Skyler Bready is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter available for guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, music theory and songwriting lessons at Maxwell's House of Music. His approach emphasizes teaching technique and theory alongside songs that students already know and love. His songwriting lessons focus on demystifying the creation process and encouraging students to build their own personal songbook. Skyler works with beginner to advanced students. When Skyler isn't teaching at Maxwell's, you can likely find him riding his bike, singing lead vocals and playing guitar in his band "Darlington Pairs," or working in his home recording studio.
Rick Eisman has been playing guitar for over forty years. He has two decades of teaching experience, sixteen of which have been spent teaching at Maxwell's House of Music. Rick’s love of music and the guitar began at the young age of eleven years old he and played his first professional gig at the age of 14. He has played with many bands since then, including Dynamo Hum, The Grind, Starvin' Dogs, and Travelin' Mojos. Rick teaches all ages, from beginners to advanced players. He specializes in teaching a variety of styles including blues, rock, classic rock, and country. His teaching expertise is focused in lead improvisations, finger picking, and various rhythm guitar techniques.
James "Jimmy" Gaetano
James Gaetano has been playing guitar for 40 years. After learning and playing locally in his hometown of El Paso Texas, he moved to Hollywood California to attend GIT in 1989. Studying under Keith Wyatt of the Blasters, Scott Henderson of Tribal Tech, Jennifer Batten of Michael Jackson, and so many more, he found his calling of blues, rhythm and blues, soul, funk and roots rock as the music of his soul. To further his musical endeavors in these styles, he moved back to his home state of Texas, namely Dallas, and spent 3 years performing locally and touring with Black Top Recording Artist, The Crawl. Touring the southern states, west coast and part of Europe was a tremendous educator to add to his ever-growing knowledge of the music industry. The next phase of his life brought him to Southern Indiana where he attended Bible School and would go on to play with a Christian based gospel group, performing and ministering for 6 years. During this time, and up to the present, he became a local favorite as a private instructor, music retail owner and promoter of music, arts and performance in his community, sharing his vast knowledge of his lifelong musical journeys. Music theory, sight reading, ear training, various styles, and a love for music is what can be gained from choosing James as your musical instructor. “The beauty of private lessons is to find the students own unique way of learning, start where they are, and take them as far as they can go in their quest for learning the exciting language of music.”
Jacob Head has been teaching at Maxwell’s House of Music since August of 2016 and has become one of the store’s best musical assets since joining the team. Jacob began playing music at the age of nine, beginning with violin. He has since become accomplished on mandolin, guitar, piano, and ukulele. He is a 2015 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Music, with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. He is the worship leader at LifeBridge Christian Church in Louisville, the founder of the group “Compass Quartet,” and recently has begun working with private clients as a board-certified Music Therapist. In addition to teaching at Maxwell’s, Jacob manages the very popular “Blue Note Café” monthly concert in the Maxwell’s Stage Room. In his free time, Jacob enjoys arranging and composing music for himself and the Compass Quartet, as well as spending time with his wife, Kara. He enjoys teaching students of all ages, levels, and abilities.
Steve is a lifelong resident of Jeffersonville, Indiana. His love of music came from his grandmother, Dixie. She was a self-taught professional piano player in Louisville in the 1940s and 1950s. Steve and his brother David were featured vocalists in their Grandma’s act.
Steve began taking formal music lessons in 6th grade. He wanted to play the drums but his band teacher said they needed fewer drummers and more brass players. Steve started taking tuba and baritone lessons and eventually took trombone lessons in high school. Steve was awarded the John Philip Sousa band award in 1978 for his musical excellence. Following high school, Steve played in numerous big bands in the area. Often times, he was the youngest member of the band- by far!
In 1980, some high school friends decided they wanted to put a band together and asked Steve if he’d like to join their horn section. One night in band practice, somebody asked if anyone could sing and Steve said, “Sure, I’ll give it a shot!” With that, Steve was enlisted as vocalist/trombone player. When nearly all of the band members went away to college, one would think that the band would be no more- WRONG! One of the band members was from Dayton, Ohio and had entered an original song written by the band to a homemade album project by a local FM radio station. The song was chosen first place out of some 150 entries! This led to a showcase performance in Dayton, Ohio in the summer of 1981. Following the demise of that band, Steve decided to continue his music career. He was contacted by a Louisville based band for his vocal ability. The Intentions were known for their original material and even had their own recording studio! During the ensuing years, the band asked if Steve knew how to play an instrument (besides trombone). Steve said, “No”. They said, “How would you like to learn rhythm guitar”? “Sure, but I don’t own a guitar.” The guitar player said, “If you get yourself a guitar, l’ll teach you how to play.” Always ready for a new challenge, Steve was now playing guitar and spent some 5 years as part of that group enjoying countless hours in the studio, periodic club gigs, as well as learning a tremendous amount about songwriting. Through the process, the drummer of that band quit and there was no one to fill the drumming chair. “Does anybody know how to play drums?” Steve said, “Yes, but I don’t own any drums.” With that Steve went to the local music store and bought a used drum set for $400. This would begin a love affair with the drums that remains to this day. Though moderately successful, the band then decided to break up. Steve continued to play with many local artists and bands (drums) for a period of about 20 years. He has shared the stage with Steve Wariner, Reba McEntire, John Anderson and many more. Steve has been married for 30 years- to the same person! He has three kids and 1 dog, Ruby! Steve loves sharing my love for music with as many people as he comes in contact with! Steve has also been the choir director at his church for the past 10 years and is a part time preacher.
