About Our Teachers

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

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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

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Stephanie Buggie comes to teaching at Family Music Center from 12 years experience as a general music teacher, where she focused on exposing public school elementary-aged children to the world of music, from wide and various genres, including contemporary popular music to the great classics of Western Europe. She taught students how to appreciate live music as well as how to read and comprehend printed sheet music, with an infusion of emotional expression (feeling). Prior to her teaching career which started in 1997, she was an Applied Music major (Performance) with a focus in Bassoon, and she attended The Juilliard School of Music, The Eastman School of Music, and Wichita State University, where she performed professionally with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Having practiced piano over the entire course of her pursuit of music excellence, most of her private individual students have been pianists, but she also plays and teaches the flute, bassoon, saxophone, guitar, recorder, and ukulele. Stephanie teaches her students using the resources from her entire life experience in music, from serious music student to professional performer to general music educator. She has been teaching at the Family Music Center for four years and enjoys teaching on the piano that her musically gifted and talented grandmother once played on and gave her 20 years ago. 

Stephen Cusano

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Stephen Cusano is a drummer, musician, performer, and an educator.  Steve is a graduate from the Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz with a BA in Music Performance (Jazz Studies) with a focus in drums. He has been touring the northeast with two bands over the past few years. Steve is the founder, tour manager, and drummer for the future soul band, Broca's Area. In 2018, Broca's Areas' single "See" was featured on Spotify playlist "State of Jazz" and "Butter" where it got over 300,000 plays. In addition, Steve tours nationally as a drummer and core member in Hartford based, folk rock Americana band, Wise Old Moon. He is a drum instructor in the New Haven/Hartford area and has had students attend regionals in CT for two years in a row. Steve founded Parkville Sounds in 2017.  Wise Old Moon was recently featured on Stage 8, and you can hear their performance here.  

Chris Defossez

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Jef Wilson

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Jef Wilson is a New Haven, CT area musician with more than 35 years of performance, production and teaching experience. Jef has performed with numerous local bands including The Means, The Tet Offensive, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt and The Bagdaddies; worked in live music, studio and theater environments; produced recordings by artists ranging from spoken word to folk to rock; and has also taught at the Foote School (New Haven) and Neighbor Note (Toronto). He has a BA in Music from Southern Connecticut State University.