Piano

Learn about our piano instructors below.

You can register for lessons here.


Jack Armbrust

An accomplished pianist, keyboardist, and arranger, Jack Armbrust received his Bachelor degree in Commercial Music from Belmont University in 2021. Throughout his undergraduate career, he studied with Dr. Anthony Belfiglio and Dr. Robert Marler in addition to playing in multiple ensemble settings including Jazzmin (Belmont’s premier vocal jazz ensemble) and Southbound (Belmont’s country ensemble). Jack takes pride in his ability to navigate seamlessly between musical styles, and applies this musical perspective in his instructional methods.

For over eight years, Jack has been helping students aged four to forty learn how to make music time the most exciting time of day. From his own personal studio to premier music academies across middle Tennessee, his teaching approach remains the same: to cultivate a space of creativity, self-expression, and encouragement in the musical arts. He strives to promote a feeling of confidence and artistry among all students, whatever their musical goals may be. While he isn’t teaching, Jack frequently gigs with artists spanning numerous genres across Nashville. His foundational passion remains to share the lifelong gift of music with each and every person he encounters.

Lessons Offered: Piano


Lael Caldwell

Lael Caldwell, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, is an accomplished cellist and pianist. She served as the accompanist for the Grosse Point Conservatory for many years. She has studied cello with Mario De Fury and Julia Tanner and improvisation with John Pell. She can be seen in an Alan Jackson video with her cello, and has played at the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry.

Lessons Offered: Piano & Cello


Mary Countess

Mary earned her Bachelor’s degree from Belmont University in 2021 with a Music degree where she studied both classical and commercial piano. During her time at Belmont, she studied with Dr. Klefstad and played with the gospel choir (Voxology), Woodwind Chamber Trios, and New Music Ensemble. She also frequently accompanied voice lessons and juries. Mary is a versatile musician who enjoys exploring different styles of music, though her preference is classical music.

Currently, Mary teaches at the Belmont Academy and teaches privately. When she isn’t teaching, she is accompanying school and church choirs, soloists, and instrumentalists. She brings a balance of seriousness and fun to each lesson to meet students where they are and help them become the best musician they can be. She strives to instill confidence and creativity in her students whether they want to pursue a career in music or not. Sharing the joy of music with others by teaching and playing is Mary’s passion and goal!

Lessons Offered: Piano


Emma Franklin

Emma Franklin began her formal music education at the age of seven when her parents signed her up for piano lessons, and she has never looked back! Piano lessons paved the way to accompany church worship services and choirs throughout high school and college. While studying at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, WI, Emma discovered that her love of piano playing transferred to a love of piano teaching, and in 2011, she became the first person to graduate from WLC with a minor in Piano Pedagogy to accompany her Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies.

After gaining two years of teaching and accompanying experience in Denver, Colorado, Emma moved to Nashville to obtain her Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy at Belmont University. To complete her degree, she chose “the development of music performance anxiety,” as her thesis topic, a topic near and dear to her heart and one she hopes can help her students. She graduated in May of 2015.

Emma began teaching at the Belmont Academy in August of 2016, and she greatly enjoys working with the other Academy teachers and students. Emma is actively involved in both the Nashville Area Piano Guild Teachers (NAPGT) and National Federation of Music Clubs and encourages her students to participate in their yearly auditions. When not teaching piano, Emma enjoys spending time with her new husband Andrew, whom she married on January 5th, 2018!

Lessons Offered: Piano


Amy Frederick

Amy Frederick is a freelance musician who both plays and teaches piano, Hammond organ and keyboards. Ms. Frederick is a very active performer in the Nashville music scene. She can be found on stage with local and touring rock, r and b, blues and country/pop bands, and in the studio recording for independent artists. She has accompanied many local schools’ musicals and concerts, recitals at Belmont Academy (a division of Belmont University), and serves the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church as pianist/organist. She has also played concerts with the Paducah Symphony and Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green, and currently teaches twenty-five up-and-coming student keyboardists.

Ms. Frederick is a 2012 graduate of Belmont University where she earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance.

