Stephen Girardi, jazz guitar instructor, advanced improvisation, theory and composition
With over 30 years of teaching experience, Steve has guided students to be accepted into some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. NYU, University of Miami, Eastman College, Berklee College of Music, Peabody Conservatory and the College of New Jersey have all graduated Girardi students. Qualified in the areas of theory, composition and advanced improvisation, Steve has the unique distinction of being an authorized Sandole method instructor. Dennis Sandole was the distinguished teacher of such jazz luminaries as John Coltrane, Pat Martino, and James Moody. The Maestro gave this honor to Steve after years of extensive study. A highly regarded jazz guitarist and composer, Steve regularly performs in venues around the NYC area. He is currently a music faculty member at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Education: Authorized Sandole Method Instructor .Berklee College of Music, Boston, and Mannes College, NYC
Diego Badilla, piano instructor
Education: National University, Heredia, Costa Rica, B.M. Piano Performance and B.M. Choral Conducting. Master Classes with Adolf Pla, Raphael Lustchevsky, and Arcady Aronov. Diego is an accomplished classical pianist with a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music. He is currently finishing his PhD at Rutgers University. He has been teaching professionally for the past 16 years.
Greg Federico, drums and piano instructor
Education: BA, Villanova University. Greg has studied drums and percussion instruments with such notables as John Riley, Richie Morales, Dick Weller, Joe Mekler, and Tony DeNicola. His past piano instructors have included Joe Riccardi and John Coates, Sr. He is also a respected music transcriptionist and engraver, and he has worked behind the scenes with jazz guitarist, composer, and 18-time Grammy award winner Pat Metheny, assisting the legendary musician in scoring two songbooks published by Hal Leonard Publishing: "Orchestrion - The Complete Score" (released in March 2011) and a revision of "The Pat Metheny Songbook" (currently in production at this time). Greg has independently released 5 CD recordings and has been awarded many accolades as a composer from various songwriting competitions over the past 9 years. As a performer, he has had the good fortune to play with several accomplished jazz artists including Pete Levin, Jack Grassel, Tony Cimorosi, Eric Olsen, Dave Edwards, B.D. Lenz, the late Ron Velosky, and Maestro Steve Girardi. Though "home" for Greg is considered the New Jersey corridor between Philadelphia and New York City, he has also toured the Midwest on several occasions to promote his CD recordings. Greg has been teaching professionally for over 20 years.
Kevin Eliot Brown, acoustic and electric bass instructor
Education: M.M. in Double Bass Performance and his B.M. in Jazz Studies (bass performance) from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Jeff Bradetich and Fred Hamilton. He also pursued post-graduate study with Linda McKnight. An active freelancer in the NY/NJ area, Mr. Brown has appeared with artists as diverse as Rich Little, Ray Price, The Drifters, and The Great Kat. He currently serves as Principal Bass of the Orchestra of St. Peter-by-the-Sea and the Metro Lyric Opera, and has been a member of the Staten Island Symphony, the Texas Gilbert and Sullivan Company, the Wichita Falls symphony, and the Richardson (TX) and Sherman (TX) symphonies. Theater credits include dozens of productions at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse as well as off-Broadway productions of ‘I Sing’ and ‘The American Clock’. Mr. Brown is a member of the jazz fusion group Monkeyworks, who have been heard on ABC’s 20/20, NPR’s All Songs Considered, and featured in print in the New York Times, and were chosen as artists-in-residence at the Guggenheim Museum for the WorldBeat Jazz Festival. Mr. Brown also composed, performed, and recorded the music for the 1-hour ABC 20/20 special ‘Hell’, which aired in July 2007. As a teacher, Mr. Brown is currently on the bass faculty of Montclair State University and Georgian Court College, as well as the Summit Music festival; he has conducted masterclasses and sectionals for the Toms River and Piscataway school districts, the Garden State Youth Orchestra, the American Harp Society, and is a presenter for the NJ ASTA String Symposium. An active private studio teacher, many of his students have been selected for the NJ All-Region and All-State orchestras, the All-Eastern Orchestra, the All-Shore jazz band, and the NJ Governor’s School.
Nick Malishchak, guitar instructor
A graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Music Performance, Nick has studied guitar with the acclaimed Dr. Pablo Cohen and Dr. Jeremy Harting, and studied theory and history with several other very well known musicians. An enthusiastic young classical guitarist, Nick has performed in master classes with The Beijing Guitar Duo, Ben Verdery, and David Starobin. He also performed at a festival celebrating the music of accomplished performer and teacher Steven Mackey. In a non-classical setting, Nick has performed with his rock band at such well-known venues as The Stone Pony, The Starland Ballroom, Webster Hall, The Croc Rock, and Maxwell’s, among many others. He has performed extensively with this project as the lead guitarist and lead vocalist, in addition to having recorded two full-length professional albums. Nick has been teaching guitar privately for four years.
Pete Becker, guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, dobro and fiddle instructor
Pete graduated with a BA from Bridgewater College in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It was here he became enamored with the traditional country and bluegrass music from this region and learned to play a variety of stringed instruments in those styles. He has performed in a number of bands, most notably, String Fever and continues to play and record with a wide number of artists in a variety of musical genres. He is also an accomplished stringed instrument repair person spending over 10 years in the repair shop at Mandolin Brothers.
Julianne Froehlich, voice and piano instructor
Education: BM in Voice Performance from Montclair State University, where she studied with Jeffrey C. Gall. As a young professional lyric soprano, Julianne has performed around the US, mostly in the NJ/NY and Philadelphia area. She has attended music festivals such as Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival and New York Lyric Opera Theatre Summer Festival. She has participated in Master classes with Peter Randsman, Zehava Gal, Benita Valente and Thor Eckert. Aside from being classically trained, she has been trained in the styles of Rock, Pop, Jazz and Musical Theater. She has been playing piano since she was 5 years old. She is skilled in Music Theory/Aural Skills, Foreign languages, Vocal Literature, Music History and Diction. As a private teacher, her students have been selected for NJ Region and All-State Choir, their school's select choirs, and musical productions.
Max Fishkin, guitar, piano, trumpet and bass instructor
Max is a multi-instrumentalist and music fanatic. He started playing trombone at 10 years old, guitar and bass at 13 years old, and studied piano through his time at Rutgers University (2012), earning himself a BA in Music and Psychology. He currently plays bass and trombone with the Balter Band (balterband.bandcamp.com). Max seeks to instill within his students a positive mental attitude when learning, as well as an appreciation for all genres of music. His influences include but are not limited to: the Beatles, Chopin, and Ahmad Jamal.
John Scalera, guitar instructor
Education: BA, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Summit Music Studio, under Steve Girardi for 7 years. John has also studied privately under Matt O’Ree John has been teaching professionally for the past 15 years.