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.

Adriana Guarascio, Piano & Strings Teacher at Center Stage

Adriana Guarascio

Piano/ Violin/ Viola/ Cello

Hofstra University

Adriana Guarascio is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in music performance with a concentration on viola at Hofstra University. She has been playing piano for 15 years, viola for 11 years, and is proficient on violin and cello. Adriana achieved level 6 All-State NYSSMA while in high school, and had the opportunity of going to Rochester in both her junior and senior year. Adriana was also active in All-County and LISFA all through her school years. She currently plays with the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra and has the pleasure of playing fun show tunes to the public in summertime concerts. She has been teaching piano and strings students for almost 5 years and as an instructor, Adriana hopes to teach her students how to love their instruments and how they can find their own ways to express themselves through music.

Al Dibisceglie, Guitar Teacher at Center Stage

Al DiBisceglie

Guitar/ Bass/ Ukulele

New York University

Al received his degree from New York University, and since studying at NYU, has been teaching guitar, bass and ukulele for over 20 years. He tailors his lessons to suit each individual student’s learning needs, as well as their taste in music. Al is also a talented performer and plays in various bands across the NYC area. He aims to motivate his students by teaching them to play the songs they love, as well as encouraging them to create their own songs. Al inspires each of his students, and teaches them the skills they need to develop into great musicians.

Alex Martinez

Piano/ Voice/ Guitar

Long Island University, CW Post

Alex has been teaching piano, voice and guitar for the past 5 years. As a performer, he has played across Long Island starring in musicals and plays. Alex has also had the honor of performing in exclusive venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Tilles Center and the 50th Anniversary Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. Alex is also a proficient accompanist, often working with colleagues and students for jazz shows and cabarets. Alex has prepared his students for all levels of NYSSMA. Although he specializes in Musical Theatre and Jazz, Alex accommodates all of his student’s interests in pop, rock, and opera, while also exposing them to new influences. Alex has taught students of all ages, applying his knowledge and experiences to each lesson. Alex is very passionate about helping people achieve their goals, and has a high sense of pride when he can help his students achieve those goals. Above all, he wants his students to feel confident in what they do and for them to learn how to interpret the music they are passionate about. 
 
This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than 
ever before. – Leonard Bernstein  

Alyssa DeGuzman

Piano / Voice

New York University / Adelphi University

Alyssa is a talented multi-instrumentalist with a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Computer Management from Adelphi University, and has recently received her Master’s degree in Music Technology from NYU. Her love for music began in the first grade with the start of her piano lessons. Just a few short years later, her passion grew as she began singing and performing on stage. Alyssa was involved in NYSSMA, All-County, and All-State all through out her years from elementary school to high school. While being classically trained in both piano and voice, she also enjoys singing other genres like pop, musical theater, and jazz. She has been involved in many ensembles at school, such as, a select Vocal Ensemble, Opera Workshop, and the Jazz Ensemble. She has also performed as a soloist for several years at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall alongside fellow musicians who share a passion for performing as well. She participated in the Music Talent Competition of the Morgan Park Summer Festival, and won first place! She also sang the National Anthem at the Nassau Coliseum for an Islanders hockey game, and for Event Power’s various triathlons held at Eisenhower Park, Nickerson Beach State Park, and the Nassau County Aquatics Center. As an instructor, she has been teaching piano and vocal students for many years, helping each student achieve their own personal musical goals. She has also assisted the Select Children’s Choir of the Manhasset School of Music. Alyssa hopes to inspire and help students cultivate their talents, while instilling a passion for them to be motivated to pursue their goals.

Alyssa Mener, piano & voice teacher at Center Stage

Alyssa Mener

Voice / Piano

Molloy College

Alyssa is a recent graduate from Molloy College with a degree in Music Education. Alyssa has been singing since she could speak and has been playing the piano for over eight years. She loves performing and one of her musical accomplishments was when she sung for Billy Joel while attending the Long Island High School for the Arts. She has also performed at Nassau Coliseum, and was the 2018 platinum award recipient at the Town of Oyster Bay Talent Competition. She is well versed in a variety of styles including pop, jazz, opera, classical, broadway and rock. Alyssa also writes her own original music. As a teachers, she has worked with children of all ages throughout her career. Alyssa believes that music is the foundation to a well rounded individual and should be taught with compassion, understanding, passion, and of course, creativity. She wants to bring all styles of music to the youth, showing the wide variety of sounds that voices and instruments can make. Alyssa would like to use her experiences as a performer to help prepare students to express themselves in the real world of music.
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” -Maria Von Trapp
Anthony Villani, Guitar and Bass teacher at Center Stage Music Center.

Anthony Villani

Guitar/ Bass

Nassau Community College

Anthony has been playing the guitar and bass for over 10 years. As a performer, he has worked with many original projects in varying genres, including rock and metal. Anthony is highly involved in the local music scene, and during his lessons he is able to provide every student with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in music. Anthony is currently studying at Nassau Community College with a concentration and Major in Classical Guitar. No matter what genre of music his students are interested in, he is determined to cater every lesson to each student respectively, and to always make sure that the lessons are fun.

Blake Carey

Brass/ Piano

NYU

Blake Carey first became a musician at age 10 when he started to learn the trombone. Since then, his skillset has expanded to several other brass instruments, piano, and composing/arranging music.  Over the years, Blake has performed live countless times at venues including the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, the Borgata in Atlantic City, and at the Newport Jazz Festival. He frequently plays in wedding bands as well as with local bands in the Long Island and New York City area. In addition to playing live, Blake has performed on records for various artists. As a teacher, he places a high priority on customizing his lessons to fit his students’ needs as he understands that every musician is different. Most importantly, he places an even higher priority on making his lessons entertaining as he believes the point of playing music is to have fun.

Chris Savarino Drum Teacher at Center Stage

Chris Savarino

Drums

Berklee College of Music

Chris has been playing drums for 18 years and teaching for the past 5 years. As an avid studio musician and performer, he is currently a part of two studio projects: “MMune” and “Moving Paintings.” When he is not recording drums for these projects, Chris is also writing and recording for his own solo project. Along with being a proficient drummer, Chris also composes his own original music, which ranges from jazz-fusion to progressive metal. As a teacher, Chris likes to find what inspires his students to play and want to learn, as well as introducing them to new styles of music and drumming to help expand their knowledge. He believes that playing music should be a fun and exciting experience, and enjoys helping each student become comfortable in different styles, while nourishing their musical creativity. His aim is to not only teach his students proper technique, but to help them become self-sufficient on their instrument. He wants each of his students to be able to express themselves musically behind the drum kit. 

“Drumming was the only thing I was any good at” – John Bonham

Debbie Yanez Voice, Piano & Flute Teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Debbie Yanez

Voice/ Piano/ Flute

Adelphi University

Debbie began her musical journey at the age of five, and has since evolved into a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in voice, along with piano and flute. She is a recent graduate of Adelphi University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, where she not only refined her performance skills, but also developed her teaching technique. Debbie has performed in various ensembles at Adelphi including the Vocal Ensemble, Concert Band, and Orchestra, as well as in many shows including various musical theatre revues and operas like “The Little Prince” and “The Old Maid and the Thief.” Debbie is passionate about passing on her knowledge and love of music to her students, and focuses on a student-based approach to allow each pupil to reach their individual music goals in their own unique way. She believes that music is one of the greatest joys in life and strives to bring that joy to every lesson and performance.

Evan Seickel Piano teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Evan Seickel

Piano

SUNY Fredonia

A pianist, composer, and conductor, Evan has earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from SUNY Fredonia.  His musical journey began in 1999 with studying piano, eventually going on to explore many musical avenues including pipe organ, composition, and conducting.  Evan is an active performer, singing weekly with the St. Rose of Lima choir, and leading high mass congregations on piano.  Through the LI theatre company, Eastline Productions, he has found the opportunity and privilege to compose and perform solo incidental music and direct the pit orchestra for musical productions.  Evan also has experience as one of USDAN’s lead piano teachers.  In his time at Usdan, he was challenged to compose and teach piano duets for young musicians, while simultaneously using a contemporary musical language that maintains the interest of the young players.  Evan also had the honor to compete as a finalist with Bach’s Concerto in D minor BWV 1052 in the 2014 Concerto Competition at SUNY Fredonia.  As an instructor, he encourages his students to explore the full sound potential of the piano, in-turn unlocking the musical potential of each student.

