At Wayland School of Music we believe that whether you're a complete beginner or a developing artist, you deserve an experienced, enthusiastic teacher with a proven record of excellence as both teacher and performer. So we have a stringent hiring policy:

  • Our private lesson teachers must have at minimum a Bachelor's degree in music and/or music eductation; almost all have a Master's Degree, and some also have a doctoral degree.
  • They must have a minimum of 10 years of professional teaching experience (they average much more).
  • They must also have achieved professional success as performers. WSM teachers have performed with the Boston Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg (Russia) State Symphony, and many other professional orchestras and ensembles.
  • Our group class teachers must have taught classes in a wide variety of settings.

Our teachers are passionate educators and inspiring musicians who "practice what they preach". They are are patient, skilled, dynamic, and fun!

Meet them below, then contact us to set up a free tryout lesson.

Penny Wayne-Shapiro, Violin; Suzuki violin
Founder and Director

Penny Wayne-ShapiroPenny was born in Worthing, southern England, and did her undergraduate and graduate training at the Royal Academy of Music, London, followed by post-graduate work with Ivan Galamian in New York. Later she completed a Master's degree and Doctoral coursework while studying with Yuri Mazurkevich at Boston University, where she also taught string pedagogy in the Music Education department. From 1990-97 she was a faculty member at the Community Music Center of Boston. In 1997 she founded Wayland Violin Studio, which in 2007 expanded to become Wayland School of Music.

Penny's first professional appointment was at age 22, as first violinist with English National Opera. She was also a regular performer with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She joined the first violin section of the London Philharmonic at age 26, took part in many international tours and recordings, and was featured as costumed soloist in a number of LPO opera productions. She also taught in the LPO educational program, and gave many recitals in London and elsewhere, including a solo tour of Brazil. In the US, Penny was concertmaster (first chair) of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2012. She is now the violinist of the Aviva Piano Trio.

A life long learner, Penny continues to be excited about teaching and performing and recently added Suzuki training to her toolbox.

“Penny is committed and passionate about what she does and works at the students' pace to make music fun.”
– parent of boys ages 6 and 8

“Penny is a wonderful, talented, and caring teacher. She pushes her students to reach for their best, but doesn't overwhelm them in the process.”
- mother of students ages 13 and 16

Meet Penny:

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    Age nine, but I had been begging for violin lessons for years
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My Dad was a concert pianist, but didn't want any of his children to be musicians! (Hence the long wait for lessons.)
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    When I was ten my Dad gave me his collection of 78 rpm records — four minutes of music per side. I fell hopelessly in love with a particular four minutes of Brahms symphony #1, and played it over and over until the old 78 rpm record player literally went up in smoke.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Playing that same piece, Brahms 1, many times (on three continents!) with the London Phil, then several times as concertmaster with the CCSO; a recital tour of the beautiful country of Brazil in the 1980s; the excitement of rehearsing and performing with the Aviva Piano Trio.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Interacting with the kids; seeing the light dawn on their faces as they master something they couldn't do before; sharing my love of a piece of music with them; learning so much myself from teaching them.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I assume we're going to work hard together, but I’ll do my best to make it fun too - and I will never give up on finding a way to teach you something.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love rollercoasters and waterpark thrill rides! On vacation in New Jersey I went down a 90ft water-slide called the Cliff Dive – it’s rumored that I screamed “really loudly”.

Dr. Francesco Barone, Guitar, Suzuki Guitar, Electric Guitar, Music Theory

Francesco Barone Francesco has performed frequently on prestigious concert series including those of the New England Guitar Society and Connecticut Guitar Society and has also appeared in recital in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. He is committed to community outreach, presenting multiple programs each season at libraries, assisted living centers, and other community venues.

In addition to his studio at Wayland School of Music, Francesco teaches at the Essex Community School, at the Barone Guitar Studio, and has given masterclasses at the Connecticut Guitar Society and the Hartt School of Music. He was a faculty member of the Hartt School of Music Community Division and appeared frequently on the Faculty Recital Series. He is the author of Chord Companion: A Chord Method Supplement, published in July 2020.

Meet Francesco

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I was introduced to music as an electric guitarist at age 13, but did not begin studying classical guitar until age 17.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    No, neither of my parents were musicians, although it was thought that my sister was the musician of our family since she played with the school band as a percussionist in elementary and middle school.  
  3. Best, funniest, or worst musical memory from childhood?
    Hearing Bach played on the guitar for the first time as a teenager.  
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Performing my first national concerts in Seattle in 2019.  
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love using my skills and talents to enrich the lives of my students and watch them strive for excellence. It's a miracle to watch students develop and make progress on their instruments over a period of weeks, months, and years.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    That I deeply care and am invested in their success.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I am a raw vegan.

Madalyne Cross, Viola/violin; Suzuki violin/viola; Director of Suzuki Program

Madalyne CrossMadalyne trained at New York University with Stephanie Baer on a Talent Scholarship, and at the Hartt School of Music in CT with Rita Porfiris and Teri Einfeldt, where she completed her MM degree with a specialization in Suzuki pedagogy. Madalyne has taught in a variety of settings, including the Brooklyn Philharmonic Outreach program, the Suzuki Magnet program at Parker Elementary in Houston, Texas, and the Simsbury Arts Academy in CT. Most recently she taught at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, NH, where she maintained a studio of 35 students aged 4-70 for several years before settling in the Metrowest area in spring 2015.

Madalyne has performed with the One World Symphony and Opera Vista, as well as having extensive freelance experience in CT, NH and VT. She also has a particular interest in chamber music, and has performed as violist with the Cimmaron Ensemble in TX, the 016 New Music Ensemble in CT, and the Saraswati quartet in NH.

“Madalyne is such a skilled and gifted teacher and a gorgeous musician herself. She strikes this amazing balance — she's extremely empowering to kids because she is so masterful at helping them focus on one element at a time, while having fun. It means they feel very in touch with progress in a concrete, tangible way.”
- mother of student age 7

Meet Madalyne

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started playing the violin when I was 5 at the Suzuki Violin program at my elementary school. In 7th grade, I switched to viola as my main instrument.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My father plays the steel guitar and my mother plays the piano.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    I was playing at a group class Halloween concert dressed as a flamingo, with a pink dress and an inflatable flamingo on my head. We started a piece called "Witches' Dance" and my bow got stuck in the flamingo on my head! (Luckily I was able to get it out quickly and continue playing.)
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    All of the traveling that came with playing in my school orchestras, some neat recording projects in New York and, of course, moonlighting with my Dad's country music band.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love making a connection with a student and watching that student grow and learn to love playing.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I expect to work hard and to have fun learning together.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love to cook and to eat!

