Our Creative Soul Fort Worth Instructor Team


Michael Peterson


When Michael Peterson sang Come Together at a sixth grade concert and heard whoops and hollers of
appreciation he knew he wanted music and performance to be a big part of his life. Michael comes from
a musical family, with a dad who’s a professional musician, a brother who’s an award winning pianist
and percussionist, and a sister who sings and performs on guitar.

Michael started on bass (thanks to Paul McCartney as well as his dad’s promise that bass players work a
lot) and has held down the bottom in his own band MP3 and the Jeh Horton Band as well as lending his
talents to area schools’ music departments.

Fascination with music theory and chord structure brought Michael to guitar a few years later. A
versatile guitarist, he plays both acoustic and electric in all styles. Michael has applied his guitar talents
to MP3 and held the guitar chair in his high school Jazz Band. He has also performed duo/solo gigs as a

Peterson is also a vocalist in many styles, including classical, opera, and rock and roll. He studied under
the esteemed TCU voice professor Dr. Scott Ferrell, learning the voice mechanics and techniques
necessary for any genre of vocal music. He is the lead singer of his own classic rock group MP3 and has
solo and ensemble experience in choir and Broadway musical styles.
Michael loves teaching as much as performing: “Besides sharing my love of music I enjoy seeing a
concept finally click in a student’s mind,” says Peterson. “I know the thrill of that feeling when
something you thought was impossible becomes possible, and I like to see that thrill in students.” 



Devon McCauley

Violin/Guitar/Mandolin/Uke/Bass Instructor @ Ft WorthIMG_3469.jpg

Devon McCauley, from Burleson, Texas, is a musician specializing in old time fiddling and acoustic “Swing Rhythm” guitar accompaniment. The old time Texas style of fiddling is Devon’s favorite along with Western Swing and bluegrass.   From very early in his career he listened endlessly to various musicians and bands, enjoying and studying their styles and techniques.  His collection of music ranges from MP3’s to 78 RPM phonograph records.

His guitar studies have expanded beyond Texas style fiddle accompaniment to include swing, jazz and country music from the 30’s thru the 60’s.  His musical influences include fiddle players such as Benny Thomasson, Norman and Vernon Solomon, Terry Morris, Herman Johnson, Orville Burns, Paul Warren, and Tommy Jackson, to name a few.  His favorite guitar players include the likes of Eldon Shamblin, Billy Strange, Homer Haynes, Joey McKenzie, Royce and Ray Franklin, Omega Burden and Freddie Green.

Currently Devon plays gigs and contests around the state as well as teaching private lessons!



Dan Word

Guitar/Bass/Piano/Student Bands @ Ft Worth

Maestro Dan Word teaches technique, in ANY STYLE of music, for students of ALL AGES, BEGINNER to PROFESSIONAL, for Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Ear Training (keyboard and aural skills), Music Production/Studio Engineering, and Music Theory.

Oak Cliff native Dan Word has been a practicing musician for over 33 years. He has taught guitar technique and music theory for 31 years, bass technique for 30 years, ear training (keyboard and aural skills) for 22 years and music production/studio engineering for 11 years. Maestro Word has been a professional performing guitarist for 32 years, a professional performing bassist for 30 years, and a recording/project studio owner for over 26 years. In 2003 Dan's recording studio was the third studio in the world to broadcast live on the internet. Dan has worked on more than half a dozen movie and tv shoots as a set dresser, set decorator, and IMDB credited sound recordist and boom operator. He has taught over 1000 students in 31 years with about a dozen attaining professional status and success as performers and instructors in styles including classical, jazz/blues, folk, rock, pop, metal, gospel, hip-hop, rap and even country.

Maestro Word is a seventh generation classical guitar performer in a direct unbroken line of Master/Apprentice guitarists from Francisco Tarrega himself and is highly specialized in the Spanish, South American, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic guitar repertoire. Dan has been in more than a dozen bands, ensembles and projects over the years and has recorded and released 2 E.P. albums available as cassettes, cd's and digital downloads and streams. His first release was in the 1980's with a popular heavy rock n roll band and the second more recently with an internationally famous heavy metal band.
Currently on the forefront of EDM innovation, creating a new subgenre of dubstep, and redefining hardstyle, Maestro Word is pioneering a guitar-synth style and technique, putting instruments, artists and musicians in electronic music, instead of "DJ's", for the very first time.


Caitlin Lusk 

Piano/Guitar/Little Soul Rockers @ Ft Worth

 Caitlin Lusk - Creative Soul Fort Worth Instructor

Caitlin was born and raised in the DFW metroplex and has been involved with music and children for nearly 5 years. She’s performed in talent shows, school choir competitions and church events since the age of 13. While many may enjoy working with children, they are Caitlin’s heart and delight. At the age of seventeen, Caitlin became an assistant director for a ministry called Children of Glory where she helped direct children’s worship teams and services. Since then, she has been involved with multiple worship teams and children’s ministries, dedicating herself to the development of children through the expression of music.

