Below is a list of the staff that run Madison Music Foundry. To browse instructors, please click here.
Mike Olson is the owner of Blast House Studios LLC, along with the Madison Music Foundry LLC and 24/7 Rehearsal Studios LLC. Mike has been involved with music for most of his life starting with his music experience playing in punk rock bands and organizing shows that have taken him throughout the country gaining a deep appreciation for the power of music and the community that surrounds it. In the fall of 2006 he made the leap into the entrepreneurial life and self employment as he opened the Madison Music Foundry. Now along with Blast House Studios and 24/7 Rehearsal Studios he works (pretty much everyday) to provide quality resources for musicians of all talents, ages and backgrounds with the resources needed to work their skills and perfect their craft.
Brett began playing the piano before he could walk. By eighth grade he started teaching himself to play guitar and before long, music occupied nearly every second of his free time. When thrust into the corporate world after earning his Art Degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison, Brett continued to be musically active while sharpening his organization and management skills in the office. Brett currently plays bass and guitar in the Madison based band Pale Young Gentlemen which was named "Band of the Year" for 2007 by The Isthmus and has toured nationally with shows in 36 states. When not playing music or disc golf, Brett enjoys art, film, travel, coffee, maps, and board games. Brett's responsibilities at Madison Music Foundry focus on overseeing the day-to-day activities of the lively 7,000 square foot facility. With the primary goal of providing the best possible experience for every musician at the Foundry, Brett is available to help you.
Ken started playing bass when he was 13 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in Bass Performance from UW-Madison studying under jazz great Richard Davis (Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Sarah Vaughn). After college he played in many bands and toured extensively with Madison-based Irish rockers The Kissers. As the founder, manager, and a member, Ken had plenty to do as the band played over 1,000 shows in 39 states across the U.S. The Kissers were voted Madison's Favorite Local Band six times by the Isthmus Readers Poll and in 2009 received the Best Rock Album award from the Madison Area Music Association Awards for their album Live Candy Ratz. In 2010 Ken completed an MBA in Arts Administration from UW-Madison. He his happy to combine his real life experience of being a full-time musician with the management skills he learned in his graduate work to help Madison Music Foundry offer the best in music education.
A UW-Madison School of Music graduate, Chris has 18 years experience as a drummer, percussionist, and teacher. He shares his passion for drumming with students of all ages and skill levels. Chris teaches technique and concepts for drum set, orchestral percussion, hand drums, and marching percussion.
With the drum set as his primary instrument, Chris teaches genres ranging from rock, jazz, progressive, blues, funk, and Latin. He offers lessons in hand percussion and is also a drum circle facilitator for VSA Wisconsin. In addition, Chris offers instruction on orchestral and marching percussion, developed in his UW studies and previous experience as Associate Percussion Director at Kettle Moraine high school. In addition to drum and percussion lessons at The Foundry he also coaches Rock Workshops. Chris currently performs with The Secret Society of Starfish, which has afforded him great experiences such as opening for Yes and King's X.
Operations / Program Management
Elise started on piano at age 5 and added oboe at 11, after which she became an avid member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, the WI State Honors Bands and Orchestras, and nearly every summer music clinic she could find in the state. She received a B.S. from UW-Madison that included Music Performance. Since then, she has at some point or another been a member of the Madison Savoyards, Edgewood College Orchestra, Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, and others. She currently works in the Foundry's main office, helping with scheduling, facilities, and operations.
In memoriam - Sandy
For many years Sandy enjoyed her work keeping the lobby of Madison Music Foundry a friendly atmosphere for parents and students. She was a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog and a cancer survivor. Her favorite past times included couch warming, chasing her ball down the hallway and receiving treats from many generous people.
You can view and leave memories of her on her Facebook Page.