VIVIAN TSANG | PIANO/ACADEMY CO-DIRECTOR | Vivian Tsang was named Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association (MMTA), the state affiliate of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in 2014. She has a Master of Music degree in piano from the New England Conservatory of Music. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. She has studied with some of the most wanted teachers in the country, including Patricia Zander, Eugene & Elizabeth Pridonoff, Rosita Kerr Mang, and Suzanne Guy. Vivian has performed all over the United States, Europe, and Hong Kong and is the prizewinner of various piano competitions in the United States and Europe. She is an experienced piano teacher whose students actively participate in performances, are winners of state-wide competitions and have performed at prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York. She is frequently invited to adjudicate piano events throughout the state and have lead various Master Classes. She is a Past President of MMTA. CHRISTOPHER POON | GUITAR/ACADEMY CO-DIRECTOR | Christopher Poon is an experienced teacher who has taught private students and was a faculty member of the Institute of Vocational Education in Hong Kong, where he was a lecturer for the music technology program. Chris graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor Degree in Music, double-majoring in Guitar Performance and Contemporary Writing & Production. Jazz Guitar has been his main focus in the recent years, but he enjoys playing other styles of music on the guitar as well, such as Pop, Rock, Latin, and Folk. Chris has developed his own curriculum-based, goals-driven and progressive guitar course utilizing renowned teaching materials from the Berklee College of Music and Musician Institute that covers both guitar playing and music theory. WELLS ALBRITTON | PIANO | Originally from North Carolina, Wells has been playing piano since he could reach the keys. Though piano is his primary focus, Wells wears many musical hats. In addition to teaching for 5 years, the titles of Pianist, Singer/Songwriter, Composer/Lyricist, Keyboardist, Lead Singer, and Musical Director are all ones he has held on his musical journey. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Piano and Classical Composition from Sarah Lawrence College, and studied Jazz Piano and Voice at Le Cim École de Jazz et Musiques Actuelles in Paris. In Paris, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles Wells has performed as a pianist and vocalist in solo acts, rock bands, hip-hop groups, and jazz ensembles. Whatever musical role Wells is playing, he is always having fun and he can’t wait to share that passion and fun with his students! KATIE ANDERSON | PIANO | A native of New York, Katie began studying music at the age of five, began giving piano lessons at sixteen, and received her Bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Rhode Island in 2005. Since that time, Katie's love of music and teaching has taken her to many different places, from a little piano studio in Rhode Island, all the way to Japan. Before relocating to Massachusetts, she spent a year teaching elementary general music at the Harlem Promise Academy in New York City. Katie has many diverse hobbies, but music, by far, is number one. She looks forward to each and every opportunity she has to share and spread that love of music with others. RYAN BALE | GUITAR | Growing up in Charlotte NC, Ryan Bale was inspired to pick up the guitar after hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time. After studying with the School of Rock through his teenage years, where he became one of their National All-Star, he later attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a dual degree majoring in Guitar Performance and Music Business. Ryan is a versatile player that is well-versed in different music styles from Pop to Jazz Fusion. Currently, he is the founding member of two bands that perform/record regularly in the Boston area - The Cotones (Indie/Alt-Rock band) and Ansonia (an Indie/Electro-Pop band). As a teacher, Ryan believes that everyone has a unique voice that can be expressed through music. He will alway try his best to keep lessons fun and engaging as playing music should be an enjoyable experience. At the same time, he seeks to balance that with learning the mechanics of the the instrument. Ryan aims to help students so that they can truly express themselves through their instruments. ANDREW BAYARDI | GUITAR | Andrew is an experienced and versatile guitar instructor who is well versed in various music genres. Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew grew up listening to Country and Rock n' Roll music. As he was developing his love and skills for the guitar at a young age, he also studied classical and jazz music along the way. After earning his Bachelor of Music Degree in Guitar Performance from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, he has been an active educator and performer in the recent years. He is currently the lead guitarist in an indie rock band, "The Honors", that appears in festivals and venues throughout the Northeast. It is his belief that the main goal for learning an instrument is to have fun and to explore one's own path to making music. With his upbeat personality and positive attitude, Andrew always how to make learning and music fun for his students.
AMELIA BROWNING | VOICE | Amelia has been an avid teacher and performer since her graduation from the Berklee College of Music in 2004. In San Diego, where she has lived since her days at Berklee, she performed throughout the city frequently as a jazz vocalist, both leading her own group and working as a guest artist with a number of bands. Though her creative focus is jazz, she is well versed in all sub genres of pop music as well as musical theater and is a classically trained vocalist. Her lessons focus on utilizing contemporary music as a vehicle for building a solid foundation of vocal technique. She has taught students of all ages from preschoolers to retired adults. Amelia excels at nurturing her relationships with her students to create a safe environment for creativity and experimentation and is truly passionate about her students' goals and accomplishments. MICHAEL BYRNE | GUITAR | Originally from Martinsburg, WV, Michael is a talented and experienced guitarist/instructor who has a passion for music making and teaching. Since high school, Michael has been teaching guitar lessons to students of different ages and levels. His musical journey eventually led him to the prestigious Berklee College of Music where he majored in Music Business. While in Boston, Michael has had the opportunity to work with school-aged children from the Boys & Girls’ Club in Dorchester, MA, teaching them guitar lessons. As a musician, Michael is currently active with two local bands – Hyrbrid Noise and Akidna that perform both cover and original music. Michael believes patience and being personable are the two important qualities for every instructor. Knowing that spiking students’ inner passion for music is what would reward them ultimately, Michael always tries to strike a balance between teaching the fundamental and fun elements in his lessons.
