Shawn Steele’s music career began at the age of 11 after catching a live performance of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” on TV just before an early bedtime. Shawn instantly began to learn how to play the guitar. By the time middle school came about, he began to develop music fundamentals by joining concert band playing Trombone.Through High School, Shawn was a part of every music oriented program offered, having completed 4 years of Jazz band, Marching Band, Concert Band, Winter Drumline, Singers, Advanced Music Theory and Music History. Shawn regularly received first chair position for his section and won multiple jazz solo awards at the Miami University Jazz festival.Outside of the High School curriculum, Shawn began performing at a young age in various groups playing guitar, bass and trombone. Since 2006 Shawn has steadily been playing, recording and performing with groups such as Ok To Drive, Sirens On Sunday and his latest, Nicholas and The Pessimistics. He has performed all across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, down to Nashville, TN. In 2008 Bootsy Collins, former bassist for James Brown, caught ear of the studio work done by Shawn and was asked to become a studio guitarist for Bootzilla Productions. Working with Bootsy allowed Shawn to contribute guitar work on albums featuring Bucket Head, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Charlie Daniels, Bela Fleck, Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Jordan, Snoop Dog, Victor Wooten and George Duke. Shawn’s Studio guitar work has since been released under Mashamug and Mascot Records. Combining disciplined courses of study and industry experience, Shawn is able to not only teach music fundamentals, but character building as a performer as well.
The magic of music showed up early in Michael’s life; specifically in the person of a Chicago Symphony Orchestra string player, who demo’ed the instruments of the Viol family. Michael decided he HAD to play the viola, because it sounded so incredible! Fast-forward through Suzuki string classes, elementary school and onward to junior and senior high school, with private lessons for most of this time. Michael’s orchestra conductor began pestering him to consider going to music camps like Interlochen, getting one of the “right” teachers, and getting on the road to CCM for classical music. However, at about 13 years old, Michael had concurrently taken up… the… guitar. Concentration on private lessons and viola practice began to fade, and playing the guitar began occupying every spare moment.
Michael has studied jazz theory with several wonderful teachers, including CCM Theory & Composition grad Keith Bowers, and Rick Fitzgerell of the Manhattan School of Music. He has played in several blues, pop and country cover bands, and currently is working with a keyboard collaborator, writing and recording original music in the project studio in his home; Michael is also a pro-level slide guitar player. He is also responsible for the dubious scientific discovery that if you have played for four hours, you can put toothache gel on the tips of your fingers, and play for another four hours.
“I feel that any song that the student would love to be able to play can be a jumping-off point for learning not only the song, but also the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how music works, and different techniques their favorite players may be using. There is a magic to seeing someone’s favorite song come together under their fingers, and realizing, ‘This is how my favorite song is really played!’”
Katie doesn’t remember a time without music not being a focal point in her life. Starting at age 8, she studied in piano and a few years later the guitar. At the age of 13 she switched over to study at the academy and it kickstarted her passion. She quickly started learning every instrument she could get her hands on. Including the guitar, ukulele, bass, drums, and piano. Since then she has found her sound as a vocalist and has started studying audio engineering. Katie's lessons keep students engaged and always ready to learn more!
Lee Sullivan is a recent graduate from CCM with a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies with a minors in Commercial Music Production and Entrepreneurship. Currently, he plays in the national award-winning CCM Jazz Orchestra directed by Dr. Scott Belck, and has studied saxophone and jazz arranging under world-renowned saxophonist and composer, Craig Bailey. He specializes in saxophone and guitar, but also plays piano, bass, and clarinet. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Lee grew up playing in various ensembles including the Triangle Youth Jazz Orchestra, the All District High School Jazz Ensemble, Broughton High School Wind Ensemble and marching band, which performed at the Peach Bowl in 2014. He has played in Praise Bands in Raleigh and Cincinnati for the past seven years. Lee is a freelance musician and member of pop, rock, jazz, and country groups around the city such as Saving Escape, Mill Creek Band, This Pine box, and groups under his own name. Lee has played all over the country and has been teaching in the Cincinnati area for 3 years.
