instructors

Steve Whiteman – Vocal, Drum, Harmonica and Guitar – Steve Whiteman is a vocal, drum, harmonica, and guitar teacher currently residing in Hagerstown, Maryland. His love for music started young when, as a child, he would scurry home from church to play, by ear, the hymnals he’d heard during Sunday service. From there, he went on to pester all his neighbors with his incessant drum playing in his small town of Piedmont, West Virginia. In due time, the struggle with angry neighbors dissipated, when he was recruited to join The Shooze, later known as Kix. From the band’s earliest days, they placed emphasis on creating an energetic, tight, fun live performance, often having to play 5 hour shows, 5 nights a week. Their time spent honing in on their craft paid off when they signed to Atlantic Records, releasing 4 albums under the label. Following the release of their biggest album, “Blow My Fuse,” Kix toured extensively through the U.S., England, and Japan. To say he has experience in keeping the voice strong under an intense schedule is an understatement. 
Steve began teaching in between the hiatus of Kix and the formation of Funny Money. He has been teaching in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Cumberland, and Hagerstown for over 22 years. During his over 2 decades of experience in teaching, he has deciphered and mastered what needs to be passed down to aspiring singers to keep their voices strong and resilient. In the thousands of lessons he has given, including lessons with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, he has perfected the essential skills of breath support, range extension, and safely hitting notes at the top of a singer’s range. And for those who appreciate the unorthodox things in life, he is also a master in jumping on a bag full of balloons to commemorate a show well done.

Justin Parks- Guitar/ Bass and Drums –Justin Parks is a guitar instructor from Hagerstown MD. Justin began his musical journey at age 14, immediately hitting the local club scene with various bands. He attended Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. He has recorded with members of KIX and L.A. Guns. He has played on stage with national act Steel Panther. In 2010, Justin and his band was given the opportunity to open for legendary rockers KISS at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow VA. Justin has received honorable mention from Vinnie Paul and Dave Navarro for his guitar work.  Justin teaches beginner, intermediate and advanced guitar. Justin has the experience to not only teach you how to play, but also to prepare you for the adventure of being part of a gigging band.”

Jimmy Chalfant – Drums – Jimmy grew up with all types of music in his house, from classical to jazz, R&B, progressive rock, and everything in between. Jimmy’s early influences on drums were Ginger Baker, Don Brewer, John Bonham, and of course that guy in that little band from Liverpool, Ringo Starr. He would spend hours listening to records and trying to copy every beat and every fill. It wasn’t until he discovered AC/DC that his approach to drumming would change forever. Phil Rudd, and Joey Kramer of Aerosmith, educated him and gave him a whole new appreciation of the concept of groove. That was a big turning point in his drumming. Jimmy went on to join The Shooze which turned into KIX. He’s recorded 7 studio albums and toured all over the world with the band and continues to play with KIX today.

Carly Whiteman – Piano/Vocals – Carly Whiteman is a vocal and piano teacher currently residing in Hagerstown, Maryland. She started vocal training with Steve Whiteman, lead singer of Kix, at the age of 10 and proceeded to belt it out whilst simultaneously duck walking around rooms and stages for the rest of her short, peculiar childhood. At the age of 15, she began attending Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, where she studied classical voice performance, piano, and guitar. While attending BISFA, she advanced her working knowledge of music by studying music theory, aural/ear training, and Logic Pro recording classes. She has had the amazing honor of performing at Ram’s Head, The Western Maryland Blues Fest, and countless venues throughout Maryland and the surrounding areas. She is thrilled to be a part of The Maryland Institute of Music to experience and share a craft that she becomes increasingly obsessed with as time moves along.

Brian Forsythe – Guitar – Even before the Beatles,the twangy telecaster sounds on Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” and “Ring Of Fire” caught Brian’s ear as early as 3 or 4 years old. By age 8 his older brother had started showing him some things on the guitar and he learned to play a few Bob Dylan songs. By the time he got out of high school he was playing music full time. Some of the bands that influenced his style from tha time period were Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Foghat, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Robin Trower and The Rolling Stones. Brian went on to help form The Shooze which later turned into KIX. Multiple albums and tours followed. Brian joined another band, Rhino Bucket, which led him to recording more albums and touring all over the world. He continues to record and play shows with KIX. His current residence is in Nashville, but Brian joins us here at the Institute every few months to conduct lessons.

Jeff Barnhart – Bass – Jeff has been playing music since he was 16. Hes’ been playing out with bands since the age of 18. Influenced by bands like Van Halen, Rush, Kiss and other multiple artists from the classic rock golden era, he first picked up a bass to be a part of his best friends band because “that was the only instrument that wasn’t taken yet.” He taught himself to play by learning Van Halen, Kiss, Iron Maiden and 80’s pop songs by ear. He has over the years performed in multiple bands while playing multiple genres of music that includes pop, rock, metal, country, bluegrass, hip hop and originals. He’s recorded albums with Dirty Deal and has played on recordings by other local artists. Jeff teaches beginner to intermediate bass with an intro to music theory.

Alec Barnhart – Drums– Alec starting playing drums at the age of 8 years old on his first “American Idol” drum kit. His interest in the instrument led him to taking it up in his school band in middle school. At 15 he started joining his dad’s band on stage playing songs and he’s been hooked ever since. Major influences include Neil Peart, Alex Van Halen and Jeff Porcaro to name a few. He’s played with bands Nicholas Pare, Jester and Crush Theory. His studio experience includes recording on Nicholas Pare’s debut album. Alec teaches beginner to intermediate drums with an intro to reading drum music and theory.

Amanda Grace Wilkins – Vocal – Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, Amanda Wilkins has been performing since the young age of 12. She has shared the stage with various acts such as Linda Davis, Catfish Hodge, Billy Thompson, as well as touring around the country opening for such acts as Phil Vassar, Travis Tritt, Rascal Flatts and Marty Stewart.
  Amanda is a BMI songwriter and has cowritten many tunes with Ricky Wilkins that have been featured on such cable shows as; Inside The NBA, WWE Wrestling, and the Lifetime Network’s Wife Swap. She has three albums under her belt, is currently working on releasing new original material with co-writer and partner, Sam Stilwell, such as the new release, “Smothered & Covered,” which has been published and released through Bird Dog Records Publishing BMI.
  When she’s not recording, writing, or performing, Amanda is a full-time mother of two, and a vocal instructor at The Rock Room in Winchester, Va, Hedgesville Middle School Honors Choir, and The Maryland Institute of Music