Mara M., Owner & Director of Bach to Rock Sandy Plains has more than 25 years of experience as an Early Childhood Educator in Georgia. Prior to starting Bach to Rock Sandy Plains with her husband, “Ms. Mara” spent the past 17 years teaching at Park View Montessori in Woodstock, GA as the Lead Pre-K Teacher. She holds degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and is a Certified Montessori Teacher. As an Early Childhood Educator, her approach has always been to stay relevant by finding creative and fun ways to teach and connect with students to help them excel. This makes her a perfect fit for Bach to Rock and their unique approach to music education that allows children to explore the kinds of music they love and want to play.
Staff & Music Teachers
Jake H., Assistant Director at Bach To Rock Sandy Plains, has been a student of music since he was around the age of 10. All throughout High School, he participated in concert band, marching band, chamber ensembles, music camps, music workshops, and performed with local rock and jazz groups. Jake then attended the University of West Georgia where he continued his musical studies by earning a Music Performance degree in Saxophone Performance. While at the University of West Georgia, he continued to perform with ensembles of multiple genres, and eventually began teaching private lessons to young saxophonists in the Carrollton area. Even after graduating, Jake continues to play with the University of West Georgia Saxophone Ensemble, a group that performs professional arrangements of prestigious orchestral works. While primarily a saxophone player, Jake is also well versed in piano, clarinet, drums, and can often be heard imitating the sounds of an infinite number of instruments on the EWI. Jake believes that students of music should be open to learning about any and all genres, and that an education in music can never be started too early. He is also an avid record collector, and can be found digging his way through dollar bins all across the state whenever he has the time!
Jim D. A drummer since before he had drums, Jim's drum set experience began in 2002 with lessons from George Calhoon, a classical and contemporary performer with more than 30 years of teaching experience. These lessons ignited a lifelong passion to explore music and navigate life through the medium of drumming. After a decade of performance, he began teaching drums in 2016. Since then, he has taught students of all ages and skill levels, finding joy in inspiring others to build confidence, discipline and love for their craft. Jim sees drums as tools with which to guide oneself through life's challenges, that can be used for reflection and expression. Above all, Jim values the innate potential within each person, and hopes to help them reach it.
Kim C. is a flutist, originally from New York, who has been involved in music ever since a very young age. She graduated from William Floyd High School where she was a member of the wind ensemble, jazz band, pit orchestra and chorus. Wanting to pursue a career in music, she attended college at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, where she earned a degree in music education, with a concentration in flute performance. While attending college, she continued to perform in multiple ensembles as a flutist, but also took many courses where she learned how to play all woodwind and brass instruments, as well as piano and percussion. After college, she went on to teach elementary general music/chorus, and high school band while student teaching in the Westhampton Beach school district. She recently moved to Georgia to continue her career as a music educator, looks forward to sharing her love of music, and hopes to inspire others through her teaching.
Kimberly W. is a profound musician whose talents have paved a journey that never ends. She started learning piano at age five and began taking harp lessons at age ten. Kim has performed with the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra as the principle harpist for two years, toured Europe with the American Youth Harp Ensemble, and has played for events featuring celebrities such as Chris Tucker and Toni Braxton. Although Kim has been studying harp for 11 years now, she is also a self-taught pianist and began composing pieces at a very young age. Her love for creating music drove her to study music composition for a year at Georgia State University and opened the opportunity to work with Dove Award Nominated Producer, Vernon Messam. While Kim loves performing, she also loves teaching others how to express themselves through music and igniting the spark of creativity within them. She believes that playing music is one thing...but being one with the sound you create is another, and hopes to inspire others to unleash their passion.
Leonard R. is an actor/musician originally from New York City. He has been playing piano and guitar for more than a decade and has been singing since he could learn to speak. His goal as an actor/musician is to bring joy through the platform of music and theatre. Leonard is a BFA Honors graduate in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and has worked professionally in Off-Off and Off-Broadway theatres. He toured the US with the anti-bullying company Box Out Bullying, worked as a seasonal puppeteer at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and led musically based mommy-and-me classes with Little Maestros in the 5 boroughs of New York. In his downtime, he likes to play and create music with his fellow artists and play video games. Leonard is very passionate about music, and cannot wait to share that passion with his students!
