“In a word, WOW. Since the very first lesson we've been completely blown away. Virtu is very easy to use, very easy to schedule and she hasn't missed a beat connecting or following along online. She loves, loves, loves cello and thinks Andrew is the coolest -- she practices all week for friends and family on Facetime. We're just so happy she has something to sink into, especially now.”
- David H. Virtu.Academy parent since 2020
“What struck me immediately was the quality of the teachers was something like I’d never seen. To have someone from Juilliard or Oberlin is unbelievable! I hired one of your drummers who gets on with my little nine year old boy, and it’s like they’re bros. It exposes you to world-class talent you would never have the opportunity otherwise to work with.”
- Dr. Bob Arnot Former Chief Medical Correspondent, NBC
“Santi’s teacher studied at Juilliard and they have teachers from Cleveland Orchestra, Met Opera, and so many cool backgrounds. Since this year was a little different, we decided to start virtually, and it ended up being something we fell in love with since it reduced our time on the road. We knew that from the comfort of our home, he was still getting incredible lessons.”
- Jessica S. Virtu.Academy Parent
“Virtu.Academy has completely exceeded my expectations. If you’re hesitant about doing lessons over Zoom then do not be because I’ve had a better experience through doing Zoom lessons with Amy than I ever have with any other lessons. I think this is a resource of the future. I don’t think it gets better than this.“
Mezzo-soprano Chloë Schaaf holds degrees from the Juilliard School (BM), The Guildhall School (Mmus), and Bard College Conservatory of Music (MM). Experienced as both a performer and teacher, Chloë maintains an active studio of private voice students. She is also a member of the voice faculty at Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Division, where she teaches private lessons and directs two choirs.
Kimberly Bill is a recent graduate of University of Colorado Boulder where she served as a Masters Teaching Assistant for Takács String Quartet violinist, Harumi Rhodes. Kimberly received her B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory where she had the privilege of studying Suzuki method pedagogy under the instruction of Mary Price at the Oberlin Community Music School. Kimberly has participated in festivals such as The New York String Orchestra Seminar and National Orchestra Institute, and is a substitute violinist for symphony orchestras in Colorado.
Gregory Harrington is a concert soloist who has performed with esteemed orchestras & conductors around the globe. He has released 5 acclaimed solo recordings & his latest album of the Philip Glass Violin Concerto #2 & his arrangement of the "Hours Suite" (Janacek Philharmonic & Mark Shapiro) debuted at #3 on the Billboard Charts. He has 20 years teaching experience & studied under esteemed soloist & pedagogue Erick Friedman & Sally Thomas. Ideal for students looking to create an excellent foundation in violin playing.
Hailed for her “masterful and show-stopping performance” (Opera News), internationally acclaimed soprano Ashley Milanese has performed with Teatro Regio Torino, Komische Oper Berlin, Opera Philadelphia, among others. When she is not performing, she enjoys teaching private voice lessons and masterclasses. Ashley teaches a foundation rooted in Classical Voice which enables her students to strengthen their musical ear, free their natural artistic inclinations, and build a strong technique so they can feel secure and confident across all genres.
Jarien Jamanila is a saxophonist from San Diego, California. He graduated from Juilliard in June 2021 with a Bachelor's in Music in Jazz Studies. Some of his mentors include Gilbert Castellanos, Kamau Kenyatta and Charles McPherson, Marshall Hawkins, Wynton Marsalis and George Coleman. He’s had the opportunity to share the stage with Bobby Watson, Delfeayo Marsalis, Eric Reed, Gaslamp Quarter Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. He is a specialist in with jazz music but is open to all kinds of music!
Praised for his “dark, rolling baritone“(Münchener Merkur) and “soft and compact timber“(Corriere del Ticino), Italian baritone Nicola Ziccardi is a sought-after performer throughout Europe.
Under the baton of Maestro Gustav Kuhn, Ziccardi had become a regular member of the Tiroler Festspiele Erl. In February 2018 He made his debut in Teatro La Fenice of Venice in Die Lustige Witwe directed by Damiano Michieletto and conducted by Montanari...
Bulgarian-British-American soprano, researcher, teacher Theodora Ivanova Nestorova is well-versed in genres from contemporary to classical to pop. Specializing in kid's voices as well as adults, Theodora works to instill healthy vocal technique and develop each individual student's unique musicianship and style. Theodora earned a Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance/Musicology) from Oberlin Conservatory in 2018, won a 2018-2019 Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Vienna, Austria, and currently pursues her Master of Music (Vocal Pedagogy) at New England Conservatory. Visit: theodoranestorova.com
Soprano, Samantha DiCapio, has been praised for her “seamless technique” and “uniquely warm vocal color.” As a teacher, Samantha is comfortable teaching students of all ages and levels. She specializes in the Bel Canto Technique and specializes in opera, art songs and musical theatre songs. Samantha made her opera debut as the 2nd Nymph in Rusalka with Opera Slavica. Abroad, Samantha is a regular performer in both France and Italy.Samantha is a graduate of the Mannes School of Music.
