The Mike Finnigan
School of Music

Welcome to a new world of musical learning.

Enrollment for fall classes has closed. Check back early November for the newest listing of classes available

Mike Finnigan was a beloved musician, often called a "musician's musician." He loved music, was passionate about education, loved playing at the Stiefel, and loved Kansas. Mike Finnigan was a keyboardist, vocalist, and session musician who performed with an impressive array of artists including Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Jimi Hendrix. We are grateful that we are able to celebrate his legacy with this school named in his honor.


Scholarships are available for students in need.  If registering for a workshop is beyond your financial means, please call (785)827-1998 for a scholarship application or print out the application here.

Piano Basics 1

Tuesdays 4:00 PM Sept 13- Nov 29
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Piano Basics 2

Tuesdays 5:00 PM Sept 13- Nov 29
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Beginning Guitar

Tuesdays 4:30 PM Sept 13- Nov 29
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Intermediate Guitar

Tuesdays 5:30 p.m. Sept 13- Nov 29
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Advanced Guitar

Tuesdays 6:30 PM Sept 13-Nov 29
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Voice

Tuesdays 5:30 P.M. Sept 13-Nov 19
Enrollment ClOSED
ENROLLMENT CLosed
Enrollment for this class has closed. check back soon for additional offerings!

Class Information & Donations

Fall Class Offerings

All fall classes will be on Tuesdays from September 13 through November 29
4:00 Piano (Green Room)
4:30 Guitar Level 1 (Watson Room)
5:00 Piano (Green Room)
5:30 Guitar Level 2 (Watson Room)
5:30 Voice (Stiefel Stage)
6:30 Guitar Level 3 (Watson Room)
6:30 Voice (Stiefel Stage)
Attendance Policy:

Classes missed by the student for any reason cannot be made up, nor will a tuition refund be given. However, the teacher may allow the student to attend another class at their discretion. In the event of a class being canceled due to the instructor’s absence, or if the school must be closed because of inclement weather, either a make-up class will be offered, or a partial tuition refund will be issued. Class registration is non-refundable


For questions Please contact:

Jane Gates
jgates@stiefeltheatre.org
(785)827-1998

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose The Mike Finnigan School of Music?

When you enroll, you receive the very best instruction from the most qualified instructors in the area.

Music is a collaborative art form - Playing together is essential to becoming a good musician and the group lesson format provides that opportunity while also giving students plenty of individual feedback.

Each class will include essential learning objectives that will be assessed by the instructor to help focus instruction and aid students in their practicing.

Students are learning in one of the nation’s premier performance venues and will receive a chance to perform on the Stiefel stage.  The Stiefel’s work in bringing in the nation’s top performing artists may also bring chances for students to work with some of America’s greatest musicians or chances to see a live concert at the Stiefel while enrolled.
How are your classes structured?
‍‍

• All lessons will be taught in a group format.

• 50 minute classes offered in 8 week sessions plus a short informal concert/recital on the Stiefel stage at the conclusion of each session.

• A minimum number of students must be signed up to offer the class.  Each class also has a maximum number of participants so sign up soon!

• Classes will meet in the Watson Room / Green Room of the Stiefel Theatre.

• $200 tuition is due upon enrollment.

Meet our Instructors

Our Instructors

Matt Gerry

LEAD INSTRUCTOR
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Matt Gerry has been a music teacher and guitar instructor at Salina South Middle School for 19 years. Through various grants from organizations like the Salina Education Foundation, the Greater Salina Community Foundation, Donorschoose.org, the Give a Note Foundation, and the Country Music Association he has built a guitar program in the Salina public school system from the ground up. At Salina South Middle School where he currently teaches, over 200 students enroll in his guitar classes every year. He is a Salina South High School graduate who obtained his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Wichita State University, and a Master degree in Teacher Leadership from Kansas State University. His training also includes instruction from the GAMA Teaching Guitar Workshops and the National Science Foundation’s STEM Guitar Building Project. Mr. Gerry’s work has been featured in various publications including InTune magazine, Music Inc. magazine, and his middle school guitar program was featured as the Kansas representative in NAfMEs - Guitar Class in 50 States. His students have gained national attention by winning the “Making Wishes with Weezer” contest in 2010, appearing on a commercial aired on the Disney Channel, and were also highlighted on the Radio Disney Music Awards. His teaching accolades include Salina Teacher of the Year in 2011, the Music Teacher of Excellence Award from the Country Music Association Foundation in 2017, and was a “Hero for Change” recipient from Radio Disney that same year. Gerry is a member of the board of directors at the Stiefel Theatre. Matt is married to his wife, Stephanie who are both proud parents to Adele (16) and Lydia (14) who attend Salina South schools. He enjoys singing and playing guitar at First Covenant Church, and the hobby of collecting vinyl records.

Jesse Smith

INSTRUCTOR
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Jesse Smith has been playing guitar and bass for over 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Kansas Wesleyan University in2008. After graduation, Jesse was a member of the Salina Symphony, performed many shows as a pit orchestra member at the Salina Community Theatre, and has been a member of several locally performing bands. Since 2019, he has taught music and guitar classes at Lakewood Middle School. His wife Abby also works in education, and they are proud parents to their daughter, Violet.

Jennifer Andres

INSTRUCTOR
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My name is Jennifer Andres and I am so excited to begin working with the Stiefel Theater to teach at the Mike Finnigan School of Music!  A little bit about myself, my husband and I live in Abilene Kansas where I have five children from ages 21 – 3 years old !  I have been playing piano for 37 years and I have been teaching private lessons for 18 years.  I am an avid supporter of music education and over my career I have seen the benefits of piano in my students’ lives.  I am so excited to begin teaching piano at the Mike Finnigan School of Music!  I look forward to working with your students!

Ann Zimmerman

INSTRUCTOR
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Ann Zimmerman has sung across the Great Plains and beyond—in New York, Seattle, Boston, Texas, Minnesota, Alaska – turning each audience into her backup choir.  She sings songs old and new and has written her own award-winning songs. She has four independent recordings. More information is at www.annzimmerman.com. Ann sings annually at the Land Institute’s Prairie Festival near Salina and in recent years has been performing at the Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas. She entertains nationally at festivals, farmers markets, fancy theaters, conferences and backyards. Pre-pandemic, she played about a hundred dates a year. Ann sings for thousands of students each year in Salina Public Schools through the Salina Arts & Humanities “Arts Infusion” program. “Meadowlark,” the title song from her album of children’s music, was chosen as a finalist in the folk / Americana category of The Great American Song contest.  Ann was voted the "People's Choice" winner in the Wildflower! Festival song contest near Dallas with songs from her “Blue Wild Indigo” album. She is a long-standing member of the juried “Kansas Arts on Tour” and Mid-America Arts Alliance rosters. She was nominated for a “grass-roots Grammy” in the Just Plain Folks national song contest. Ann is from Salina, an attorney and mediator with degrees from K-State and Harvard, and is an elected member of the Salina school board.

Bill Tuzicka

INSTRUCTOR
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William “Bill” Tuzicka is currently in his twelfth year as the conductor and music director of the Salina Chorale.  He serves as the Technical Director and Director of Operations for the Stiefel Theatre.  Mr. Tuzicka taught choral music for 37 years at Southeast of Saline Jr/Sr High School and holds a bachelor’s of music degree from Bethany College and a masters of music education degree from Wichita State University. Bill has many years of “hands on” experience working with performers.