Lessons Offered: Piano


Delores Hershey

Delores Hershey has experience in both classical ensembles and mainstream/popular musical groups, performing a repertoire that has varied from Bach to the Eagles, becoming along the way one of today’s most intriguing performers. She brings world-class vocal and instrumental abilities to bear on a passionate performing style.

She began playing piano at 5 and violin at 7, and she and her family spent several years singing on weekends at area churches. Meanwhile, she was becoming an accomplished instrumentalist, playing the cello and earning superior ratings in statewide competitions on piano, tuba, and violin. She would go on to be part of the Jackson Youth Symphony, Pensacola College Orchestra, and later, the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra.  She began her college education at Pensacola Christian College in Florida, and then transferring and finishing her education at Spring Arbor College in Michigan. Graduating with a double major in piano performance and piano pedagogy, She and her husband moved to Tennessee, where she is currently the Music Director at Faith Church, a piano instructor at Belmont Academy, and is performing every week by playing the piano and singing at local, prestigious venues in Nashville.

Delores has been teaching piano for 14 years.  She brings to her teaching an energetic, well – rounded approach.  She teaches every student the good basics of music theory, ear training, and the classical style and technique.  All the while, introducing some popular mainstream music and styles, if the student prefers.  She is passionate to find the true talent that each student brings to piano music and helps them to grow into their full musical potential.

Mrs. Hershey is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and Nashville Area Music Teachers Association, which allows her to have her students perform in special performances and competitions each year.

Delores Hershey just, simply, loves to teach and invest herself to help push her students to greatness!

Lessons Offered: Piano


Sonya Norman

Coming from a musical family, Sonya is a native Floridian and was born in Deland, Fl.  She started taking piano lessons at age five and was fortunate to receive her classical training through Eileen Stinson, the president of the Volusia County Private Teacher’s Music Association.  All through her elementary/secondary education, she attended recitals and performed in county and state competitions.  While in high school, she was the accompanist for a touring/singing group, The Modernaires. They received superior ratings in state and national music competitions.

After raising her family, as a single mother, she moved to Nashville, TN to pursue her teaching and musical career.  In May 2014, she graduated from Belmont University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with honors. Currently, she is a licensed teacher with the following Endorsements: Vocal/General Music K-12.

She has been teaching piano for over twenty years and loves to help out with Church Music Ministry.  She served as pianist for over 10 years at Woodbine Baptist Church, a ministry campus for Brentwood Baptist.  Playing keyboard with the Praise and Worship Team and accompanying the Children’s Choir was a favorite pastime of hers.  Currently, she attends McKendree United Methodist Church and loves to sing in the choir.   She also serves as guest pianist and helps with the Music Ministry Team.

Ongoing education and professional development is very important to her.  She is a member of the Middle Tennessee Orff Schulwerk Association and has her second Orff certification, which is a fun and entertaining musical approach to learning music. She enjoys going to workshops and gathering various musical resources to use in her teaching routine. Her goal is to create a positive learning environment by finding ways to connect with students on their level of development.

Lessons Offered: Piano


Michael Richey

Mr. Michael Richey earned his Bachelor of Music degree in May 2018 from Belmont University where he studied with Dr. Kristian Klefstad. Currently, Mr. Richey serves as piano faculty at Belmont Academy and owns a private travel studio in greater Nashville.  Students studying with Mr. Richey receive engaging and adaptive music instruction.  Mr. Richey brings a balance of warmth and seriousness to each lesson to ensure students reach their highest level of artistry and continue playing for a lifetime.  Mr. Richey is committed to teaching strategies that result in more enjoyment, more learning, and more playing. His students become confident, creative, and independent learners ready to share their art with the world.

Mr. Richey is a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Nashville Area Music Teachers Association (NAMTA), and the local chapter of the Piano Guild.  As part of his commitment to a continued education, Mr. Richey also studies the Alexander Technique with Ms. Sally Ahner and is an active member of the American Eurhythmics Society (AES) where he is pursuing certification.

Lessons Offered: Piano