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. 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. 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.
HANNAH CARLSON | VOICE/PIANO | Hannah Carlson is a classically trained vocalist and pianist. She is primarily an operatic soprano and has performed over a dozen roles in operatic and musical theatre productions including the likes of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Julie Jordan in Carousel, and Mrs. Potts in Beauty & the Beast. In addition to her work on the stage, Ms. Carlson has participated in a number of choral works as well as solo vocal repertoire. She has completed two hour-long degree recitals and has sung as part of the chorus for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Orchestra Iowa. She has also worked as a Young Artist with the Ad Astra music festival where she sang as the soprano soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms among a number of other vocal engagements. In addition to her vocal work, Hannah has studied classical piano for over a decade, studying for three years with the esteemed Dr. Robert Larsen, founder of Des Moines Metro Opera. Hannah is a current Master’s of Music student at the Boston Conservatory, and received her Bachelor’s of Music from Simpson College. 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. KANA DEHARA | PIANO | Kana Dehara began classical piano studies at the age of four. After receiving a Bachelor Degree in Classical Piano Performance from Kobe Jogakuin College in Japan, she received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in 2004 and graduated with diploma in “Professional Music” in 2008. Since then, Kana has been actively performing in United States and Japan at venues including Ryles Jazz club, Mr. Kelly’s, Japan, Carnegie hall, NY, and many more. In 2009 she joined Boston’s renown, award-winning group “Zili Misik” as their keyboardist and back vocalist. She also is the principal pianist of the “VGO orchestra, Boston. For the past ten years, Kana has taught numerous students in the area of Classical, Jazz, Contemporary piano styles and Ear training. It has always been her dream to be not only an excellent performer and musician but also to be able to share that dream and all her knowledge with her students. 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 Bohème, 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. 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. 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. JUAN FLORES | PIANO/VOICE | Juan Jose Flores is a Mexican pianist, singer, and songwriter from Toluca Mexico. He has a Bachelor's Degrees in Music Education and Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music. For more than eight years he has been writing and arranging in a wide variety of styles for different musical theater productions in his hometown and for independent artists. He has participated in diverse groups and ensembles, receiving opportunities to perform at the Berklee Performance Center, the Boston Symphony Hall, the Carnegie Hall, among others. He has been a member of distinguished groups such as the Audire Soundtrack Choir and Orchestra, Berklee Symphonic Woodwinds, The CharlieChords, and the Crepusculum Chamber Choir. He is also the founder and leader of the Univoz Vocal ensemble; a Boston-based ensemble that seeks to engage different audiences into music education workshops and music therapy experiences. Juan is an experienced teacher who has taught both piano and voice students and looks to inspire them to have as much passion about music as he does! JORDAN GRAVEL | PIANO | Jordan Gravel has his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance in Piano from the College of Charleston. It is in Charleston, South Carolina, that he has been a professional jazz pianist and music educator for the past ten years. Jordan had released two albums, which can be heard on his website www.jordangravel.com. Jordan loves to be involved in music education, and has not only been a private music instructor, but also has experience as an elementary school teacher. Originally from Marblehead, MA, Jordan has recently moved back to Massachusetts, and is very excited about being involved with Merry Melody Music, and helping students find the joy of learning the piano. ERIK GRIMM | GUITAR | Originally from Maryland, Erik has been pursuing music ever since he picked up his first guitar in middle school and started taking lessons. He graduated cum laude from the renowned Berklee College of Music majoring in Professional Music and minoring in Music Production and Engineering. He specializes in rock and folk, but also loves jazz, classical, latin, funk and more. He has played countless events such as Boston Day of Peace, JP Porchfest, Berklee Springfest and the Summer in the City music series. Currently, he plays the guitar and sings in the indie folk trio, Julia Maree and The Old Line State. His goal in teaching is to inspire his students and get them loving the guitar as much as he does. He has had a great experience teaching private lessons and looks forward to every new student he has a chance to work with. 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. 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. YINI HAO | PIANO | Originally from China, Yini Hao started to play the piano at the age of 4. From 2006 until 2012, she studied at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China. Moving to Boston to continue her studies, she received her Bachelor Degree in 2016 from New England Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance. In 2017, Yini won the honor competition at Longy School of Music where she is currently studying for her Master Degree with Rieko Aizawa. She has been teaching for several years both here in the United States and in China. In addition to teaching, she regularly performs and participates in masterclasses. 