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Madison Academy
of Music
Private Lessons
Music Together®
Green Thumb
Music, LLC
Location and
Contact Information

Private Lessons

Madison Academy of Music offers private lessons for children and adults in piano, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass, and voice. Our dedicated and experienced teachers make learning an instrument fun. Not only do we teach a particular instrument, but our lessons include music theory and performance fundamentals.

We tailor our lessons for the serious student, for students who want to learn an instrument for their own enjoyment, or for anyone in between.

For more information about private lessons, contact us at 608-232-9758, or via e-mail at:

List of Instructors and Instruments

Browse through the list of instructors, or select from the following:

Flute: Kriss Hamilton    
Guitar: Christopher Cramer Jeff Larsen  
Electric Guitar: Jeff Larsen    
Piano: Brian Widder Michael BB  
  Kriss Hamilton    
Jazz Piano: Michael BB    
Ukulele: Miles McConnell    
Theory/Composition: Jeff Larsen Michael BB  
Violin: Stacey Binder    
Voice: Christina Jenkins    

Meet our Instructors

Brian Widder:  Owner and Piano Instructor
Brian Widder received a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the UW-Platteville, and has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the UW-Madison. He has been teaching piano privately for over 20 years. He is also an active performer in the Madison area for weddings, receptions, dinner parties, & other special events.

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Stacey Binder:  Violin Instructor
Stacey Binder received the Master of Music degree in violin performance from the UW-Madison, where she was a student of Vartan Manoogian. In addition to teaching private lessons for 14 years, Stacey was an Upper Strings Sectional Coach and a chamber music coach for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO). She also has served as a judge for WYSO and for WSMA's Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Stacey has been a substitute violinist for the Madison Symphony Orchestra and has performed in productions by the Four Seasons Theatre. Stacey has an interest in teaching the violin to the visually impaired. Her article "Rewards and Challenges of Teaching Blind String Students" was published in the February 2002 issue of the American String Teacher.

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Michael Butkus-Bomier:  Piano, Jazz Piano, Composition
Michael Butkus-Bomier, known to practically everyone as Michael BB, is a teacher of many things musical. The piano is his main instrument, and teaching its techniques and repertoire is his main occupation. Classical, jazz, Latin, blues, and pop/rock are all styles that he has decades of experience performing, and in teaching, one-on-one, with students ranging in age from 5 to 85.

Michael's training is as wide-ranging as his interests. His music degree is in composition, under Prof. Les Thimmig, at the UW-Madison, '79 cum laude. His childhood piano teacher was literally the woman next door, Ruth Schoening. She wrote her own series of graded music literacy textbooks for elementary school use. His jazz mentors include Barry Harris and Hal Galper, of NYC, and James Cheatham. His main scholarly interest is the history and evolution of piano technique and pedagogy.

Michael's practice has every sort of age and musical interest represented: beginners of all ages, teens at the cusp of mature musicianship and performance, adults learning jazz, with or without a significant classical background, composition students, theory students, and professionals who want coaching, technique assistance, and transcriptions. Michael uses the Kasschau Method series for beginners of most ages. He uses his own editions of public domain and standard repertoire titles. His teaching method also relies on student input for the choice of music, since a piece chosen by the person who wants to learn it is more effective.

Michael has lived in Madison since 1994. His spouse is a retired special education teacher, who has shown him many aspects of teacher-student interaction models that have proven their worth over time. His original compositions, special editions, and technical books on classical music and jazz can be found at and

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Christopher Cramer:  Guitar Instructor
Classical guitarist Christopher Cramer began his music studies at the UW-Manitowoc, where he won a number of awards including the UW-Manitowoc County Fine Arts Award in the Area of Music. He went on to complete his undergraduate training at the UW-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he won first place in the annual WCM scholarship competition in classical guitar. Continuing his studies at the UW-Madison, Dr. Cramer earned both his masters and doctorate degrees in music performance under the direction of renowned guitarist Javier Calderon.

While at the UW-Madison, Dr. Cramer undertook an intensive study of instrumental conducting with respected conductor and pedagogue David E. Becker, ultimately leading to a doctoral minor in the discipline and the opportunity to work with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra.

From college campuses to performing arts centers, Dr. Cramer has performed in the United States, Canada, and Taiwan. In addition to performing as a solo recitalist and as a soloist with orchestra, Dr. Cramer is also an active chamber musician collaborating with various instrumentalists and singers. In the fall of 2008, Dr. Cramer joined the faculty at Beloit College where he teaches studio guitar lessons and directs the guitar ensemble program. He also teaches guitar related courses at the UW-Madison and the UW-Rock County. Former faculty engagements have included Edgewood College and the UW-Manitowoc.

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Kriss Hamilton:  Piano and Flute Instructor
Kriss Hamilton was born and raised in Wisconsin. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the UW-Eau Claire and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Wichita State University. She has taught private music lessons in a wide variety of settings, including homes, music stores, and schools.

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Jeff Larsen:  Guitar, Electric Guitar, Music Theory/Composition Instructor
Jeff Larsen has been performing with bands and doing solo guitar concerts for over thirty years, and has been teaching students for over twenty years. He plays most styles of music, and specializes in jazz, progressive rock, classical, and fingerstyle solo guitar. He has released three CDs, including Spirits of St. Paul -- the score to a musical play he composed; Threads -- a jazz-rock mixture of covers and originals; and most recently, Jeff Larsen plays Emerson, Lake, and Palmer -- solo fingerstyle arrangements of ELP's best. He won a 2009 MAMA (Madison Area Music Award) for Best Classical Piece of the Year, Suite for Two Guitars. Having written over 100 pieces of music, he is able to help guitarists become composers as well as players.

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