DAESIK CHA | PIANO | Daesik Cha, a native of South Korea, has been establishing himself as a ‘renaissance’ musician, whose professional work encompasses concertizing, directing, teaching, and music scholarship. He has appeared as a pianist in several prominent concerts across continents. In the US, he was featured as a chamber music player with the Irving Fine Society at Harvard’s Sanders Theater, and celebrated as a soloist the Franz Liszt bicentennial at Brandeis University. In addition, he has been invited several times as a musical artist to the Covington Art Club in KY, giving lectures and recitals. Recently he performed chamber music at Emerson recitals in MIT, and gave a benefit recital on four pianos from different periods for the Frederick Historical Piano Study Center. He taught as a teaching fellow at Brandeis University, and is currently teaching and working as a music instructor and staff pianist at MIT. He is also giving numerous private piano lessons to students of all ages in the Boston area and really enjoys teaching, no matter the age or level of playing. He holds many advanced degrees, including a Graduate Artist Diploma in Piano Performance from the Netherlands Royal School of Music in Maastricht and Tilburg, a Master of Music Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is currently working on his PhD in Musicology at Brandeis University. ANNIE CHEN | PIANO | Annie Chen is a native Taiwanese classical and jazz pianist. She holds Bachelor Degree in Classical Music from National Hsinchu University on a scholarship award, and also accepted on scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. She’s also former principal Oboist in Hsinchu City Hall wind orchestra band. Annie has taught Yamaha piano while in Taiwan, and she is an experienced teacher in Alexander Technique and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She has been teaching piano and accompanying for many kind of instruments for more than ten years, and many of her students have participated in piano examinations, competitions and other events. She leads student with awakening, developing and refining innate musicality through rhythmic movement, ear-training and improvisation. Annie is focus on her music development and feels passionately to lead her students into magical music world by her faith. JUDITH DESTINE | VOICE/PIANO | Judith Destiné has a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Mercer University's Townsend School of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Palm Beach Atlantic Univeristy. In addition to growing up playing the piano at a high level, she also studied classical piano at Palm Beach Atlantic University with Dr. Marlene Woodward Cooper and Dr. Susan Joyce. Judith is currently working on a Graduate Performance Diploma at Boston Conservatory. A Soprano, she was born and raised in Miami and has an impressive performance resume, including in opera productions at Mercer University such as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutti, multiple productions with the Palm Beach Opera including Verdi’s La Traviata, Puccini’s La Bohčme, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, and Verdi’s Macbeth. Solo concert engagements include performances of various works such as Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, John Rutter’s Magnificat, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. She has also served as a music director in Georgia. Judith has been teaching voice and piano students of all ages and levels for many years, and has studied both pedagogy in voice and piano as well. NEVENA DORDEVIC | VOICE/PIANO | Nevena Dordevic is a vocalist, pianist, songwriter and educator well known for her diversity in music styles including musical theater, jazz, pop, and classical music. Born and raised in Serbia, Nevena started her musical education at the age of 9 with piano and music theory lessons. She performed and won various music competitions as a child. While still in high school, Nevena rose to the fame as a performer and finalist of the first season of "First Voice of Serbia". Since then, she’s been performing in front of 10,000 people all over Serbia and Europe. Despite her growth and success in Serbia, Nevena decided to bring her musicianship and career to the next level. She came to Berklee College of Music in Boston to continue her studies. Soon after her arrival to Berklee, Nevena became very active as a lead performer at various concerts and venues. She performed next to the worldwide recognizable artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Sheila Jordan, Theresa Thomason, Paul Winter and many others. As a versatile artist and educator, Nevena chooses and appreciates music by its quality and purpose. She strives to teach students the fundamentals of music, while focusing on students’ talents, joy in music and overall development. MARISSA DYER | VOICE/PIANO | Marissa Dyer graduated with her Bachelor Degree in Vocal Performance from Idaho State University in May 2017. She is currently working on her Master Degree in Opera Performance at The Longy school of Music of Bard College. Marissa has also played piano since she was six years old. She performed leading roles in musical theatre and opera with the University and in her community. Most recently, she performed as Monica in 'The Medium' and Sara Brown in 'Guys and Dolls'. Internationally, she has toured England and Scotland with the Idaho State chamber choir, and performed with the prestigious Si Parla Si Canta opera program in Italy. In addition to performing, Marissa is a passionate music educator. For years she has worked as a private teacher to assist students in developing confidence and creativity through reliable and sustainable vocal habits and adores teaching beginning musicianship and keyboard skills in imaginative ways. Piano and voice students alike receive one on one assistance to develop as musicians and pursue their unique dreams. HALEY EVANOSKI | VOICE/PIANO | Haley is a Native of Ithaca, NY where she completed her undergraduate degree at Ithaca College with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance, under the study of Dawn Pierce. She relocated to Boston to persue her Masters Degree in Vocal Pedagogy under the tutelage of Dr. Kerry Deal. She is skilled in both piano and voice, and has experience teaching and playing both instruments. Haley has extensive performance experience singing roles such as Madam Hertz (Der Schauspieldirektor), Frasquita (Carmen), Ellen DeGeneres/Adolph Hitler (Bully Pulpit). Haley spent two years as a Young Artist at Opera Ithaca and was featured in programs and festivals with the Middlebury Opera and the International Performing Arts Institute. Haley is passionate about social justice through music and has organized concerts to facilitate awareness and benefit organizations within the community that work with abuse victims. Haley has been teaching a variety of ages and styles in voice and piano for five years and believes in a strong foundation of fundamental technique while balancing a dynamic sense of play and creativity. WINSTON FELIZ | PIANO/COMPOSER | Pianist and composer Winston Feliz has over twelve years of music teaching experience. With experience in various music methods, including the Suzuki Method, he has taught people between four years and 50 years of age. Winston began his music career at a young age. As the son of a church minister he organized and directed various church musical groups and accompanied the groups on keyboard and organ. Winston then began his own music school and audio recording/mixing studio in Humacao, Puerto Rico, where for ten years he instructed many students of all ages. He also became the director and keyboard player of the pop musical group “Eclipse”, which won performance and compositions awards including being twice-awarded the prestigious “Festival San Juan de la Cancion” (San Juan Song Festival) in Puerto Rico. Winston attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in 2000. During his education at Berklee he was selected to be part of the “World Music” exchange student program in the Rotterdam Conservatory in Holland. Following graduation Winston continued his music career as an educator and music producer concentrating on his interest in music education technology. Winston’s specialty is his ability to tailor his instruction method to diverse students of all ages and abilities and to excite their passion in a musical piano and keyboard style of their own liking. IOANA FLONTA | PIANO | Originally from Romania, Ioana Flonta is a passionate pianist and teacher. In 2011, she moved to the U.S., where she earned her Certificate and Master's Degree in Piano Performance on a full tuition scholarship at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, studying with Dr. Laura Melton. As a graduate assistant at BGSU, she taught group piano lessons for college level music majors. She started specializing in piano at the age of 7, attending the Sigismund Toduta Music School for grades 1-12 and continuing with her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Romania. Guided by her former teacher, Dr. Vera Negreanu, Ioana began teaching private piano lessons while in college to children and adults of all levels. She performed recitals and competitions in Europe and the United States, winning several prizes, both as a soloist and accompanist. Her varied experience enables Ioana to adapt her teaching method considering each student's unique personality. GUIHERME FORACCHI | GUITAR | Guilherme Foracchi is a well-rounded and multi-talented guitar instructor, composer and performer. Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, he started playing traditional Brazilian guitar in his early teens before discovering the passion for jazz which brought him to the United States. He graduated with a dual major in performance and jazz composition from the prestigious Berklee College of Music where studied under world-renown music educators. Since then he has made a home for himself in Boston, performing in various venues around Massachusetts as a member of Patten Street Duo in collaboration with his partner and wife, as well as teaching guitar to a wide-range of students, from elementary school children to retirees. His passion for teaching is reflected in his patience, adaptability and dedication. He aspires to create a welcoming yet structured environment for his students, fostering within them an equal measure of self-discipline and love of learning. His ultimate goal is to inspire his students to discover the profound joy of music.
IVAN GUEORGUIEV | PIANO | Ivan Gueorguiev graduated from the University of Texas A&M-Commerce in the Spring of 2016 and holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. While there, he studied piano with Dr. Luis Sanchez and Organ as a secondary instrument with Dr. Lerie Dellosa. Ivan also had the opportunity to teach through a school program and accompany voice majors in performance. Ivan previously studied with Dr. Brian Allison through a local community college before attending undergrad. He relocated to the Boston area in the summer of 2017 to pursue graduate school. Throughout his studies, Ivan has been actively performing locally. Some of these performances include: fundraiser performance, Christmas party at a residential office, Steinway Hall, Dallas Meyerson Symphony Hall, as well as accompanying an elementary school choir, and a part in a church program. Ivan has been teaching for 6 years and is always excited to help aspiring musicians of any age or level grow into the artist they want to be and build their passion for music. Ivan's goal is to continue reaching out to students of all levels through the joy of music. LING GUO | PIANO | Award-winning pianist Ms. Ling Guo was a university piano faculty in China prior to moving to the USA, and is experienced in teaching students at all different ages and different levels. Ling is a member of American College of Musicians/ National Guild of Piano Teachers (ACM-NGPT), and Music Teacher National Association (MTNA). She also played diverse artistic roles such as music editor, judge at piano competitions, collaborative pianist, music director, choral conductor and event-organizer. Over many years, she has performed at various concerts, festivals, and competitions worldwide with several choruses at places such as Harvard Sanders Theatre, NEC Jordan Hall, Yale Woolsey Hall, and Vienna Musikverein. She studied at schools including Beijing Dance Institute, China Central Conservatory, and is completing her Master of Music Degree in Piano from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Ling is a vivid and patience music teacher and is greatly loved by her students. ANGELA GUST | VOICE/PIANO | Angela Gust, originally from Des Moines, Iowa, is a recent graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where she pursued a Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy under the tutelage of Bradley Williams. While at the conservatory, she participated in opera productions, such as Les Dialogues des Carmélites and The Consul as The Secretary. Angela has also been a Teaching Fellow at the Boston City Singers for two years, based in Dorchester. In addition to her performances, she has studied piano with Dr. Nicholas Roth and Cynthia Giunta at Drake University. Angela strives to instill a passion for music in both piano and voice students, while ensuring their music making is based on a healthy technique. GEORGIA HADJICONSTANTINOU | PIANO/VOICE | Georgia Hadjiconstantinou is a pianist, vocalist, composer and an arranger. She received her Bachelors of Music Degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Vocal Performance, where she was awarded with a 5-year scholarship. She has played piano since a young age and also initially started out as a dramatic coloratura soprano with classical/opera training. She has played and sang all styles of music, from classical, to musical theater, to pop and rock. Originally from Greece, Georgia now makes her home in Boston and is currently touring with the rock/blues band No/Hugs that she established in May 2015. She has toured the U.S.A and Canada and has opened for national rock bands Faster Pussycat, The Shills and Ellis Ashbrook. Georgia has taught extensively in the United States and is a not only a great teacher, but is a specialist in teaching children with autism. MATTHEW HESPELT | GUITAR | Matthew Hespelt is a well-accomplished Guitarist/Composer from the New York City metropolitan area. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Composition and has been an active educator and performer on the Boston scene ever since. Although Jazz has been his main focus recently, he is also well versed in all other styles of music ranging from Rock, Pop, Blues, and Folk. As a teacher, Matthew has mentored students as part of music education programs in New Jersey and New York, such as Jazz House Kids, Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens, and the precollege program at Manhattan School for Music. Along with his positive attitude, Matthew hopes to share his love for music with students in a fun and inspiring way! ALMIRA IZUMCHENSKY | PIANO | Originally from Saint-Petersburg, Almira Izumchensky is a diverse collaborative pianist and composer. Almira studied Piano Performance and Composition at Berklee College of Music and Kazakh Conservatory. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships and composition awards as a pianist and composer. Equally experienced in classical as well as contemporary styles, her recent collaborations include chamber and choral concerts in Carnegie Hall with Schiller Institute, as well as Cathedral of St. John the Divine with Paul Winter Consort and “Pletenitsa” Balkan Choir. Currently, Almira is about to pursue Master of Arts in Composition in New England Conservatory. She is a very passionate teacher and has been privately teaching piano and composition for 7 years. She aims to help students to find their unique voice and and obtain a solid technical foundation. EUNHYE JEONG | PIANO | Born in Seoul, Korea in 1986, Eunhye Jeong began her piano studies at the age of 4. At the Berklee College of Music, where she received her Bachelor Degree in Film Scoring/Performance dual major and Global Studies minor in 2013, she had the honor to study with the award-winning film composer George S. Clinton. She also had the opportunity to undertake studies with the internationally acclaimed jazz pianist/composer Vadim Neselovskyi, among others. Living in the urban hotbed of multicultural Boston, she was able to explore global musical traditions from African to Middle Eastern countries, and elsewhere. This exploration became the motivation for her to connect more deeply to her own roots. In founding Sigimsae - Berklee Korean Traditional Music Society, she extended her awareness of Korean traditional music and her vision of theretofore unexplored musical possibilities. In addition, she engaged in multifarious crossover projects that included conducting, performing in concerts, writing, recording, and several clinics. Eunhye Jeong is truly a contemporary musical renaissance person. Utilizing her many talents, she is an active pianist, composer, film composer, arranger, music director, Korean percussionist, and piano teacher currently based in Boston. JOSHUA JANDREAU | PIANO | Joshua Jandreau is a composer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. His music has been performed, premiered, and recorded by orchestras, chamber music groups, and solo artists across the United States and Switzerland. A passionate arts educator, Joshua has been awarded grants to provide music and arts opportunities to students of low-income families. Recently, he served as a guest speaker at the 2016 Arizona Music Educator Association conference for incorporating technology in the musical classroom. As an instrumentalist, Joshua served as principal tuba with the University of Maine Symphonic Band and has played with many brass and chamber groups; as a guitarist, he routinely performs as a solo-artist; and as a pianist, he performs as a chamber musician and choir accompanist. JENNIFER JUDD | VOICE/PIANO | Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance for Voice from Westfield State College in 1998. She began teaching voice and piano in 1997, working for some local lesson centers, as well as running her own lesson center for 6 years. Jennifer has assisted as music director for theater groups and has been a conductor for several local and national church choir concerts, particularly through the Polish National Catholic Church. As a choir member, she has enjoyed performing with the Schola Nova Chorus, Springfield Symphony Chorus and Westfield Community Chorus. Jennifer has recorded and continues to record with recording artists known as Autumn Tears, has appeared as backup singer for underground metal bands…and then changed it up for a time by touring as backup singer with a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes In Latitudes. These days she dedicates a lot of her focus on yoga, which incorporates a lot of singing and breathing techniques, and where she is learning to play the harmonium. Jennifer feels that we are our own best teachers. Her focus is to help students to be interested in self-discovery - to find that strength, courage and self-discipline within themselves and cultivate it. And, of course, all learning is a more enjoyable experience if we allow ourselves to stand in that power. SOHYUN JUN | PIANO | A native of South Korea, pianist Sohyun Jun made her debut with the Shanghai Orchestra in China in 2001. She has appeared as a solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and chamber musician. She performed at the Sydney Music Festival in 2002 as well as the Piano Summer Festival in New Paltz in 2005, where Vladimir Feltsman was the Artistic Director. In the summer of 2007 and 2008, she performed at SongFest in California where she worked with Graham Johnson, Amy Burton, Kendra Colton, and Jake Heggie, as well as in various master classes for Margo Garett, Martin Katz, and the American Quartet. Sohyun was invited as a pianist for the brass department at Boston University Tanglewood Institute and performed with Professor Eric Rusky in 2011. She has taught for many years in her own piano studio and joined Merry Melody Music Academy since 2013. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in piano performance at Busan National University in Korea, she came to the United States to study with Professor Stephanie Brown at the SUNY Purchase College where she also earned her Master’s and Artist Diploma. She received a second master’s degree in collaborative piano and completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts under Professor Sheila Kibbe at Boston University in 2014. ERIC KROUSE | PIANO | Though classically trained from the age of 4, pianist Eric Krouse now primarily performs in the jazz idiom. