Music Teachers

Janet Yao- Piano

Li-wen Yao (Janet) learned the piano since the age of four and had taken private piano lessons from famous pianists and professors Panan Chen, Ho-Hui Lin and Lina Yeh in Taiwan. Janet has been a piano soloist, piano accompanist for all kinds of music instruments, solo singing, chorus, Chamber musician with various ensembles since 1987. She had also been an elementary school teacher for 5 years and maintained a private piano studio for more than 7 years.

Karen Lin- Violin, Piano

Hsuan Wen Lin (Karen) is a native of Taiwan and attained her doctoral degree in performance at the University of Minnesota. She is also a registered Suzuki teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.


Lin has frequently been invited to perform in professional orchestras and local concerts. Her performance, Schulhoff’s Duo for Violin and Cello, was featured in World Journal in 2012. The Minnesota Daily also covered and published her solo recital on, Schuller’s Duologue.

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Her recent solo performances include the Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in 2015 and the premiere recital for the 50 States Project “Amerigo” in 2016. As a devoted educator, Lin successfully coached students into becoming concertmasters in school orchestras, becoming active performers in summer music festivals, and getting accepted by audition-required events.

Justin Sheppard- Classical Guitar

Justin Sheppard was born in the small south Georgia town of Tifton. Showing an aptitude in music throughout middle and high school, he played jazz trombone, concert tuba, and marched the baritone horn. His early love for music allowed him to perform and travel with the local college while in high school, and he also taught private brass lessons on tuba and baritone to middle school students in the area at the time. Justin attended the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2000 studying music performance and music education, where he also worked in supervising and tutoring kids at a local elementary school. He finished his bachelor of Science degree in Classical Performance from the University of Georgia while studying under international performer and Professor of Guitar, Daniel Bolshoy.

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He enlisted in the Navy in 2000, deciding to step away from music for a time, and was educated as an electronics technician and nuclear reactor operator. After being selected for a Navy Officer commissioning program, he completed a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Florida State University. As an Officer, Justin served in various positions both aboard ship and ashore in San Diego and also completed a second degree in Nuclear Engineering Technologies from Thomas Edison State University. After an honorable discharge from active duty service in 2011, he returned to Georgia to continue education at GA Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He bought his first classical guitar at this time and self-taught himself, working through the Christopher Parkening method books for classical style. After two years studying biology and foreign language, he took the opportunity to move abroad and study in a Masters program in International Business at the Russian Presidential Academy in Moscow, Russian Federation. While in Moscow, Justin taught private English language lessons to both children and adults and also taught group English lessons to businesses desiring English improvement.

In 2015, Justin decided to return to Athens, GA in order to return to his musical roots. He auditioned on classical guitar and was warmly welcomed into the UGA Guitar Studio within the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He has been teaching private guitar lessons while finishing the Guitar Performance degree at the University and is a current member of the UGA Guitar Ensemble and UGA Choruses. Starting in the Fall of 2017, Justin has looked forward to combine his love of teaching and love of the guitar with students at the Vivo Music and Arts Academy.

His teaching style can be best described as both disciplined and flexible, emphasizing development of a well-rounded musical education within the context of the instrument of the guitar. Development of each student on an individual basis is key, and he commits to the learning styles best for each and every person. Justin instructs each student to learn the skills necessary to play their favorite music, and he also wishes to open students’ eyes to the full range of the guitar’s music, capabilities, and history.

Justin Starks-Guitar

Hailing from Kentucky, Justin grew up in his father's hometown guitar store learning all about the music industry and picking the musical brains of local music heroes, learning to play guitar, bass, ukulele, and drums along the way. Upon graduating from the Atlanta Institute of Music in the summer of 2005, he was placed on a national tour in support of American Idol’s Diana Degarmo. After wrapping up touring later that year, he began teaching privately for several Atlanta area teaching studios, directing rock bands for summer camps and aftershool programs, in addition to teaching clinics and masterclasses dealing with music theory and guitar ensemble. In between teaching, Justin has played guitar and bass for several Atlanta based artists as well as writing and performing with his own bands. He has also lent his talents to various Atlanta recording studios most notably doing sessions for Britney Spears and R&B singer, Mya. Currently, Justin is focusing on directing his rock band program and is accepting students to join bands as well as private instruction.

