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
Lloyd Reshard Jr.
 

Instruments:

Voice and Piano

Qualifications:

Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami with piano as a second instrument

Background:

 More than 10 years teaching and performance experience

Accomplishments:

Active Opera performer/singer at Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, First Coast Opera, Master Chorale of South Florida, Orchestra Miami, Opera Fusion, and many concert and oratorio solo performances.

Availability:

Monday thru Saturday
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, Kozo Suganuma and Thomas Lang

Background:

With over 40 years of playing experience in the United States and Japan and over 15 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:

36 Years Teaching Guitar and Bass at Playground Music Center

Background:

 50+ 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/performs in two local bands: The Mulligans and Group Therapy (with legendary bass player Dave Hope).

Availability:

Monday and Wednesday
Hank Rockwell
 

Instruments:

Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, and Tuba

Qualifications:

B.A. Music Education from Florida State University

15+ 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
Ben Parsons
 

Instruments:

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Mandolin and Ukulele

Qualifications:

Bachelor's in Music Theory & Composition from Florida State University and has over 6 years teaching experience.

Background:

Ben has played guitar for many years and performs locally. Ben is a very patient and talented teacher that is eager to help you attain the next level in your guitar playing. 

Availability:

Tuesday thru Saturday
  Charlee Seto
 

Instruments:

Cello and Violin

Qualifications:

 

Background:

Been teaching with Playground Music Center since 2019

Accomplishments:

15 Years experience playing the Cello, 3 Years of experience playing the Violin

Availability:

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Mary Jeter
 

Instruments:

Piano and Voice

Qualifications:

BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities (emphasis in Piano/Voice, Theatre and, Communications) Certified as “Highly Qualified” educator with the Florida Department of Education and the Okaloosa School District. Member of the Florida Vocal Association (FVA) and the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA). Has over 30 years teaching experience ranging from preschool, middle and high school to adults and professional singer/actors.

Background:

Mary is an accomplished accompanist, arranger, and performer. She is an experienced choral and musical theater director; has performed as a soloist and a member of several vocal ensembles in the area to include the Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s, “Christmas Carolers”. She is a volunteer pianist and vocalist in her church choir and continues to be active in many community organizations.

Availability:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Afternoons; some lessons may be made by special appointment.
Duane Smith
 

Instruments:

Drum Set and Marching Snare

Qualifications:

Duane has played drums since age 10!

Background:

In 1985 he got a job with then Nashville recording artist Little David Wilkins and toured the U.S.  Along the way from 1986 to 1989 he also did sit in appearances with Nashville acts such as John Conlee, The Whites and Billy Joe Royal.

In 1990 he accepted a job with Grammy Award winner Shelby Lynne and toured the U.S thru 1992.  After this touring stint, he returned home and worked with various local arts in the Louisville area such as Trick Rider, Neon Cowboys, The Grind, Jeff Walls and Wichita Rose, Old School and The Moodswingers.

Availability:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
 
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