Our Music Instructors


    Dr. Tom Silliman

    Dr. Tom Silliman has been an orchestra director and string teacher with the Brevard County School District for over twenty-five years and is currently teaching in the Bayside High School feeder chain and serving as orchestra director at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay. He is the assistant principal cellist of the Brevard Symphony and previously served as the artistic director/concert orchestra conductor of the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. He frequently performs with many other organizations in the Central Florida area and performs with his wife Becky in the Highwire flute and cello duo. Prior to moving to Brevard County, he served as professor of string education at Southern Utah University for three years. Dr. Silliman has a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from James Madison University and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in cello performance from Arizona State University. Dr. Silliman is also an active member of the Worship Orchestra at First Baptist Melbourne.

  • Guitar

    Kim Jacobs

    Kim knows what it feels like to have a passion to play the guitar and to work hard to accomplish it. It is her desire to help others accomplish their goals and avoid bad habits and pitfalls along the way. She is personally attracted to all forms of guitar styles from rock to the simple beauty of acoustic finger-style guitar. But mostly, Kim loves to raise her instrument up in praise of God and offer back what He has so graciously given to her. She is an active member of the Praise Band at Grace Life Church in Rockledge as lead guitar.

    Her formal training allowed her two years to study classical guitar, music theory and musicianship from Ohlone College and the Mission San Jose School of Guitar in California.As a teacher, Kim is especially interested in developing a strong foundation from the beginning by teaching good technique, note reading and theory. Her professional experience includes playing for weddings and special family events, being a rhythm & lead guitar player in bands, leading worship services in local churches and teaching guitar to children and adults.

  • Piano

    Le Ann Hasker

    Le Ann S. Hasker is the wife of our Academy Director, Pastor David A. Hasker. She holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education and the Master of Education in Educational Administration from Liberty University where she is currently pursuing the Doctor of Music Education. Mrs. Hasker has taught elementary music professionally in both Christian and Public schools in four states. She holds Orff Level III Certification and is currently the elementary music specialist at Viera Elementary School. She has taught piano privately for over 25 years and is the co-director of the Brevard Youth Chorus. She enjoys serving with her husband at First Baptist Melbourne where she sings in the Worship Choir and is the Children’s Choir Coordinator.

  • PIano

    Sara Rhodes

    Sara Rhodes has been playing the piano since the age of five. Having a natural ear for music, she quickly became proficient, even as a young child. Being the daughter of an Air Force Major, she moved often and was constantly awarded new opportunities to serve in every church music department. At the age of thirteen, she began formal training under a local teacher, Leigh Julian. During this time, Sara began to teach and share the gift of music with peers and young students alike. When she moved away to attend college in Jacksonville, Florida, she continued her musical education, both in voice and piano. Sara graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Secondary Education and Music. Today, she and her children attend First Baptist Melbourne where she works on staff as Ministry Assistant to the Worship Pastor and is actively involved in the music department. Sara has taught private piano for over twenty years, including teaching at Gateway previously from 2007-2013. 

  • Piano

    Lisa Wilt

    Lisa J. Wilt has been a private piano teacher for all ages for over 18 years. Since 2007, she has specialized in preschool piano which has inspired her to become the author of Piano Pals Program, a book designed for young musicians. In addition to piano, her background includes teaching elementary music for 19 years in Texas and Florida public and private schools.  Also, she has taught preschool for 5 years in several local Christian schools.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, with minors in organ and music theory from The University of Texas at Austin. She earned a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Kodaly Pedagogy, solfege, and folk song analysis from Sam Houston State University in Texas. She is also certified in Orff Levels I-III from Jacksonville University and the First Steps in Music course. Lisa has a passion for teaching piano and loves to make learning meaningful through games, manipulatives, improvisation, and familiar pieces. Lisa is an active member of Coastline Community Church.

  • PIano / Flute

    Linda Hill

    Linda Hill received a Bachelor of Science in Music Performance from Radford University and a Master of Music Education from Florida State University. She taught beginning band for over 1 year and has taught private music lessons for 30 years. She has participated in the Space Coast Flute Choir, toured as a flutist with the Celebrant Singers, arranged Christian songs and performed for various churches under her Sounds of the Master’s Flute ministry. She has been active in the music ministries of each church she has attended. Currently, at First Baptist Melbourne, she enjoys playing the flute in the Worship Orchestra.

  • Violin

    Jenna Cobb

    Jenna Cobb has been teaching violin privately for over 20 years. As a student, she was concert-mistress of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra in Atlanta, and became assistant concert-mistress of the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra serving for three years before relocating to Melbourne. Jenna is most passionate about playing sacred music in the church. She has involved herself in church orchestras and soloing since the age of 13. She is currently an active member of the Worship Orchestra at First Baptist Melbourne. Excellence and wholeheartedness in worship is one of her primary goals for her students.

  • Violin / Fiddle

    Sarah Dowell

    Sarah graduated with a B.M. in violin performance from Grand Valley State University, studying classical music under Dr. Gregory Maytan and Megan Crawford as well as jazz with Michael Drost. Prior to that she received training under Carla Trynchuk, graduate of the Juilliard School of Music.

    In 2015, Sarah placed first in GVSU's Concerto Competition, soloing the first movement of Jean Sibelius' Concerto in D minor. In 2016 and 2018, she premiered several new works composed for the GVSU New Music Ensemble National Parks Tours. Sarah served in the Battle Creek Symphony and Holland Symphony Orchestra. She currently shares music in a Christian duo called Living By The Stream. She attends First Baptist of Melbourne.

    Sarah has taught students at her home studio and at various academies. She knows how important it is to inspire and capture the interest of students. Thus, she incorporates classical, improvisation, fiddle, jazz, and other genres of interest to the aspiring student.

  • Voice

    Sarah benedick

    Sarah Benedick is returning as a vocal instructor at Gateway Academy. She has over 15 years experience teaching students healthy vocal habits and helping them develop their God-given talent. Sarah developed a passion for singing at an early age, and often sang with her mother at church and other local events. Throughout her high school and college years she performed in musical theater productions, sang in choirs & vocal ensembles, and was active in her church music ministry. She studied Vocal Performance at Anderson University, Indiana, was a member of the AU Chorale, and was an understudy in the leading role of La Boheme. Sarah's desire is to use her gifts in the local church and beyond. She is a guest worship leader at various churches in the area, has performed in local community events, and was a member of the Indialantic Chamber Singers in Melbourne, FL. Sarah and her family are currently attending Central Life Church, where she serves as a keyboard player on the worship team.