Neal R., double bassist, raised in Georgia who earned degrees in classical performance from DePaul University and Indiana University. Has performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Bass Ensemble, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and the Kankakee Symphony Orchestra. Has done clinician work for Palmer Middle School and Dodgen Middle School, as well as assistant teaching at the Kennesaw State University summer strings program. Whether it's for casual play or serious hobby interest, he's happy to assist you in learning whatever genre you are most interested in playing.
Sean S., a recent graduate of Furman University with a Bachelor of Music in Violin and Percussion Performance, is an active soloist, educator, and music arranger with credits on countless concerts, recitals, and several major percussion ensemble recordings. Most notably, Sean was a winner of the biannual concerto competition at Furman in 2018, a process culminating in his solo debut with the Furman Symphony Orchestra performing Emmanuel Séjourné's Concerto for Marimba and Strings. Sean went on to be selected by faculty to open Furman's Fall Honors Recital in 2019 with the marimba masterwork Merlin by Andrew Thomas. A dedicated music educator and arranger, Sean has worked with many high schools in activities ranging from orchestra and concert band to marching percussion (both indoor and outdoor). Most recently, Sean served as Interim Director of Bands and Orchestral Activities at Henrico HS (in Richmond, VA) for the Spring 2020 semester, where his focus was on rebuilding the infrastructure of the music program there and providing meaningful learning opportunities to the students there despite the transition to online learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now living in Decatur, GA with his wife Courtney, Sean works as a full-time private lesson instructor and devotes himself to his freelance work composing and arranging for marching band and percussion ensemble with dreams of building a music publishing business through his project known as "The Tune Locker." Sean is committed to helping his students achieve their unique goals through lesson plans that are carefully tailored to the individual needs of each student. In this way, Sean seeks to empower his students both as artists and as people to discover and then push their creative limitations and learn life skills along the way. Above all, Sean's primary goal is to foster strong student-teacher relationships in which the student feels safe and also comfortable engaging in thoughtful discussions about music (especially as it relates to developing a healthy approach to learning it). With a cool and focused blend of personality and dedication to music education, Sean is ready to work with ANY student possessing a desire to bring their music to the next level!
Talia G. is a vocal instructor at Bach to Rock. She has been involved in music since an early age. Talia started performing in musicals in elementary school and participated in a band in middle school and high school. Much of her musical experience growing up was given to her in church, as she learned musical leadership skills on the worship team. Talia attended KSU and then graduated from Lee University. She studied Early Childhood Education, Ministry, and Music, then graduated with a Bachelor degree in Ministry and Music Education. She taught vocals and musical skills to 1st through 12th graders and has conducted a choir of elementary school students. Not only does Talia have experience in vocals, but also in piano, guitar, and ukulele. She believes that music is a way to communicate feelings and that all genres are equally important. Talia feels that students can learn skills that better their musical talents, as they express their personalities through music.
William W. has been playing drums since 2002, and has been instructing since 2015. A graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Music, he enjoys all styles of music, but favorites include progressive rock and jazz. Some of his favorite drummers are Joey Baron, Christian Vander, and Danny Carey.
- Individual instruction with proprietary curriculum
- Students are motivated by playing with others in a band
- A band builds teamwork, develops social skills, fosters self-esteem and leads to lasting friendships.
- Everyone learns faster playing music they like
- Students are motivated to learn when they see early results
- Introducing very young children to music supports cognitive development and motor skills.
- A well-balanced music education consists of Music Theory, Technique and Repertoire.
- Students learn faster playing music they like.
- Simplified versions of modern songs allow students to see results more quickly.
- Audio recordings of each simplified arrangement are available to students. This allows them to hear how their part should sound.
- Lessons are catered to the needs of each student's learning style.