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Piano Instructors

Updated: Mar 3

Debra Atteson

Piano, Clarinet, and Flute Instructor

Debra earned her BS in Music Education from West Chester University as a piano and clarinet major. She earned her MA in Music Therapy from Immaculata University. Clarinet instruction with first chair Philly Pops, Joe Smith, Tery Guidetti at West Chester University and a custom mouthpiece from A. M. Gigliotti at Peabody Conservatory. Classical piano instruction with MaryAnne Reitz, Jacques Voois at West Chester University and William Carr (who studied at the Juilliard School) at Immaculata University.

She has worked as a Music Therapist in long term care and has over 25 years of teaching piano, clarinet, alto sax and flute to students as young as 5 to 102. Debra has firsthand experience with Autism as her son has Asperger’s and a reading disability. Her specialty is crafting adaptive techniques to help special needs children feel successful during music lessons and beyond.

Teresa Cappello

Piano Instructor

Teresa has been teaching at Settlement Music School since 1976 and came to The Conservatory through the Kardon Institute in Philadelphia. She has experience as a rehearsal pianist and instructor, dance accompanist and Music Therapist.

Russ Cody

Piano Instructor

Russ holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College with an emphasis in Recording Technology and has been a piano instructor for over 15 years. He studied classical piano at Westminster Choir College and Lebanon Valley College with an emphasis on the romantic period. He also has extensive experience playing and composing rock, jazz and blues along with performing at venues that include John and Peter’s, Puck Live, and The World Cafe. He has taught at various music schools and piano stores as well as his private studios in Doylestown, PA and Flemington, NJ. His students have varied in age from young children to adults with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. Russ develops individualized curriculum according to the goals and interests of each student.

Allison Goldberg

Piano and Clarinet Instructor

Allison holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from West Chester University with a concentration in clarinet. She studied clarinet under Dr. Chris DeSanto and Tery Guidetti, and piano under Teri Kleinfelter. Allison has also completed several Graduate courses in Music Education and is certified in K-12 music education in Pennsylvania.

Allison's experience encompasses both classroom and private studio teaching. She worked as an instrumental group class teacher and band director for grades 4-8 for eight years in private schools. Her private clarinet/piano studio was established in 2001. She previously taught clarinet and piano for Music & Arts and then joined the Conservatory faculty in 2010. Allison is available to accompany her clarinet students on piano, giving her pupils an added advantage in preparation for solo performances.

Allison has performing experience in classical bands, Klezmer clarinet, and chamber music. She performed with Klezmer Band for Temple Shalom in Broomall, Philadelphia Doctors Orchestra, including 2 performances at the Kimmel Center, and Ensemble Impromptu (Chamber Music Group).

Bill Gottshall

Piano Instructor and Performance Program Manager

Bill is celebrating 20 years teaching with The Conservatory! Along with teaching private lessons, Bill has worked to establish the Jazz Ensemble Program and increase live performance opportunities for Conservatory students. Bill is also a playwright and composer who has written several plays and composed or arranged hundreds of pieces of music for vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Bill graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1978 with a degree in music composition. In 1979, he studied jazz arranging and orchestration with Don Sebesky, the Tony Award-winning Best Orchestrator for Kiss Me Kate (2000 revival). After college, Bill was an Assistant to the Music Director on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical My One and Only, during its pre-Broadway run in Boston and he held the same position in the Off-Broadway Motown musical revue Dancin’ in the Street!, directed by Tony Award-winner Billy Wilson (Bubblin’ Brown Sugar). Bill’s principal instrument is piano, but he studied trumpet for ten years, both in the Philadelphia area and at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. His teachers included Barry Mertz, Milliard Hensel, and Jeff Stout. Bill frequently performs throughout the Philadelphia area with small Jazz ensembles and larger bands that cover music from many different decades and genres of music.

Jamie Link

Piano Instructor

Jamie holds a Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy from West Chester University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Music from York College of Pennsylvania. As a graduate student, Jamie accompanied vocal students for their lessons and various performances, such as senior recitals. Jamie maintains her own private piano studio out of Hanover, PA and is currently the church musician (piano and organ) for St. Paul Lutheran Church located in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. In 2017, she became St. Paul Lutheran Church’s choir director, and has found great joy in not only instructing and accompanying the choir, but in educating the members in music. Jamie is committed to further education and continuous study as a teacher. After the completion of her Masters Degree, Jamie began studying with Robert Durso, a Taubman Approach Master Teacher based in Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Durso’s teaching has broadened her understanding of how to move at the piano, release tension, address technical difficulties, and how to solve problems directly related to music. Jamie enjoys being able to share her new knowledge with her students as she continues her studies.

