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Meet the Teachers

Meet Our Talented Teachers

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Mark Brown

Originally from upstate NY, Mark Brown is a classically trained musician who has been teaching piano and guitar for 22 years as well as playing professionally throughout the world since he was 16 years old.  

 

Mark, a member of the The Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) is sanctioned to train and develop Music Junction students for the Certificate of Merit (CM) Program which is a standardized music curriculum for musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing and music theory created by the MTAC in 1933.  Ask about how you can add the Certificate of Merit training to your music lessons with Mark!

 

Mark graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music in Recording Technology.    As a professional musician, he has worked in musical theater and toured internationally with rock, blues, jazz and pop artists.  As a session musician, Mark has been recorded on over 200 albums. In 2012, he founded the funk trio “Hambone Relay” in which he plays Hammond Organ.  The band has toured consistently for 5 years and recorded five albums of original material.

 

As a teacher, Mark owned and managed a music school in New Jersey where he taught piano, guitar and bass to students of all ages. He believes that music can and should be both fun and educational for all.  He encourages all of his students to perform in front of any audience big or small at any level of experience. "Sometimes, the best rehearsal is a gig."

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Sally Bates

Sally Rose Bates has been teaching Voice and Piano for over 20 years and teaches all levels up to advanced in both Piano and Voice at Music Junction.  Teaching is what she has an aptitude and passion for!  Sally is great with all ages of students, as young as 4 years old and up to adults of any age.

 

Sally teachers many styles including Classical, Broadway, Pop, R & B, Rock, Contemporary Christian and Jazz.   She’s been studying and teaching Piano since college, and is an accompanist for her vocal students as well.  Sally has taught preschool through 8th grade general music at private schools too.  She has been an adult choir director for numerous Churches.  Sally is a very positive and encouraging teacher who works together with the student to foster a lifelong love of music!

 

She earned her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  She earned her Masters degree also in Vocal performance from Georgia State University.  Sally continued to do Doctoral studies in Vocal Performance at the University of California Santa Barbara.  She also did Masters level studies in choral conducting from Cal-State LA.

 

Sally has performed numerous lead opera and musical theater roles.  She has sung with the Santa Barbara Opera, Atlanta Opera, Madison Opera, Peach State Opera and Stoughton Opera companies.  Sally has even performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York with her voice students and noteworthy choir.  Sally was the winner in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Advanced Women category and also a previous finalist.  She was an American Traditions Competition and Pro-Mozart Competition finalist.  Sally sang in the Young Artist Program La Musica Lirica in Italy for three summers.  

 

Music Junction is honored to have Sally on our team.  Schedule your lessons with Sally in Piano or Voice today!  

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Lynn Sher

Lynn is a talented music teacher, with over 7 years of experience supporting children and adults with their musical development.  Not only has Lynn devoted herself to teaching music in her career, she is also a seasoned musician, who has performed professionally since the age of 19.  

 

Her education began at Berklee College of Music as a piano and voice major, finishing her degree at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City with a BFA in Jazz Vocal Performance.  Lynn is well versed in all genres of music, from opera, classical and jazz, to rock, blues and musical theater.  Her main instruments are piano, voice, guitar and electric bass.  

Lynn is excited to be part of the Music Junction teaching team and contribute to each student's musical journey!

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Adrian Bañuelos

Adrian Bañuelos is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer born in Los Angeles. He began his music studies in a rock and roll setting which eventually led him to study classical music at California State University of Northridge and California State University of Fullerton. He has been teaching music since 2010 and enjoys teaching what he’s learned over the years to students who share the same passion for music.

 

Adrian has performed in various types of productions such as rock bands, church choirs, operas, wedding and funerals; just to name a few. His passion lies in composing and performing new music. Adrian is a very talented and passionate teacher, and Music Junction is thankful to have him on the team!

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Luis Gutierrez

Luis Gutierrez is a Music Educator, Session Guitarist, Composer, Producer and Orchestrator for Visual and Interactive Media.  At Music Junction Luis offers lessons in Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo and Drums.  

 

He holds a Dual Major Degree in Film Scoring and Professional Music (Performance, Composition and Jazz Composition) from Berklee College of Music.  With over 16 years as a Guitar Performer, and 5 years of teaching in the Music Education field, he is highly proficient in different ranges of genres that go from Rock, Pop, R&B, Classical to Fusion, Contemporary Progressive Metal/Rock and Jazz.  

 

Education highlights include Guitar Private lessons with Virtuoso guitarists Tim Miller and Berta Rojas; Big Band Arranging and Post Bebop Advanced Modal Harmony classes with Jazz Legend Greg Hopkins.  He has toured with the Peruvian band Ankh, and works as an arranger and producer for the Solo Artist Noir.

