The Teacher Is the Key

"When looking back at one's life, everyone carries somewhere in their heart a teacher that enlightened them in various ways, in terms of character or intellect."

From Children are the Best Teachers, by Genichi Kawakami (Tokyo: Yamaha Music Foundation, 1981) 

The teacher is critical to the effectiveness and success of all methods. Yamaha music teachers must possess a variety of skills; they must be able to sing on pitch expressively, play piano and electronic keyboards, accompany, conduct, transpose, improvise and manage both children and their parents in a group setting. Of course, they also must enjoy young children and have the ability to motivate them and communicate with them effectively.

In every Yamaha music class, the teacher is responsible for creating an atmosphere conducive to learning. This means smiles, laughter and energy, as well as quieter moments- times for closeness between parent and child and moments to appreciate the beauty and intricacies of music-all should be part of the class experience. The teacher engages the students in many ways, all of which are intended to draw children's attention to the music and build a desire to participate. Imagery, story telling, pictures and movement stimulate the children, but the teacher's musical performance of a piece and his or her corresponding facial and physical expressions are of the utmost importance.

In addition, all Yamaha teachers are certified and:

  • undergo rigorous seminar training with national music education department staff at Yamaha Corp of America
  • successfully pass Yamaha Grade Exam, a comprehensive international music examination
  • receive special seminar instruction with Yamaha Music Foundation teachers and staff from Japan
  • have systematic, ongoing development and support through annual study groups and Experienced Teacher Seminars 
  • have a minimum of a bachelor degree in music education and / or performance (BM), and 3-5 years experience teaching, with most teachers holding a master of music (MM) or a doctor of music (DMA)
  • are cleared with an annual Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) - including all administrative staff
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Faculty

Yamaha Music Education System (YMES) Group Class Faculty

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Mina Osako, YMES Coordinator/YMES/Piano

Mina Osako began studying music at age 3.  She attended Yamaha Music School in Narita, Japan and participated in Electone ensemble and studied solo piano performance.  She earned her Bachelor of Music in piano performance at University of Hawaii and Master of Music at SUNY Purchase where she was a recipient of a vocal fellowship.  Mina is an active vocal collaborator and chamber musician and has performed at various chamber concerts, Broadway musical productions and school and church choirs in Japan and the U.S.  Her mentors include Thomas Rosenkranz, Jonathan Korth and Paul Ostrovsky.

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Yuki Shibata, YMES/Piano

Yuki Shibata is a music teacher, jazz pianist, and composer originally from Himeji, Japan. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Yuki maintains an active teaching and performance schedule, including recent gigs as a band leader at Mile's Cafe and Shrine in NYC and The Fireplace, Cafe Luna, and Kings Back Bay in Boston.

Studying classical ballet as a child, Yuki was introduced to jazz, classical, and contemporary music. Because her dance teacher was a big fan of jazz, she got a chance to dance to the album, "Helen Merrill with Clifford Brown" in concert, which was the first time for her to feel a strong passion for jazz.

Yuki's principal piano teachers are Yuki Arimasa (Tokyo, Japan), Frank Carlberg, and Ray Santisi (Boston, MA). She has also studied with Danilo Perez, Joanne Brackeen, and jazz improv with Hal Crook.

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Dr. Penny Pan, YMES/Piano

Penny Pan Ouellette is active as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher of piano. She has received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from University of Southern California. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University in Historical Performance Practice focusing on techniques of period keyboards (clavichord, harpsichord and fortepiano) and on Brazilian/Cuban/Jazz infused piano repertoire.

Penny was Professor of Piano and Collaborative Keyboard Coordinator in California State University, Los Angeles and Music Instructor in West Los Angeles College. She is a National Certified Teacher of Music in Piano. Besides teaching, she served as State Vice President for California Association of Professional Music Teachers/Music Teacher National Association. She has given several presentations at conferences for College Music Society, International Society of Music Education, Music Teachers Association of California, and World Journal Education Expo. She also has given lectures and workshops for music teacher organizations in the U.S. China, and Taiwan. 

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Yu Jin, YMES/Piano

Mr. Jin began playing the piano at the age of three. After winning scholarships from the government and school, he studied piano and orchestra conducting at Shanghai Conservatory of Music from 2008-2013. Jin gave recitals twice at Shanghai Concert hall, and played concerti with Shanghai Philharmonic orchestra. He was a member of several chamber groups there and also recorded new music for Shanghai Modern Art festival. He was the winner of Imola international piano competition for Shanghai District. 

