- About Us
- Arts Education
- Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry
Individual Instruction in
Piano, Voice, Visual Arts, Guitar, Banjo,
Mandolin, Violin/Fiddle and Drums
for children and adults
Children and adults need to not only create but also to express themselves and to feel satisfaction for their accomplishments. Music lessons will provide this and more. Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing correctly develops concentration, coordination, and critical thinking and communication skills. It can also boost one’s self-esteem and is quite enjoyable. The Mountain Arts Center Arts Education Department has been offering individual instruction for the past several years in the areas of piano, voice, guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin/fiddle and martial arts. These private lessons are one-on-one instruction once a week for thirty minutes with a qualified instructor. The lessons range in fee from $13.00 to $18.00 per each thirty minute session.
Finding the Right Instructor
If your child or you are interested in music, it is very important to find a good instructor. You or your child will develop a special one-on-one relationship with their music instructor, who can help instill a lifelong love of music in your child. Just as all other professionals such as doctors and lawyers are not the same each music instructor will offer a specialized professional perspective. The instructor who charges the least, or who lives the closest, is not necessarily the best choice for you or your child. You will want an instructor who will inspire you or your child to be your best and to nurture you as you grow musically. The instructor’s techniques should also be appropriate for you or your child.
Another key in making music lessons successful for you or your child is parental involvement. Parental support in the learning process is a vital component of any educational endeavor. Be sure to make time to listen to your child play, provide a quality instrument and practice space, encourage them to practice, and celebrate with them in their continued accomplishments.
The Mountain Arts Center is committed to providing the best instructors to meet the needs of their individual instruction students. Individual instruction is offered year round with most instructors performing at least two recitals a year. Each individual instructor is qualified in the particular area that they teach. All instructors must meet certain criteria in order to teach at the Mountain Arts Center. The following section provides a biography of each instructor.
Janean Freeman (voice) has been an instructor of voice at the Mountain Arts Center since 2003. She is a native of Spencer, Indiana. Prior to pursuing a career in higher education, she spent 15 years working in public radio serving as a music host, assistant music director, program director and station manager. Freeman currently serves as an instructor of music at Pikeville College after teaching for five years at Morehead State University, where she was director of the Black Gospel Ensemble and taught voice, music theory, class piano and the history of rock and roll.
Freeman has sung with the New York Philharmonics, performed in a variety of operas and musicals and has been lead by renowned conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Thomas Binkley, Paul Salamunovich and Robert Porco. She continues to perform professionally as a vocalist, pianist and director specializing in opera, jazz and pop. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi collegiate honor society and the National Association of Teachers of Singing where she currently serves on the state executive board. Students from her college and private studios have succeeded in auditions and won competitions at local, regional, state and national levels. They’ve also gained entry into prestigious programs including the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the KY Center Governor’s School for the Arts and Belmont University.
Clyde Porter (guitar) is a Floyd County native. He has been playing music since his early childhood. Mr. Porter has instructed music for twenty five years. He teaches a variety of instruments; banjo, bass guitar, mandolin, low brass, percussion and more. Including his current teaching position at the MAC, he teaches in music stores within the area and has taught at area colleges. Clyde was a low brass major/guitar minor at Morehead State University. He has played with numerous gospel groups over the past thirty years and worked frequently as a studio musician.
Josh Shepherd (guitar) has been a guitar instructor at the MAC for two years and also teaches at Sound House Music in Pike County. He is a former member of the Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry Apprentice Program and performs with various local groups ranging from country, gospel, rock and bluegrass. Josh performs at music festivals throughout the state of Kentucky and in Virginia as well as working as a studio musician in local and regional studios.
Manuel Castillo (voice) has been featured as a soloist with Lexington Singers, Lexington Bach Choir and UK Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and Johnson City Orchestra in Tennessee, as well as solo recitals in various venues in the US and Mexico. Among the teachers that have influenced his musical career are Dr. Harlan Snow, Dr. Ricky Little, Dr. Everett McCorvey, and Cynthia Lawrence. He has sung in master classes with Sherrill Milnes, Diana Soviero, Grace Bumbry, Donnie Ray Albert, George Shirley, and Clifton Ware. Mr. Castillo has studied instrumental conducting with recognized conductors in Mexico and USA like Jose Guadalupe Flores, Pedro Bocotan Antal, Leonardo Gasparini, and John Nardolillo. In 2003, he created the first master class for instrumental conductors in Gaudalajara lead by Leonardo Gasparini, and in August of that year Manuel was an active conductor during the VIII Annual International Conducting Class in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On September 2007 he was assistant conductor for the production of Puccini’s “La Bohème” from Torre del Lago, Italy, performed in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Manuel holds a Bachelor in Music from MSU and Masters in Music from the University of Kentucky where he is in the Doctoral program under the guidance of Cynthia Lawrence. Mr. Castillo is currently an Adjunct Voice Teacher at the University of Pikeville.
Todd Westgate (piano) is the Associate Professor of Music, University of Pikeville, grew up in Manhattan Kansas and began playing the pipe organ for Mass at age thirteen. In undergraduate and graduate school he majored in Music Education and Keyboard Performance. He is a solo and collaborative pianist /organist . His students have been successful in many levels of competitions as well as holding positions as church musicians and professionals in higher education and other areas of the musical world . His favorite composers are Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninoff. His philosophy of education is that : musical education should be about gaining knowledge and when the answer to any question is not readily available, one must know where to go to look for that answer or be able create their own answer based on logic and analysis. Mr. Westgate’s education is as follows: Doctorate of Musical Arts, University of Illinois. Urbana/Champaign Master of Music, Southern Illinois University. Carbondale Bachelor of Science/ Music Education, Kansas State University. Manhattan Post Doctoral Study, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.