Bill teaches drumset, snare drum solos and rudiments, xylophone and music theory 5 days a week at CMI.  He has instructed high school drumlines leading to first place at the state championship in Denver and currently teaches Drumline at DSST: Cole H.S. in Denver.  ​

    Bill has played with many bands in the Denver area including:  Esovae, Drug Under, Love 45, Savage Henry, Ben Park Drive, And Sometimes Why, Michael Jackson Tribute Band, Citizen Pain, and now plays for Urban Dance Theory.

    Bill has also played at some extremely notable venues like the Whiskeys in Hollywood, Mile High Stadium, Red Rocks Amphitheater, aboard Cruise Line ships and at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  

    He has been involved in CMI's "bandcamp" rock sessions every year where they focus on putting together musicians to form bands, work together learning songs and learn how to perform live on stage.  Bill is also a frequent judge at Guitar Center's "Drum-Off".  Lastly, he is endorsed by and exclusively plays:  Pearl Drums & Sabian Cymbals.  Check out Bill's videos, then call us at CMI or through our Contact Us page and we will schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Bill Travis!

After many opportunities to perform with the school band, jazz band, and rock bands with friends, Bill was able to break out and play with professional musicians every weekend since the age of 16.  He continued to pursue music by attending Musicians Institute, where he was able to study with LA's top drum set artists.  After graduating with honors in 1995, he moved to Denver where he has been keeping a busy schedule as a teacher and a performer.  Bill has been an instructor at the Colrado Music Institute since 1998.  His teaching focuses on the importance of musical versatility and developing solid fundamental skills.  You can catch Bill performing as a sideman with Denver's finest jazz, blues, and rock musicians.  Call or email us from the Contact Us page to schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Bill.

James played with local bands such as Living Insanity, Chili Whip and Kingpin and in 1999 joined local D.J.'s Lewis and Floorwax bues band Duo Drums - The Groovehawgs. He has been playing to crowds of over 100,000 people and more each year.  

    James has shared the stage with ZZ Top, BB King, Def Leopard, James Brown and more!  His band is probably the most popular band in Colorado.  

    He has recently released his solo debut Running out of the West.  He is a great addition to the Colorado Music Institute.  Call us or go to our Contact Us page to schedule your FREE introductory lesson with James.

Kassandra Lopez

Bass Guitar

​P.J. Corstjens

Nate's bands have toured throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

He has studied various styles of music with great interest in the rock, jazz, and classical genres.  He has studied under Steve Shurack, a pupil of the great classical guitarist Ricardo Iznaola from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, as well as with accomplished Seattle-based jazz and classical guitarist Julian Catford.  Nate received his degree in music from Seattle Pacific University while at the same time being trained as a studio technician and keeping busy as a studio/session guitarist.  

    Nate has been teaching music for ten years.  He teaches ukulele as well as guitar and enjoys every minute of the teaching experience.

Call us or go to our Contact Us page and let us schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Nate.

Colorado Music Institute


Beginning May 1st Our New Address Will Be:

Southfield Center

12201 E. Arapahoe Rd. C-6

Centennial, CO 80112

(E, Arapahoe Rd. & S. Peoria St.)

Learn the songs you want to learn!

Eric's love for music began very early as he grew up in his father's record store in Iowa.  A family friend taught Eric four chords which started a life-long pursuit to become a better musician.

Nate has been immersed in music since the age of 10 and became a professional musician at age 15, having to get work permits in order to play in clubs and venues due to his young age.  

Our Teachers teach

all Levels and all Styles

to all Ages!

Don has toured extensively with theater companies and piano trios including Sante Fe, Mew Mexico, where he accompanied opera and dance and Lake Tahoe, where he was musical director for the Lake Tahoe Children's Theater Company.

Guitar Teachers

Scott Uhl

Eric attended Central Missouri State studying Classical and Jazz guitar, piano, ear training and music theory.  He supplemented his formal education by forming and touring the mid-west with his all original bands:  Scarecrow and Chain Number Seven.

     In 1996, Eric made the move to the Denver area and soon found himself playing the Denver scene with the original band Great Atomic Motor and Beatles cover band The Don't Let Me Downs.  

     Along with teaching music, Eric writes, records, engineers, mixes and masters his music along with other local bands and solo artists. 

     Call us or go to our Contact Us page to schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Eric.

Nate Bilo

Kirk has been a Denver native all his life.  Although he is just over 40, he has managed to play guitar for over 38 years and has been teaching for over 23.  His "on the stage" experience is paralleled by none, having played 5-nights a week for over 12 years - that is a lot of stage experience. 

Lois has a Bachelor's degree in trumpet performance and a Master's degree in curriculum and Instruction. She has played in symphonies in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and has taught in Broward County, Florida, the American School in London, England, and finally in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. We are very happy to have her join our staff!


Bill has been playing drums since 1984 - starting at age 9.  His love of music has been strong since early childhood and he enjoys sharing that experience with students of all ages.  


​Evan King

Kerry received a BA from the University of Wyoming with a major in French and minors in Spanish, Music, and Education.  She has been teaching piano since 1978 and voice since 1985 and has been certified by the State of Colorado since 1985.

