State College

As of 3/17/2020, all Robert M. Sides locations have converted to solely online lessons until further notice. For more information on what online lessons are currently available, please contact our online lessons coordinator Nick Smarcz at [email protected], or (888) 858-5007 

 Our State College lesson department has so much to offer!  From woodwinds to brass, piano to guitar, voice, and more, we have qualified teachers here to help guide you through your musical journey! 


Becca Boone, our lesson coordinator at our State College store, is happy to answer any questions you may have and to get you set up with lessons! 
Phone: (888) 858-5007 
Email: [email protected]

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Asa Carns

Asa Carns

BIO:

Asa Carns was born and raised in Clearfield, PA. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Wittenberg
University with a double major in piano performance and sacred organ music, with emphasis on choral
conducting and vocal studies. Mr. Carns also studied for two years at The Berliner Kirchenmusikschule in
Spandau, West Berlin, Germany. Asa has been an organist/choir director/children’s choir director/hand
bell director at various churches for 34 years. Mr. Carns has taught music privately in piano, organ, and voice for 30 years. Mr. Carns is also the accompanist for the State College Choral Society. He accompanies
professionally and provides entertainment for private parties, weddings, funerals, and memorial services. He
is the founder and producer of the Lenten “Bach “ Box- Lunch Concert Series performed in Altoona. Mr. Carns
has also organized numerous Christmas cantatas. He has recorded a Christmas CD, “Christmas As I Hear It
“and a two-CD piano and organ duet project entitled, “Reflections of Our Faith.” Mr Carns is a member of The
American Guild of Organist, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and a Suzuki registered piano instructor with SSA.

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Brandy Davis

Brandy Davis

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Brandy has been teaching private lessons for roughly 11 years, and has been with Robert M. Sides since 2006. She graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Music Education, and currently performs with the Nittany Valley Symphony, State College Municipal Band, Bavarian Stompers, and State College Community Theatre pit orchestras. Past performances have been with the Altoona Symphony, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, Nittany Wind Quintet, Altoona Community Theatre, Penn State Centre Stage, P&J Productions, Singing Onstage Studios, Little German Band, and Repasz Band. She was also a guest clarinet soloist with the Elementary Honors Choir at an American Choral Directors Association conference.

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Emily Chu

Emily Chu

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Emily Chu has played piano and violin since childhood. In 6th grade, her family moved to State College from Ames, Iowa. During her high school years she studied with Penn State faculty members, winning prizes in 24 performance competitions, while also tutoring younger students on both piano and violin. After earning a BM from the City University of New York and an MM from Cleveland State University, Emily returned to State College to teach. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in Learning, Design and Technology at Penn State. Her students have won prizes in the Steinway piano competition and Phyllis Triolo Music competition.

Emily considers her strength as a teacher her ability to tailor her teaching to each student's individual needs—whether that is in classical music, pop music, competition, or as a hobby. By applying the knowledge gained from learning theories on how human brains function best with learning, Emily has been able to nurture her students to be self-motivated and learn efficiently. She teaches piano students of all ages and all levels, and violin students from beginner to intermediate level.

An avid chess player, Emily led high school chess club members to teach at elementary schools when she was club president for three years and founded the State College Chess Tournament for the school district. She is pleased to have inspired many children in the community to enjoy playing chess and has also taught online chess lessons to students in China. She is currently taking students for chess lessons.



