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Jenni Z.

Instrument(s): Drums, Percussion
Areas of Work: Nassau
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Jenni is one of Long Island’s most prominent percussion instructors. After studying music and graduating from Queens College in 1983, she began teaching and performing all over Long Island and New York.

Jenni has performed with many bands, from small bands to big bands. Throughout the 1990’s, she performed with The Memories of Swing Orchestra, one of Long Island’s busiest big bands.  She was a founding member of the Rush tribute  band “2112”, as well as member of “Tick Tock”, a punk rock band, performing regularly at many iconic New York City clubs including The Ritz and CBGBs. In the 2000’s, she managed the Al Miller Big Band, led by famed clarinetist Bob Dransite, with performances all over the tri state area, including a regular concert series at Lincoln Center.

Jenni has been teaching privately since 1989, and has been the percussion instructor at Kellenberg Memorial High School since 1999.  She teaches all musical styles, specializing in big band and show drumming, as well as NYSSMA and Allstate preparation for snare, drum set, timpani and xylophone. Jenni is proud to be teaching for String Sound Studios.

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Karolina B.

Instrument(s): Piano
Areas of Work: Nassau
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Karolina began studying piano at the age of seven under the tutelage of Dr. Ana Maria Trenchi Bottazzi. She received her Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance from William Paterson University. Studying with Gary Kirkpatrick, Karolina graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors. She was a founding member and participant of the William Paterson University Piano Ensemble for two years. Karolina’s notable performances include an appearance with the Leschetizky Piano Society and two solo recitals at the Kosciuszko Foundation. Karolina taught piano lessons at the Music Den in Kinnelon, NJ for students varying in age and ability.

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Kelly Q.

Instrument(s): Cello, Violin, Viola, Bass
Areas of Work: Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Kelly comes from a musical family, and started taking piano lessons at age 7. At age 9, she began learning the cello, and by age 12 she knew she wanted to be a music teacher. She has studied cello with Robert Davies, Laurinel Owen, Heidi Hoffman, and Elizabeth Simkin. She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education from Ithaca College in 2007 and her Masters of Arts in Education from Stony Brook University in 2009. Kelly has played in many settings on many stages, including at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and under the baton of the late great Russell Stanger. She is currently the assistant principal cello for Sound Symphony.

Kelly has been teaching since age 16. She believes that it’s almost never too early or too late to start learning music. She prefers working one-on-one since it allows her to tailor her instruction to each individual student. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys going to concerts, traveling, and cooking. She has been teaching for String Sound Studios since 2010.

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Michael Violette

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, 5 String Banjo, Mandolin, Woodwinds
Areas of Work: Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Michael has been at the helm of String Sound Studios since 1986. Mainly a guitarist, he is also well-schooled in bass guitar, piano, and some woodwinds. He is considered by his peers to be a talented multi-instrumentalist with skills on 5-string banjo, ukulele, and mandolin. While at Five Towns College, Michael studied with master musicians Peter Rogine, John Dewitt, and Donna Olson. Michael insists on being eclectic and shares a deep understanding of jazz, rock, blues, and classical music with all his students. Michael has a world view of music which includes Latin, eastern, and western elements that show up in his arranging.

Over the years, many of his students have been accepted into music colleges and are actively involved in the music industry today. Michael is also an ace transcriber, arranger, and extremely knowledgeable in using music software such as Sibelius to arrange and compose music for the ensembles at our Setauket studio. For over 30 years he has been guiding students in NYSSMA, All-State, recitals and college auditions. Michael’s influences range from Bach to Larry Carlton, and he has played with numerous bands as a freelancer over the years. He is in the midst of a finger-style solo guitar project and involved in private and ensemble music instruction.

Along with possessing a strong musical prowess, Michael and his family are very involved with ice skating and ice hockey.

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Nina M.

Instrument(s): Flute, Piano
Areas of Work: Suffolk, Nassau
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

“Having the privilege to teach music or any other subject is having the privilege to inspire lives. I am thankful for the gift I have been given, and strive to inspire others with this joy.” –Nina M.

Nina received her Bachelors degree in both flute performance and psychology from Arizona State University in May of 2005. She has played flute and piano since 1991 and has been teaching all ages (3 through 65 years old) since 1999. She has also played with a wide range of groups including Latin jazz groups, classical ensembles, an Indian gospel band, with opera productions, with symphony orchestras, and for various recordings. She recently spent time in Chennai, India, where she was teaching Western music. She is currently playing around Long Island with a band, and working on a solo album for piano, flute, and voice.

Nina is a very passionate, fun, encouraging, and inspiring teacher who knows how to get results!!

For examples of her flute music go to:

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Ross V.

Instrument(s): Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute
Areas of Work: Nassau, Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Since discovering his father’s clarinet beneath the stairs at the age of 7, Ross‘s passion for music has evolved into a lifelong commitment and career. His musical beginnings consisted of orchestra and jazz ensembles in his school and community, eventually graduating to become the principal chair of the Maryland All-State and Maryland Classical Youth Orchestras.

Ross received the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz Performance and the John Philip Sousa Award for musical excellence in high school.  He studied classical clarinet and jazz saxophone on a full scholarship to UMBC, graduating in 2016 with a B.A. in Performance. He has performed with a variety of jazz and new music ensembles in Baltimore and Washington D.C.  He has also been composing music since 8th grade, and has ranked in the international Scofen Music contest for EDM composition.

Ross has been teaching for the past 8 years, and draw his techniques from the lessons of the great teachers he has studied with. He believes that virtuosic musicians discover and cultivate their sound through mastery of the most basic of skills, and thus focuses on mastery of fundamental skills and tone exercises, even with more advanced students.  The characteristics of a musician’s sound that differentiate them from their peers lie within their tone, breath control, concentration, and understanding of the underlying melodic and rhythmic structures.

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Thayer N.

Instrument(s): Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele
Areas of Work: Online Only
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: Online

Born in New Hampshire, Thayer began studying guitar at age 7 and continued for the next 20 years. After graduating from Berklee College of Music with a BFA in Performance in 2013, Thayer settled in NYC where he has been a professional working musician. His track record includes such achievements as: three solo instrumental guitar records in three years, private events as a solo guitarist, musical theater pit work on multiple instruments, and video/audio recording sessions. Thayer is a versatile guitarist, able to play in many different genres. He is a gifted composer, strong sight reader, passionate instructor and chart maker as well.

Thayer says, “I have had the pleasure of playing in a vast variety of musical genres and situations within the music business. Using the guitar as my creative voice and outlet, it has offered me lots of versatile experience, plus a unique hands-on education.”

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