Our Faculty

Sharon Bernson (Managing Partner & CFO) and Laura Readyoff (Owner & CEO)

Study with finest music educators located right outside the Nation’s Capital.

Our faculty are dedicated professionals with a genuine interest in our students’ success. Faculty are carefully selected, interviewed and have completed background checks to ensure providing you with premier educators in their fields.

Piano, Voice, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Caroline Abbott

Guitar, Ukulele (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Austin Alveranga

Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

David Battis

Advanced Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Sharon Bernson

Violin, Viola, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Nicholas Black

Piano (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Amy Beth Burrows-Walker

Flute (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Alice Collazo

Violin, Viola, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Zhuo Diao

Violin, Viola, Voice, Piano (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Carolyn Dignan

Piano (Online Northern Virginia)

Laurie Dunston

Guitar (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Jacob Elliott

Violin, Viola, Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Anthony Gillingham

Voice, Alto Saxophone, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Andrew Goldstein

Piano (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Marilyn Harwood

Voice, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Nikole James

Conducting, Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Dr. Yoon Nam

Piano, Violin, Viola, Ukulele, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Bridget Olson

Piano, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Rebecca Pitts

Violin, Viola, Cello, Electric Bass, RCM Program (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Laura Readyoff

Percussion (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Adam Riley

Advanced Guitar (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Alex Salser

Cello (Onsite & Online Northern Virginia)

Roger VanDeburgh

Clarinet, Piano, Guitar (Online Northern Virginia)

Kyla Wilcox

Laura Readyoff

Owner and CEO

Violin, Viola, Cello, Electric Bass, RCM Program

Laura Readyoff has been a music educator since 1986 in both the public schools and private sectors. Laura has been owner of The Music Loft since it’s opening in 2010.

Laura earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the prestigious Crane School of Music in New York. She received a Master’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Public School Administration for grades Kindergarten – 12th grade from The Long Island University in New York.

Laura has conducted award-winning orchestras both in New York and Virginia, served as an adjudicator for multiple solo and ensemble festivals in New York and Virginia, and has written music curriculum for Commack Middle School.

Laura’s style of teaching is always filled with creativity and fun. Her objectives are to give students confidence in their abilities, to see them flourish as musicians, inspire and challenge students, and to instill in them a love for music.

Because of her love of children and community, she has created various award-winning community programs such as Percussion works, NoVa Youth Ensembles, and Play it Forward Instrument Donation Drive.

For her work in the community, Laura and The Music Loft have been awarded numerous awards including the prestigious “Distinguished Volunteer” awarded by the mayor and Herndon town council, “Arts Leader” awarded by the Dulles regional chamber of commerce, and “The President’s Award” awarded by Arts Herndon for her work in the arts community.

Currently, Laura is engaged as a strings consultant, adjudicator, and clinician for both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
​Laura also performs locally with a band on electric bass and violin.

Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 children, scrapbooking, knitting, playing in a band, traveling, and anything that has to do with her hometown, New York.

Sharon Bernson

Managing Partner and CFO

Advanced Piano, RCM program

Sharon is a graduate of Regent University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organization, Leadership and Management and a minor in Piano. She is the Managing Partner and CFO of The Music Loft. Sharon is also a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association, and the Virginia Music Teachers Association.

Her study of music began at the young age of six, and she cannot remember a time when she was not playing or teaching piano. At the age of twelve, Sharon was asked to accompany choirs and programs at school, and from there, her accompanying skills and opportunities continued to grow. With the encouragement of her parents and through continuous private lessons, Sharon competed in various fine arts competitions throughout middle and high school, culminating in the completion of her High School Diploma Certificate from the National Piano Guild. Sharon continued her piano studies at the collegiate level where she once again performed and was assessed by the National Piano Guild. She has since performed in multiple recitals and performances.

Sharon began her private piano studio while in college. Over the years, Sharon has had private students who have won piano competitions across the country, and she enjoys preparing students for college auditions and entrance exams. It has been a joy for Sharon to see some of these students graduate and complete their degrees in piano.

Her teaching experience extends to the classroom as well. She was previously the Music Director at Dominion Christian School where she developed the school’s music curriculum, was responsible for school-wide yearly performances encompassing multiple disciplines of music including choirs, hand bells, small ensembles, and recorders.

