MASSAPEQUA PARK Instructors

We take pride in our team of university-trained instructors, who use their professional experience as both educators and performers to foster each student’s music education. They are qualified to teach students of all ages, from toddlers to adults. Our instructors are versatile in all styles of music, from classical to jazz to rock and everything in between. Whether you are a novice or have been playing for years, we will help you achieve your musical goals.

AJ Valcin, Piano teacher at Center Stage Music Center

AJ Valcin

Piano

Union College, Nebraska

Since the age of four, AJ has extensively studied the piano with many renowned instructors. At age ten, he started establishing himself as a church accompanist, beginning in traditional formats, and later expanding to modern types. Music ministry has been the core of AJ’s musicianship; he even took on leadership roles for small music groups during college. By combining a classically trained background with modern creative knowledge, AJ has always felt the importance of applying theory-based music education to modern contexts. His speciality is piano improvisation, and that is 100% credited to his music theory and ear training education. For AJ, the learning experience is about relieving yourself from the burden of perfection. It is much better to embrace the inevitable hiccups along the way. The purest form of learning is embracing who you are, and allowing others to help you on the journey to be even better.
Andrew Murray, Piano & voice teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Andrew Murray

Voice/ Piano

Manhattanville College

Andrew Murray is fresh out of Graduate School, pursuing a Masters of Arts and Teaching Degree from Manhattanville College, where he also received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Throughout his time at college, he has extensively practiced his craft in voice with the assistance of actress, Diana Canova. He has also played and studied the piano for many years. He has been a member of various ensembles, performances, and clubs such as his colleges Vocal Pop Group, The Quintessentials, the male a cappella group, The Crescendbros, which he lead and music-directed, Manhattanville’s theater club, “Broadway at Manhattanville,” of which he was a founding member, and Manhattanville’s chapter of Music Education (NCNAfME), where he served as Vice President, and Secretary. His most recent theatrical performances include The Pajama Game (Sid Sorokin), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip), and Avenue Q (Nicky). Throughout Andrew’s journey with music, he has coached students of all ages and genres, from musical theater to rock to classical. He has learned that music has the power to change people’s lives, and he hopes to be able to help many blooming musicians realize its impact.

Beth Keyes, Piano and Woodwind Instructor at Center Stage Music Center

Beth Keyes

Little Stages & Music Storytime Director/Piano/ Guitar/ Oboe/ Flute

City University of New York

Beth is a music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and scholar who has been teaching private lessons for over fourteen years. Since beginning piano lessons at the age of four, Beth has also become an accomplished performer on the flute, oboe, English horn, and guitar. After being awarded a full, four-year scholarship to attend Brooklyn College in the Fall of 2004, Beth spent her undergraduate education studying both performance and music education. She was accepted into the Ph.D program in Musicology at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center in 2009. Since then, Beth has continued along two complementary paths. First, as a doctoral candidate, she has been an active scholar in the field of musicology and is currently finishing her dissertation work on madness in music of the 19th and 20th centuries. Second, as an educator, she has worked with dozens of students across New York City and Long Island as both a private teacher and classroom instructor. Though Beth has taught students of various ages, skill levels, and with a diverse range of musical interests, she has focused her teaching philosophy on catering to the individual needs of each one of her pupils across musical curricula. Her private students have thrived in their musical pursuits, participating in local music festivals such as NYSSMA and SCMEA, performing in school and private recitals, and successfully auditioning for university level music programs. In addition to private teaching, Beth has also been an adjunct instructor at Brooklyn College and Hunter College since 2014, teaching undergraduate classes in music appreciation, American music, and keyboard methodology.

