About Our Business
Music instructors you can trust in Carlisle:
Michael L. Thomas
Forrest Brown has been a staple on the Central
Pennsylvania music scene for quite some time. In his career
he's been a member of several well-known area bands and
performed with some of the areas finest players. In the past
3 decades or so Forrest has been a member and leader of
Blitz Dynette, worked with Shea Quinn in Clockwork, and
had a stint with Rich Clare's Pentagon just to name a few.
He is currently filling the guitar chair for The Uptown Band
out of Reading, PA.
Although stage performance is his forte he is equally at
home in the studio, or in the pit. Forrest has recorded three
albums with his band Blitz Dynette and has a number of
musicals to his credit including “A Closer Walk With Patsy
Cline”, “Smokey Joe's Café”, “Godspell”, “Fame” and most
recently “All Shook Up.”
Versed in many styles, Forrest Brown is a performer worth
Currently taking on news students at JW Music!
Piano, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Harmonica
Philip has been teaching in the area for over ten years. He studied music at H.A.C.C and Penn State University. A traveling musician that began his journey in New York and found himself in North Carolina, he has performed with some of the more well-known bands in Central Pennsylvania and currently performs with "Cheap Sneakers", "The Middleton Brothers", and "Crystal Haze." Philip has recorded a solo album as well as six CD’s with his bands, and has appeared on the recordings of "Silver City", "Emily's Toy Box", and other local bands. He has performed on stage with "The Coasters", and "Tommy Conwell", and his bands have opened for "The Fixx", "Badfinger", "Kix", "Otis Day", "The Knights", and many others. Philip focuses his lessons on reading music, learning scales, chords, and mastering musical theory.
Michael L. Thomas
Drums and Percussion
Michael offers instruction on drum-set, snare drum, marimba, timpani, as well as other concert/orchestral percussion. Michael has been teaching percussion for over 15 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in Music from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to JW Music, Michael is currently teaching, and writing percussion music for the Northern York H.S. marching band and indoor percussion ensemble.
Michael is co-principal percussion with Hanover Symphony Orchestra, a percussion sub with York Symphony Orchestra, percussionist with the Spring Garden Band of York, Percussion advisor for York Youth Symphony Orchestra. He can also be found performing solo on classical marimba as well as picking up various other gigs including musicals, church gigs, jazz trio work and anything else that comes his way.
Whether you are looking to prepare for an audition, a concert, jam out with some fellow musicians, or to simply gain a better appreciation for music, Michael is ready to help. He believes in the pedagogy of well established methods, regular practice, and simply having fun as being the key to becoming a better percussionist!
Violin, Viola, and Cello
Victoria has taught violin, viola, and cello lessons to students of all ages. A number of Victoria’s high school students reached the District Level Orchestra and several others went on to pursue professional careers in the music industry. Victoria is a graduate from "Trinity College of Music in London". She was the string teacher at "Dunbarton Elementary School" in New Hampshire from 2009-2011. In addition to her private teaching, Victoria has worked with ensembles, including "The Festival of Strings Program" in Harrisburg, where she assisted students in preparing their music for performances. She also organized, acted as co-director, and performed with "String Quartet of Harrisburg." Besides music, Victoria interests include sewing and crafts of all kinds, particularly dressmaking, quilting, knitting, and crochet. She also enjoys reading, indulging in various forms of art, and is active in her church playing cello and singing.
Michael L. Thomas
Drums and Percussion
Michael offers instruction in various drum-set styles including, Rock, Funk, Linear, Jazz, Latin, World Grooves, etc. His lessons may also include concert snare drum, rudimental snare drum, fundamental mallet keyboard percussion, hand percussion techniques, and auxiliary concert percussion techniques.
Michael is a percussionist with vast experience and training in various areas of the instrument. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from "Temple University" in Philadelphia, PA and has been teaching percussion for over 14 years throughout Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to JW Music, Michael is currently teaching and composing music for the "Northern York High" percussion ensemble.
Michael has also worked with award winning percussion ensembles including the "Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps", "Cadets Winter Percussion Ensemble", and the "Spring-Ford High School Percussion Program." Michael’s musical career also includes having worked in the music publishing industry with "Theodore Presser Company", gaining valuable insight into the industry.
Michael believes in a methodical approach to ensure the development of good musical habits as well as a relaxed and controlled style of playing percussion instruments.
Guitar, Bass, and Ukulele
Jeff is a sought after guitar instructor of all ages and skill levels. His effective and personable style make his lessons fun yet informative. He has created a string of successful student performances, “Rockcitals” and “Acousticitals,” that have offered students an opportunity to perform in a real concert setting (think "School of Rock!”). Jeff has years of experience touring the US and UK as a guitarist and vocalist for multiple bands, including working with "Fred Mascherino" who has sold over a million records worldwide. Jeff holds an education degree from "Messiah College" and has a passion for furthering his role as a teacher in the community and local school districts. His own musical projects include involvement as a singer and guitarist in his home church, "Daybreak" in Mechanicsburg and he frequently lends his contemporary music style to other churches in the area. Jeff teaches guitar, bass, and ukulele, and loves working with students who want to develop their instrumental abilities and improve their vocal performance.
Introducing Bruce Petraco, our newest guitar teacher at J W Music!!
Bruce currently plays professionally in two classic rock bands, Cheap Sneakers and Crystal Haze.
Bruce has available lessons spaces on Monday afternoon and evenings at our Carlisle store.
Please call us at 717-258-6765 to sign up for lessons.