MIke's journey with the piano began as a four-year-old with his mother as his first teacher. In the summer leading to my sophomore year of high school, He began studying piano with Chiu Ling Lin, who was a piano professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. (click here for video) He continued to study with Chiu Ling Lin while pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy. After graduating from Drake, Mike continued studies with Veronica Jochum at The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Through the conservatory, he had many opportunities to learn from some of the finest musicians in the world, including studying 20th century piano with Stephen Drury and performing for and with the pioneer in aleatoric music, John Cage. He also had the privilege of studying microtonal composition and performance with Joseph Maneri.
Mike graduated with a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the conservatory. From Boston, moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and taught private and class piano, improvisation, and M.I.D.I.. He had the privilege of teaching at the summer piano institute at University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota for several years. His musical and career focus took a turn to the church and he has spent the past two decades serving in churches large and small as instrumental director, and worship pastor.
We have a family of musicians! Our oldest, Geoffrey plays tuba and bass and can be found playing a wide variety of other instruments from mandolin to drum set. Our daughter, Amanda plays a variety of clarinets, saxophones, and has received several awards for her compositions. Both Geoffrey & Amanda are music majors at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Our youngest, Lucas, is a senior in high school and is an accomplished percussionist, and pianist. All three can be found singing in choirs and as soloists as well as with our family jazz ensemble.