What to Expect from Lessons
Never taken music lessons before? Don’t worry, we bring in lots of brand new music students every year. Here's how it works...
Each week, you’ll see the same instructor, at the same time, most likely for 30 minutes. Your instructor will review what you worked on last time, correct any mistakes, and assign new material. Then, you take your new assignments home and practice them on your own. Your teacher will guide you as to how to practice and for how long, but most teachers recommend at least 5 practice sessions a week, even if each one isn’t that long. It’s always best to do more practice days for shorter periods of time than it is to cram long practice sessions into only a couple days!
As you progress week to week, your instructor will start to suggest supplemental material or activities to round out your training. He/She may suggest taking our Music Theory class, or participating in a summer program. Perhaps they even think you’re ready to take the stage and tell you to sign up for The Den! As you go along, your instructor will also be looking to you to set personal goals, so that you’re always working towards what you want to do with music!
If you get to the point where you feel that you want look into the music industry as a career choice, we will schedule a sit-down meeting with you (and your parents or guardians, if applicable) to help you get started. The New York School of Music network is far-reaching, and includes professionals throughout the Hudson Valley and at performing arts colleges. No matter what part of the music industry you’re interested in, we will do our best to connect you to relevant professionals in our network, arrange for work experience opportunities, and prepare you for entering the field.
First half hour= $150/month, all additional half hours in immediately family= $140/month
Scroll down to meet our wonderful instructors!
Sinclair White - voice
Sinclair White has a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College where she majored in vocal performance. She has studied with Maestro Franco Bertacci and concert pianist and vocal coach David Leighton. Sinclair has performed with the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of world renowned conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It was during her four years at Westminster that Sinclair 's vocal coach, Dr. Kathy Kessler Price started her on the path to teaching. Sinclair has always enjoyed singing but found her passion when she was asked to join the acclaimed Kingston High School Choir and began working with her mentor, director Lawrence Lohman. Sinclair is also a songwriter who plays piano, guitar, drums, and ukulele. Nothing makes her happier than hearing her students voices grow.
James Lippert - guitar, bass, drums, voice, ukelele, piano
James Lippert is a young musician who has been playing all sorts of instruments since Junior High. He actually started his music career here as a guitar student roughly a decade ago and has been performing around the area ever since! He's currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Psychology through SUNY New Paltz, and has been studying music and music theory since High School. His current plans involve a career in music therapy and music production. He is currently the lead singer for Cheating the Polygraph, as well as a multi-instrumentalist for bands such as Souls at Large. He developed a love for teaching music after working with our very own Brendan and Sinclair White and has been teaching any and every instrument he can since 2023. He's proficient in guitar, voice, bass, drums, ukelele, banjo, and piano; he also spends a vast majority of his spare time writing music as a songwriter. His current projects include Telethia, Serene Mayhem, and a handful of pieces under his own name! He absolutely loves seeing his students grow and do well, and he can't wait to see them take the stage.
Jacob Friedman- piano, guitar, voice, music production
Jacob Friedman has been composing, educating and performing professionally since
graduating Columbia University. He has received certificate of recognition from the Carnegie
Hall American Protege International Music Competition for excellence in teaching. He has
scored the soundtracks for the Mysterious China documentary series by Monarex Hollywood
and has had his pieces performed at Princeton a University and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C. As a songwriter, Jacob has released several albums spanning all genres from EDM to World music and collaborated with some notable writers including Peter Bliss, who produced for Barbra Streisand and NSYNC.
Amy Cutter - voice
Amy Cutter has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for more than 20 years and is also a vocal performance coach. Music has been a huge passion for Amy her entire life. She has had recording studio experience and is uniquely comfortable on both sides of the studio and stage. She studied Musical Theatre at NY City's American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). Amy became a massage therapist in 1997 and currently runs a private practice which includes Cold Laser Therapy and Veterinary Chiropractitioning. Her background includes teaching as an adjust instructor at SUNY's Orange County Community College. A unique background in anatomy and kinesiology compliments her background in musical theatre and provide the insight between structural muscle integrity and sound production to create a memorable performance.
Amy's vision for her students is to develop tools to strengthen the muscles that support the voice, eliminate tension that limits the voice, and discover strategies to help connect to a song and translate it to the audience. The amount of time a student selects to dedicate between lessons determines the growth that we will experience. The ultimate goal is to outgrow the teacher and move on the the next! (Just like everything in life... you get out what you put in.) Above all, Amy strongly believes how important it is to love what you do and facilitates that in every student at every age to determine their goals, set a game plan, and take action to achieve those goals.