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Jeff Gibble

Jeff Gibble

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Jeff has been teaching guitar at Robert M. Sides since 2002. He began playing guitar at age nine, after hearing some Beatles and Cream records that his aunt played for him. He started performing professionally at age
fifteen. He soon began studying music theory and composition with Ronald L. Hill, the band director at Dallastown Area High School in York County. He became involved with the music programs in high school, where he was a member of the marching band, concert band and the jazz band. He played in the pit orchestra for the production of the musical Guys and Dolls. Jeff began his teaching career at Stringed Instrument Repair in New Freedom, PA in 1986, and at Campbell’s Music Service in York, PA in 1987. He teaches all levels of rock, jazz, blues and country guitar. He encourages each student to pursue the genre of music that interests them, as well as introducing them to the styles of guitarists, who may reside outside the student’s current listening preferences. Jeff has performed throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC. The groups he has played with include: Kasper, The Harry Traynham Band and Alaska. He has opened for nationally known acts including The Guess Who and The Badlees. He has recorded with a diverse group of musical artists such as: Kasper (Just Another Nightmare, Pop Rock 1987), John McNabb (Peace of Mind Beach, Contemporary Christian, 1992) and Edgar (Conversations, Jazz Fusion, 1996). Recently, Jeff has been working with the progessive rock band AudioJoe, recording the guitars and synthesizers in his own 24-track studio.

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Kyle Haust

Kyle Haust

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Kyle Haust is a recent graduate from the PSU school of music with a masters degree in percussion performance. As a classical musician, he acts as principal timpanist for the Nittany Valley Symphony and as a section percussionist for the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra. Kyle performs on drum set with Fuse, Singing on Stage, musicals. He plays jazz with the group Rotec and you can also catch Kyle performing with the band Western Range at the Happy Valley Brewing Company monthly.

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Mary Levin

Mary Levin

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Mary has taught voice and piano for over 20 years. Her students have gone on to some of the most prestigious music schools, opera companies and Camp Broadway in New York City. Mary holds her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute, and her Voice Therapy certification from the Boston Conservatory. She has worked with James Conlon at Carnegie Hall, and studied with Leon Fleischer’s protégé, Pong-hi Park. A frequent soloist in the Lewistown, PA area, Mary has sung with The Cleveland Opera, the Chautaugua Opera, and in concert at the Whitaker Center. She has adjudicated at several competitions, including the Mary Lee Eyer piano competition and the Miss Central PA pageant. Mary enjoys teaching students of all ages, and is known for being patient, encouraging and kind. She is an organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Sacred Heart Church in Lewistown where she lives with her husband, Border Collie, Buster and cat, Boots.

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Richard Battles

Richard Battles

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Richard retired in 2010 after teaching music in the Mifflin County School District for 40 years. During that time he taught Senior High band, chorus and advanced music class, Junior High, Middle School and Elementary
School band and chorus, and general music classes for grades K-9, with his favorite class being Elementary/
Middle School band. Over the course of his career, Rich has taught in 3 High Schools, 3 Middle Schools and 8
Elementary Schools. Rich has taken part in over 1,400 performances, including numerous solos, duets, men’s octets, glee club, percussion ensemble, brass ensemble, wind ensemble, concert band, marching band, orchestra, chorus, “Broadway” shows (in college), opera and the only vibraphone quartet known to Rich. He has conducted performances in piano, organ, trumpet, trombone, baritone, roughly 50 different percussion instruments, with a strong focus and passion for the vibraphone. He has performed professionally with The Villagers, The Skip Leeper Quartet, The Blue Notes, The Little German Band, The Bavarian Stompers, and several other groups as a onetime sub. Rich is a member of the C&MA church, where he has directed the choir for about 5 years. He presently teaches the Evangelism Explosion/Everyday Evangelism Class. He is 66 years old, married, has 19 children; 16 of them adopted from 4 countries, and 11 grandchildren.

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Zach Dennis

Zach Dennis

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Zach Dennis was born and raised in State College, PA. Since both of his parents are professional musicians, he has been surrounded by music his entire life. He cultivated a deep love and passion for music, and he started teaching and performing music at age 12. He is able to play guitar, drums, ukelele, and bass, but he has studied the guitar in-depth for over 12 years. You can catch him performing every weekend with his band, “Live Wire”, downtown at places like Cafe 210 West, Doggie’s Pub, and Zeno’s Pub. He also performs with his duo, “Jazz Kat”, at places like Webster’s, Kaarma Indian Cusine, and Centre Hills Country Club.

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