Allison Dobbs, Violin, Viola; Suzuki Violin, Viola; Music and Art Enrichment

Allison DobbsAllison received her B Mus from Texas Tech School of Music, and her M Mus and Graduate Performance Diploma from Boston Conservatory of Music, where she was a member of the BCM Honors String Quartet. Her principal teachers were John Gilbert, Markus Placci and Lynn Chang. She is certified as a Suzuki Instructor through Book 3, and also has training in Alexander Technique for musicians.

Allison also holds a BFA from Cooper Union College, and loves to combine music and art for students in multi-media projects such as “Night at the Ballet” chamber music, art, and dance workshop; Chamber Music and Puppetry: Pirates; and Virtual Chamber Music Story Telling.

In addition to Wayland School of Music, Allison teaches at Brookline Music School and at the Powers School in Belmont. She was after-school lesson instructor for the Needham Public Schools from 2013-18. Her students have been successful in youth orchestra auditions including the BYSO, and Junior and Senior District Orchestras.

Allison has performed with multiple ensembles in the NE area including the Waltham Philharmonic (concertmaster), MassOpera (principal), Promisek Bach Festival and many others.

"Allison cares deeply about her students, about their progress, and about their involvement in music beyond simply attending their private lessons. She is highly attuned to and concerned about their enjoyment and engagement as young musicians. She is extraordinarily enthusiastic and encouraging of each of her students.

Allison is also a highly creative and outside-the-box thinker. She recently was one of the true stars of the pandemic, among the first to have her students continue making music remotely by harnessing and learning audio/video mixing technology. Any musical institution, particularly one that prides itself on encouraging young students to challenge themselves and discover their musical potential, would be fortunate to have Allison Dobbs join their ranks as a teacher."
~ Supervisor, Brookline Music School

Meet Allison

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started in first grade.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My parents both played instruments when they were young, but for most of my childhood, I was the only active musician at home. My mother shared her passion for music through recordings. For her, music was always in the foreground, and listening was a singular activity. From this, I became so attached to the violin's sound.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    Getting my real violin after being on a practice violin - a macaroni box with a paint stirrer!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Recent highlights include performing The Lark Ascending and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    There are many things I love about teaching. Right now, after an extended time of remote teaching, I see the in-person lesson with fresh eyes, and am grateful for the opportunity to have this vantage point.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I am really excited to be teaching at Wayland School of Music and look forward to meeting everyone!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    Since moving to Boston, I have lived near the red line, orange line, and green line trains. Besides Massachusetts, I have lived in Ohio, Indiana, Texas and New York.

Dr. Andrew Harms, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone

Andrew HarmsDr. Harms received his B. Mus from Missouri State University, his MM from the University of Missouri, and his DMA from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. His teaching positions have included Trumpet Instructor at the University of Miami, Brass Instructor and assistant department head at Appel Farm Fine Arts and Music Center (Philadelphia), Brass Coach at New England Music Camp, and Director at the Boston Trumpet Workshop.

His students were accepted to All-State ensembles on every brass instrument this year. He is a published author on brass pedagogy, and serves on the board of the New England Brass Band.

Dr. Harms is Artistic Director of the Spitfire Music Consortium, which offers undergraduate career advising and instruction, college preparation, and curriculum advising for clients throughout the NE area, including UNH and U Maine.

Andrew has performed played with Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Miami Symphony, to name just a few. He has performed in many solo recitals in the NE area.

"Dr. Andrew Harms is more than just an A+ instructor, he is truly a teacher who meets the students where they are at and pushes them to grow. He engages the kids to go beyond just their instrument and learn to appreciate music. During COVID, Dr. Harms went way above and beyond for his students and really kept music in my child’s life all year. I don’t know where we would have been without him this past year, which speaks volumes to his dedication to the students he teaches. He is professional and kind. Dr. Harms is the place to go!
~ Parent of student age 15

Meet Andrew

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started at age 11/5th grade.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    No! I have a doctorate in Music, and my parents didn’t even finish high school.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    One of my favorite musical memories is hiking one day after school to the local Barnes and Noble (when those still existed) to read books. I stumbled across a CD of the Boston Pops under John Williams playing Star Wars on the sample listening device. I loved Star Wars, and being from a very rural, very poor community, I had never heard playing like that, anywhere. It is one of the moments that inspired me to become a musician. Imagine my joy to play Star Wars soundtracks under John Williams, 20 years later.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Other than the one above, there are two that stand out. First, going into my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to make the District and State ensembles, which nobody in my band section had done in a decade or more. Without telling my parents, I quit my job, bought a professional instrument, took lessons, and I practiced five hours per day that summer. I made 1st chair at Districts, and 3rd at State. Spending a week at the state festival and being exposed to college teachers and like-minded musicians was life-changing.
    Second, not playing but certainly music related, was when my mentor, the principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Symphony, asked me to co-found his program with him in Miami. I was both floored, and honored, and our program is just getting off the ground.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Photographer David Duchemy talks about the way our work sends waves across the universe, like ripples from a rock thrown in a pond. My favorite thing about teaching is knowing that my words and actions will resonate in the minds of my students their whole lives, and hopefully become wisdom they can apply and pass on. This process goes farther than fancy cars and iPhones, and is one of the best reasons to study music, in my opinion. I have had several important mentors that continue to play a role in my life, and love being in the middle of that cycle.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    My students have NO question that I am passionate about music, and believe in its value with all of my faculties. Like a stock that investors don’t understand, music and the arts is drastically undervalued by society, and in time people will see it more the way I do (they are starting to!). It can challenge our brains to think in a way similar to differential calculus, but at a much younger age and with an element of motor skills and coordination. Like calculus and acting combined! I do not hide my beliefs about music’s importance, so students should come to lessons expecting to be challenged to think, and to walk away with new perspectives.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I have a lot of disjunct hobbies, but one that is a little unusual is that I am an avid watch collector, builder, and restorer. I collect modern Omegas, IWCs, Tudors, as well as World War II-era field and pilot watches. I have built mechanical watches and clocks from parts, and have restored several vintage Omegas to like-new condition.