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 (Così 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. GUISEPPE PARADISO | DRUMS | Giuseppe was born in Santeramo in Colle (Bari, Italy) and started his musical studies on drums at the age of 6 years old. His love and talents for the Percussions and Drums eventually led to him to the Italian Conservatory "N. Piccinni" of Bari, Italy where he studied classical percussion and also Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he studied the Drumset. He was the recipient of various merit-based-scholarships including one for the full-time program at Berklee College of Music. Giuseppe is well versed in all different styles of music, including Jazz, Pop, Rock, Latin, etc. His talent and wide array of drumming skills have landed him prestigious performance opportunities at venues such as the Newport Jazz Festival, Regatta Bar, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, etc. He has also done recordings for several albums including one for his own compositions (Otherness Collection, 2012) and appearances on TV such as the “Boston Strong” campaign on NECN. Aside from his performance career, Giuseppe has also been teaching the Drums for about 10 years in both Italy and the Unite States. His students range from 7 year-olds to retirees while some of them have ended up music conservatories in Italy. Through his experiences, Giuseppe developed a method based on developing the natural skills of the student. The classes are focused on specific goals and building a personal program for each student based on their capacities and personalities. One of the most important objectives is to achieve all of this in a way that both the student and instructor enjoy and have fun during the process – To learn, enjoy and create. 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. CHRISTOPHER PEGRAM | PIANO | Christopher Pegram, a pianist from our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., attended and graduated from both Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Professional Music, and the Duke Ellington School of The Arts, a prestigious arts high school in Washington, D.C. He has been playing and performing the piano since the age of 7, and has performed around the East Coast with many Boston bands. Christopher’s main focus is in Jazz piano, composition and arranging, but is proficient in all other styles. Christopher's mission in teaching is to make learning piano fun and easy whilst ingraining core musical values that extend beyond playing the piano well, but into being a better, more well rounded musician. 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. LAURA PINCUS | VOICE & PIANO |
Laura is unique in that she is a master of many instruments! She has a Master’s degree in Early Music Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music, studying under the world-renown medieval specialist Laurie Monahan. She also earned her Teaching Artist Certification. While there, she did a period performance of Dido and Aeneas, including historically accurate dance! She also studied harpsichord with celebrated keyboardists Peter Sykes and Libor Dudas. She received her Bachelor's of Music from Boston University while double majoring in Vocal Performance and Composition and Theory. Laura's musical career started with piano lessons at the early age of five. In her younger years, Laura won regional awards in piano and composition, and performed at Carnegie Hall with the Greenwich Public Schools Honor Choir. At the age of sixteen she performed in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida with the Troupers Light Opera Company. One of her more interesting accomplishments was performing a penny whistle solo with her high school band on the Great Wall of China. Laura is an experienced teacher and has been teaching students of various ages since her high school years. She now looks forward to sharing her joy of music with others!
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. ABIGAIL SCHOPPE | PIANO | Abigail Schoppe graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Piano Performance, a minor in Accompanying, and certification in Piano Pedagogy. During her time living in Pittsburgh, she also taught piano at Carnegie Mellon’s Music Preparatory School. Since then, she has continued to teach piano, to accompany singers, and to work as a church organist and music director. She is currently the director of music at Faith Lutheran Church in Andover, where she plays the organ and directs the adult choir, children’s choir, and handbell ensemble. Abby enjoys teaching music in all its forms, whether through private piano lessons or through directing choirs and other ensembles. She especially enjoys working with children in order to help shape the next generation of musicians. STEPHANIE SCOGNA | VOICE/PIANO | Originally from Pennsylvania, soprano Stephanie Scogna has been named as a “standout voice” and “delightful and effervescent” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, and is a performer equally at home in the opera, art song, and sacred music genres. She most recently appeared as Sister Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Zweite Dame in The Magic Flute with New England Conservatory’s Opera Theatre. She has enjoyed performances with chorus and chamber orchestra as soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, Faure’s Requiem, and Stravinsky’s Mass. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Religious Studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and has just completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at New England Conservatory, where she trained under Karen Holvik and vocal pedagogue Ian Howell. In addition to teaching in Boston, Stephanie is a third-year member of the esteemed Choir of the Church of the Advent in Beacon Hill, and is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Boston Art Song Society, an up-and-coming salon-style performing organization. Stephanie comes from a musical family where both her parents were music teachers! Besides singing, she has played piano since she was a young child, and is one of those who is accomplished at both instruments! She looks forward to continuing her teaching career with Merry Melody and helping students find their inner voice 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. 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! 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 resumè 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! 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!