Teachers

​Joe Childs

Guitar & Banjo

Joe is a professional recording artist, performer, and educator. In addition to being one of the founders of two private music schools in Western NY, Boulevard Music Lessons in Tonawanda and Performing Arts located in Depew, NY, he is also director of guitar at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. His musical repertoire consists of many styles that include blues, folk, classical, rock, country and jazz. Additionally Joe is a Buffalo Music Awards winner and guitarist in the regional country act Bloodmoney. Joe creates smooth and subtle sound textures using both acoustic and electric, guitar (6 and 12 string), banjo, melodica, and bass guitar.

Whether it’s an outdoor stage, an intimate dinner or a professional studio session, Joe is comfortable and can create the music to match the surroundings.


MaryBeth King

Guitar, Piano, Voice & Ukulele ​

MaryBeth has been teaching a variety of instruments for the past nine years.  She has been adding new techniques and teaching skills to really improve her craft and keep her students laughing and having fun.  In lessons she encourages her students to work on performing in shows and do their very best.  She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in performance from Villa Maria College of Buffalo. Not only has she played in the Western New York area, she has also taught and performed in the Tampa Bay area and visits often to perform.



Dave Internicola

Guitar, Bass Guitar, & Ukulele

Since 1992 when Dave first picked up the guitar he has run the gamut of musical experiences. From original rock bands to cover bands, contemporary Christian to heavy metal, a Rush tribute band with Buffalo Hall of Fame’r Jim Wynn, to his most recent venture in local surf-rock band, The Freshwater Four, Dave has done it all.

After taking lessons during his formative years with jazz-fusion guitarist Joe Pinnavaia (Breaker Box) Dave went off to college at SUNY Fredonia. There, while earning his BA in English, he took advantage of the excellent music program and rounded out his training with courses in classical guitar, classical voice, and more. Ultimately he applied what he had learned from these experiences in order to create a  predominantly rock-guitar based approach to teaching and performing that is peppered with jazz, blues, classical and pop styles. He has a firm grasp on music theory and highly emphasizes its importance in the development of every musician:

“Music theory is based on very simple, practical math that anyone can understand, including someone like me whose worst subject in school was always math,” says Dave.”If I can learn it, so can you. What’s more, music theory allows you to understand and play any and every style of music.”
But there are other hats that Dave wears, too. He runs summer rock band camps, and teaches Ukulele and Bass guitar lessons in addition to both acoustic and electric guitar. As a father of four he has experience both with children and homeschooling, which led him to begin running group classes for home-schoolers as well. Also, Dave has both led and played on church worship teams. In the early 2000’s he was the guitarist for the Chapel at Cross Point’s  college and careers worship team, where he met his wife, violinist Sandra Internicola.

Dave’s specialty is in teaching beginning guitarists of any age, on through advanced players seeking help with technique, improvisation and music theory. He also has experience with special needs students.


Katie (Cathrine) Luense

All Strings (Violin, Viola, Upright Bass, etc), Piano, Banjo, Musiking, & much more!

The Violinist Katie (Catherine) Luense is a Classically Trained Violinist and has played as a virtuoso soloist and as first Chair in the Philharmonic Orchestra for over 40 years and is celebrated for her musical versatility as well as her dedication to musical youth programs.

She has played in the Philharmonic Orchestra in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New York. She is the proud Owner of Guitars-N-More, LLC for over 5 years now. However, on May of 2017, she closed her store in Atlanta, GA and moved here to Buffalo to concentrate on private instruction and spreading the love of music to all ages.

Her individualistic and passionate teaching style is infectious to all who know her. SHe has forged a very tight relationship with Rossana Weinberger, owner of Rosanna’s Violins in the Upper West Side of New York City. Rossanna is not only a close friend and mentor but, also her instructor.

Katie can play 15 instruments, but her go to instrument is the Violin. She has been playing the Violin since the age of 10, Cello age of 13, Upright Bass & Viola age of 15, and the Piano since the age of 17. She is also a String Lither and can repair and fix all stringed musical instruments.

All her instructional programs are original and specifically made for each individual student. Aditionally, she has created 3 instructional courses and has written 5 books on Musical Theory, Violin, Ukulele, Tablature reading, and Musical Notation.

She teaches the String Builders, Watch N Play, and Essential Elements programs as her core. The best thing about Katie’s teaching method is she loves to make learning fun! Her motto is “If it isn’t fun then it isn’t worth doing!”



