Teacher Bios




Taking Piano lessons is very fun. I have been playing for four years now and all my lessons were great. Mrs Linda is a real great teacher and is very nice. In lessons you get to learn and practice great songs that you enjoy. Taking lessons is a great experience. John S Student @ The Music Shop








Chris has been playing drums since 1986 and has been teaching since 1996. He studied privately with Tony Leone, Tom Melito, and legendary drummer Joe Morello. Chris is versed in all genres of drumming including rock, jazz, funk, symphonic, and drum corp. His students will focus on drum technique and building the important skill of timekeeping. Chris has been recording professionally since the age of 15. He currently plays in the following bands: The Dave Wanik Quartet, Magnetar, GNO, Riders on the Storm, and Hammerhead Lincoln. Chris has been with The Music Shop since 2000.​

Chris teaches on Wednesday


Emily teaches on Tuesday and Thursday

Emily Bryant received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance with a concentration in Flute from Western Connecticut State University in 2014. While at WCSU, she was the principal flutist in Wind Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, Orchestra, Woodwind Quintet, and Flute Choir. She was also the principal flutist for many of WCSU’s opera productions, including: Carmen, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and The Magic Flute. Leading up to her collegiate career, Emily was a flutist in the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School Community Division. In 2008, she had the opportunity to perform in Munich, Vienna, and Salzburg during this group’s European Tour. Emily has also played in a variety of community musical orchestras. These musicals include: Carousel, Oklahoma, The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, City of Angels, and Cinderella. Emily has been teaching privately from her personal studio since 2007, and has also been the Woodwind Instructor at Southbury Music Studio since 2013. Emily has performed on flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, and bassoon. Currently, Emily is a clarinetist in the Plainville Wind Ensemble.​


Linda teaches on Thursday and Saturday

Linda studied music pedagogy at the Hartford Conservatory and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University. She is currently studying in the Clinical Musician Certification Program (Harp for Healing) to become a clinical musician and is a member of the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and Hartford Musical Club. Linda participates in a music therapy program at Midstate Hospital and works with Alzheimer patients in a weekly music program at a nursing home. She has studied classical and jazz piano styles, but can teach popular, ragtime, and Broadway styles of piano. She’s also performed with numerous vocalists and instrumentalists. Linda has been teaching at The Music Shop since 2001.​


Chris teaches on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday

Chris has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music as well as a master’s degree from the University of Memphis / Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. He’s been performing since 1997, teaching and directing since 2003, and recording since 2006. He’s also performed in various shows throughout New Orleans, Memphis, and Jackson, TN. Chris has been teaching at The Music Shop since 2013.​


Lon teaches on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday

Lon has been playing guitar for more than two decades. He studied music and classical guitar at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. In addition to years of classical guitar performances, gigs playing a variety of music genres, and performing with various musicians, Lon has worked and recorded in the studio with world-renowned music producer Randy Boyer. His guitar playing has been featured on several dance songs, the most recent of which is a track by Solarstone, featuring Julie Scott entitled “Slave” (Randy Boyer / Kristina Sky mix). Lon works as a DJ/producer and has opened for musical groups like 4 Strings and Cascada. He’s DJ’ed parties for MTV shows Viva La Bam and The Real World, hosted a radio show on Connecticut’s KISS 95.7, and ventured to Europe to play venues in Portugal in 2005. Lon can teach a multitude of guitar styles and has been with The Music Shop since 2000.​


Dan teaches on Tuesday 

Dan Fontana is a working musician, educator, and advocate of teaching musical skills and ideas that encourage a life-long appreciation of music and music making. He takes care to teach the skills and philosophies of a wide and encompassing range of musics while also considering the specific needs and learning styles of each individual student. Being equally skilled and proficient in classical and jazz piano, he also teaches and performs a wide variety of popular music, including: rock (and all its sub genres), hip hop, R&B, and electronic music, from beginner levels through to highly advanced students. Graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2010 with a bachelors degree in contemporary composition and production, Dan Fontana is currently pursuing post-graduate studies at Boston University for a masters in music education (online) to be awarded by May 2017. He has been providing piano lessons, levels from beginner through to highly advanced, for 11 years with an additional 4 years of experience teaching music in the classroom. He actively encourages creativity and musicality, emphasizing creative composition and improvisation as an essential process to learning music, even for beginners! Dan Fontana's philosophy is, "music is fun and exciting!" His lessons directly reflect this motto.​


