Fine Arts Conservatory

PDS Fine Arts Conservatory

Looking to set your son or daughter up with private music or art lessons? Then the following information is for you!

Private Lesson Guidelines

  1. Art lessons are $50 per hour and music lessons are $25 per half-hour.  
  2. Music lessons will be billed 4x each school year (Oct, Dec, March, May) . Fees for private art lessons are paid directly to the instructor. 
  3. All lessons and communications are scheduled and exchanged directly with each specific instructor.  
  4. In the event of illness, tardiness, or forgetfulness, you will still be charged for the lesson. There will be no make-up lessons.
  5. In the event the instructor must miss a lesson, there will be no charge to you, and you may opt for a make-up lesson.
  6. We ask that you please do not confer with your child’s instructor either before or after his lesson, as the instructor will normally have another lesson scheduled at that time.
  7. The best way to contact the instructor is via email. Contact information and instructor biographies are listed below.
Darla Linerode-Henson – art –
Darla has been the Elementary art instructor at PDS for the last 17 years. She holds a BFA in Art Education and an MFA in Sculpture, and has studied over the course of the years at Memphis College of Art, Atlanta College of Art, Getty Center for the Arts, and the University of Memphis. In addition to receiving numerous awards as an art educator, she has published several art curricula in both textbooks and workbooks used by the Getty Art Museum, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and the Wonders Exhibition Series. She also teachers Art Ed 3411 at the UofM. Her personal artwork has been shown in various local and regional galleries, and her most recent efforts can be seen at LeBonheur Children’s Hopsital and the UofM’s Tigers Around Town.

Dawn Southerland
– piano –
Dawn is a Memphis native who has always loved music. Growing up, she regularly participated in various piano competitions and choral festivals. She received her BA in Music Education with a piano minor, and later received her Master’s in Orff-Schulwerk, studying piano with Samuel Viviano (a graduate of Julliard). She began teaching piano lessons when she was in high school, and continued all through college and into her professional life. She is the mother of two children, one of whom took piano lessons and one who did not.  Dawn testifies that the one who did not take lessons (and now plays guitar and bass in a band) deeply regrets not doing so, and the child who did take lessons credits the discipline she developed with her piano study with her current success in college as a biochemical engineering major.  As a teacher, Dawn firmly believes that the piano can be used as a great ‘stepping stone’ to both mastering other instruments and promoting self-discipline in various other areas of life. Additionally, Dawn has been a member of the Memphis Symphony Chorus and is currently serving as the Vice President of the Memphis Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.

Bill McMath
– guitar, piano, mandolin –
Basically, if it has strings, this man can play it! Before coming to PDS in 2001 to serve as the instrumental music teacher, Mr. Mac had a variety of jobs in the music business. He taught music appreciation, guitar, and piano at Southwest TN Community College and worked as a studio musician both in Memphis and Nashville, mainly with Media General Studio doing radio and TV commercials. In the mid 70s he toured with notable country music singers, Tanya Tucker, Lynn Anderson, and Jerry Reed and worked a spell in LA, where he played extensively on the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood film, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Furthermore, for 30+ years, Bill was contracted as a pit orchestra musician at the Orpheum, playing for so many Broadway shows that he’s lost count. He can still be found performing around the Memphis community today with Memphis Symphony Pops. He is also a member of both the Memphis Blue Grass Association and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 71, Memphis, TN, where he serves on the board of Directors. Bill holds both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from North Texas State University.
Lisa Ault - piano -
Lisa began studying piano and performing at the age of five, training first in the Japanese "Suzuki" method before later moving to traditional lessons as a young teen. Driven by the experience of teaching private music lessons in high school, Lisa continued her education at the University of Memphis, where she earned a degree in choral music education. At the U of M, she studied classical piano with Dr. Victor Asuncion, a professor and worldwide performer, as well as served as a member of the University Orchestra and the University Singers. In addition, Lisa is very active in the Memphis theatre community, and has sung and played in numerous weddings throughout the city.
Rick Forbus – guitar -
After playing in rock combos in the late 70s, Rick moved to San Antonio to study under Jackie King and jazz legend Herb Ellis at the Southwest Guitar Conservatory. Upon returning to Memphis, he immediately began giving lessons and playing the local venues. His house gigs have included (but are not limited to) The Peabody, The Grand Casino, The Adams Mark, and clubs on Beale Street. He developed “Rock School” in the early nineties, and later, ROCK 3:16.  Between those dates, he authored the three-book series, “The Young Christians’ Guitar Method”. It has been estimated that this professional instructor has given over 30,000 guitar lessons in four different decades, and it is evidenced by the fact that his former students have sold millions of records. On any given night they may be seen performing from Beale Street to stadiums around the world. Rick currently teaches at PDS on Wednesday afternoons. 

Salvatore Guerra – violin –
Salvatore is a recent transplant to Memphis, and after a one-year stint with the Memphis City Schools, is currently working in and around our fair city and county playing various gigs in the music/theatre community. In addition to receiving his BA in Music from Conservatory of Music “Umberto Giordano” in Foggia, Italy, he pursued graduate studies in music performance at the University of Alabama, where he also received a BS in Business Administration. He has performed in numerous solo and ensemble recitals as well as a member in the first violin section of both the Tupelo and Tuscaloosa symphonies. Additionally, he was a violin instructor at the Suzuki Music School in Columbus, MS for 12 years. Salvatore currently teaches at PDS on Monday afternoons.

Michael Patrick Jones -  guitar, sight-singing/solfege -, (901) 334-8433
Michael is currently taking a study break from the University of Memphis, where he is studying guitar performance. He is classically trained and comes to PDS highly recommended by former PDS Conservatory guitar instructor, Aaron Brock. Michael is a Memphis native, who is very active in the Sacred Harp/shape-note/a capella singing world, and who enjoys composing music as much as playing and singing. Michael's schedule is pretty wide-open, so contact him if you're interested!
*We are currently searching for a percussion instructor to replace Joe Burress, who moved to Nashville last May!