Northwest Academy of Music
Make Music a Priority-the Rewards Last a Lifetime!
(208) 667-6200

Private and Class Instructors

Linda Allen (Piano) Playing, performing, and teaching the piano has been Linda Allen’s first love for a lifetime. Her gentle and detailed manner leads the student not only into the world of excellence but also into an intense appreciation of the piano as the  grandest of all instruments. Her fine ability to coach students from beginner to advanced is evident in the amazing results she gets from them. A careful balance between serious study and lighthearted music-making fun make taking lessons a true joy. Although her vast accomplishments in the world of piano may have made her the consummate professional, her gifts are multiplied many times over as her students work towards mastery of the instrument. Mrs. Allen is the instructor of celebrated pianist Rebecca Budai.

Click here to read about her honored student

LeeAnn Aerlyn
(Piano) An infectious personality who infuses students with the joy of music is LeeAnn Aerlyn’s hallmark. As a young child, solo performance and accompaniment experiences gave her a love for music-making as a team. She has directed, arranged, written, and accompanied music for theatrical performances, traditional and jazz choirs, collegiate recitals, and Opera Plus! in addition to regular involvement in her local church. Ms. Aerlyn received her music degree at the Mozarteum School of Music in Salzburg, Austria. She holds a Masters in Piano from the University of Idaho where she was a member of the honor music society and is a certified Harmony Road Music instructor.  



Monica Craig

(Flute) Possessing a passion for great music and an even deeper love of the flute, Monica Craig loves to put students on the road to virtuosity. Her excitement over the intricacies and challenges of music study is infectious. Infusing her students with visions of expressive beauty makes learning the flute all the more meaningful. Beginners to advanced students find her a delightful teacher with vast stores of knowledge to impart. In addition to playing in various symphonies and ensembles she has been featured as a soloist with the Sacramento Symphony. Her bachelor’s degree in music included an emphasis in jazz studies. She has played with jazz greats Jimmy Heath, Wycliffe Gordon, and Nelson Rangell. She has a Master’s degree in Flute Performance from the University of Idaho.

Chris Grant (Drums, Percussion)  An active arranger and composer of percussichris1edit.jpgon, wind, and string literature, Chris Grant has written music for a myriad of schools and organizations including Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, the Spokane Youth Symphony, Coeur d’ Alene Youth Orchestra, and numerous drum and bugle corps in Spokane. Conductor of the Coeur d’ Alene Youth Orchestra, he is adjunct faculty member at Gonzaga University, Marching Percussion Instructor at Eastern Washington University, director of the Spokane British Brass Band and Vice President of the Washington State Percussive Arts Society. He is the principal timpanist for the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and performs with Opera Coeur d’Alene. He plays with Kari Marguerite and the 76, Pink Tango, The Working Spliffs, Carey Brazil, and No One Else. He has performed with the Spokane Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Northwest, Straight-Ahead Jazz Quartet, Fred Sturm, John Fedchock and the Idaho-Washington Symphony. Chris received an M.A. in Music Education from Eastern Washington University.

Scott Grunsted

 (Violin, Viola) A master at coaching artistic expression within his students, Scott Grunsted has inspired many students to new heights. He has created and directed numerous choral programs, instrumental and orchestral groups, and Broadway style musicals in schools. He has traveled abroad as a performer and has been an active member of the music ministry in his church. Mr. Grunsted has a B.A. in strings from San Jose State University and has a Graduate Certificate from Multnomah School of the Bible. He is currently a member of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony:, Helena Symphony Orchestra:, and Beaujolais 184 String Quartet:

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(Trumpet, Trombone, Drums, Percussion) An accomplished music educator and performer,  Mich
ael Harrison currently serves as Director of Instrumental Music at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. He has played trumpet in numerous musical settings including Disney College All-Star Band, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Jazz Orchestra, Arizona Theatre Company, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Broadway productions of Chicago, Legally Blonde, High School Musical, The Rat Pack and Full Monty. He has performed across the United States, Europe, and Japan and was featured on the 2009 and 2010 Jerry Lewis MDA National Telethon. Michael has performed on-stage with such musical legends as Jerry Lewis, Linda Rondstadt, Art Garfunkel, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Doc Severinson, Marvin Hamlisch, The Smothers Brothers, The Lettermen, and The Temptations. Mr. Harrison has a Bachelor of Music Education and Trumpet Performance from the University of Arizona.

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Bruce Hume

(Woodwinds Expert) Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet are the instruments of choice for Bruce Hume. A founding member of the Spokane Jazz Society and Spokane Jazz Orchestra (including sixteen years as featured soloist and lead), Mr. Hume has also performed at the Opera House, Coliseum shows, Civic Theater, Spokane Symphony, and with numerous bands and chamber groups. He taught music at Gonzaga University and has also taught at Spokane Falls Community College. He has done professional recording work on numerous instruments and holds a B.A. in a music From Ea
stern Washington University. 

Noree Dolphay

(Vocal, Children’s Programs) A fresh and revolutionary approach to vocal study characterizes Noree Dolphay’s teaching style. She helps students strengthen the voice while keeping it free, healthy and flexible to make the most expressive, powerful, and creative sounds possible! She can coach any student into producing a beautiful classical sound. She is one of the only teachers in the Inland Northwest with specific training in the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) singing technique, receiving Level 3 Certification on Somatic VoiceworkThe LoVetri Method for those studying musical theatre, jazz, pop, rock, country, blues, and more. As a trained Yamaha Music for Kids and Harmony Road instructor for young children she infuses the joy of music into all. She holds a B.A. from Whitworth University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Eastern Washington University. 


Robert Leedy

(Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo) A varied instructor of bluegrass, blues, jazz, rock, and classical repertoire makes Robert Leedy an ideal instructor for those beginning lessons as well as those more advanced . His emphasis on classical guitar technique gives students the tools to play any style well. He has gained notoriety as a finalist in the Northwest Guitar Festival Competition, a member of the Quattro Amigos Quartet, and a concerto performer with the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught private and ensemble guitar at North Idaho College and was vice president of the Idaho Guitar Society. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in both Music Performance and Archaeology from Boise State University.

 Jim Turner
(Guitar, Bass Guitar) Over 32 years of band performance experience throughout the Midwest and Northwestern U.S. has given Jim Turner a great deal of versatility in both his playing and teaching abilities. As an instructor of folk, rock, big band, and jazz music for 25 years, Jim has taught up to 70 students per week at music stores in Michigan. His associations with musical groups include everything from rock bands to large, orchestrated ensembles. His love of the learning process and of imparting his musical knowledge to students makes him an ideal instructor for both the beginner and more accomplished player.  

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John Wheeler (Cello)  A life
time of experience in musical pursuits combined with a commitment to excellence enables John Wheeler to impart a wonderful perspective to his students. The son of a flautist and pianist for the St. Louis Symphony, his grandfather was a concert pianist and founder of the Washington Conservatory of Music. At age 14 he was the youngest cellist accepted into the Phoenix Symphony. Over the years he has performed in numerous symphonies in Arizona, California, Montana, and North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and Opera Coeur d’Alene. He has taught master classes at summer youth orchestra camps and worked with Coeur d’Alene youth orchestras. His expert coaching draws students into a new world of beauty and expression. Mr. Wheeler holds a Masters in Physics from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Masters in Business from USC.