Soprano Ellen Teufel is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, now based in New York City. She holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Penn State University and has been a young artist with Opera on the Avalon, ISING International Young Artist Program, Bel Canto at Caramoor, and Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. Favorite roles include Anna Bolena with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Pamina with West Bay Opera, Alcina with Lyra New York, and Giannetta with Teatro Dobbiaco.
Marie Engle, mezzo-soprano, is an opera singer, recitalist and chamber musician. She has produced recitals internationally and made her professional debut as Donna Elvira at Wichita Grand Opera. Marie completed studies at Northwestern University and the Juilliard School. Fluent in English, German and French, Marie has studied in New York, Vienna and Paris. She also taught vocal trio, Girl Named Tom, prior to their winning NBC’s The Voice.
Morgan Paige is a bicoastal soprano, actress and songwriter in NYC/Los Angeles with over 78K followers on Tik Tok where she features opera, theater and Disney styles of singing. She is a graduate of the Maryland Opera Studio with a Master’s in Opera Performance and earned her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Oregon.
Krebs holds a master’s degree in voice and opera performance from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and psychology from Oberlin College and Conservatory. With a background in psychology, Krebs specializes in working with students that experience performance anxiety. Krebs is excited to be singing with Off the Dock Music Festival this summer. Krebs has performed with the Syracuse Opera, Chautauqua Institution, College Light Opera Company, Oberlin in Italy, and Northwestern and Oberlin Opera Theater.
Soprano Hanna Shykind is a musical theater/opera cross-over artist with off-broadway credits and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Neuroscience from Oberlin College and Conservatory. Hanna has worked professionally in New York City and across the United States, premiering new works in opera and musical theater. She has experience teaching students of all ages and all abilities but has a particular skill in creating foundational and fostering a love for singing with students of elementary and middle school age.
A South Korean Bass-Baritone, Simon Nam currently finished his first year of DMA at UNCG. Mr. Nam completed his Masters of Music from Mannes School of Music and also earned his bachelor's degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Mr. Nam has performed in numerous operas both in the United States and Europe. Some former operatic roles include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni and more.
The South African-Argentine soprano Reinet Behncke lives in Vienna, Austria, where she graduated from the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien. A specialist for concert repertoire, Lieder, and the Baroque, she is currently the resident soprano of the Baroque group, Ensemble Quattro Cieli. Her performance of Lieder and art song has led to performances around Europe, following time spent in the United States singing various operatic roles. Also a vocal scholar, Reinet studied vocal pedagogy at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
As a former member of the Berlin Staatsoper International Opera Studio and ensemble member at the National Theatre Mannheim, Dominic performs lead roles throughout Europe at Opera houses including Paris, Leipzig, Komische Oper Berlin, Montpellier, Toulouse, Florence and Oviedo. He believes technique facilitates artistry and teaches a technical approach whilst focused on performing, allowing for confidence and freedom when singing.
American soprano India Rowland has been praised for her “full command of the stage and fetching demeanor, combined with a warm timbre has made her a real discovery” (South Florida Classical Review), during her performance of Cherubino with the Miami Music Festival. Recent performances include the roles of Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflote and Zina in Dark Sisters with Mannes Opera and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Utah Vocal Arts Academy.
Kaitlin Obien-Thompson is a contemporary gospel and worship singer from Santa Clarita, California. She comes from a family of musicians, singers, and piano players who influenced her love of music from a young age. She began singing in church at 7 years old and has followed in her family’s footsteps becoming a worship and band leader ranging from solo singing, to gospel choirs, and small ensembles. Kaitlin is a mezzo soprano and focuses her teaching on developing individualistic style and sound.
Tyreek McDole, a remarkable 23-year-old vocalist, captivates audiences with his velvety tone and polished delivery. Since his singing career began at age 18, he's been compared to vocal legends such as Andy Bey, Johnny Hartman, and the Illustrious Joe Williams. Tyreek has graced the stage with some of the best in the business including NEA Jazz Master Gary Bartz, Rodney Whitaker, Theo Croker, Nicholas Payton, Ted Nash, Russell Hall, Jonathan Michel, Eric Reed, Carl Allen and many others.