Zarina Irkaeva, Cello; Theory/Composition

Zarina IrkaevaZarina trained in Russia, where she won many prizes and awards. She gained her M.Mus degree at the St. Petersburg, Conservatory, and became assistant principal cello of the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra. She began teaching at an early age and later taught at both the St. Petersburg School for Gifted Children, and the St. Petersburg Rehabilitation Program for Abused Children. She is currently on the cello faculty of Wheaton College.

Zarina performs regularly with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and several other New England orchestras. She is an active chamber musician and has performed at the Greensboro Music festival in Vermont and the Jewish Music Festival in Boston. She also appears frequently as a solo recitalist at various local venues. She is the cellist of the Aviva Piano Trio.

“My daughter has had four other cello teachers, and none has made a connection with her that Zarina has.”
- mother of student age 11

Meet Zarina

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I didn’t start till nine years old, because they all (family and teachers) wanted me to be physicist or mathematician instead.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Yes, Mother, Aunt, Uncle and another five members of the family
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    Before I was finally allowed to take lessons, I found two rulers in my house and used them as an imaginary violin and bow to practice hand positions – that was the best I could do, my uncle’s wife would have been furious with me if I’d touched her real one!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    I am not sure I have an answer to this one! It would be very difficult to find just one episode, it would take a whole book to fit them. I love learning – I was so lucky to meet many of teachers I had – they are highlights to my career – F. Reznikov, K. Kucherov, E. Fishman, A. Paulavichus, N. Nuridjanian, K. Tatebe, L. Jeppessen and a long list of others. I love to experiment myself and learn from my music partners. Everyone brings new perspective on things.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love children. I love kids’ world. I love when someone walks in not knowing how to open the instrument case and a couple of years later is debating the best concept of performing Bach.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    Do not be fooled by my soft voice and smile, I am kind but I am strict too!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love history. I love decorating, potion making, designing my own clothing (if I would only have a time for all of that!).

Sheryl Lafayette, Piano; Suzuki Piano

Sheryl Lafayette Sheryl received her BMus (honors) and Masters degrees from U Madison-Wisconsin, studying with Jeanette Ross and Tait Sanford. She followed with extensive post-grad study in Suzuki philosophy and pedagogy, studying with Doris Harrell, Mary Craig Powell and Valery Lloyd-Watts. She is registered as a Suzuki instructor through level 4 piano.

Sheryl is happy to use a Suzuki, traditional, or combination approach, depending on the needs of the student. As well as maintaining her extensive private studio, she is piano instructor at Creative Arts in Reading, and was its Director from 2004-2009. She is a past Director of the MA Suzuki Association and the MA Suzuki Festival, and since 2005 has been Assistant Director of the Suzuki-by-the-Green summer piano workshop. She is also an adjudicator for the Eastern District Junior and Senior Festivals, and for the Rivers Conservatory Youth Orchestras.

As a performer, Sheryl freelances extensively with chamber groups in the Metro Boston area, and also performs (as violinist) with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, the North Shore Philharmonic, and the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra.

Sheryl raised two young musicians herself who are now professionals - a Boston Symphony violinist, and a concert cellist/performance psychologist.

"Our family thinks the world of Sheryl! She has wonderful patience, ways of eliciting enthusiasm from students, and solid musicianship. Our daughter was able to progress at just the right pace, developing skills for and confidence in performance."
- mother of piano student, studied from ages 6 -14

Meet Sheryl

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I remember wanting to play the piano as a tiny child but there was no way to get a piano into our second floor, three room apartment. At age 10, I was able to start on the cello in our public school program, and later violin. I played piano whenever possible and taught myself a lot, but did not have formal piano lessons until college.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    No. My dad had no musical experience; my mom had some piano lessons as a child. I found out later that my maternal grandfather wrote popular songs (I still have some of them) and made instruments (violins and mandolins). He claimed he had a dream in which “Old Man Stradivarius” came to him and told him the secret of how he made his beautiful violins, but he never revealed that secret to me!
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    Once, in junior high school, I somehow broke the scroll and fingerboard off my cello. I remember walking home with about five friends, each of us carrying a piece of the cello. It was VERY humiliating.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Performing in a group of teachers led by Shinichi Suzuki. I’ve had many experiences where I feel as one with the music and the musicians around me; Dr. Suzuki was a master at helping us to feel the living soul of tone.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love making connections with students (each one is different!), and helping them making connections with music. I love showing them how to play mindfully yet relaxed, using their entire body.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I consider myself a musician rather than as a specific instrumentalist. I look upon performing as a way of communicating through one’s instrument. I think it is possible to have very high standards and also make learning music fun. I want students to look for their own answers as much as they can rather than having me tell them exactly what to do.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I live with a beautiful black cat named Minerva who refused to come out from under the bed for the first five months she lived with me, but is now starting to venture forth.

Elizabeth Levens, Violin/Viola/Elementary Cello; Suzuki Violin/Viola/Cello

Elizabeth LevensGrowing up in Wayland, Elizabeth Levens was a prizewinner of the Rivers Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and a Senior Lifeguard at the Wayland Town Beach. After graduating with honors from Walnut Hill School for the Arts, she received her BMus in performance from BU (Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa), and her MMus from the University of South Florida where she was teaching assistant to Carolyn Stuart.

In addition to her work at Wayland School of Music Elizabeth maintains a private violin/viola studio, teaches for the Walpole and Shrewsbury after-school music programs, and leads the Shrewsbury fourth grade orchestra program. She is Suzuki certified through Book 7.

A very active and versatile performer, she has appeared with many orchestras in Boston and Florida, including the Ocala Symphony, Thayer Symphony and South Shore Symphony. She has also performed with the New Music Consortium, at the Three Bridges International Chamber Music Festival, and the Aston Magna Bach Festival.

Elizabeth is certified as both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga instructor, and Thai massage practitioner. She uses her knowledge of anatomy and mind/body awareness to help her violin and viola students play free of unnecessary tension and injuries.