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory in 2016, he began performing with his own groups, playing major festivals including the Iowa City and Twin Cities Jazz Festivals. In addition to working with his own ensembles, he has played and studied with Wallace Roney, Dave Holland, Billy Hart, Sean Jones, Geri Allen, and many others. A dedicated educator, he enjoys working on all styles of music with his students. He is currently completing a graduate program in Jazz Studies at The New England Conservatory of Music. SCOTT LYMAN | PIANO | Scott Lyman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from UMASS Dartmouth, with an emphasis on Jazz Piano. He has classroom music teaching experience in all grades K-12 and is licensed to teach music in the public schools in Massachusetts. Playing the piano since he was 9 years old, Scott is currently a gigging musician and recording artist. Scott plays keyboard in his band Background Orcs, who has developed quite a following and frequently performs around the Boston area! He has been the musical director at the 20 Cent FictionTheatre Company, leading them to several musicals such as Sweeney Todd, Reefer Madness and Cannibal: The Musical. He has also gone to Ghana, West Africa for a trip to learn African Drum and Dance, so his musical background is quite diverse! He is very excited to be teaching private lessons and hope to inspire his students to develop as much passion for music as he has! AMY MANTIS | GUITAR | Hailed from Maine, Amy started her musical journey on the guitar at a young age. Her talents and passion for music eventually led her to the Berklee College of Music where she graduated with honors majoring in Music Business. While at Berklee, Amy started her own rock band called Canary. Since Canary's inception in 2010, the band has opened for Jackson Browne at the House of Blues, was hand-selected to represent Berklee at the 2012 SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and performed nearly 100 self-booked shows. Amy also performs regularly as a solo act as well as with the American Who Sensation (rocking the music of The Who!), one of Boston's best tribute bands. Amy has been actively teaching students of all ages and levels in the recent years. She strongly believes in the fundamentals when it comes to teaching while at the same time, the learning should be fun (note that the word "fun" is in "fundamentals")! ERIN MATTHEWS | PIANO/VOICE |
Erin Matthews is a native of Dallas, Texas, where she taught voice and piano for a few years before relocating to Boston to pursue her Master Degree under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca Folsom. Since receiving her Master of Music in Opera Performance from Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2018, she performs frequently in the area in addition to teaching. Erin has extensive performance experience, with performed roles from both opera and musical theatre including Despina (Cosě fan tutte), Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), Maria (West Side Story), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), and Cosette (Les Misérables). Multiple festivals and programs have featured Erin, including Promenade Opera Project, Opera Steamboat, Operaworks, and Opera Breve Vocal Institute. In addition to her Master’s, Erin holds a B.M. in Voice Performance and a B.A. in French Language from the University of North Texas, where she studied under the esteemed pedagogue Dr. Stephen Austin. Erin uses a blend of exercises designed to strengthen students’ skills on both the voice and piano, coupled with her nurturing and engaging teaching style, to help students achieve their full potential without ruining any of the passion and fun of the process!
RITA MATUTE | PIANO |
A native of Wisconsin, Rita Matute grew up playing the piano and singing. She holds her Bachelor of Music (emphasis in piano), as well as her Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Rita has worked in children’s musical theater, as well as taught and run a private piano studio in Milwaukee for the past 13 years. As a teacher, Rita combines her knowledge of piano, theory, and arranging, in order to accommodate each student’s individual talents and goals. She holds bi-annual recitals featuring a variety of different musical styles, and often times features students collaborating with other musicians. A fun and diverse teacher, Rita is excited to share her passion for music with the Boston area.
INGA MIRONOV | PIANO | Inga Mironov is an experienced piano teacher who has taught private piano lessons for over 20 years in the United States as well as in her home country of Lithuania. Inga holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Choir Conducting from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and a Master of Music Degree in Music Education from Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences. Inga has an extensive experience in working with young children. She is a very patient, positive and upbeat teacher who personalizes her lessons to each of her students’ needs to help them reach their full potential and to love music. Many of Inga’s students have successfully participated in piano examinations as well as other music events. Besides teaching private piano lessons Inga has also taught general music to elementary and high school students and directed children choir in Lithuania. She has also been a Music Director at FBC Medfield for 15 years now, where she plays organ, piano and works with adult and children singers. Inga lives in Natick with her husband and two daughters. AIKO ONUMA | PIANO | Aiko Onuma is a keyboard/piano player and instructor, and a music therapist She holds a degree in music therapy from Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA. After over 10 years of varied performance experience as a professional piano player and several years of teaching experience throughout Japan, Aiko moved to the United States. She has been teaching the piano, performing as a piano and keyboard player, working as a music therapist with the elderly and autistic children, and supervising music therapy students. In 2006, she developed a new music therapy program at Deutchen Altenheim, West Roxbury, MA as their first music therapist. She has given keyboard workshops for music therapy students at Berklee College of Music as her unique method of using the keyboard and improvisation has been recognized. Currently she performs on piano and keyboard both independently and with several bands. Aiko hopes to incorporate her skills as a music therapist into teaching her students, as being a music therapist gives her unique insights into the human mind, as well as a strong ability to recognize the needs of each student. CHOLONG PARK | PIANO | Cholong Park is a pianist specializing in new music. She earned her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Florida State University where she studied under the guidance of Dr. David Kalhous. Throughout Cholong Park’s active music career, she has developed a wide range of repertoire and discovered that chamber music, contemporary works, and piano pedagogy are her forte. She is a founding member of two chamber groups, an award-winning ensemble What Is Noise, as well as mixed chamber ensemble Some Assembly Required. In May 2014, Park made her Carnegie Hall debut performing solo and ensemble works. Park released her first album with Justin Croushore entitled "Stuff" in Fall 2017 and her