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

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.

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.

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.

By age 8, Stu decided that one instrument was not enough and he began to explore as many musical instruments as he could wrap his mitts around!  He played Trombone, Horn, Euphonium and more.

     At age 10, he was bitten by the rock bug.  Borrowing an acoustic guitar from his grandfather, he learned the music of Guns N Roses, Metallica, and Pink Floyd.  During his time studying in the UK, he achieved 6 grades of musical achievement from the Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor's Degree in Music.

     Stu has played thousands of shows nation-wide with a variety of acts including singer/songwriter Kory Brunson, lead guitar slinger with LA rocker Xiren, and also has several bands of his own including The Messers (winners of the Best Of The West contest, 2014), Pull The Alarm, and Stu Miller & His Moderately Sized Orchestra.

​    Stu is a multi-award winning guitar player and the epitome of a "working man's" musician, working incessantly in a varitety of styles and earning the right to be one of the most sought after guitar players in the country!  Check out his personal website at or find him on Twitter at   Call us or email us so we can fir you into Stus busy schedule for your FREE introductory lesson.

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.  

Stu has been playig and performing music since banging his face on a piano at age 4.  Fortunately, from there he began taking piano lessons.

Bill Larson

Kirk Kissleman

There, he began studying jazz and classical music on a new instrument - the upright bass.  Charles worked hard and earned a full-ride scholarship to University of Colorado at Boulder.  There, he studied closely with Chip Stevens, Paul Erhard and Gonzolo Teppa.  He also started his teaching careeer as an adjunct bass teacher for CU Boulder at the age of 18.

    Charles remained in Boulder for only one year, taking the next year off from school and traveling to India to study Indian music.  He lived in Bangalore for 5 months and studied from the South Indian violin maestro T.T. Srinivasan and North Indian master Ustad Faiyez Khan.

     The following year Charles earned a scholarship to study jazz from Kenny Walker, Eric Gunnison, and Lynn Baker at the University of Denver, where he stayed for the remainder of his college education.  During his senior year, Charles went to study with one of England's top bass players, Michael Mandesir (John McLaughlin, Tina Turner, Alan Holdsworth).

    He became well-versed in many styles of music including Jazz, Rock, Latin, World, Funk, RnB, HipHop, and Blues.  Some of the musicians/bands he has worked with include:  Hazel Miller, Joe Bonner, Future Jazz Project, The Kinetix, Savage Henry, Elin Palmer, Greg Harris, and James Oneil.  He has become and remains one of the top bass players in the Colorado area and also teaches cello.  Call us or go to our Contact Us page and we will schedule your FREE intro lesson with Charles.


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

Chris Mercer

Matt Amundson

Charles Mertens

Carol 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 expecially gifted at teaching young, beginning students.

Call today or go to our Contact Us page and schedule your FREE introductory lesson with Carol - today!

​Chris studied for many years under Dr. Scott Martin of Julliard School of Music.  He has appeared on world-wide television with his group Valor and shared the stage with many famous acts including Ratt, Warrant, Winger, L.A. Guns, Cinderalla, Slaughter, Brett Michaels, Steelheart, David Lee Roth, and Night Ranger.  In 2008 he appeared at the famous Rocklahoma fest in front of an audience of 40,000 people.  He has played just abut every major venue in Colorado and has played on the LA strip and in New York at the world famous Cat Club.  Chris has also experienced thousands of hours of studio time while recording several albums of original music.

     Chris specializes in lower costal breathing technique and multi-resonance placement to help singers achieve power, perfect tone and stamina.  He uses videos to help students visualize and understand what they are doing and how to get to the tactics and techniques that will give them success in Rock, Pop, or Country styles.

    Wth countless hours of stage time, on all sizes of stages, Chris also enjoys helping performers reach their best appearance and uses video to help students see for themselves how they look while they perform.

     Chris joined CMI in 2012 and is still very excited to be added to the roster of exceptional teachers and musicians and looks forward to meeting and helping many people reach their dreams and goals in music and performance.  Call us or go to our About Us page to make your FREE music lesson appointment with Chris.

James Nelson



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.

Charles began playing cello at the age of 10.  By the time he was 12 he had begun training on guitar and bass which would become his true passion​.  His bass playing led him to the Denver School for Arts for high school.


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!  

Pricing information can be found under the About Us page.

Chris is a vocalist who started singing at age 6,  He was twice selected to the Colorado All State Choir and two-times outstanding soloist at the prestigious Greeley Jazz Fest.

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.

​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.

Bass Guitar & Cello

Drum Teachers

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

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.

Our Musician/Instructors

Carol Roper

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.  This gave her the foundation for a life-long passion for music.

Bill Travis

    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.

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 five years.  He teaches ukelele 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.

Stu Miller

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.  

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. 


Kevin Dykstra

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 the Colorado State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA) where she was the Vice-President for Student Activities and is an officer 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.

Don Satterfield

Kerry Cottingham