Caitlin teaches piano, knowing that one gains so much more than just the ability to play the instrument. How valuable is it to learn a skill that ultimately improves speech, language, memory, attention, and even the ability to convey your thoughts better vocally? She has a deep love for music and is excited to teach this valuable skill to children whodesire to develop their creative souls through lessons at Creative Soul School of Music.



Heather Hague

Piano/Voice/Guitar/Little Soul Rockers

Born here in Fort Worth, it was evident that Heather had a love for music and performing. Even before Heather could fully form sentences, she was singing and dancing. She began performing as early as five years old when she sang “My Favorite Things” with her sister in the school talent show, as well as staring as “The Sad Clown” in her kindergarden play. Between 2004 and 2011, she was a member of the Texas Girls Choir, where she gained more performance experience, learned basic music theory and sight reading skills, and further developed her love of music.

With this basic knowledge, Heather was able to teach herself piano at a young age. She also began writing her own songs, which she has continued to do and improve for the past decade. Heather started taking voice lessons at age 12, learning Italian arias and classical singing. In high school, she was largely involved in the music program. She was in varsity choir all four years and was alto section leader and student director in 2013. Heather also participated in theatre and school musicals, including playing the role of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” her junior year. She played jazz piano in her school’s jazz band for two years as well.

Even with all these activities, Heather still excelled at vocal competitions, participating in all-state choirs and solo and ensemble. She also won several awards in various talent competitions performing her own music. Her songwriting career culminates to 2015 when she produced her own self-made album, “Black and White” (available on Soundcloud). Heather knew she wanted to dedicate her life to music when she performed a particularly emotional song she had written, upon seeing the audience moved. She further solidified this aspiration when she had the opportunity to substitute teach her varsity choir class her junior year of high school. It was then she realised how much joy she gets from teaching others and sharing her love of music.

Heather is currently a junior in the College of Music at the University of North Texas, majoring in Music Composition, with vocal concentration, and minoring in history. At UNT, she is involved in the choral and vocal jazz programs. Heather plans on studying musicology, focusing on nineteenth and twentieth century Russian music, in the future.

“Music has always been what kept me up when I felt I was all alone in the world. It is important to me that others find that same love and passion for music which serves as an inspiration through all situations life throws at us.”



Grant Newman

Piano/Trumpet/Student Bands

Grant Davis Newman comes from a long line of self-taught musicians and music ministers. That being said it should come as no surprise his childhood was spent actively involved in worship services and learnin76991_10200550431790340_145735192_n.jpgg the piano, guitar and trumpet. He considers himself to not only be a teacher but, a performer, composer, music enthusiast and student. As a musician there is always room to learn and grow. Grant’s time at Howard Payne helped him to recognize the innate desire to teach other young pioneers of the music world. While studying trumpet and music education at Howard Payne, he took special interest in piano, choir, and composition.

Grant played trumpet in the band, jazz band, brass quintet, a selected group called Winds of Triumph, and in multiple churches in Brownwood.  He played piano in Winds of Triumph (an ensemble that performs arranged jazz/rock charts from traditional church music), occasionally in choir as accompanist, in the Chapel Orchestra/Band, and at multiple churches.  If he wasn’t studying, practicing, or rehearsing, Grant composed in the studio lab.  In 2013 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Howard Payne University.   

While Grant prefers to practice and perform on acoustic pianos, his background in improvisational jazz, contemporary pop and composition gives him extensive experience with keyboards, specifically the Korg workstations and Roland RD-700 sx. He has composed and arranged for over 15 short films and non-profit promotional videos for 3 different directors using a home-built studio.  

Grant’s teaching career started while he was in college. He taught piano/music theory elementary students and some high school trumpeters.  During the 4 summers while in college he taught composition, trumpet, and piano master classes for middle school and high school students at Band camps in Brownwood and in Springtown, TX.  He also serves in music ministry in many different churches and cultures.  

Music expresses that which cannot be put into word and that which cannot remain silent” -Victor Hugo



Xavier Joseph


Xavier Joseph, baritone, is a recent graduate of Georgia State University, where he received a MM in Voice Performance. He was in the studio of mezzo-soprano, KXavierJosephbaritone.jpegathryn Hartgrove. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance from Oakwood University where he performed leading roles in The Old Maid and The Thief and Too Many Sopranos, scenes from Cosi fan tutte, and toured extensively with the world renowned Oakwood University Aeolians. In the summer of 2010 Xavier auditioned for and was accepted to the Manhattan Summer Voice Institute at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. While at the program he studied with Maitland Peters and performed in a scene of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In the summer of 2011 Xavier participated in the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop and sang the role of Maestro Spinelloccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and sung a scene from Bizet’s Carmen. While at GSU Xavier sang the roles of King Melchior in Amahal & the Night Visitors andBartolo in Le nozze di Figaro. 