As a conductor, Mr. Jin conducted orchestras such as Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra,and Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra. He gave five concerts in Conservatory’s He Luting Hall with those orchestras. The repertoire included works by Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Liszt.

After receiving both conducting and piano degrees from Shanghai Conservatory, Jin began studies at New England Conservatory in 2013 and received his MM degree in 2015. He gave recitals in NEC’s Brown Hall, Williams Hall and Pierce Hall. Jin was also a TA for the piano department. Mr. Jin was a teaching assistant in NEC’s piano department in charge of the course for undergraduate students. He was the winner of 2015 Aspen Music Festival piano concerto competition, and he made his debut in Aspen with AACA orchestra in Music Tent. He gave concerts in AMFS’s Harris Hall, and played both solo and chamber music as a guest artist for Salida-Aspen concerts. He is a former student of Maestro Ms. Wha Kyung Byun in NEC, and now he is a doctoral candidate for piano at Boston University with Professor Boaz Sharon. 

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Suji Kim, YMES/Piano

Suji Kim is a composer, bassist, pianist, singer-songwriter, and educator from Seoul, South Korea. Originally a classically trained pianist, she naturally began to write music and improvise in search of her own voice. She has found a special interest in double bass and has pursued it since 2009. She studied Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music and Modern American Music Composition at the Longy School of Music of Bard College's Master's program.

With her love for poetry, dance, photography, and impressionistic painting, Suji’s music depicts and re-realizes “the moments” to the listeners with her absorbing melodies and delicate contemporary harmonies. In March 2017, she released her first single album, Crossing Points, featuring vocalist Jihye Lee and pianist Vardan Ovsepian. Suji’s composition covers a wide range of styles including classical, folk, pop, gospel, blues, and jazz, and she is now expanding her creative horizon outwards to interdisciplinary arts.

Her journey has led her to a passion for designing a therapeutic music education program, integrating speech, dance, theater, music and culture to help people find beauty and joy in life and express themselves freely.

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Violeta Dontcheva, YMES/KE/Piano

Violeta holds a Bachelor degree in Piano and Sound Engineering from the Music Academy in Sofia, where she worked as a piano teacher in the Sofia Music School and as a Sound Engineer at Theater off the Canal.  Violeta participated in multiple piano competitions and composition contests, did recordings for the National Television and Radio in Bulgaria, played in a band as a keyboardist, and composed and arranged numerous songs for theater performances.  In 1998 she won a Piano competition in Thsaloniki, Greece.

Violeta moved to the US in 1999 to study Jazz Piano and Music Production & Engineering on a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  Violeta has worked at Sonic Temple Studio in Roslindale, MA as a House Engineer, and recorded artists and groups like Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Lydian String Quartet, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Boston Bach Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva,  Yo-Yo Ma, and many others.  Violeta's credits include various solo performances and records, as well as collaborations with some of the best New England orchestras and performers.

Piano Faculty

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Hsiu-Lan Cheng, Piano

Hsiu-Lan Cheng is a member of the New England Piano Teachers' Association and has been teaching piano, harp, and theory in private lessons for over twenty years. Originally from Taiwan, R.O.C., Hsiu-Lan began teaching piano at age eighteen. In 1988, she received a Piano and Harp Performance Diplomas from Tainan Junior College of Home Economics. After graduation, she was invited to teach piano at the Taipei Yamaha Music School.

In 1990, Mrs. Cheng continued her music study at The Boston Conservatory, completing a Bachelor in Harp Performance. Mrs. Cheng holds two Master Degrees; one in Harp Performance and one in Arts Administration, both from Boston University. Performances with The New England Philharmonic, Waltham Philharmonic, Franklin Performance Arts Company, Berklee Recording Orchestra, and Saint Malachy Parish Choir. Honors include The Dean Award Scholarship, Boston University.

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John Stapp, Piano

John Stapp received recognition at the 1998 Nina Wideman International Piano Competition in Shreveport, LA, where he won the Robert G. Mogg & Family Award.  He also won concerto competitions at The University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University, where he was a full scholarship recipient, and earned his B.M. in Piano.  He was a finalist in The Naftzger Young Artist Competition in Kansas in 1999. 

