Our instructors are professional musicians and artists, each providing years of performance and artistic experience. They teach from a performance perspective–training each student to their interest–and balancing that with the required skills to produce the best performance.

Specialist Instructors

Mat dale | guitar & Bass

Music has always been a major part of Mathew Dale’s life from his earliest memories of listening to every Beatles album on repeat in his dad’s car, learning his first guitar chords at the age of 6, and especially now as touring professional guitarist. Mathew enjoys a vast array of musical styles including jazz, rock, blues, modern worship, and acoustic finger-style.

Mathew’s teaching approach is reflected in the simple phrase. “Play better, sound great, and understand more.” His holistic approach to learning respects the unique challenges students face today, where learning the fundamental building blocks of music is most important upon which technique, dexterity, and tone can be built.

Mathew’s extensive experience includes graduating magna cum laude from McNally-Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN in guitar performance with additional study in producing, recording, songwriting, and music business. Professionally, Mathew has worked in various aspects as an instrumental soloist, cruise ship musician, wedding musician, and for the past five years has been touring nationally with The Prophecy Show: A Tribute to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Rachel Hinz | ART

Hi! I’m Rachel Hinz, and I joined the School of the Arts staff in January 2022 as the first visual art instructor. Art has always been a huge passion of mine from a young age, and it’s a joy to now work with youth in a setting I know I would have loved as a kid.

I majored in Art Education at Concordia University- Ann Arbor with an emphasis in painting. From there, I went on to teach both middle school and high school art in Michigan and Arkansas. When not teaching, I try to stay active painting and have entered local, national, and international art exhibitions.

Picasso said that “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I believe this is true because I believe every person is made in the image of our Creator; therefore, we are all creative! It’s a gift for me to encourage young artists to see the beauty of the world around them and to communicate that in a new way.

Justin Guldalian | drums & percussion

Hi! My name is Justin Guldalian and I am a charter member of the School of the Arts staff. I have been playing percussion since 1993, and have played in every kind of band/ensemble you can think of.

Throughout grade school, I performed with the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Marching Band (snare), and Percussion Ensemble. I received a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Drake University in 2005, and while there performed as principal percussionist in the Wind Symphony, drumline section leader in the Marching Band, and as timpanist for the Symphony Orchestra.

In the non-academic world, I have played drums in bands of all kinds, from classic rock to punk, to Indy rock, to blues, performing both covers and original work. I have been playing in praise bands of various kinds since 2002. Currently, I play and tour nationwide with a theatrical percussion group called Stikyard. As an instructor, I enjoy teaching about all facets of music (yes, even music theory). I do my best to set my students up with real-world percussion skills and musical knowledge so they will meet with success in all of their playing endeavors.

Andrew Larson | voice

Hello, everyone! I’m a native St. Louis singer and actor. I earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Missouri Baptist University. Over the years, I have participated in choirs, solo voice competitions, bell ringers, vocal jazz ensembles, a capella groups, plays, musicals, and both amateur and professional opera productions including credits with Winter Opera St. Louis. It is a delight to be a part of SOTA and this group of accomplished musicians. I am thrilled to help the young artists we teach to grow their talents into lifelong skills and to foster an enduring love of music according to the blessings God has given me.

elise nathalang | Voice & Piano

Hi! My name is Elise NaThalang. I am a piano and voice instructor here at the School of Arts. Music has always been a passion of mine from early on. I had wonderful teachers that took different approaches to help cultivate my love for music.

I currently use the talents God has given me on the worship team at Pathfinder Church. I love being able to lead others in worship and work with middle school and high school students in that capacity.

I graduated from Concordia Wisconsin with a degree in Music Therapy. I am a strong believer that music can impact a person much more than just learning how to play and instrument. It can help us become stronger leaders, build confidence, and develop problem-solving skills, and so much more. I am thankful to work at a place such as School of Arts where they value the student as a whole.

CJ Schreiber

Community Instructors

Julie Kern | Piano

I agree with Martin Luther who said, “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Music stirs the soul, that’s for sure.  I am a huge advocate for any kind of musical training because it will be with you for life. It is great therapy and can be useful in so many different ways. I began piano lessons in the 1st grade. I still remember my first piano teacher, Elsie Hoteling, who taught me for about 6 years. I then took organ lessons in 6th grade and ended up playing for my hometown Lutheran church services until I left for college. I studied fashion merchandising and art at the University of Missouri, Columbia.  I missed the piano so much I would often go to the studio rooms on campus and play at night. When my 3 children attended St. John Lutheran School, I became the pianist for the school choirs and worked as a 4th-grade teachers’ aid. After a few years, I became the 6th-8th grade art teacher, school choir director, and music teacher for 1st through 8th grades. I was in charge of at least 20 musicals over 10 years. I was also a choir member and often played for services. What a joy and blessing! I am currently the choir director for Meramec Bluffs Singers at the Lutheran Senior Services Center in Valley Park. Needless to say, those piano lessons served me well as this wonderful hobby has turned into a career! Now I am finally teaching piano and I hope to bless your children with this incredible joy that lives inside me!

Katie Klevorn | Piano

SOTA is my home base and I am so excited at the opportunity to teach here! I started taking piano lessons at School of the Arts when I was seven and continued to study formally throughout high school. As a student of St. John and member of Pathfinder, it was easy and so impactful to get plugged into playing for student worship services.

Though I love classical music, (Beethoven is my favorite composer), my love for music covers many genres and time periods. I continuously work to further my knowledge of piano and music in general. Piano is one of my greatest passions and I am so excited to share my love of music with others, as well as help my students get plugged into real life playing experiences.

Michele Youngberg | piano

My name is Michele Youngberg and I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to teach piano here at the School of the Arts!

With my mom being a music teacher and choir director/pianist and organist at our church, I grew up with a strong musical background. I began playing piano when I was in first grade and eventually accompanied our church choir and small groups in the church. I began playing piano in our church’s worship team six years ago and love playing anything from old hymns to the newest Christian music out there.

My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years and have four daughters. We are originally from Nebraska, but call St. Louis home. I now spend parts of my days as a nanny, as my own girls are pretty much grown, and love to interact with and teach children any way that I can. Teaching piano is a way that I can continue to do that in a musical sense.

Still have questions about the School of the Arts?

Please email T.J. Bayer, Director of School of the Arts, at [email protected] or call the SOTA direct line at (636) 779-2366.