It’s easy to learn music with music teachers in New Jersey. The 2012 award-winning teaching staff of Music Notes Academy includes artist teachers, performing musicians, college professors and public and private school music teachers who all have unique and specialized musical backgrounds.

Music Notes Academy music teachers are university and conservatory educated and degreed musicians who are committed to delivering educational excellence to all students through a comprehensive and sequential curriculum centered and focused towards each student’s learning styles, musical goals, interests and aspirations.

Who Are We?

Music Notes Academy music teachers are university educated and degreed teachers, committed to teaching music comprehensively.
Students are going to learn music through a comprehensive and sequential curriculum centered and focused towards each student’s learning style, musical goals and aspirations.
Students are going to learn music with us. Our students are required to practice their instrument at home, in between their one-to-one music lessons at our Academy. Our goal is for students to become proficient in playing their instrument. Our Director is involved in each teacher’s instructional approaches and offers guidance, support and training for teachers ongoing throughout their employment. Yes, our teachers are staff employees and not independent contractors.
We aim to see our students perform music and thrive musically. Whether it’s our Saturday Concert Series, Tuesday Night Concerts, Summer Concerts, Winter Concerts, Spring Student Recitals or our nationwide MAMTG Student Music Festival, performing is key to appreciating and excelling in the musical arts.

Staff Music Teachers

Mr. Sean, B.M.Chairperson of Band & Orchestra Instrument Studies ✰ Strings ✰ Woodwinds & Brass ✰ Piano
Sean graduated from The College of NJ with a BM in Music Education. An experienced teacher of saxophone, clarinet, piano, violin, viola and cello, Sean was the conductor and artistic director for The Glen Rock Pops. A composer of merit with seven completed symphonies, Sean has arranged music for bands, orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists.

Sean, member of Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA), his compositions and arrangements have been performed by high school and community orchestras. As a distinguished member of ASCAP, Sean has written scores for independent films. Sean has been on staff with Music Notes Academy since 2009.

Mr. Stephen, B.A., M.A.T.Director of Education ✰ Piano ✰ Guitar ✰ Bass Guitar Teacher
Stephen, a Music Notes Academy 2012 award-winning teacher, holds a B.A. in Music from Hamilton College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Montclair State University. Besides a performer on piano and guitar, he also well versed in music theory, composition, bass guitar, music technology and audio recording.

Teaching children for over a decade, Stephen is a member of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and passionately believes that appreciating and understanding music is essential to leading a well-rounded life. Stephen has been on staff since 2011 and teaches piano, guitar and our Rock Band program.

Mr. Justin, B.M., M.M.Voice & Piano Teacher
Born in Sparta, Wisconsin, Justin, Tenor, began studying voice and piano at age 12, and he continued to study voice and play piano throughout high school. In 2011, he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. While there, he studied voice under Kristopher Irmiter and Jerry Helton. In 2013, he moved to Princeton, New Jersey to begin work on a graduate degree at Westminster Choir College. He was awarded his Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Voice Pedagogy in 2015. While at Westminster, he studied voice with Christopher Arneson and coached with Susan Ashbaker.

Justin has served as the head voice teacher for the Royal School of Church Music in America and their summer training camps for the past 5 years. Justin specializes in working with the changing adolescent voice and he currently works as the ABC choir director and Royal School of Church Music training manager under Tom Whittemore for Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, as well as a professional choral scholar with the choirs of Trinity Church. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about esoteric philosophy, baking breads and cakes and watching reruns of classic television shows.

Ms. Shruti, B.A.Voice & Piano Teacher
Shruti began her vocal training in Indian classical music at the age of five. She has been playing piano since she was nine and learned other instruments such as clarinet, viola and guitar.

Shruti has been singing/learning western classical music since high school and additionally learned/performed jazz since college. For the past seven years she has written her own songs for concerts and short films and has performed in different places such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, ABC Channel, Bhartavidya Bhavan and the United Nations. Shruti is an experience teacher of music and continues to perform for various events.

