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
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
Carly Whiteman – Vocal & Piano
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.
Jimmy Chalfant – Drums
Jimmy grew up with all types of music in his home, from classical to jazz, R&B, progressive rock, and everything in between. His parents both played violin and his two brothers played guitar in bands that practiced in the basement. Their bands would often leave their equipment at the house, so he would come home from school, jump on the drums, and start whaling away. 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 and gave him a whole new appreciation of the concept of groove. According to Jimmy, that was a big turning point in his drumming and made him a much better musician. A member of Kix since 1979 Jimmy has recorded 7 major label studio albums and toured extensively across the states as well as Japan and England. His vast amount of playing and touring experiences make him a very valuable member of our instructor team.
Brian Forsythe – Guitar
Brian started out wanting to be a garbage man but then the Beatles came along and changed everything. He was into music as far back as he can remember. Even before the Beatles the twangy telecaster sounds on Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” and “Ring Of Fire” caught his 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. He played in a variety of cover bands over the next few years. Some of the bands that influenced his style from that time period were Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Foghat, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Robin Trower and of course The Rolling Stones.
He was on his way home from a gig one night and stopped into 7-11 for a late night snack when Ronnie Younkins approached him and asked if he’d be interested in starting an original band with him and Donnie Purnell. Before long The Shooze were born in his parents’ basement. A year and a half later they had the line up that would become Kix. Years of touring and recording followed, including with his other band Rhino Bucket. The touring and recording continues to this day and has made Brian a valuable instructor of not only the guitar, but also of what it takes to be a professional musician.
Jeff Barnhart – Bass Guitar
Jeff is a self taught musician who has been playing for 30 years. He picked up the bass guitar at the age of 16 and learned the instrument by playing along to his favorite bands Van Halen , Iron Maiden and Rush to name a few. Over the years he has come to appreciate and play all styles of music. He has performed with several local cover and original bands including Jester and Dirty Deal, both of which he is currently a member. He has done studio work with several local artists over the years and has been performing consistently with bands since 1988. Jeff teaches beginner to intermediate bass lessons. Expect to learn basic skills to build a good foundation including technique, timing and an introduction to theory.
Vijay-Kumar Solanki – Piano/Guitar/Violin/Drums
Vijay is a mostly self-taught multi-instrumentalist, playing for almost 40 years, and has been an instructor since 1985. Vijay’s first instrument was the violin, which he started to study in elementary school. Other instruments came soon after, mostly in the form of misusing household items – he would strum tennis rackets and luggage, and use pencils to drum on the couch. This was the time period where he also wrote his first song, “Ooh baby, you’re gonna be my girlfriend tonight.” This song, happily, never charted. After seeing his passion for the tennis racket, a sister bought him his first guitar. This unleashed his ego. Vijay attended Shepherd College, majoring in Music Composition / Music Education, with instrument majors of Guitar and Violin, and minored in Piano. He is a member of NAfME. He has knowledge of many aspects of “band” work, including performing, recording, engineering, and producing. His performances and seminars have underwhelmed not just many in the tri-state area, but has also underwhelmed many in places such as Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin. Vijay’s incorporates a holistic and student-centered style to his teaching… “Teaching is a two-way street for me- to keep it, you have to be willing to give it away. It’s part all of that ‘music stuff’ and part ‘human stuff’. It’s the quantitative and qualitative.” Vijay sites the only reason that he doesn’t like to teach as, “Eventually, everyone gets better than me.”
Alec Barnhart – Drums
Alec started playing drums at the age of 8 after receiving an American Idol starter kit for Christmas. That led to him taking percussion at school through his elementary and junior high years. In high school he started to develop his style of play through his love of the classic rock artists of the 1970’s and 80’s. His major influences include Neal Peart, Alex Van Halen and Rod Morgenstein. During that time he studied privately under Nick Dahlberg who instilled in him an appreciation for all types of drum styles. He’s taken all those techniques and applied them to his style of teaching. He has done studio work including playing on the Nicholas Pare album “Memory”. He has performed live with local bands Jester, Nicholas Pare and Crush Theory as well. Alec will be teaching fundamental drum techniques as well as an introduction to reading drum sheet music.
Rob Galpin – Guitar
“I remember putting the needle on a 45 of Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’ and wondering if everybody else heard what I heard… That’s where it all began for me.”
As guitarist and songwriter for Steve Whiteman’s post-KIX band, Funny Money, Rob was fortunate to have a five year run playing with Steve Whiteman, Jimmy Chalfant, Mark Schenker, and Dean Cramer from 2003 to 2008. Rob has a well-developed background of advanced guitar technique and music theory with an emphasis on the theory and guitar techniques of classic and modern rock ranging from Beatles to Van Halen to Taylor Swift.
Rob’s teaching experience spans his career. From basement bands in the 70’s, to bar bands in the 80’s, to praise & worship groups today, Rob’s definition of “being in a band” means: a mutual quest to learn, teach, and develop musical craft. He calls it a 40-year long research project filled with teaching, learning and invention.
“I remember plugging my brother’s guitar into his stereo tape deck and turning the input ALL THE WAY UP and banging the opening chords to ‘Pinball Wizard’ – amazed that I could wield such a force in my hands. I want to open the door to that same joy for every student I teach.”