Xiaodan Chen

Xiaodan Chen- Piano

Ms. Xiaodan Chen is the Music Director and piano accompanist at Neptune Music and Arts Center in East Cobb. She received her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from both Sichuan Conservatory of Music and Eastern New Mexico University, and her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Arnaldo Cohen and Reiko Neriki. She has won the Second Prize at the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition held by Fryderyk Chopin
Society of Texas. Being an experienced soloist and accompanist, Ms. Chen has taught many young pianists how to show their best performances on stage. She also teaches children from beginners to exam takers. She takes pride in nurturing their musical journey and celebrating their accomplishments, fostering a lifelong love for the piano and music in all its splendid forms.

Elijah Head- Saxophone, Clarinet, Bassoon, Oboe

Elijah is from Warner Robins, GA. He grew up playing saxophone in middle school and bassoon and oboe in high school. In high school, he was in the marching band and symphonic band. He was also apart of 3 district honor bands and 1 region band honors. Once he graduated from Warner Robins High School, he went to Alabama A&M University to study music. He was apart of the marching band, wind ensemble, and jazz band. He graduated in 2021 with a Bachelors Degree in General Music. Elijah’s goals are to make sure students are having fun with music and to guide students in the right direction in music and in life. 

Fino Ardhito - Clarinet, Guitar, Bass Guitar

Fino Ardhito is currently an undergraduate student at Kennesaw State University, majoring in Music Education. Fino has been playing guitar since the age of six and clarinet since the age of twelve. Fino has been selected to play in four district honor bands during his time at South Forsyth High School, and is currently in the Kennesaw State University Wind Ensemble as a clarinetist. One of Fino’s proudest musical accomplishments is performing at Carnegie Hall with the South Forsyth Middle School Symphonic Band when he was in the 8th Grade. Fino has also taken jazz lessons at Kennesaw State University on guitar under the direction of Justin Chesarek, Tyrone Jackson, and Sean Thrower. He is also a proud student of John Warren, clarinetist of the Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, at Kennesaw State University. Fino is a firm in helping his students find their voice in music of any style and is always ready to take on any challenge.

Sage Manning

Sage Manning- Guitar

Sage Manning was born in Oklahoma and moved at an early age to a town near Athens, Georgia where he was raised. Early in life Sage showed a keen interest in guitar when he picked up his father’s acoustic guitar and committed to learning how to play it. He took private lessons from various teachers throughout middle school and high school. During this time he was given unique opportunities to perform in his local church service. He also frequently volunteered to lead holiday sing-along events where he would accompany with his guitar. This eventually gained him the attention of Dale Monson, the Dean of The University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. After an introduction by Dr. Monson, he started receiving private instruction in classical guitar technique from professor Philip Snyder until he graduated high school.  From 2019 until today he has studied with Professor Daniel Bolshoy at The University of Georgia. He is nearing completion of a bachelors degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Music Theory.

Andrea Coutinho- Piano, Voice

Andrea was born and raised in Suwanee, Georgia and has played piano since she was 8 years old. Soon after, Andrea began singing in choirs and leading rehearsals as well as accompanying choirs in the Gwinnett area. Andrea recently graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and a minor in Contemporary Conducting. She enjoys teaching students to play piano and sing, and she hopes to help students become the musicians that they aspire to be.

Blake Roach

Blake Roach- Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium

Blake studied music at the University of Central Florida where he was a soloist and lead trumpet for the UCF jazz ensembles, as well as played in the UCF wind ensemble and orchestra. While in Orlando, he worked as a musician at the Walt Disney World Resort, in addition to playing with local latin bands. Blake also has experience in Drum Corps International where he joined Carolina Crown in 2005. He continued performing with them in 2006, 2008, and as an upper lead in 2010.

