Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians

FAYM Teachers and Staff

Amy Shirk, Director, Band Classes, Strings Classes, AP Music Theory.
Amy graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. degree in Music Education. She taught at the Mohawk Valley School of Music in Utica, NY for four years before moving to Spotsylvania, VA. She has 27 years experience teaching both privately and in various schools in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Stafford, including Holy Cross Academy and Lafayette Upper Elementary School. Amy also serves as the organist at The Presbyterian Church in Fredericksburg. Her two sons, Brendan (21) and Aaron (19) were homeschooled from birth through high school, and are FAYM alumni. They now attend The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA.

Rana Strickland
Choral Groups, Music Theory.
Rana is a veteran homeschool parent who has a B.A. from Mary Washington College with a double major in Music and in Elementary Education. She has taught many music, science, and enrichment classes in the homeschool community through other co-ops over the years, and currently teaches Chorus at GHC and private piano. She has experience working with choirs and soloists throughout high school and college and in the homeschool community. Rana has taught Chorus at Grace Homeschool Co-op from 2007 to present, and FAYM Theory and Chorus classes from 2010 to present.

Zach Ware, Percussion Classes, Music Theory.
Zach Ware has been a percussionist for 20 years. He has a degree in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied with Peter Martin, Brian Jones, Billy Martin and John D’Earth. Zach has experience with a variety of musical styles; he has played with classical ensembles like the Rappahannock Pop Orchestra and the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony to more contemporary groups like the Fredericksburg Big Band, the Riverside Dinner Theater pit orchestra and his experimental jazz duo, blue jay. Zach loves all aspects of music and really loves teaching as well as learning. He teaches all levels and styles of percussion as well as music theory.

Lane Drum, Guitar Classes.
Lane has taught privately in Richmond, VA and Garwood, NJ, including classical, jazz, rock, bluegrass, and acoustic solo genres. Currently, he teaches at Pickers Supply. He received a Bachelor of Arts in classical guitar performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, also the Berklee College of Music. Lane has performed in New York City in various locations, including the Knitting Factory. He currently freelances and performs in the Fredericksburg area.

Elizabeth Kennedy, Piano Classes, Recorder, Elementary Music, Music Theory.
Elizabeth, a veteran homeschool parent, has been teaching piano and voice lessons privately for over 20 years. She has directed children's choirs and numerous children's plays. She has also encouraged many homeschooled families in music over the past 16 years. She has been teaching piano lessons at Faith Baptist Schools since 2013. She toured Europe as an Ambassador of Music for the state of Nebraska, performing in the choir and band. She also enjoyed playing in the Jazz Band at Mid-Plains College.

She serves in the music ministry at her local church in piano instrumentation, choir, singing special music, and playing the clarinet in the orchestra.

Luke Gray, Orchestra Assistant, Music Theory.

Luke Gray, a FAYM alumni, is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in violin, bass, and Chapman Stick. He has many years of teaching experience, having taught at such places as Creative Music Academy, Roberson’s Music, Forte Music Studios and Potomac Arts Academy, as well as various Spotsylvania and Stafford public schools. He is fluent in many styles of music including jazz, classical, country, and Celtic. He performs regularly as a Freelance Musician as well as occasionally with orchestras and bands, including Mary Washington Philharmonic, Rappahannock POPS, Riverside Dinner Theatre, Moch Pryderi, Fredericksburg Jazz Collective, and Christian Youth Theatre. His debut album, “Solid Yet Free” received a feature on Stick.com. Luke hopes to expand the musical horizons of his students with all things that are able to be achieved through music.