“I observed several of my son’s first lessons with Elizabeth. She is extremely talented and patient, and consistently offered positive reinforcement. I was particularly impressed with the strategies Elizabeth explained to him to help him improve his posture. They proved to be very helpful as he progressed. I have observed her amazing talent, both as a performer and teacher; her professionalism; and her kindness.”
- mother of a viola student age 10

Meet Elizabeth

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started violin at age 8.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My mother and grandmother are both accomplished pianists.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    I was performing Vivaldi’s A minor Concerto in a student recital, and my E string broke. I kept going, and had to play all the E string sections high up on the A string!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Orchestral tours to Italy and China, and seeing the audience moved to tears when we played Tchaikovsky 6, one of my childhood favorite symphonies. I have also enjoyed playing for conductors Gunther Schuller, Christopher Seaman, and Leonard Slatkin.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love sharing my passion for music with students, and seeing their enthusiasm grow as we progress through lessons. I also love solving technical problems.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I believe in fostering a fun, supportive and encouraging environment for children to study music. I have high expectations, and do a lot of technical work, but I also want lessons to be fun and energetic.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    In addition to teaching violin, I teach yoga and do Thai massage sessions. In my spare time, I enjoy kayaking, hiking, running, and playing with my two rescue dogs.

Jose Quezada Marques, Cello, Guitar, Ukelele

Jose Quezada MarquesJose is a graduate of the National Conservatory of Peru (BM) and the Boston Conservatory (MM). He was cellist with the Peruvian National Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2018, and made concerto appearances with many orchestras throughout South America during that time.

Jose held several cello teaching posts in Peru ranging from elementary to college level, including at Sinfonía por el Perú, a non-profit organization for underprivileged youth. Jose is now Resident Music Tutor at Pforzheimer House, Harvard University, and is also Spanish Instructor at Kingsley Montessori School.

“I offer my warm endorsement of Jose Marquez, resident tutor at Harvard, Pforzheimer House. He is our music tutor, as well as a general advisor and pastoral presence for close to 400 students. In this capacity, he has regularly offered popular music workshops for our less experienced but enthusiastic music lovers, as well as arranging high level chamber music opportunities for our more experienced musicians. He is kind, patient, and passionate about his craft. He has been a great asset to the House."
Anne Harrington
Franklin L Ford Professor, Faculty Dean, Pforzheimer House, Harvard University

 

Meet Jose

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I began studying music with piano lessons at age 5. Then I started with the guitar at 12 and with the cello at 14.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    I do come from a musical family. My dad is a conductor, composer and musicologist, and my mom is a soprano singer. Both are music educators as well.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    One of the first times that I was playing with an orchestra, when I was very young, my bow slipped from my hand and landed in the pit, in the middle of the concert! Since no one was down there or around to help, I jumped into the pit, grabbed my bow and jumped back up and kept playing.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    One of the highlights of my career has been to go on tour in the US playing Peruvian Baroque music with my parents. Another highlight was when Sting went on tour in Peru - he performed with the orchestra that I was playing with! It was very cool to rehearse and perform with one of guys from The Police.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    What I really love about teaching is that I learn a lot with every different student.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I try to practice every day, even if I can only do play for a short period of time.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I fall sleep in every movie that I try to watch!

Dr. Andrew Marshall, Piano, Voice

Andrew MarshallJamaican pianist, choral conductor and composer Andrew Marshall is a graduate of Northern Caribbean University (BM), Westminster Choir College (MM), and the University of Oklahoma (DMA). He holds a Certification in Advanced Piano Performance from the Associate Board of Royal Schools of Music [Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, the UK’s premier conservatories].

Among Andrew’s many professional accomplishments, he was Associate Professor and Director of Choirs at Northern Caribbean University, where he also taught Piano, Voice, Music History, and Composition. He has also been Associate Professor at Oakwood University, AL; Guest Conductor and Composer-in-Residence for both the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica; and Founder and Director of the Jamaica Choral Scholars Festival. His compositions range from choral arrangements to full-scale symphonies, and have been performed to great acclaim. Dr. Marshall is currently Choir Director at the Winsor School, Boston, and has taught piano in his private studio since 1998.

Andrew is a top-notch pianist, composer, and conductor, but he is also very warm as a person and has a lovely sense of humor. He has
three young sons and is practiced at interacting with children and teenagers in a way that makes them feel connected to him. Andrew has been a wonderful addition to our program because he is fantastic with the students and adults alike. "
                   ~ Felicia Brady-Lopez, Faculty Supervisor, the Winsor School

Meet Andrew

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started at about age 6. My parents wanted me to learn a musical instrument, so off to class I went!
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My mother was a visual artist and music group director, so she definitely had a musical/artistic leaning. She also played the piano at a young age. My father did not play a musical instrument but he has a great baritone voice, an above-average interest in the subject, and fully supported our musical endeavors.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    Singing in music productions with my friends. I still remember most of the songs!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Performing concerts of my extended compositions for a variety of musical forces; and serving as the founder and director of a musical festival.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love seeing the student who is eager to learn and willing to work hard enjoy the rewards of their hard-earned labor.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I want my students to come to enjoy music in its fullness as one way to enrich their lives; and that to achieve this, commitment, dedication, and hard work are essential. No short cuts!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    If I wasn’t a musician, it’s very likely I would be a professional volleyball coach. I also love writing short stories!

Casey Murray, Cello, Guitar, American Roots music, Creative Ability Development ®

Casey MurrayA graduate of Berklee School of Music with a cello performance major and American Roots minor, Casey is a passionate educator, multi-talented performer, founder/member of several active bands, and recording artist.

She also is certified in Creative Ability Development®, and loves teaching even early beginners the art of improvisation.

Before moving to Massachusetts, Casey was on the faculty of the Kanack School of Musical Artistry in New York, where she taught private lessons and group classes in Suzuki cello, folk/fiddling, and improvisation.