Corinna Canzian is a graduate from Triest Conservatorio, HfMDK Frankfurt am Main and Lucerne Musikhochschule, where she holds a BA in Violin, Master in Contemporary Music, Master in Violin Performance and Master in Solo Performance. She appears regularly in orchestras, chamber music groups and as a soloist all over Europe.
Japanese Violinist, Koko Watanabe is excited to share her passion with students who love making music. She graduated from Cleveland Institute of Music where she earned Artist Diploma in Violin Performance. She is a member of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony regularly. Koko is a certified Suzuki Method instructor and has over 10 years of experience. She provides a positive, fun, and safe environment to each class and likes to focus on developing beautiful tone/posture. Parental involvement is welcomed and encouraged for beginners under 10 years old.
Philadelphian violinist Austin Berman began exploring diverse music at the age of five, free-styling to Buckwheat Zydeco, mime-conducting 1940s Looney Tunes soundtracks, and juggling bright orange Sil-X balls to the Electric Light Orchestra. Twenty years later, Austin is a graduate of Princeton University and the Juilliard School, an international violin competitor, and a concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. Austin is a passionate teacher who prides himself on his analytical, strategic, and creative approach to music and violin technique
4-17; Classical, Pop; No Experience; Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced; Violin
Rannveig Marta Sarc
Icelandic-Slovenian violinist, Rannveig Marta Sarc, is a recent graduate from The Juilliard School, where whe studied with Catherine Cho and Donald Weilerstein. She has performed throughout Europe, North America and Asia and has performed as soloist with orchestras such as Iceland Symphony and Slovenian Philharmonic among others. As a chamber musician, she has appeared at festivals including Ravinia, Prussia Cove and Taos. Rannveig’s teaching experience ranges from beginners to advanced levels of all ages.
Natalia Badziak is a graduate of the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, where she completed Bachelor’s degrees in viola performance and comparative literature, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she completed her Master’s degree. Natalia has taught both violin and viola for seven years in music schools, privately, and through conservatory preparatory departments to students of all ages. She specializes in contemporary music and has commissioned several new works for the viola that involve experimental techniques.
Israeli violist Yehezkel Layoun (1991) earned his bachelor of music (2014) from Temple University as a student of Che-Hung Chen of the Philadelphia Orchestra and a master of music (2016) on full scholarship from Wichita State University, where he was a student of Boris Vayner of the St. Petersburg String Quartet. Most recently, he studied three years in an artist diploma program (2017- 2020) from Rutgers University on full scholarship, under the tutelage of Daniel Panner of the NYC Opera.
Rachel Halvorson is the principal violist of the Sarasota Orchestra and plays in the Sarasota String Quartet. She holds her Bachelors of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, and recently completed her Masters of Music at Rice University. She formerly held a contract with the Akron Symphony, and has performed with orchestras such as the Cincinnati, Houston, San Antonio, Syracuse and New World Symphonies. Rachel has joined Tanglewood, Spoleto Festival and National Repertory Orchestra on summer fellowships, and now performs at Music in the Mountains.
Bulgarian Violist Raisa, is a member of the English Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Symphony Orchestra, and performs regularly at The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, and in many international music festivals in the UK and Europe, plus appearing on ITV and BBC broadcasts. She is an experienced chamber musician, currently performing on a 1845 viola by J.B. Vuillaume and is completing her PhD in solo & chamber Viola repertoire. Raisa teaches at the Junior department of Trinity Laban Conservatoire, in addition to private teaching.
Unrestrained curiosity and a devotion to fundamentals fuel Dan Pappalardo's relationship with music. Performing on both upright bass and bass guitar, Pappalardo has served artists from Billy Hart, Wallace Roney, and Sullivan Fortner to Cautious Clay and John Mayer. Dan has taught across different mediums for more than 15 years. His approach is simple: joy is infectious. He hopes to empower students to break perceived impossibilities into manageable pieces, with and without the bass.
Hunter Farley is currently a Doctoral student at Boston University as well as a Freelance Tubist and Teacher. He also is the director of athletic bands at Bentley University. Before moving to Boston, he received his Masters degree from Northwestern University in Tuba Performance and Undergraduate degree in Music Education at the University of Memphis. While at these institutions, he was an active member of the National Association for Music Education organization and the President of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association Chapter.
Trumpet player Olivia Pidi is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Tri-State area. She has performed in concerts at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, and Chicago's Symphony Center. She currently plays in the trumpet section of The Montclair Orchestra, is a member of subtle cheetah brass, and serves as trumpet faculty at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music.
Olivia holds a master’s degree in performance from Manhattan School of Music and a bachelor’s degree in performance and musicology from Oberlin Conservatory.
