Musical instruments

Student Feature



Student: John

Teacher: Rebecca Proefrock

Location: Green Bay

John first picked up a violin when he was 12 and began playing in his middle school orchestra. Not only was he the top scholar in his junior class in De Pere last year, he played with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, placed third in his first competition and was hired as the first violinist by the Sheboygan Symphony. As a senior he now attends Interlocken Arts Academy and is preparing for a career as a professional violinist.

See John in the December Student Pitch.




Name: Vihaan

Teacher: Joel Croyle

Location: Heid Music Madison

Vihaan attends first grade at West Middleton Elementary School. Since early childhood, he has had a keen interest in music; in fact, his love of rhythm and beats led to him learning how to play drums. Joel, who has been Vihaan's instructor for one year, said, "Seeing his level of hard work at such an early age instills pride in me as a teacher." 

Besides music, Vihaan loves sports and is a huge LeBron James fan.

See Vihaan in the November Student Pitch






DeclanName: Declan

Teacher: Erin Ribble

Location: Madison

Declan is a seven-year-old violinist who has shared his musical talents all over Madison, including performances for several Wisconsin Badgers sporting events.

In 2015, while performing at the Dane County Regional Airport's Tunes in the Terminal event, WKOW news filmed and interviewed Declan, naming the segment, "Tiny Violinist Wows Crowds at Dane County Regional Airport."

In 2016, he was selected to perform at the Overture Center for the Arts for top donors.

Way to go, Declan!





Name: Katie

Teacher: Theresa Martin

Location: Appleton

Katie has been playing clarinet for seven years. In the past, she has also studied guitar, piano and organ. And after picking up tenor saxophone one summer, she also joined the jazz band.

A senior at Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Katie is an active instrumentalist in the wind ensemble, 
woodwind choir and pep band. She’s also an avid vocalist, having performed in the school’s versions of Cinderella and High School Musical, as well as having taken part in the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association All-State Women’s Choir and Next Direction programs. In her junior year, Katie founded and directed the Notre Dame Treble Choir, which is entirely run by students.
Outside of school, Katie has been a member of the Green Bay Girl Choir for 10 years, a cantor at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral for three years and a member of the Green Bay Youth Orchestra for nearly three years.
Looking ahead, Katie is excited to serve as drum major in her senior year. Beyond high school, she aspires to be an educator in vocal and instrumental music.



A voice, guitar and ukulele student at Heid Music Appleton, Camille demonstrates a passion for music and the arts in everything she does. Not only does Camille sing and play the guitar and ukulele, she also enjoys the piano, flute and piccolo.
Camille qualified to compete at Wisconsin’s State Solo & Ensemble for her classical and musical theater pieces and received an exemplary nomination for her musical theater piece. She also recently managed her school’s plays and filled an active role as the choir’s teaching assistant.
Later this year, Camille will further apply her strong leadership skills to help plan and coordinate Kimberly High School’s trip to New York, which comes with an opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall. Beyond high school, Camille hopes to major in music or theater education in college so that she can share her love of music and the arts with future generations.



A 2017 graduate of Omro High School, Mitch will be starting college at UW–Fox Valley in the fall. He plans on sharing his love of music with future generations by becoming a choir director. Mitch got his start in music by taking guitar lessons, most recently with Michael Lee.
Mitch played guitar for several years then, in his senior year of high school, turned his attention toward piano. Over the next eight months, Michael also helped him fine-tune his keyboard skills.
A natural performer, Mitch competed for voice as part of a male trio at the State Solo & Ensemble, even performed keyboard for his high-school graduation.



Fifteen-year-old Riley has been playing guitar for four years, after having discovered her passion through a church choir. With the help of others, Riley learned basic principles, and she occasionally teaches herself. During her freshman year of high school, this avid student joined the school’s jazz band — her first year in a school band!
With taking up a new skill, Riley has worked hard to be successful. In fact, she started taking lessons from Jon Tabers-Kwak for jazz guitar at her local Heid Music. Through these lessons, Riley has gone through the standards and has started to learn the many different jazz chords. As jazz musicians know, it isn’t an easy genre to play, but Riley is embracing the challenge and impressing her teacher and everyone who hears her play.



