Headwaters is proud of our dedicated and knowledgeable instructors. You can contact our Music Program Coordinator Jessica Westlund to set up an initial meeting with one of our talented instructors.
Annalise Aakhus | Voice
Leandra Cragmile| Voice
Stacy Crystal | Piano
Thomas Dunn | Viola, Violin, Cello
Caleb Erickson | Guitar, Chess
Amber Gunderson | Piano
Laura Halvorson | Piano, Saxophone
Amanda Kastner | Piano, Violin
Rolf Lund |Guitar, Ukele
Steven Radley | Bass Trombone, Trumpet
Eric Sundeen | Percussion
Carolyn Towler |Piano
Jessica Westlund|Piano, Violin, Viola
Valerie Westlund | Violin, Piano, Cello
Chiao Yen Chen (Aya) | Piano, Cello
Leandra's teaching philosophy: Voice should be exciting, it is learning more about your naturally given instrument. I believe in working hard and instilling passion in my students. Music should bring joy.
Leandra Craigmile is the 2017-2017 recipient of the Carl O. Thompson Scholarship, and will be a featured soloist for Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's April 2017 performance of Handel's Messiah. She is currently attending Bemidji State University, pursuing majors in vocal Music Education and Vocal Music performance, with a Minor in Psychology.
Stacy has a long history with Headwaters, and taught piano here over 20 years ago when we were at our original location in the old Carnegie building. Stacy completes her degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Bemidji State University in spring 2017. She returned to Headwaters in January and has Thursday openings for intermediate and advanced students. It may also be possible to schedule lessons other week days - please call for options.
Caleb has been teaching guitar at Headwaters for over 12 years now! In addition to teaching all levels of guitar lessons, he also teaches private chess lessons and oversees chess tournaments at Headwaters. Caleb also substitute teaches for Bemidji School District. I spent most of my life in Northern Minnesota – I suppose it goes without saying that I played a lot of hockey! When I was 16 my best friend introduced me to the bass guitar and we haphazardly formed our first garage band. We diligently annoyed anyone within listening range. After a short month a life altering act of lethargy changed my relation to music forever– my friend left his guitar at my house (he didn’t want to lug his clumsy amp down a flight of stairs). Soon after this instance my bass playing days in the band were over!I bought a guitar and taught myself how to use it. I graduated from Roseau High School in 2004 and moved to Bemidji the following fall. Upon my arrival I immediately began private lessons for guitar. Even though I wasn’t a music major I was asked to play jazz for the university when the jazz 2 guitarist stepped down. This was during my junior year. The following year I was able to make jazz 1. My super-senior year I formed the band Hippies-N-Whiskey (this is a rock/blues/funk/country cover band), continued to play jazz for the university, and joined a jazz quartet. I graduated in the spring of 09 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with an emphasis in Life Science Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. I currently play in three bands: Party Spark (another cover band), Butter Rum Jazz Quartet, and Catching Clarity (my original/cover trio). Caleb teaches guitar on Wednesday afternoon and evenings and is available for Sunday chess Lessons.
New to Headwaters, Laura is a sophomore at Bemidji State University, and is currently pursuing her Instrumental Music Education degree with a minor in psychology. Her primary instrument is saxophone, but she received private piano instruction for 8 years and has taught piano for two years. Laura was awarded 7 superior ratings at the Northern Lakes Piano Festival and received the John Phillips Sousa award her senior year of high school. She is enjoying her time at BSU, but missed teaching music and is has become a strong instructor here at Headwaters. She is is available for private lessons (beginning instruction) primarily on Mondays and Tuesdays. She has a few openings on other week days - just call for details.
He taught guitar and music theory in Ramsey, MN for many years, and continued his involvement in music when he and his wife Lisa moved to Bemidji in 2016. We are pleased to have him on board as an instructor at beginning and intermediate levels. His students range from young children to adults. He says, "the basics of music theory are very important, but so is having fun. I expect students to listen and to learn, but want them to stay comfortable as much as possible. Making music for yourself is a gift."
Eric Sundeen graduated from St. Cloud State University with a BM in Percussion Performance. He currently is the adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bemidji State University and is also the Percussion Coordinator at both Grand Rapids and Bemidji High Schools.
Eric has performed internationally in Mexico, England, Scotland, Whales, Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Russia. He has been a member of the Minneapolis based percussion ensemble CRASH since 1997. Eric was a member of the internationally acclaimed Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and has performed and instructed Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps.
Eric lives in Bemidji, Minnesota with his wife and sons and aside from his teaching duties, he runs drum circle clinics, drumset camps, plays in the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, Pelican Railroad, Rock Bottom, and is also active as a freelance musician.
I am thrilled to be teaching piano at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts! I have a myriad of experiences which I feel are a great asset to Headwaters. My educational background is a B.A in music from Gustavus Adolphus College, focusing on piano and the trumpet. During and after college, I taught piano for 5 years. I taught elementary and middle school classroom music in Bemidji and Ponemah for two years as a long term substitute. Currently, I play and perform piano in my church , play trumpet in the Bemidji Area Community Band, and am a Program Specialist for Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines.
My philosophy of teaching is to spark a student's love of music and for the piano by allowing him/her to explore the piano as a valuable instrument while still learning the fundamentals that can start them playing. I am looking forward to this year of music with our students!
Jessica teaches piano, violin and viola on Mondays, and does not currently have any openings for new students. She has over 14 years experience teaching children, and over six years teaching private piano and violin. Jessica especially enjoys working with new students, and finds satisfaction in helping them establish positive habits that help ensure their success in their musical endeavors. "I begin with a lot of basics and theory. I enjoy establishing the new musicians in their note reading and theory knowledge. I keep it fun in class as I build their knowledge each day. Seeing my students grow and enjoy their music is my favorite!"
Jessica also serves as Headwater's Music Program Coordinator and oversee our Schmitt Music string instrument program.
Headwaters Music and Arts welcomes to Bemidji cello and piano instructor Chiao Yen Chen. Aya offers private instruction Tuesdays-Fridays, $35 half hour and $60 hour lessons. Aya's music background includes a Master of Music in cello performance, University of Missouri, and as principal cello in National Ping-Tung University of Education Orchestra.
Aya says: My teaching philosophy is to use a student centered approach, initially focusing on basic skills and knowledge before moving to an individualized approach to address the student's strengths and weaknesses. I challenge students by engaging with them in ways that address both their individual skill levels and their unique interests. By stimulating student interests I hope to bring out the best in each student. My main goal in teaching is to bring my students to a greater appreciation of music and help interested students lay a foundation for a career in music.