Music Lessons & Instructors


Herter Music has been offering professional musical instruction since 1903!

We hope this will be your first day of a lifetime of musical fun!

Quality Musical Instruction

At Herter Music Center, you will get the highest quality musical instruction possible, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions or ideas you may have that would enhance your musical experience here.


Lessons are in 1/2 hour weekly private sessions on a month-to-month basis. Our program is designed for you to have fun and enjoy playing, whether you’re in your own room or you aspire to play at Carnegie Hall.

Instruments include but are not limited to:

  • Piano
  • Keyboard
  • Organ
  • Accordion
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Oboe
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • French Horn
  • Baritone
  • Drums / Percussion
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Upright Bass
  • Guitar
  • Bass Guitar
  • Uke
  • Mandolin
  • Voice

Contact Us Today to Sign Up for Music Lessons at (989) 893-4545

Music Instructors

James Besaw

Bio: I have been teaching at Herter Music Center since 2012. In May 2017, I received my Bachelors of Music Education from Saginaw Valley State University. In the summer of 2015, I was a Performance Fellow at the Nief Norf Summer Music Festival in Knoxville Tennessee. I play in a variety of ensembles across the state of Michigan ranging from jazz and rock bands to professional wind ensembles, such as the East Shore Wind Symphony, where I have played baritone saxophone since 2013. I have prepared students for college music auditions, solo and ensemble, auditions and various performances.

Ruth Birsching
Digital Keyboard, Organ, Piano

Bio: I have taught lessons for over 50 years with students ranging in age from 3 to over 70 years old. I received extensive training throughout my grade school, high school and college years in regard to both piano and organ lessons. I also received training in many areas of music theory . For many years I was a church organist. I also played for weddings, funerals, and choir accompianist. During my years of teaching, I have attended many music workshops to keep updated with new methods and teaching ideas. It is always my goal to inspire my students to have the same love for music that I have.

Joni Dey

Bio: I began playing at age 7 after watching all my siblings play before me. I first learned piano from my mother who was a school teacher, piano/organ teacher and church musician. Studied with a different teacher in high school. I began teaching piano lessons myself in 1997 as a part time job when my kids were small. I really enjoy working with beginners of all ages. I have played in church when needed and worked 10 years in the Saginaw Store as small goods/special orders manager. I am currently working full time for Herter Music Center in Bay City as Music Lesson Coordinator and Small Goods Mgr. I am married and the mother of 3 musical teenagers!

Dale Huggard
Alto/Bass Clarinet, Clarinet

Bio: I began studying clarinet privately at age 14. In 2004 I was awarded the Rhea Miller Music Scholarship at Saginaw Valley State University. While at SVSU, I served as principal clarinet in the concert band and have also performed with the jazz band.Current ensembles include the Saginaw Eddy Band, East Shore Wind Symphony and the Plymouth Symphony. In 2006, I performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City with the National Wind Ensemble. I currently perform in pit orchestras at Midland Center for the Arts and other community theaters. My students have received superior ratings at District and State Solo and Ensemble and have received honorable mentions in local Young Artist Competitions. My principal teachers were Joan Dillard, Linda Hargett, and Dr. Kennen White. I hold a Bachelors of Music in Clarinet from SVSU.

Jack L Fults III
trombone, baritone/ euphonium, trumpet, tuba, French horn, brass

Bio: Jack is currently working on his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (K-12) and Sociology at Saginaw Valley State University. In 2011 he was awarded the ” Distinctive Program in Music” scholarship at SVSU. Jack has performed with many ensembles, both instrumental and vocal, during his time at SVSU. He keeps a regular performance schedule with SVSU music ensembles, the East Shore Wind Symphony and many other chamber and community groups in the area. Jack’s primary instrument(s) are trombone and tuba, but picked up the other brass instruments at a young age. Students under Jack have consistently received 1st and 2nd division ratings at District and State Solo and Ensemble Festivals.

Dustin Vanderveer
Alto/Bass Clarinet, Bari Sax, Bass Guitar, Clarinet, Guitar, Saxophones, Tenor Sax, Wood Wind

Bio: Dustin Vanderveer began his musical training on clarinet and quickly branched out to the saxophone and the guitar. He moved from a small northern Michigan town to attend Saginaw Valley State University, where he graduated with a degree in music education. While saxophone was his principle instrument in college, Dustin has performed in a variety of different groups on guitar, bass and percussion as well. He now lives in Bay City and teaches Band at Handy Middle School.

Jeremy Weaver

Bio: Jeremy Weaver has been studying piano since he was five years old. He is a 2017 graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Arts in Piano Performance. Jeremy supplies piano music to many churches in the area. He has been teaching piano for three years to all ages and is happy to welcome new students of any skill level.

Ray York II
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele

Bio: I graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design – Illustration. I also spent one year at Sheridan College of Classical Animation. I have an engineers certificate from Recording Institute of Detroit. Some of the musicians I have worked with are: Bob Dennis and Steve Hunter (Motown, Recording Institute), Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed) and Seth York (L.A. Studio Musician, Musicians Institute). I have scored 2 full-length independent motion pictures; Roadtrip to Oblivion and Locked Away. I have been playing, writing and recording music of all styles for almost 30 years. Specialties include Fingerpicking and Alternative Tunings for Acoustic stringed instruments.

