Private Lesson Faculty


Jennifer Keeney –

Jennifer Keeney’s playing and teaching reflect her joyful, creative and dynamic approach to music and the flute. Ms. Keeney enjoys collaborating with a variety of Classical, Jazz, Pop, Latin, and World Musicians. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician as well as giving classes and workshops throughout Texas, the United States and abroad. Jennifer served as Flute and Piccolo in the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Principal Flute of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the New World Symphony and has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera and Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, among others.

Ms. Keeney, the “Creative Flutist” is the owner and creator of The Creative Flutist Studio and also teaches in the Round Rock High Schools in Austin, Texas. Jennifer was the Affiliate Artist of Flute at the University of Houston, Moores School of Music for the past 9 1/2 years. She taught at the Interlochen National Music Camp and the Bowling Green University Summer Flute Camp, at The Baylor Flute Seminar and Floot Fire. Now her summers are spent teaching and performing on the flute faculty of The Panoramic Flutist at The University of Colorado, The Texas Summer Flute Symposium, and is celebrating 12 years of her summer Creative Flutist Classes in Austin, Texas.

She is the author of several books, Creative Practice Ideas and Exercises for the Whole Musician – Flute, is available as an e-book and in hard cover. She is also the author of Creative Practice Recipes: Flute Flash Set 1 & 2 and The Creative Flutist. Ms. Keeney completed 3 years of training as an Alexander Technique teacher and is certified as a Yoga Teacher by Dharma Yoga in Austin, Texas. Ms. Keeney received her flute performance education from The University of Michigan, Royal Northern College of Music in England, University of Southern California and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Jennifer is grateful to all her teachers and her principal teachers include Clemente Barone, Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, Judith Bentley, Leone Buyse, Walfrid Kujala, Keith Underwood, Jim Walker and Trevor Wye.

In her free time she enjoys being in nature, yoga, nature, poetry, friends, writing and volunteering at the animal shelter and playing at assisted care homes. Jennifer adores being an aunt to her two nieces and two nephews and has two wonderful sisters whom she treasures, her twin sister Rebecca and younger sister Allison. She moved to Austin, Texas in January, 2015.

Sheila Smail –

Sheila’s colorful background in ensembles such as orchestra, band, choir, chamber music, acapella, and drumline has ultimately shaped her love for teaching private lessons. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Flute Performance at the University of Houston and her Master’s Degree in Music Performance at the University of New Mexico.

Sheila has a fun, creative, and encouraging approach to teaching that focuses on combining passion and emotion with the core music fundamentals of melody, harmony, rhythm, and style. She currently teaches private flute, piano, and voice lessons at Round Rock Music. Her studio is comprised of 32 students of various background and skill level, ranging in age from 3 to 30!

Outside of the classroom, Sheila enjoys performing flute and lead vocals for Primo Tango Latin Jazz Ensemble and writing and recording songs for her new collaborative music projects Sheilava and City of Decades.


Ashley Cook –

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Ashley received her Bachelor’s in Oboe Performance and minor in Music Entrepreneurship from the University of South Carolina. She was the recipient of the Leadership Scholars grant, which funded outreach performances for her award-winning woodwind quintet, Garnet Winds. In May of 2016, she received her Master’s in Oboe Performance from the University of Texas, where she was the holder of the prestigious Recruitment Fellowship.

Since moving to Austin in 2014, she has been a finalist for the University of Texas Concerto Competition, freelances in the Austin area, and frequently subs with the Brazos Valley and San Antonio Symphonies. She also holds an extensive studio of aspiring young oboists in the Austin area, and is an instructor in the summer at the nationally recognized Bocal Majority/Operation O.B.O.E. double reed camps.



Bassoonist Adam Drake is an active musician across the central Texas region. Based in Austin, Adam teaches a large studio of middle and high school bassoon students. While a student at The University of Texas, Adam performed with the University’s Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and on many recitals and chamber concerts at the Butler School of Music.

His past summer experiences include the National Music Festival, Brevard Music Center’s Institute, and the opportunity of performing as bassoonist for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra’s 55th season. As a founding member of listen, a wind quintet, and bassoonist for prismatx ensemble, a contemporary chamber ensemble in Austin TX, Adam is also a dynamic chamber musician.

In May 2017, Adam was awarded a Master of Music degree from The University of Texas’s Butler School of Music. His former teachers and other musical inspirations include Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Jeff Keesecker, and Amanda Swain.