Daniel McCrary- Percussion, Drum Set

Daniel was Born and Bred in St. Louis, Missouri. He recently graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Major in Music Business and Minor in drum-set performance. His musical career dates back to before he could even speak. Ever since he was young he have been playing drums and doing music. He was Influenced by his musical family that dates back to him being in youth choir. He also began playing drums in church in elementary school. By the age of 6 Daniel decided drums would be my primary instrument. He began to study all genres and broaden my horizon as a musician. All throughout high school he studied Jazz, Pop, R&B, soul and funk while maintaining a mild stint in choir. He also played gigs and did studio work.

After high school, Daniel was not only accepted but received a generous scholarship to attend my dream college Berklee College of Music, the only school he applied to. He was blessed with wonderful opportunities such as playing different gigs around Boston, participating in cafe shows, and starring as an Extra in detroit. He accompanied Robert Glasper, and last but not least participated in a promo video for Alesis drums that debuted to thousands of musicians at the world renown NAMM this year! He also have a passion for fashion and photography.
He is now living in Atlanta concentrating on Drums, A&R, Music Production & Engineering as well as the Music Business. 

 

Kaixi Yang- Piano

Kaixi Yang grew up in China. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance and Instruction from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music in 2016. She then continued her education in music at Auburn University, earning her a Master's Degree in Music Education and boasting a GPA of 4.0/4.0.
Kaixi is an experienced piano and keyboard player. She has taught one on one piano lessons from elementary school kids to working adults. She also thought music to elementary school students in classroom settings. When she teaches music, she uses a range of teaching instruments such as the rhythm stick or colorful music sticks to encourage classroom interaction. Highly experienced in music lesson planning, she teaches music basics, technic, rhythm and theory. Students under her tutelage have performed in various local and regional festivals. She is passionate, gentle, personable, and, most of all, she is a good singer.
Kaixi has won the 3rd prize in the International Youth Art Festival in 2010 and the 2nd prize of Group B in the Fourth International Youth Art Festival in 2011.

 

Linyi Ge- Piano, voice, chorus

Linyi Ge is a native of China who developed a passion for music from a very young age. Her love for music brought her to college to major in vocal music performance in Tianjin Normal University, which earned her a bachelor's degree in fine art. Linyi's insatiable desire to achieve more then brought her to the United States for a master's degree in music education at Auburn University, AL. Linyi has worked as a music instructor at various schools in China as well as in the United States. She taught music and rhythm using proven ways such as the rhythm stick and other percussive instruments. She also taught choir, piano accompaniment and organized rehearsals for art events. Further more, Linyi has a rich experience in collaborating with other teachers and educators to design music curricula, syllabus, and lesson plans.
Besides her teaching experience, Linyi has also performed at various international performances. For instance, she was a vocal solo performer who performed Iris at the welcoming party of the Moscow State Cultural Institute, where she received a standing ovation from the audience. Linyi is skilled vocally, in dance, in piano, and in other keyboard instruments; she is also technologically savvy, where she edits audio and recording on a regular basis. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, Linyi's music lessons are sure to deliver!

 

Helen Kim- Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello

Ms. Helen Kim graduated with a bachelor's of Music Performance from Silla University (Former Busan Women's University), South Korea in 1990. Upon graduating, Helen taught in Kumho Besteen Music Academy and in Cheju Dajung Elementary school in South Korea as a violin and piano teacher. After moving to the United States in 2007, Helen continued her passion in music education teaching violin, viola and cello.
 
She has dedicated her career life as a music educator and a professional performer. From 1990 to 2006, she was a violinist in the Busan Symphony Orchestra, Kontack Ensemble, and the Cheju and Cheju City Philharmonic Orchestra, South Korea.
 
With over 30 years of teaching experience, Helen is able to teach students of all ages and encourage them to find passion in music.