Originally from the Delaware Valley, Eric Rizzo is a freelance musician and teacher currently based in New England. He holds degrees from New England Conservatory and Yale School of Music, and is currently in the Doctor of Musical arts program at the University of Connecticut. He has performed with the Hartford Symphony, Phoenix: The Orchestra Reborn, and the Boston Festival Orchestra, as well as at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Lake George Music Festival.
George is a versatile teacher and performer. A recent graduate with a Masters of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory, he has experience teaching and playing across the country. He has been involved in his communities wherever he has landed. He has taught private individual lessons as well as at several high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA.
Dr. Stephen Whimple is currently an orchestra fellow with The Orchestra Now at Bard College, where he plays tenor, alto, and bass trombone. Previously, Dr. Whimple served as an Instructor and Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Alabama. Prior to his doctoral studies, Stephen attended the Juilliard School as an Irene Diamond Graduate Fellow, Music Advancement Program Teaching Fellow, and Morse Teaching Artist Fellow. He completed his bachelor’s degree at The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.
Praised for his “saxophone virtuosity” by Downbeat Magazine, Max Bessesen is a rising young saxophonist and composer in New York City. His 2020 debut album Trouble (Ropeadope Records) features Cornettist Ron Miles and was well reviewed by Jazziz, Jazz Times, and Jazzwise. He has performed with musicians like Greg Ward, Dana Hall, and Bobby Broom and his work is supported by The Luminarts Foundation, Pathways to Jazz, and The Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. Max teaches jazz, classical and popular music to his students and is currently pursuing a masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music.
Born in Atlanta and currently based in New York City, Kevin Oliver, Jr, is a saxophonist, composer and recent graduate of The Juilliard School. Kevin was a part of the inaugural year of NYO Jazz directed by Sean Jones and played concerts at Carnegie Hall and across Europe alongside Dianne Reeves and a big band of some of the brightest young musicians around the country.
Chris Byars is a steady contributor to the New York City jazz scene as a performer and educator since the early 1990s. He has released sixteen (16) CDs under his name. An award-winning bandleader and composer, Byars has led his group to perform concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs all over the world. Byars teaches jazz improvisation as learned from his mentor, the late Dr. Barry Harris.
Praised for his “technically superb and musically convincing playing” (Hamburger Abendblatt), León Bernsdorf continues to establish himself in the international classical music scene. Born in Hamburg, Germany, León began his journey at the piano at age 5. One year later he received a scholarship from the Hamburg Youth Music Foundation and was taught by the renowned piano pedagogue Carol Tainton. After his pre-college studies with Volker Banfield at the Hochschule Hamburg, he moved to the East Coast of the US.
10-13; 14-17; Adults; Classical; improvisation; Intermediate; Advanced; Piano
Named one of Canada's 30 hot classical musicians under 30 for 2020 by CBC Music, Quebec born pianist Jean-Luc Therrien has been an active soloist in Canada and abroad. In the later years, he toured across Quebec and the Maritimes as part of the Jeunesses Musicales Canada’s Emerging Artists Concerts on tour. He also made his orchestral debut in Japan with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto.
10-13; 14-17; Adults; Classical; Advanced; Advanced; Intermediate; Piano
Alexander (Sasha) Malikov
Dr. Alexander Malikov performs extensively around Canada and the United States, and holds prizes in numerous regional and international competitions. His musical studies include schools such as the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. In addition to his performance activity, Alexander is passionate about teaching. He is a recipient of the 2020 YoungArts Educator Award. Since switching to online teaching, his students continue to win prizes at regional and national piano competitions.
Josue González has been described by legendary pianist Daniel Pollack as a technically flawless and fearless virtuoso, characterized by his strong temperament and lyrical touch. Currently 26 years old, Mr. Gonzalez expanded his knowledge attending top music conservatories such as the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music. Mr.Gonzalez has attained international recognition winning more than 2d national and international awards and competitions.
Alfonso Hernández is a Doctorate in Musical Arts candidate at the University of Maryland working with Russian pianist Larissa Dedova.
Alfonso holds degrees from the University of Houston, Eastman School of Music, and Lynn University; he has participated in many renowned music festivals including the Chautauqua, Aspen, and Zeister Muziekdage in the Netherlands. A passionate educator, Alfonso is Co-founder of the International Chamber Music Festival of Guatemala and has served as visiting faculty at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala.
Remarked in the Boston Globe for his "mesmerizing performance", Canadian pianist Barry Tan is based in Los Angeles, enjoying a career as an active pianist and educator. His solo and collaborative experiences have led him to perform at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts, the Primrose International Viola Competition in Los Angeles, Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan, the Chan Center of the Performing Arts in Vancouver, Canada, and various performances throughout Southern California.