“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.” – Johnny Depp

Ginamarie Lopez

Voice/ Piano

Nassau Community College

Ginamarie has been singing and playing piano for over ten years, and has been teaching vocal and piano students for three years. As a performer herself for many years, Ginamarie has learned the ins and outs of the music industry. She is the lead singer of one of Long Island’s top cover bands, Nicolls Road, and has gigged all over Long Island as well as many shows outside of New York. She passes all of her knowledge and real world experience to her students so that they can learn about the music industry along with technical skills. She went to school for Studio Recording Technology at Nassau Community College, which has helped her release her first ever single. She has also been writing songs for many years and loves to create, refine and continue to pursue her strong passion for music.

Gwyneth Fernandes

Voice / Piano

Adelphi University

Gwyneth Fernandes is a voice and piano instructor at Center Stage and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, with a concentration in Vocal Performance, at Adelphi University. She has been singing since the young age of 4 years old and, since beginning her musical career, has performed in multiple Broadway revues, opera performances and jazz/choral concerts. Gwyneth has had the privilege of working with renowned musicians such as Violetta Zabbi and Priscilla Owens. Gwyneth understands the importance of music in life and seeks to teach her students not only to enjoy music, but also to be confident in their music making and to use music as a means of self expression. In her lessons, she caters to each student’s unique learning style and interests while also instilling in them proper technique. Gwyneth believes that a well-rounded education is essential, and she ensures that her students can read, notate and perform music to the best of their ability.

“Music begins where the possibilities of language end.” – Jean Sibelius

John Loffredo, Piano & Guitar teacher at Center Stage Music Center

John Loffredo

Piano/ Guitar

Nassau Community College

John has been teaching guitar and piano for the past five years. Learning the piano himself at the age of 5, and guitar at the age of 8, John has more than 15 years experience playing music as he regularly performs throughout the NYC area. John is a qualified NYSSMA teacher and has achieved high level rewards for both himself and his students alike. His passion for music has been passed down to him by his great grandfather, and his goal is to continue to pass on the gift of music to his students. He is extremely patient and caring to each and everyone of his students. John tailors each of his lessons to his students goals, and always keeps it a top priority to make sure the lessons are fun. John believes that it is important to continue to inspire his students by teaching them how to play in their favorite genres and styles. With a wide variety of musical styles, John’s goal is to help you become the musician you want to be, while also helping students become well rounded musicians and versatile in multiple genres. Music is like building blocks, once you have the material you can build any masterpiece you want out of it.

“Where words fail, music speaks.”  Hans Christian Andersen

John Misciagno, String teacher at Center Stage Music Center

John Misciagno

Cello/ Bass/ Violin/ Viola

SUNY Potsdam

John is a public school orchestra instructor with a passion for teaching. He has been teaching lessons for over fifteen years, and playing for over twenty years. John is qualified to prepare his students for the NYSSMA festival, and has found great success with his students. In his lessons, John teaches a combination of level-appropriate, fun-to-play music and custom playing exercises to teach specific techniques. In this way, students are able to remain motivated as they develop their musical skills quickly. John believes that students learn best when they understand the “why” of their practice and can see their own progress for themselves. When students understand the “why” of what they do, they will soon become their own teachers and reach their full potential.  

“Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.” –  Jewel

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

John Potocnik

Drums/ Guitar/ 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
Joseph Vetack, Brass and Sax teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Joseph Vetack

Brass / Saxophone

Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music

Joseph is currently working toward an undergraduate Music Education degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Alongside his college career, Joseph is a freelance trumpeter, a brass instructor at the Walt Whitman High School Marching Band, and a member of the worship team at East Gate Church. As a freelance trumpeter, he has played in high school pit orchestras, small brass ensembles, and parade bands such as the Tappan Zee Bridgeman. While trumpet is his main instrument, he has extensive experience with all brass and saxophones. Before his college career, Joseph was heavily involved in the marching arts. He was a member of the Lindenhurst Marching Band for 5 seasons and the Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps for 2. Here, he played a variety of instruments such as alto saxophone, mellophone and trumpet. Something that Joseph believes in is giving back to his community and country. He does this by playing Taps for various events such as; Lindenhurst’s 9/11 Memorial service, Memorial Day parades and Taps Across America. Joseph aims to teach his students to love music and the instruments they play, to learn how to achieve and repeat success in their playing, and to learn to understand their music on both technical and emotional levels.

Karina Aristy, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Teacher

Karina Aristy

Violin/Viola/Cello

Long Island University, CW Post

Karina has been playing the violin since she was nine years old. Throughout the years, she excelled within various performing groups and was given the title of Concert Mistress from grade 7th grade through grade 12. From a young age, she participated in the Gemini Youth Orchestra, the All County Orchestra, and the Usdan Orchestra. During her time at Post, she furthered her studies in violin, viola and cello, and received her Bachelor’s in Music Education. Karina has been teaching students of all ages for over ten years. She is currently furthering her education at Five Towns College, in pursuit of her Masters Degree. As a NYS Certified Educator, Karina highly believes in the value of a well-rounded education and makes sure that all of her students can read, write and perform music to the best of their ability.

“Without music life would be a mistake.” – F.W. Nietzsche

Kelly Murphy Voice teacher at Center Stage

Kelly Murphy

Voice

University of Miami, Westminster Choir College

Kelly Gabrielle Murphy is a voice teacher and professional actress/singer/dancer. Kelly recently 
finished a run of over 700 performances as Tzeitel with the Broadway National Tour of Fiddler 
on the Roof directed by Tony Award Winner Bartlett Sher. In addition, she has had the 
opportunity to lead several regional productions. Credits include but are not limited to, Guys & 
Dolls (Sarah Brown), She Loves Me (Amalia Balash), Sweeney Todd (Johanna Barker), A Little 
Night Music (Anne Egerman), and Mamma Mia (Sophie Sheridan). She received her Bachelor of 
Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami. 
 
As a teacher, Kelly enjoys teaching private voice lessons and has taught several masterclasses around the 
country while on tour. She will graduate this May with a Master of Vocal Pedagogy, specializing 
in Musical Theatre Voice from Westminster Choir College. She has pursued additional vocal 
pedagogy training with Shenandoah University’s Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal 
Pedagogy Institute and Westminster Choir College’s Vocal Pedagogy Institute. She is a proud 
member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  
 
Kelly grew up on Long Island and participated in many musical endeavors, such as NYSSMA, 
All-State Choir, All-County Choir, and several local theatrical productions. Her early music 
teachers made a lasting impression on the person and professional she is today. She is thrilled to 
share her knowledge, expertise, and love of music-making now with her students! She is trained 
to teach both classical voice and contemporary styles such as musical theatre and pop/rock. Her 
goal is to create a welcoming classroom where her students feel comfortable and excited to 
explore all parts of their unique voices. Her lessons are individually tailored to the needs and 
goals of each singer. She is passionate about giving her students the tools they need to execute 
their material healthily and consistently. Kelly hopes to inspire the next generation of young 
singers and eagerly looks forward to supporting them on their journey to taking center stage!  
Ken Migliore, piano/ bass teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Ken Migliore

Bass/ Piano/ Violin/ Viola/ Cello

Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College

Ken Migliore is a multi-instrumentalist currently earning his New York State teacher certification 
from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He takes pride in continuing a 
family interest of teaching and playing music. Specializing in bass and piano, he has worked on 
a variety of recording projects during his undergraduate career at the State University of New 
York at Oswego. Ken’s musical interests range from classical performance to jazz and Latin 
styles. Having played in a wide variety of ensembles throughout his collegiate career, Ken 
believes a strong education to be one of the most valuable gifts that he has received.  
 
