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 

Mr. 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. Josh Drazil

My name is Josh Drazil and I am a piano instructor at Newsongs School of Music. I have been playing the piano for 29 years and it is my passion to help others along their journey to discovering their own unique, individual love for the piano. I appreciate every genre of music, but I have to admit that my guilty pleasures are Broadway tunes. I was one of those kids who did not see the benefits of my parents forcing me to attend piano lessons each week (I dreaded it!) until I started teaching others how to play around the age of 16 (alongside Mr. Michael if you can believe it). Seeing the spark in a student who masters a technique or who begins to understand the language of music is priceless. I pride myself in thinking outside of the box and focusing on the enjoyment of the process because I believe that learning the piano should be fun! I have been an Elk Grove native my entire life from Markofer Elementary School, to graduating Elk Grove High School, meeting my amazing wife who is an Elk Grove native, and on to obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology) from California State University, Sacramento. I also have my Master’s degree in Business Administration. I have two children who are my world, and on my free time I enjoy photography among many other hobbies. 

51434335222_e8cd09b40d_wMr. 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!

Mr. 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

51819037989_411f12d6c8_oMr. Maxwell Pease

Maxwell Pease is an experienced singer and performer. He performed with the Sacramento Children’s chorus for 12 years, Christian Brother’s HS vocal jazz for one year, and Sacramento State Vocal Jazz for four years. He has finished a four year Bachelor’s of Music degree in jazz voice and plans to continue composing, performing, and teaching throughout his career to come. Currently, he sings with “Symphonia Phonotone”, singing syncopated dance music from the 1920s and 30s, as well as the “E-Regulars”, who play many different genres but mainly rock and ska. He has also recently taken a position as worship leader at First Christian Church in East Sacramento. Maxwell is proficient in both the piano and the guitar and has had excellent training in musicianship, arranging, and music theory.

51818811653_0cb2d7bb54_oMs. Grace Clark

"My name is Grace Clark, and I teach beginning piano. I have been playing piano since I was six years old and currently continue to study as I pursue my bachelor’s degree in music. My passion is writing original songs with lyrics and piano- or guitar-based accompaniment; I wrote my first song when I was nine years old and I haven’t stopped writing since! Fun fact: I’m following in a family tradition- my mother and her mother before her were both pianists, vocalists, and songwriters. My approach to teaching (and learning) is centered around positivity and thorough practice. It can be daunting to learn the language of music and easy to get discouraged with the initial slope of our individual learning curves. With intention and a positive outlook, learning can be incredibly rewarding and, importantly, fun! I grew up listening primarily to jazz, soul, singer-songwriter, and R&B music, but through studying music over the years I have expanded my horizons. Now I love to listen to whatever music I can find, and genres don’t tend to factor in. From Astrud Gilberto to Rush to Dvořák- music is music is music! Whatever makes you tick music-wise, I am happy to learn about and dive into with you. I look forward to starting a musical journey with you at NewSongs!"

51857154734_15caa7d66f_oMs. Heidi Vo

Hi there! My name is Huong Vo (Heidi Vo) I play piano, guitar, and I sing, but out of my interests, I focus on playing and teaching piano. 
I learned piano when I was 9 years old with a priest, and I started playing for my church when I turned 12 years old. I attended a music school while I also went to university for my bachelor of Chemistry. After graduating, I went to work at an Agricultural University and also taught piano/keyboard privately at the same time for 9 years. 
When I came to the US, I took music classes as my minor degree at SJSU alongside my major degree of Finance and Accounting. After graduating, I continued teaching piano at San Jose Music Center for 15 years and up to now. 
Teaching piano has always been a big passion of mine! At Newsong, I continue to help young kids play well and further explore the music world. 

MarileighMs. Mariliegh Ramp

Howdy everyone! My name is Miss Marileigh and I teach piano, ukulele, guitar, and (hopefully soon) bass here at Newsongs. I grew up listening to and playing all sorts of music from jazz & blues to canciones. In high school, I couldn’t make up my mind so I joined band, choir, and orchestra; I loved them all. Music helped me to come out of my shell so I could grow and develop as a person, which is why I decided to teach music to others so they could experience this too! My favorite music to listen to is punk, but I love to play jazz & classical. I like to mix a little bit of fun into learning so that students want to learn music, so I encourage them to bring in one of their favorite songs to learn. Because who doesn’t want to play along to their favorite song!

_dsc0251jpg_51407547478_oMs 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 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!

Ms. 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.

Voice Department

Ms. 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

_dsc0309jpg_51407281441_oMs. Amber Moore

Bio coming soon

Guitar Department

Mr. 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. 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!

51981002896_ebbe2ca3f6_qMr. Noel Gallard

Hello, I'm Noel Gallard and I'm a teacher for Guitar and Production. I have a certification in Audio Engineering from SAE Institute in Atlanta, GA and have been playing guitar for over a decade. I've been a part of the music world for years, having been in Jazz Band, Orchestra, Chorus, as well as working as a stagehand and audio engineer for professional productions. At Newsong, I'll guide you to learn how to make the most of the freedom of expression you can find through music. 

NateMr. Nate Furgason

Hello, I am Mr. Nate. 

I am primarily a bass player but in addition I have experience playing and teaching guitar, drums, ukulele, and piano. I earned my BA in Music from CSU Chico and my MA in Jazz Studies from New York University. 

I grew up in a musical family and have been playing since I was about 3 which means I have over 30 years experience working and teaching in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. 

I have a special love of Jazz and all things improvisational. I strive to find music that my students love and use their joy to build lessons around what they are interested in. I have found that any music can be a vessel for learning.

Strings (Violin, Viola and Cello) Department

Mr. 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. 

51981004166_eeb70f3c37_qMs. Jannella Gaza

Hello! My name is Jannella. I am a violin teacher at Newsongs. I have been playing the violin for over 10 years and have been part of the Sacramento Youth Symphony and was the Concertmaster for Camellia Juniors Symphony Orchestra.  I was also the CalASTA Sacramento Section 2019 Solo Competition Winner for the Violin Senior Division. I hope to share my love and knowledge of the violin with you and hope that you will enjoy learning and playing this wonderful instrument.

Drums Department

51817745267_0edce0341a_oMr. Evan French

Bio coming soon


Mr. Jake Wilson

My name is Jake Wilson and I teach drum set here at New Songs! I got into music after watching drummers perform in music videos as a kid and I was like “Dang, I wanna do that”. I started taking private lessons soon after that and have been playing ever since. I’ve been playing drum set for about 10 years now and also have experience with marching percussion! Also my favorite genre of music would have to be anything pop or rock related since any song with heavy bass is always fun. My music philosophy is to teach music in a way that is fun and engaging while also learning correct technique.

Brass and Woodwinds

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!

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!

Mr. Glenn Lewis

Glenn is native to the Sacramento area and strives to be a creationary. Glenn creates music independently and with others to affect attitudes and perceptions in positive ways. Glenn’s primary instruments are Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone and Euphonium. Routinely playing in chamber ensembles and big bands, Glenn is featured most prominently as the lead trombone in local bands such as RC Swing, and most recently the Swing Collective, a classic swing dance band.

Glenn is completing his second year as an instrumental performance major at Cosumnes River College and additionally pursuing a certificate in Independent Music Instruction. Realizing music is a life-long experience he loves to provide additional instruction to elementary, middle and high school students in the art of playing brass instruments.


Nancy Smith


Jennifer Williams

Office Manager