Our Instructors

photo Marianne Ryan

Founding Director

 

Marianne Ryan has worked as an actor, singer, theatre and music educator, entrepreneur and humanitarian for over 20 years. Fortunate to have started her love affair with the arts from a very early age, her mother discovered The Performing Arts School of Philadelphia and her path was clear. Ms. Ryan continued her studies at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was an invited member of the Academy Company.

 

The Arts have afforded Marianne with rich and rewarding opportunities from working in a number of our historical theatres across the country, as well as with respected arts organizations such as, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and recently as an acting coach for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for a Facial Expression Pre-Trial study with Beth Israel Medical Center.

 

Believing theatre, art and music has a way of reaching deep inside our soul to help us understand that which cannot be expressed otherwise. In whatever context Marianne is working she has the remarkable ability to connect deeply with all individuals allowing them to engage fully with their own experiences.

     
Suzanne McNeil

Singer/Songwriter/Music Educator

Connecting the geographical and musical dots in Suzanne McNeil’s life could get complicated. She was born in Massachusetts, but grew up on the east coast of Canada on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, where making music is as natural as breathing. Her love of people led her to a career in social work, but it was her love of singing that pulled her away from her island home to a life of road tours across the American Midwest -- her first true musical journey where she thought she was a little closer to Heaven -- getting paid to sing. Thousands of miles and hundreds of performances gave her the chance to hone her talents. McNeil has three adult albums to her credit, as well as a children's one called "Just Like Me" Her soulful singing, roots-rock songwriting, and warm on-stage charisma has made her a favorite performer in the Boston area. Suzanne McNeil is a soulful singer with a roots rock edge in her songwriting. www.suzannemcneil.com

Suzanne has been teaching Music Together for the past fifteen years. She was previously the owner of Music Together of Milton, MA, and more recently, the pre-school and elementary music teacher at Mount Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill, MA for the past 6 years. As her students will attest, her enthusiasm for music is contagious.

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photo Hannah Choi

* Master Teacher ~ Violin, Piano, Viola and Chamber

Dr. Hannah E. Choi is an active soloist, chamber musician, orchestral violinist, and teacher. She received her Doctorate from Boston University where she studied with concert violinist Yuri Mazurkevich, former pupil of David Oistrakh. During her coursework, she completed a dissertation on composer Moritz Moszkowski along with a performance study of his Suite for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 71, culminating in her document, "Moritz Mozkowski: A Historical and Present-Day Perspective." She is a member of the National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda - Alpha Kappa Chapter. Former teachers include renowned pedagogue Dr. Gerald Fischbach from the University of Maryland and soloist Dr. Tao-Chang Yu from The Peabody Institute of John's Hopkins University. 

 

Hannah has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is a former member of the Washington Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Marsh Chapel Collegium, the New England Repertory Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the All Eastern Orchestra. She has been awarded scholarships from the Heifetz International Music Institute as well as Garth Newel's Emerging Artist Fellowship Program. She has performed in various master classes with violinists such as Charles Castleman, Sarah Chang, and Grigory Kalinovsky. She has also studied with the Guarneri Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, and the Muir String Quartet. In 2011, she was a member of the Berklee Symphony Orchestra for the RE:GENERATION music project - a classical music documentary featuring DJ Premier and Nas. From 2010 to 2015, she was the first violinist of The Boston Quartet.

 

Hannah has been teaching students of all ages and levels since 2003 and has extensive teaching experience throughout the DC metro area. She has taught violin at Boston University and at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD. Currently, she teaches violin and piano and coaches chamber music at Discover Music & Art. She also maintains a private studio in Boston while performing as the violinist of Trio Moderno.

 

Along with teaching and performing, Hannah is also getting ready to publish a book that centers on the skill sets and fundamental knowledge needed for efficient and effective instrumental practice. Stay tuned for the official announcement of her book, The Practice Room.

     
Lucy Bocchiaro

Music Together

Lucy is a local singer-songwriter who has been performing at local Boston venues for over 20 years. She grew up in a family where dancing and singing were a part of her everyday experience. She and her siblings are all musical and she believes it's because music and speech were both presented as equally important to the family experience. Lucy studied music at a young age playing clarinet for 15 years and later switching to guitar and eventually adding tenor banjo and percussive instruments.

 

Lucy has two daughters, Rajani and Shanti ages 8 and 10. She is a co-creator and performer for a yearly fundraising event called Rock the O at her children's school. This program has been a huge success for the past five years helping to raise thousands of dollars for music programs at Ohrenberger Elementary school in Boston. Lucy has been writing music and songs since she was a child and has 2 CD's with her original music. Recently she wrote and coproduced her band's CD, which received a positive review in the

May 2014 issue of The Noise magazine.

Lucy loves engaging with family and children through music and dance and her wealth of experience as a singer-songwriter enriches her Music Together classes.