Sharon’s passion is to build a solid theory foundation and to then develop her students’ listening skills and musicianship so that they can hear and express the beauty in each piece. Each lesson is filled with kindness and encouragement.

When not at The Music Loft, Sharon enjoys spending time with her family (and her German Shepherd), watching any Boston sports’ team, or exploring Colonial Williamsburg.

Caroline Abbott

Piano, Voice, RCM Program

Starting at a young age, Caroline was very fortunate to have excellent music educators to spark her passion for music and the arts. These educators encouraged her to reach far, which led her to start accompanying choirs for competitions and performances by age twelve.

Caroline has received numerous awards for her accompanying skills and has accompanied choirs, small ensembles, soloists, students for adjudicated events and auditions, as well as a violinist for his University’s Senior Recital. In January of 2018, she became the Music Director for NextStop Theatre’s production of Once Upon A Mattress.

Throughout her musical career, Caroline had many incredible performance opportunities in choirs, such as singing with the DC National Choir for their annual Christmas concert. She participated in All County and District Choirs all throughout her high school years, and had the pleasure of being involved in a Regional Governor’s School before her senior year. She is an active participant in her church’s music department as a vocalist, pianist, and accompanist. In May of 2020, she had the absolute pleasure of participating in Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir No. 6.

Caroline’s hope in teaching students is that they will grow to love and have a passion for music that will stay with them and carry them through life.

Caroline graduated from Gardner Webb University.

Hobbies: Being outdoors, yoga, learning languages
Favorites: Coffee, playing with her dog, hiking”

Austin Alveranga

Guitar, Ukulele

Austin is a guitar player and teacher in the Northern Virginia area. He has been playing guitar for 7 years, and is classically trained. Recently, Austin began studying and incorporating jazz and blues into his playing. .Austin has been teaching students in Northern Virginia where he has found true enjoyment from seeing his students flourish into the competent and strong musicians they strive to be. Austin tailors guitar lessons to fit the students learning style and focuses on the fundamentals of guitar which include; music reading, chords, finger picking styles, music theory and improvisation.

Austin is currently attending NoVa Community College and will then complete his Music Education degree at George Mason University.

Austin performs with his Jazz combo and a rock band as the sole guitarist of the group.

Austin loves performing along with anything music related!

David Battis

Piano, RCM Program

David Battis has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a minor in music from Case Western Reserve University, a baccalaureate equivalent in computer science from IBM Technical Education, and a Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law.

Mr. Battis was a piano student of David Sokoloff, classical pianist and conductor. While at Case Western Reserve University, David was concurrently a Music Theory major at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where one of his instructors was conductor James Levine, the world renowned music director of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

Mr. Battis was the pianist at the Nordstrom Dulles Town Center for a year and a half. He has played for events at the Frederick Douglass Museum in Washington, D.C., at the Lyceum in Alexandria, VA, the French Embassy, Grace Covenant Church, the Waterford at Fair Oaks, the Capitol Hill Club, the Washington Dulles Hilton, the Heritage Hunt Country Club in Gainesville, VA, the Regency at Dominion Valley, Art Space in Herndon, VA, and the Belmont Country Club in Ashburn, VA, as well as several other events in private venues. He played for the General Dynamics Christmas party at the Marriott Westfield for several years and has also played at the Electric Palm Restaurant on the waterfront at Occoquan, VA.

He has been a performing pianist, piano teacher, and piano sales consultant in the northern Virginia area for over twenty-five years and is adept at employing varied methods of instruction to ensure student comprehension. Mr. Battis enjoys building strong relationships with his students.

Amy Beth Burrows-Walker

Piano

Amy Beth is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College. There she earned a Bachelors of Biology Education/Minor in History Education.

Amy Beth grew up just outside of Boston, Massachusetts and began taking piano lessons at the age of 6. She quickly developed a love for arranging, improvisation, and hymn playing, while also learning classical and modern music. Over the years, Amy Beth has had the opportunity to accompany in children’s church, worship services, and her college’s Sunday school classes. She has also participated in recitals and volunteered as a teacher for an introductory music class and children’s choir.