In 2001, he was the Grand Prize winner of the 20th Century Music Competition at ORU.  In 2003, he was awarded the Silver Medal at the Crescendo National Music Awards in Tulsa, OK, which included a $4,000 cash prize.  That same year he also won Oklahoma's Collegiate Artist Scholarship Competition.  He was named 1st Alternate in The Churchill Full Scholarship Competition at The Boston Conservatory, where he earned his M.M. in 2005.  Stapp spent summers studying at The Aspen Music School and The Van Cliburn Institute. Previous faculty appointments for Stapp include Quincy College and New School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Stapp has been a private piano instructor at Yamaha Music School of Boston since 2010 and was given an award for his outstanding contribution as composition and performance teacher of Lily Hoyt at the Yamaha 2015 U.S. National Junior Original Concert in Cerritos, CA. He has been Chair of the MMTA Bay State Piano Contest since 2012, and his students are award winners in the Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition, the MMTA Bay State Piano Contest, and MMTA's Judged Festival. 

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Ayako Hattori, Piano 

Ayako Hattori has taught both privately and in the classroom at Boston University, the Univerity of Michigan, the Manhattan School of Music, and the University of the Redlands, as well as maintaining private studios in Ann Arbor, New York City, and Orange County, CA.

In 2008, she spoke at the MTNA National Convention in Denver, CO, lecturing on the use of extended techiques in pedagogical practice through the music of Henry Cowell.  She has performed in California, New York, Ann Arbor, and made a special apperance at the 2008 Midwest Composer's Symposium in the world premiere of Paul Dooley's "Dani's Dance."

Ayako began her musical studies at the age of 4 at the Yamaha Music School in Orange County, CA, studying piano and composition.  While a student at Yamaha, she received both first and second prizes in the Music Teacher's Association of CA Composition Contest.

She received her Bachelor's degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Phillip Kawin.  She receieved her Master's degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at the Univerity of Michigan as a full-scholarship student of Louis Nagel (piano) and John Ellis (pedagogy).

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Jentao Yu, Piano

JenTao Yu, has presented abundant music related performances in various venues including: Our Lady of Mercy Church, New York, 2014 for solo piano performance; The Juilliard School studio room for “Salon Music” held by music critic David Dubal, 2014; joint performance in KHS Concert Hall in Taiwan, 2009; National Center of Performing Art in Beijing, 2009; National Concert Hall in Taipei 2014 for orchestra accompanying; etc.

Yu has attended and performed for many music festivals and master classes, including: pianist Nelita True, Jeffrey Swann, Stephen Hough, Arkady Aronov in Summit Music Festival in New York State, 2011; and Jeffery Cohen in Music Alp festival in Tignes, France, 2013.

Yu is also a very active instrumental accompanist through all different music genres. Accompanying experience includes: selected to accompany for Summer Vocal Festival in Manhattan School of Music, 2013, presented select opera scenes and Broadway Music with faculty member of the festival; worked as a part-time accompanist in Precollege Division in Manhattan School of Music.

Jentao Yu began his piano study at Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, with Tara Sheng and later with Jeffrey Cohen in Manhattan School of Music in New York City for Master degree. After a one year Military-Serving in Taiwan, Yu decided to go back to the States to further his music study with Pavel Nersessian in Boston University for Doctoral Degree of Musical Art.

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Jared Rocco, Piano/Voice

Jared Rocco is a multi-instrumentalist composer and songwriter who has made music a part of his life since the very beginning. Born in Pennsylvania, Jared began taking piano lessons at age 6, eventually moving to New Hampshire at age 8. Inspired by the nature that surrounded him he began writing solo piano pieces as early as 6th grade. He later picked up guitar and began taking vocal lessons in high school. Jared studied music at the University of New Hampshire and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2014. He then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Studio Composition from SUNY Purchase College in 2017.

Jared has extensive experience as a composer and songwriter. He has recorded and released two albums of original music as well as composed music for the environmentally themed musical “What’s All the ComOcean?” The musical went on to be performed at dozens of schools around the state of New Hampshire. Since the beginning of his college years, Jared has shared his passion for music with others by working as a music teacher providing instruction on piano and guitar as well as songwriting and composing.

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Anna Yukho, Piano

Born in Minsk (Belarus), Hanna Yukho started playing piano at age six under the tutelage of her mother. In 1999 she made her debut with the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra performing the fifth J. S. Bach piano Concerto.