A young up-and-comer in the rock world, Jacob Boldman is ready to pass down his years of experience and industry knowledge to aspiring musicians at any age. First picking up the guitar at 8 years old as an academy student himself, Jacob quickly immersed himself into the professional music industry. He began recording both guitar and mandolin in studios at age 10, and finally found his big break recording on the viral video “Kids Cover 46 and 2 by Tool” at age 12, garnering over 25 million views. Today, Jacob Boldman plays with his band Saving Escape at some of the biggest and most recognized venues and events in the area including Bunbury Music Festival, The Reds Stadium, and Bogarts, both as headliners and the opening band for several national acts. He has also worked with some huge names in the industry such as 6 time Grammy award winning audio engineer Brian Lucey and Mike Finnigan, an organist known for his work with artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr and Etta James. Whether it be learning how to strum along to campfire songs or shred along with the likes of Van Halen, Jacob is excited to not only help you reach your individual goals, but to help you learn more about yourself through music as well. “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – BB King
Charlotte’s first love has always been performance starting with piano in grade school and theatre throughout school with both lead and supporting roles on stage. She began learning guitar at 13 and bass soon after, studying under Aaron O’Keefe and Josh Cole as a Loveland/Lebanon Academy student and continues to study bass and music theory. She played bass guitar in OMF music videos including Tool’s ”The Pot” versions 1 and 4, The Rolling Stone’s “The Worst” and The Cure’s “Burn”. In 2014, she joined as bassist with fellow academy students Kala Rose (vocals), Jacob Boldman (guitar), Ben Swift (guitar) and Alex Muccino (drums) forming the band Saving Escape. After much hard work and dedication, Saving Escape began playing local festivals and music venues like Bogarts, Bunbury Music Festival and The Reds stadium, all while still in high school. The band has had the privilege of opening for The Dead Daises, Palaye Royale, Nashville’s Them Vibes and Broadway’s guitar prodigy Taz Niederauer.
In addition to lessons on guitar, bass and ukelele , Charlotte brings insight to young students for onstage performance, confidence, balancing practice with schoolwork and other activities and loves to talk about bands/music in general!
Natalie La Croix
Starting music later in life isn’t something to be scared of, it is another form of support. That is the exact attitude Nat takes with her when she plays guitar. Nat became a student of the Lebanon Music Academy at 16 and has been head-over-heels in love with music since. Music lessons with LMA’s Josh Cole were something to look forward to every week and allowed her to express herself like never before. Nat can also be found rehearsing and writing with her sister and fellow LMA student, Keeli LaCroix. LMA’s creative environment and inspiring teachers have given her another group of people in her life that share the same passions and allow her to feel heard. That feeling is what she wishes to share with her students.
Alex Muccino is a musician of many backgrounds. Starting on guitar, Alex indulged into the world of creating music at age 6 and stuck with it. After many years of learning guitar, the switch was made to drums and there was an ongoing passion for the drums ever since. Alex knew the drums were the instrument for him since the moment he sat down with a pair of sticks in hand. But Alex is more than just a drummer, he is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, song-writer, and creative. The work with his band Saving Escape has led Alex to fulfilling some of his biggest dreams such as running live sound for local bands, and recording full length projects in professional studios. Alex has dedicated his whole life to music and hopes to inspire others to do the same.
Kala is a voice and guitar instructor at Lebanon Music Academy. Beginning as a student of LMA at age 9, Kala quickly realized her passion for voice and music. Kala has been a vocalist in multiple LMA viral music video productions, most notably “Kids cover of 46 & 2 by Tool.” Outside of LMA, Kala has also trained under vocal coach Bret Manning, who is known for his work with numerous Grammy, CMA, and AMA winning artists. Outside of LMA, Kala is a recording artist and the lead vocalist for her band Saving Escape. Kala specializes in vocal strengthening and control, as well as beginner guitar.
Young or old, whether you are a beginner, advanced or a professional looking to further hone your performance chops, lessons with Josh Cole will be tailored to your needs and pace. “My main objective as a teacher is to treat each student as an individual. I believe the learning process is too complex to teach each student by the same method. I adjust my teaching for each student.” From recitals to studio recordings, club or festival gigs, Josh brings the background and practical experience to the practice studio and his students. It is this well rounded background and his patient, easy going manner that give him an edge when preparing his students for musical careers or the enjoyment of making music for pleasure. Drawing on his rock, blues, jazz and classical influences that range from Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Doors, to B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Earl Klugh, or Andres Segovia , he can make the classics, punk, alternative or metal all “come alive in your learning experience.” You can see Josh playing around the greater Cincinnati area in his band Oregonia. Josh has performed on Fox 19’s “Cincinnality”, at Foundation Square, regularly around Cincinnati and in Nashville and New York.