In the summer of 2012 Xavier returned to the Harrower Workshop and sang the role of the 2 nd Priest in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In October of 2012, Mr. Joseph was afforded the opportunity to perform in Beijing, China, where he participated in a musical exchange program at Renmin University. In the fall of 2012, Mr. Joseph performed the role of John Brooke in Adamo’s Little Women. Since graduating from GSU, Mr. Joseph has performed the roles of Peter in Hansel und Gretel with the Portland Opera Workshop, and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte with The Vancouver Coaching Experience. In 2014, Mr. Joseph made his Capitol City Opera Debut as Pritschitsch in Lehar’s Merry Widow. 2015 saw Mr. Joseph making his debut with New Fangled Opera in New Orleans, LA, where he sang Ethan in the new opera, New Orleans Haunts by young composer, Phillip Seaward. Beginning in January 2016, Mr. Joseph will be performing with the Dallas Opera Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Alexander Rom. Mr. Joseph is currently in the studio of baritone Dale Dietert of Southern Methodist University. Xavier teaches at 4/4 School of Music in Plano, TX, and is excited to teach at Creative Soul in Ft. Worth, TX as well.



Johnny Garcia

FB_IMG_1471825360726.jpgDrums/Student Bands

Born and raised in Texas, Johnny Garcia  started his musical passon at the ripe age of 13. With musical influence ranging from jazz to country to metal, his vast musical knowledge has allowed him to confidently persue the craft of audio engineering as well
as the art of music production. Studying the drum set under jazz director Philippe Baugh and marching snare/tenors, Johnny learned the discipline of drumming which catipulted him to play with numerious well know artst in the metal industry ranging from, All That Remains , Memphis may Fire, Of Mice and Men and many more. With over 11 years of musical experience and 6 years of live performance experience Johnny believes everyone has the ability to create music with a little bit of dedication and practice.



Lindsey Harding



Lindsey Harding was born in The Colony, Texas, and is currently enrolled in her junior year as a music education major at the University of Texas at Arlington. Growing up, music always played a big role in her life. Lindsey has participated in numerous plays, quartets, choirs and orchestras. Although the last 9 years have been dedicated to her primary instrument, violin, she has developed a passion for piano over the last 2 years. Lindsey believes music is, and always should be, an essential for all ages. She also encourages people to begin with piano, as it is “the key to all other instruments.”

Lately, Lindsey has been taking great interest in Music Therapy; seeing that music can also be used as a ‘medicine’ for the soul. Her last four semesters have been filled with music theory and ear training which assist her in understanding the fundamentals on which music is built on. With a keen ear and lots of listening experience, she is with you every step of the way.

Lindsey is very excited for this upcoming school year. Her one and only desire is to influence and inspire those around her to have a deep love for music. “Music expressed feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.”



Cody Miller


Cody began learning guitar over ten years ago, coming to quickly appreciate and emulate the styles of those who were influential to him such as John Mayer, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Muddy Waters, and others. For Cody, playing and studying guitar is concerned with entering a conversation that has been taking place for generations. 

Cody studied first under Robert Gibbs of Sumter, SC where Cody attended high school. In order to prepare for a music degree, Cody began taking lessons on classical guitar with Alma Sehic and Brett Floyd of Columbia, SC. Cody also began taking 7-string jazz guitar lessons from Jerry Sims in Columbia, SC. Jerry Sims is a local music store owner in Columbia and graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Cody also attended a summer program.

Cody began pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at the University of South Carolina in 2011. Cody’s time at USC was spent studying music theory and guitar performance in both classical and jazz guitar under the distinguished professors, Bert Ligon of UNT and Christopher Berg. In addition to having much experience in classical guitar performance as part of his education at USC, Cody maintained a profitable and much sought after solo guitar career in jazz guitar. Cody played at many venues as a solo artist in the Sumter and Columbia areas of South Carolina. Inboth high school and college Cody also performed and served in many churches as both a lead and rhythm guitarist. In addition, Cody performed for over four years in special orchestral environments on guitar in events such as the singing Christmas tree.

Cody joins us today in Texas as he pursues a master’s degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Chelsea, have been married since they graduated from college in 2015. Cody and Chelsea enjoy reading, studying, teaching, serving, and like to do as much hiking with their dog as possible.



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Ashley VanArsdel has been playing piano since the age of 7, and also continues her music education to this day. She comes from a musical family: her dad was a bass singer in a quartet, both of her grandparents were professional pianists/organists, her grandpa played at a huge church for 30+ years.

She picked up guitar in high school at the age of 16 in high school, and has played guitar on many of her own recordings over the years.