Brian teaches on Tuesday

Brian studied at the Hartt School of Music and graduated at the top of his class with honors from The Hartford Conservatory. In addition to The Music Shop, Brian teaches at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Backbeat City performing arts center in Glastonbury, and privately from his home. He’s currently the guitarist and assistant director for the Children’s Choir at St. Augustine Church in South Glastonbury. He previously taught at The Hartford Conservatory, Riccardo’s Music in East Hartford, and The Guitar Star Studio in Glastonbury, which Brian co-owned. With more than 25 years experience playing in bands, Brian currently performs with country artist Frankie Justin Lamprey and has released three albums with his contemporary Christian band eXaudio (exaudiomusic.com). As a past member of the John Jeski Band for 13 years, he was given the opportunity to be a voting member of the Grammy Awards. Brian has performed at the Oakdale Theater, the Rock Cats stadium, has been interviewed a number of times for radio and television, and has provided liturgical music to Sicily and Rome. Brian has been with The Music Shop since 1998.​


Corey teaches on Thursday and Friday

Corey has been playing violin since 2003 and teaching since 2013. She is classically trained and has studied with the Hartford Symphony’s Jaroslaw Lis, who received a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Corey has extensive experience playing in ensembles, namely the quartet setting. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2017. Corey aims to make her lessons as fun as possible while still focusing on the core technical aspects of violin playing. She has advanced piano skills and sometimes accompanies her students in lessons. She loves to find or arrange music that her students enjoy playing.


Steve teaches on Saturday

Steve Kaminski has been actively working in the Entertainment Industry for over 25 years on various projects for Television, Radio, Film and Multi-media from producer to composer to sound designer. He has scored original music for film and television including, Desperate Housewives, MTV’s Makin the Band, It’s Showtime at the Apollo and numerous series on PBS, A & E and Disney and syndication and was musical arranger for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He has been a musical director and vocal coach for Disney Studios in Los Angeles for over 20 years and has been a visiting professor at UCLA training many of the current talent in the musical stage. Steve has been trained classically and has specialized in the Art Song literature of Brahms, Faure, Poulenc, Chausson, Beethoven and Mozart. He holds musical degrees in vocal performance as well as music theory, and composition and Jazz Studies. He also has a complete knowledge and love of the American Musical Theatre repertoire.​


Matt teaches on Monday

Matt started his formal training at The Music Shop, and is a product of Southington Public Schools Arts and Music Program.  As an active performer in New England and the Tri-State Area, Matt has performed extensively across musical genres such as Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, Funk, Avant-Garde, and more.  He has performed at venues across the country that includes The Nokia Theatre, The Regattabar, Smalls Jazz Club, and The Staples Center.  Matt is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance with a concentration in Jazz Studies.  Matt has been with The Music Shop since 2013.  Click here to listen to some of Matt's music.​


Matt teaches on Thursday

Matt graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Rutgers University and received the Ethyl Gloria Kinney Memorial Award for Academic Excellence and Artistic Accomplishment. He studied with the late, great Professor William Fielder, who taught the likes of Derrick Gardner, Wynton Marsalis, Terrell Stafford, and Terence Blanchard and also studied piano with Stanley Cowell, who is known for his work with Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Max Roach. Matt has been performing and teaching trumpet, piano, and guitar since 1997 and can teach a wide range of music styles. He is currently freelancing/collaborating with various rock, funk, and jazz artists in the area and has played venues like the Shubert Theater in New Haven, The Blue Note in New York City, and the State Theater in New Brunswick. He has performed with many great jazz artists including Sean Jones, Frank Sinatra Jr., Ralph Bowen, Victor Lewis, Vic Juris, Conrad Herwig, Brad Leali, Jonathon Blake, Kenny Davis, George Caldwell, Walt Johnson, and Eddie Palmeri. Matt has been teaching at The Music Shop since 2008.​


John teaches on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

John is the music director, organist, and vocal/instrument ensemble director for St. Peter Church in New Britain, CT. He’s studied with renowned Bach scholar/conductor Blanche Honneger Moyse, cellist Henri Honneger, and Ferenc Rados in the former home of Franz Liszt. John has performed at the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, Budapest Summer Festival, and Marlboro Music Festival with pianists Luis Batle and Bruno Canino. John has been a monthly columnist for The American Organist Magazine. He’s been teaching here at The Music Shop since 2008, and enjoys teaching beginners and experienced musicians alike.​


