Piano and Brass
Davis McKinney has been playing brass instruments for 20 years and the piano for nearly as long. A recent graduate of Bowling Green State University, he completed his master’s in trumpet performance there while studying with Charles Saenz. He also accompanied many students for various juries, recitals, and other performances.
A native of the Cleveland area, yet an Ohioan all his life, Davis received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Miami University while studying there with James Olcott and Dr. Robert Thomas. While in school he had the privilege to perform with various orchestras in the area, specifically the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Middletown Symphony Orchestra, and the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra. After student teaching and graduation, he taught private lessons around Dayton before moving to Bowling Green to further his education.
Currently Davis plays in several groups around town including several brass ensembles and choirs, as well as helps musicians of all ages with piano accompanying for solos and recitals.
Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele and Mandolin
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!’”
Voice, Guitar and Bass
“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. When Josh isn’t staying busy performing and teaching, he lends his talents to the O’Keefe Music Foundation as an executive producer.
Guitar, Bass and Drums
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.
Piano, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele
Katie doesn’t remember a time without music not being a focal point in her life. Starting at age 8 she started to dabble in piano lessons 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 to look into audio engineering. Katie participated in various O’Keefe Music Foundation videos. “The academy has a different approach to music that I never got with any other instructors. It kept me engaged and always ready to learn more. I’m excited to bring other kids!” she said.
Drums, Voice, Piano and Music Production
Morgan Asher cannot remember life before music. At the age of 3, he started playing the classic beginners kit, pots and pans on the kitchen floor. He received his first real drum kit at the age of 4 and haven’t stop playing since. Morgan grew up playing in multiple bands and performing at various venues from the age of 10 with bands such as Thunderhead (including various members of The Blessed Union of Souls). Around the age of 12 he started recording in studio and writing originals with various bands he was affiliated with gaining experience in musical composition. Being consumed by the idea of recording records, Morgan furthered his education by attending The Warren County Career Center for Digital Design for 2 years and taking as many music course that his high school had to offer from music theory to choir and jazz band. After high school Morgan decided to make music his life pursuit by attending Sinclair Community College for 2 years for music production and various music theory and composition classes, eventually leading him to UC for Electronic Media and Jazz Studies. While enrolled in college pursuing his education and passion, Morgan co-owned and co-operated This Is That Recording studio located in Maineville, gaining experience and knowledge that would be a defining movement in his development in life and as a musician. Being the head engineer and the drum session musician of This Is That, Morgan was challenged with having to understand and be completely comfortable with almost every type of musical genre such as R&B, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Metal, Hip-Hop, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Blues, Indie, Country, Electronica, Fusion, and Classical. Through opening the recording studio, he has been introduced to many great opportunities such as recording drums on Roy Orbison’s song “Evergreen” for the “Sun Records” label’s archive in Nashville, performing with Oregonia, appearing on Cincinnati’s own television show “Cincinnality”and performing at the Freedom Center on the 4th of July celebration in front of 5,000 people. He has recorded over 20 albums and has performed either drums and percussion or background instruments on 15 of those albums. Morgan is also lead engineer for the O’Keefe Music Foundation. He recently edited the video for their latest project, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning“. In the 20 years of experience that he has accumulated, with the innumerable performances, recordings, extensive education and research in music, Morgan Asher is able to craft lessons that suit each student’s learning style. No one person is alike nor should they’re path to understanding be the same as any other.
Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, Bass and Drums
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 20 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
Guitar, Ukulele and Bass
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!
Carter Rost began violin lessons in 1999, through the past 21 years he’s been cultivating and expanding in different areas from a variety of fiddle styles, to jazz and improve, and of course classical. Growing up in a musical family he’s also been trained in piano and mandolin and always enjoys exploring new ventures, complimenting his musical background. Throughout high school Carter has performed in several youth orchestras as well as Chamber Music Connection of columbus which lead to competing in the Midwest National Chamber Music Competition in Chicago.
After graduation Carter attended Otterbein University where he studied Music Business and participated in a local symphony in Westerville Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. Carter also continues for the past 15 years to date, to perform for Mississinewa 1812 in Marion Indiana, the largest 1812 event in the US as “Beggar Boy” playing 18th century tunes for the public and leads as a contra dance band member. Taking lessons from Carter will be patient and intuitive, no matter the area or style your trying to learn, you’ll find he will have you covered.
Guitar, Piano, Drums, Bass, Mandolin and Banjo
Derek’s first instrument was the drums which he began when he was nine years old and played, along with percussion, in his school band from 4th to 12th grade. When he was fifteen he decided to play the guitar. Having purchased a chord book, he then proceeded to teach himself how to play. Initially drawn to folk and finger-picking guitarists like John Fahey and Leo Kottke, he soon branched out to all different styles; from Rock, to Blues and Jazz. When he was sixteen he decided to learn piano and advanced considerably on it as well, learning to play songs from The Beatles to Erik Satie. He has played gigs all over the Cincinnati and Dayton area at establishments such as The Southgate House Revival, The Blind Lemon, Baba Budan’s, Canal Street Tavern and others. As a songwriter who has been recording and playing guitar, bass, drums, piano, banjo, mandolin and a multitude of other various instruments for nearly ten years now, Derek is extremely excited for the opportunity to give back to budding musicians the talents he’s acquired, and through basic notation and music theory, along with a commitment to each student’s individual needs, help to advance their understanding, appreciation, and proficiency of their instrument.