Alison received her Doctorate in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music in May 2020. She made her Carnegie Hall debut recently with works by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. Alison has taught college students and beginner to advanced levels of all ages. She approaches each student as unique and caters the lessons to their individual learning style. Her teaching philosophy aims to develop the imaginative mind, sensitive ears, and technical facility so that students become self-directed learners with a fierce love of music.
Born and raised in Brazil, I started taking piano lessons when I was 7 years old and played in my first recitals and took part in piano competitions by 8 years old. I moved to Curitiba to college, where I took my Bachelor in Music at the School of Fine Arts of Paraná. In 2019, I moved to the USA, where I went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I have been working as piano, music theory and history of music for 9 years and I am looking forward to teach and learn much more.
Jazz pianist, producer and educator Aman Almeida grew up in Bangalore, India. He has played with many distinguished artists including trumpet player Dominick Farinacci, film scorer Terence Blanchard and tenor saxophonist Ernie Krivda. In 2021, Aman received his B.M in professional music from the Berklee College of Music, Boston.
Liza Wu is a classical pianist/keyboardist, performing regularly in Manhattan, as well as internationally. She is an affiliate of Barnard/Columbia, NYU, Avenues, Marsalis RMPBB, and studio pianist of renowned vocalists Josephine Mongiardo, Harolyn Blackwell, and Catherine Malfitano.
(Prev: Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, Interlochen Arts Camps, School for Strings, Prof Perf Arts School, Westchester Cons, NY Youth Symph Singers, Columbia Artists' Theatricals, Bx Opera, Chelsea Opera & Orch, Concerts in Motion, 'Smash' (NBC).
Yun Janice Lu is regarded as one of the leading Taiwanese pianists of her age and semi-finalist at the prestigious 2018 Geneva International Music Competition (Concours de Geneve) in Switzerland, winner of Chi-Mei Arts Award (2020), PianoTexas Young Artists Competition (2014), and Bronze medalist at Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2021).
Arianna Giesbrecht is a graduate of the highly selective Accelerated B.M./M.M. Program at The Juilliard School under the guidance of Jerome Lowenthal and Hung-Kuan Chen. She has appeared in performance ranging from a piano arrangement of the national anthem at the Cleveland Indians Home Opener to a performance of Chopin's Concerto No. 2 with orchestra. Arianna is passionate about the growth of all students and believes in creating and fostering a positive environment where her students have the abilities to grow as both musicians and individuals.
Dr. Michael Kaykov earned his Undergraduate degree from Mannes College of Music, Master’s degree from Juilliard, and DMA at the Manhattan School of Music (dissertation: “The Evolution of Alexander Scriabin’s Harmonic Language and Pianistic Textures Across his Etudes Op. 8, 42 and 65”.) His scholarly articles have been published in Europe. An album featuring the works of Chopin was released in the Fall of 2022. A third all-Liszt album will be issued by Odradek Records in 2024.
Jack Bell was principal percussionist with the Atlanta Symphony and Associate Professor, Head of Percussion Studies at Georgia State University. He is certified as a secondary classroom music teacher with a lifetime certificate. His current teaching studio is a state of the art, 450 square-foot percussion, piano, and recording studio. Jack teaches five facets of drumming: rudimental snare drum, concert snare drum, rock drum set, jazz drum set, and Latin drum set. He also teaches all techniques on marimba and vibraphone as well as timpani.
DR. LYDIA CONSILVIO is an oboist, arranger, and music educator. She has performed with a variety of orchestras, including the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Notably, part of her recording of Pasculli’s “Le Api” appeared on the “Telling the Bees” episode of the popular BBC Radio 3 broadcast series, Between the Ears.
Antonia Chandler lives in Lisbon, Portugal, where she plays 2nd/4th horn with the Orquestra Gulbenkian. Originally from Seattle Washington, Antonia earned a Master of Music and a Master of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Bill Purvis, and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Roland Pandolfi and received Kappa Lambda Honors. With over 10 years of teaching experience, Antonia enjoys teaching all ages and skill levels, and believes learning to play the horn should be fun and engaging!
Liana Hoffman is currently Fourth Horn of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Houston Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, and the London Symphony Orchestra and recently played as a soloist with the MSM Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in festivals around the country and gained her philosophy of horn playing from stellar teachers and colleagues along the way. With years of teaching/coaching experience, Liana is eager to make the horn fun for her students!