 

Originally from Peru, Luis is also the feature Composer, Orchestrator, and Music Editor for Best Narrative Award Winner (Special Jury Mention at the Oscar-Qualifying New Orleans Film Festival NOFF) short film Burnt Roux (2023) by Director Keisha Davis.  He is featured also as a guitar player in the upcoming Colombian film Colibri (2024).  Other works include indie games such as Wobble Warriors, District N and The Double.  Luis has also worked for Hollywood composer and Emmy nominee, Ryan Shore, as a Music Editor and Composer Assistant.

Luis' philosophy of "Painting with Sound... One Note at a Time" characterizes his friendly and patient approach to teaching music in an engaging way.  Music Junction is proud to have Luis on their team of talented and experienced teachers!  

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Liz Knickerbocker

Liz Knickerbocker is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up studying violin at the Flint Institute of Music in Flint, MI, and started assistant teaching in group string classes at the age of 14. Liz has performed in orchestras, quartets, bands, and as a solo artist on tours in Ireland, France, and around southern California.

 

Liz has facilitated private lessons and group classes for violin, viola, cello, guitar, ukulele, voice, piano, trumpet, and trombone around the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

 

Following her passion for helping children through music, Liz is currently studying Music Therapy at California State University in Northridge with her primary instrument of classical voice.

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Jack Krimmel

Jack Krimmel is very excited to be part of the Music Junction team! After graduating with a degree in Music Education in 2015 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, Jack began his teaching career as a high school choir director in Loudoun County Public Schools (Leesburg, Virginia). For six years, Jack taught choir/musical theatre to students grades 9-12. He also served as Music Director for the award-winning spring musicals each year. In July of 2021, Jack moved across the country to Los Angeles to pursue more music performance/teaching opportunities on the west coast. In December, he sang with Kira Alvarez Productions as a Holiday Caroler.

 

In addition to his passion for music, Jack enjoys graphic design, writing, and trying out as many coffee shops in LA as he can.

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Reese Massey

Reese Massey is a recent music education graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Having grown up in Los Angeles, Reese spent her childhood singing in every choir she could find. She started taking vocal and piano lessons at a young age, but soon learned that her passion was singing with others. At Berklee, Reese performed in countless shows as a soloist, background vocalist, choir member, and accompanist.

 

Additionally, she spent her time arranging a cappella music, songwriting, and directing numerous choirs. With vast performance experience, Reese enjoys singing and performing all genres from classical to jazz! However, her biggest passions lie in teaching music.

 

Reese has a focused and engaging teaching personality. She strives to be genuine in everything that she does and believes her teaching reflects that. Being a preschool music teacher at Small World Child Care helped her to become comfortable teaching younger ages and meeting students where they were. She learned how to balance making music class fun while also making sure the students were learning important skills. Additionally, during her time at Berklee, Reese focused on vocal pedagogy where she learned vocal anatomy as well as how to communicate vocal concepts and techniques to a variety of different ages. She prides herself in her ability to teach the same concept in a multitude of ways, an essential skill for a voice teacher.

 

To Reese, teaching music is not a back-up, but her goal. The more she learned about music education and vocal pedagogy, the more she fell in love with teaching. In fact, Reese comes from a long line of music teachers. There has been a music teacher in every generation of her family starting with her great great grandparents! Reese truly feels a passion for teaching and showing children the joys of music as an art as well as sharing the socio-emotional benefits of music with her students.

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Thomas Graeff

Thomas Graeff is a multi-instrumentalist originally from the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Music Performance degree from Western Washington University after studying jazz with Chuck Israels and the tuba with Dr. Carla Rutschman.

 

Thomas has been teaching music professionally since 2011, and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn the guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, drums, and brass instruments.

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Oleksandra Slominska

Oleksandra Slominska is a multilingual music teacher originally from Ukraine, fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, and English. In 2016, she completed her degree at the Odesa National Academy of Music, specializing in Musical Art. She then began her career as a violin teacher at the National Theater of Opera and Ballet in Odessa in Ukraine. Her passion for teaching children has made her an excellent teacher, and she loves to share her knowledge and experience with them.

 

In 2018, Oleksandra furthered her studies and took private lessons with various musical professors in Europe, including Julia Bassler, Key Märkl, and Ingolf Turban. She has performed in orchestras in Germany, such as Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich, Munchen Symphoniker, Darmstadt Theater, and Ulm theater. She has also had the privilege of playing in Hans Zimmer and Thilo Wolf's orchestras. Despite her vast experience, Oleksandra remains committed to growing and developing in her professional field every day. Oleksandra's extensive musical background, creativity and sense of humor make her an exceptional and engaging teacher.

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