Prizewinner of International Piano Competition in memory of Arthur Rubinstein in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Hanna received her first award at the age of ten as a winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Antonin, Poland. In 2003, she became a prizewinner of the International Piano Competition “Music of hope” in Gomel, Belarus. In 2015, she won Pianist’s Award of the isa15 – International Summer Academy of the mdw in Reichenau, Austria.

During her career, Hanna appeared at important venues at different festivals such as Weill Recital Hall – Carnegie Hall and Klavierhaus in New York during the Mannes Sounds Festival, Flagey in Belgium. Hanna has participated in international festivals such as Vladimir’s Spivakov’s charity Festival “Moscow meets friends”. She also gave performances in Belgium, Italy, Austria, Holland, Poland, and Russia. As a soloist, Hanna has performed with the Belarusian State Chamber and Symphony Orchestra several times.

Hanna has won scholarships from different institutions such as Tuition Scholarship from Mannes College The New School For Music, Tuition Scholarship from Yale School of Music, and Marian Marcus Wahl Memorial Award, and The Musical Club of Hartford.

Hanna Yukho attended Republican Music College in her native Minsk, Belarus. In 2013, she graduated from the Academy of Music in Minsk where she studied with Prof. Igor Olovnikov, who had been her teacher for the previous thirteen years. Hanna attended Mannes College The New School for Music where she studied with the legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman. In 2017 Hanna Yukho graduated from Yale School of Music where she studied with Boris Berman and Peter Frankl.

Composition Faculty

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Dr. David Ibbett, Composition Coordinator/ Composition/Piano

David Ibbett is a British composer based in Boston, USA. He has found musical inspiration in many places – songs, symphonies, pop, classical and the electronic – and bringing these strands together is his ultimate aim. He is an active electronics performer, working with Original Gravity, Aeolian Progression, and the Equilibrium Ensemble, and co-directs Music of Reality – a performance series that combines music and science – with pianist Sophia Vastek.

In 2004, David won a scholarship to attend Cambridge University, studying composition with Giles Swayne and Robin Holloway. He then went on to undertake a Masters and Artist Fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Julian Anderson, living in London for several years, before moving to Boston in 2014. In 2015, he completed his doctorate at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Jonty Harrison and Scott Wilson. He frequently travels between the US and the UK. Over the course of these journeys, David has written works spanning many forms: from traditional ensembles to inter-arts collaborations, installations, digital releases and works with live electronics.

David’s music has been performed at the Aldeburgh Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Barbican Total Immersion, Noisegate Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, UK National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Coventry University recital series, Nonclassical, Banff Centre Encounters series, Voiceworks at Wigmore Hall, BEASTiary concert series, Bristol Victoria Rooms, London Institute of Contemporary Art concert series, Spitalfields Festival, Hendon Festival, Logos Foundation, Boston’s The Record Company, NYCEMF Festival, EMM Festival, International Horn Society Conference, Klangspuren Festival Austria, Red Sonic Festival, Vortex Jazz Club recital series, The Village Underground concert series, Original Gravity Concert series, Music of Reality, Seven Bridges Project, Leeds University Music Festival, City of London Festival, Bath Festival, Mapmaking at LSO St Luke's, Faster Than Sound concert series.

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Yi-Yiing Chen, Composition/Piano

Born in Taiwan, Yi Yiing Chen’s music has been described as “very different, showing the composer’s versatility and breadth of range and influence” and “an exciting amalgam of eastern and western styles (Cashman Kerr Prince, The Boston Musical Intelligencer).” Her works have been performed at numerous festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Asian Composers League Festival and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. Received awards include the Tanglewood Music Center's Elliott Carter Memorial Composer Fellowship, the LungShan Temple Scholarship, the NEC Honors Ensemble composition, the NEC Symphony Composition Competition and the NTNU Presidential Scholarship. Recently she was elected to be the Composer Fellow of Collage New Music for 2016-2017.

Besides writing music, she is also an active pianist. She presented a solo piano recital in Taiwan and currently is an affiliated artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She frequently performs primarily in Boston and New York and have previously served as a concert pianist of the NEC Concert Choir and performed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, New England Chinese Professionals Lunar New Year Gala and the Primrose International Viola Competition & Festival. Yi Yiing also plays flute, Chinese bamboo flute and Dulcimer.

