Petty Theft keyboardist and teacher shares his passion of music with students


Bill Ellison

Petty Theft putting on a show at the Granada theater in Dallas

Riley Hayden, Photo Editor

    Steve Luthye, the music theory teacher and keyboardist to Dallas cover band Petty Theft, exemplifies perfectly what it means to be an educator through constant nurturing of his students, and a surplus of hands on knowledge about his subject.

    As a kid, Luthye knew he wanted to be a teacher, both of his parents were educators and he enjoyed gaining knowledge and sharing it to those around him.

    “I went to Oklahoma State and got my bachelors in music education, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher I thought maybe math, but in high school I eventually decided that I could pursue music education so that’s what I set out to do,” Luthye said.

    Luthye joined the Plano faculty four years ago and is very pleased with the Plano music program and the amount of support that it is given.

    “Plano has a very good music program, and most kids who have only been in Plano schools don’t know that,” Luthye said. “The faculty are top notch expert teachers a super supportive administration streamlines the process of teaching music to as many kids as possible.”

    Luthye is also involved in the popular Dallas Tom Petty cover band Petty Theft, whose most acclaimed member is one Mike Rhyner famed host of Dallas sports radio station The Ticket.

    “I first came in contact with the band in 2010, I heard they needed a keyboardist on the radio so I auditioned and got in,” Luthye said.

    Before he was in the Petty Theft, Luthye had been involved in the Dallas music scene for five years through a large assortment of bands and random gigs with friends. However, his life has changed since entering the band. The new companionship and local fame has allowed him to enact personal and effective teaching methods.

    “The biggest effect the band has had on my life are the six new amazing people that I now know and have become a very important part of my life,” Luthye said. “Playing in the band gave me hands-on experience I can pass to the kids, something tangible to learn from.”

    To Luthye, music is at the center of everything he does and since he was young, he has always had a certain talent for it. He has been playing piano since he was a toddler and from that point on has been striving to improve his skills whenever possible.

    “Music at this point has taken over my life I’m always learning, listening, teaching, or playing, I’m always looking for new stimulating music to try and understand,” Luthye said.

    Luthye’s personal connection to students and music allows his teaching to be more intimate and particular than most teachers. Seeing kids learn and showing them skills that they find important is Luthye’s main motivation.

    “Seeing the students eyes widen when they finally get it is so exciting to me,” Luthye said. “Those eye opening moments in my lessons mean a lot to me, and seeing that immediate impact is an amazing feeling.”

    Luthye, in his teaching, hopes to see students continue in pursuing music and spread the importance and passion that he feels towards the art.

    “Don’t be afraid to keep learning and gaining knowledge of music,” Luthye said. “I urge students after the class to keep music as an important part of their lives even if you’re not pursuing to be musician because the knowledge is universal.”

Bill Ellison
Petty Theft keyboardist, Steve Luthye, shredding the keyboard on stage