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Exceptional music instruction for exceptional students

The Piano Cottage is a Grand Rapids company founded by local professional musicians to provide current, high quality and relevant music instruction through private music lessons, choral and band programs, and world class performance opportunities for motivated students 

Our fundamental philosophy about teaching music has never changed over the past 25+ years.  It's quite simple, and we expect this not only from ourselves as teachers but also from each member of our Faculty:  


That when each and every one of our students walk through that door,  we commit to making their short 45 minute lesson with us...the best, most fun, challenging and inspiring 45 minutes of their entire week.  Whether they come in tired, grumpy, or whatever sort of day they may have had, they can count on it changing for the better once they walk in that door.  Our passion for learning to play in instrument is contagious and The Piano Cottage spreads joy that you cannot avoid here!  

An old sign hangs on the wall in The Piano Cottage which reads:   "Anyone can be great, but AWESOME takes practice."  While anyone can hang up an inspirational quote on their wall, not many can live by and model these words.  Piano Cottage students; however,  learn to do exactly that as a result of teachers who are exceptional role models, professionally trained musicians, and experienced educators and leaders in the music community.  

Since no two paths will be exactly alike for someone learning an instrument, our focus at The Piano Cottage is always to provide a deep, inspiring and rigorous learning experience to every level individual.  Because offerings are a la carte, children and adults may enter at ANY LEVEL of musical training.  Choose to enroll in just one activity (lessons, classes or ensembles), or opt for any combination of activities. If you seek a more structured curriculum, we can provide formal instruction as well. Please explore our website and contact us if you have questions.

We hope we can be of service to you in the near future. 


Mr. & Mrs. Wright and Jody McCargar 


The Faculty

Mr. Hugh DeWitt
Instructor of Saxophone, All Brass Instruments, Jazz Piano, Jazz Studies.
Mr. Chen Flakes
Instructor of piano & keyboard studies, electro guitar and bass, drums and music production arts.
Ms. Jean Gardner
Instructor of Piano and Voice, Beginners through Advanced/Professional Level.
Ms. Kathy Gibson
Instructor of Vocal Studies including Vocal Jazz Studies.
Levels: Beginner through Professional Level
Mr. Brandon Harris
Instructor of Vocal Studies, Beginner through Advanced.
Mr. Joshua Keller
Instructor of Piano and Vocal Studies, Beginner through Advanced.
Ms. Betsy Leete
Instructor of Piano Studies and Piano Lessons-Delivered-To-Your Door.
Ms. Linda Livermore
Instructor of Piano Studies; Beginner through Advanced/Professional Levels
Mrs. Jody McCargar
Instructor of Piano, Levels: Early Beginner- Advanced/Professional Level. Music Education Consultant.
Mr. Wright McCargar
Instructor of Piano Studies
Levels: All
Jazz Studies, Jazz Piano, Theory, Arranging and Recording Arts
Mr. Philip Pletcher
Instructor of Piano Studies
Levels: Beginner through Advanced/Professional Level.
Ms. Mary Skuza
Instructor of Piano and Vocal Studies, Director of the Cottage Chorus
Mrs. Rebecca Sneller
Instructor of Piano Studies, Levels: Beginner through Advanced
Ms. Carrie Steffen
Instructor of Piano, Ukulele and Voice
Mr. Matt Young
Instructor of Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin and Bass.
Mr. Joshua Zimmerman
Instructor of Piano Studies, Acoustic Guitar, and Composition.
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Meet & Greet Welcome Interview - Free!

The Welcome interview allows a potential student to meet their instructor  and learn what piano, voice or guitar instruction would be like at The Piano Cottage.


The "welcome interview" is a valuable opportunity for our instructor to meet and assess your child's musical background, experience, and skillset; more importantly, this 15-20 minute interview is a chance for the instructor to get to know a potential student's personality and learning styles in order to better prepare for planning a course of study for them. 


Schedule a welcome interview by clicking on  "Contact Us" button below to send us a quick note and we'll get back to you!

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Mr. Matt Young

Instructor of Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin and Bass.

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