Brendan White- guitar, piano, drums, voice, bass
Brendan White is a 27 year old musician who was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. He studied Music Therapy and Contemporary Music at SUNY New Paltz, where he graduated in 2018 and has been teaching ever since. He is proficient at guitar, piano, voice, drums, and bass.
Rory Quinn - guitar, piano, ukulele, music production
Rory began to study music at the age of 5 with piano lessons and quickly developed a passion for it, eventually expanding to play guitar, bass and percussion. As a teenager, he performed with numerous bands throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island. Rory decided to continue his music education at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY earning a Bachelors of Science in Music Industry. While there, he began instructing local children in both piano and guitar at the local Salvation Army, teaching them technique, theory and how to perform live.
When not teaching, Rory spends time writing music and recording albums, as well as acting as a freelance live sound engineer through the American Northwest.
Danny Silversmith - guitar, ukulele
Danny Silversmith holds a degree in Jazz Studies from SUNY New Paltz. He draws influence from many different genres including rock, jazz, classical, folk, and world music. He plays frequently around the Hudson Valley with his band, Shy Spy.
Upcoming gigs can be found on his website at www.dannysilversmith.com.
Brandon Pessin- woodwinds
Brandon Pessin is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music Performance and Minor in Music Industry at State University of New York in Fredonia studying under Wildy Zumwalt. He has partaken in masterclasses with the world famous Rascher Quartet and Noah Bedrin from Tetraphonics where he performed in an honors concert with the former. Before his collegiate career, Brandon played with a jazz combo group at the NY School of Music which prompted his desire to return as a teacher.
Brandon is excited to share to share the musical tips and tricks he’s picked up along the way as well as build a strong foundational technique and tone with his students.
Kristin Dockery - piano
Kristin Dockery started piano lessons at the age of seven. Studying with Diane Miller, she participated yearly in many piano adjudications including The Piano Guild, National Federation of Music Clubs, and NYSSMA. Kristin went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in Classical Piano in 2009 under the tutelage of Dr. Ruthanne Schemp. While at SUNY New Paltz, she performed in many groups including Collegium Musicum, the College Youth Symphony, student chamber groups, and as an accompanist for other musicians. She was also a keyboardist for weekly masses at her church from 2006-2016.
Kristin has been teaching piano since 2008. She has taught students of all age ranges and tailors lessons based on the individual's needs. She tries to make lessons as fun as possible, incorporating games and many terrible puns! When not teaching, she enjoys playing board games, reading, and taking care of her 3 rambunctious cats and very patient dog with her other half, Ryan.
Casie Snow-Hebel- voice
Throughout her life, Casie has always had a strong passion for singing and all things related to music. Starting in high school, she has received vocal and instrumental lessons to start pursuing her desire to teach music. Having studied at SUNY Ulster and The College of Saint Rose for her undergraduate degrees, Casie has taught choir/general music at Crispell Middle School in Pine Bush for one year and choir/musical theater at Middletown High School over the past four years. Always eager to learn and improve, she is currently working towards a master's degree in music education and plans to continue her studies afterward for vocal pedagogy. She desires to understand the science and innate workings of singing and to help others improve and achieve their vocal goals.
“Singing connects the mind with the heart and the heart with the soul. So sing. I dare you!”
— Neale Donald Walsch
Sal Santana - drums
When I started playing I immediately began taking lessons and found it saved me a lot of time and hassle by preventing bad habits. My teachers throughout my playing have stressed learning a variety of music, so I always make it a point to find out what a student enjoys to get them started playing the music they love. Because drumming can be physically demanding, I put a lot of emphasis on technique to maximize endurance and ensure consistent progress. I currently play in 3 bands locally covering a variety of styles and absolutely love playing and teaching! Check out my bands; Sass & Brass, Lucky House, and Top Hat to see where I’m playing next!
Sean Walker - drums
Sean Walker has been drumming for 20 years and teaching privately for 10 years. Sean is a dedicated drummer advanced in many styles with a solid academic background in music. He holds a BM in Jazz Performance from the University of the Arts. He has performed with many Hudson Valley artists such as The Slam Allen Band, Chris Raabe Band, Jacks and Heroes, Chris Cemak, Different Elements and the Matt Gould Trio just to name a few.