Meet our Faculty!
Joe Aiello holds a Master of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Joe also studied with Frank Epstein of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Michael Bookspan of the Philadelphia Orchestra, jazz great Freddie Waits and Philadelphia icon and drum teacher Al Ipri. Joe was on the music faculty and head of the percussion department at the University of Southern Maine and has been teaching privately for over 20 years. Many of his students have gone on to successful music careers having graduated from West Chester University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Berklee College of Music.
Ruth Good is a graduate of Cairn University with a Bachelor of Church Music and concentration in piano. Ruth first began her piano studies at the age of 10, and continued under pianist Kenneth Borrmann at Cairn University. Along with her piano lessons at Cairn University, Ruth also studied guitar and voice, and performed in chorale, handbells, and contemporary ensembles. Ruth performs and listens to composers from the Romantic period such as Chopin and Debussy, classical, jazz, and contemporary styles of music.She continues her own music studies with jazz improvisation piano and guitar lessons.
Katy Vona is a graduate of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music with a Bachelors Degree in Voice Performance. Katy began her journey at an early age in musical theater, and studied voice, guitar and piano. After graduating Magna cum Laude from Temple University, Katy was accepted into a prestigious vocal program with the University of Cincinnati, in Lucca, Italy. Upon her return to the U.S., she performed in venues including Candide at the Arden Theater. In addition to teaching voice, Katy is a singer/songwriter performing original acoustic/electronic projects. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of music with her students.
Ben Bowles is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, where he studied guitar and composition, and of Boston College, where he studied physics. Ben has been teaching music and guitar for eight years to both young and adult students in all styles of electric, acoustic, and classical guitar. In his teaching, Ben emphasizes a strong foundation of music theory combined with efficient technique and repertoire that the student enjoys
Craig Spear is a graduate of Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design with a Bachelors Degree in Music Industry Recording Technology. Craig began his piano studies at age 5 and continued to study privately through college. As a youth, he learned classical technique under the Suzuki Piano Method. In high school he was also introduced to jazz technique which later inspired him to study and perform under Lynn Riley with the Drexel University Fusion Band. Craig enjoys performing the works of Rachmaninoff and Chopin. His diverse piano training has supported his creativity to compose and record his own music. His recordings can be heard on the popular television station Animal Planet.
Stu Gollin is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston with a diploma in Film Scoring and Guitar Performance. Prior to attending Berklee, Stu trained with famed Philadelphia jazz guitar teachers Joe Federico and Dennis Sandole. Stu is an accomplished teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience. He is fluent in jazz, rock, funk, classical, fusion, and heavy metal
Andrew Farace is a graduate of Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, California with an Associate’s Degree of Arts in Guitar Performance. At Musicians Institute he studied with renowned classical guitarist: Frank Hoffmeyer, jazz prodigy: Sid Jacobs, and contemporary guitar players: Pathik Desai and Antti Kotikoski. Andrew began his private guitar studies in South Jersey at age 12. He has also attended private vocal lessons, professional vocal performance workshops, and informally studied drum set. During the course of his studies, he performed and recorded with Philadelphia area and Los Angeles-based rock and metal bands. Andrew is fluent in many styles such as rock, jazz, blues, metal, and classical. He enjoys performing a fusion of these genres and helping his students find their own voice within their instrument. Andrew believes that creating music is one of the most rewarding things that life has to offer that benefit beyond, “simply playing an instrument”.
Scott Grande is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, with a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion. In addition to his studies at Berklee, Scott also studied at Glassboro State College, Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, and the Haddonfield Conservatory of Music. Scott studied privately with Gary Chafee, Dean Anderson, and many other renowned drummers. Scott has been performing and teaching for over 15 years. He recently performed as the Drummer for Kickdoubt, a Modern Rock cover band based in Philadelphia. Scott has more than a decade of teaching experience. He has taught students of all ages at Music Training Center since 2005, where he has cultivated many students from beginner to advanced performance levels. Prior to joining MTC, Scott taught since 1999 at Farrington’s Music School in NJ.
