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!"
Juan C.


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.

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.

Mr. Jake Rottier

My name is Jake Rottier and I teach piano. I remember still the day that I discovered that the piano lessons I had been taking gave me the skills to learn whatever I wanted. One day it clicked and I sat in front of the piano transcribing and writing whatever songs came to my head all night. In high school I began to listen to jazz with the standout track of my life at that moment being Waltz for Debby off of the album Know What I Mean? By Cannonball Adderly. The idea that these two musicians from such different backgrounds communicating to each other without words was a goal that I still am always aiming for. I believe everyone needs a creative outlet, and for me music has been that. Music is a way of communicating with others without words and a way of expressing emotions that I could never do with just words. This outlet is what allows me to communicate with others, and I believe it is a necessity to understand. My teaching style is to help foster the goals of the student, always exploring the new directions that their ears may be pulling them. I want all of my students more than anything to learn the joys that music can bring, as well as always feel like they are learning and improving. To summarize my teaching style is explorative, student-led, and fast-paced. I hope to see you in lesson, and no matter what always listen!

Maxwell Zarzuela.pngMr. Maxwell Zarzuela 

  • My name is Mr. Max and I teach piano. I cant remember the earliest time I fell in love with music but I guess Ive always had a strong love for music ever since I was able to talk. I will listen to different types of music. One piece of music I love is Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 3 no. 2. His piece is an example of how music is a form of expression, feeling, and interpretation. An important attribute of music: to be able to connect with the music you listen to. Creativity as a whole is important because it expands how we view music, as well as the world. When we make and interpret music, we learn something about our personality, our personal style, and our cultural style. I would describe my teaching style to be:
    -full of thought
    I hope you I can show you how to play Disney songs on the piano using a violin bow and drum sticks! You will be surprised how awesome it sounds

Ms Annie, piano lessons teacherMs. Annie Morrison

Bio coming soon

Ms Madison Barrett

My name is Madison Barrett and I teach piano here at Newsongs School of Music. Like many others, I was put into piano lessons as a small child. However, I really only truly fell in love with it when I saw how my music impacted others. The look of pride on my grandfathers face showed me I had an opportunity to spread that joy to others. So I took it, and here I am all these years later. One of my favorite pieces of piano music I aim to play one day is "Winter Wind" by Chopin, my favorite traditional composer. Having a creative outlet is essential in every child's life. I found mine in music, and I hope yours will too. In essence I would describe my teaching style as Encouraging, Honest, and Flexible. In more recent years, I have branched out into concert percussion, as well as mallet instruments such as marimba and vibraphone. I hope I'll be able to help you love music as much as I do. Can't wait to meet you!

Ms Hosna, piano lessons teacherMs. Hosna Alacozy

My name is Hosna Alacozy and I teach piano. I don’t have an exact moment of when I fell in love with music. I just know that I have always had a love for music from a very young age. One piece of music that I love is Melody of the Night No. 5 by Jin Shi, because it’s one of the pieces that first made me interested in learning piano. I think that it’s important to be creative because our imagination has no bounds and sometimes we just need an outlet in order to express it. I would describe my teaching style as the following: supportive, open to communication, and adaptive to the student. As a teacher, I am always growing and learning new things with every student I teach. So I can’t wait to meet you and help you with your journey to learning more about music!

Susi Owens.pngMs. Susi Owens

I received my original piano training overseas and have played and taught on both the East and West coasts. Working with students brings me true joy as I watch 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.

20210510_182617 (1)Ms. Hannah Minge

My name is Hannah Minge and I teach woodwinds (clarinet, sax, flute) and piano. In my childhood, there was always music flowing throughout the homes of my family. My grandparents were musicians and encouraged me to learn the clarinet in 3rd grade. I’m still at it 14 years later! Some of my all-time favorite composers are Debussy and Tchaikovsky. I love the life and passion that they capture in their music--this is what I believe music is all about. It is important to have passion and creativity in your life, which is why I think that learning and teaching music is one of the greatest experiences out there. My teaching style can be described as student-centered, classical, and fun! I understand that everyone learns differently and embrace that fully; I am adaptable so that you can just be you! I hold three AA’s from Cosumnes River College in music and liberal arts and am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Music and teaching credential at Sacramento State University. I can’t wait to make music together!

