Click Here to Apply to Join Our FacultyClose
Our Music Teachers
Click any instructor’s name to open their full bio!
|Keith LeBlanc - Advanced PercussionClose|
Ever heard of Keith LeBlanc? Perhaps your answer is, "yes"; even so, most would answer "no", that they have no idea who Keith LeBlanc is. Of course, if you rattle off a small subset of the artists Keith Leblanc drums with or has drummed with, and it's likely more than a few lightbulbs will go off. Try Grandmaster Flash, Annie Lennox, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Living Colour, and Ministry on for size. Yet, no matter how many bands and artists he works with, no matter how many hits and platinum records he has his hands in, he still flies under the radar. Keith's landmark album "Major Malfunction" (WR005) was of great influence to a whole generation of musicians. The album, a reaction to the 1986 disaster with space shuttle Challenger, started off a whole new genre of industrial music.
When Keith LeBlanc got his gig at sugarhill records in 1979, there was no such thing as a hip hop drummer. There were no rules of thumb. No drum machines. Just DJs cutting beats off records. Keith was the first to do it on drums.
Keith LeBlanc's beats are some of the most copied in the world. Yet he has never received credit for this. Keith and his pals Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald wrote the book on hip hop tracking. These guys should have been some of the first elected to the hip hop hall of fame. But for some reason they have been overlooked. Keith invented many drumming techniques that are still used in hip hop tracks today. He also along with Pumpkin Eroll Bedward pioneered the use of drum machines in hip hop.
When these guys were cutting the first hip hop records RUN DMC was still in school! From 1979 to 1981 It was said that these guys were on almost all the turntables in the world at once !CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
|Donny Fortin - Drums and PercussionClose|
Don graduated Berklee College of Music where he majored in Performance as a Drumset Principal. Don graduated from CCSU with a degree in Philosophy and a Concentration in Music. Don has studied the drumset and percussion with many instructors including Casey Scheuerrell (Jean Luc Ponty), James Haddad (Dave Lieberman), John Ramsey (Jazz Messengers), John Hazilla, Dave Dicenso (Hiromi), Tom Melito (Jerry Bergonzi), Tom Dest, Frank Giguere (Street Temperature) Victor Mendoza (Papquito D'Rivera), Connie Coughlan (U.S. Coast Guard Band), Jim Clark, and was also one of JC Music's first drum students when he studied with JC Caillouette (Owner of JC Music). Don presently teaches many students at JC Music, performs jazz with The Brian Cyr Project and multi-genre cover music with Baltic Avenue. He recently performed as a drumset artist for Laurie Katherine Carlsson (Seattle) and Maggie Kim. Don has performed raggae with Marvin and the Sunrays and jazz with the Carl Knox Trio, Hail Bop Jazz Quartet and with performed with punksters Mute.
|Chuck Peterson - DrumsClose|
Since JC Music's drum teachers are often on tour, Chuck Peterson is one of JC Music's short and long term teachers. He is perfectly fit for this role because of his versatility. This protégé of drum legend Keith Leblanc (who also teaches at JC Music when he's not on tour) has made it a point not to be limited to one type of musical style but to draw inspiration from many influences such as Tackhead, Tool, Miles Davis, Nirvana, the Beatles, Radiohead, Earth, Wind, & Fire, etc.
Chuck studied drums and audio engineering at the University of New Haven, and is quite an active session musician. He divides his time between drumming for Jaeme Brennan and the Electric Soul and doing numerous studio projects, as well as instructing at the Amistad School in New Haven and at JC Music in Meriden. In 2004, Chuck was nominated as "Best Drummer" in the Hartford Advocate's Grand Band Slam and also appeared in Zildjian Time Magazine. He has performed at venues with other well known musicians like Vernon Reid and Little Axe and played at venues with Headfake, Tackhead, and Blue Oyster Cult. According to band manager Drew Exile, "With a strong desire to enhance his skills and a God given ability to play, Chuck Peterson is on the verge of being recognized as one of the hottest 'up and coming' stars to hit the drumming scene."
|Paul Kamenitsky - DrumsClose|
Paul attended Eastern Connecticut State University and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance, specifically percussion. He has been a percussionist since age 8 and a pianist since age 14. He currently plays with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, the WesWinds Ensemble at Wesleyan, and the Augusta Curtis Concert Band in Meriden.
|Jon Peckman - DrumsClose|
Jon Peckman can be seen performing all over New England and beyond with various regional acts. He is also a published author of the instructional book 'Picture Yourself Drumming'. His encouraging coaching style is perfect for beginners as well as advanced players in any style with a focus on rock and song-oriented styles. He can also accompany you on bass guitar in your lessons so that you can experience the fun of making music with others right away.
