meet our teachers
MELIA SNEDEN COLWELL fell in love with the piano at six years old, itching to start lessons as soon as her parents would let her! A Hudsonville native, Melia developed her love of music through private lessons, choir, orchestra, fiddle clubs, musicals, and band leading at her local church. She earned her degree in Applied Music and History from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN), where she studied piano with Phoenix Park-Kim.
Melia’s love of teaching has led to experiences with students of all age levels and abilities. From 2016 to 2018, she worked as the Manager of Education at Wonderscope Children’s Museum (Kansas City, MO), where she designed and led weekly Music and Movement classes and completed courses in early childhood education. Melia has also worked as a Montessori teacher at Stepping Stones Montessori School (Grand Rapids, MI), a one-on-one tutor for middle and high school students, and a choral accompanist for Girls' Choral Academy (Grand Rapids, MI).
In addition to operating Yellow Door Music Studio with her husband Justin, Melia serves as a choral accompanist for children's choirs at Mayflower Congregational Church and a Music Together instructor at Joyful Sounds Music Studio. Melia lives with her family in west Grand Rapids.
JUSTIN COLWELL began playing the piano at age four and has enjoyed making music as a soloist, collaborative pianist, conductor, and church musician ever since. A native of central Indiana, he has performed as a soloist with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra (2014; Marion, IN), won the collegiate division of the 2016 Indiana Music Teachers Association Hoosier Audition, and appeared in master classes with renowned domestic and international artists. Justin is an active performer in the West Michigan area, serving as a dance accompanist at Hope College (Holland, MI), choral accompanist at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI), and pianist for All Souls Community Church (Grand Rapids, MI).
While Justin enjoys performing regularly in a variety of styles and settings, sharing his love of music as an educator is one of his greatest joys. He is a cofounder and teacher at Yellow Door Music Studio (Grand Rapids, MI) and an adjunct faculty member for group piano at Grand Valley State University. He previously taught group and applied piano as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Justin completed his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with Robert Weirich. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Honors Humanities from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN), where he studied piano with Phoenix Park-Kim and conducting with Jason Thompson. He is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) through Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and serves on the board of its local affiliate, Piano Teachers’ Forum of Grand Rapids.
Justin lives with his wife Melia, daughter Margot, and furry children Murray, Mama, and Emmie in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Hear recordings and learn more at justincolwell.com.
OUR MASCOTS: MURRAY & MAMA
What home would be complete without a couple of furry friends? Murray and Mama joined the Sneden Colwell family in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Their hobbies including napping, wrestling, cuddling, and chasing toy mice and jingle balls. They are happy to say “hello” or hang out upstairs if cats aren’t your thing. They’ll enjoy hearing you play either way!