Dr. Nicholas Councilor –

Nicholas Councilor is currently on the faculty at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also teaches master classes and private lessons to many students in the Austin area and is a clinician for the D’Addario Woodwinds Method Program. He serves on the faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Center and has been on the faculty for the UT Butler School of Music’s Longhorn Music Camps since 2013.

Recently, Nicholas performed as guest principal clarinetist with the Dallas Winds in their performance at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in San Jose, CA. During his time at UT, he regularly performed as principal clarinetist in both the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and in 2014, he performed in nine concerts with the UT Wind Ensemble in a tour across the United States, Asia, and Europe. In February 2015, he was a soloist with the UT Wind Ensemble in a world premiere performance of John Corigliano’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra transcribed by Craig B. Davis. Nicholas is a member of the Round Rock Symphony and performs with the San Antonio Symphony on numerous occasions each year. As an avid chamber musician, he has earned the silver medal at the prestigious 2016 Fischoff Competition and is a prizewinner of both the Coleman and Plowman chamber music competitions.

Dr. Councilor earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance at The University of Texas at Austin, where he served as both Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor (replacing a faculty position) for the clarinet studio. Originally from Michigan, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Eastern Michigan University, graduating summa cum laude.



Dan Bechdolt is an accomplished musician, composer, and educator who has lived in Austin, TX for the past 17 years. Mr. Bechdolt hails from Southern California, but relocated to Denton, TX to study at the University of North Texas where he received his Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies – Performance in 2000. While at UNT, Bechdolt studied under Woody Witt, Jay Miglia, Dan Haerle, Mike Steinel, Keith Javors, and Alan Baylock.

While in Denton, Bechdolt co-founded the soul-funk collective Mingo Fishtrap, who continues to record and tour nationally and internationally to this day. The band has performed alongside greats such as Sting, Snarky Puppy, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Blues Traveler, Earth Wind & Fire, Trombone Shorty, & Parliament Funkadelic among many others.

For the past 13 years, when not on the road, Bechdolt has taught saxophone privately in the north Austin area and his students are often recognized at the state level. Bechdolt also frequently clinics local-area jazz bands, and performs with many top local ensembles such as the Red Young Quartet, Red Young and his Hot Horns, the N.O.W. Jazz Orchestra, and the Urban Achievers Brass Band.




Michael Rey is a professional trumpet player residing in Austin, Texas. In a city known for its live music, he has carved an impressive path for himself, in not only performance, but instruction, adjudication and studio work as well. A founding member of the acclaimed Austin-based horn trio, The Fresh 2 Def Horns, Michael has busied his performance schedule with groups of many varying genre. From the Grammy award winning Latin piece, Grupo Fantasma, to another Grammy-awarding winning artist, Country singer/song writer Rick Trevino, to say he is a versatile musician is a gross understatement.

Michael has been a long-standing performer at the well-known jazz venue, The Elephant Room, down in the basement on Congress Ave. in downtown Austin; a place where many aspiring Austin transplant musicians hope to one day cut their teeth on the same stage that has been graced by the likes of Winton Marsallis and Harry Connick, Jr. He is among the elite who have had that opportunity, and he has done so on hundreds of occasions – showcasing his chops as the “high note guy” in various established local jazz ensembles.

In between performances, local and on tour, Michael also has quite the rap sheet as a recording artist, playing both solo and within a horn section. He can be heard on the four records of esteemed Austin group, The Nightowls, many tunes featuring horn lines on which he collaborated creatively as well. Most notably, he has found himself blowing away within the walls of the famed Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley was discovered, in addition to being in the talented hands of Grammy-award winning producer Laurence “Boo” Mitchell at renowned Royal Studios.

Michael’s resume is one to envy, yet some of his proudest accomplishments are those where he is not even the recipient of the glory. For almost 15 years, Michael has been a private trumpet instructor, working with kids from the time they first put a horn to their mouth, to when they’re preparing their college audition material. He has coached several students who have excelled in district, region and state competitions, and many of his mentees have achieved the highest accolades during solo and ensemble performances.

Mr. Rey, as they call him, has helped them hone the skills necessary to enter confidently into their respective universities as aspiring music students. Some of his former students are pursuing their own musical dreams at Stephen F. Austin University (Michael’s Alma Mater), Oberlin Music Conservatory, Texas State, the University of Texas and the University of North Texas.

He has had the honor of being an adjudicator and guest artist at Jazz festivals on an annual basis. For the past 15 summers, he has paid homage to his Alma Mater by traveling back to Nacogdoches, Texas to lead trumpet Master Classes, teach private lessons and perform as a guest artist with the campers.

Michael is married and has two children with one on the way!