Featured Teachers

Welcome to our featured teachers page. Here you will find bios of our best music instructors!

Dina Paolucci - founder, pianist, teacher, piano accompanist. Ms. Paolucci is a winner of many International piano competitions and a graduate of legendary Russian Gnessins`Music Academy in Moscow, Russia. After graduation Ms. Paolucci was accepted as a full scholarship student, and moved to the United States in order to pursue her Masters of Music degree at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. In the last several years, Ms. Paolucci`s focus has been on music education. Today she is a founder of the Art of Piano Playing Music School and a proud faculty member at Mahanaim School of Music in Huntington, NY.

Masako is an active pianist, piano teacher and music educator. After completing her degree in education, she continued her study in NYU and CUNY-Brooklyn in Music and piano performance with Ursula Oppens. She gave numerous solo and ensemble performances and recordings in the city for last 18 years. Her work in 2013-14 season expand to about French composer Erik Satie and Claude Debussy as well as her classical contemporary repertoire. She hopes to help her students develop their musicality and technical ability and enjoy playing music as a lifelong friend.

Vesela - piano teacher, an active soloist, collaborative artist and chamber music performer. She participated in numerous concerts, both in Bulgaria and in the USA, including a concert at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her development as a professional pianist, Vesela has always been interested in the theoretical part of musical studies and music research. She conducted researches on different topics, concerning piano teaching and piano performance problems. A passionate admirer of Liszt’s piano music, Dr. Vesela devoted her Doctoral Dissertation to his works and particularly to “The Devil’s Theme in Liszt’s Piano Music”. For her achievements as a pianist and scholar in 2002 Vesela was awarded a membership in the Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honors Society in the United States. Devoted piano teacher and accompanist, Vesela has served as faculty at Brooklyn College/Conservatory Preparatory Center for the Arts, “Encore” Music Lessons and Lucy Moses Music School in Manhattan. Vesela holds a Bachelor and a Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Bulgarian Music Academy in Sofia where she studied with one of the best piano professors in Bulgaria-Prof. Snezana Barova (student of Heinrich Neuhaus); Master of Music degree from the University of South Florida and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Jon Paul - guitar teacher, guitarist and songwriter. Along with completing his degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, Jon Paul has also studied with some of the finest players and teachers alive today, including Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee) Tomo Fujita (John Mayer) and Rich Hinman (Sara Bareilles, Rosanne Cash) to name a few. Jon Paul is an in demand performer and has toured extensively both nationally, and internationally. For the past ten years Jon Paul has been sharing his passion for teaching others what he has learned, and what he continues to learn, from his long and loving journey with music. "Although you can pinpoint the strumming of James Taylor, lyrics of Van Morrison and voice of Jack Johnson, Jon Paul is somehow very original." - Examiner.com

Alan - piano, group piano, began his musical training in Mexico with Armenian teacher Anush Vardanyan. Years later he immigrated to the United States to continue his studies graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Classical Piano Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Oscar Macchioni. While in college Alan participated in multiple master classes, honors recitals and festivals. He also was a recipient of the prestigious Phoebe and Reuben Mutnick awards for outstanding achievement in music. After graduating, Alan focused on performing and teaching music. In 2014 he relocated to New York City to continue his music career. Currently Alan is an active performer and teacher in the tri-state area.

Valentina - voice, piano teacher, opera singer, and songwriter living in New York City. After receiving her Masters in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, she went on to sing leading roles on stages of Carnegie Hall, Glimmerglass Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Opera Saratoga, among others. She attended the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where she performed the role of Adina in The Elixir of Love. From 2010-2012 she was a member of Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, where she sang roles such as Musetta in La Bohème, Gilda in Rigoletto, and Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, under the tutelage of Plácido Domingo and James Conlon. In 2011 she toured the US with the Munich Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Philippe Entremont, singing the soprano solo in Mozart’s Requiem. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Valentina speaks fluent Russian and loves to sing works by Russian composers such as Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov. She also teaches Russian diction to singers who are performing works from the Russian classical music repertoire and want to improve their pronunciation of the text. Before attending Manhattan School of Music, Valentina received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she studied music, psychology and languages. In 2009 she received a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, and was the second place winner of the Metropolitan Opera Eastern Region National Council Auditions. Valentina is also a voice teacher, she works primarily with children and teens, teaching the fundamentals of vocal technique, reading music and ear-training, and works on improving students’ rhythm, pitch, diction, musicality and expression. Valentina also teaches piano to beginners. She studied piano while at Columbia University. She wrote several compositions for piano and voice while at Manhattan School of Music. She loves working with young children and introducing them to the fundamentals of music through a playful approach. When she isn’t teaching or performing in operas, Valentina spends her time writing folk songs on her guitar.