Joshua Steingard is a graduate of the Berklee College Of Music with a Bachelors Of Music Degree in Professional Music and Drumset, and has been teaching drums at MTC since 2009. While attending Berklee, Joshua studied under drum legends Rod Morgenstein, Mike Mangini, Kenwood Dennard, and Skip Hadden Joshua started playing drums at the age of 9 and has years of gigging, recording, and teaching experience in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Salt Lake City, and Montreal. He also shared the stage with bands such as Soulive, moe., Brothers Past, Will Lee, and Tally Hall. oshua received praise from Billy Joel saying, “He’s a monster!” after being in the audience for a show at Berklee. In addition to teaching full-time at MTC, Joshua has performed with R&B/ reggae/pop artist Erin Barra, out of Brooklyn, NY, and rock/dub reggae trio Sugar Mama, out of Boston, MA.
Don Bozzuffi attended Camden County College for classical guitar performance along with receiving private lessons in classical guitar at Rowan University. Don has over 13 years experience as a guitar instructor and taught at The Gift of Music Academy, The School of Rock, and Mars Music prior to joining Music Training Center’s faculty. Don has also been actively performing and recording in the Tri-State area for over 13 years, and has had the opportunity to play at New York City’s famous CBGB’s multiple times, as well as the closing night celebration of Philadelphia’s Doc Watson’s, and the grand opening of Philadelphia’s The Legendary Dobbs.
Erica Gibson is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and Composition. In addition to playing the piano Erica also plays the flute, piccolo, guitar, and mallet percussion. Erica has been teaching piano in the south NJ area since 1998, and has been a teacher in NJ public schools.
Brian Horvath is a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Guitar Performance, and is also a graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelors of Music in Music Education. While at Temple University, he studied under Ed Flanagan and Tom Giacabetti. Brian began his music studies on the saxophone at the age of nine. At age twelve, inspired by Eddie Van Halen, he began guitar lessons. His teaching experience includes 15 years of private instruction of guitar, saxophone, violin and piano, including having taught guitar and piano classes for seven years at Fullerton Union High School in California.
Andrew Brown is a graduate of Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, California with an Associate’s Degree of Arts in drum and percussion performance. At Musicians Institute he studied with drum book authors: Ed Roscetti, Chuck Silverman and Gary Hess, as well as World Snare Drum Champion: Rob Carson. Prior to attending Musician Institute, Andrew studied music theory at Bucks County Community College. Andrew was awarded, “Teacher of the Year 2007/2008” at Southern California Music School. He also received, “Best Drummer Award” at the Emergenza’s Battle of the Bands contest. Under Andrew’s instruction, Carver Middle School was also awarded 1st place during the NVISION Battle of the Bands contest.
Yelena Rader is a graduate of Kiev State Pedagogic University, with a Masters Degree in Piano and Voice Performance. Yelena completed her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Kiev State Musical College in 1982, with a concentration in Piano Performance and Music Theory. A classical pianist and music teacher by training, Yelena was born in Kiev, Ukraine. At the age of 5 she decided to pursue piano as her chosen discipline and entered the Music School for Gifted Children in Kiev. When Yelena was 12 years old she won a silver medal in the Tchaikovsky competition. Yelena has been teaching for twenty years, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with all aspiring students.
Judy Sanger is a graduate of Wilkes University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. Judy has been teaching and performing professionally for thirty years. As a classical soprano, Judy has performed for composers’ weekends (Ben Steinberg, others), for The West Coast Chamber Orchestra and as a Cantorial Soloist in Congregation B’nai Brith. As a popular singer and pianist, Judy has performed venues on both coasts. Judy has performed in theater productions in New York City, California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and has garnered several acting, singing, and directing awards. Judy has had leads in over twenty-five shows, and directed and musically directed a dozen more, including “Underground Goddess” at the New York Public Theatre.
