Winterhalter Music Teacher Showcase: Introducing Michael Coan

by Cassie Winterhalter on May 30, 2013


Today’s teacher showcase highlights Michael Coan, or Mike as he likes to be called! Mike teaches piano and guitar with Winterhalter Music. A native of the DC metro area, Mike studied Jazz Performance (guitar) at the University of North Florida before returning to our area about a year and a half ago.

He stays busy teaches his many students along with working as a DJ and creating his own music. Recently Mike and a friend recorded their own track, a great tune called “Don’t Go”. Mike wrote the music himself and plays guitar and piano. His friend Patrick McKelvy plays the drums and produced the track. The track is not complete, as vocals will be added soon. I personally find the track to be very bright, fun, and uplifting. I’m quite impressed and can’t wait to hear it when it’s completed! You can check it out here.

Continue reading to check out my interview with Mike.

1. Why did you decide to become a music teacher?

Music has always been my passion. I have wanted to be a musician for many years. I also enjoy teaching. I love explaining how things work and seeing people understand things that confused them before. So it was very natural for me to become a music teacher. It combines two things I am very passionate about.

2. What do you hope your students will get out of taking lessons from you?

I want them to understand the basics in music and have a solid foundation. I want them to have an ability to read music and figure out rhythms. I want them to have an understanding of how music works. Most importantly though I want them to have an interest in music.

3. Describe your teaching style.

I think that there are a lot of valid ways to teach music but depending on the student one way may work better than another. For me the most important thing is always for a student to develop a love of music. Being inspired by bands and other musicians is the best way to develop a love for music. I always encourage students to listen to music outside of lessons and not just songs that I have mentioned. Once a student has developed a passion for music it is much easier to teach them, because they are genuinely interested in what they are learning. Theory and scales are all very good foundations for music and some teachers are very rigid about having a regime with scales and theory and having a very specific curriculum. I personally do not like taking this approach. My belief is that if someone loves something then they will want to learn as much as they can about it. So for me that means finding songs students love and teaching them those songs. I have had numerous students who struggle with practicing regularly until we find that song that they really like. Suddenly their parents don’t have to force practice anymore. The students just sit down and do it on their own! Theory and scales can always be taught later down the road but a passion for music is the most important!

4. What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend a lot of my free time rock climbing and going to the gym. I also spend a lot of free time writing and working on music.

5. What is your favorite music to play and listen to?

I have played all kinds of music and I listen to all kinds of music. I have played in rock bands, jazz bands, cover bands, and recently have done a lot of DJing. My favorite kind of music varies all the time. Right now though I would say I am most passionate about dance music, which is weird for me because it was not something that I was interested in at all for a long time. The more I get into it though the more amazing it becomes to me. It can be very orchestral at times and have awesome melodies and harmonies. It can be just very in your face at times and full or energy. There are really no rules or limits to it which I love.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article! Leave a comment below, subscribe to the email newsletter, and “like us” on Facebook.

You can find out more about Mike in his bio. Contact us if you’d like more information about beginning lessons with Mike or one of our other awesome teachers.


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