativity for students. In my spare time I also enjoy other creative disciplines such as painting and woodwork.

Roger Fandel.pngMr. Roger Fandel 

I am a piano, drum, and guitar instructor with years of experience teaching students of all ages. I love ALL types of students and have worked with several blind students, those with ADHD, and autism. I feel a holistic approach to music education is the best way to encourage understanding and enthusiasm. This means looking at music from many angles: theory, reading, improvisation, arrangement, and composition. Then letting student interest guide lesson planning. I find the most satisfaction seeing students grow confident with their musical voice, learning to express themselves, and discovering their potential.

Juan Gonzalez.pngMr. Juan Gonzalez

I graduated from Concordia University in Texas with a degree in Music Theory and Composition, and I continue to compose new music for the piano and for various groups. My goal is to assist in finding their passion, understanding who they are, and allow for all learners to feel that they can be successful. I want to create a space where people learn to accept, embrace, and respect the differences between us all. Each classroom comes with new learners from different backgrounds and each one with unique abilities and learning styles. Mistakes are not bad, they are an opportunity to learn. It is my job to provide the tools for the students to strengthen their own learning ability so that they may be successful and feel capable of showing their talents with people. "If you have ever made a mistake before then you haven't done anything new." - Albert Einstein

Maxwell Zarzuela.pngMr. Maxwell Zarzuela 

I have been a pianist for 12 years since starting at the age of 7. My favorite part of teaching is watching students learn something new because there is always something to learn when your practice and do your best. I also believe that learning and playing music takes determination and effort to perfect a song, or any musical technique. When I’m not playing the piano I also enjoy photography.

Newsongs Portraits -0244.jpgMs Erin Schuman

I love the piano!  For me, the piano is an instrument that I can be creative and expressive and I love sharing it with my students.  As a young teacher, I relate well with my students and we have a lot of fun making music together--I like to help students believe in themselves and see themselves as musicians.  I value being able to read music as well as play with creativity and freedom so students are comfortable with different styles of playing.

Newsongs Portraits -0266.jpgMr. Davis Bartoe

I am a church musician and teacher.  I play drums, bass and piano and enjoy helping students understand the basics and apply it to music they love!  I believe being creative is an important part of being a musician, and I am good listener so I can better understand your goals and needs to help you succeed!

Untitled design.jpgMs. Erin Schuman

I am excited to be teaching piano. As a piano student myself I had to find a balance between traditional methods and being able to play my favorite songs by ear or play with the band at my church, so I also want to encourage students to find what they love about music, become well rounded and have a lot of fun together

Susi Owens.pngMs. Susi Owens

I received my original piano training overseas and has played and taught on both the East and West coasts. Working with students brings me true joy as I watche them progress. My step-by-step approach builds good technique but also encourages students to listen as they play, making sure we perfect each step and prepare for the next. I also enjoy improvisation and various popular piano styles as well.

Jenn Rineman.pngMs. Jenn Rineman 

I believe students learn best through a combination of guidance and self discovery. I provide the information they need, then give them time to work through it. Everyone learns in their own unique way, so I try to find different ways to present information so as to appeal to different types of learners. And of course, learning should be fun! My goal is to foster a love of learning and self improvement. I am currently studying voice and piano myself again with several wonderful teachers and pursuing a music degree in a return to my own love of music.

Voice Department

Michelle Kellmann.pngMs. Michelle Kellmann

I am a NewSongs alumni, first as a student in the program and now as a college student I have returned to teach.  When I am not making music with my band, I love caring for horses, so I guess you can call me a country girl at heart.  My goal for students is to focus on safe fundamento singing techniques no matter what style of music you love to sing.  Together we can enjoy music that you love, but also make sure we are using good habits for a lifetime of singing.  

Jenna Magaziner.pngMs. Jenna Magaziner

My musical background includes years of lessons in piano, voice, and music theory. With a particular love for singing, I earned a degree in Jazz Studies with a concentration in vocal performance. I also spent 4 years singing with a national award-winning vocal jazz ensemble and has been hired locally as a studio musician and live vocalist

Guitar Department

Brian Fernandez.pngMr. Brian Fernandez

I learned the guitar as a kid from my father. Like most kids, I didn't want to stay in music. I didn't fully realize the value of what I had learned until I got to high school. It slowly consumed me and now is the lens in which I view the world. In college, I pursued music and got my degree in guitar performance at Sac State. I would love to travel and learn about music in other countries. Other than music, I love watching NBA basketball and our hometown Kings. In general, the local sports teams (Kings, Rivercats and Republic FC) do a lot for our community and our economy. As a musician, I hope that I can make a similar impact through teaching. I know that I am only one person, and can only do so much; but with a team and a core of beliefs, I hope to achieve some degree of musical diplomacy.

