Jon E. Gee offers tips through Cabin Fever Busters


Jon E. Gee, longtime bass player for John Mellencamp, is sharing his expertise with students in the area as well as nationally in a new online program.


Gee and his wife, Sondra, who the students call Mrs. Gee, are directors of the Carmel Music Academy. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, lessons are offered online. The academy was scheduled to reopen June 8 but will continue online private lessons. Anyone taking lessons online or in person can access free Cabin Fever Busters sessions on Facebook Live.

“It gives them a way to try a different instrument or learn how to restring your instrument,” Sondra said.

Gee does interviews on his career, which also included a stint with Ted Nugent before joining Mellencamp’s band in 1999.

“Jon did interviews on what it’s like in a national band,” Sondra said. “See what life is like with Jon E. Gee, what life is like when you are on the road. Students and parents can ask him questions on what life is like being in an internationally famous band and working with a famous rock star. That’s what we contribute to Cabin Fever Busters.”

Sondra said Carmel Music Academy, 13295 Illinois St., has larger rooms, so it’s easier to social distance for lessons. There are 12 instructors.

“Parents can come in and sit in on a lesson if they want,” Sondra said.

But students who don’t feel comfortable returning can continue with online private lessons.

Sondra said she is planning some outdoor concerts in the parking lot later this summer.

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