Carmela Benvenuto, Piano today at Center Stage Music Center

Carmela Benvenuto

Piano

Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Australia/ The University of Queensland, Australia

Carmela has been playing the piano for over twenty years and has spent several years teaching general and instrumental music at a remote Indigenous community in Australia. She was responsible for creating and implementing musical programs as none previously existed. While working at this school in Australia, Carmela was fortunate enough to be mentored by the renowned jazz drummer, bandleader and music educator, John Morrison. With his guidance she was able to further develop her teaching strategies, as well as her own music skills. She also has experience teaching private piano lessons to students of various ages, abilities and interests. Carmela enjoys getting to know her students and sharing with them her passion for music. She believes that learning an instrument is a skill that will bring you great joy for the rest of your life.

 

“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.” – Unknown.

D'Metrius Fernandez Drum and Piano teacher at Center Stage

D’Metrius Fernandez

Drums/ Piano

Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music

D’Metrius has been playing drums and percussion for over 10 years. He has experience playing and teaching the drum set, classical percussion, Latin percussion and piano. As a performer he has played in the pit orchestra for theater productions such as Into the Woods and Beauty and the Beast. D’Metrius also plays regularly with a variety of different performance groups such as Balinese Gamelan, a salsa band, and a contemporary Christian rock group. He is also an experienced teacher in and out of the classroom. D’Metrius has prepared students for NYSSMA on all levels of snare drum and mallet percussion. D’Metrius also teaches after school programs in Queens and directs the Glen Cove High School Drumline. He believes in cultivating and expanding students’ musical interests to make them better drummers.

Daniel Passadino, piano guitar and drum teacher at center stage music center

Daniel Passadino

Piano/ Drums/ Trumpet/ Guitar/ Bass Guitar

Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music

Daniel has been playing the piano for over fifteen years and is finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Queens College; Aaron Copland School of Music.  Experienced in many genres of music, such as classical, jazz and musical theater, Daniel is able to offer his students a comprehensive education. A multi-talented instrumentalist, Daniel is also proficient in the drums, guitar, bass and trumpet. Daniel has played piano, bass and guitar in various rock bands across Long Island, and also plays the drums and trumpet in the Queens College Wind Ensemble. He has also worked in various theaters across Long Island for over six years as a musical director and pit musician. Daniel believes that the teacher is the most important factor in whether or not a student continues pursuing music. A teacher has the responsibility to make learning music fun and enjoyable for all students and Daniel hopes that he can instill a passion for music and learning in every student he has.

“Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region, unlit by any star but its own, and utterly without meaning…except its own.”–Leonard Bernstein

Eric Annibale, guitar teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Eric Annibale

Guitar/ Bass Guitar/ Ukulele

Stony Brook University

Eric has been playing the guitar for over twenty years and has been teaching private guitar, bass and ukulele lessons for about five years. An avid performer, Eric has been playing guitar in various blues, country and rock bands for the past fifteen years. His current band, The Grand Central, has performed over 1000 gigs in 27 states across America, including being the first NY based Country band to become the House Band of the world famous Bill Bob’s in Texas. As an educator, Eric prides himself on being able to motivate and inspire his students to develop a passion for performing while helping them master technical skills. He is patient and believes that learning music should be a fun experience. He hopes to instill a passion for music in each of his students that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Haley Rudolph, strings and piano teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Haley Rudolph

Violin/ Viola/ Cello/ Bass/ Piano

Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam/ Bard College Music Conservatory

Ms. Rudolph has taught at several music festivals, including Northport Summer Music, and made her Tilles Center debut with the LIU Festival Chamber Orchestra. She is the recipient of the National Graduate Conductor Scholarship sponsored by Sigma Alpha Iota, and winner of the Outstanding Conductor Award from LIU. She was recently invited to serve as the guest conductor for Long Island String Festival Association 2020. Ms. Rudolph held the position of Music Director of Clarkson University Orchestra and has worked with several high-caliber ensembles including the Shenandoah Conservatory Orchestra, Stafford Symphony, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, The Orchestra Now, Bard Conservatory Orchestra, Queens College, New York Conducting Institute, and the Catholic University of America, among others. Haley has taught in several public schools throughout the East coast, including Stafford Schools (VA), Wantagh Schools (NY), Longwood Schools, and Germantown Schools. She holds a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Bard College and a B.M. from the Crane School of Music with a concentration on violin. Ms. Rudolph has also performed as a chamber musician in masterclasses for the Jerusalem String Quartet, the Alexander String Quartet, and members of the Emerson String Quartet.

