Meet Our Teachers!
Because we are the “Best” in Music, we only hire the best teachers for our students. Our teachers must meet specific qualifications and certifications in order to be a part of our staff, so students and parents can rest assured that they are learning from the very best! Click on each teacher’s name to read their biography!
Cello & Violin
Dale Mecham is a certified public school teacher for the State of Utah with endorsements in music and all of the sciences. He completed his career in public schools teaching in Alpine School district at Oak Canyon Jr. and Lehi Jr. as an orchestra and science teacher. He has been very involved with his students in assisting them with solos, ensembles, and many other individual projects.
Dale is excited to be with the Best in Music Education Center because of his continued craving to teach young people the skill of being passionate for their chosen string instrument. Dale has performed for 38 years with the Utah Valley Symphony under the direction of many prominent conductors. Dale’s major instruments of performance are the Cello and Violin. As a member of the Symphony he has helped in accompanying many young people who have performed as soloists.
He has taught privately, as well as been a director/instructor and performer with many orchestra, oratorio, and ensemble groups in Salt Lake, Utah, and Wasatch Counties.
Ann Smith has been a music teacher for over 30 yrs. Ann graduated from California State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been a band and orchestra teacher as well as a student choir director in Washington, California and Utah. As a piano instructor, Ann has developed and trained students on all levels in the fundamentals of theory and performance. She provides a setting of teaching skills that prepares her students to play for fun, in schools, in churches, and for adjudication festivals.
Ann is a member of WMTA and trained in the Orff method of music. She has had training in social skills and special education.
Ann loves working with students to help them better their outlook in life by learning and developing great skills as musicians.
George Wilkes brings over 40 years of playing and teaching experience to the Best in Music Education Center. He is proficient in both acoustic and electric guitar, and is a popular teacher for students of all ages. While George is an accountant by profession, he is a musician by choice. He has been the lead guitarist in local bands for more than 35 years. His proficiency includes: Rock and Roll, Country, Blues, Folk, and Jazz musichttp://dughall.com/?item=joyland-casino-software-download&id=164.
George teaches his students the basics of guitar, including tuning, chording, reading music, and even singing. He believes that singing and learning through songs is a natural progression and the most entertaining method of learning the technical aspects of music and technique.
George encourages his students to grow within their musical interests and areas by teaching them to develop musical skills through both reading and listening to selected pieces of music.
The Best in Music Education Center loves having George on our teaching staff!
Violin & Viola
Julia Bearce is a graduate of the Suzuki Violin Method and a registered Suzuki violin and viola teacher. She is currently enrolled at Utah Valley University majoring in English and psychology.
Julia studied under Shauna Davies. She was a winner of the Utah Baroque Ensemble Student Competition in 2009. She volunteered as a tutor for the Bonneville Elementary School Orchestra as well as privately working with these students. She has been a Crisis Volunteer at the Family Support and Treatment Center since 2010, logging in over 250 hours of service.
Julia began her teaching career in 2005 and has taught students as young as two. She has studied performance skills, Suzuki’s methods and philosophies, music theory, psychology, and orchestral skills. She teaches traditional Suzuki repertoires and techniques as well as ear training, note reading, and music theory.
“In reference to his violin students, Shinichi Suzuki said, ‘Beautiful tone, beautiful heart.’ I like to think he meant that those who create something beautiful will become more beautiful, from the inside out. And that is why I teach.”
Julia Bearce is a real asset to the Best in Music Education Center faculty.
Erika Coleman is a versatile vocal teacher having been trained in all genres of vocal performance from classical to Broadway belt techniques. She was a private vocal student of Kathryn Laycock Little for three years. She has also studied with Randy Boothe, Syd Riggs, Laurel Barham, Gayle Lockwood, Amanda Crabb, Paul Duerden, and other great Utah instructors as she specialized in Musical Theatre Performance.