Todd Markey- Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Ukelele

Todd Markey is an orchestral double bass performer in Georgia, frequently heard with the Johns Creek and Carroll Symphony orchestras, as well as the Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta and the contemporary music chamber ensemble Atlanta by Six. He received a master's degree in music performance in double bass from the University of North Texas in 1997 and a bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois in 1995.  Todd was on the music faculty at Valdosta State University from 2000 to 2004.

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Todd has a wide range of musical skills, including classical and jazz performance as well as composition and music theory. His composition, 4 Basses in 3 Places won the 1997 British and International Bass Forum composition contest.  He teaches private lessons on violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, and ukulele and is the creator of the popular string education website StringClub.com.  The site features state of the art technology to make learning a string instrument as fun and easy as possible.
Todd has been teaching music for nearly 30 years.  His extensive teaching experience includes private lessons, group lessons, college music theory and ear training courses, middle and high school orchestra classes, after school orchestra programs, summer camps, and sectional coaching.

Wilson Tong- Violin, Piano, Guitar, Ukelele, Viola, Cello

Wilson Tong currently teaches in Academe of the Oaks (High School) as orchestra teacher. He serves as Artistic Director of Atlanta Metropolitan Symphony in 2017 Fall. He graduated with Master of orchestral conducting degree in Georgia State University in 2013, served as an assistant conductor, conducted and played violin in Georgia State University Orchestra under maestro Michael Palmer, Artistic Director of the annual Bellingham Festival of Music. He conducted Pleven Philharmonic of Bulgaria in 2012 under Diane Wittry, music director Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
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Born in Hong Kong, China, he began his music journey with violin and piano at eight. He played violin for Georgia Symphony Orchestra for six years and graduated in Kennesaw State University with both music education degree and music performance degree. Tong was KSU concerto competition finalist 2014-2017 and performed in Honor Recital. His studied violin with Dr. Christos Galileas, associate professor of violin in Georgia State, Helen Kim, associate professor of violin in Kennesaw State University, Dr. Edward Eanes, concertmaster of Cobb Symphony. Tong took master classes with Joseph Lin, David Perry, Peter Zazofsky and Maimi strings quartet. He studied conducting in Quartz Mountain Festival 2011, Conductor Institute of South Carolina 2010 and International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilia Musin with Leonid Korchmar and Dr. Oleg Proskurnya 2011. He joined Atlanta Variasian acapella since 2009 with CDs recording and youtube channel. He performed violin with Jeffrey Butzer's band MidWives in Atlanta area in 2007. Tong teaches in Johns Creek are a. He teaches violin, viola, cello, guitar and piano. His students performed in Honor Recital, All State Orchestra and got accepted to multiple Universities.

Donna Bailey- Piano

Donna Bailey holds a Master of Music degree in Piano and Music Education. She is a retired Georgia music educator, whose experience includes teaching in Douglas,Cobb and Forsyth counties. Mrs. Bailey began teaching private lessons in 1975. She is trained in various methods of music for young children, with a published music curriculum for young children. Teaching lessons in Forsyth and Dawson counties, she has added voice instruction and vocal audition preparation to her teaching.
Mrs. Bailey is a member of GMTA, NFMC and GMEA. This affords her students performance and festival opportunities. She enjoys teaching students of all ages, and levels, from young beginners to adults.
She also continues to study and perform, serving as accompanist for many school choirs in Forsyth County.

Jia Lee- Piano

Jia Lee has been a certified piano teacher and player for over thirty years and continues to practice and teach to this day. Her studies include a degree in piano-organ performance from Seoul Shindae University (1995) and an organ master’s degree from LSU (1997-1999). Not only is her background education diverse, with training from both in and out of the states, her experiences also range from both formal and informal practices. From performing with the Atlanta Chamber Singers society from 2011-2016 to being both the pianist and organist at the largest Korean church in the southeast (2007- ), she continues to grow her love and knowledge of music everyday. Jia currently works with students of all ages from Fulton and Gwinnett counties as a private piano teacher since 2001. She believes it is never too late to pick up music and has also been working with the seniors of Happiness College of seniors choir in helping elders discover and grow their own love for music every Saturday since 2015 and sometimes indulges in conducting as well.