Amy Beth’s desire is to instill a love for music in her students while giving them a “toolbox” of fundamental skills to continue to build a strong foundation. This will allow them to grow as musicians and enjoy music for years to come!

Favorites: Science, coffee, the ocean (New England in particular), and dancing to Disney music with my daughters.
Hobbies: Sewing, rock climbing, cooking and walks in the country.

Alice Collazo

Flute

Alice Collazo is an active performer and music educator, recently relocated from Texas where she worked as a private instructor within public school band programs. She is a recent graduate of the Artist Diploma program at Texas Christian University where she studied with Shauna Thompson. Prior to this, she studied under Lisa Garner Santa while earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Flute Performance at Texas Tech University. She is also a certified Suzuki teacher.

Alice has a keen interest in the physiology and mechanics of the musician, and is always seeking out new information in this area to incorporate into her playing and teaching. Fine-tuning the mechanics of a flutist creates the ability to develop peak performance skills, injury prevention, and a general increase in the joy of making music.

Zhuo Diao

Violin, Viola, RCM Program

Zhuo Diao is a graduate of The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China with a Bachelor of Music in Performance, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She earned an Artist’s Diploma and a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from Shenandoah University Conservatory in Virginia.

Zhuo’s performance history started at a young age, performing in orchestras for the following schools, October the First Middle School (Beijing), The High School Attached to Tsinghua University (Beijing), Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), and Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester,Virginia). Zhuo has traveled and performed all over the world with many famous composers including Seiji Ozama, Daniel Barenboim, Jan Wagner Yang, Werner Andreas Albert, Xincao Li, and Yongyan Hu.

In her fourteen years of teaching experience, she has trained award-winning musicians. Several of her students have won the American Protege International Piano and String Competition, as well as the Washington Universal Piano and String Competition. Other students have been accepted and have performed with the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Zhuo has also prepared students to attend universities such as MIT, University of California, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

Being bilingual in Chinese and English, Zhuo is sharing her passion and love for music with both Chinese and English speaking individuals.

Carolyn Dignan

Violin, Viola, Voice, Piano

Carolyn is a dynamic music educator in Northern Virginia with experience in both the public and private sectors. Growing up, she thrived on a wide range of musical experiences that included choirs, orchestras, and concert bands, as well as private lessons on several instruments. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a proficiency in Voice Performance and has been instilling a love of music in her students ever since. Using a variety of method books, technique studies, and hand-selected repertoire, Carolyn tailors her teaching style to the needs and personality of each student.

Carolyn is a current member of Northern Virginia’s premier chamber choir, The Master Singers of Virginia. She has also performed with The New Jersey Chamber Singers, Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia Church Choir, and the Stockton College Oratorio Society.

Laurie Dunston

Piano

Laurie is a recent transplant to Virginia, moving here from Austin, Texas. Her childhood curiosity of language led her to study both English and vocal music at the undergraduate level. She received a Bachelor’s in English and Music from Pacific Union College in California. Her graduate work was done in Vocal Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

Her teaching career has spanned the gamut of English, ESL, choir, and drama at the K-12 and community college levels. In addition to her teaching career, Laurie has served as Director of Music for two Episcopal church communities and has also been part of Campus Ministries and liturgical teams as part of her teaching duties. She has conducted, sung, enjoyed various cuisines around the world, and is always looking for reasons to use her passport.

​Laurie’s main teaching philosophy for any subject is that learning is a joyful process. To facilitate that belief, her teaching style is eclectic, humorous, and individualized. She believes in teaching each student in the best manner suited to them. She adapts each session to fit with the student’s goals and learning styles.

Jacob Elliott

Guitar

Jacob Elliott is a guitar player and teacher from Northern Virginia. He is currently enrolled at George Mason University where he is majoring in Music Education and minoring in jazz studies. Jacob has been playing guitar for 15 years and has 4 years of formal teaching experience. He loves sharing his passion for music with students of all ages.

Jacob says, “It is a wonderful feeling seeing the accomplishments of my students and how they grow in knowledge, confidence and skills.”

When Jacob is not teaching, he enjoys playing with his band, and performing with his jazz combo.

