Questions? Call us at 609-888-3074

Questions? Call us at 609-888-3074

Lessons

Russo Music Lessons are going Digital!

While our physical locations are currently closed, we are now offering classes over Zoom, Skype, and Facetime! Schedule a time with one of our incredible teachers and enhance your playing!

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In-Store Lessons Suspended Indefinitely

Dear Students, Parents & Guardians,

At Russo Music, the health and safety of our students, customers, employees and community is our top priority. Due to the COVD-19 Coronavirus, we are suspending all music lessons at Russo Music until further notice. As more information becomes available to us, we will evaluate the situation and determine when we can safely resume music classes. We will continue to update everyone via email.

We encourage all students to continue a regimented practice schedule in the hopes of keeping everyone on track for success with their instrument.

Sincerely,
Michelle Forester

Meet our Instructors

Alaina Stampe

Voice and Piano
Teaching Since:

2019

Genres Taught:

Classical, Musical Theatre, Pop

Notable Accomplishments:

Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music
12 years of Classical Piano Training
6 years of Classical/Musical Theatre Vocal Training
Recipient of the Music Fest Grand Prix Award for Voice (Performed at Carnegie Hall (2016)
Recipient of the Music Fest Grand Prize Award for Piano (2015)
Recipient of the Music Fest Grand Prize Award for Piano (2014)
Rutgers High School Musical Theatre Academy (2016-2017)

Music Background:

I can't recall a single part of my life in which music wasn't involved. From my early childhood until now, I've been involved in musical theatre (both in the cast and in music direction), church choir, Community Christian Choir, auditioned chamber ensembles, musical theatre summer camp counseling, accompanying youth performances on piano, and music directing ensembles, all while privately training in classical piano and voice. I'm currently studying music and psychology with the goal of going into music therapy to help emphasize the importance of learning, growing, and healing through music.

Favorite Band(s):

Lady Gaga, The Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Tea with Honey

Fun Fact:

I volunteer at a children's hospital and visit patients dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen!

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I enjoy reading, swimming, and spending time with my friends, family, and two pets, Belle and Tiger

Bob Lowden

Piano, Piano Improvisation, and Piano Accompaniment
Teaching Since:

1963

Genres Taught:

Classical, Pop, and Jazz

Notable Accomplishments:

Bachelor of Music Education - Piano and Voice
Masters in Music History
Masters in Chroal Conducting
Doctorate in Piano Performance and Music Therapy

Music Background:

Teaching public education for close to 20 years and being the Assistant Chorus Director, Conducting Instructor, and Accompanist for Trenton State College are among some of my proudest accolades. I am the Assistant Accompanist for The Central Jersey Choral Society, Music Director in several churches, and I perform at parties and weddings!

Favorite Band(s):

Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Joey Alexander, Oscar Peterson

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Steinway Grand Piano

Fun Fact:

I was a police officer for 5 years and I edited Score for Peter Nero's "Diary of Anne Frank" for a chorus performing with The Trenton Symphony!

Non-Musical Hobbies:

Go Phillies!

Dakota Bethke

Drums
Teaching Since:

2016

Genres Taught:

All Genres

Notable Accomplishments:

Created a very unique and modern teaching style and curriculum.
I can teach anyone their first drum beat in less than 15 minutes (I actually guarantee this!)

Music Background:

I started playing drums when I was thirteen. I spent 5 years practicing (at least) 4 hours a day and studying under some of my heroes. Since then, I've toured internationally with rock bands and I've also played in coffee shops with jazz groups. In addition to live performance, I've spent a lot of time performing professional studio work.

Favorite Band(s):

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, Animals as Leaders, Snarky Puppy

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Ludwig Vistalite

Fun Fact:

I wasn't named after a state.

Non-Musical Hobbies:

If I'm not playing drums, I'm playing Virtual Reality games!

Daniel Mosovich

Guitar, Bass, and Ukulele
Teaching Since:

2008

Genres Taught:

All Genres

Notable Accomplishments:

Degree in Music

Music Background:

I've been playing my main instrument (guitar) since I was 5. I was very lucky to have my father inspire me musically as I grew up. Eventually, at the age of 12, I decided to take guitar lessons and study with the late Frank Hipp. After a year or 2, I changed teachers and studied with James Kelly (amazing Jazz player). With him I studied music theory extensively and learned how to apply it to my guitar playing. Throughout my musical career, I've been in multiple bands and experienced multiple styles of music.

Favorite Band(s):

The Beatles, Jeff Beck, Clapton, Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Queens of the Stone Age, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, The Contortionists, Led Zeppelin

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Marshall JCM2000 50W head, Fender and Gibson guitars

Fun Fact:

I'm really….BATMAN!

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I love staying physically active!

Doug Wisniski

Bass and Guitar
Teaching Since:

2000

Genres Taught:

Rock, R&B, Blues, Jazz

Notable Accomplishments:

2 years at Berklee College of Music (Alumni 1989)
Touring across the United States
International Recording and Studio Experiences

Music Background:

I self taught myself bass guitar for my first 3 years, I then took lessons with bass instructors John Repucci and Joe Santerre at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have played many different genres of music with a variety of musical acts across the country. I continue to perform as much as possible.

Favorite Band(s):

James Jameson, Jaco Pastorius, Geddy Lee

Favorite Piece of Gear:

2015 Spector Forte 5W

Fun Fact:

One of my favorite games/conversational pieces is "You know who that person looks like…?"

