Flint Hills Academy of Music's Private Music Instructors

Meet Our Instructors

Chelsea Coon

Chelsea Coon – Owner and Private/Group Music Instructor

Music has always been in Chelsea's life and started when she was a baby while listening to her mother play piano and sing lullabies. Her love of music took off once she was enrolled in piano lessons at age five and voice lessons in high school. She loved performing at local and state competitions and providing accompaniment for her choir group and friends. Once she went to college at Kansas State University, she decided to continue her love of music by playing for local churches in praise and worship bands.

Once she graduated from KSU, Chelsea began her music journey as the Praise and Worship Coordinator for Immanuel Faith Community Church in Belvue, KS. She loved singing and providing music for her church community. After a few years, she decided to move with her family and currently plays in the Praise and Worship Band at Crosspoint Community Church in Wamego, KS. It was at this church when she met an amazing mentor and musical friend, Heather Miller (former owner of Studio Ambit), and started teaching private piano and voice lessons at Studio Ambit.

Studio Ambit, now known as Flint Hills Academy of Music, was founded in 2017 and offers a bright future for children and families through private and group music classes and piano and voice instruction.

Chelsea and her husband Chris have been married since 2007 and have a son and daughter who love to have karaoke contests at home. Chelsea and her family also enjoy weekends at the lake, watching movies and riding ATVs in the beautiful Flint Hills.

Sonya Pearson

Sonya Pearson – Piano Instructor

Sonya Pearson lives in rural northern Wabaunsee County, seven miles from Wamego. She and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years and have two teenage daughters. Sonya works full-time as a para-educator at Flint Hills Christian School in Manhattan. She is also a pastor's wife and involved in many church-related activities, including playing piano and leading worship. Sonya has been a private piano instructor for over 20 years in Nebraska and Kansas. Some of her students have gone on to higher levels of performance. She has accompanied multiple high school choirs & ensemble groups, including the Middle School Music Festival at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. She has also directed small church choirs and accompanied many band students at various concerts and contests. She grew up taking piano lessons with award-winning instructors who were a part of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association. When she is not busy working or teaching piano, Sonya enjoys watching her girls play basketball or run track and sitting by the firepit in the evenings with her husband.

Christy Seele

Christy Seele – Piano Instructor

I began taking piano lessons when I was six years old and finally stopped taking them when I graduated from college. I was fortunate enough to have a nationally recognized piano teacher throughout high school which gave me the opportunity to participate in the National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Solo Festival and the Multiple Piano Concert in Kansas City for several years. I have years of experience accompanying vocalists of all ages and skill levels. I was a pianist/vocalist for the praise and worship band at my church in Kansas City for five years before I met the love of my life and transplanted to the Wamego area. I have been the Worship Coordinator at Immanuel Faith Community Church, Wells Creek for a number of years. I am also one of the pianists and vocalists for the church.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Church Music with an emphasis in voice and piano from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. I have been teaching at the studio for two years now and have really enjoyed getting to know the families at the studio!

Dustin Hayes

Dustin Hayes – Piano Instructor

Dustin Hayes is a classical pianist with a passion for helping others to reach their musical goals. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from KSU and began teaching professionally one year ago. His students range from absolute beginner to intermediate. In his studio, students begin playing music that truly inspires them as early as is feasible. Whether the music that inspires the student is pop, rock, classical, or film music, Dustin will give you what you need to play and understand it.

Dustin was the first prize winner of the KMTA solo piano competition, Junior/Senior division for 2020. He has performed as a part of many KSU ensembles as a pianist/keyboardist and as a solo pianist. He has worked as a professional accompanist and has performed his own compositions in concert. He continues to study piano with Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski, esteemed pianist, teacher, and author.

Matthew Meals

Matthew Meals – Piano Instructor

Matthew Meals is a concert pianist, jazz bassist, and multi-instrumentalist. Mr. Meals completed studies in piano performance at Kansas State University under Dr. Agustin Muriago. Additionally, he pursued jazz studies under Dr. Wayne Goins and historical performance practice under Mr. David Wood. During his studies at KSU, he was a finalist in the 2016 Honors Recital, gold medalist in the 2016 KMTA Honors Auditions, and Winner of the 2017 KSU Concerto Competition.

To supplement his studies, Mr. Meals attended international music festivals at the University of Florida (2017), The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (2018), and The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (2019). During these festivals, Mr. Meals had opportunities to study privately with some of the finest concert pianists in the world including Natalya Antonova (Eastman), Maria Szraiber (FCUM), Piotr Paleczny (FCUM), and Pavel Nerssesian (Moscow Conservatory), among others. Mr. Meals has performed in five European countries as a pianist and has performed extensively as a jazz/rock bassist locally throughout the state of Kansas. As a bassist, he performed with KSU’s top jazz ensembles and many student groups on and off campus.

Currently Mr. Meals resides in Randolph, KS. His hobbies include, reading, drawing, foreign language, and learning new instruments.

Charlie Gann

Charlie Gann – Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar Instructor

Charlie has played at various events and has several years of experience playing the banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He looks forward to providing professional private lessons for people of all ages and sharing his love of music with the community.

Patrick Gambill

Patrick Gambill – Guitar Instructor

Patrick has been playing guitar for ten years. He has taken lessons from Jay Eudaly and Dr. Wayne Goins. He played guitar in the Kansas State jazz big bands, and the jazz combos. He also has played in a guitar duos with Colton Jones and Ethan Levin. In addition to this, he has played bass in a few local bands including "Imajjjin" and "The Andy Bell Trio". He feels comfortable teaching guitar and bass for rock, jazz, blues, and metal.

Outside of music, Patrick has a physics degree and has been involved with research at Kansas State University. His previous research involves building a near IR ECLD to detect methane. Patrick will be available to teach guitar on Monday and Tuesday at the Wamego location and Wednesday at the Council Grove location.

Trevor Lindley

Trevor Lindley – Percussion, Guitar, Sound Design & Songwriting Instructor

Trevor Lindley is a Wamego native who has been drumming professionally since 2007. In 2018, he graduated with a degree in Music Performance and Production from the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. Trevor is a seasoned professional who has worked in various styles including rock, jazz, country, and musical theatre. Within the music industry he has collaborated with various artists to release multiple tracks. Other interests include photography, films, editing, and video production. Trevor will be teaching percussion, drum set, rock band workshops, sound design, songwriting and more! 

Brandon Collins

Brandon Collins – Drums & Percussion Instructor

Brandon Collins (b.1995) grew up in Middlebourne, WV, and started playing music at the young age of 7. With many years of experience growing in music programs in West Virginia, He graduated from West Liberty University with a B.M. in Music Technology and Music Performance. His academic performance career has given him experience with multiple percussion ensembles, marching bands, wind ensembles, and jazz groups. He moved to Manhattan, Kansas in 2017 to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Percussion under Kurt Gartner.

As a freelance performing musician, Brandon currently plays drums with local indie rock band The Box Turtles and new jam band The BPM Trio. Brandon has also performed with groups such as The Solars Trio (jazz), In Flow (fusion), The Thundering Cats Big Band, Los Yumas (latin jazz), Dan Evick and The Last Minute Band (light rock), Homemade Jam (classic rock/jam band), Phunk Phace (brass band), and multiple musical theatre shows. 

As an educator, Brandon has worked with multiple drumlines and was a co-instructor of Kansas State University’s Percussion Techniques course. He also has experience with private teaching on his own and through the Manhattan Arts Center.