Anthony Gillingham

Violin, Viola, Piano, RCM Program

Anthony Gillingham has been playing violin for 20 years and piano for 19. His love of music started at a young age and was fostered by his parents through private lessons, group lessons at the local music academy, participation in musical competitions, as well as participation in multiple local orchestras through middle school and high school.

He attended Bob Jones University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with a piano proficiency. While at BJU, he played violin in the BJU Symphony Orchestra for four years, played for on campus events such as operas, musicals, commencement, etc, as well as for SCMEA and other state competitions. After graduating, Anthony taught for a year at Tri-County Christian School, instructing 1st-8th grade general music, as well as organizing and directing music programs throughout the school year. He has been teaching at The Music Loft since 2018.

Anthony has worked as a long-term substitute orchestra teacher in the Loudoun County Schools and has extensive experience with orchestras, whether instructing, conducting or participating.

Hobbies: listening to soundtracks, writing/improvising music with friends.

Andrew Goldstein

Voice, Alto Saxophone, RCM Program

Andrew received his Master’s degree in Voice Pedagogy, Bachelor’s in Music Education, and certification from the Contemporary Commercial Music Institute at Shenandoah Conservatory.

Andrew is an active singer and teacher in the Northern Virginia area. This past year, he sang in the chorus of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and with the Maryland Lyric Opera. He has also performed as a soloist and in operas in Italy, Michigan, Illinois, and more.

Andrew has taught K-12 general music, band, and chorus in both Fairfax and Loudoun County public schools, and teaches piano, voice, and saxophone privately in Ashburn, Herndon, and online.

Under the direction of Grammy award-winning conductor Robert Shafer, Andrew sang with Shenandoah’s Conservatory and Chamber Choir in Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi, Italy, as well as at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center in Maryland. Originally a saxophone player, he was featured in Shenandoah Conservatory’s wind ensemble’s performance at the Virginia Music Education Association conference.

Marilyn Harwood

Piano

Marilyn teaches piano to students of all ages and abilities. She adapts the lessons and methods to fit each student’s needs and learning style. Marilyn is comfortable with many genres including classical and jazz. She has taught private lessons for many years, and has a wealth of experience that spans to all levels of learners.

Marilyn also enjoys playing piano in a variety of ensembles. She accompanies choirs, as well as studio recitals and solo and ensemble festivals. She has experience playing piano in a 1920’s-40’s dance band, a ragtime ensemble, private parties & weddings, and community theater productions. When she is not at the piano, she is teaching general music and chorus with Fairfax County Public Schools. Marilyn is a member of the Northern Virginia Music Teacher Association and of the Music Teacher National Association.

Hobbies: Folk Dancing, Square Dancing
Favorites: Cats, Coffee, Chocolate, and Music Theory

Nancy Hunter

Piano

Nancy Hunter earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Old Dominion University.

Nancy is a life-long lover of music with twenty years of piano playing experience. Growing up in a musical family, she was privileged to study under accomplished musicians who fostered a love for performance and music exploration.

Nancy’s goals for her students are to discover their passion for music, hone their skills through hard work, and challenge themselves while having fun.

Nancy has competed and placed in competitions including the Middleburg Lions Club, ODACS fine arts, and has participated in the National Guild of Piano Teachers assessment program. In addition, she has had the opportunity to play piano in her church in several capacities.

Hobbies: reading crime novels, baking treats, writing
Favorites: her kids, winter, going swimming

Nicholas Black

Violin, Viola, RCM Program

Nicholas earned his Bachelor’s degree at George Mason University where he studied Viola under Philippe Chao and Music Composition under Jesse Guessford.

Nicholas teaches all aspects of music by exploring many different styles, including classical, jazz, folk, and pop. Nicholas loves to challenge his students through pieces he believes will push their limits, as well as finding pieces they enjoy learning and performing. He incorporates music theory and composition into his lessons as a way to analyze and find meaning in music. Nicholas’ goal with each student is not only to teach them how to play their instrument, but to deeply understand music and to find the joy in creating art.

Nicholas offers lessons using the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) program. Students of Nicholas have successfully completed examinations through RCM and have received First Class Honors and First Class Honors with Distinction.

