UMC Instructors

UMC’s educators are university trained musicians who are dedicated to teaching.
UMC only partners with confident and accomplished professionals who believe in making a difference in people’s lives through the gift of music!

Michael Allen

Main instrument taught at UMC: Drums

Military service: U.S. Army (8 years), and toured with the Army Band and SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) International Band

Education: Michael attended the Armed Forces School of Music where he focused on big band drumming. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education – Instrumental Music K-12 from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire where he majored in percussion with a special emphasis on classical marimba.

Additional Experience: Michael was born in Eau Claire, WI, and began teaching private drum lessons in 1976! During his military career, Michael was initially stationed at Fort Sill, OK, with the 77th Army Band. In early 1986, he received an invitation to join the newly-formed Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) International Band (stationed near Mons, Belgium), where he served alongside musicians from several NATO member nations, as well as a core group of U.S. Army musicians. In Michael’s five years with the SHAPE International Band, he toured throughout central & Northern Europe, performing in public-relations concerts, as well as troop morale support.

Michael’s knowledge of musical styles ranges from symphonic, to big-band jazz, to rock, to country. After leaving the Army in 1991, he began a career in computer-aided drafting (CAD), retiring from Skyline Displays in 2020.

Michael is extremely happy to be a part of the instructional staff at Universal Music Center, finally returning to his chosen career as a music teacher. And we are thrilled to have him share his depth of experience and knowledge!

David Melbye

Main instrument taught at UMC: Piano

Other instruments: Guitar, Ukulele, Voice, Electric Bass, Q chord, Reverie Harp, Native American Flute, Lap Dulcimer

Education: David holds a Bachelor of Music History from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and a BA Equivalency in Music Therapy from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. David has also studied Practical Nursing and musical theater.

Additional Experience: David has been a board certified music therapist (MT-BC) since 2000 and has served hospice patients for many years, continuing today to serve in this setting. David has presented at state, regional, and national music therapy conferences on a variety of topics.

David is a classically trained choral singer and a songwriter with three studio recorded solo albums and several singles. Additionally, he has appeared on numerous albums and compilations by other artists.

David has many years of experience as an in person and virtual teacher and music leader in both private and group lesson settings. He also teaches music theory, songwriting, arranging, recording, and live performance. His primary musical styles include folk, pop/rock, jazz, classical/orchestra, Americana, and more.

David admires and has been influenced by many popular artists and his primary musical inspiration has been Todd Rundgren. He has additionally studied jazz guitar with Reynold Philipsek of Minnesota and Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar with “Uncle” Harry Koizumi of Oahu.

Kris Pichelman

Main instruments taught at UMC: Piano

Other instruments: Voice, bassoon

Education and Studies: Kris has a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental and Vocal Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Minnesota.

Additional Experience: Kris performs and teaches as a pianist, vocalist, and bassoonist. She has taught in school band and choirs, directed church choirs and worship bands, and taught private students for many years. Kris has been an educator teaching music and band in the Red Wing and Lake City school districts, and has spent years performing and teaching throughout the south metro area.

Kris has performed with many community music groups, most recently the Rosemount Community Band and the Dakota Valley Symphony. She performs in churches as a vocal soloist and pianist. Her primary performance genres include Christian contemporary, folk, and classical, and she enjoys teaching all styles of music.

Kris resides in her hometown of Lake City where she enjoys outdoor activities, baking, and home preserving. She has three young adult children.

Kris loves teaching all aspects of music and all ages of students from beginners to advanced! She aims to introduce beginning students to a variety of music in order to help them develop their interests and personal sound. “I try to meet each student where they are and I work the musical concepts into the style that works for them” she said.

Guitar Instructor Staff

Teaching guitar, songwriting, music theory.
Also available: banjo, ukelele, mandolin.

Josh Goyette

Josh Goyette started playing guitar at age 13. Early on in his guitar life, he found himself not only interested in learning the instrument itself, but learning how his teachers were instructing him. He was soon teaching peers to play guitar! Josh is a patient educator and he focuses on helping students define attainable goals that build confidence and self-motivation. “With confidence, students will be able to move out of their comfort zone and push themselves to try new things. But you have to make it fun,” he said. “Get them into the music that they’ve envisioned themselves playing.”

Josh has performed in countless bands for live shows and worked as studio musician for various genres, and his primary musical styles include pop, folk, Americana, and jazz.

I love performing, but my passion is teaching,” Josh said. “It gives me joy when my students learn something new, master a skill, and gain self-assurance. I’m so grateful to UMC for providing the space and opportunity for me to do what I love.

Ethan Lee

Ethan Lee Sadler has been making music since the age of seven! In his 30 years on stage and in studio, he has learned the ropes through trials, successes, and continued practice and education. As a founding member of the Tennessee Stiffs, he has achieved a wide breadth of national touring experience. With three critically acclaimed albums, Ethan exemplifies proficiency in songwriting, music and video production, and studio recording. Ethan plays and teaches a wide range of musical styles, including folk, bluegrass, Americana, country, rock, and blues.

Ethan attended the University of Texas, Austin, where he received a degree in Psychology and Music Therapy. Ethan has a multifaceted approach to teaching. “It is important to figure out how the student learns and facilitate his or her process of understanding,” he said.

Music is my life. It is how I communicate with people, and I love helping others learn and convey that language for themselves. I am excited to plant roots and spread my love for music at UMC,” Ethan said.

Kyle McKim

Kyle McKim started his musical career in the 9th grade with lessons at UMC. He formed a rock band while continuing to utilize the structured learning at UMC throughout high school, and has been playing ever since! Kyle has 15 years of experience with guitar and has played in bands for 10 years, continuing today to play in rock cover bands. He teaches all styles of music, specializing in rock, metal, and pop.

Kyle also works as an art teacher. He holds a studio art degree and K-12 Art teaching license through the U of M Morris. As an experienced educator, Kyle recognizes the diversity of learning styles, paths, and goals in each individual student. “I structure lessons around the music that my student wants to learn. Then I teach the musical elements, such as scales, in relation to those songs.”

Kyle is an enthusiastic educator– “As a student musician, the UMC program helped me achieve my dream! I’m excited to be here now as an instructor, guiding others in their own musical journey.”