John has over a decade of experience teaching and performing. Primarily a pianist, he toured with roots rock band Barefoot Truth after obtaining a BA in music education/jazz studies from Westfield University. With a huge passion for piano and music, he has inspired dozens of students to grow as proficient pianists/music students. In his hours not teaching you can find him performing/touring the country with some of top choreographers on JUMP Dance convention or producing for his fitness music company Tabata Songs.
Sarah Van Ells
Originally from Westchester, New York, Sarah Van Ells now studies Music Education and Voice Performance at UMass Amherst (Bachelor of Music). She grew up performing in musicals and vocal ensembles, beginning voice training at age 10. She now enjoys many on-campus performance opportunities including engagements with the UMass Opera Workshop, Chamber Choir, and has performed and music directed for the UMass Theatre Guild. In addition, Sarah has worked at many childrenʼs theater programs, including Camp Birch Hill (New Durham, NH) where she taught music and acting for two years, and Croton Childrenʼs Theatre (Croton-on-Hudson, NY) where she served as assistant music director.
Sara has been teaching for the past 10 years. She has experience and has taken courses in early childhood, child development, special education, and child psychology through UMASS Continuing Ed, as well as arts and theatre education/experience through jobs, internships, mentorship and through taking courses at City College in NYC. She interned with Hampshire Young People’s Choir under the direction KC Conlan and Reka Peterson, two area professionals and specialists in children’s voices. In her teaching, Sara strives to help her students cultivate healthy, sustainable singing habits, musicality, and an understanding of their artistry.
After more than 20 years of playing the drums and 10 years teaching, Jimmy has developed a wealth of knowledge and appreciation for music spanning the past 100+ years, both foreign and domestic. After receiving his Bachelor of the Arts degree in jazz studies from Westfield State University, Jimmy went on to tour and perform in various countries around the world including Australia, South East Asia and the UK. He also gigs extensively around the north east with a slew of different artists, playing a range of musical styles. Having experience performing everything from jazz, funk, R&B and rock, to dance and musical theatre productions, Jimmy tries to provide his students with an open ended, individualized learning experience focusing not only on instrumental technique, but also every student’s personal interests and creative desires.
After 10 years of studying both guitar/ukulele, Dom has begun to share his knowledge and passion for music with several students in the Pioneer Valley. After 2 years of teaching private instruction, he has slowly integrated his love for music production and recording into his teaching. Many of his students also get a front row seat into songwriting and how songs are recorded! When he's not teaching you can find him in the producer chair for Next Level Records making music for Tabata Songs and several other up and coming artists in the area, including his own music!