Felicia Kaufmann is a graduate of King’s College with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Theatre. Prior to attending King’s College, Felicia attended a performing arts high school for theatre. Throughout her high school and college years she taught numerous theatre and dance classes with On Stage and Off and North Penn High School. Just last year, Felicia had the pleasure with working at the Walnut Street theatre’s performing arts camp and worked back stage for the Broadway Inbound Program at the Philadelphia’s Forest Theatre. Felicia has been dancing for the past fifteen years specializing in jazz, tap and musical theatre. She has been performing on stage since middle school and has been in many shows at King’s College, Theatre and Kids and The Dutch Country Playhouse.
What Parents Say…
B.J. Capelli works hard to make the lessons relevant and fun and inspires Noah to do his best. Noah is becoming a great drummer and we couldn’t be happier!
D. Rubin MTC Ardmore
My son has been taking guitar lessons about 1 year from Ben Bowles. We are so thrilled in how far he has already progressed. We feel that this is due to the fact that his teacher listens to what music my son likes and he incorporates this into his instructions. Ben is great with kids and a natural teacher. We could not be happier with our experience at MTC.
K. Rodgers MTC Montgomeryville
We tried out MTC last summer with their one-week long Rock Band Camp. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. Our son (11) who’s been playing drums privately for 2 years, was given the chance to perform in a band and LOVED it. But, the big news was for our daughter (13) who was new to the guitar and still was able to participate fully. This led to her taking guitar lessons this year with Simon, and her first recital in June was a glowing success. The biggest change for our daughter was that MTC gave her the chance to find her “voice”, and her vocal lessons with Jon gave her the confidence to open up and sing – and does she ever do that now – EVERYWHERE we go!
J. Chasen MTC Marlton
We have so enjoyed taking lessons at MTC in Marlton. My daughter did not want to take piano lessons, but after working with Erica she now loves piano. She is also taking voice with Jon and he works so well with her selecting popular music she loves and as well as Broadway music. She has developed a real interest in Broadway. All the staff at MTC Marlton is first rate starting with Jessica, the Director. We love going here and appreciate all the hard work and dedication of the entire staff.
L. Watabu MTC Marlton
Both my kids had a wonderful experience with their singing and drum lessons. Katy Vona is a very sweet and warm teacher. It was Maddie’s first time taking singing lessons and it was a wonderful experience. Joe Aiello is very caring and funny teacher!! My kids loved being in the recital and it was a very rewarding experience. Thanks for a terrific first time experience for both of my kids.
L. Silver MTC Marlton
My daughter and I cannot believe how much she has improved in singing and piano in the short time she’s been in lessons with Dr. Michael Phelps. He really understands my children and adapts his teaching toward them as individuals. He is a rare and gifted teacher.
R. Needleman MTC Ardmore
My son is in his fourth year at MTC. He has been taking piano lessons and has recently started drum lessons with Scott Grande. The teachers are very professional working with a curriculum but also offering flexibility in working at my son’s pace and making time for his areas of musical interest. The recitals have enabled my son to conquer his stage jitters; intro to rock band will give him a chance to experience playing with his peers. The center is run efficiently; teachers are ALWAYS on time and substitutes are provided if a teacher is off for the week, giving the student a chance to work with other teachers’ styles. We have been impressed with all of the teachers thus far and I highly recommend MTC to anyone considering music lessons of any kind at any age.
M. Paino MTC Conshohocken
The staff at MTC were amazing. My daughter had such a lovely time. She thoroughly enjoyed being in a musical theatre production and loved getting up in front of the audience. It was also a great experience for the rest of the family. Thanks to the nice lobby and free wifi, if I had to bring my older son, he was ok hanging out in the lobby area during my daughter’s practice.
A. Pettibone MTC Great Valley
They instructors bring songs to life by actively engaging both kids and parents. Whether they’re harmonizing, demonstrating using the musical instruments with the kids during “instrument time,” or showing us the hand gestures that go along with a song, they’re both completely engaged in the instruction.
N. Benner MTC Conshohocken
My son, John, absolutely thrived while studying with Vahe. For me, it was more than just learning an instrument – it boosted his self esteem and to watch my shy, reserved son play at a recital – you cannot put a price on that kind of accomplishment. It is so wonderful to see my child excited about learning. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
L. Foran MTC Ardmore