Meet Casey

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started playing Suzuki violin at age 3 but I fell in love with the cello and began playing cello at age 7. Then I started playing guitar when I was 12. I really wanted a blue one so that's what I got :)
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Not really -- my parents did Suzuki along with me while I learned and my dad plays beginner fiddle from time to time. My uncles played in a rock band though...
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    I was playing in a Suzuki violin group class when I was about 6 and we were playing Perpetual Motion. I was getting really into it and next thing I know--my E string broke! First time I ever broke a string while playing.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Two of the most exciting orchestra performances I've been in were when my youth orchestra played in Carnegie Hall. And when I played with the Berklee orchestra in the Boston Symphony Hall. We played the Lord of the Rings Symphony for Howard Shore himself! My favorite moments playing guitar happen when I play for contra dancing--seeing the floor bob up and down and hearing the dancers feet shuffle: magic.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Learning can be so exploratory and what I love about teaching is seeing students explore something new and discover their capabilities. And seeing my students be creative is so rewarding.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    Learning an instrument can be difficult at times but we'll be working on it together. It's always okay to ask questions you don't know the answers to; we'll find the answers together.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love to knit. Scarfs, hats, potholders, and sweaters. I also LOVE dogs.

Paris Myers, Double Bass, Suzuki Double Bass

paris myers Paris began violin at age 3 and bass at 7 with Dan Swaim, one of the first Suzuki bass teachers. He completed his BMus and MMus degrees at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he was a fellowship student of Eugene Levinson and Timothy Cobb.

Paris worked with under-privileged students in Harlem, NY, and taught in Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program which serves students in under-represented communities, giving them private lessons and preparing them for auditions. He was a substitute bass teacher in the Juilliard Pre-College Program, and a Juilliard Concert Fellow teaching music history, music appreciation and music analysis to fifth grade students at George Jackson Academy, developing lesson plans and concert programs, and leading discussion groups. He has maintained a private bass studio for many years.

Paris is Suzuki certified through book 3, and has performed at both the SAA Biennial Conference, and the Suzuki World Convention in Matsumoto, Japan.

As a performer, he is a first prizewinner of the National American String Teachers Association Solo Competition. He was principal bass of the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra; professionally, he has performed with the New World Symphony Orchestra and has advanced in auditions for a number of top orchestras including the Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and National Symphonies.

“Paris is a wonderful, kind person, incredibly hard-working, responsible and professional. He worked with the double bass students in MAP and was effective, nurturing and encouraging in their development. He approached me / the MAP team many times over the years with specific concerns with each student (personally and developmentally) and exhibited a level of maturity beyond his years in his ability to problem solve and make tangible change. Multiple double bass students Paris mentored throughout his time with MAP moved onto and were accepted into Juilliard’s Pre-College, an impressive accomplishment many his peers were not able to achieve.
In summary, Paris’ musical talent, personal authenticity and dedication to student development is a breath of fresh air and any organization would be extremely lucky to have him!
Mason Kinkead | Administrative Coordinator, Music Advancement Program (MAP), The Juilliard School

Meet Paris

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started playing bass when I was seven years old. My dad is an amateur bass player and saw a flyer that his old teacher was teaching bass lessons to young students and he signed me up!
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My parents both play instruments but not professionally. My father is a bass player, my mom plays violin and piano. My three younger brothers also learned to play bass and violin. We used to play gigs as a family at mobile home parks and called ourselves The Myers Boys!
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    One of the funniest memories from my childhood was having to give up my bass to the principal during a concert after her bridge collapsed and instead of fixing the bass, I played bass drum for the rest of the concert.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    One of the most memorable performances was getting to play in Tokyo for the former Emperor and Empress of Japan. We were informed backstage that there might be a special guest attending the concert and after the intermission they cleared out a section in the audience and the Emperor and Empress entered as the entire audience and orchestra stood and cheered. It made for a very exciting and memorable evening.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love watching my students develop and grow on their instrument. Each student brings their personality and experiences to the music and interprets it in their own way. It is such a pleasure to see their personalities shine through their music.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I always set high expectations and push my students to exceed them. Everyone goes at their own pace and I ensure each student is reaching their full potential both as a musician and as a human being.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    My wife and I love to go camping and hiking during the summer time. We also have three pet rats and a cat!

Eliomar Nascimento, Voice (ages 14 and up)

eliomar nascimento Eliomar is a former faculty member at the Young Artists Vocal Program for Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and current faculty at PAC Metrowest, where he also directs the Opera Workshop and the Musical Theater Summer Program. His students have won prizes in important vocal competitions.

While at Boston University, Eliomar sang Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, among others. Praised by the Boston Herald as the owner of a “Deep, lush voice” for his portrayal of Don Basilio in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, he has also appeared in productions of La Traviata, Lo Schiavo, I Pagliacci, Elektra, Salome, La Clemenza di Tito, Magic Flute, Bluebeard’s Castle and many others, with companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Brazil, Opera Aperta, Real-Time Opera, and Connecticut Lyric Opera.

An avid educator and researcher, Eliomar is also a Tomatis® Method Practioner. The method, invented by the French scientist Alfred Tomatis, works to stimulate the auditory processing system, allowing the brain to better receive, select, and process sound. Placido Domingo, Sting, Maria Callas, and Gerard Depardieu are some of the famous clients of this method, more widely known in Europe.

Eliomar Nascimento is a member of NATS (National Association of Teacher of Singing) and is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian.

Meet Eliomar

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started at age 7 with piano and age 19/20 with voice.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My brother is a self-taught drummer; other than that no other family members are musically active.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    Before I started voice lesson, at about age 17, I learned the accompaniment of the Toreador aria from Bizet’s Carmen by ear on the piano and taught it to a colleague so that I could sing it in one of the end-of-the-year Conservatory recitals - also the chorus and 3 other characters that make the number. In the original French. LOL.A highlight or two from your performing career:
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    In July of 1999, I performed Don Rodrigo (the main bass) in Carlos Gomes’ Lo Schiavo, in a tour that went to 5 Brazilian Capitals in their main theaters. The cast was comprised of all international names such as Stephen Mark Brown, Louis Ottey, etc.; and the conductor was Eugene Khon, who accompanied Maria Callas in one of her comeback recitals and for masterclasses at the Julliard School of Music
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Helping the students understand and accomplish the instrument they are playing – their voice – and how to achieve their goals. Voice is an instrument that is subject to so many variables, such as weather, mood, age, psyche, and so on!
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I am very serious about what I do, and I am teaching students so that they will have the potential to become performers, even if that’s not their current goal. A student may be “just taking lessons” for the moment, but may decide to go full blown as a performer later, and I don’t want it to be “too late” when they decide to do so. In other words, I cannot half teach them!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I am a beach rat during the summer.

