Private Lesson Information



    Q:  Aren’t the band directors paid to teach my student their instrument?  Why should I pay for somebody else to do it?

    A:  As band directors, we are taught to play each of the instruments and are instructed in how to best teach them as well.  That said, we have limitations when it comes to instruments we did not grow up playing.  Private instructors are people playing their instruments professionally and can provide the most detailed, instrument-specific information for your students.  Band directors may have a number of tricks to help students improve, but lesson instructors can give the best information possible along with intricate details of playing their specific instrument.  Additionally, the band directors are responsible for all of the students in the program, limiting substantial individual attention.


    Q:  Is this kind of like tutoring for my student’s other classes?

    A:  Yes, it is in a way.  Private lessons are crucial to a student’s development on their instrument because it is a person specializing in that instrument that can provide unique feedback to fix student issues, help them with their music, and improve their overall musicianship.  Lessons are definitely not just for students falling behind or needing additional help.  Private lessons are for any student wanting to become the best musician they can be.


    Q:  My student is not falling behind on their instrument, so are lessons necessary?

    A:  Yes!  Again, lessons are not for students that are struggling with aspects of their instrument.  Lessons are for ALL students in order to improve to be the best at their instrument as possible.  This is a MAJOR part of a band program and should be involved with all students.  Even professional musicians seek out private instruction from other musicians considered to be the best in their field.  


    Q:  How expensive are private lessons?

    A:  Private lessons are different prices depending on what the teacher charges.  There is no set rate for the amount of time.  Prices typically fall around $15-30 dollars per half-hour, or $35-60 dollars per hour.  The individual attention and definite results are WELL worth the price.


    Q:  Is this something that takes place during school?

    A:  If that can work within the teacher’s schedule, yes.  If the teachers are not able to accommodate the students for their paid time during their band class, lessons often take place in the private teacher’s studio, at their home, at a school in the area, or even in the student’s main band hall during other times.  It is more than likely that a teacher with a full lesson load will teach students outside of the school day as opposed to during.  This is also okay because it means removing limitations on the amount of time spent in lessons.  


    Steele/San Antonio Area Private Lesson Teachers





    Contact Information

    Dr. Deborah Podolka


    Cell# 734-386-9970 or Email:

    Carrie Rodriguez


    Sarah Wildey-Richmond


    Emily Peterson


    Dr. Gary Fair


    Trish Drank


    Josh Bryant












    April Myers

    French horn


    Walt Sparkman

    Low Brass (Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba)

    Cell# 830-708-8034 or Email:

    Erik Anderson

    Low Brass (Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba)




    Stefan Cadra, Ph.D.



    Clay Kuglen


    Cell# (210) 324-1135 or Email:


    ****Private Lesson Absences****

    If, for any reason, the necessity for an absence occurs, the private lesson instructor must be notified at least 24 hours prior to the time of the lesson. This is so the private lesson instructor has an opportunity to adjust his/her schedule. This is the Private Lesson Instructor’s livelihood. Every effort should be made to respect their time schedule and to provide communication of expected or unexpected absences (emergency) as early as possible. Failure to notify the private lesson instructor promptly may result in failure to rearrange the schedule and full payment for the missed lesson may be due to the instructor. This is the reason to keep the private lesson instructor’s phone number and contact information handy. Please do not call the band/choir directors to leave messages for the instructors. It is the student or parent’s responsibility to make direct contact with the instructor 24 hours in advance in order to avoid being charged! Emergency excuses are at the discretion of the private lesson instructor.