Yi Yiing has studied or worked with many other talented musicians, including John Harbison, Oliver Knussen, Bright Sheng and Dimitri Murrath. Currently she is a doctoral student at the New England Conservatory studying with Prof. John Heiss and Prof. Michael Gandolfi funded by NEC's Francis Judd Cooke Scholarship. She also teaches at NEC, MIT, Yamaha Music School of Boston and Children's Music Center of J.P.. She previously received her M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music and B.A. from the National Taiwan Normal University, where her mentors included Richard Danielpour, Mao-Shuan Chen, Gordon Chin, Kris Falk, Nils Vigeland, Reiko Füting and Richard Sussman.

Voice Faculty

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Beth Sterling, Soprano / Accounts Coordinator

An active performer and teacher in the Boston area, soprano Elizabeth Sterling was most recently seen in the role of Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) with the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and as Bat/The Numbers in the Emerald City Opera Artist Institute’s production of L’Enfant et les Sortileges.  As a soprano soloist, Ms. Sterling has been featured in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria (RV 588). Ms. Sterling completed her Masters of Music in Voice Performance at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she received the Amabassador Assistantship. She received her Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College (now University), where she graduated magna cum laude. In addition to teaching at the Yamaha Music School of Boston, Ms. Sterling also works as the Soprano Soloist and Section Leader at the United Congregational Church of Needham, and teaches Semi-Private Voice Lessons at the Tufts University Community Music Program. Recordings and production photos may be seen online at her website, www.elizabeth-sterling.com

String Faculty

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Kate Goldstein, Violin/Viola

From Albany, NY, Kate received her Master of Music Degree in violin performance under the instruction of Laura Bossert at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She held an Orchestral Assistantship and was Concertmaster of the Longy Conservatory Orchestra. 

Kate graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree in violin performance from Ithaca College where she studied with Susan Waterbury and was Concertmaster of the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra.  She has been a member with the American Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Binghamton Philharmonic, and Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. 

Kate has also performed at the Brevard Music Center, Garth Newel Music Center, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music Spoleto Festival, and LyricaFest. 

A passionate teacher, Kate has taught at the Longy School of Music Preparatory Program and El Sistema Side by Side Series, Youth and Family Enrichment Services, Inc., and Ithaca College Summer Music Academy.  In addition to teaching at Yamaha School of Music of Boston, she is on the faculty at the Performing Arts Center of MetroWest and Pembroke Public Schools.

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Marie Oka, Violin

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Marie started playing the violin at the age of three. She began studying at the Purcell School of Music in UK at age 11 where she studied with Carol Slater and Yossi Zivoni, and recived a scholarship from the UK Government`s Music and Dance scheme. Marie received her Bachelor`s degree from the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied with Yossi Zivoni. In 2016 she graduated with her Master of Music degree from Yale School of Music, where she studied with Prof. Syoko Aki. 

Marie has performed extensively as a soloist in the UK, Japan and USA as well as across Europe. She has also taken part as Soloist, Chamber Musician and Orchestral player in the Sarasota Music Festival, Bergen International Festival, Grand Piano Chamber Music Academy and Festival, and the Bath International Music Festival. She has also performed as part of the Tokyo International Artist Association Classical Music concert series in Suntory Hall, Tokyo.

As a keen historical performer, she has also performed as a Baroque Violinist at the Tilford Bach Festival in UK and with the Yale Schola Cantorum under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki and Simon Carrington. As an orchestral player she has also worked with notable Composers and Conductors including Bernard Haitink, John Adams and Peter Oundjian.

In addition to teaching at Yamaha Music School, she will also be teaching at the Longy School of Music preparatory program and Sistema Side-by-Side series, while pursuing her Graduate Performance Diploma.

Guitar Faculty

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Tony Rizzotto, Guitar Studies Coordinator/Guitar

Tony Rizzotto comes from a rare breed of musician having become an accomplished performer, arranger, composer and pedagogue. As a performer he has performed all over the United States with the Ingrid Gerdes Band and B-Suite, a talented Boston cover band that he managed and arranged music for 5 years. In the fall of 2011, over 11 million people heard Tony perform on the Thanksgiving Day special of NPR’s “All Things Considered" and was called "Incredibly Inventive" by WBUR's Radio Boston. His compositions and arrangements have been heard in as wide a range of venues as National Public Radio, the Fenway Center, and Pickman Hall.