Eamonn O'Hara, Piano

Eamonn O'HaraEamonn O'Hara was a scholarship student at both the New England Conservatory Prep School and the Boston Conservatory. His principal teachers were with Jonathan Bass, Ramon River, and Hilda Shapiro, and he also took masterclasses with the legendary Leon Fleischer.

Eamonn teaches at the Amadeus Music School in Lexington; he has previously taught piano at LexiMusic, and pedagogy at the Boston Arts Academy. He brings to his students not only his extensive teaching and performing experience but also his in-depth study of the Alexander Technique, in order to help them employ natural and effective movement in developing their piano playing.

Eamonn is a versatile performer who has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at a wide range of venues in New England, and has also performed as a symphonic pianist with the Cape Ann and Melrose Symphony Orchestras.

Meet Eamonn

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I was seven when formal lessons began. My mother, an avid player, naturally showed me some things at the piano before then.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Growing up, I was blessed to have exposure to many different types of music, but gravitated toward Classical music and the operas of Mozart.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    When I attended Tanglewood Institute and found camaraderie with fellow musicians and composers. The unlimited practice time, inspired guidance from faculty, performing music together, and a great concert to attend every night: what more could anyone reasonably ask for?
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    My teacher urged me to prepare the Liszt “Dante” Sonata for my senior recital, but I balked due to a time constraint. After returning to school after a rejuvenating trip abroad, I felt invincible and set about work on the finger-breaking epic of the Romantic master. It was an indelible experience performing it for my teacher, friends, and colleagues at the conservatory along with the rest of my senior program.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Seeing a student light up as they listen to and engage with music. To give them access to the world of music is the most wonderful privilege.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    It's an absolute joy to discover music with my students. Although progress is always exciting, I understand that our journey has its fair share of challenges and charms, plateaus and breakthroughs. As long as we maintain an attitude of earnest learning, curiosity and awe, we will play our best and inevitably be nourished by music.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    Before music became my passion, I enjoyed drawing and thought at one time I would go into art.

Cecilia Pinto, Violin, Suzuki violin; Early childhood classes

Cecilia PintoCecilia completed her BMus degree at the Peruvian National Conservatory and her MMus at Boston Conservatory. She is a registered Suzuki Instructor for books through 10, and has also completed training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Kodaly pedagogy. Before moving back to Boston in 2019, Cecilia was String Department Chair, Violin Instructor and Early Childhood Instructor (in both English and Spanish) at the Chicago Center for Music Education, and was also Music Director of the CHIME’s large ensemble, United in Harmony. In Peru, she taught at the International Suzuki Festival, Markham College, and the Reina del Mundo elementary and middle school. She currently teaches in the New England Conservatory Pre-College Division.

Cecilia has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Andes, and the Peruvian National Conservatory Orchestra. She is a first and second prizewinner of the National Violin Contest of Peru, as well as winning the awards for Best Performance of Latin American Music and Best Performance of Peruvian Music.

Meet Cecilia

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started to learn violin when I was 9 years old, but I come from a family of musicians, so music was in my life since I was in the womb. We played several instruments and sang a lot. The formal instrument came later, but music was there always.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Yes, my mom is a pianist and a Suzuki Piano Teacher Trainer. My dad is an ethnomusicologist and composer who plays several instruments, and he taught me violin with Suzuki during my first years.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    My best childhood memory is when I had the opportunity to play with students that came from abroad and to travel with my violin. Connecting with others from other places and countries through music was magical, and was the reason I decided to practice more and go into music!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    In my performing career I played as a soloist with orchestra in three different opportunities. I obtained 1st and 2nd places in three different competitions. And I was able to travel to France and the US (from Peru) for summer camps. Music has taken me to many places!
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I love teaching because I love to see children grow and progress. I find great joy when I see a child build a strong self-esteem because of her hard work and when she believes in herself enough to go in front of an audience and show her best. If I can contribute to make a child happier and more sensitive with music, then I feel I have done my work.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I would like my students to know that I care deeply about them. I have high expectations and standards and I like to mix that with lots of joy. The student is always first, so we will find a way to keep high standards, make it fun, and keep the health and character of the student as the most important priority.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love to dance. In Peru I used to dance a Peruvian Dance called Marinera Norteña. I took weekly lessons and participated in contests dancing. And I love to dance in general!

Aleksandre Roderick-Lorenz, Viola, Violin

Aleksandre Roderick-LorenzVenezuelan violist, conductor and pedagogue Aleksandre Roderick-Lorenz hails from Caracas where their musical foundation began under the auspices of the famed "El Sistema" organisation. They received their BMus degree from Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music, where they won first prize in the Concerto Competition and was awarded the Certificate of Teaching Excellence. Their principal teachers were Laura Bossert, Richard Fleischmann and Michael Klotz; they also coached with Steve Ansell. Terry King, Peter Zazofsky and Ivo Jan van der Werff.

A passionate teacher, Aleksandre serves on the faculty of Miami's ViolaFest at the New World School of Arts, the ArtsAhimsa Music Festical, and formerly at the International School of Music in Miami, where they are still a visiting artist. In New York they served as Teaching Assistant to Professor Laura Bossert at Syracuse University, and as the musical director of La Casita Cultural Center.

Aleksandre is a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) and principal violist of the Lyrica Boston ChamberOrchestra. As a chamber musician, they have collaborated with an eclectic roster of artists including Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Mathis, Celtic Woman and the Electric Light Orchestra, Stephen Hough, Christopher O'Riley and Natalie Cole, among many others. Aleksandre has performed at the Latin Grammy, Billboard Music Awards, Premios Juventud, Miami Life Awards, Lo Nuestro Awards, and has made numerous televised appearances for Venevision, America TV, Ávila TV, Mega TV, Telemundo and Univision.

Aleksandre won first prize at Univision-Sabado Gigante’s Televised Talent Performance, and recently made their national radio debut at WQXR’s McGraw Hill Financial Young Artist Showcase with Robert Sherman.