Joe teaches on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday

Joe studied at Berklee College of Music and Western Connecticut State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Jazz Performance. He’s been playing guitar since 1989 and teaching since 2000. His influences include Guthrie Govan, Wes Montgomery, Eddie Van Halen, George Benson, and Charlie Parker. Joe is a two-time Hartford Advocate Band Slam winner and is proficient in most styles and techniques including rock, jazz, blues, fusion, country, metal, pop, folk, funk, and rhythm & blues. He’s been teaching here at The Music Shop since 2009.​


Chris teaches on Monday

Chris was born in England where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Composition and Violin at Dartington College of Arts followed by post-graduate studies in jazz at London’s Guildhall School of Music. He’s been playing violin since 1977 and teaching since 1989. Chris was active in London’s music scene as a session musician and performer in bands and ensembles of virtually every style. In 2003, Chris moved to the United States and began teaching here at The Music Shop. He performs classical and jazz music at private functions and performs original music with his electric violin. Chris is also an active composer whose music has been used for television and film. Chris is interested in alternative music styles for the violin and finding new contexts for his instrument. You can listen to some of his music on his website: www.christopherpayne.com


Cathy teaches on Tuesday

Cathy has a degree in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University and has been teaching violin since 1985. She plays in the sinfonietta at CCSU, plays for weddings, and plays in other local orchestras and theater groups. Cathy can teach traditional and Suzuki methods. She has taught large groups and has experience teaching many levels of students from beginners to advanced. Cathy has been teaching here at The Music Shop since 2012.​


Lori teaches on Monday

Lori graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Marywood University, with a concentration in music therapy. She’s been playing piano since 1985 and teaching since 1997. Lori works full time at a private school in Fairfield County with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism. She combines her teaching expertise with components of her music therapy background to create a structured, enriching lesson program for students of all ages and abilities. Lori has worked here at The Music Shop since 2003.


Nate teaches on Monday

Nate studied at Central Connecticut State University, where he performed with the CCSU jazz ensemble, marching band, and big band. He has a passion for drumming and can teach a variety of different styles, including jazz, contemporary, marching snare, as well as techniques on the djembe and cajon. He’s performed with numerous jazz groups throughout the state, and continues to expand his repertoire. Nate has been playing drums since 1997 and has been working here at The Music Shop since 2006.​

Andrey Stolyarov is a Russian-born American composer, conductor, singer, and educator. An award-winning composer, Andrey is currently pursuing doctoral studies in music composition at The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT. He is an active professional singer in the Greater Hartford and New Haven areas, currently performing with CONCORA and the Hartford Chorale, and is a private voice instructor and Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) judge. He is Co-director of The Hartford New Music Festival, Director of Music at West Avon Congregational Church in Avon, CT, Artistic Director of NoteNova Publishing, and is a graduate music theory teaching fellow at The Hartt School. Previously, he was the director of the Composer’s Ensemble Chorus at The Hartt School, and Composer-in-Residence at The Unitarian Society of Hartford. To listen to his music, look for Andrey on Youtube and Soundcloud. Andrey is published under Darushkii Publishing and NoteNova Publishing.​


Matt Massaro has been playing piano for over twenty years. At an early age, he took interest in the instrument and immediately began playing by ear. In high school, Matt was the accompanist for three years for the Pentagle Players choir and he also performed solos in school concerts. He has a B.A. degree in music performance at Central Connecticut State University. At CCSU he studied piano with Dr. Linda Laurent, who received a Masters degree from the Julliard School. He enjoys taking on challenging pieces and has performed in many recitals and concerts at CCSU and for other occasions. Upon completing his degree, Matt was required to play a solo recital which was well received by faculty and audience. His most recent achievement was the role of piano soloist for the CCSU sinfonietta in performing the Mozart Piano Concerto in A Major No. 23. Matt has taught private piano lessons with students ranging from beginner to advanced. He currently teaches at the Community Music School in Essex, privately and at The Music Shop. Matt’s lesson approach focuses highly on reading, rhythm and having fun.​


Matt teaches on Friday and Sunday

Andrey teaches on Friday

Music Lessons at The Music Shop in Southington CT

SUN: 11-5PM , MON-FRI: 10-9PM AND SAT: 10-6PM







SUN: 11-5PM , MON-FRI: 10-9PM AND SAT: 10-6PM