Woodwind Teachers

Melinda Matthews - Clarinet / Saxophone

Melinda Matthews is now offering private clarinet and saxophone lessons in the Northwest Arkansas area. Melinda received a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Illinois State University. She has been a professional clarinetist for the past 30 years, playing with the Charleston Symphony (WV), Peoria Symphony (IL), and the Pasadena Symphony (CA). She has performed the Mozart Concerto with the Occidental Symphony and has been a member of the Santa Monica Opera, Springfield Ballet, and the Mozark Orchestra.

Melinda's former students have won top positions in All-State bands and some have gone on to college to pursue music degrees. She is a member of the International Clarinet Association, Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women, and NAMM.

Bill Punch - Brass / Woodwind

Bill Punch has 30 years experience as a music educator. Now retired as a high school band director, his last 26 years of teaching was at Webb City schools in Webb City, Missouri. In his tenure at Webb City he taught all instruments grade 6-12 as band director and jazz band director. His bands performed on several national venues including the 2006 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. He has had numerous students successfully audition for All-State and All-Region Band and his bands have received over 25 first division ratings while he was director. Whatever your student's goals for private lessons - Bill can accommodate. His number one priority is making the student feel at ease while encouraging the need to practice while never forgetting the big picture - THAT MUSIC IS FUN!

Bill presently lives in Neohso, Missouri with his wife Vicki. He has 3 grown boys and 3 grandchildren - including 2 in Bella Vista. He is presently the musical director for the Jack Mitchell Big Band and plays trumpet in the Bella Vista Big band. He also has performed with the Bella Vista Community Band and is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator in the area.

Belinda Thomas - Brass / Woodwind

Belinda Thomas is a native Arkansan and graduate of Henderson State University where she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree with concentration in instrumental music. She began her music career as Director of Bands at Greenbriar High School in 1982 and has 33 years experience as a music educator. Now retired as a middle school and high school band director, her last 29 years of teaching were at Elmwood Jr. High, Kirksey Middle School and Rogers High School in Rogers, AR. In her tenure at Rogers, she taught all band instruments with an emphasis on beginning and intermediate instruction. She also assisted Rogers High School Bands. Belinda has had many students successfully audition for All-Region and All-State Bands and her marching and concert groups received multiple first division ratings. As a young person, Belinda's goal was to pass on the love of music and playing to young and old alike throughout her life. Some of her greatest accomplishments are former students who have gone on to have successful careers as band directors and professional musicians. Belinda is currently Worship Leader at Lowell Assembly of God in Lowell, AR. It is with excitement that she joins the teaching staff of Arkansas Musicworks.

Kristin Wages - Flute

Kristin Wages grew up in West Plains, MO and holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Missouri State University and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Arkansas. Mrs. Wages is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has experience in an elementary music classroom (beginning her teaching career in Green Forest, AR) as well as a band setting. She launched the Decatur band program in 2005 which nearly quadrupled in size during her 10 year tenure as band director. During this time several Decatur students were selected to numerous honor bands including the Arkansas All-State Band and All-State Jazz Band. Her former students have pursued music degrees of their own.

Kristin joined the Musicworks team in November 2013 and has enjoyed playing flute for different occasions in the community including the memorial services for Mrs. Helen Walton. Her primary teachers include Mr. Larry Bridges, Dr. Jill Heyboer, Dr. Belva Prather, and Dr. Ronda Mains. Kristin and her husband, Chris, welcomed their first child, Brett, into the world last year.
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