Jon Peckman has been a professional drummer for 30 years and a teacher for 20. He can be seen performing all over New England and beyond with various regional acts. He is also a published author of the instructional book 'Picture Yourself Drumming'. His encouraging coaching style is perfect for beginners as well as advanced players in any style with a focus on rock and song-oriented styles. He can also accompany you on bass guitar in your lessons so that you can experience the fun of making music with others right away.
|Brian Aiken - DrumsClose|
Brian has played in rock bands, jazz bands and orchestras since the late 90’s. Most notably he has toured and shared the stage with bands like MGMT, The National, Local Natives and Yeasayer. In High School he was selected as Connecticut’s top snare drummer for All-State. Having studied at JC Music as a boy, he is happy to return to his roots and to pass on the gifts that were taught to him. As a teacher Brian can teach a variety of styles both on the snare drum and drum set.
|Brian Chrzanowski - Piano, Trumpet and TheoryClose|
Brian Chrzanowski and JC Music offer Connecticut piano lessons and trumpet lessons of the highest quality! Brian started taking piano lessons at age four. He has been a school accompanist in elementary, middle, high school and college, and still plays for school concerts and trips, which include playing for adjudication's in Virginia, Hershey (Pennsylvania), Toronto, and EPCOT Center in Disney World. Brian has a degree in music from Central Connecticut State University and also studied at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire.
Along with the piano, he has been taking trumpet lessons since the 5th grade. He has played lead trumpet in Symphonic and Jazz bands in both high school and college. Brian is enthusiastic and excited about instructing the serious student in the art of creating music.
|Kevin Sandler - All BrassClose|
Kevin holds a B.A. in music from Western Connecticut State University. For the past 20 years, Kevin has been involved in the community performing with many ensembles including the The Danbury Symphony Orchestra, The Danbury Brass Band, Park City Pride Combined Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps as well as several community theatres. During this time, Kevin has also performed as a soloist throughout Connecticut, including Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Waterbury, New Haven, and Hartford. Kevin is a sought out private instructor teaching all brass instruments throughout Connecticut for the past 22 years. His students have consistently particpated in Middle School and High School Regional and All-State Festivals. Kevin has also been involved with Drum Corps for 10 years. During his ten years in the activity, Kevin has been a brass instructor for the Bridgeport P.A.L. Buccaneers and is also on staff with the CT Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps.
|Haley Schmidt - Flute/PianoClose|
Haley Schmidt has been playing the flute since she was six years old and the piano since she was 11. She began teaching flute to beginning band students in her hometown of Portland, CT her sophomore year of high school. She then attended Central Connecticut State University and continued to refine her teaching skills on flute and piano, as well as actively performing in various ensembles. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Since then, she has taught instrumental music students of all abilities in grades 4 through 8 in both private and public schools.
|Bill Fischer - SaxophoneClose|
Bill Fischer is known as one of the nicest and most easy-going of all the faculty of JC Music's Lessons Program. Bill is a graduate of Lyman Hall High School where he played under the direction of Dr. Otto. He also studied at the Berklee College of Music under Joe Viola.
Bill performed with the Choate Summer Jazz Program under Phil Wilson and has over 25 years of professional experience performing on the saxophone with numerous local and national acts. He also studied with the famous jazz artist Jackie McLean. One of his favorite sax players is Roland Kirk, who famously played multiple saxophones at once.
|JC Caillouette - Music Theory and FundamentalsClose|
Student may choose a specialty, i.e. Music Theory Lessons, Music History Lessons, Ear Training, Music Ed Prep, Composition or Instrumental Conducting JC has been JC Music's General Manager since the business was formed in 1988. As a musician, JC has over thirty-four years of experience in playing and performing on musical instruments. He studied for six years with the late drummer Jim Roszelle from the Hartt School of Music and the group Spiral.
JC then studied for six years with world renowned and internationally recognized jazz drummer Ed Soph. Ed has performed with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Eddie Daniels and countless others along with presenting master classes throughout the world. JC went on to study percussion for four years with Constance Coghlan, principal percussionist of the U.S. Coast Guard Band.