4-6; 7-9; 10-13; 14-17; Adults; No Experience; Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced; Harp; Classical; Pop
Violetta Maria Norrie
Praised for her “powerful command and nuanced facility”, Violetta Maria Norrie is a harpist of diverse range and ability. She began playing the harp at the age of 6, after falling in love with the instrument at a Renaissance Faire. Since then she has performed orchestral, solo, and chamber music at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Recital Hall and Symphony Space. Violetta earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Susan Jolles. She spent her junior year studying abroad at the Conservatoir
Upon moving to New Jersey in 2010, Ryan was gradually exposed to the New York metropolitan area jazz scene, becoming enamored with it. This passion led him to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's jazz program and the New Jersey Youth Jazz Orchestra. Ryan graduated from the William Paterson Jazz Program in 2020 and plays regularly in Manhattan at various restaurants and bars. He is currently enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music to further pursue his studies in jazz music.
Benjamin Ellis is adjunct professor of Guitar and director of the Classical Guitar Ensemble at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy. Ellis performs regularly and has been a featured soloist at festivals, universities and concert venues throughout the north east. Ellis is an active teacher in the Syracuse area and has been featured as a guest instructor at Syracuse University, Mansfield University and the Eastern U.S. Music Camp at Colgate University.
I'm a professional guitarist and educator based in Chicago, IL. I graduated from Oberlin's Double Degree program in Jazz Guitar Performance, and currently perform in projects that range from jazz and improvised music to country and indie rock. I welcome students of all ages and all experience levels.
Guitarist Emmett Sher grew up in Staten Island, New York. Coming from a musical family he started guitar at a young age and decided early on to pursue music professionally. Emmett went to Laguardia High School, the Brubeck Institute Fellowship program and finally, Oberlin Conservatory. At Oberlin, Emmett was awarded the Wendell and Bettye Logan Prize in Studies. Last summer, Emmett toured with various bands across the United States as well as Portugal. Emmett recently won second place in the Jarek Smietana Jazz Guitar competition.
Matt Kaplan is a professional guitarist and educator based in New York City. He holds bachelor’s degrees of Music Education and Music Performance with a minor in Piano from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a master’s of Music Performance from Mannes College - The New School for Music. Matt has performed internationally and at venues like Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Recently, Matt released an album of classical guitar chamber music featuring the music of composer Jaime Zenamon.
Elijah Cole is a guitarist, pianist, and composer in Philadelphia. An active member of the Philadelphia music scene, he performs frequently around the city as a sideman and a leader. His music blends a wide array of influences into a unique sound that delivers a powerful emotional message. His mission is to create music that stimulates the mind, soul, and spirit of his listeners.
Leonid Morozov is a 5th generation musician in his family. Before coming to the US Leonid successfully established himself on the Russian jazz scene: participated multiple times in the “Jazz Province” Festival (years 2014,2015,2016 and 2017) and “Lundstrem-fest-100”. Led his own gigs in the top tier Moscow jazz clubs like “Esse”, “Kozlov Club”, “B.B. King club” as well as played as a side man with famous Russian and European jazz musicians.
Luca Ferrara is a guitarist and composer with an extensive background in jazz. He holds a BM from New England Conservatory, where he studied primarily with Joe Morris. Luca aims to teach his students the importance of finding their own unique voice in their craft, and how to refine their technique and musicianship to help carry that voice forward. He believes a strong foundation in the fundamentals of one's instrument and music theory is essential. Inspiration from jazz, bluegrass, and folk music can be heard in his latest original work.
Colombian Flutist Laura del Sol Jiménez performed with the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra and Colombia National Symphony Orchestra before moving to New York in 2016. Laura has also appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and with orchestras in China, Japan, Israel, Italy, Argentina, Chile, and throughout the United States. In 2015, Laura founded the Linos trio, which toured South America and produced an album premiering music of contemporary Latin American composers. Laura serves as flute faculty at the Portland Conservatory of Music and Director of the Conservatory’s Preparatory Program.
My name is Kelsey and I'm currently finishing up my masters at Juilliard. I'm very passionate about flute, teaching, animals, languages, and pop culture. I teach a variety of different types of music, so sign up, let me know what music you like, and let's get started :)
Up and coming fiddler and banjoist Keilan Aplin has steadily built a sound of her own through intensive studying of sound recordings, and extensive time playing and learning with friends and mentors at fiddle camps in the United States and abroad. In 2018 she studied under Norwegian fiddle mentors Anon Egeland and Laura Ellestad at the University College of Southeast Norway’s Folk music program. Through close listening to the stylings of West Virginia's Hammons family, and fiddlers like Lee Stoneking, Keilan has developed an anchored, subtly expressive approach to fiddle and banjo.