As a teacher, Tony is a devoted pedagogue, and has studied Teaching Artistry with some of the most fascinating musicians and teachers of the 21st century including teaching artist guru Eric Booth, world-renowned Flutist Marco Granados and Dr. Judith Bose. Tony holds a Bachelors Degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from Longy School of Music where he had the privilege of studying guitar with David Patterson. He as participated and performed in master classes with David Russell, Eliot Fisk, Berta Rojas, David Leisner, and Marco Tamayo. Many of his teachers have been some of the last direct pupils of the Spanish Maestro Andres Segovia. 

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Robert Bekkers, Guitar

Born near Eindhoven, Netherlands, Robert Bekkers discovered his love for the guitar at an early age; his early music education included recorder, French Horn and Trumpet, the guitar entered when he turned 14 with a self-constructed instrument. Robert earned his performing and teaching degrees (Bachelor and Master of Music) at the Conservatory of Maastricht. During the seven years there, he won a scholarship to study contemporary music with Angelo Gilardino in Italy. He has received master classes for internationally-known guitarists such as David Russell and Pepe Romero as well as many others.

After his education Robert developed his career as a soloist and chamber musician, playing with orchestras, choirs, and giving solo recitals. His recent performances of the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Eureka Ensemble was well received, as was his performance with the Unitas Ensemble, with whom he played Danzon nr. 3 . Currently Robert is completing his Doctor in Musical Arts (DMA) in classical guitar at the New England Conservatory under Eliot Fisk

As a teacher he is affiliated with the nationally renowned South Shore Conservatory in Hingham (MA) as well as at the faculty of Gordon College in Wenham (MA). Currently Robert is writing a method for young aspiring guitarists, which is expected to be published sometime this year.

Woodwind Faculty

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Jessica Smith, Flute

Jessica Smith is an active flutist and flute teacher residing in the Greater Boston Area.  She holds a master's degree in flute performance from Ithaca College and a bachelor's degree in flute performance from Eastern Michigan University. 

Throughout her career, Jessica has been honored with music recognitions including: 2015 grant recipient for InertiaTwo from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County, winner of the 2010 William Stewart Concerto Competition, winner of the 2011 Manilow Soloist Competition, and featured soloist at the Huron Valley Council for the Arts Recital.  Jessica has performed with the Ithaca New Music Collective, Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble, Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and the Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

Alongside Nick Merillat, Jessica performs in the flute and percussion duo, InertiaTwo.  The duo strives to promote the eclecticism of music available for flute and percussion by playing works new and old. InertiaTwo also aims to push the genre further through experimentation, composition, improvisation, and live electronic enhancement.

Yamaha Music School of Boston Administration

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Lily Symmonds, School Director/Saxophone  

Lily Symmonds is a performing arts manager, saxophonist and composer.  After earning her B.A. from Wellesley with a double major in Music and German Language and Literature, Lily was accepted to the M.F.A Music Composition program at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. At CalArts, she studied composition under Michael Fink, Barry Schrader and Anne LeBaron and composed music for Orchestra, Chamber Ensembles, Theater, Voice and Film.  Her music has been featured in awarding winning short films and theatrical productions.

Prior to her work with Yamaha, Lily worked in talent management specializing in Film Music Composition and Storyboard Art with top agencies in Los Angeles, CA.

As School Director, Lily leads with an unwavering passion for and dedication to the next generation’s artistic education.

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Kristine Munroe, Office Manager  

Kristine Munroe is a seasoned manager in the field of Corporate management, with over 15 years of experience. She has extensive experience with all leadership roles and held positions in the academic, retail, and business fields. In addition to Kristine’s managerial experience, her love of singing started as a child, where she sang and traveled in multiple national choirs, as well as directed numerous church bands. 

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Kristine graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Government/ Pre-law and a minor in Communications. After graduating, Kristine taught 7th and 8th grade English, History, and Science at a private school in Rhode Island. In addition to teaching, Kristine held distinct managerial roles in retail brands such as Pandora, Bare Escentuals, Dellaria, and Estee Lauder.

Kristine also has 17 years experience as a free-lance makeup artist and specializes in photo shoots, special occasions, commercial and print ads, as well as fashion shows.