JC has performed with many area bands and has performed many shows as the former drummer for the "On Stage Performers." JC is a former member of the Rock/Blues band "TBC". JC holds a MME, Master of Music Education Degree, from CCSU where he received the President's award for Academic Excellence in the field of Music. JC is presently a co-director and founder of Meriden's Augusta Curtis Concert Band.
Although JC is an accomplished musician and teacher on most instruments, he is presently JC Music’s faculty member who teaches those students seeking instruction beyond a musical instrument. Your choice of the following course offerings:
|Jeff Howey - Piano, Guitar, Voice and UkuleleClose|
Jeff has been teaching since 1972, after graduating from Hartt College of Music. He has taught in schools, and most recently retired from Hamden Hall Country Day School after 25 years. He is currently the choir director at Bethany Lutheran Church in West Hartford. He has been a soloist at several area churches, as well as a performer at many restaurants and parties. Jeff has also been seen in Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the Middletown Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
Jeff has studied voice with Mary Mack, as well as Dr. Peter Harvey. He has studied piano with Herbert Chatzky, Charles Gigliotti, and Bruce David Smith. Jeff is an all-around musician, and he really enjoys working with his students, making the process of learning fun. He lives in West Hartford with his wife Linda and his cat Cordelia. His daughter, Katrina, lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.
|Sarah Harvey - CelloClose|
Sarah Harvey is an accomplished cellist from Cromwell, CT. Trained in classical music at Manchester Community College and Central Connecticut State University, Sarah is currently principal cellist in the University Sinfionetta. Sarah is also a member of various chamber groups on campus and enjoys performing within the community in her spare time.
|Amanda Gooch - ViolinClose|
Amanda is currently studying Music Education at Central Connecticut State University. She is principal 2nd violin of CCSU’s Sinfonietta and has considerable experience in choral performance, as well as orchestral performance. She has sung Alto in CCSU’s Chorale and currently performs in assorted classical chamber ensembles. Amanda also has a passion for guitar and rock band ensembles to which she practiced privately throughout high school.
| Shawn Matyasovszky - Classical Guitar, Ukulele, TheoryClose|
Shawn Matyasovszky is an American classical guitarist from Connecticut. He has performed with various groups at and around Central Connecticut State University including the CCSU Guitar Ensemble, the Hartford Classical Guitar Ensemble, as a soloist with the CCSU Sinfonietta, and as a soloist with our local Agusta Curtis Cultural Band. As a solo performer, Shawn has interests in Baroque and Renaissance era music. Shawn trained as a classical guitarist with CCSU and Hartt School of Music professor Christopher Ladd. He holds a BA in Music from Central Connecticut State University. As an educator, Shawn has a strong focus on musical literacy and ensemble playing. He has been active in the classroom guitar programs in both Plainville and Bristol Central high school, as well as the After-School Program at the Middle School of Plainville. Shawn teaches students of various age groups.
|Sierra Manning - VoiceClose|
Sierra Manning is currently earning a B.S. in Music Education at Central Connecticut State University. As a vocalist, she performs regularly with the CCSU University Singers, where she is Soprano section leader. Also at CCSU, Sierra serves as the President of the school’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education, as well as the Secretary for the American Choral Directors’ Association. Outside of CCSU, Sierra has performed with the Simsbury Light Opera Company (SLOCO), and CT Lyric opera. She has also participated in countless musicals throughout her musical career. Sierra is excited to share her passion of music with her students!
|Kenny Bullard - GuitarClose|
Kenny began playing with an acoustic guitar at 8 years old, learning just the basic chords and soon moved on to electric guitar trying to learn the styles of Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Yes, and Iron Maiden. Kenny took lessons from local blues award winning guitarist Paul Gabriel for 10 years. He later switched over to learning from Eric Breymeier who prepared him for reading music and introduced him to neo-classical electric styles, as well as an intro to playing classical nylon string guitar. More recently, Kenny listens to Yngwie Malmsteen, Animals As Leaders, and Fernando Sor. Kenny obtained a music degree at CCSU, studying classical guitar and performing with the CCSU Guitar trio. Kenny has played out in various local rock and metal bands over the years. He loves music theory and helping people understand what’s happening behind the amazing sounds we love to listen to! Kenny continues to pursue his passion for the guitar, and has more recently began studying Jazz. He strives to play many genres and be as well rounded a guitarist as possible.