Chase Elodia is a drummer and composer whose debut album, “Space Between,” was released in July 2020. He has performed in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Netherlands, Switzerland, and across the United States. He holds a BA in English and a BM in Music from Oberlin Conservatory, an MM from Berklee College of Music, and an Artist Diploma from Musik Akademie Basel. As a teacher, he has worked with students of all levels and abilities for over 10 years, and has had his virtual teaching featured in Drum! Magazine.
Ricardo Guerra is a Cuban-American drummer/percussionist, composer, and educator based in Miami, FL. Most recently, he started a Master's degree in performance at Global Jazz Institute at Berklee, where he has had the opportunity of studying with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Kris Davis, among others. Ricardo's teaching experience includes over 20 private students in his studio at a time, as well as work with non-profit organizations in Miami and virtual teaching in Panama and Costa Rica.
Aaron is an Australian drummer who began at age four where he attended Australia’s renowned Drumtek School of Percussion. Performing live since the age of 12 he has lived and breathed music ever since. Aaron is well versed in rock, funk, jazz, and pop. As a celebrated musician on the Melbourne rock scene, Aaron’s love of drumming then took him to Hollywood stages. Aaron shares his knowledge of music with all his students. Whether beginner or advanced, his love of rhythm and finding the true spirit of music is what brings joy to those he coaches.
Award-winning drummer, composer and band leader Shawn Myers currently tours nationally and internationally with grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Leyla McCalla while maintaining an active performing schedule with many other artists. He has performed with many national and international luminaries, including Evan Christopher, Nduduzo Makhathini, Ed Petersen and Kenny Werner. He has studied drums and percussion with Billy Hart, Jamey Haddad, Jason Marsalis, and in Haiti, Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
Justin is a Chicago-based Composer and Conductor with degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Royal Academy of Music (London), and is currently a PhD Fellow at the University of Chicago. His music has been performed by groups such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Vertixe Sonora, the CHROMA Ensemble, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble and has received awards and recognitions from ASCAP, YoungArts, Tribeca New Music, and Encore Wind Ensemble. Justin has taught at John Tyler Community College (Virginia) and The Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra's Young Composer Mentor Program.
Composer Adam Billings is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with revered composer and teacher Dr. Robert Beaser on scholarship. As an instructor, Adam enriches his students’ perspectives on contemporary music, philosophy and aesthetic style. In addition, he believes that it is crucial for young composers and musicians to understand the working world that they are headed into. Adam hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the world of music education for composers and musicians alike.
Composer Soomin Kim loves to explore intimacy and familiarity through her music. Soomin received three Morton Gould Young Composer Awards from the ASCAP Foundation in 2019, 2020, and 2022 respectively with her works conjunctions, THE EIGHTH SONG, and star / ghost / mouth / sea. She was also the composer-in-residence with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra during their 2017-18 concert season, for whom she wrote The Blue Marble.
Hailing from Philadelphia, Max Reese is currently an in-demand freelancer and educator in the Chicago area. He is currently an associate member at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and a frequent substitute with the Milwaukee Symphony. He completed a master’s degree under the tutelage of Stephen Williamson, principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, he received a bachelor’s in music from the Oberlin Conservatory studying with Richard Hawkins, and has additionally studied with Charles Salinger.
Michael Kissinger began his career at age 16 when he produced his first concert featuring legendary jazz clarinetist Woody Herman. He is Artistic Director of Bravo! Concerts Northwest and the Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival. He is a Guest Conductor of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and was Artistic Director of the Dubrovnik Jazz Festival in a 5-year project with the City of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Michael has been a clarinetist and conductor with artists ranging from Jose Feliciano, Diane Schuur, Brubeck Brothers, and the Oregon String Quartet.
Alex Dergal currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas where he dedicates his time to teaching music to the youngest in the community. Alex’s pedagogy is summarized in his mission statement: utilizing music to instill within students the confidence and skills they need to navigate the world around them. He also performs on clarinet and saxophone for classical and jazz repertoires. Alex holds degrees in performance from Oberlin Conservatory and the Yale School of Music. In his free time Alex reads books, writes stories and rides his bike.
A native of Santiago, Chile, Axel Vallejos is a graduate of Rice University, where he completed his Master’s degree in cello performance. He received his Bachelor of Music at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, a Professional Performance Certificate, and a Master of Music degree from Lynn University.