Elena has been taking cello lessons from Sam Sinai for a year. She is a sophomore at Memorial High School.

Elena's main instrument is piano, and she has been taking lessons for six years. She is also a composer, and has been composing since she started playing piano.

Her compositions have won several awards in the WSMA composition project. This year Elena received a “1” rating for both her piano and cello solos at WSMA’s Solo/Ensemble Festival. Elena plans to study composition in college.



Cori is a senior at Kaukauna High School, and has been receiving private voice lessons from Robyn Metko since her eighth grade year. She is a member of many extra-curriculars, including: National Honor’s Society, Diversity Club, Harmonia Jazz Choir, forensics, and drama productions. She also holds a part-time position at the local grocery store.

Throughout her high school years she has been most involved in musical theatre, participating in productions during both the school year and during the summer. Some of her favorite shows include: The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Aida (Amneris), and Miss Saigon (Dreamland Girl, Featured Dancer).

Two summers ago Cori also had the opportunity to fly overseas to Wales in order to collaborate with a Welsh theatre company and create a musical in just one week. Together, the American and Welsh companies wrote and composed Cult: A Musical and performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in Scotland. Cori plans to enter into a BFA Musical Theatre program and continue performing in college.

She is currently looking at Millikin University, Baldwin-Wallace University, and Carthage College.



Megan is a fun-loving, enthusiastic 11 year old. She is currently a 5th grader at Fox View Intermediate School. She keeps herself busy with dance classes & gymnastics.

Megan has been taking guitar lessons for a little over a year and has progressed at an advanced pace. Having the natural talent and passion, her teacher, Jon, believes she will go on to do great things in music, especially on guitar.

Currently she is working on her method books and anything fun from Ed Sheeran to Britt Nicole. Megan hopes to attend Rock U this summer through Heid Music and play with a band. In the summer Megan enjoys spending her time kayaking, swimming, hiking and listening to music in the sun.



Gibson is 12 years old & is a 7th grader at Winneconne Middle School. He started drum lessons at Heid Music 4.5 years ago as a 3rd grader. He plays in the middle school band & jazz band and has been playing with the Winneconne High School Pep Band for all sporting events. 

Gibson has had a few opportunities to play with The Presidents which is one of his favorite drumming highlights. His favorite bands are Led Zeppelin & KISS. Outside of drumming, Gibson enjoys playing basketball, being outside whenever possible & hanging with family & friends.

His favorite role models that he looks up to in his drumming world are his awesome Heid Music drum teacher Matt Rhyner & Winneconne High School band director Dave Jerabek.

On top of his many awards for Solo and Ensemble, he also received the Outstanding Musicianship Award at Winneconne Middle School.



This month’s student feature is Anna, daughter of Robert and Gena. An Appleton North senior, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA consistently throughout her high school career, is an AP Scholar with Honors, and ranks No. 1 in her class. Anna has been Class Co-President for 3 years and is currently Student Council president, North student representative to the AASD School Board, Link Crew leader, National Honor Society member and an HOSA member. She plays golf on the Appleton North Varsity girls’ golf team and received the Academic All-State Award the past 2 years. Anna also enjoys volunteering.

She has sung in the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir for 10 years. Anna, at age 2, began a Music for Little Mozarts Course at Heid Music. In 2008, she graduated from the Heid Yamaha Music School and continued private piano lessons with Ms. Donna Dahm through 2016. Ms. Robyn Metko has been her guitar teacher for 10 years and has mentored her in vocals as well. 

She sings in North Choir and Varsity Women's Choir at Appleton North. Anna plans to attend a college in the Wisconsin or Minnesota area and will pursue pre-med for her undergraduate education.