ensemble What Is Noise’s debut album "Equivocal Duration" in March 2019. Besides her music career as a pianist, she was a director of international affairs at DMZ International Music Festival in South Korea and serves as the artistic director of "Voices of North Korean Refugees" dedicated to raising funds for North Korean refugees. She has been teaching students since 2002 and has taught students of all ages & levels. VINH PHAM | PIANO | Originally from Vietnam, Vinh Pham received his Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from the prestigious Longy School of Music of Bard College. He also holds a Teaching Artist Certificate from Longy. Vinh Pham’s life was transformed by music when he touched the keyboard in his teen years. He is one of the very rare few who is able to get accepted into, and receive a scholarship at, a prestigious music school after only four years of study with a private teacher in Vietnam. His talent and work ethic is unmatched as he was able to do in four years what would take most pianist a lifetime to do. At Longy, Vinh studied with the great pianist and teacher Ludmilla Lifson, Piano Pedagogy with Esther Ning Yau and Chamber Music with Carol Mastrodomenico, Mihail Jojatu, Jane Struss and Marco Granados. Vinh has taught both when he was in Vietnam, and non-piano majors at Longy, including a student who got the comment from her examiner "The best test that I've had in the room" at her jury at the end of the year! He is committed to provide the highest teaching standard possible, focusing on the balance of enjoyment and musical concepts that aim to benefit the students in the long run. THERESA RONAN | PIANO | Theresa Ronan is a pianist/piano teacher in Brockton. She was raised in Brockton, and studied piano with the late Mrs. Helen Starr. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Lowell (now UMass-Lowell), did graduate work in Piano Performance at UMass-Lowell, and has studied piano at Longy School of Music in Cambridge. She has taught private lessons for over 20 years, and has several years of public school teaching experience. In addition, she is currently the Music Director for Christ the King Parish in Brockton, and also works as a free-lance soloist and accompanist in the Brockton area. LAURA SEKARPUTRI | PIANO | Laura Sekarputri is a music therapist, composer, and pianist from Indonesia. She graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy and minor in Psychology. Born in Jakarta, Laura began playing piano at 4 and has become a versatile musician, who is accomplished on other instruments including the electric bass, guitar, and gamelan (Indonesian percussion). In 2017, her counterpoint composition Can-On (solo piano piece) was selected and performed by composer Marti Epstein in the ‘Best Inventions Plus 2017’, a recital of the “best student projects from the three core counterpoint courses” in Berklee College of Music. She is a founding member of the pop duo ImpromToo, of which debut single Tiada (meaning “Gone”) featuring Daniel Yoong and Irena Taib reached Number 1 on the Momea 104.2 FM Palembang in 2017. Laura has been giving piano lessons at seventeen and enjoyed connecting with people through music. JIE SONG | PIANO | A pianist since the age of 5, Jie Song is a Doctor of Musical Arts student at Boston University as a student of Roberto Plano, having graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Tianjin Conservatory, a Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory. Song has won top prizes in a number of competitions, including the National Youth Piano Competition (2004), TOYAMA Asian Youth Piano Competition for the Tianjin District (2005), and the Sunshine 100 Piano Competition in China (2007). Most recently, she was awarded a grant from Yamaha. She has also participated in master classes with such renowned artists as András Schiff, William Grant Naboré, Tamás Vásáry, Malcolm Bilson, Jeremy Denk, and Bern Goetzke, and has performed recitals at a number of cities, including Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Tianjin, Guangzhou. In April 2015, Song performed Brahms Piano Quintet with the Calder Quartet at Oberlin. She also became a student of the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy in the summer of 2018. RICHARDSON SMITH | GUITAR | Richardson Smith is a guitarist who holds a Master's degree in Modern American Music Performance from the Longy School of Music and a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of New Hampshire. He is a founding member and guitarist of the soul/jazz rock band Gretchen and the Pickpockets and performs extensively across New England and the eastern US. He is well versed in all music styles from Classical to Rock music and everything in between. Richardson has privately taught students ages 6 to 65, has taught K-8 in public schools, and catering to each student's personal learning style is a vital part of his teaching. Music is a both a personal and universal language, and Richardson is glad to enrich his students' lives with it in fun and engaging ways. RILEY STOCKWELL | GUITAR | Originally from Groton, MA, Riley is a Guitarist/African Percussionist graduated from Umass Dartmouth with a Bachelor Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Jazz Guitar performance. During these years, he has been learning jazz harmony and concepts, composition, and Moroccan and Ghanaian music including studying the music of the Asante in Ghana, West Africa. A few of his past teachers include world class musicians such as Chris McDermott, Jim Robitaille, Mike Rivard, Royal Hartigan, Andy McWain, and Attah Peku. Drawing influences from many aspects of Groove, Jazz, and World Music, he has begun to develop a unique voice of his own. Studying with such a wide array of musicians has also led him to play every note with integrity and intention. In the recent years, Riley has been performing extensively in the New England area with various local bands. As an educator, Riley has worked as a teacher for national guitar workshop and also a private guitar instructor for over three years. He has taught guitar, bass, ensembles, songwriting, and world percussion to different age groups in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Also, he has assisted in many West African Drum and Dance clinics in the New England, and Washington D.C. areas as well. Riley is a talented, personable and patient instructor who is great at adapting to a student's specific needs in order to ensure improvement while having fun learning the music students love! CHRIS SWEENEY | GUITAR | Chris Sweeney grew up in Morris, Illinois and started playing guitar and saxophone at the age of 10. He continued throughout high school playing in concert, jazz and rock groups as well as teaching lessons at Brandalino's School of Music in Morris, IL. Intending on pursuing a career in music, Chris accepted a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Chris currently teaches elementary general music in Middleboro Public Schools at the Memorial Early Childhood Center. He continues to perform in various genres including jazz, rock, musical theatre