Teacher Spotlight: Zachary Lookenbill


Zach has been teaching for Greensleeves since 2015 and is a popular and dedicated piano and drum instructor.

Zach graduated from West Chester University in 2017 with a degree in music theory and composition. He plans to pursue his PhD in music theory and cognition in the coming years. Until then, he is reading and researching how people listen to and process music. He says, “Regardless of one’s musical background, everyone has certain expectations and biases of music, which lead to emotional releases when music is heard. In short, music has the ability to create emotions for the listener, and I plan on studying how and why this happens. I definitely recommend checking out some literature on music and the brain, especially for parents of musicians!”

When Zach is not teaching piano and drum lessons for Greensleeves, he is at Garnet Valley High School where he teaches and writes music for the drumline. He says, “Participating in marching band and drum corps has taught me many lessons that I carry with me to my private lessons. I believe that playing an instrument only takes 10% of actual musical skill, while the other 90% is your mental ability to focus and listen. I also highly recommend singing your music, regardless of what instrument you play, even drums! Being able to internalize the rhythm and pitch and create it with your voice helps you do it on your instrument as well. I always say, if you can sing it, you can play it!”

Zach is currently listening to and learning some of his favorite music right now, the Chopin Ballades - “they are beautiful pieces to listen to!” - and when he is not doing something musical (which is very rare), he can be found enjoying the outdoors and playing disc golf.

Zach’s students are inspired and by his passion for music and motivated by his encouraging, supportive teaching style.