Justin Manley's love of music started at age twelve, beginning with drums. He is no stranger to Maxwell's House of Music, he joined the Rock School program (now Backstage Pass) in 2008 at age fifteen and played guitar in three different rock school bands until 2012, honing his skills and becoming a standout student. Justin went on to co-found the band Bon Fire (A Tribute To AC/DC) serving as their drummer in 2010. The name was later changed to Thunderstruck and he toured the country playing various concert halls, casinos, theaters, fairs and festivals. Thunderstruck became the nation’s premier AC/DC tribute band, regularly playing to crowds of 10,000 and more across the country. After extensive years of touring with Thunderstruck, Justin left the band in 2018 as the full-time drummer, but he still subs for them when called on. Justin brings unmatched experience and knowledge to our team of teachers. Justin takes beginning to advanced students of all ages.
Aaron "Bert" Owens
You may recognize Bert as one of the familiar faces you see around the shop. Aside from being the former “Guitar Custodian & Doer of Things” at the shop, he has been teaching at the store for over two years! Bert took private lessons and went through the Rock School (now Backstage Pass) performance program at Mom's Music as a teenager but is primarily a self-educated guitar and bass player with nearly two decades of experience. He specializes in bass, guitar, and band coaching, and can teach anything from the most basic beginning chords and techniques, to more advanced playing styles such as sweep picking and slap bass. Bert has played in numerous bands over multiple genres over his nearly 20 years as a musician, and has been playing bass and writing in the local groove indie rock trio, Darlington Pairs, for several years with one of our other instructors, Skyler Bready. Bert has a passion for music and creating new musicians and loves to have fun while doing it!
Tim Pitts has over 35 years teaching experience. He teaches all aspects of music theory including reading, improvisation, composition, style, complex rhythms, melodic concepts and technique. He has authored two instructional books: Learning Guitar Book 1 and All About Chords. Styles covered include rock, blues, metal, shred, jazz fusion, neoclassical, acoustic, and altered tunings. His teaching strengths include enabling students to open up to improvising leads, understand what scales to use, read timing, and utilize advanced creative melodic concepts. Supplemental instructional CDs and tab booklets from Tim’s Master Classes are also available on a number of subjects. A strong effort is made to gear lesson material towards the student’s goals and interests. Helping students maintain interest and providing them with inspiration is job number one. Tim’s music education includes five years of private lessons with instructor Mark Smith, one year with Jeff Sherman, three years with Alan Phelps, and one year with GIT graduate Pat Lentz. He is best known locally for performances with his bands SandPit and The Gary Sanders Band. Tim has written and recorded six internationally acclaimed CDs and is always working on a new one. His sense of humor and vast knowledge ensure a fun lesson every time.
At a very young age, Ronnie Scharrer knew he had music in his veins. While others his age were drawn to rock and roll, Ronnie developed a taste for classical and popular music that has stayed with him for a lifetime. Born and raised in Indiana, Ronnie is an established musician, songwriter, and composer and artist. His musical abilities span multiple instruments and genres. Ronnie has been performing professionally for nearly forty years and has used his talents to inspire others by teaching music for the past fifteen years! In 2019, Ronnie released his latest studio album, “The Eight Seasons of Life,” a sprawling epic of instrumental guitar prowess. Ronnie teaches beginner to advanced students of all ages and skill levels.
Kirk specializes in youth and young adult guitar, vocal, bass and piano lessons. He works with beginners to intermediates with an emphasis on basic note and fingering techniques. Kirk was a member of the Kentucky All-State High School Choir for three years and studied under Renee Grant Williams (vocal coach for Linda Ronstadt and The Grateful Dead). With over 20 years professional performing experience in rock, country, souls, blues, R& B, funk, and pop, Kirk is one well-rounded instructor. Kirk also serves Maxwell’s House of Music as one of our premier band coaches and prides himself on helping young musicians reach their full potential with their instrument in a live setting.