The Rockvale Band is proud to work with many high-quality local teachers for each instrument. We are able to offer lessons before, during, or after school to a select number of students. Many students also prefer to meet with their lessons teacher outside of school. To enroll a student in lessons, fill out the form below or contact the lesson teacher directly.
Dr. Tonya Lawson has been teaching woodwinds in Tennessee and Texas for the past 21 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in education from Middle Tennessee State University, a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Texas Tech University. Dr. Lawson currently teaches at Middle Tennessee State University, Father Ryan High School, and throughout Rutherford and Wilson Counties. Her students regularly earn college scholarships and participate in Mid-state, All-state, Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Interlochen, as well as various other honor bands. When not teaching, Dr. Lawson enjoys, gardening, running, and playing with her two dogs.
Kyle is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and bandleader in Nashville, TN. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Northern Colorado in 2012, with a double major in Music Education and Jazz Studies. In the Spring of 2019, he completed his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
Kyle has taught all levels and age groups for saxophone, flute, clarinet, & percussion. He worked for 5 years in Boulder and Denver public schools in Colorado, as well as through El Sistema Colorado, a nonprofit orchestra program for at-risk youth in Denver. Kyle also plays saxophone, flute, and clarinet for Celebrity and Princess cruises. In Nashville, Kyle can be seen playing with the Music City Big Band, Afrokokoroots, Dr. Souls, the Miracle Baptist Church worship band, as well as leading a jazz quartet primarily performing his compositions and arrangements.
His quartet released their first album, Jazz Might Happen, in the summer of 2019, and are set to release their second project, Vow, within the next few months. In addition to Rockvale High School, Kyle teaches courses at Middle Tennessee State University and Nashville State Community College.
Curtis Vanzandt is a decorated saxophonist and educator. As a chamber musician, Curtis has performed as a part of the Copperhead Quartet and XY Quartet in international competitions, highlighted by an invitation to compete in the 2013 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the most prestigious competition of its kind in the world. Mr. Vanzandt is a proponent of new music, commissioning several pieces for saxophone, and he gave the world premiere of Lucas Garner's Odysseus for Saxophone and Wind Ensemble in 2015. Mr. Vanzandt has studied with Allen Rippe, Phil Barham, and Jonathan Nichol.
Dr. David Cyzak (*see-zak) is the Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Industry at Middle Tennessee State University where he serves as the Coordinator of the Music Industry Program.
Before arriving at MTSU, Cyzak served on faculty at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Bradley University, Illinois College, and Illinois Central College. In addition to teaching private oboe lessons, his course offerings included Music Technology, Music Theory, Music History, and Woodwind Methods.
Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Cyzak received his Doctorate from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying with John Dee. His doctoral research explores the advanced vocal and instrumental techniques of Vinko Globokar's Oboe and English Horn works. He received a Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from The Hartt School under the tutelage of Humbert Lucarelli and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied with James Caldwell, Robert Walters, and Alex Klein.
Born in Hendersonville, TN, Preston has been playing the trumpet since he was 11 years old. After earning a Bachelor's of Performing Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University, Preston went to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and completed a Master's of Performing Arts. While at UMKC, Preston was a member of the Fellowship Brass Quintet, the first such brass group to exist at the university. As a member of the group, he was a finalist in the prestigious Coleman Chamber Music competition in 2010.
From January 2012-July 2016, Preston performed full-time with the Nashville Symphony, sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, Aretha Franklin, Miranda Lambert, Seth McFarlane, Sheryl Crow, Kristen Chenowith and many more. In addition to his symphonic work, Preston records regularly in studios throughout Nashville, and can be heard on the soundtracks to such video games as Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Minecraft, Destiny, Destiny 2, Fortnite, Anthem, Playstation’s Spiderman, and Apex Legends. Preston can also be heard on the most recent season of Netflix’s “Lost in Space” and “Knights of the Zodiac,” as well as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s album “Christmas Together.”
When he’s not performing, Preston enjoys spending his free time with his Fiancé, their two dogs, and their hedgehog.
While Matt Jefferson is best known as the bass voice of the acclaimed trombone quartet Maniacal 4, his versatility extends to classical and commercial music as well. Equally versed on bass trombone, tenor trombone, and tuba, he has performed with the Nashville Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, as well as dozens of film and video game soundtracks.
A graduate of University of North Texas, Mr. Jefferson’s true passion is for teaching. He constantly tries to challenge the limitations of traditional institutionalized education to help students think outside the box and maximize their learning potential to achieve their goals. During his three years as an active freelancer in Louisiana, he was also a valued faculty member of Nicholls State University and is currently on faculty at Lipscomb University.
A forward-thinking “people person,” Mr. Jefferson is an ardent student of life. In addition to his music career, he does freelance video production. He also is an enthusiastic baseball fan and self-confessed bookworm whose tastes range from Malcolm Gladwell to Christopher Moore. Originally from Canada, Mr. Jefferson now resides in Nashville with his cat, Frank.
Tim Hale is the percussion specialist at Riverdale High School. He is one of the top percussion instructors in the area and is endorsed by Innovative Percussion. He has served as a drumline instructor and percussion clinician throughout Tennessee, Florida, New Mexico, and California.
Mr. Hale is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has studied with Mike McIntosh, Lalo Davila, and Eric Johnson. He has performed with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps and the Nite Express Drum and Bugle Corps.
Mr. Hale is a member of Lifepoint Church in Smyrna where he is active in the worship arts and children’s ministries.