Mike "Bonsko" McCulloch has been a staple in the Houston music scene for over 30 years. His chief instrument is piano and keyboards, but also a singer, bassist, guitarist, and percussionist.
Mike’s father was a jazz pianist and began teaching him to play piano at a year and a half old with Scott Joplin ragtime and crooner hits of the 50s. The youngest of four, each sibling influenced his musical palette with different genres, spanning from The Carpenters to Neil Diamond to Styx to Iron Maiden!
At 12 years old, Mike was in a children’s choir that performed around the country with a show that included a classical three-part vocal show and a fully choreographed Broadway revue. They performed selections from the early days of musical theater, including Sound Of Music, Fiddler On The Roof, George M, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. This touring company went on for two years, their final performance being on the White House lawn.
Throughout high school and college, Mike focused on multiple instrument performance, composition, and orchestration with a focus on film scoring. He came in the top 20 of the Turner Classic Movies’ Young Film Composers contest in 2002.
Mike also has been with several Houston area bands including Steve Campbell & Hearts On Fire, Inferno, LC Roots, Switch, ShapeShifters, Madigan, The Mystro Project, That 70s Thing, VHS, and Delovely. Each band brought a new appreciation of different genres and performance and has certainly molded him to the performer he is today. He still does shows called The Piano Asylum with his lovely wife, singer Jayme Chlumsky, based on his experience in dueling piano acts around the country.
Teaching is Mike’s main focus today. He is an instructor with School Of Rock Clear Lake and does private teaching as well.
Bonsko is a very flexible and supportive teacher. We have worked on countless songs and instruments over the years, and he offered just the right amount of support that I needed, while still having me learn on my own. He is the best lesson teacher I've ever had and I value my time with him dearly. I'd recommend him to any age of student, but I feel like he's perfect for the older students who may be beginning to feel like they're getting unmotivated or need an extra hand.
I have been taking lessons from Mike for 6 years now and I can say that he is the best teacher I have ever had. He made our lessons fun and also knew how to challenge me. On top of that, he is an insanely talented musician. I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to have him as a teacher and a friend.
Mike has been my instructor for over four years. Being his student has been a blessing! I’ve learned so much from him, and besides having him as a wonderful teacher, he is also a wonderful musical collaborator and an even better friend.
The very first thing, with any student on any instrument, is to find out what their goals are. Then I try to incorporate their interests while teachinging funamentals and technique. Keeping it fun is what it's all about!
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