Brittany – piano teacher, has performed solo and duet repertoire in the United States, including venues such as Mixon Hall in Cleveland, Steinway Hall and Frederick Loewe Theatre in New York, and in the Vianden Castle in Luxembourg. She has participated in festivals such as the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy and the Vianden International Music Festival and School. Brittany received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received scholarship. She then completed a Master of Music degree at New York University, where she studied with Eteri Andjaparidze. During her time of study there, Brittany received a Steinhardt Music Talent Scholarship. Brittany is also dedicated to teaching, and served as an adjunct piano faculty member at New York University. She has been working with students of various levels and ages. Brittany believes that music and technique go hand in hand, and she works on freedom and expression with students.

Evgeni is a pianist, piano teacher, dedicated to the art musician, exploring all of its different perspectives. Born in Bulgaria he began studying piano at the age of 6 Evgeni graduated with honors from National School of Music (prof. Vesselin Stoyanov), Rousse, Bulgaria. He continued his piano studies in the United States in Brooklyn College - CUNY with prof. Adam Kent. Over the years Evgeni participated in many concerts and competitions. Among his achievements are: 1st prize in the competition "Young Musical Tallents" - Haverport, PA; 2nd prize and medal from the international competition "Rovere D`oro" - San Bartolomeo al Mare; 1st prize in duets in the international competition "Franz Schubert" - Rousse, Bulgaria; 2nd prize from the international competition - "Hopes, Talents, Masters" - Dobrich-Albena, Bulgaria where he also won a scholarship to study in the United States. During the studies Evgeni participated in many master classes with different world-renowned professors such as: Atanas Kurtev (Bulgaria), Alla Halapsis (Greece), Maria Prinz (Austria), Tatyana Levitina (Russia), Tamara Poddubnaya (Russia), Mikhail Petukhov (Russia), Bozidar Noev (Bulgaria) and many others. Evgeni performed many concerts throughout the United States and Europe. He played concerts in Bulgaria, Italy, Austria and New York City. Two years ago Evgeni played series of concerts at Steinway Hall and had appearance at Carnegie and Merkin Halls performing solo pieces and chamber music. Also Evgeni was a part of a unique 6 hands piano trio, playing pieces specially arranged for 6 hands on one piano. Currently Evgeni is actively performing, teaching, accompanying recitals and auditions in the New York City area. His personal approach to every musician and student, dedication, efforts and professionalism are the base for building a strong relationship and success in his work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr4vupdH-2w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5MlKrDRFmo

Maria - piano teacher. Born in Tver, Russia, Maria started her musical education at the age of six. In 2004 she graduated with honors from the Tver College of Music where she studied with Alexander Thomas and Galina Moiseeva. Maria holds a Master Degree in Piano Pedagogy, Accompaniment and Chamber Ensemble from Maimonides State Classical Academy where she studied with Alexander Strukhov and Professor Victor Derevyanko, a pupil of the famous G. Neuhaus. She also studied with Professor of Gnesin's Academy of Music Denis Burshtein and Emmanuil Monaszon, Honored Professor of the Russian Federation, teacher of more than 100 world-renowned pianists. In 2008-2009 Maria participated in series of master classes on prevention of pianists' occupational disorders presented by Galina Minsker. During her studies Maria has actively taught students of different ages and levels: She worked as an accompanist and a piano teacher at The Lev Vlasenko Music School in Moscow. In 2001 Maria founded klezmer band "Shemesh". Since than, she was performing folk music in prestigious international music festivals: KlezFest in St. Petersburg (2003), KlezFest in Kiev (2004 - 2005), Dona-fest (Moscow,2005), Yiddish-fest (Moscow, 2006-2008), Klezmer Festival in Kharkov, Ukraine (2005). In 2005, she debuted at the Moscow Jewish "Shalom" Theater" with klezmer band "Dona". In 2012 Maria joined the faculty of the Art of Piano Playing Music School. Maria is an accomplished musician with highly professional approach, ambition and talent for training competitive successful students.

Elisabetta - piano and flute/recorder teacher. Born and raised in Rome, Italy, from an early age immersed herself in musical and classical education. She received her Classical Lyceum Diploma majoring in Music and English. In 1984 she attained her Masters Degree in Piano Performance & Music Teaching. In 1992, Elisabetta received her Certification from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Teaching Diploma For Musical Education in all Italian schools abroad, in English speaking countries, having passed rigorous music and English exams after a minimum of five years teaching experience. Elisabetta is a talented music instructor who developed a long career teaching music in public and private schools in Rome, Italy. She provided music education instruction, encompassing practice of an instrument, history of music, and music theory. Elisabetta always maintained a sharp and consistent focus on correlating music to academics by developing students in discipline and concentration. For family reasons in 1999 Elisabetta moved to New York and joined her husband’s printing firm. She served clients in academic, non-profit and corporate concern. During this time she still maintained private lessons and practice in New York City throughout these years to children and adults alike. Some of her students came from The Martha Graham School, Neighborhood Playhouse and opera singers. Elisabetta is a proficient piano and music theory teacher and is also very competent in teaching the recorder flute.