Piano and Violin Lessons  Call My Music Garden Now

Brendan Kibbee, Piano (on leave, on a Fulbright scholar mission abroad)

Brendan Kibbee, a Jersey City-based pianist, has been teaching music for over ten years and has been working with My Music Garden since 2008. With a background in both classical and jazz piano, Brendan enjoys working with his students on developing their classical repertoire and also on jazz, blues, and improvisation. Since receiving a bachelors degree in music for piano performance at Rutgers University in 2005, Brendan has gone on to perform at jazz clubs throughout New York City and New Jersey, also working as a choral accompanist. In addition to teaching, Brendan is currently working towards a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Alex Mariano, Piano

Pianist Alex Mariano is immersed in an active musical life at William Paterson College, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a piano major, with a double minor in voice and violin. Known for a velvety touch on the piano that draws the listener in, Alex is currently a student of pianist Frank Pavese. Born and raised in Bayonne, Alex began his piano training at age 12, with Erasmia Voukelatos. He attended St. Peter’s Preparatory High School in Jersey City, and was mentored by renowned Philippine choral director, Johnathan Belasco. A member of his school’s award winning chamber choirs Vox and Vox Viri, Alex participated in the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, where his choir took silver place, as well as the Heritage Festivals of Boston and New York, where his choir took silver and gold respectively. In the latter festival, Alex was also honored individually with the Maestro Award. Alex Mariano is currently staff accompanist of the William Paterson Symphony Orchestra, for which he also plays violin, and sings with the school’s Chamber Singers, a select choral group that is scheduled to tour Europe in 2018. Last summer, Alex taught young students ages 6 to 13 at Hudson County School of Technology’s Saturday Academy. He is a member of NAFME (National Association for Music Educators, and is looking forward to a career of musical service as a life-long learner and educator.

Yukiko Tanaka, Piano

"In short, a model performance" said New York Concert Review, about Yukiko Tanaka's solo debut recital at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall held in December 2005. Her concert was totally sold out and passionately acclaimed by the audience. A native of Tokyo, Japan, she has been active as a piano recitalist, soloist with orchestras, and a chamber musician and has performed in the United States, Canada, Spain, Hungary and Japan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Utah State University, where she was honored as Student of the Year 1998, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Albion College, where she won many honors, scholarships, and the College Concerto Competition. After her graduation, she was honored a distinguished Alumni Award “Top 10 in 10” in year 2010. Yukiko continued her studies with Maestro German Diez after completing her Master's degree in piano performance at the City University of New York Brooklyn College, where she was a scholarship student. In 2012, she completed Diploma in Spanish Piano at Academia Marshall-Granados in Barcelona, Spain. Yukiko is a pianist of Redeemer Hoboken.

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Sam Westley, Piano

Pianist and teacher Sam Westley hails originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Highlights of his musical studies there include many performances in local jazz clubs, and in the classical realm, winning the University of Minnesota's Mechelke Scholarship Competition in 2004. After moving to New York to pursue his musical education he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor's in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Although his education is primarily classically-oriented, Sam enjoys playing and teaching in a wide variety of musical styles and traditions. In addition to his ongoing exploration of the classical piano repertoire, his recent musical projects include learning to play the pipe organ and exploring the world of church music, as well as recording several pop songs with a singer-songwriter.

In addition to his work with My Music Garden, Sam has maintained his own teaching studio in the Bedford Park neighborhood in the Bronx since 2008. Since 2010 he has also worked as staff piano teacher and accompanist at the Washington Heights Choir School, a free after school music program in his home neighborhood in Manhattan. Since 2011 he has held the position of Assistant Organist at Holyrood Church, also in Washington Heights.

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