Her ability to nurture and push students is the driving force behind her extensive work experience. She believes that music is a language itself and has the ability to connect all different types of people. Learning styles are different for every student and Jia is keen on working with each student’s personality and adjusting as it is key in a student’s progress. Her goal is progress over perfection and truly helping each student learn to develop their own relationship with the piano!

Steve Freeman- Guitar

Steve Freeman has been in the music business for 35 years. Steve studied at Berklee College of Music before making his way to the west coast to attend Musicians Institute. After his graduation, he joined the MI staff and taught there for six years. At MI Steve had the opportunity to play and teach with such artists as Don Mock, Scott Henderson, Steve Trovato, Tommy Tedesco, Joe Diorio, Jeff Berlin and Robben Ford to name a few. While in California Steve was also a studio session guitarist for Japanese radio and television. In 1985 Steve founded the Atlanta Institute of Music, a nationally accredited music school for guitar, bass and drums. As founder and President of the institute he taught and managed an excellent staff and faculty. Read more
In Atlanta Steve, has performed and/or recorded with Oteil and Kofi Burbrige, Jeff Sipe, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Randy Hoexter, Geoff McBride and others. After AIM Steve taught 70 private students a week of all levels, ages and styles through Greater Atlanta Christian School, Atlanta Music Brokers, Online and his home studio. Steve joined Camp Jam in 2006 and served as Vice President of Operations for 10 years. Currently Steve is Achieve Music’s director of business development and has a passion for telling others about their remarkable educational platform. Steve has authored 4 books, including Jazz Rock and Jazz Pro Lick Series (REH/Hal Leonard Publications), Fusion Guitar (Warner Brothers Publications) and Rock Solid Guitar (Carl Fischer Publications) Steve's latest CD is on Abstract Logix, iTunes and Amazon Some of Steve’s recordings and teaching materials music are available at www.stevefreemanguitarist.com Linkedin Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-freeman-4047/

Angie Kim- Piano, Cello

Angie earned  her bachelor degree in music at the university of Maryland. She has a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy. She studied under the teaching of Reynold Reyes and N. Jane Tan (pedagogy). She studied abroad at the St. Petersburg State conservatory of music school by Dmitry and Yelena in  Russia. As part of continued dedication for her love of cello, she resume her education with Dr. Dan Shomper. She studied  with Katharine Knight who teaches Lamont music school in Colorado, Denver. She’s is very creative in her teaching method. She use both Suzuki and traditional methods.  She was also part of Anne Arundel Symphony orchestra where members had the privilege of performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, performance in Australia and Spain. Read more
Angie has taught a wide range of student with physical disabilities, has a strong passions for music and work hard to motivates her students the passion and love of music, whether young and old, tailoring their lessons to meet their needs and goals. She  devoted  her time to researching piano& cello  pedagogy and music education by reding books, articles and attending various workshops. She focuses on keeping her teaching resources updated. She  would like to express how to excited she is to have the opportunity to teach your child piano & cello. Her goal is to teach her students in a way that they are enjoying themselves while they are learning. Having taught over more than 10 years, she has found that when students are enjoying the learning process they are most likely to stick with it. She hopes she can succeed in this goal with your child.

