Meet Our Music Teachers!

We have over 25 professional music instructors at Playground Music teaching a wide variety of instruments, styles and techniques. From youngsters to band students to older professional and non-professional music lovers, we can help improve your skills or get you started on the right track!
Tony Leonard - President/Owner

Instruments:

Brass & Woodwinds

Qualifications:

Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Florida with over 40 years teaching and performing experience.

Background:

President/Owner of Playground Music Center 

Availability:

Tuesday through Saturday

Merilyn Anderson

Instruments:

Piano & French Horn

Qualifications:

Piano Major and French Horn Minor from Livingston State University

Background:

Teaching Experience: More than 30 years of teaching and performance.

Performing Experience: Piano - College Accompanist, Educational TV Accompanst w/ Musical Kaleidescope of Auburn, AL. Solo & Ensemble Accompanist in Okaloosa County, Accompanist of Florida Jr. Miss Contestants. French Horn - Meridian Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Okaloosa Symphony, and Emerald Coast Symphony Pops.

Accomplishments:

20+ Years Teaching at Playground Music Center

Upon graduating from Talladega H.S., Merilyn performed a Piano Concerto with the Anniston Orchestra of Anniston, Alabama.

Availability:

Monday through Saturday
Liz Aylor

Instruments:

Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass

Background:

B.M. from Heidelberg University

M.A. from Case Western Reserve University

Teaching Experience: 1970-2010 Okaloosa County Schools Elementary Music and String Specialist.

Performing Experience: Okaloosa Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Northwest Florida Symphony, Panama City Pops, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Significant Accomplishments: Concert Master of Okaloosa Symphony and Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. Violinist and Viola with Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Panama City Pops, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Availability:

Tuesdays through Saturdays
Justin Rogers

Instruments:

Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin & Bass Guitar

Qualifications:

Graduate of the Berklee College of Music

Background:

Justin began playing guitar when he was 13 and grew obsessed with the instrument, music, and the need to entertain. As years passed, he found the power of jazz and never looked back. He has performed in front of thousands of people up and down the East coast.

Accomplishments:

Justin has recorded and performed in numerous bands including the Dog Spankin Monkeys, The Playground Swing, TMJ Lockjaw, Grape Drink, as well as various side projects. He also performs solo jazz guitar at various weddings, private parties, and restaurants.

Availability:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Michael Reschke

Instruments:

Drum Set, Snare Drum Technique, Marching Snare, Tenor Technique, Recording Arts and Music Production.

Qualifications:

B.S. Music Production from Full Sail University

Studied with Roxy Petrucci, Akira Jimbo and Kozo Suganuma

Background:

With over 30 years of playing experience in the United States and Japan and over 11 years of teaching to his credit, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our Education Center.

 Michael's background includes work in many styles of music ranging from rock and metal to progressive rock and jazz, with a healthy dose of funk just to round things out. His experience is sure to help any budding drummer reach their goals and dreams.

 As a lifelong student of drumming, he has taken lessons with drumming greats here in the United States and Japan. His first teacher, Roxy Petrucci of Vixen fame laid the foundation for Michael becoming a very skilled drummer. While stationed in Japan with the Air Force, Michael was fortunate to take lessons with famed fusion drummer Kozo Suganuma of the band Fragile. Michael also participated in Master Classes with Japan’s own Akira Jimbo

Michael took 3rd Place in the Groove Essentials (Drum Book) Video Contest.

Availability:

Monday through Thursday and Saturday

Steve Spayde

Instruments:

Guitar and Bass

Qualifications:

33 Years Teaching Guitar and Bass at Playground Music Center

Background:

 47 Years Playing Guitar and Bass, many situations and styles - has been recording all along. 

Steve has played and shared the stage with Dave Brubeck, Lon Rawls, Johnny Paycheck and many other artists. 

Steve currently plays in two bands: The Mulligans and Group Therapy.

Availability:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
Brennon Castillo

Instruments:

Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, Banjo, Bass, Voice and Piano

Qualifications:

Home Schooled/Self-Taught

Crossroads Christian Academy

Background:

Teaching Experience: 5+ Years Teaching Full-time at Playground Music Center

Performing Experience: Weddings, Leading Worship, Worship Conferences, Mullet Festival, Outreach Concerts, Community Events, Solo + Band Performances

Accomplishments:

Music Director at Salvation Army, Worship Leader at Emerald Coast Worship Center, Worship Pastor at Grace Church, Song Writer, Home Recording Projects,Played at the Mullet Festival 3 years in a row

Availability:

 Tuesday through Saturday
Debbie Durham

Instruments:

Piano and Voice

Qualifications:

Bachelor's in Music Education and has over 25 years teaching experience, from preschool and public school music programs, to childrens choirs.

Background:

Debbie is an accomplished performer, composer and director and has performed as a soloist, ensemble, and church choir vocalist.  She has been honored to be selected to travel to Uganda, Africa in 2006.  There she conducted music camps for children as part of the African Childrens Choir "Music for Life" program.

Availability:

Thursday Afternoons
Sarah Nennig

Instruments:

French Horn, Trumpet, and Piano

Qualifications:

Southeastern University: 3 years of Performance Major - Music Minor

Sarah has played French Horn for 18 years, Trumpet for 15 years.

Background:

5 years Private Lessons

Brass & Marching Technician at Kathleen H.S.

Brass Technician at Destin Middle School

Accomplishments:

Imperial Symphony Orchestra, South Shore Symphony Orchestra, Hollingsworth Winds, Performed with Canadian Brass, Adlan Cruz.

Sarah has performed at Carnegie Hall, Disney World, and at Universal Studios.

First Chair All-County Honor Band H.S.

First Chair All-State Honor Band H.S.

Third Chair All-South Honor Band H.S.

Tri-State Honor Band Member

Availability:

 Monday through Thursday and Saturday
 

Kathleen Mannion

Instruments:

Clarinet, Beginning Flute, Saxophone, Oboe, Trumpet and Trombone

Qualifications:

Bachelor's of Music in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia

Background:

Private lessons with New Horizons Program in 2015, Student taught middle school and high school bands in 2016.

Private lessons with Playground Music center since June 2017.

Accomplishments:

Fredonia Concert Band and Fredonia Wind Symphony 2012-2016

Availability:

 Saturday
Hank Rockwell

Instruments:

Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, and Tuba

Qualifications:

B.A. Music Education from Florida State University

10+ Years teaching at Playground Music Center

Background:

Hank has played trombone for 25 years. Hank also made the Florida All-State Honor Band, Florida All-County Honor Band, Tri-State Honor Band, All-South Honor Band before attending Florida State University.

Hank has had several students make the Florida All-State Band.

Availability:

Monday and Tuesday

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