EARLY STARTERS PROGRAM AT OCTOPUS
While group classes can be a wonderful way to learn for students beginning at age six, more often that not, they are not suitable for very young children (five and under). These types of classes can be disorganized, distracting, and while fun, unfortunately often fail at relating important musical concepts to students.
Early Starters is a carefully designed program whose aim is to get young children (ages 3-5) into one-on-one music classes. Instructors engage students with multisensory percussive and melodic exercises using Orff methodology to demonstrate important fundamentals that will provide a jump start when it comes time to learn an instrument.
Lessons are structured to keep students engaged and focused, with parental participation expected to ensure that students are continuing to practice their lessons throughout the week. Depending on the age of the child and his or her level of development, we see students matriculate into focused instrument instruction within as few as three months of enrollment into the Early Starters program.
Margaret is a passionate and patient teacher with years of experience providing a wide range of students vocal and piano instruction. Starting at a young age in Rutgers and Westminster children's choirs, she has experienced first hand the value of learning music early in life. Margaret is a graduate of Monmouth University with a degree in Vocal Performance with a concentration in classical music. Her extensive performance experience began as a child with the Westminster Choir with which she performed at the White House and various private choral events. As a seasoned musician, she’s enjoyed roles in operas such as Carmen and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Lindsay is a graduate student at Rutgers University pursuing her M.M. in opera performance and has a B.M. from Ithaca College in vocal performance. She has performed in Cendrillon (Ithaca College); Die Fledermaus (Martina Arroyo Foundation) and has performed roles such as Micaëla (Carmen); Antonia (Belisario); and Third Lady/ Pamina (The Magic Flute). She was a finalist in the National Hal Leonard competition; third place Rising Stars Classical Voice Competition; and winner of the SMC Young Artists Scholarship. Lindsay is enthusiastic and passionate about teaching musicians how to develop their abilities and unique musical identities. She has also taught in a variety of musical styles as she believes in the expression of all genres of music. Her teaching style provides students with a supportive and enriching learning experience.
In addition to Jenn’s training as a violinist and pianist, she is also a certified teacher of Elementary Education. With a Bachelor’s of Science degree in K-6 education from Taylor University, Her expertise in pedagogy are matched by her masterful approach to technique and her dilligent focus on the many seemingly small details it takes to learn an instrument as complex as the piano. Jenn is a great fit for anyone getting started on the piano or seeking to learn more about it. Her many years of experience working as an instructor, including teaching many individuals with special needs, make piano lessons with Jenn a great fit for any student.
Mark is a New Jersey born and raised guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist. He graduated from Monmouth University with a BA in Music with a concentration in Music Industry and a minor in Media Production. He taught himself guitar and keyboards at age 12, which inspired him to begin formal piano training in the eighth grade. In college, he trained one on one with private vocal and bass guitar instructors and participated in vocal and instrumental ensembles, gracing various stages with his talents. Beyond his formal education, Mark is a prolific composer/songwriter and an active member of local bands. His teaching repertoire is as diverse as his musical palette, encompassing a wide spectrum of playing and vocal styles, including rock, pop, jazz, hip hop, country, and classical. He is uniquely equipped to nurture and guide aspiring musicians, drawing from his eclectic and ongoing musical journey.
Timothy resides in Neptune NJ and began playing music as a young child in elementary school. While in high school, he performed at the NYC Saint Patrick's Day Parade and was a member of the All Shore Symphonic Band. Timothy continued his education at Lebanon Valley College where he studied Music Education and French Horn Performance. While at college, he performed in the marching and jazz bands along with touring with the concert choir and singing with his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia brothers.
After graduating, Timothy spent five years teaching preschool and kindergarten music classes where he taught students about composers instruments, and created interactive activities for multiple age and ability levels. He prepared his students for yearly recitals as well as town events. In addition to being lead music teacher, he also held a roster of private lesson students ages five to thirteen. Timothy has experience teaching piano, trumpet, guitar, drums, and saxophone in private and group settings. In addition to teaching music, he has performed on the French Horn in the 2019- 2022 Edison Chinese Chorus/Philharmonic and relishes the opportunity to perform and share his love for music with all ages.
Jacqui received her BA in Music Performance and Production from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Throughout her life, she has performed in choirs, musicals, gospel ensembles, concerts and a cappella groups. Jacqui’s experiences have led to her performing on stage with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg. She focuses on techniques to fortify growth and confidence in her students. Her fun and gentle nature combined with knowledge and passion for helping students fully comprehend material make her a great fit for anyone interested in pursuing voice lessons.
Aidan has studied Voice Performance and Secondary Piano at Westminster Choir College and Voice Performance at Mason Gross of Rutgers University. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy, France, and the UK, and has also studied in masterclass settings with such luminaries as Dalton Baldwin, Niel Shicoff, and Simon Carrington. Aidan sings with world renown outfits, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Same Stream Choir. In addition to his impressive performance CV, he draws on a wealth of instructional experience including teaching secondary voice lessons and aural skills at Mason Gross to undergraduate students.
Jeff is best known as one half of the top 30 mainstream rock act, The Infinite Staircase. He has performed live with, written, recorded and/or co-produced songs with Zakk Wylde, John JD DeServio, Morgan Rose, Lajon Witherspoon, Clint Lowery, Kevin Martin, Adam Kury, Memphis Hennesy, Chris Caffery, Corey Glover, Blues Saraceno, Earl Slick, Troy Cromwell, Bob Pantella (Monster Magnet), and Augie Ciulla (Reparata and the Delrons).
Working behind the scenes as a manager, booking agent, stage manager, and merchandise manager, he's worked with Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Reba McEntire, Shirley Reeves & The Shirelles, Bill Haley's Comets, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Brooklyn Bridge, Jay and The Americans, The Drifters, Little Anthony & The Imperials, members of Candlebox, Sevendust & Black Label Society, Black Angel Down featuring Nokio of Dru Hill, The Verve Pipe, Bobby Dall of Poison, Cycle Of Pain, etc...
Jeff has been featured on Jim Breuer's Satellite Radio Show, Fuse TV, Metal Edge Magazine, Guitar World's Website, Eddie Trunk's Show, Chris Jericho's Old Show, NY1, Several Newspapers, and tons of Internet Radio Shows, FM Radio Shows, Sirius Shows and a variety of music related websites.