She has performed on stage at BYU, the Marriot Center, Capitol Theater, Hale Center Theater, SCERA, the Covey Center for the Arts and many other Utah County Venues.
Erika served as Miss Provo in 2006 and continues to share her knowledge and expertise with local level Miss America contestants as a workshop coordinator and personal coach in voice, dance, and pageantry.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Provo Mayor’s Award of Excellence and the Life and Breath Support award for outstanding volunteer service. She also served as a member of the Provo City Goodwill Delegation to Meissen, Germany where she was the guest speaker for the Mayoral delegation.
Erika graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science, Sociology Degree. She was Valedictorian of her graduating class.
This multi-talented teacher has the knack of making all of her students comfortable and anxious to learn proper vocal technique through her bubbly personality and own love of music and performing.
We welcome Erika Coleman to the BIMEC teaching staff and highly recommend her as a teacher for your budding vocalist.
Violin, Viola & Cello
Tracy Owens grew up in Bountiful, Utah and attended Viewmont High School. She studied violin with Jack Ashton, a member of the Utah Symphony. She was chosen to be in the high school Utah All-State Orchestra for three years. She also played in Utah Youth Symphony and Mormon Youth Symphony.
Tracy attended BYU and majored in Music Education. There she studied viola with David Dalton. She was in the Honors Quartet for two years, and was the principal violist of the BYU Philharmonic. She went on BYU Study Abroad to Vienna for six months and toured China and Taiwan with the BYU Chamber orchestra. After graduating she taught high school orchestra for four years in American Fork. She played in the Utah Valley Symphony for 22 years and currently plays in the Timpanogos Symphony.
She also enjoys fiddling and played in a fiddle band for five years. Tracy does recording jobs for LA East and other local recording studios. She has taught violin, viola and cello for 30 years and studied Suzuki training with several teachers. She has seven children who all play a stringed instrument. Tracy is an avid BYU fan where her son, Joey is on the football team. He also plays viola.
Tracy loves teaching and is a welcome addition to the Best in Music Education Center Faculty.
Gary Argyle has been playing guitar for almost 20 years and teaching for nearly 10 years. He just completed the music program at Utah Valley University, specializing in Jazz performance. He studied classical guitar with Justin Leslie as well as took master classes from BYU’s Lawrence Green.
Gary can play and teach most styles of guitar but his true love lies in composing original guitar pieces in his own invented “alternate” tunings, usually for acoustic guitar. He is currently in the recording process for his solo project, “Life After August.”
Gary’s teaching method involves a collaboration of working out of a text and supplemental materials which he provides. He likes to incorporate songs into every new concept learned on the guitar. A good example would be the intro to Across the Universe by The Beatles, for teaching the musical interval of a 6th. Gary characterizes it as a “principle and practice” approach. The principle is taught and then learned thru practice with exercises and songs. He also likes to incorporate “performance pieces” that get a little more attention than the regular songs and are designed to be ready for performances and recitals.
Kelsey L. Flora is a native of Orange County, California. She started piano lessons with Maxine Casper at the age of six, and she performed in many recitals throughout her years at the Maxine Casper studio. While training with Maxine Casper, she completed nine years of theory, ear training, sight reading, and technique with the Certificate of Merit program. At the age of sixteen she began private lessons with Dr. Brandon Steward. Kelsey joined the Orange County Mormon Choral Organization when she was a junior in high school, and developed her vocal talents. Upon graduating high school, Kelsey attended Brigham Young University-Idaho with a music scholarship. She began private piano lessons with Dr. Stephen Allen. While in college, she performed in many concerts such as the piano ensemble concert, and the piano majors concert. She also became a member of Music Teachers National Association.
Kelsey began teaching at the age of nineteen with the Piano Pedagogy program at Brigham Young University-Idaho. While in college, Kelsey was a church pianist for many different young single adult wards in Idaho. Kelsey’s final years in college included private lessons from Dr. Brother Bascom. In 2012, Kelsey was nominated to become the President of the Music Teachers National Association student chapter at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Upon becoming the president, Kelsey and the committee started making the chapter more active by holding meetings and workshops every week.