Non-Musical Hobbies:

Movies and Reading

Illya Unhuryan

Violin and Viola
Teaching Since:

2009

Genres Taught:

Musical School (1987)
Vorobkevich College of Music (1991)
Tchaikovsky Music Academy (1996)
Chamber Orchestra of Kiev (1993-1997)
Concertmaster in Virsky Dance Group (1997-2005)

Music Background:

I started to play violin when I was 5 years old and I had played in a trio with my mom who is a piano teacher and my grandfather who was a violinist. I played in my grandfather's orchestra at an early age and I performed in concerts around and outside of the country including Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

Favorite Band(s):

Johan Sebastian Bach

Fun Fact:

They know everything

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I enjoy going to the ocean!

John Spodaryk

Guitar, Piano, Bass, and Ukulele
Teaching Since:

1989

Genres Taught:

All Genres

Notable Accomplishments:

Berklee Colege of Music: Summer Sessions 1990-1993
Bachelors of Music - Jazz Studies, Theory/Composition, Musicology/Music Education
Masters of Music Education/Performance 1994-1996

Music Background:

My teaching method is based on 30 plus years of Academic and “Real World” experience that has been tested and refined by thousands of hours in lessons with countless beginner through advanced students. I work hard at maintaining a casual approach that's fun and motivating at every stage of learning, and satisfying for all my students. I have found this to be the most enjoyable and effective way to teach students to realize their own personal goals, regardless of skill level, age, genre, or stylistic interests. My commitment is to your progress!

Fun Fact:

I have performed with Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, and many more!

Michael Macchia

Guitar, Bass, and Music Theory
Teaching Since:

1993

Genres Taught:

Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, Classical

Notable Accomplishments:

Bucks County Community College with Studies in Jazz Theory, Harmony, and Theory
Graduate of Musician's Institute (Hollywood, CA) with Studies in Jazz, Blues, and Rock Performance
Settlement Music School with Studies in Classical Guitar and Arrangement
Master Classes with Steve Giordano on Jazz Guitar (University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA)

Music Background:

I have studied guitar all of my life and I have taught in vaious establishments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Attending Musicians Institue was the greatest experience of my musical studies. Our teachers were all the tip studio musicians in Los Angeles as well as the top players of their styles in the world. Some of my teachers were Pat Martino, Robben Ford, Stephen Morris, and Larry Carlton.

Favorite Band(s):

Steely Dan, Eagles, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Gibson Les Paul Standard Guitar

Fun Fact:

I love to joke and I have a strong sense of humor.

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I really enjoy sports!

Peter Brown

Drums and Percussion
Teaching Since:

1988

Genres Taught:

All Genres

Music Background:

Since 1982, I have performed locally in many different styles of music. Rock, progressive rock,jazz, classical, theatre shows, polka, fifes and drums, blues, etc. I was a full-time member of groups such as Relayer Day 8, Nixx and the Sidekicks, Gunsmoke, The Dr. Doz Band, Amleah, The Jay Vons, The New Jersey fifes and drums, and others. Also, lots of fill-ins and guest appearances with many area musicians.

Favorite Band(s):

Yes, Genesis, Renaissance, King Crimson, John Clotrane, Wallace Roney, Stravinsky

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Yamaha Maple Custom Drums

Fun Fact:

I played the very first note in a concert at Carnegie Hall, a very soft gong note, in 1989.

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I have a flower business and I enjoy playing tennis and golf!

Sandra Phillips

Piano and Voice
Teaching Since:

1991

Genres Taught:

Classical

Notable Accomplishments:

Bachelor of Arts in Music Education
Elementary Music Teacher for General Music, Band, and Choir
Accompanist and Vocal Coach for a church choir

Music Background:

I’ve been playing piano since I was 6. In high school, I played a variety of instruments in various bands as well as piano for the choir and musicals. In college, I majored in piano and minored in saxophone. I taught in public schools for three years then left to start a family and pursue other interests. I have taught private lessons since college and enjoy helping my church choir!

Favorite Band(s):

Billy Joel, Amy Grant

Favorite Piece of Gear:

My iPads

Non-Musical Hobbies:

I love to read novels and crochet prayer shawls!

Thomas Bonomo

Woodwinds and Brass
Teaching Since:

2007

Genres Taught:

Classical, Jazz, Pop

Notable Accomplishments:

Bachelor of Music in Music Education - Magna Cum Laude (2011, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY)
Member of Pi Kappa Lambda (National Music Honor Society)
Private students have been accepted into NJ Region II & III Band and Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey
Studied Privately with Michael Galvan (Principal Clarinetist of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra)
Studied Privately with George Balog (Principal Clarinetist of the Capitol Philharmonic of NJ)

Music Background:

As a student, I was accepted into the NJ Region II Band, NJ Region II Orchestra, and the NJ Governor's School of the Arts Woodwind Quintet. I perform with the Rouge et Noir Clarinet Choir and the Central Jersey Wind ensemble. I currently serve as an Instrumental Music teacher at Grice Middle School in Hamilton, NJ where my bands have received Superior ratings at music festivals. I also perform as a woodwind doubler in multiple pit orchestras every year.

Favorite Band(s):

Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Stan Kenton Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pink Floyd, Muse, Lady Antebellum

Favorite Piece of Gear:

Buffet R-13 Bb and A Clarinets

Fun Fact:

I am an identical twin and my wife has twin sisters!

Non-Musical Hobbies:

Hiking, Watching Sports and Movies, Going to Concerts, and Cats (My wife and I have four!)

Kevin Flynn

Guitar
Teaching Since:

1999

Genres Taught:

All Genres

Notable Accomplishments:

Studied with Ernie White and Joe Frederico
Graduate of Hamilton West High School and Mercer County Community College

Music Background:

I am an originally self taught guitarist with a love for teaching. I teach basic music theory, reading, tabs, and soloing technique along with acoustic styles such as finger picking.

Favorite Band(s):

Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Rik Emmett, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Ronni Le Tekro, John Sykes

Non-Musical Hobbies:

When I'm not teaching I like to play golf and go freshwater fishing!

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