Dr. Shuli T., D.M.A. Viola, Violin, Piano Teacher
Born in Hualien, Taiwan, Ms. Shuli began her piano studies at the age four and violin/viola at age eight. She earned degrees and scholarships from Taipei Municipal University of Education (B.M.), New York University (M.M. and Advanced certificate) and Rutgers University (D.M.A.).

At NYU Steinhardt, Ms. Shuli was appointed as Adjunct Faculty, teaching private violin and viola lessons. She has performed regularly as an active soloist, chamber musician and orchestra member in venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Beacon Theater, Symphony Space, Town Hall, Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Provincetown Playhouse and others in New York City.

Besides her performances, Ms. Shuli is a passionate and versatile music educator of not only instruments (violin, viola and piano) but also music theory and early childhood musicianship (Orff and Dalcroze). With her music education background and more than ten years of teaching experience, Ms. Shuli builds a positive and joyful relationship with her students and helps them overcome their challenges efficiently while enjoying music.

Stephanie T., B.M. Piano & Woodwinds Teacher
Stephanie, a previous Music Notes Academy teacher, is now back and returning after a brief hiatus. With a B.M. in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Stephanie is experienced in both solo and collaborative performances for clarinet and piano. Stephanie’s passion is teaching music and encouraging students to appreciate and gain a love for music.

Over the past seven years, Stephanie has been teaching music and preparing students for various music competitions and evaluations in the tristate area. She passionately believes that building a strong musical foundation is an essential stepping stone in helping a student tap into their creative side and become a well-rounded musician. Stephanie additionally enjoys producing instrumental covers of mainstream music.

In addition to teaching piano and woodwinds at our East Brunswick Academy, Stephanie will assist in the pre-production of MAMTG’s Student Music Festival as Program Coordinator.

Mr. Nick P., B.M., M.M., M.M.
Mr. Nick P., B.M., M.M., M.M. Piano & Voice Teacher
Nick has performed throughout the United States as a collaborative pianist and music director in both musical theatre and opera. From 2013 to 2015 he held the position of Pianist and Music Director for the Artists in Residence program at Pensacola Opera where he was also involved in main stage productions as assistant conductor and chorus master. Between 2012 and 2016, Nick spent time working in Boston, MA at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music as a staff pianist in both musical theatre and classical schools. At the conservatory, he performed with the opera department, in recital with instrumental and vocal soloists, and with guest masterclass teachers. His time in Boston also brought him to Arlington Street Church as their pianist and organist. For the summers of 2016 and 2017, Nick was music director at Forestburgh Playhouse in the Catskills of New York.

Recent work includes: Music Director: Rock of Ages, The Who’s: Tommy, Anything Goes, Crazy for You, Funny Girl, Disney’s: Newsies, Faust, Backwards in High Heels (sub), A Man of No Importance, Cinderella, The Medium, Cosi fan tutte, Seussical the Musical, 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, Socrates, Hand of Bridge, Closer than Ever. Assistant: La Boheme (chorus master), The Pirates of Penzance (chorus master), La Cenerentola, Carmen, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Grease, All Shook Up, Don Giovanni, L’enfant et les sortilege.

Degrees: Master of Music: Collaborative Piano – Boston Conservatory. Master of Music: Piano Performance – Boston Conservatory. Bachelor of Music: Piano Performance – Ithaca College.

Currently, he is a pianist and vocal coach at Rider University’s Westminster School of Fine and Performing Arts, where he works privately with students of musical theatre and music directs theatre productions. On Sundays, you’ll find Nick performing at The Unitarian Society in East Brunswick where he holds the position of Music Coordinator.

Mr. Andres C., B.M.E., M.M. Flute, Piano & Guitar Teacher - Englewood, NJ Academy
Born in Santuario, Risaralda, Colombia in 1990. Flutist, Andres received his B.Mus. Education. from Technological University of Pereira-Colombia. Co-founder of Cultural and Environmental Festival “In the Shadow of Tatamá” creator and coordinator of the International Meeting of Flutists “El Flautín del Bosque” in Colombia, Chavez is a teacher of music and is in the process of researching and composing music for flute solo using a soundscape focused on birds in the Andean region.

