We have the finest staff of teachers, combining both educational and professional experience. Our knowledgeable and experienced teachers have come from The Julliard School, The Eastman School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, Yale School of Music, Providence College, Western CT, Southern CT, and Quinnipiac University, among others. Most of our teachers are currently preforming in the regional music scene, as well as churches and other houses of worship. We teach all levels of learning ability from the gifted to the challenged, and all in between. We teach all ages, from the preschooler to the senior citizen! They work closely with each individual student, at the student's pace, to provide quality instruction. Come join in!
Randy Bost has been playing jazz, funk, and rock for the past 40 years. Starting in North Carolina, he played with Little Royal and the Swingmasters. He has also backed up James Brown.
Stephanie Buggie began playing piano at age six, and by the time she was ready for college, she decided to pursue a career as a full-time professional performer. After obtaining her Bachelor of Music from The Eastman School of Music, she pursued her Master’s Degree of Performance at The Juilliard School in New York for one year but left to finish at Wichita State University in Kansas, where she was a member of the Wichita Symphony. After graduation, she worked retail at a music store, regularly educating everyone about the techniques and history of music. She started teaching private piano lessons and fell in love with teaching. She began working towards her State of Connecticut teaching certificate at the University of Bridgeport in 1997, which allowed her to teach Elementary General Music in several public schools, and she started teaching private lessons at Family Music Center in 2014. Currently, besides playing bassoon with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, she also plays flute and tenor saxophone with her husband, who is a Hammond B3 organist as well as a Gospel singer and song-writer.
Stephen Cusano is a drummer, musician, performer, and an educator. Mr. Cusano is a recent graduate of the Hartt School of Music/Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz with a BS Degree in Jazz Studies Performance (concentration drums) He has had the privilege of studying under Eric McPherson, Mark Guiliana, Jonathan Barber, Arti Dixon, Jesse Hameen III, and Nick D'Errico. Mr. Cusano is one of the founding members of the award winning band, Broca's Area, and is the drummer for Wise Old Moon. He has also been the drummer for New England's award winning singer songwriter, Daphnee Lee Martin. He has recorded numerous material with the above bands and has been touring throughout New England and metro NYC with both Wise Old Moon and Broca's Area. Additionally, Mr Cusano is the General Music teacher at St. Rita in Hamden ( Grades pre K thru 8 ). Wise Old Moon was recently featured on Stage 8, and you can hear their performance here.
Chris Defossez is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in Music and can teach several instruments including: Guitar, Trumpet, Bass, Drums, Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, Trombone, and Ukulele. In the past, he ran the music program at Saint Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, a private Catholic school for under-served youth. His teaching style strives to ensure students have fun in lessons, while pushing them to constantly improve their own playing. He wants all his students to enjoy music as much as he does, and his teaching style is a reflection of that philosophy.
Deborah DeMusis received a B.A. in music from Providence College in 1976. She has been teaching piano in the greater New Haven area to students of all ages and abilities for many years. She has also served as the organist/ choir director at several area churches. She is currently the organist/choir director at the Old Stone Church in East Haven.
Brittany Giordano-Homa is a classically trained musician who plays in multiple musical groups. She is currently teaching the violin and flute at The Family Music Center, but in addition to the violin, Brittany plays multiple instruments including flute and clarinet in which she competed and participated in the Connecticut All-State and Regionals competitions. Brittany plays the flute for St. Rita classical choir. Brittany plays the violin for the Hamden Symphony Orchestra and the flute for the Nutmeg Symphony Orchestra. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys being a member of The Orange Players, a local community theatre company in Connecticut, where she is very active. When she isn’t acting in the plays she is working behind the scenes and is also a member of the board.
JD (Jeff) Herzog from Hamden, CT, started playing clarinet in grammar school in 5th grade and switched to saxophone in 8th grade. He studied clarinet and saxophone with the late Joe Sebastian of Hamden until he was 18 years old. While traveling through New Delhi India in the Sept 1971 he had the opportunity to play second clarinet with the New Dehli Symphony Orchestra, and play with the Hotel Vikram Jazz Band. Traveling to Europe, he visited The Musik Collective Inningan in Augsburg Germany. He played saxophone with them. The highlight was playing on the Spielstrasse at the 72 Munich Olympics.Coming back to the states in 1973 he moved out to California. Played in the band Klicken in Santa Rosa Cal., and studied sax with Fred Mathis. Moving back to Connecticut in 1980, he again studied with Joe Sebastian and played in the band "Blue Eyed Soul." A 9 piece band playing all the Motown hits. In 1986 he resumed studying jazz theory with the late pianist Drew Salperto. He then became involved with "The Elm City Blues Project" led by the late Ken Mellilo. He also played with Bill Bakers 5 Satins, Rocky Lawrence, Bobby Torello, The Cobalt Rhythm Kings and recorded with the WPLR Breakfast Band, and DW Armstrong and the Rent Party.These days JD performs with "The Benders" a 5 piece Rock and Roll Band, playing sax , guitar, slide guitar, "The Blues Patrol Show Band," a Blues Brother tribute band , "On the Serious Side," a Tower of Power Tribute band and is on call as a sub for other bands. He also enjoys teaching saxophone to young and older people interested in learning the instrument.
Natalie Jimenez-Lara holds a Master's degree in Music Education from University of Bridgeport and a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a concentration in world traditions from Southern Connecticut State University. Natalie is currently the instrumental music director at Ross Woodward Classical Studies Magnet School in New Haven, CT. She works closely with the Yale School of Music through the Music In School’s Initiative, a partnership with the New Haven Public Schools. Natalie serves as the conductor for the Yale-New Haven All City Honors Camerata and String Orchestra in New Haven. She also conducts the Camerata and String Orchestra at Morse Summer Music Academy at Yale. Natalie is also an active member of the Connecticut Music Educator’s Association. She served for several years consecutively as a teaching artist at Neighborhood Music School’s Summer Jazz Intensive. With over 12 years of experience as a music educator she specializes in teaching strings, with equal proficiency in voice as well as numerous wind instruments. Natalie has played violin with Hamden Symphony Orchestra since 2006. She has performed with Southern Connecticut State University’s choir in Barcelona, Spain under the direction of composer, arranger, and Grammy- winning conductor Craig Hella Johnson as well as in Athens, Greece under the direction of composer, arranger, conductor and former King’s Singer Simon Carrington. She is also the lead violinist and co-arranger for Sonido Libre Latin Band and Elation funk sextet.