|Ed Diaz - Guitar, Bass and BanjoClose|
Having started at a young age, Ed has been playing guitar for 20 plus years and has taught professionally for ten of those years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Western CT State University where he studied with some of New England's finest professors in both the classical and jazz genres. Over his many years of study, he has had private lessons with (in chronological order):
|Irene Test - Violin and ViolaClose|
If you live close to Meriden, CT violin lessons of top-quality are easily within your reach! Irene Test is a violinist who lives in Hartford, Connecticut. In May, she finished up her Master in Music degree at the Hartt School and since been doing gigs, teaching and writing. During her time there, she studied with Anton Miller and made it to the final round of the Paranov Concerto Competition, and her chamber group won Best of Chamber music twice. Prior to moving to Hartford to go to The Hartt School, she was in Boston, where she earned a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston University, where she studied violin with Bayla Keyes. While studying music, she has attended a few music festivals, including The Heifetz Institute, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the ARIA Music Festival. At these music festivals, she played in guest artist master classes with Ani Kavafian and Gregory Fulkerson and also did solo and chamber music performances open to the public.
Outside of playing classical music, Irene has played popular music with a band in Connecticut called The Scratches. Aside from playing in music festivals and coffee houses, they recorded an album under Sling Slang Records for violin, keyboard, and voice. In addition, for live performances, Irene transcribed synthpop songs by Depeche Mode and Ultravox for violin and keyboard. In addition to performing, Irene does freelance music journalism. Locally, some of her feature articles and music reviews have been published in the Hartford Advocate and Connecticut Metromix. On a national level, she is a freelance staff writer for music, entertainment, and fashion publications Vicious Magazine and City Luxe and does freelance copy editing for music trade publication Performer Magazine.
|Jimmy McEnroe - GuitarClose|
Jimmy has been playing the guitar since he received one for Christmas at age 16. During high school, he developed his natural guitar playing ability and also developed a fascination with the piano. He took music courses throughout the years and even played music for the school performances and pep rally's. Upon graduating, Jimmy went on to taking online courses for guitar and music theory. During this time, Jimmy was also performing professionally at clubs and venues throughout Connecticut. Also, in his free time, he began giving music lessons to anyone who was interested. Jimmy loves all genres of music from Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars. Some of his influences include Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. Over the years, he has now developed a special love for the blues, country and rock and roll. He also loves playing classical guitar and many different styles, including Latin American. When you learn to appreciate all the different styles of music, it opens your eyes to new horizons and gives a broad spectrum to work with when writing music as an artist. Writing music is an aesthetic experience, one that brings you closer to realizing yourself and others. It brings people together and knowing that it is the sound that soothes the soul. Everyone should get a chance to experience that feeling and lessons with Jimmy is a great way to start. Contact JC Music for Jimmy's available schedule and begin your musical journey today!
JC Music offers lessons year round and we are proud to offer a wide variety of music lessons for voice and almost every instrument. Our focus on students and education has led us to become a leader in music education in the state of Connecticut. JC Music works closely with CMEA and with the Yale School of Music: Music in School’s Initiative. We have very highly qualified music instructors and are more than happy to work with you to find the most compatible match in both musical expectations and personality between the teacher and prospective student.
It is our goal at JC Music to make the learning of an instrument an enjoyable and educational experience. We offer bi-annual Student Showcases to give our students live performing opportunities. We also offer Summer music camps to keep our students inspired all year! Many former JC Music students have gone on to audition at prestigious universities and have successfully gained entry into elite music programs. Some have received scholarships, while others have even returned to JC Music as part time faculty members!
Teaching music was once an unconventional career choice, but it has now become quite popular. Many people from all over the world are taking up music as their career choice. An increase in the number of music reality shows has also helped to make the profession more popular than ever. JC Music’s combination of private instruction and live performing opportunities has made it a very popular choice for pursuing one’s musical interests and even career ambitions.
Many of our former students have also joined the music industry as teachers, composers, professional musicians and professional singers. JC Music has a proven track record over its 25 year history of providing an unrivaled private educational program. Our serious standards, which are focused on having each student reach their potential though reading music, learning theory, and developing stage presence, have led and inspired many of the most talented musicians known in Connecticut today!