“Alex is an amazing teacher. They are extremely musical and taught M___ that playing notes is easy, but understanding the music and its value is what is important. They are strict but at the same time all the students enjoyed their classes. They put their maximum effort in helping students understand."
- Parent of student from age 6 up

“Aleksandre teaches in a way which makes it obvious that they love to educate and help students achieve their goals. We believe that any student who gets to work with them is very lucky!"
- Director, International School of Music, Miami, Florida

“Aleksandre the magical musician – a daring young artist, and a transcendent musician breaking all boundaries!"
- Lori Singer, American actress and cellist

Meet Aleksandre

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    My first instrument was actually voice - I began to sing when I was about 8 years old - and then I learned how to play guitar and a folk instrument from Venezuela known as “el cuatro.” I had a rather late start on the viola in my teen years, but it soon became evident that my heart had been stolen forever.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    There is definitely an artistic vein in my family: my father is a professional actor. However, I like to think of myself as the first serious musician in the family.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    I remember speaking to my friends after having performed Beethoven’s Septet, about the crazy idea of putting together the humorous Schleptet by PDQ Bach. They all quickly agreed to do it under the condition that be their conductor. A couple of weeks later, we got to perform the work for maestro Peter Schickele (the composer himself!!!) who was rather sensational and extremely funny.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    In 2015, I became the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from Miami Dade County Office of the Major and Board of County Commissioners in recognition of my artistry and work in South Florida. I also feel extremely honoured to have been a 1stprize medallist for two competitions in Florida and one in New York.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I believe that teaching comes from sharing. I love to help each and every one of my students develop their gift and understanding of music. Learning to play an instrument is a formative, fun and inclusive process for both teacher and student. I enjoy seeing my pupils progress and ultimately, finding their voice and telling their own story through music.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    We can have a lot of fun together when it comes to learning. I am a very charismatic and meticulous teacher. I do expect my students to practice and come prepared for their lesson every week.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    When the instrument case is closed, I enjoy travelling, learning French, dancing salsa and exercising. I am also a Spanish Literature teacher!

Michael Shea – Classical/Jazz Piano; Composition


Michael Shea jazz pianist compositionMichael completed his BMus in composition from the University of Colorado, followed by Master’s degrees in both Jazz Studies and Composition at New England Conservatory. He is now a faculty member at NEC in the Division of Continuing Education, as well as at Milton Academy, Powers Music School in Belmont, and the Community Music Center of Boston. Michael believes that a piano foundation in the European piano technique is a springboard for playing piano in any musical tradition.


Michael has performed and toured with many leading groups in the Boston and New England area, including the Either Orchestra (in Boston and at the Portsmouth, Toronto and Ottawa Jazz Festivals), the Artie Shaw Orchestra (at Worcester Centrum, and tours through the U.S. Seaboard and the Midwestern States), the Winiker Swing Orchestra, White Heat Swing Orchestra, and many others.


He also composes, directs, and performs as a pianist with his own group, Michael Shea Quintet, with performances on WGBH radio and in many Boston area clubs including the Willow Jazz Club, the Parker House, and the Regattabar at the Charles Hotel, Cambridge; plus concert tours through upstate New York, and New York City.

Meet Michael

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    My father taught me both parts to Chopsticks and a few other simple duets when I was four years old.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My uncle was a professional musician, performing with big bands and with his own piano, guitar, and bass trio. My mother sang and harmonized with us and my father played piano – intermediate classical pieces and stride tunes for his own enjoyment. I enjoyed it too.
  3. Best, funniest or worst musical memory from childhood?
    In my last year of high school, I was invited to play cello in the school’s tiny orchestra. I had never played the cello and spent two months on a crash course of practicing in order to be ready. I began rehearsing (badly) with them when we came back from winter break. There was only one other cellist in the orchestra and she was absent for the first two weeks of rehearsals. When I asked the director about her, he told me she’d graduated early and that I was now the principal cellist for the rest of the year. Oddly enough, I stayed. Haydn will never forgive me.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Listening to performances of music I’ve written has always been an amazing feeling for me. Chamber music, the few orchestra pieces I’ve managed to get played, and jazz pieces performed – with and without my piano – have been great experiences. 
    The many times I’ve met and played with older, excellent jazz musicians have confirmed the art for me – everything was about the music, the camaraderie, the craftsmanship, and avid anticipation of what will happen next.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    The people. I enjoy learning about how different people learn, how they figure things out, and make sense of new information. I enjoy finding out what music touches them and attracts them. And, I really enjoy hearing students make the music their own, speaking fluently through their instrument.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I’m a friendly person and I expect their attention and focus on our lessons – there’s lot’s to do. I’d like my students to play every day, practicing the lesson, learning and polishing their pieces, and making up some music on their own. Most of all, I want my students to listen to music – of all kinds.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I swim like a sleepy otter and I enjoy hiking the woods.

Johann Soults, Cello

Johann SoultsJohann studied at the Oberlin School of Music, where he obtained his Bachelor of Music degree, and subsequently did postgraduate cello study with George Neikrug and Terry King. He is much in demand as a teacher, maintaining studios in Dartmouth, Bedford, and Franklin in addition to his extensive private practice in Boston. He is also a judge for the NE regional district auditions.

Johann is principal cellist of the Claflin Hill Symphony and former principal cellist of the Utica (NY) Symphony. He is a very active chamber musician and member of Ensemble Porte ño, with whom he has appeared live on WGBH. His recording credits also include live jazz recordings with artists such as Ida Zecco, Carol O’Shaughnessy, Silvia Greenberg and Jan Peters.

“Johann's easygoing manner suits my son very well. He manages to teach not only the intricacies of cello but of music in general, in a way that leaves the student empowered with knowledge and skill. My son has thrived under his tutelage!”
– parent of a student age 12

Meet Johann

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    nine years old
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Absolutely not!
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    Slipping on the ice and breaking the neck of my cello trying to catch the bus. I'm still in therapy for it…
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Playing on WBGH live. It was by far the best group experience, the best overall experience, and yet most nerve-racking performance I’ve played.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Seeing my students progress over time.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I'm very serious about music and the cello, but not about anything else!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    In spite of my name I am not German, I was born and raised in upstate NY by completely American parents – one North American, the other South American. Everyone else in my family has a perfectly normal English and pronounceable name, except for my mom's side—they all have beautiful Spanish names.

Dianne Spoto, Flute; Early Childhood Classes

Dianne SpotoDianne completed her B Mus at New England Conservatory studying with Leone Buyse and Paul Robison (two of the premier flutists of their generation), and her M Mus at Manhattan School of Music with Judith Mendenhall and Keith Underwood. She has also completed studies in Music Therapy at the New School of Social Research.