Dustin Goodrich.pngMr. Dustin Goodrich

My philosophy is to encourage students to build the skills to learn on their own. I seek a balanced curriculum that incorporates instant gratification through short and simple accomplishments along with more difficult, long term challenges. The overall goal is for students to maintain a consistent level of progress throughout their learning experience.

Karina Records.pngMs. Karina Records

I am an NewSongs alumni, first studying piano and then ultimately finding my love of guitar. I also enjoy sound engineering and recording. As a teacher, I love seeing my students master skills step by step until the master a new skill and can take pride in what they have accomplished. I enjoy representing the girls who play guitar and seeing my students succeed!

Logan Vicars.pngMr. Logan Vicars

I have been immersed in music, acting, street performing, and tutoring since high school. I am passionate about promoting artistic values in the community. I come from a deaf / non-hearing household, and developed a strong interest in music as a teenager and taught myself music theory and took to the streets to perform as a guitar-playing circus clown. Professionally, I also has provided behavioral therapy services to children on the autism spectrum for the last five years, so I enjoy combining his passions for both music and teaching by passing on a legacy of love to music.

Drums Department

Roger Fandel.pngMr. Roger Fandel 

I am a piano, drum, and guitar instructor with years of experience teaching students of all ages. I love ALL types of students and have worked with several blind students, those with ADHD, and autism. I feel a holistic approach to music education is the best way to encourage understanding and enthusiasm. This means looking at music from many angles: theory, reading, improvisation, arrangement, and composition. Then letting student interest guide lesson planning. I find the most satisfaction seeing students grow confident with their musical voice, learning to express themselves, and discovering their potential.

untitled-0272.jpgMr. Soren Castaneda

I am a drum enthusiast and music creator!  I enjoy sharing my passion for rhythm with new drummers by making the steps clear and easy--there are a lot of drums but they don't have to be overwhelming.  I also enjoy making digital music and being creative with many of the tools we now how have for making and remixing music.  

Untitled design.jpgMr. Soren Castaneda

I have a passion for being creative with my own musicianship and igniting that passion in students I work with.  I am patient with young players and enjoy seeing students of all ages and abilities explore drumming.  Additionally, I love digital music and I am always improving my skills making music even away from my drum set and on my computer.  There is always something new you can learn and try and I am glad to share that curiosity and love of music with the students I work with.

Strings (Violin, Viola and Cello) Department

Luis Lugo.pngMr. Luis Lugo

My teaching philosophy is to make sure the student is confident in using the instrument before reading music and playing at the same time. The student must have good technique so that they don’t grow up playing with tension and causing symptoms such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel. There lesson must continue to be filled with other music activities and not just songs to learn. 

Olga Tatar.pngMs. Olga Tatar

My name is Olga Tatar. I mainly play the violin but also enjoy singing and playing guitar and flute. I am a part of an orchestra, string ensemble and choir, which I all enjoy very much. I also come from a very musical family, some of which were NewSongs students when they were younger as well! I have been playing violin for most of my life, including performing at church with my siblings, who also study music. My goal is to get the students to think critically for themselves in violin practice. This makes them own up to their own progress and also allows this kind of discipline to be developed in other areas of their life, not only in music. I believe reading music, in addition to good technique, prepares students to play a wide variety of music when needed and I want to prepare them for a lifetime of making music. Besides music, I like to skate and play sports.

Brittany Thorne.pngMs. Brittany Thorne

I hold a graduate degree in violin performance from CSUS. I have several years of experience coaching with the String Project at CSUS as well as teaching private lessons. My style blends some of the classical Suzuki approaches with other techniques that help students prepare for other opportunities such as orchestra and ensemble playing. My goal is to inspire students as I coach and play with them to help them reach their fullest potential!

Brass and Woodwinds

Jason Elmore.pngMr. Jason Elmore

Jason studied music composition at the University of Utah and Cosumnes River College, where he had several of my own original pieces performed. He has played the trombone since 2005 and has been composing since 2007, with nine years total marching band experience, including five years as a member of the Pride of Utah Marching Band, and was a part of concert bands, jazz bands, and orchestras at every institution he ever attended. "I hope to pass along my array of knowledge and experience to a wide range of students, while always refining the skill sets that I already possess." Jason also coaches the elementary bands at Herburger Elementary, Dillard Elementary, and CA Montessori Project.

untitled-0290.jpgMs. Angela Flanery

Hi!  I am Ms. Angela and I LOVE making music.  I play piano and woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet, flute and more!). Learning one instrument just ignited my passion to learn more, and allows me to play with others in a variety of different styles of ensembles.  I am crafty and love Disney and look forward to having fun together!

untitled-0301.jpgMs. Bea Valera

As an alumni of NewSongs, I have gone from student to teacher!  I play piano and saxophone, and I love using the training I received to help other students succeed as well.  Once of the areas I love working with is small children and students with special needs, and using a blend of "book" and "out of book" activities to help build their whole sense of music--listening, singing, moving, and playing!  Discovering music at a young age is such an exciting gift.