     Kerry sings in the Cherry Creek Chorale, participating in concerts at Carnegie Hall, The International Choral Festival in Atlanta, and the Lucerne International Choral Festival in Switzerland.  She has also toured with a 100-voice choir in Italy, Austria and Hungary.

    She is an officer of the Aurora Music Teachers Association and of Pacesetters Music Teachers.

    Her experience and success as a piano, keyboard and voice instructor led her to become a partner/owner of The Colorado Music Institute where she continues to inspire students of all ages.  Call us today or go to our Contact Us page to schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Kerry.

    Most of his works can be found in the Rock/Hard Rock and even metal categories.  He is now investing his time into the new and very influential Country/Rock arena.  Between opening for acts such as Clay Walker and Neil McCoy, Joe Diffy and Trent Tomlinson, just to name a few, he has begun travelling extensively to the Nashville areas and will soon break into that circuit.

Kirk has studied with Dave Beagle and Renee Heredia.  He now invests his time between teaching 50 or more students a week at CMI.  He is a valuable asset and a major part of our curriculum.  Check out Kirk's band on Facebook.

Kirk Kissleman


Carol has a Bachelor of Music Education for the University of New Mexico and a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from Denver University.

Matt Amundson

Joseph Engel

She has taught for Denver Public Schools and has worked in church music as a choir director and worship leader.  With over 30 years of music teaching experience, Carol is not only well-qualified, she is a student favorite at CMI and is gifted at teaching young, beginning students. She will be offering an early childhood group class beginning in the fall. Call today or go to our Contact Us page and schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Carol - today!

James Nelson


Ximena Calderon

Scott was born in Alaska and started playing guitar in Colorado Springs at the age of 16.  He got into guitar because a friend suggested that he take a guitar class his sophomore year and after a week, Scott was hooked on music and has never looked back.


Kassandra Lopez is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of music where she studies with the esteemed Julie Thornton. She currently plays with the Arapahoe Philharmonic and with local chamber ensembles. She loves being able to share her performances with her students!

Ms. Lopez has kept an active studio of absolute beginners to intermediate players for several years in the Denver area. She aims to educate and inspire musicians to learn flute in a way that utilizes their full potential. Her goal is to make learning the flute fun for all but also to develop their skills to make playing the flute second nature. She bases lessons off of what the students are interested in working on while still working on flute techniques.

Our teachers are the cream of the crop in the Denver area.  They all play their instruments for a living.  They don't teach just to supplement their incomes from some other job or just to pay the bills.  Basically, they live, eat, and breathe music and want to pass that knowledge and passion on to you.  Most of our teachers have degrees and all our teachers possess thousands of hours in stage and recording time.  You will get the best instruction because of their knowledge and experience.  They've done it all and you can benefit from their real-life experience!  


Eric Davies

James started playing drums at the age of 12.  He studied music and percussion throughout school and joined the Pomona High School marching band.  He continued his studies at Metro State College in Denver.

Kevin has been playing the drums for over 20 years - starting at the age of 10.  He got his start in elementary school band and orchestra and kept progressing from there.  He went on to do formal training as a Music Performance major at the University of Wyoming under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen Barnhart.

​Matt began playing the drums at age 10.  He has taken advantage of every drumming opportunity since then and by 1999 received his B.M.E. from the University of North Texas.

Bill has a Bacheors Degree in Percussion Performance, studying under Dr. John Pennington.  He started teaching private lessons in 1996 and has taught at the Colorado Music Institute  since 2003


Kevin Dykstra

During his senior year in high school he was the section leader for a marching band that traveled to California for the Disney Magic Music Days Parade and the Hollywood Christmas Parade.  He made the all-country band for jazz and concert bands and also played in the pit for The Sound of Music.  He has studied with Doc Schietroma, Paul Remnick, Ed Soph, Henry Okstel, and Harol Bosarge.  

   Matt has played in many top bands in Denver including:  Matt Moon and Stranger Neighborhood, Columbine United Methodists Simple Gifts, Funkiphino, The Lavellas, Musa Konate, and the Lost Tribe, just to name a few.  Matt also played in the awesome musical Menopause.

    He currently works with AOA (Alive n Arrivl) and the B3 Project.  Matt is also the house drummer at Herb's Hideout, one of Denver's premier nighclubs where many of the areas top musicians come to jam.  He has been teaching at CMI since 2001.  Call us go to our Contact Us page and we will schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Matt.

Bill Larson

​He moved to Denver in 2006 to study music at University of Colorado at Denver and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 2010.  Taking influences from modern/hard rock, classical/finger-picking, movie scores, pop and progressive music, Scott has admired music that is creative, original and personal.

     In addition to playing live with numerous local bands, Scott currently plays guitar in alternative, hard rock band Glass Delirium and has toured the US self-producing a full length album and has played multiple Denver venues including The Bluebird Theater, Gothic Theater, Fiddler's Green Amphitheater and many more.  

