Mr. Chen

 Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano, Recording, Voice Instructor 



Mr. Chen Flakes started classical piano lessons at five years old and has enthusiastically pursued a life in music ever since. While continuing piano studies, he added a symphonic and marching band via the alto saxophone through high school, where he took interest in modern pop and rock music. He received his first guitar as a graduation present and immediately changed his life focus to a career in music.  

Chen taught himself to play acoustic and electric guitar before moving on to the bass and drums. He joined the staff at Guitar Center after high school, where he became a certified Pro Tools instructor. He also taught courses on microphones, recording, and live audio. These sessions sparked his love for teaching and eventually led him to start private instruction in 2012. 


During his time at Guitar Center, Chen became an expert at live rig engineering and design. This led to numerous touring clients relying on him to construct their sets.  He began designing systems ranging from 1,000 seat clubs to 10,000 seat stadiums.  He also started songwriting, digital music production, and audio engineering his own material. He has collaborated with artists from local groups to Grammy award-winning artists such as Marvin Sapp and the Commissioned. ​


Mr. Chen spends his free time playing guitar,  keys, bass, and drums in various bands. He has toured the United States, performed on the Vans Warped Tour through his current band, "Another October. They've released numerous records and have released a handful of music videos worldwide.  His Youtube video series "Couch Covers" has become a popular global web series that features his band, "Another October", as well as top students of The Piano Cottage Studios and other local artists. Below are some of his works on either guitar, piano, or vocals. If he isn't teaching, you can find him working on Couch Covers, writing music for his band, or working on his clothing line, AO Apparel. Chen likes to include his students in his works. His students, Maddy McKay, seen on the Celebration of Music, and Noah Kolczynski, are featured in a Couch Cover below. He is also co-writing an EP for his student Ellie Brower who has recently finished her stint on Broadway and was the lead role in Matilda in Grand Rapids's Civic Theater. He's recently discovered a love for Webdesign and built the website for the Piano Cottage.