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.
Sara is very excited to be teaching at Next Level! Sara has been in education for 12 years and teaching voice for the last six. She has worked as a music/voice teacher and performer with several area organizations including Starlight’s Youth Theatre, Multi-Arts, Ja’Duke, Amherst Community Theatre and more. Roles of note include Maria in The Sound of Music, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins. Most recently, Sara played the title role in Santa Monica College Opera Theatre’s production of Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot.
Sara is received her Associates in Music from Santa Monica College where she studied with Dr. Janelle DeStefano. In February 2022, Sara was selected by the NATS-LA to participate in a masterclass with world-renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. She was also awarded second place in musical theatre for the 2021Southern California Vo-Cal Arts competition. In September, Sara will begin her Master’s in Vocal Performance at UMASS Amherst.
Sara believes in the importance of building solid vocal technique and the individual artistry of each student. Through collaboration and goal-setting, she strives to create a safe, engaging and inspiring environment, uniquely tailored to the needs of each individual student.
Maki Matsui is a Tokyo-born soprano with a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Massachusetts. She has over a decade of teaching experience, not only as a private voice, guitar, and piano instructor but also as a chorus director, public school teacher, and music director for local children's theater productions.
She has appeared as a soloist with Amherst College Orchestra, the Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble, and Arcadia Players among others, and has sung major roles in a number of operatic productions, including Pamina and Papagena from The Magic Flute, Cleopatra from Giulio Cesare, and Nella from Gianni Schicchi.
A lover of all arts, she writes and publishes fiction and devotes a considerable amount of her free time to drawing and painting.
Sara Paige graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education with a specialization in vocal production. She believes in the importance of vocal technique and celebrates the uniqueness of each individual voice. Sara was trained classically under the NY Metropolitan Opera's own, soprano Katherine Whyte. Currently, In addition to teaching at NLMA, she is the Choral Director at Pioneer Valley Regional High School and teaches voice at Ja'Duke Center for the Performing Arts. She has also directed and music-directed musical such as Savage the Musical, Into the Woods Jr at Pioneer Valley Regional School, Descendants at JCPA, and Newsies at Beverly High School. She has also landed roles in several productions including Tracey in Hairspray, Wednesday Adams in The Adams Family, and several others. She has also performed works by Manuel de Falla, Mozart, Schumann, and others. She is excited to be a part of the Next Level Music Academy Team!
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!