 Ashley is a working local musician, and while she has also played frequently in New York state, she is currently playing as a solo act and with her band Tripweather, in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Ashley has played keys with several Fort Worth bands, including Saloon Piano, Blurry Street and more.

She has been teaching piano since 2002, and loves nothing more than to see her students succeed in music. Ashley firmly believes that piano will help you with any instrument you are trying to play, or just music in general, you can't go wrong with piano!



Hunter AvantHunterRockStar.jpg


Hunter is a singer/songwriter from Arlington, Texas. He began playing the flute at
age 8, guitar and vocals at 13,
and finally piano at 17. He was taught voice and piano by Myron Ice (vocal coach of Mitch and Kirstie of Pentatonix) for 5 years. He recently has earned his bachelors
degree in vocal performance and passed the state piano proficiency exam. He has performed lead vocals in such bands as Polyphia (Equal Vision Records) and Vita Versus. He has both shared the stage and opened for such acts as Daughtry, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, and Falling In Reverse. Hunter has written and sung the lead vocals on 3 different albums of varying genres. He was part of the Texas All-State Mixed Choir in 2012. Hunter has performed in such musicals as Sweeney Todd and Urinetown. He currently sings for the Dallas-based rock band Lightfall. His fiancée, Savannah Low (former American Idol top 24), and him run a professional social occasion performance LLC called Hunter&Savannah that was started in the Summer in 2015. He believes in helping to create musicians that are well rounded and have a true love for music. He enjoys working with students of all ages and walks of life!



Keith Kusterer


From Charlotte, NC, Keith is a teacher, contemporary composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, playwright, filmmaker,
producer and curator for the arts. He writes music and script for both the concert stage and interdisciplinary performance projects, collaborating with artists in the fields of theater, film, light design and dance. Keith received a graduate degree in composition at the Boston Conservatory (M.M ‘13), fulfilling a teaching assistantship with the music history department and private study with composers Marti Epstein and Curtis Hughes. He graduated as valedictorian from Columbia College-Chicago (B.M ’11) as a student of the composer Marcos Balter and pianist Bette Coulson. As a younger musician, he received an award from the ‘John Lennon Songwriting Competition’ (2000), several years later became a recipient of an ‘Allen-Turner Award in Composition’ (2008) and was selected by the conductor, Eric Hewitt, as a winner of the ‘Boston Conservatory Wind- Ensemble Competition’ (2012). His recent work for wind ensemble, 'Of Patina', has been released and distributed by Albany Records (2013). Keith has performed live and in recording sessions with national touring bands while also filling manager and producer roles. He is an experienced private instructor, having taught lessons in piano, guitar, bass, drums, voice, composition and music theory for students of all ages and levels. He thrives on the fact that every student is different and he remains motivated by the challenge of creating unique lesson plans for each individual. Keith has just recently relocated to the Fort Worth area with his wife, Christina Pecce, who is a soprano with the Fort Worth Opera.



Rebekah Anthony



Rebekah Anthony, from Godley, Texas, is a pianist, singer, songwriter, and has recently dived into the world of playing the cello
 as well. She is a recent graduate of Tarleton State University in 16472873_10209474377349611_2517626391282530746_n.jpg
Stephenville, Texas where she received her bachelors degree in music business. She began playing piano approximately ten years ago, not knowing that this side hobby would develop into a deep passion for
music. Her primary instrument of study while in college was piano, although she also participated in either Chamber Choir or Select Women’s Ensemble for the entirety of her time at Tarleton, and had the great honor of traveling to New York City with the Tarleton Chamber Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Rebekah also began playing piano on the worship team at her church in Granbury, Texas five years ago. Here Rebekah realized the power of music and how it can transform lives. She now is a co-lead singer and songwriter on the worship team, known as The Beloved, and they are very excited to record and release their first album later this year. Becoming a lead singer for the team, however, was quite a bit of a journey for Rebekah.

Rebekah has loved to sing ever since she was a little girl, but was always too afraid to sing publicly. That all changed a few years ago when she attended a songwriting retreat held by the worship team she was playing piano for. At this retreat she wrote a song and through much coercion sang it to the team. Little did she know this simple act would create a profound effect in her life. Not only did the band learn the song, but she went on to lead it at church, thus beginning her journey to becoming a lead singer in the group. She later went through the process of copyrighting that song, which will be featured on the group’s upcoming album. This song would then lead to a new passion for Rebekah- songwriting- as well as a new mission to help other musicians who struggle with fear and insecurities to realize their full potential and accomplish their dreams.

Rebekah is excited for her present and future musical adventures and would love to see her students excited about their musical journeys as well! She is very excited to be a part of Creative Soul School of Music and the amazing mission they have to impact lives through music.



David Smith





Stephanie Reynaga

Piano/Voice/Flute/Makin' Music/Little Soul Rockers




Jillian Wyatt