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) and as a one-on-one tutor for middle and high school students.
In addition to operating Yellow Door Music Studio with her husband Justin, Melia serves as a choral accompanist for the Girls’ Choral Academy (Grand Rapids, MI) and an online ESL teacher through VIPKid. Melia lives in west Grand Rapids with her husband and their two cats, Mama and Murray.
Melia specializes in preschool through middle school beginners.
She is also developing preschool group music classes.
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 high-caliber domestic and international artists. Justin is an active performer in the Grand Rapids area, serving as a Choral Accompanist at Jenison High School (Jenison, MI) and Pianist for All Souls Community Church (Grand Rapids, MI), in addition to numerous freelance collaborations.
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, a growing piano studio in west Grand Rapids. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for group piano at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI). He previously taught group and applied piano 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. Justin lives with his wife Melia and their cats in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Hear recordings and learn more at justincolwell.com.
Justin specializes in intermediate and advanced students,
pre-collegiate piano majors, and adult beginners. He is also developing group piano courses for adult beginners and
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!