as well as solo classical repertoire. Chris encourages all students to reach their full potential. He meets students at their level and uses familiar materials and techniques to help his students' progression. ALEXANDRA TAN | VOICE/PIANO | Alexandra Tan started her musical studies at the age of four in classical piano. She later received a Diploma in piano performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Having completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia where she majored in voice performance and instrumental teaching and minored in piano, she continued her graduate studies at The Boston Conservatory, receiving a Masters in voice performance under the tutelage of Dr Marilyn Bulli. She has also performed and given recitals in her home country, Singapore, Australia and here in Massachusetts. Discovering her passion for teaching, she also undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Music Education. Alexandra has taught in a variety of settings. Besides teaching private piano and voice lessons, she has also taught in public schools in Massachusetts such as the Boston Latin School and Bigelow Middle school, teaching general music, chorus and instrumental ensembles. As a teacher, she endeavors to help students achieve their full potential by adapting her instruction to the student’s needs. Besides this, she believes music should be enjoyable and fun for all. NATASHA VALDES | VOICE/PIANO | A California native, Natasha recently moved to Boston to pursue her Masters Degree in Vocal Pedagogy at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Before moving to Boston, she received her B.A. in Opera Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Since graduation, she has had the privilege of performing all over Europe and the United States. Her operatic roles include Susana in Le nozze di Figaro, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Olympia in Le contes d’Hoffman, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She also has been a featured soloist in the Faure Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and the Mozart Coronation Mass. She has won various competitions, including 1st place in the American Protege Competition where she performed at Carnegie Hall. Natasha began her musical education at the age of 9 in piano and began voice lessons at the age of 12. Natasha is very passionate about sharing her love of music with others and helping them to grow in their own musical journey. Her teaching is tailored to each student and their learning styles. Natasha prides herself on making sure students learn healthy technique while maintaining a balance between personal progress and fun. MINJING VANDENBOS | PIANO | A native of China, Minjing Vandenbos, is a Boston based educator, collaborative pianist, vocalist, and choral conductor. She has a Masters Degree in Collaborative Piano from Longy school of Music of Bard college and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Minjing has performed all over the world, in China, U.S., Japan and the U.K., as a pianist, choral conductor and singer. She is a multi-talented musician due to her creativity and wide interests of different aspects of music. On the one hand, she analyzes how teaching pedagogy could work for different individual students for piano teaching. On the other hand, she focus on classical vocal and instrument ensemble coaching and performance. ANA MARIA VILLA PICO | VOICE/PIANO | Ana María Villa is a multi-talented vocalist and pianist from Bogotá, Colombia. She studied and performed Musical Theater in Bogotá for 7 years and later moved to Boston to pursue a career in music when she got admitted into Berklee College of Music. Ana María graduated with a performance degree in 2016 and has been actively performing around the Boston area. During her time in Boston she has performed along artists like Juan Luis Guerra, Joyce Moreno, Noel Schajris, Tigran Hamasyan and Mane Dela Parra. Besides performing, Ana loves teaching and sharing her love of music with her students! RILEY VOGEL | VOICE/PIANO | Riley Vogel is an in-demand bass-baritone, conductor, and teacher. A member of the New England Conservatory of Music graduating class of 2015, Riley has spent the last 4 years in Houston, Texas singing with the Houston Grand Opera, singing and conducting with Opera in the Heights, teaching private piano and voice lessons, and running the music departments at four private grade schools in the Houston area. Now back in Boston, Riley is a candidate for the Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting. Riley has played piano since he was 5 years old, and with his degrees in Vocal Performance and now working on his instrumental conducting degree, Riley is one of those rare musicians who can play multiple musical instruments at a high level. Recent engagements have taken Riley to Sofia, Bulgaria where he conducted the New Symphony Orchestra in selections by Beethoven, Dvořák, and Stravinsky. Riley was also recently seen on the HGO stage in critically-acclaimed productions of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Puccini's La bohčme, and Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas. Riley is committed to training and mentoring the next generation of performing musicians. He believes an excellent music education can prepare developing minds for a rich and rewarding life. JONATHAN WALTERS | DRUMS | Jonathan Walters is an accomplished drummer hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by virtuoso drummers such as Neil Peart and John Bonham, Jonathan started playing and learning about the Drums since the age of 13. While in high school, Jonathan performed with bands throughout the Pittsburgh area appearing in major music festivals and opening for touring bands such as Sum 41. His musical talents and aspiration wanting to become a professional musician eventually landed him at Berklee College of Music where he studied with various legendary drummers, such as Dava DiCenso and also earned his music degree majoring in Drums Performance. Jonathan values and emphasizes patience in his own teaching practice. At the same time, he also believes learning the drums should be a fun experience for everyone. He looks forward to sharing the joy of playing the drums with his students! SIYAO WANG | PIANO | Siyao Wang is from Shenyang, China, and has been playing the piano since she was four. Siyao has won many prizes including the First Prize of the Yamaha Competition in 2010, the First Prize in the piano ensemble of the “Music Teacher National Association” 2012, and she was named the Best performer of a Romantic work at the Young Artist Solo Category of 2014 St. Andrew’s International Piano Competition in Canada. After she pursuing her undergraduate degree as a piano performance major at East Tennessee State University with full scholarship, she earned the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Boston University. She has developed some positive strategies for creating a fun learning environment for young students, while organizing her lessons to best accommodate the needs of each student. She