In his own teaching, he considers musical success to be within the reach of any student. With 
music comes a sense of community and a means through which individuals can work towards a 
common goal. Ultimately, music lessons should be something a student can look forward to. 
Recognizing this important consideration, Ken offers instruction that acknowledges the goals, 
abilities, and interests of each particular musician.  
 
“Each piece of music we play, each dance, each drawing, each episode of life, reflects our own 
mind back at us, complete with all its imperfections, exactly as it is.”S. Nachmanovitch 
Kirsten Schmidt, Woodwinds teacher at Center Stage

Kirsten Schmidt

Flute/ Piccolo/ Clarinet/ Saxophone/ Oboe/ Trumpet/ French Horn

Ithaca College/ Long Island University

Kirsten has been teaching flute for fourteen years and has been playing since the age of eight. As a performer, she enjoys playing in pit orchestras for musicals around Long Island, as well as subbing in professional orchestras. In addition to performing around the island, Kirsten is an elementary general music and chorus teacher in East Meadow school district. Kirsten is a qualified NYSSMA instructor who enjoys teaching all wind instruments. She teaches all genres of music and caters to the interests of her students. She is patient, understanding, and loves encouraging her students to expand their horizons and try new things. Kirsten believes that her students can achieve anything they put their minds to, and loves challenging them to be the best versions of themselves, both inside and outside of the classroom.
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” – Clay P. Bedford

Lauren Dimilta

Violin/ Viola/ Cello/ Piano

SUNY Fredonia

Lauren Dimilta is a multi-instrumentalist and teacher from Long Island, NY. She is pursuing degrees in music education and performance from The State University at Fredonia, where she was concertmaster of their College Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra (2022). Over the years, Lauren has worked with Concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Nikki Chooi, and is especially grateful for her studies with Jessica Tong. Lauren has performed in renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and premiered as soloist with the Adelphi Symphony Orchestra in November of 2019 when she was 19 years old.

In addition to performing as a soloist, Lauren is an active chamber musician and teacher. Over the past few years, Lauren has taught strings and piano of all levels, preparing students for competitions, NYSSMA, annual studio recitals and more.
Marc Lambert, Instructor at Center Stage Music Center

Marc Lambert

Drums/Guitar/Bass/Piano

The Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College

Marc is a professional musician and instructor with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance from The Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College in New York, where he graduated at the top of his class. Proficient in both the guitar and drums, he has been studying both instruments for over 20 years. Marc began his musical studies with the percussion/drums in school ensembles, and moved on to pursue private lessons in the guitar. As a multi-instrumentalist, he also teaches beginner bass as well as beginner piano students. Marc teaches students from all over the world as a result of his band, Painted In Exile. He excels in teaching a wide variety of differing styles, from beginner to advanced students. He always concentrates first and foremost on the interests and needs of each individual student.

Marisa Drzewicki, Piano and voice teacher at Center Stage Music Center

Marisa Drzewiecki

Voice/ Piano

Hofstra University

Marisa has been teaching private voice and piano lessons for about 5 years. She trained in classical, musical theater, pop, and jazz styles and also been performing for over 15 years. She is currently working towards her BSED in Music Education at Hofstra University. She serves on the board of the Hofstra Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association where she attends conferences and is constantly adding to her knowledge of music education. She has had the honor of performing in choirs, as well as a vocal jazz ensemble, and multiple a cappella groups. Marisa is also skilled in guitar and ukulele in addition to voice and piano, and often composes and creates her own music.