John Potocnik, Drum, Guitar & Band teacher at Center Stage

John Potocnik

Guitar/ Drums/ Band

Five Towns College

John has been teaching drums for over five years and has been playing for a decade. As a performer, he currently plays with several original bands and artist: Crash The Calm , Boxer, Phil Firetog, and Salina Solomon. Also a proficient guitarist, John has a bachelors degree in performance for classical guitar with a concentration in audio recording technology from Five Towns College. John is a qualified NYSSMA instructor and strives for exceptional success with all levels of snare drum, drum set, and guitar. John believes in a balance between progress and entertainment, having his lessons consist of: reading, listening, writing, and improvisation. He is extremely patient, friendly, and relates well to children and adults alike. He aims to not only expand student’s horizons and technique, but to also connect them with other musicians so that they may further submerge themselves in the world of music and its joy.
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius
Kellyann Coveny, Viola, Violin, Piano and Voice Instructor at Center Stage Music Center

Kellyann Coveny

Piano/ Voice/ Viola/ Violin

Adelphi University

Kellyann is an avid musician, playing the piano, viola/violin and singing for more than sixteen years. She has been teaching music for over eight years, and is well versed in coaching vocal, strings and piano students of all ages and levels. She is currently studying music, with a concentration in vocal performance at Adelphi University.  As a performer, Kellyann has graced many a stage, including Carnegie Hall. She likes to experiment across genres, from opera to jazz to musical theater and pop. Kellyann has successfully prepared students for NYSSMA and recitals. Her goal as a teacher is to expose as many students as possible to the transformative, inspiring, and healing powers of music. She firmly believes that every child can benefit from learning an instrument, because it will have a lasting positive and enriching impact on their lives. And of course, above all, music should be fun! Kellyann tailors her lessons to each individual student’s needs, which usually includes a mix of popular and classical repertoire, and a whole lot of patience and compassion. Music is a powerful force for good, and Kellyann loves using such a force to help others.
“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” – Leonard Bernstein
Lauren Dimilta, violin & viola teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Lauren Dimilta

Violin/ Viola

Adelphi University

Lauren has been playing the violin since she was seven years old. She is currently studying music education at Adelphi University, where she has also performed as a soloist in the Adelphi Symphony Orchestra. Before studying at Adelphi, Lauren was a part of the prestigious Herricks High school Chamber Orchestra, and the MYO Principal Orchestra. Lauren has had two Carnegie Hall performances, and has also performed at All County, Long Island String Festival, and LISFA Chamber Festival. Lauren was also invited to perform at the NAFME national orchestra competition with her chamber orchestra in 2018, and was a part of the Herricks High School chamber orchestra, which won best national string orchestra. In addition to being a part of various ensembles, pit orchestras and chamber groups as a strings player, Lauren enjoys singing and practicing other instruments such as piano and ukulele. She is also the founder of Adelphi’s a cappella group Acadelphi.

As a teacher, Lauren aims to inspire young musicians through sharing her passion with them. Lauren works with violin and viola students of all ages and levels to make the music understandable and approachable to them. She believes that if students enjoy learning, they learn better and faster. Practicing this belief, Lauren works with the strengths and weaknesses of her students in order to customize a plan with goals in order to bring out the best musician possible while encouraging a fun-filled, positive learning environment.

Liz Livingston, Voice, piano, guitar and ukulele teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Liz Livingston

Voice/ Piano/ Guitar/ Ukulele

Westminster Choir College

Liz  is a recent graduate from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education. From a young age, she has pursued her passion for music by studying voice, piano and guitar lessons, in addition to actively participating in musical theatre and choral programs. She is a well versed performer, as she applies her skills to various genres including classical, musical theatre and pop, as well as her original compositions. As an educator, Liz hopes to foster a positive learning environment in which students can have a joyful and transformative experience through music.  

