East Idaho's Largest Music School

Piano Gallery Music Academy is now accepting students ages 4 and up! With spacious air conditioned private studios and talented instructors that teach: Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Drums, Piano, Banjo, Mandolin, and Voice, Piano Gallery Music Acadmey is East Idaho’s Largest music school! We offer a wide array of music programs from private rock band coaching, bluegrass jam sessions, private and group lessons, and specialized advanced instrument lessons and clinics. Our goal is to ensure that every student becomes inspired by our talented instructors and musical atmosphere. This is followed by entertaining and highly informative lessons given by instructors that have made music their life. We’ll help you make your musical dreams a reality.

Meet Our Teachers

Erin Churchhill - Little Larkers

3 Years with Piano Gallery

Erin Churchill’s first opportunity to take piano lessons at age eight set her on a musical journey that still continues today, her most recent endeavor being the baritone ukulele.

She earned a Bachelors of Arts from Southern Virginia University (2003), with an emphasis in Music Theory & Composition. She has experience in piano and organ accompaniment; choral and band performance and conducting; and in teaching and developing music classes for children.

At home, she and her husband Steve have made music a favorite family pastime, where each of their three children are learning their own instruments. Erin is also a Piano Tuner with over a decade of experience. She enjoys a variety of creative hobbies that keep her involved at home, church, school, and around the community.

Cynthia Clarke - Piano

3 Years with Piano Gallery

Cynthia joined the Piano Gallery Music Academy in the spring of 2016 after a move from Helena, Montana. With college studies in K-8 education, her experience combines with her natural ability to teach. She has been a piano instructor for 10+ (with 34 years piano experience). She teaches students of all ages, from age 4 to 104, starting with beginning through late intermediate.

Students will gain a well rounded education in traditional piano methods, including technique and theory, as well as many performance opportunities.

Cynthia has a passion to teach and loves to watch her students blossom and achieve their highest musical potential.

Mark Garriott - Drums & Percussion

9 Years with Piano Gallery

Self-taught, Mark Garriott had an affinity for drums at the early age of nine, teaching himself by listening to various bands like the Beatles and Kiss, and practicing countless hours. In 1981 he played for the many school bands of Shelley School District, which lead to a musical scholarship to Boise State. Beginning in 1993, Mark toured the Far East and Mediterranean for the Department of Defense, playing for all factions of the United States Military.

Mark moved to Nevada where he played the Las Vegas Strip for 5 years, then settled in Idaho Falls in 1998. Mark formed his own bands, and then began teaching in 2009. He like to begin teaching kids at about 9 years of age depending on their development or skill level, as playing the drum set is one of the more challenging instruments a person can play, requiring coordination of both arms and legs.  Reading music is the foundation of Mark's teaching, and creates the ability for a student to add increasing layers of complexity and expand the creative process.

Lisa Messick - Violin - Fiddle - Mandolin - Banjo

9 Years with Piano Gallery

Lisa grew up in Jackson Wyoming, and started playing fiddle at the age of seven. By the time she was fifteen years old, she was proficient in fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. She has also played the banjo for the past 8 years.  Lisa is a former Wyoming State Jr Fiddle Champion, and in 2006 won the Adult Division at the Idaho State Fiddle Contest

Dustin Meyers - Guitar & Ukulele

9 Years with Piano Gallery

Dustin has been playing guitar for 22 years, ukulele for 7 years, and teaching for the last 8. He develops curriculum on an individual basis according to the student's natural ability, aptitude, and preferences. He works with students age 3 and up.

Helen Neilson - Piano & Voice

5 Years with Piano Gallery

Helen grew up in a musical family of five girls and one boy, where
everyone had an instrument,and everyone sang as a family.  She started
piano lessons when she was eight and voice lessons at thirteen. In
2010 she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Vocal Performance from
Brigham Young University Idaho.  Along the way she won several musical
scholarships, performed with the top performing choir at BYU-Idaho,
and sang in the operas/opera scenes of The Magic Flute, Madame
Butterfly, Hansel and Gretel, and Suor Angelica.

Helen Loves music, but most of all she loves to share music. Whether
it’s the little student that can’t sit still or the mature student who
wants to fine tune their skills, she hopes to share her knowledge and
enrich the lives of all her students. 

Jim Waite - Violin & Viola

3 Years with Piano Gallery

Jim has been involved in music professionally for over 30 years. He has multiple degrees in music from Brigham Young University and New York University. Some of his professional accomplishments include:

         Concertmaster, Idaho State Civic Symphony (Pocatello) 15 years from
                                     1993-2004 and 2008-2011

       Principal Second Violinist, Idaho Falls Symphony Orchestra, 2004 to present

Member, 2nd violinist, Idaho Falls Symphony String Quartet

Jim has performed in orchestras worlwide, including Idaho, Utah, Pennyslvania, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong

In addition to his professional performing career, Jim has had a long career giving private instruction to countless violin, viola, and piano students.

Austin Whittle - Bass & Guitar

5 Years with Piano Gallery

Austin is a performing and studio musician, and also an instructor who has studied Interdisciplinary Music Studies at Berklee Online College of Music. He has dedicated his life to bass guitar (16 years), guitar (14 years), drums (14 years), singing, and continues to hone in his craft as an artist. He teaches bass and guitar to all ages, and has been teaching for six years. He has performed with many bands in Idaho and Oregon for the last 8 years, writing songs and stories through his music and singing.

            Humble, optimistic, and genuine are a couple characteristics Austin beholds. His ultimate goal as an instructor is to get the student to play music right away. This enlightens the student as they reveal their true potential as a musician. He covers education in blues, rock, country, folk, reggae, and many other genres. He encourages and motivates students when teaching bass and guitar, and provides a clear understanding when teaching concepts in music.



Little Larkers

Little Larkers™ is all about giving young children a solid musical foundation when it matters most.

Studies have shown that early musical experiences can provide lasting benefits that endure well past childhood. An early familiarity with notes, rhythms, and the language of music aids in more naturally learning to sing or play an instrument successfully later on.


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