BRASS & WOODWIND LESSONS AT OCTOPUS
Saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and flute lessons at Octopus Music School are taught using our proprietary OPUS curriculum (Octopus Poly-Instrumental Units of Study). OPUS consists of ten grade levels, each with a requisite assessment and certification. With consistent practice at recommended intervals, our carefully designed curriculum prepares students to quickly advance from day one by equipping them with the necessary tools and scaffolding to build a comprehensive understanding of the piano. In addition to learning note-reading, rhythm interpretation, and proper technique, students are exposed to theory, aural training, music appreciation, and collaborative courses with peers to help cultivate an immersive environment in which to thrive.
Lessons are still tailored to individuals' unique learning needs, and repertoire remains flexible so that students are able to learn music which interests them, however the core content and benchmarks have been standardized to ensure fast and steady progress for students of all ages and skill levels.
Thomas is a conductor, trumpet player, and educator. Having completed a Master's degree in orchestral conducting at Rutgers University’s prestigious Mason Gross, some of his current positions include Music Director of Brook Orchestra, Assistant Conductor for Ravina Youth Orchestra, and Coordinator and Music Director for Princeton Charter School's Orchestra program. During his time at Rutgers, he studied with several conductors including Kynan Johns, Diane Wittry, Michael Adelson, and others. As a trumpet player, Thomas has found great success in his studies with Metropolitan Opera's David Krauss, and New York Philharmonic's Kenneth DeCarlo. As an undergraduate, he earned the honor of playing principal trumpet with the New York Youth Symphony in Carnegie Hall in their 2015-2016 season. His teaching style places a focus on ear training, scales, and duets, and his students have had much success as regional and all-state band and orchestra members.
Diana began studying music at an early age at the Escuela Superior de Artes (EPA), leaning towards the saxophone. Years later, she had the opportunity to travel to France for two years to study music theory and saxophone at the Conservatoire National de Région, Poitiers. Returning to Colombia to study at the Débora Arango School of Arts, she finished the Professional Technique in Production for Internships Musicals and Technology in Instrumental Management and Execution. After, she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Music Education at the University of Antioquia dedicating herself to teaching at different institutions in the city of Medellin, such as the Academia from the National Adventist University of Colombia (UNAC), Yamaha Musical, Comfama, Sinfonica de Antioquia, among others. Her ability to play a wide variety of musical instruments helped her as the director of the Atempo Music School. In addition to her musical training, she has also dabbled in dance as a part of the Flamenco and Arab Dance group "La Jarana”.
Austin is a graduate at Eastman School of Music where he studied Music Education and Jazz Performance. During his time there, he played in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble where he performed at events like the Rochester Jazz Festival and participated in the Jack Rudin Championship. As a composer, Austin wrote the score for “Basie and the Trumpet” which was selected for the Rochester Fringe Festival. Austin was also selected as the winner of the 2021 Downbeat Award for Original Composition in Large ensemble. He loves listening and playing to all types of music and brings his vast experience as a composer and performer to all of his lessons.
A true multi-instrumentalist, Michael holds a BM in Classical Performance from Utah State University and a MA in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. Studying and teaching classical and jazz on a variety of instruments (woodwinds, guitar, piano, etc) gives Michael a unique perspective beneficial to those learning multiple instruments. He also performs up and down the east coast playing everything from jazz clubs, Oktoberfest polkas, and rock shows/festivals.