His most recent projects include music for the video game Flat Form Fighter, short musical vignettes on his YouTube channel, and original music for Allison Dyke that premiered in NYC in 2019.

Nikole James

Voice, RCM Program

Nikole James earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Having performed in many different venues across the United States, including The Kennedy Center with the Washington National Opera Institute, as well as Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, she is most recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence. Her operatic roles include Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, and opera scene programs as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, Aunt Bea in Bolcom’s A Wedding, and Lucy in Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. In addition to her wide variety of operatic roles, Nikole has also performed the role of Julie Jordan in Carousel.

She was the Southern Division winner and national finalist for the MTNA Competition, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, she received first place in the Senior Division for the NVMTA Competition, first place in the Regional Level at the Bland Music Competition, and was named “Most Outstanding Vocalist” and “Broadway Bound” at the William Schmidt Vocal Competition. Currently, Nikole is a judge and member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, which provides a wide range of performance opportunities to music students of all skill levels. Ms. James understands the importance of healthy vocal technique, and through her teaching, hopes to inspire her students and share her passion for music with others.

Dr. Yoon Nam

Conducting, Piano, RCM Program

Dr. Yoon Nam has directed or performed music at churches for most of the past decade. She has directed adult choirs, youth choirs, children’s choirs, hand bell choirs, and orchestras. She has also sung regularly and accompanied others on the piano and organ. Yoon has studied music most of her life, first studying piano at age of five, voice at thirteen, and attending the prestigious Seoul Arts and Music High School as a voice major. She continued studying voice in college for her undergraduate and master’s degree. During this time she began teaching voice as an adjunct faculty member at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul. She also served as a soloist and assistant director at Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Seoul. Yoon came to the United States for the advanced study of music in 1996, earning her second master’s degree and a Doctor of Music in music conducting at Indiana University. After graduating, Yoon found her calling as a full time music minister, serving at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church in Georgia. In 2010, Yoon joined Floris United Methodist Church as a traditional music director. She directs the Sanctuary Choir, Chamber Choir, brass and Cantata orchestras.

She has two beautiful daughters, Christine and Joanne.

Bridget Olson

Piano, Violin, Viola, Ukulele, RCM Program

Bridget Olson teaches private piano, viola, violin, and ukulele lessons, with an emphasis on the whole musician. She assigns materials catered to each student to help them reach their greatest potential. Students study scales, left and right hand technique, rhythm, theory, aural training, and repertoire at every level. Bridget encourages upper level thinking and mindfulness in each lesson. Her greatest joy is watching her students grow as both musicians and people.

Students of Bridget have successfully completed examinations through the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). She continues to offer RCM lessons through The Music Loft.

Bridget studied viola under Doris Lederer while pursuing her Music Education degree at Shenandoah Conservatory. In addition to teaching her private studio, she is the Music Specialist at Montessori Country School in Herndon, VA and enjoys working in the public schools as a guest clinician.

Rebecca Pitts

Piano, RCM Program

Rebecca has been playing piano for 20 years. Her love of music started at a young age and grew as she studied diligently with several accomplished teachers throughout her childhood and high school years. She participated in yearly local competitions, studio recitals, small ensembles and accompanied various musical groups including her string-playing siblings.

She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. She has also participated in a two-year internship with an elementary school piano program, as well as taught at a well-established music academy in Charleston, SC.

Rebecca has extensive experience in the area of individual and group piano lessons. She loves classical music, hymns, and popular music.

Her goal and passion is to see children succeed in their piano adventure by learning commitment, developing musical expression, and experiencing the lifelong joy of music.

Hobbies: hiking, gardening, crocheting
Rebecca is married and a “fur mom” to two dogs.

Adam Riley

Percussion

Adam Riley earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from James Madison University where he studied under Bill Rice, Michael Overman, Marlon Foster, Steve Bolstad, John Hilliard, Jason Haney, Eric Guinivan, Robert McCashin and Scott Rikkers, in the fields of music pedagogy, composition, conducting, theory, and history.