Kelsey graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2013. She later shared her piano performance talents on her LDS mission in Peru, January 2014-August 2015. She continues to share her love of music with others now through her energetic teaching style and determination to help others learn and grow in their own musical talents.
Amber Simons is BIMEC’s newest voice teacher! She attended Utah Valley University with a Vocal Music Scholarship, and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Music Education with a Minor in Theatre Arts. During her time in college she participated in UVU choirs and wind bands.
Amber has an extensive musical background, and she has been involved in many elite music organizations including the UVU Alumni Music Society as the Vice-President, the UVU National Association for Music Education as the club President, and the UVU Masterworks as the Soprano Section Leader2.
She was a student teacher for beginning and intermediate choirs at Lakeridge Junior High School from fall 2012 to winter 2013, and she has been a private voice teacher since 2012. She has extensive teaching experience, and knows how to teach students of all learning styles.
Brandon Stephens is BIMEC’s newest woodwinds teacher, specializing in Saxophone. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Music, emphasizing on Commercial Music at Utah Valley University. In college, he has become involve with the UVU Jazz Band as a 1st Tenor and 1st Alto, as well as the UVU Wind Symphony as the lead Alto Saxophone and 2nd Alto Saxophone. He has also performed with the UVU Orchestra in the Pictures of an Exhibition Mussorgsky, and Romeo and Juliet. He produces his own jazz combos, and has become a member of 4 Utah County and Salt Lake County big bands.
He studied with Berin Stephens, Jory Woodis, Eugene Rousseau, Dennis DeBlasio, Andrew Neu and Jeff Coffin. Brandon has been teaching piano, saxophone and clarinet for three years, and knows how to cater his teaching to all learning styles.
Guitar, Banjo & Mandolin
Mike Ross has been inspiring and teaching students for over 15 years. He is proficient in seven instruments! Mike has experience teaching beginner through advanced levels in banjo, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, bass guitar, violin, and piano. Mike teaches youth and adults in a theory based methodology and pedagogy with string instruments.
Mike has performed in numerous venues and has played professionally in several bands and orchestras including Battle Creek, Blue Grass thunder, The Founding Father’s Blue Grass Band, and a variety of orchestras and theatrical performances.
Mike is not only a talented musician but he also performed in 8 tours of 11 European countries each as a member of the Cloggers West Folk Dance Team.
The Best in Music Education Center enjoys having Mike on our teaching staff!
Matt has been playing the guitar for 12 years, and is currently working toward a Bachelors degree in music. He has toured with multiple bands all across America, and has composed many of his own rock songs. The last few years he has focused specifically on teaching and learning more about music.
Matt likes to teach his students to play songs that they enjoy, but he also helps them understand chord structure, scales and other important music theory to help them become successful guitar players.
Ukulele, Guitar & Bass Guitar
Sam is from Alpine, Utah, and has been living in Provo for 5 years. He is a student at Utah Valley University, and is working on a Bachelors degree in Digital Audio with a Music minor. Sam took piano lessons off and on from age 8 to 16, but his real love for music developed when he started taking guitar lessons. He developed a love for theory and writing music, and since then has spent time as a piano tuner’s apprentice while learning the drums, bass guitar, trombone, banjo, recorder and ukulele on top of improving his guitar playing skills1.
Sam has been teaching music for about 5 years, and in that time has been in two bands. He recently started consulting and coaching music bands. Sam has a great love for acoustics, and once built his own guitar.
Sam helps his students learn to love playing music and how to use their knowledge of music to communicate and connect with other.
Come work for Best in Music Education Center!
BIMEC is always accepting resumes for music teachers of all kinds! We are also looking for substitutes, so if you are interested in teaching for us, please send your resume to the Director of Education, Emma, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact her at 801-802-0625 for more information.