Mike Mitchell Founder/Director/Teacher
Mike was introduced to music as a young boy listening to his mother play both the piano and organ for churches in Ontario, Canada. Also a private piano teacher, Mike’s mom always had a studio full of students. It wasn’t long before Mike began studying the violin with Maria Reidstra.
Mike has played strings and fretted instruments for 35 of the last 40 years and has taught for 20. He uses a traditional approach, but emphasizes the heritage music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
His students play in the Roanoke Youth Symphony, have won first place in numerous Bland Competitions and fiddle contests, have attended Shasta, Mike Block, and Mark O’Connor summer music camps, as well as Roanoke Symphony’s Summer Music Institute.
His former students have gone on to study music at Frost School of Music (University of Miami), Berklee School of Music (Boston), North Carolina School of the Arts, Belmont University (TN), and more. Graduates of Mike’s studio are also signed recording artists on the Traviana Record Label.
Mike teaches violin, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, ukulele, voice, bass, and specializes in teaching/coaching youth bluegrass bands
Jennifer Brooke Co-Founder/Teacher
Jenny’s love for music began at an early age. Her father, Toby Mort, had a great LP and 45 collection and there was always music in the house. Toby was an afternoon DJ on KPLM Radio in Palm Springs, CA. His show was devoted to classic country music. Jenny was always singing and took voice lessons as a young girl before studying piano with Joyann Gongaware in Hemet, CA. Jenny also played flute, trombone and bass in the Hemet bands and played flute and piccolo in both Hemet High School’s award-winning concert and marching bands. Playing guitar for youth church was a favorite pastime during her teenage years. She graduated from Point Loma College (now, Point Loma University), in San Diego with a teaching degree. As a 6th and 4th grade elementary teacher, she began her own family, homeschooled all 7, and is a stepmom to 2 more. Hannah and LJ Brooke both studied violin with Mr. Mike and were in the Roanoke Youth Symphony for several years. (LJ went on to the University of Miami and graduated in 2019 with a BA in violin performance and is currently a graduate student at North Carolina School of the Arts, and a part-time teacher for Floyd Music School)
Jenny focuses on the reading of music and music theory, with her students playing in churches and in their school bands. She is also the Administrator of Floyd Music School and manages both our FMS Record label and the Mike Mitchell Band.
Jen teaches piano, flute, and beginner harp
Katie Curd Teacher
Katie teaches voice at the Floyd Music School. She loved music from an early age when she grew up listening to a variety of music styles. She became heavily involved in choir activities throughout middle and high school. As a result of many solo opportunities throughout middle and high school, Katie really developed her love of singing. After graduating high school, she attended Virginia Tech as a vocal music major. She performed in the Women’s Choir and the Virginia Tech Chamber Singers and performed two solo recitals as a student there. She is a classically trained soprano with experience in opera, musical theatre, and jazz. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance in 2011 and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2012. After graduating from Virginia Tech, she spent one year teaching high school choir in Roanoke County, VA. She is now a stay-at-home and homeschool mom to two boys, Aaron and Eli, who are both students at the Floyd Music School. She enjoys teaching voice lessons and sharing her love of singing with others.
Katie teaches voice.
Jacob Sowell Teacher
Jacob hails from Knoxville, TN and tours with his family’s band, The Family Sowell, all across the United States.
He learned to play the banjo at the age of 13, using Earl Scruggs’ book. He took lessons from Kerry Jones, a banjo player in the Houston area, who helped him win the Texas State Banjo Championship in 2014. He started lessons with the 5-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, Kristin Scott Benson in 2018.
He started teaching lessons in October of 2019, and is looking forward to helping more students discover a love for the banjo, and a solid grasp of fundamentals.
Jacob teaches bluegrass banjo