Adam has performed in, conducted, and taught wind bands, drumlines, jazz bands, percussion ensembles, pit orchestras, choirs, marching bands, symphony orchestras, and more. He has taken ensembles on competitive performance trips, including The Camping World Bowl (FL), Dollywood (TN), Hershey Park (PA), and Carnegie Hall (NY). This diversity of experience allows Adam to facilitate learning from a multitude of perspectives, and guide students towards high school or college readiness.

Since 2016, Adam has helped grow the percussion program at The Music Loft to include not only drum set, but scholastic general percussion (snare drum, keyboard/bells), timpani, and world percussion, including congas and cajon.

While not teaching, Adam enjoys games of all kinds: puzzles, board, table-top, video games, and everything in-between. Adam also enjoys spending time with my wife and puppy, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of Leesburg VA, where he has lived since 2019.

Alex Salser

Advanced Guitar

Alex Salser is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Northern Virginia. He is an adjunct professor who currently teaches jazz and rock guitar at American University. He is the band leader and lead guitarist for the nationally touring band Oh He Dead, recently recognized as the region’s “Best Soul Band” at the 2020 Washington Area Music Awards. Alex has also toured extensively with the Americana folk duo, Deer Creek. He has performed at venues in the DC area for the last 10 years, including The Kennedy Center and The 9:30 Club. He currently runs the Lily Pad in Leesburg, a studio dedicated to live music and video recording. The studio collaborates with The Music Loft every summer to get students engaged in a recording project.

At The Music Loft, Alex works with students of all ages and abilities, and focuses his teaching on making music accessible and enjoyable for all levels. As the students progress, he expands their knowledge of applied technique, theory, and improvisation.

Alex graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2013 with a degree in Arts Management and his primary focus was in jazz guitar. He is also trained in classical guitar and jazz piano. He currently offers lessons in guitar, bass, and ukulele.

Roger VanDeburgh

Cello

Roger has been playing cello for 15 years. Starting cello lessons at the age of 9, Roger developed an inseparable passion for music at a young age. Throughout high school he participated in several music groups, cello choir, orchestras, and various local and national string performance competitions. Using the skills learned from Rockford Music Academy’s Richard Evans, Roger taught cello and guitar in high school, and continued his education into college, receiving a music scholarship for Clearwater Christian College as first chair cellist in the CCC orchestra. Even as a freshman majoring in Pre-Med, busy with commuting to Air Force ROTC in Tampa, he still made time for orchestra.

After transferring to Bob Jones University to major in Engineering, Roger continued taking lessons from BJU cello professor Yuriy Leonovich, and participated in BJU cello choir. Roger’s goal in teaching cello is not only to teach technical skills and techniques, but to enlighten students in the physics of the instrument, including how every finger movement, hand position, posture, and even mental visualization affects their sound. Roger believes strongly that musical expression is just as important as technical skills. Roger intends to cultivate well-rounded students who are capable of making technically difficult pieces sound beautiful and soulful.

Hobbies and other interests: Guitar, programming, gaming, longboarding, exercise, nature, and traveling

Kyla Wilcox

Clarinet, Piano, Guitar

Kyla Wilcox received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Therapy from Shenandoah Conservatory with an emphasis in bass clarinet. While attending Shenandoah, Kyla studied under the gifted clarinetist Garrick Zoeter.

Kyla is also an accomplished pianist and guitarist. Coming from a musical background, she was encouraged to start learning and mastering multiple instruments at a young age.

During her years at Shenandoah, Kyla performed on clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone in the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, the Shenandoah Conservatory Wind Ensemble, the Atlas Quartet, EDGE Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, and the Buzzin’ Dozen Pep Band under the direction of Dr. Damon Talley, Jan Wagner, Dr. Timothy Robblee, and Garrick Zoeter.

Kyla completed her Music Therapy internship at A Place To Be in Middleburg, Virginia. She has clinical experience working with individuals with unique needs, disabilities, and backgrounds. Drawing upon her experiences as a music therapist, Kyla enjoys assessing her students’ needs and tailoring her teaching style to provide individualized support.

In addition to her music career, Kyla is currently pursuing her Masters in Education at George Mason University to become an Elementary School Counselor.

Hobbies: cooking vegan treats, teaching her dog Luna new tricks, and playing video games with her husband
Favorites: vegan chocolate chip cookies, early morning walks, and The Legend of Zelda

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