Meet our Guitar Teachers

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Dr. Mike Jones earned his PhD in music from the University of Iowa in 2009. Mike plays folk, rock, blues, jazz, and classical guitar. He has over 30 years experience teaching guitar and over 20 years experience teaching music theory at the college level. Mike has taught guitar, music theory, and music history at the University of Iowa, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Coe College, and Kirkwood Community College. He has played at area hospitals, weddings, and other events. He has performed in classical guitar masterclasses for David Russell and Manuel Barreuco and currently serves as the President of the Iowa City Classical Guitar Society. Mike’s love and enthusiasm for music shows in everything he does and he passes these to his students.

Iowa City resident, double & electric bassist, vocalist, composer/arranger, band leader, and teacher Blake Shaw brings a wide variety of inspiration and experience to the table. After receiving both his Bachelor of Music in classical double bass performance (‘13) and Master of Arts in Jazz (‘17) degrees at the University of Iowa he continued his quest of playing any and all kinds of music. Being an ambitious and hungry bassist as well as having a heavy background in jazz studies has helped him navigate through many different genres of music and work with a wide variety of artists. This has given him the opportunity to play at various festivals, cruise ships, clinics, masterclasses, concert halls, and venues all across the US and even as far as Australia. In his main group, The Blake Shaw Quintet, he not only showcases his original compositions but adds a mix of jazz influenced arrangements. Many of these elements are used in creating the music for his 12 piece Big-ish Band as well. Frequently you can catch him playing solo gigs utilizing live-made loops and effects pedals while playing bass lines and chords up high on his electric bass simultaneously. For more info and things to listen to find Blake on Instagram @theeblakebass or @blakeshawbass on FB.

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David Johnson holds three degrees in music education with 30+ years teaching at the college-university level as well as teaching middle and high school instrumental music.  He enjoys seeing students at all levels enjoy and learn.   Recently retired and living in the IC area he teaches percussion (including drum set) and guitar (including rock, blues and jazz along with a dab of theory).

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Thomas Gumpper has been playing guitar for over 10 years. He studied classical and jazz guitar at the University of Northern Iowa while majoring in music composition, and has played in a variety of groups consisting of jazz, pop, rock, and classical styles. His passion for music cannot be quenched, compelling him to listen to as wide a variety of music as he can get his hands on. Thomas experience teaching one-on-one lessons and enjoys helping others to find their creative spark in music.

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Marek Szmyrgala gives piano and guitar lessons. Originally from Poland, Marek graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He then moved to Boston and worked with music and business before moving to Iowa to open the Music4life studio.