A graduate of the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels and the Academy of Music in Cracow, Magdalena performs across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and appeared in renowned concert halls such as Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, BOZAR in Brussels, Witold Lutoslawski Studio in Warsaw, NCPA in Mumbai. Currently a doctoral candidate at UW Madison, she is a recipient of the Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellowship and a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
Dr. Zachary Preucil serves as principal cellist of the La Crosse Symphony, teaches privately in Madison, WI, and is active as a performer and guest clinician throughout the midwest. He holds degrees in Cello Performance from the New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and previously served on the faculties of the Music Institute of Chicago, Music for Youth, and the Kanack School of Musical Artistry. Dr. Preucil has registered training in the Suzuki Cello Method.
A versatile cellist and teacher, Dr. Henry Myers has delighted audiences with his dazzling blend of technique and shrewd musicianship. As chamber musician and recitalist, he has performed throughout the United States, with recent engagements including concerts at the Eastman School in Rochester, New York, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and Truman State in Kirksville, Missouri. Henry is also an accomplished soloist, having given a notable performance of William Walton's Cello Concerto with the Eastman Philharmonia in 2018.
NYC-based cellist Daniel Scoggins enjoys bringing music to diverse spaces, ranging from Carnegie Hall to farmhouses in rural New Hampshire. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin and a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he soloed with the MSM orchestra under conductor Leonard Slatkin. A dynamic and encouraging teacher, he was a faculty member at the 2022 Pacific Music Institute in Honolulu, HI. Daniel emphasizes expressive tone and relaxed, efficient technique in his teaching, and welcomes students of all levels.
Nik Hooks has enjoyed a varied career as a chamber, orchestra, and solo performer, having concertized in renowned venues across the globe. In 2019, he won the Principal Bassoon position with the Billings Symphony Orchestra and was the grand prize winner of the Sherman Walt Merit Award Competition. He holds a Performance Studies Certificate from The Colburn School and a Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory. His primary teachers include Judith Leclair, Richard Beene, Richard Svoboda, and Rick Ranti.
Tony has been on the NYC World Beat, Rock, R&B, Jazz and contemporary Jazz scene for over 30 years, playing with world renowned musicians including; the Brazilian Power Samba band Pe De Bois, Babatunde Olatunji and Drums of Passion, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Terry Reid, Michal Urbaniak, Walter Bishop Jr., Randy Brecker, Michael Wolff, Badal Roy, Jeremy Wall (Spyro Gyra), Brian Kean, Frank Colon, Vic Juris, Jimmy Ponder and Carmen Lundy. He has toured Japan, Europe, Russia and the US with various artists and his own world- beat/contemporary j
Amy is currently a diversity fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor’s from Lynn University, and a Master’s from Yale University. She enjoys being a teaching artist with the Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc. As well as with the Volta Music Foundation in Havana, Cuba.
Ethan Philion is an award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader based in Chicago. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and DePaul University, Philion was the winner of the 2019 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition. In 2020, Philion was selected to Chicago's prestigious Luminarts Jazz Fellowship. Philion was a 2015 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Artist in Residence at the Kennedy Center and holds two Downbeat Student Music Awards for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Small Ensemble.
Eli Heath is an emerging American bassist, composer, and musical director. He has appeared on recordings and at major festivals and venues across North America, Europe, and Brazil with artists including Kenny Werner, Luciana Souza, Charles Neville, Dominick Farinacci, and Jamey Haddad. Eli holds a BM/BA from Oberlin College and Conservatory in Africana Studies and Jazz Performance and is currently completing a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston.
Sami Braman has been playing the fiddle since she was 6 years old, coming up amid the festivals and communities of the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant traditional music scene. She is a founding member of award-winning old-time band, The Onlies, a recipient of the Vinson Award for musical excellence, and a composer of tunes which have made their way into festival sessions across the country. Sami now teaches and performs across the U.S., and has appeared onstage alongside Laurie Lewis, Bruce Molsky, Elvis Costello, Chris Eldridge, and Darol Anger.
Lessons are $29 per half hour or $54 per hour. Your first lesson is 50% off to make sure you find the perfect teacher for you!
Are online lessons as effective as in-person lessons?
Although there are some differences, multiple studies on distance learning, including this study from UNC, have shown that students are 36% more focused and perform 22% better when compared to in-person lesson.
We also take advantage of Zoom’s High Fidelity Music Mode, which was developed in partnership with Yale School of Music. This ensures that your teacher can hear every detail of your playing during each lesson.
How does Virtu.Academy choose their teachers?
All our teachers are from top music conservatories, such as Juilliard or Oberlin. They also must have extensive teaching experience and be recommended by conservatory professors.
What do I need to begin lessons?
After choosing a teacher and purchasing a lesson, all you need is a computer with a built in microphone and webcam. After booking you will be sent a link that connects you with your teacher at the scheduled time with two clicks.