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photo Ana E. Lopez

Piano


Ana Lopez was born in Mexico City. Coming from a musical family, she showed interest in music from an early age, starting her classical piano studies at 7 years old. At 14 years old, she entered the National School of Music in Mexico City to study classical piano and later entered the Superior School of Music to study Jazz Piano. Her curiosity for music led her to form the experimental rock band Jvne, where she wrote the music, sang and played keyboards. After recording two albums, she performed widely in festivals and music venues in Mexico. Recently, she was awarded a scholarship to study piano, voice and composition at the New England Conservatory. She now resides in Boston, where she is an active performer and composer.

As a teacher, Ana loves working with children and strongly believes in music as an important factor of child development. She has worked as a music teacher for babies (6 to 18 months), children, teenagers and adults. She seeks to have a creative approach to music through play and believes the best way of learning is having fun!

     
Katie Jillson

Voice

Katie Jillson has enjoyed a continuous performance career in Boston and surrounding New England areas for the past 20 years. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Katie has performed with organizations in the New England area such as Masterworks Chorale (Cambridge), the Paul Madore Chorale (Salem), Boston Cecilia, Zensemble (Jamaica Plain), and The Down East singers of Thomaston, Maine. She is also a frequent soloist at St. Ignatius of Loyola church in Chestnut Hill, where she has been a member of the music ministry since 1999. Excelling in the early and classic repertoire, Katie has performed as a soloist in works including the Messiah, Chichester Psalms (Bernstein), Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Stabat Mater (Poulenc), Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (Schubert), and the Mozart Requiem. This year Katie was also chosen as a participant in the 2016 Winter Intensive Program at OperaWorks, an internationally-recognized training and performance company.

To Katie, singing is an extremely rewarding art, and it is a different experience for each student. She desires for students to enjoy every moment of singing and to leave all fears at the door, which is why she chooses to create a supportive environment for students. Katie works with students on an individual basis to achieve a dialogue of teaching and communication that maximizes the use of lesson time. Her approach is centered around achieving vocal freedom by teaching students how to use their breath, release any tension, and strengthen vocal ability in all registers of the voice. She also teaches lyric diction to students when applied to repertoire.

Katie is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the NATS New England chapter.

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photo Nicole Poulter

Music Therapist ~ Piano


Nicole is a singer/performer living in the Boston area.  Born and raised in a small Connecticut town, Nicole moved to Boston in 2009 to attend the world renowned, Berklee College of Music.  After spending four years studying Music Therapy and Voice, Nicole graduated in 2013.  

Over the past few years, Nicole has performed in multiple settings.  Nicole was cast in her first professional theater production, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, in 2003, at the Goodspeed Opera House. Even at a young age, Nicole always knew she wanted to perform.  Nicole spent two summers performing at Hersheypark in the country band, Frontier Frenzy (2011), and the strolling A Capella group, Hershey's Choc-apella. While at Berklee, Nicole performed in many of the college's musical theater productions, including Ragtime and Hairspray. She also completed an eight month internship at the Sherrill House in Boston, working with seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia. Nicole also worked at Kennedy Day School with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, and at Dana Farber in the Pediatric Oncology unit. Although on opposite ends of the spectrum, Nicole is passionate about working with children and seniors and also works for local music schools at companies such as, Bosse School of Music, and Groovy Baby Music.

Nicole is excited to join Discover Music and Art. As a teacher, and music therapist, Nicole believes that everyone has music potential no matter their level of abilities.  Nicole strongly believes in the power of music and the effect it can have on anyone, young and old.

     
Travis Nelson

Travis is a student at Berklee College of Music where he is studying Music Therapy and Guitar. His musical journey started around the age of 4 when he started picking up his dad’s guitars. At age 8 he began studying Viola and continued until age 13 when Travis got his first electric guitar and became enthralled with music. Since then he has studied with many teachers in the New England area.

Travis believes that music is an inherent capability of all people. It is a language that we can all learn with practice. To him the most important aspect of music is the emotional connection it can create between both the players and the listeners. Travis hopes to plant the seeds to help individuals discover their own inner creativity and curiosity in music and forge their own path on the guitar. 

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photo Anitra Little

Musical Theatre ~ Story Book Theatre

Anitra Little is a Texas girl who has recently moved to Boston. She grew up in a big family of
singers and musicians. She began singing at the age of 4 in church. By 14 she was the only
youth in the adult choir. She received her Bachelor’s in Theatre at Texas State University in San
Marcos, Texas. She is currently pursuing her Master’s at Emerson College, studying Theatre
Education. She has a heart for fine arts and loves working with children, especially
preschoolers. She was a Teaching Artist at The Magik Theatre in San Antonio and one of her
favorite memories was helping a boy overcome stage fright. In her free time she enjoys hosting
game nights at her house, going to the park to play her guitar, and watching movies. She is
thrilled to be a part of this great team!