Amanda Perkins
voice, piano, clarinet, flute

Bio: My primary instrument is voice, but I started on piano at the age of 7, then clarinet at the age of 9. I began playing flute when I was in college. I was in SVSU’s production of Dido and Aeneas as two different secondary roles, and also the chorus. I have competed in the Regional National Association of Teachers of Singers Competitions multiple times and placed twice in the Mature Beginners Category, and once in the Advanced Men and Women Category. I studied voice with Kevin Simons, and flute with Dr. Townes Miller.

Ann Banning

Bio: I have over 50 years experience with the piano and organ and over 30 years experience with teaching piano to all ages. I have a Bachelors Degree and studied piano at Cornerstone University and also studied with Joanne Leach after college, who was president of the Temple Theater Organ Club. I began teaching piano at Herter Music Center in Saginaw in 1987 and have taught all ages.

Mark Dault

Bio: I am a Bay City native and also SVSU alumni. I have received many different awards including ‘Best Jazz Drummer,’ ‘Best Rock Drummer’ and ‘Best Blues Drummer’ in the Review Music Awards. I have performed with many award winning groups and legendary artists including: Dick Wagner, Matt Besey, Myron Floren, Peggy March, Jeff Hall, Richie Cole, Question Mark and the Mysterians, Ray Peterson and many more. I also work as a session drummer and can be heard on over 13 albums. I am a member of the Vic Firth Educational Team.

Howard Harmon
Accordion, Digital Keyboard, Organ, Tuba

Bio: I have been a Herter Management Staff member since 1974. Played tuba all 4 years of High School at Bay City Handy. Traveled with my professional lounge band playing keyboards for several years, founder and leader of the accordion band, Kids and Koots, served as a 3 time past president of the Bay Concert Band, and perform on tuba with the Wurst Band of Frankenmuth. I will be teaching beginning accordion as well as keyboard tricks teaching how to use the chord orchestration, intro’s, endings, and fill in’s on portable and full size keyboards. All ages will be accepted. Come learn how to use your keyboard to its potential.

Randy Juhl
Guitar, Violin

Bio: Randy currently plays with Bluegrass, Folk and Irish/Celtic Groups in the area. He plays and teaches Fiddle and guitar part time at Herter Music and also teaches Computer Science at Delta College and Saginaw Public School Career Complex.

Christie Killey
Alto Sax, Flute, Vocal

Bio: I started playing flute in the fifth grade and also sang in the school choir. I had a few formal lessons on flute and voice with 2 different teachers. I continue to play and sing in church twice a week and have been a guest worship leader at different churches. I strated teaching in 2010 and have had students receive top ratings at both district and state Solo & Ensemble competitions.

Charles Sheldon
Baritone, Bassoon, Brass, French Horn, Oboe, Percussion, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba

Bio: I am a graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. I played solo trumpet with the C.M.U. Marching Band and held first chair in the C.M.U. Symphonic Wind Ensemble. I studied at Interlochen Music Camp on 2 scholarships. My principal teacher was Dr. Paul Wilwerth. I was band director for 27 years, and assistant band director with Buchanan Schools for 2 years. My students consistently receive first and second level ratings at District and State Festivals.

Mary Wale
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Piano

Bio: I have taught many private lessons and classes in the area. I have been teaching since I was a teenager and have experience with students ages 4 to 94. I am known for my work with the mentally or physically challenged, troubled teens, gifted and talented kids, A.D.D. students and many who just want to play music.I have played in local rock band, accompanied many differentsingers and currently also work in church muisc. I studied under many different private instructors at Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University including; Jack Bruske and Bob Kingsbury. I teach both guitar and piano.

Deborah Taylor
Voice, piano, brass

Bio: I have been involved in music for as long as I can remember. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve dancing around the house, singing, and pretending I was a Disney princess. My husband and I have moved to Michigan to be near family, and I am excited to bring my skills along. I have a Bachelors degree in music along with 10 years of teaching experience both in the classroom and in private.

John Rickert

Bio: I began playing trumpet at the age of 9, taught by my father who earned his doctorate in music from the University of Illinois. Later studied with Floyd Mead, Harry Wallerstein, Mike Metheny, and Jeff Stout. I am an SVSU and Berklee College of Music alumni and have been the director of music at Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Saginaw for the last 8 years. Currently lead trumpet with the funk & soul group, “Soul Xpress” and have sang and played trumpet professionally around the world for the last 25 years.

I enjoy playing in the orchestra pit for shows in the area and with the Bay City Players. I also am a veteran in the studio and have recorded with many different groups including the legendary Dick Wagner.

Knowledgeable staff. Great selection of music and instruments. They also have parts and do repairs and teach music as well.
Sean B
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Primary Communities Served

Bay City
Buena Vista




St. Charles

University Center