consider herself to be quite fortunate in having had the opportunities to encourage young students in their pursuit of excellence, and she has extensive practical experience in helping young students develop their foundational piano skills, music styles as well as creative endeavors, which have been a primary focus of her pedagogic activities. JENNIFER WATSON | VOICE/PIANO | Jennifer Watson is a classically trained pianist and vocalist, having studied music for sixteen years. Ms. Watson received her bachelor's degree in Vocal Music Education from Oklahoma Baptist University, where she studied pedagogy of both voice and piano. Currently, Jennifer is pursuing her Master's of Vocal Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where she will be singing in the upcoming production as Vera Boronel in The Consul by Menotti. Jennifer has also been featured as a lead in the premiere of A Porcelain Doll by James Vernon, and in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. Ms. Watson's choral experience includes membership in top choirs of both Oklahoma Baptist University and Boston Conservatory, performing at Carnegie Hall, and a multitude of venues throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Ms. Watson's competition resumč includes top placements in NATS and Concerto-Aria at OBU. Throughout her musical career, she has been mentored by Michael Dean, Monique Phinney, Louima Lilite, Norma Partridge, and Gail Simpson. LAUREN WEBB | ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT | Lauren Webb joined Merry Melody Music Academy in 2010. Lauren grew up in a musical household in Hopkinton, MA., but when she couldn’t find her niche musically, she pursued Business Administration instead. She currently lives in Hopedale with her husband and their 2 children, and thoroughly enjoys every minute she spends creating memories with them. Being the mother of children with an 8 year age gap, she understands the need to find individualized activities for each child, and not necessarily the family as a whole. Because every family is different, she enjoys working with each one's unique scheduling needs to find suitable make up and reschedule times for both the students and the instructors. She is happy to have been with Merry Melody Music Academy long enough to have been able to work with many families from grade school to college! MATTHEW XIONG | PIANO | Matthew Xiong is an Australian classical pianist and teacher based in Boston, MA. He began his studies in piano at the age of 5 and he has concertized nationally and internationally in USA, Australia and Europe. Matthew obtained his Bachelor Degree for Piano performance with academic honors at New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Prof. Gabriel Chodos. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Music at Boston University. He has also had the opportunity to study under several revered pianists; among them are teachers such as John Perry, as well as Curtis and Juilliard faculty members Robert Mcdonald and Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Matthew has attended several competitive music festivals, including the KlavierSommer in Cochem, Germany, the Kawai International Piano Masterclass festival in Sydney, Australia, and the Beethoven institute at Mannes, New York. Matthew is particularly interested in the field of Psychology, which he believes is integral to all areas of musical practice and teaching. He is an experienced teacher who has taught for six years before coming to Boston to pursue his degrees. His ultimate goal is to delve deeply into each of his students interests and methods of learning to find a unique way to ignite their passion for music. YUKO YOSHIKAWA | PIANO | Born and raised in Japan, Yuko began her musical journey starting with piano at the age of three, percussion at nine, and marimba at fifteen. She holds Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Osaka College of Music and Master of Music in Marimba Performance from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Yuko has been teaching piano and marimba more than a decade in the US. She has taught in various schools including The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Berklee College of Music and Liceo Mexicano Japones. After taking a few years off due to a baby, Yuko is happy to return to Merry Melody, where she has been working since 2007! As teaching is one of her passions, she is looking forward to sharing the joy of music! HAO ZHANG | PIANO | Born in China, Hao Zhang began learning piano at the age of seven. Driven by her deep love of the piano, Hao received her Master Degree in Piano Performance from Boston University in 2019. She has a Bachelor Degree in Music Education from Zhejiang Conservatory Of Music. She has studied with some of the most famous teachers in both China and America, including Ting Zhong, Roberto Plano, Sharon Boaz and Max Levinson. Hao has won many competitions, including The Art of Piano International Music Competition, the “Liszt Award” Hong Kong International Piano Open Competition Zhejiang Division, and Hong Kong International Vocal Open Competition Special Theme. Hao has also participated and performed in music festival such as Academia Di Musica Pinerolo in Italy and Ian Hobson International Piano Festival. As a teacher, Hao employs her unique teaching method to help children access, and more importantly, fall in love with the magical realm of music. She wants to share her joy of music with her students! JINGXUAN ZHANG | PIANO | Pianist Jingxuan Zhang’s musical journey started in Beijing, wound its way through Indiana and New York, and brought him to Boston. He did his undergrad at Columbia University and The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal; and received his Master’s from New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Alexander Korsantia. After graduation, he remained in Boston to teach and play. He loves to cook the Chinese food he grew up eating and converse with his friends over the dinner table. Now he can even enjoy the Lebanese and Ukrainian cuisines of his two pianist-housemates and good friends. Otherwise, he likes to swim briefly in the frigid ocean during autumn or spring-time. Finally, he wants to share shareable things – music, food, time, knowledge, and company – with others! TIANQI ZHAO | PIANO | Tianqi Zhao started learning piano at the age of four. By the age of fourteen, she was accepted by The Affiliated High School of China Conservatory of Music Middle school & High school in Beijing where she has studied Piano Performance with Professor Xiaoxue Hu. In May of 2019, she graduated from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, studying with Ya-Fei Chuang on a scholarship. She is now continuing her Master Degree in Piano Performance there at Boston Conservatory on another scholarship. She has performed at The Fifth Beijing International Piano Festival in 2010, been a Third Prize winner of the Colorado International Piano Academy Competition and has performed recitals all over China and the US. Tianqi wants to share her passion for music with her students!