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 fundamental 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 have been hired locally as a studio musician and live vocalist

Ms. Amber Moore

Bio coming soon

Guitar Department

Dustin Goodrich.pngMr. Dustin Goodrich, Department Leader

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.

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 my passions for both music and teaching by passing on a legacy of love for music.

Mr Christian, guitar lessons, drum lessonsMr. Christian McLaurin

My name is Christian McLaurin and I teach drums, guitar, preschool prodigies, and the group Instrument Exploration class. In one of my earliest and dearest memories concerning music I remember being eight years old and having a piano recital; I was so excited to get up and play my song that I didn’t want to leave the stage when it was done! One of my favorite pieces of music is Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”. It’s a monument of subtle genius, A game jazz. It’s important to have a creative outlet because humans are creative creatures. We learn through creativity, we grow through creativity. Music is a great way to expand one’s thinking, and a great way to hone in on specific skills. My teaching style could be described as patient, flexible, and concept based. Einstein said to explain things in the simplest terms possible, but no simpler! I look forward to working with any new students, let’s learn about music and have fun while we do it! 

Mr Zac, guitar lessons teacherMr. Zac Gosser

My name is Zac and I teach Guitar and Ukulele. I fell in love with music when I’d go to concerts as a kid with my family, inspiring me to work hard to be a musician so I could perform like them. A piece of music I love is “A Different Kind of Human” by Aurora because it’s a beautiful take on what happens to us when we pass on. It’s important for everyone to have a creative outlet because it allows you to express yourself in ways that only words wouldn’t be able to convey.

My teaching style:
1. Adaptive (I’m flexible to all levels and styles of learning)
2. Passionate (I’ll focus on what brings out your passion for music)
3. Fun (The ultimate goal of learning music is to have fun while learning and playing)
I can’t wait to get started and find what makes you passionate about music!

Strings (Violin, Viola and Cello) Department

MsMs Brittany, violin lessons teaccher. Brittany Thorne, Department Leader

 I hold a masters 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!

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. 

Mr. Ricky Pool

My name is Ricky and I teach violin. I grew up surrounded by music and it is an intrinsic part of my life. My family shares my passion for music, and we often jam together on our respective instruments, and have done that for years. This group playing has connected me with music and has shown me how much fun it can be, as well as how to communicate my emotions through music. One of my favorite pieces of music is Bach's 3rd Partita for Violin. This piece is amazing to play and makes me feel like I am not on this world when playing it. This feeling in music lets people express their true creativity and is one of the best feelings in the world. The creativity and passion that comes with music is inspiring and connects people of all backgrounds. When I teach music I make it fun, I encourage students to experiment with new things, and I create a relaxing environment in which we can grow our creative skills. Music is an amazing part of my life, and I hope I can share it with you.

Drums Department

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.  

Brass and Woodwinds

Jason Elmore.pngMr. Jason Elmore, Department Leader

I studied music composition at the University of Utah and Cosumnes River College.  I had several of my own original pieces performed there. I have played the trombone since 2005 and have 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 school I 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. I also work with the Music Bus and serve local elementary school campuses with elementary band and general music programs.

Mr Kevin Adams

My name is Kevin Adams, I teach trumpet and brass instruments in general. Growing up in Detroit I was influenced by the Motown sound, but it wasn't until I attended a Maynard Ferguson concert that set me on a path of becoming a musician. One of my favorite songs is A Night In Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie, it has the coolest jazz hook I ever heard! Creativity in music is an honest expression of one's self and everyone has a verse to contribute, after all, where would you and I be if God wasn't creative? My creative style, simply put is: Imitation, Assimilation, and Innovation. If you enjoy music you'll enjoy playing music even more! I look forward to hearing from you, pun intended.

Ms Angela, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone lessonsMs. 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, love Disney and look forward to having fun together!


Abyee Hemsworth

Office Assistant

Nancy Smith


Jennifer Williams

Office Manager