Dianne is currently flutist with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and has an extensive performing resume with orchestras in both Boston and New York. She has performed as soloist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at Symphony Space, Lincoln Center.

She also performs pop, rock and jazz. She was the lead singer, electric flutist and songwriter for the Golden Age Electronica Band (and others) in New York, and has performed with the group Aerosmith.

Dianne employs a systematic teaching method which has resulted in a high level of success in student festivals and competitions. In addition to her studio at Wayland School of Music, she currently teaches at the Joy of Music Program in Worcester, has been Instructor at St. Thomas Boys’ Choir School in NYC and various other schools in the New York area, and has taught Early Childhood music classes both online and at Beth Sholom Preschool in NY. She has taught students of all ages, levels and styles in her private flute studio since 1997.

Meet Dianne

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I am the youngest of six and all my siblings played huge instruments (tenor sax, euphonium, trombone, etc.) My sax-playing brother brought home a flute when I was in second grade, and when I saw and heard the flute, it was love at first sight. I waited two long years until I could join the school band and begin flute!
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    Yes, all my siblings and parents play instruments or sing. My oldest brother and I are the two that made our careers in music.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    My best musical memory was the first time I blew into the flute and a sound came out. It was a magical moment and I was hooked immediately!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    I play flute with the Boston Philharmonic and BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project). I lived in NYC for 18 years and sang and played electric flute in a pop band in NYC clubs.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    It is always deeply meaningful and inspiring to me when a student makes a breakthrough, big or small. To see confidence grow and the joy of music come alive in the lessons is always so exciting and special!
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I love all genres of music, from classical to jazz, pop radio, classic rock, folk, world and beyond!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I have a daughter, and a cute ginger rescue cat named "Mama Petunia."

Mia Tsai, Cello/Suzuki cello; Piano

Mia TsaiProfessionally active as pianist and cellist, and equally adept at both, Mia completed her BMus at Tainan University in Tainan, and her MMus (with honors) at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music, where she was also teaching assistant to Dr. Terry King. Her teachers and coaches include Chia-Min Chen, Po_Chun Lin, Terry King, Nicholas Tzavaras, Alexander Gebert and Yehuda Hanani. Mia has taught cello and piano in El Sistema programs at the Longy School of Bard College and La Casita Cultural Center in Syracuse. She also maintains a private teaching studio in Malden, and formerly in Taiwan.

Mia has performed professionally with many orchestras and ensembles including the Fu Dou Symphony in Taiwan (with which she also appeared as soloist), the Boston Opera Collaborative, and at summer festivals in Taiwan, the US and Germany. As pianist she has performed with violinist William Preucil, and as cellist with the Invoke and Glenside String Quartets. Mia is a recording artist for Syracuse University Records; her most recent project for the label featured her in several works of Shostakovich.

“As a parent, I appreciate Mia's gentle approach to teaching and her various training exercises. She has a classic approach to teaching yet is able to respond quickly and effectively with children — my daughter adored her. Since Mia moved away from our area, we recently started with a new teacher.  She has mentioned at every lesson how impressed she is with my daughter’s techniques and how grateful she is for my daughter’s first teacher.”
- mother of student age 8

Meet Mia

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started piano at the age of five, and I started cello when I was ten.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    No, but I was fortunate that my family has been supportive of my dream, and feel very lucky to have also found a musical family here in Boston.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    The night before my first cello lesson, my parents showed me a video of a cellist playing cello, and I cried because I thought he looked just like a monkey!
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    (1) To play and record as pianist with Laura Bossert, Associate Professor of violin & viola at Syracuse University, for SU’s record label. (2) Performing the Mendelssohn Octet with the Invoke String Quartet, Concert Artist Guild 2019 Grand Prize winners.
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    I like to work with people of all different ages and experience levels. Every lesson is a unique opportunity for a symbiotic connection both musically and personally.
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I am kind and compassionate and enjoy carving out individualized learning paths based on the goals of my students. Music, to me, is a unique language and it is my aim to help my students tell stories with their music.
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I am good at cooking scrambled and poached eggs, and organizing and cataloging music and people’s closets.

Zhiyue Ali You, Violin/Viola; Suzuki Violin/Viola

Zhiyue Ali YouA native of China, Ali began studying violin at age 4 with her uncle, well-known teacher Dayu Su. She majored in violin performance as a student of Xiaowei Chen at the prestigious Renmin University in Beijing, graduating at the top of her class. She then completed a Masters Degree with Bayla Keyes at Boston University (where she won the Bach Prize) and Suzuki Training at the Hartt School of Music at Hartford University, CT.

After apprenticing with her uncle, Ali went on to teach at elementary and middle schools in Beijing, where several of her students won first prizes in violin competitions. She is group violin teacher for the Chelsea Public Schools, and also teaches private lessons at the Ip Piano School in Boston.

As a performer, Ali has played with the orchestras of the National Ballet of China and the National Grand Theater of Beijing; and in the US with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom International Festival. She is also an active freelance player in the Boston area.

“Ali is a very talented player. When I first started lessons with her, I was a beginner. The violin sounded squeaky and miserable. I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. Ali simply modified my hand angle, raised my elbow slightly, and made me stand up straighter. She said 'Try now', and the sound was beautiful - a huge difference! We both couldn't stop laughing. She really does know what she is doing and can teach really well. Not to mention, she is a really nice person. Thanks for everything Ali!"
– Adult Student

Meet Ali

  1. How/what age did you start your instrument?
    I started from 4 years old.
  2. Did you come from a musical family?
    My uncle and cousins are all violinists and my aunt is a singer. My uncle, as my first teacher, taught me until 18 years old.
  3. Best or funniest (or even worst!) musical memory from childhood?
    I was always the fastest string learner and the slowest piano learner in my uncle’s music school.
  4. A highlight or two from your performing career:
    Playing with the Cleveland Orchestra - it was fantastic!
  5. What do you love about teaching?
    Seeing kid’s smiling face when they learn something from me!
  6. What would you like your students to know about you?
    I’m very patient, and I can always find a better way to practice and learn. My students can learn fast and be very happy at the same time. I hope for my students to love the music instead of just playing the music!
  7. Can you share a non-musical fun fact about you?
    I love food but can never cook well (still trying though!).