Marisa believes that music should be a fun learning experience and structures all of her lessons in a fun and welcoming way with musical exploration activities. She centers her lessons around each student individually to help them meet their goals. She always builds upon her student’s strengths and makes sure they are working on music they are passionate about. Her main goal is to improve the musical abilities of all her students, no matter the level they start at. She has extensive training with voice therapy and structures her vocal lessons to inspire and allow musicians to grow while teaching them the ins and outs of technique. She is familiar with the NYSSMA process, and has produced many practice methods for sight reading, note reading, and every day vocal health, as well as practice techniques for her voice and piano students. Marisa is very passionate about music and education and wants to see her students thrive inside and outside of the classroom. She always wants her students to feel a safe and welcoming environment in lessons and believes that music creates a safe space for all. She believes that music is the universal language that can unite us all, and her goal as a teacher is to show her students the endless possibilities that music can bring them. She aims to show them how they can communicate with music in their own way by enhancing their musical knowledge. 

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oscar Martinez, strings instructor 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, Band Director at Center Stage

Ryan Keyes

Guitar/ Bass/ Piano/ Band Director

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.

Syed Hasan, Brass teacher at Center Stage

Syed Hassan

Brass/ Woodwinds

Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College

Syed received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in May 2017, where he focused in brass. Syed has also received a NYS teacher certification in Music K-12. During his time at Queens College, Syed has performed in renowned venues such as Lefrak Concert Hall, David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall), Bohemian National Hall, and Flushing Town Hall. Syed is also a 2016 recipient of the Sol Kroll Award for Music Education and a 2017 recipient of both the Brass Alumni Award and the Student Teacher Award at Queens College. Since 2016, Syed has spent his summers teaching private music lessons in brass, woodwinds and keyboard for the Town of Babylon Summer Camp.

Syed is a qualified NYSSMA instructor, which he has achieved great success with all levels of brass and woodwinds. Syed believes that every person should come out with a positive experience when learning music. He stresses the importance of making sure that everyone is in a friendly and comfortable environment for a music lesson and that everyone deserves to hear positive feedback from their instructor. Syed believes that when people learn something they enjoy, they want to teach others as well as share that experience to others. This is why it is important to Syed that every student deserves a positive experience with learning music.

Tara Lacognata Voice & Piano teacher

Tara Lacognata

Voice/ Piano

Hofstra University

Tara has been teaching music for over 5 years and performing for over 10 years. As a performer, Tara has been part of various audition-based chamber choirs, a capella groups, jazz choirs, as well as performing solo gigs within her community. She has performed both at Carnegie Hall in New York City and has opened twice for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular in Radio City Music Hall. As a voice teacher, she has extensive knowledge on the inner workings of the voice and is trained in classical voice technique. Tara takes pride in assessing students’ strengths and weaknesses regularly in order to provide appropriate and efficient methods to address students’ learning needs.  Tara inspires and develops musical success and self confidence through an open, dialogic teaching experience tailored to the individual students’ needs. Tara is also a proficient pianist and piano teacher. Tara is an extremely warm, patient, friendly, professional, and caring individual with a passion for music that comes from the heart. Tara believes that music should always be fun and interactive; therefore, her teaching is always student-centered. She strives to make her students into better pianists, singers, and overall musicians while also equipping her students with foundational life skills that can also be applied outside of music, such as practice techniques.

“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies” -Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Veronica Nguyen, Voice and Piano Teacher at Center Stage

Veronica St John

Voice/ Piano

Long Island University, CW Post/ Longy School of Music

Veronica Nguyen is a classical singer, voice and piano teacher based on Long Island, NY. After completing her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at LIU Post, Veronica moved to Boston to continue her education at Longy School of Music, where she earned a Master of Music in Opera Performance. Veronica is an active performer and enjoys a varied career singing opera, choral and concert work. She is also an accomplished pianist and has been playing for almost 20 years. As a teacher, Veronica works with students of all ages and skill levels, focusing on building healthy technique and cultivating individual sound. While she specializes in classical singing, Veronica is well-versed in all genres and values providing her students with diverse repertoire. Veronica is dedicated to providing an educational experience that is not only fun and challenging, but one that can establish the roots for a life-long love of music.

“In this modern society, art may be the only force that invites expression from the inside out, where the pure light of the wisdom of the soul is realized.” – Jessye Norman

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