From 2010 to 2012, Andres participated as a flutist in the orchestra of the “International Festival of Flutists in the Center of the World” Quito-Ecuador. In 2013, he was invited to participate in the “Flute Orchestra of the Americas” Conducted by Angeleita Floyd at the 41st annual National Flute Association Convention held in New Orleans.

Andres has participated in several master classes with Angeleita Floyd, Sheryl Cohen, Jean Louis Beaumadier, Sammi Junnonen, Celso Woltzenlogel, Martha Councell and Michel Bellavance; and was Principal flutist of the Technological University Symphony Orchestra and the UTP Wind Symphony Band-Colombia 2010 through 2015.

Additionally, a principal flutist with the Chamber Orchestra of Southeastern Louisiana University in the Spring Season 2016 and principal flute assistant in Spring Season 2017. Andrés earned his Master in Music Performance from Southeastern Louisiana University where he got a full Scholarship and worked as a GA in the Department of The Performing Arts.

Brandon Kurzawa, B.M., M.Ed. Percussion ✰ Music Production ✰ Piano ✰ Guitar
Brandon Kurzawa started teaching music since 2000. Mr. Kurzawa has successfully prepared students for Jazz Band auditions, NJ Regions and All-State Auditions, music evaluations, student performances and has instructed percussion ensembles, rock bands and university master classes. Brandon was an adjunct professor of music production and audio engineering from 2007-2009.

Brandon studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Rutgers University and a Masters of Arts in Education, specializing in curriculum, instruction and computer education from University of Phoenix.

Brandon recorded with singer Amanda Avila (2005 American Idol contestant, Smokey Robinson), acclaimed singer-songwriter Anthony Krizan (Lenny Kravitz, The Spin Doctors) and performed regularly as a freelance musician throughout the New York metropolitan area from 1998 through 2008 with singer-songwriters, Jazz musicians and rock bands.

In 1995 Brandon appeared in Promark Drumstick’s “Not Yet Famous Drummer” promotional advertising campaign which appeared internationally in Modern Drummer magazine and The Music Paper. Mr. Kurzawa, an award winning musician, was an adjudicator for student evaluations and New Jersey’s Teen Arts Festival and is an educational endorsee and contributor for Vic Firth, Inc., the largest manufacturer of drumsticks and mallets.

Recording credits include drums on Ansel Matthews’ Raised From The Dust and drums and percussion on John Sonntag’s 2006 critically acclaimed release Chasing Stars, which was number four in New Jersey’s Top Ten 2006 Releases by Courier News. As a member of Indie-Rock band Violet Truth, Brandon recorded drums and percussion and toured nationally in support of their 2000 release Candy Coated.

Brandon’s publications “Teaching Music, Teaching Percussion: A Balance in Curriculum” appeared in Tempo Magazine’s October 2006 issue and “Teaching Music: Music Majors, Choose Education” appeared in Tempo Magazine’s May 2007 issue. In 2007, Music Notes Academy and Mr. Kurzawa were recognized by Metropolitan Who’s Who for excellence, leadership and achievement in the profession of music education.

Mr. Kurzawa has instructed music at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Kean University (Union, NJ) and was an adjunct professor of audio engineering and music production at Gibbs College (Livingston, NJ) from 2007-2009. In 2009, Brandon became a sponsored artist for Shine Custom Drums and a REMO HealthRhythms trained facilitator for drum circles. In 2012, Brandon and Music Notes Academy were presented with New Jersey’s Small Business Development Center’s Small Business Success Award.

Learn Today, Play Tomorrow®

Learn Music. Play Music. Love Music.
We invite you to meet with our music director and learn how Music Notes Academy can be an excellent fit for you or your child. Call us at (732) 238-2828.