     With  a mixture of music theory, technique, and teaching favorite songs chosen by the students, Scott's teaching style keeps the learning process creative, fun, and challenging.  Check out Scott's band Glass Delirium then call us or go to our Contact Us page so we can schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Scott.


Our Musician/Instructors

Carol Roper

Don performed as a member of the Seattle-based Sonos Trio and composed several works for piano, flute, and cello which have been performed internationally.  While in Seattle, he was the faculty and choral accompanist at Seattle University.  A number of his other compositional works have been perofrmed by chorals in Idaho and Minnesota and at the University of New Mexico.

     His awards include Guest Performer with the Casper Symphony in Wyoming, Musician of the Year from the Wyoming Arts in Action Council and outstanding Jazz Vocalist at the Greeley Jazz Festival.

     Originally from the Rocky Mountin area, Don is pleased to now call the Denver area home.  He previously taught and performed in Las Vegas and is now teaching at the Colorado Music Institute where he is accepting new students at all levels.  He believes that it is never too late to reclaim or develop your dreams.  Don's specialty is developing practice techniques for the adult student, and coaching and prepping intermediate to advanced piano students. Give us a call or visit our About Us to schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Don.

Laura is a Colorado native who has been teaching saxophone since 1986. She holds a saxophone performance degree from the University of Northern Colorado where she played in some of the top bands including 2 years in the award winning Jazz Lab I. She was selected, by audition, to play in the Disney All-American Band and later played on Carnival Cruise Lines Holiday ship.

Laura was the saxophone instructor at Arapahoe High School for 7 years and has been a clinician for various honor bands. She plays in Colorado Wind Ensemble, various community bands and performs with Performance Now Theater Company either singing and dancing on stage or playing woodwinds in the pit orchestra. She also teaches an adult tap class.

Performing has been a huge part of Laura’s life whether she’s singing and dancing or playing in a band and she’s grateful that she has been able to share her passion through teaching! She believes in the well-rounded musician so sight reading, scales and a classical foundation are important.

In the first lesson she checks the instrument for leaks and playability, schools student on how to put together/clean/take apart the instrument, checks embouchure (mouth), finger position and posture, and for sax and clarinet, makes sure the right reeds are being used with the correct placement on the mouthpiece. 

Bill Travis

Joseph has both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in cello performance and music theory. He also received the Deans Award for Excellence in Music and the Delius Award for Excellence in Composition while at Jacksonville University in Florida. He has just recently joined our staff

Kevin has extensive performance experience on drumset in jazz, funk, rock, and latin styles as well as classical percussion, percussion ensemble and marching band.

    Originally from Rapid City, SD, Kevin has been in Denver since 2001 and is in two local groups:  funk band Fifty Children and New Orleans-style brass band the O-Tone Brass Band.  He also subs for a number of local groups, is a freelance jazz artist and is currently breaking into the studio scene.  

​   Kevin has been teaching at CMI since 2006 and loves every minute of it.  Check out one of his bands then call us or go to our Contact Us page and we will schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Kevin.

Kerry is originally from Laramie, WY and has lived in Aurora, CO for the past 30 years.  She began studying piano at age 7 , accompanied several choirs during high school and began singing in adult church and community choirs at age 15.

Brass: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium

Evan is a graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (B.M.) and University of Denver Lamont school of Music. (M.M.) An active performer in the Denver area, Evan performs regularly with the Denver Philharmonic, Longmont Symphony, Littleton Symphony, and Evergreen Chorale. He has also performed with the Denver Brass, Evergreen Chorale, and many other local acts. He has also toured the country with his band the Jefferson St. Parade Band.

In lessons, Evan draws on the methods of his former teachers (such as Vince DiMartino, Warren Deck, Alan Hood, and Carole Dawn Reinhart), utilizing exercises and techniques that aim to make brass playing as effortless as possible. Music choice is catered to the goals and skill level of the students. Evan has helped all levels of players, from absolute beginners, to advanced high school players, to comeback adult players.

Don Satterfield

Kerry Cottingham


Lois Latnik

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Drum Teachers

     PJ has a Bachelor of Music from the Berkley College of Music and attended the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands to study jazz and classical music. After graduating, he left to pursue a career as a professional recording and performing musician in Los Angeles.

     He has worked with some of Hollywood's top artists, producers, composers and engineers, such as Chris Tyng (composer for Futurama, The O.C., Suits), Joanna Brackeen (pianist for Art Blakely), Steve Bailey, Lincoln Goines (bassist for Michelle Camillo), Nona Hendryx (Lady Marmalade), Juan Cortes (composer for Angry Birds:The Movie), Alex Jang (Q-Tip, Solange), Charlie Puth, Tyler Scott, (engineer for Beyonce), Dave Stroud (vocal coach for Justin Timberlake, Natasha Bedingfield), Quin Roman (drummer for Tracy Chapman), Alex Bailey (drummer for Marcus Miller) and many more.

     PJ is enthusiastic and passionate about teaching pop, rock, classical and jazz music, while giving the student a strong foundation in musicianship and theory. His focus is on the student's musical wants and needs and he is always willing to give advice about working as a professional musician. Give us a call to schedule your free introductory lesson with PJ.

Laura Kishiyama