Michelle Hromin, Clarinet & Saxophone teacher at Center Stage Music Center.

Michelle Hromin

Clarinet/ Saxophone

Mannes School of Music

Croatian-American clarinetist, Michelle Hromin is in her second year of her Bachelor of Music degree at the prestigious Mannes School of Music. She studies with Jon Manasse, who is the principal clarinetist of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra. She was named the 1st Prize Winner of the 2019 Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition. Michelle is also the principal clarinetist of the Mannes Orchestra, and was formerly a clarinetist in the New York Youth Symphony. In addition to her love of orchestral playing, she is a passionate solo and chamber musician in the clarinet and saxophone. Michelle has performed in Masterclasses with renowned musicians Victoria Luperi, Stephen Williamson, Dan Gilbert and Pierre Genisson. She is an avid arts educator, and has visited various schools as a performing artist. She presented instrument demos, performances, and has curated her own concert as part of the Neighborhood Classics concert series in collaboration with PS 234 in Tribeca this past year. As a teacher, she believes in the power of a positive mindset, hard work, and having fun. Music means something to each and every one of us, and all of her students carry a uniqueness that she wants to build and cultivate into a love and passion for music.

 

“Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is” –Malcolm Arnold

Oscar Martinez, String teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Oscar Martinez

Viola/ Violin/ Cello/ Bass

SUNY Fredonia

A music educator and active performer from Brentwood NY, Oscar received his Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance from SUNY Fredonia. Proficient in all string instruments, he currently works with the Harmony Program at the Ella Baker school in Manhattan teaching 3rd-5th grade strings. Furthermore, he works at USDAN Summer Camp for the Arts, and is the program editor for LISFA. Oscar also teaches private lessons throughout Long Island. Within his teaching, he strives to make sure all of his students learn responsibility and always reach their goals, such as partaking in All-State. In regards to performance experience, he is an active chamber musician who plays throughout Long Island and NYC. He is currently a member of the Long Island Symphony Orchestra, and is the Principal Violist of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra.

Ryan Keyes, Guitar and Bass teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Ryan Keyes

Guitar/ Bass/ Band

SUNY Fredonia

Ryan has been playing the guitar and bass for nearly fifteen years and recently graduated from Fredonia’s School of Music with a concentration in classical guitar. As an avid performer, Ryan had many years of experience playing in the band TurnKey, which began in 2010. Switching his focus from rock to classical proved to him that many different styles can be explored within the field. Being able to combine the rock style he was familiar, with the new classical skills he was being taught, Ryan found that combining styles and genres can make the musical experience very exciting. He brings his knowledge and experience to every lesson and is able to provide his students with many different avenues to explore the instruments. His vast exposure to all different styles of music has given him the drive to teach students the mechanical works that underly their favorite music, and to help them express themselves through their own creative musical output.

Vincent Muscarella, Guitar Teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Vincent Muscarella

Guitar/ Bass/ Band

Long Island University, CW Post

Vincent Muscarella is a multi-instrumentalist and educator who prides himself on making sure every student becomes an independent and well-rounded musician. Vincent holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, and is currently completing his Masters in Music History and Literature at LIU Post. Music has always been the center of Vincent’s life, from taking lessons in his younger years to student teaching and performing in his formative years. As a performer, Vincent currently plays in an 8-piece ensemble that performs all across New York, as well as up and down the east coast. As a teacher, the educational philosophies of composers/musicians, such as Dalcroze and Gordon, have helped shape Vincent’s teaching style to be able to cater to the individual needs of every student. Vincent believes that being able to read music is equally as important as ear training. Experimentation, asking questions, and making mistakes are all key factors that go into creating great learners and great musicians.

Westbury: 516-307-9500

Massapequa Park: 516-797-3700