Joy Gilmore- Piano, music theory

Joy Gilmore is a Taiwanese native who was born into a pastor's family. Joy started to play piano at the age of 7 and then started playing for her father's church at the age of 12. She began her piano teaching career at the age of 18 while she was still attending college. Joy received her Bachelor's degree in piano performance and church music in 1987. Upon receiving her Bachelor's degree, Joy moved on to teach at Glad Tidings Bible College Read more
in Taichung, Taiwan from 1987 to 1989 where she was also a certified Carl Orff Pedagogy teacher. In 1994, Joy moved to the United States and continued her piano teaching career in Atlanta, Georgia. To further speak on Joy’s accomplishments, she has actively remained a member of the National Federation Music club where her students have won multiple Artistry awards and received superior ratings since 2006. As of today, Joy has been involved in the piano teaching industry for over 37 years.  Joy is an active music composer. She has composed many pieces including piano solos, piano duets, and ensemble pieces. Joy has also rearranged many Hymns and Christmas songs. As an active composer and teacher, she has the ability to easily rearrange music for student's preferred songs at their level. Joy has various piano teaching styles.  For very young toddlers, she utilizes her methods called "Musical Zoo" in which zoo animals are used to assist these children in learning piano.  For the young beginners, they will focus on the basics to build fundamental skills.  Using a plethora of teaching tools, including an iPad, board games and other fun musical activities, Joy is able to help motivate children in learning music theory and music notes. Due to her numerous years of teaching experience, Joy has been able to create unique methods to teach difficult skills such as rhythm counting, finger coordination, sight reading training, and much more. For teen and adult beginners, Joy focuses more on knowledge and physical skills. She has rearranged a series of simplified scales, arpeggios and other technique exercises for them to practice. These exercises have helped many adult and teen students make tremendous progress in their piano playing endeavors. As mentioned prior, Joy can re-arrange a student's favorite song to fit into their skill level so they can enjoy playing their favorite songs, sooner. For the students who want to pursue music as a lifelong career, Joy is a classically trained pianist and can help them pursue their dream of becoming a classical performer.

Adam Stallings- Clarinet, Saxophone

Originally from Marietta, GA, Adam Stallings is a clarinet performer and educator in the Atlanta area. Adam is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he earned the Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Education, graduating cum laude in 2019. At Georgia State, Adam performed with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, and performed with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the 2018 College Band Directors Association Southeastern Conference. He also frequently performed in a number of chamber ensembles and frequently premieres new music for composers, including the Southeastern premiere of Sila: Breath of the World, by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer, John Luther Adams. As an educator, Adam has experience teaching in a number of different settings. He has taught throughout the Atlanta area, and has taught full ensemble, marching band, or clarinet in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Hall counties. Read more
As a clarinet instructor, his students have done well, often sitting at the top of their school ensembles, and placing well at district level auditions. Adam currently studies clarinet with Dr. Kenneth Long, and has taken additional studies with Dr. Dennis Nygren and Dr. Kristina Jones, former principal clarinet of the Akron Symphony Orchestra.

Mina Phan- Trumpet, French Horn

Mina received her Bachelor’s in Music Performance at Georgia State University, where she was the recipient of a University Assistantship and studied trumpet under Hollie Lifshey of the Atlanta Opera. During her studies, she was principal trumpet of the University Orchestra from 2016-2018 and played in other ensembles such as GSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, GSU Opera, and student composition recitals. In addition to her studies, she was also a marching member of 2017 Bluecoats, 2015 Blue Knights, and 2013 & 2014 Atlanta CV. Mina also collaborated with local singer-songwriter Manny Cortes, for whom she wrote and played trumpet parts on his P.O.P. EP for songs “Do Ya Wanna Dance Again?” and “Awesome Sword” with the former also having a music video on YouTube.

Kyung Mi Yang- Voice, Piano

Kyung Mi Yang is an experienced, educated and encouraging music teacher. She has been teaching for over 25 years: in the classroom as a professor, overseas as a guest lecturer, private lessons instructor and church choir director. She is currently conducting Grapevine Youth and Children’s Choir and Klesis senior adult choir. Ms. Yang holds two master degrees, both in choral conducting. Her bachelor’s degree is in vocal performance. She was accepted for the DMA program at Southwestern Seminary. Ms. Yang’s love for people and love of music intersect at teaching it with heartfelt expertise. She strongly believes that music brings out the best in us; therefore, she pours her affection, passion and skills into the hearts of the students.