Scott Keller

Drums & Percussion

Scott Keller has been playing drums and percussion for over 40 years. He has performed locally in bands playing various styles including: Rock, Jazz, Blues, Progressive Rock, Rockabilly and Americana. He has studied with Michael Bookspan and Gerald Carlyss from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Lynn Harbold of the Buffalo Philharmonic and at the University of Buffalo with Jan Williams.

Scott currently performs with the Sam Marabella Band.



Marcus Roper

Guitar & Piano

Marcus Roper is a Jazz, Blues, Funk, and Classical Guitarist from NYC who is finishing up his Bachelors in Music Education. He has been teaching guitar ever since he started playing & believes in teaching music first through ear and then through notation because we learn languages in the same way. He believes that all children should be at least exposed to different genres of music because you never know what will spark interest in a child. Curiosity is the greatest spark that a student can have because it makes the student ask questions, which leads to answers, which leads to knowledge. He has learned that the students that give him the hardest time are usually the students that he has the most impact on because he will stuck it out with them and has the patience to work through all of the trouble that they might have.


Mayane Barnes

Woodwinds & Piano

Mayane is currently attending Buffalo State College and will be graduating with a Bachelor’s in Music Education in May 2017. She has been playing the saxophone for 11 years & can also play guitar and sing. During her time at Buffalo State College, she has learned to play all the woodwinds, brass, string, and percussion instruments as well as the piano.

Mayane has been performing for most of her life whether it’d be with the school chorus, school band, or the church choir. As she got older, she noticed how music helps people express themselves. As being someone who had trouble doing so, music helped her open up. She enjoys teaching because she likes helping students express themselves in a medium that everyone can relate to. She has noticed that students open up more as they go through the journey of learning music. She hopes to do that with all of her students as they grow into amazing musicians.


Marissa O’Connor

​Voice, Piano, Drama, & Musiking

Voice, Piano, Drama, & Musiking
Marissa is a classically trained vocalist from Buffalo State College. She graduated with a B.A. in Music and Psychology. She studied under Dr. Joseph Spann at Buffalo State. Since graduating, she has begun another music program to complete her certification in Music Therapy. With her students, Marissa encourages them to find their own sound as well as creating their own music and songs. She also encourages that her students work on music that they like as well as having fun and being creative. She believes that assisting her student to develop creatively is crucial in developing a musician.


Jonathan Rizzo

Piano & Drums/Percussion

Jonathan Rizzo is an active pianist, keyboardist, songwriter and recordist in the WNY area and serves on the faculty at Buffalo State College as an accompanist for the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Musical Theater I and II classes, and as a Recording Studio Assistant and member of the Technical Staff. He holds a BME in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and has studied piano with Dr. Emily Boyce, Sean Duggan, and Steven Bianchi. While studying piano with Dr. Boyce at Buffalo State, he won the school’s Young Artist Competition, performing the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with the Buffalo State Philharmonia. Mr. Rizzo also holds the position of Music Accompanist at St. James UCC in Hamburg, and has accompanied local groups such as the Freudig Singers of WNY, the Ambassadors of the Amherst Male Glee Club (now Red Blazer Men’s Chorus), and the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus.

As a keyboardist in local Progressive/Hard Rock band Blueshift, Mr. Rizzo has performed at events such as Warped Tour, the Niagara Falls Arts Festival, and Buffalo’s Infringement Festival, and has opened for such internationally-known acts as Tony Levin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Carmine and Vinnie Appice (Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, Dio), Green Jelly, and Consider the Source. An avid songwriter and creator of original music, Mr. Rizzo’s original material can be heard at jonrizzomusic.bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com/jonrizzosmusic. He also performs much of this music live with his group Conference Of The Strange at venues throughout Western New York.


Elliott Michki

Voice

Elliott is a senior Music Education student at Buffalo State College. With 15 years of vocal experience, as well as work with Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Theatre in the Mist, and the Buffalo Choral Arts Society, Elliott is excited to share his love of singing with his students. Elliott specializes in Classical and Musical Theatre Repertoire. Elliott is a great fit for singers of any age and skill level.


Josh Kerns

Guitar, Drums, Piano, Trumpet, Rock Band, & much more


Maxwell Filipiak

Drums & Percussion, Musiking, & Beginner Piano