Viktoriia Popova

Piano and Clarinet Instructor

Viktoriia studied piano and clarinet at Music Arts College, Khabarovsk, Far East, Russia and graduated in 2007. From 2007 to 2009 Viktoriia worked with Far East Symphony in Khaboarovsk, Russia. She has considerable experience teaching all ages and skill levels and working with students who have disabilities. Viktoriia has taught piano and clarinet in China and Cambodia. Viktoriia develops innovative and imaginative, individual lesson plans for her students. She is multi-lingual and can speak English, Russian, Cambodian, and Chinese.

Sylvia Rea

Piano Instructor

Sylvia is a classically trained pianist and organist. Her education began at age 4 with private lessons. She studied with Alice Malloy, Phyllis Herring and acquired further studies with Sylvia Nickels of Westminster Choir College in Princeton. Piano is her principal instrument, but she has also studied pipe organ for many years. Sylvia has been a member of the Bucks County Association of Piano Teachers since 1992, and many of her students have performed at Bucks County Community College, as well as Jacobs Music. Her work experience includes private studio teaching, group classes, church services, funerals and weddings. Sylvia has been teaching Piano for over 40 years, classical, jazz, popular, new age, etc., but enjoys working with all ages and skill levels. She expects students to practice and excel in performing at recitals. She joined The Conservatory faculty in 2009.

Olga Smirnova

Piano Instructor

Starting at the age of nine years old, Olga attended two separate schools, one for regular education and a special music school to accomplish the goal of a musical college education. She excelled in music school and went on to obtain a degree in Choral Direction with a Music Education minor. After college, Olga moved to Volzhsky, Russia to begin work in her chosen field. She started her career as an accompanist for the Academic school of Olympic Gymnastics. She played during warm up for choreography, floor exercises and during floor routines for local and regional competitions in the towns of Vladimir and Volgograd (formally known as Stalingrad), Russia. In 1990, Olga transitioned to teaching in the same type of school that she had attended as a young lady. She taught piano for beginner to advanced students as well as training and accompanying a vocal group called “Little Suns”. The “Little Suns”, sponsored by a local church, performed throughout the local area. Olga also helped with costuming and makeup for all of the performances. Olga was also teaching at the Creek Orthodox School, and lead, vocally, the churches’ children’s choir during Sunday services, a cappella. Most evenings would find Olga working with the Metropolitan Concerts as an accompanist/costumer/make-up artist and stage crew. This was often in the Small Hall of the Rakhmaninov Theaters in Moscow. In the late 90’s, Olga moved to teach at the Children’s Creative Center in Volzhsky, teaching vocals and acting. The children were from the ages of 4 to 12. They performed in recitals and musicals around town, but also in local and regional vocal competitions. Olga moved to the United States in 2002, settling in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She has been teaching at The Conservatory ever since, along with maintaining a private home studio. Olga has taught students across every age and skill level. Her students frequently participate in local and National competitions and they have won numerous prizes and scholarships over the years.

Valeria Sorokovskaja

Piano Instructor

Valeria is a graduate of Georg Ots Tallinn Music Conservatory, with a Bachelors degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. Valeria's primary piano studies were with Ulle Sisa, a well-known Estonian piano teacher and methodologist. She also studied with Professor Lembit Orgse at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre until she moved to USA in 2010. Valeria's musical education began at age five. She attended Tallinn Music School for children, a community school where she intensely studied performance, theory, history, accompaniment and duets. Years later she was happy to have an opportunity to work at this school as a piano teacher. During her college career, Valeria performed in master classes given by world-class artists including Lauri Vainmaa, Ivari Ilja, Alexandre Sandler, Alexander Mndoyants and many others. She placed second at the musicians' contest between three prestigious Estonian music schools. Valeria has performed as a soloist, accompanist and in duet concerts. In 2008, Valeria soloed with the Georg Tallinn Music Conservatory Orchestra in Mozart's Piano Concerto at the Estonian History Museum. Valeria has been teaching students of all ages and skill levels since 2007. She enjoys playing and teaching music from Baroque to Contemporary, to classical music. She currently teaches privately in her home as well as at The Conservatory.

Betsy Young

Piano Instructor

Betsy holds a BA in Music from the College of St. Elizabeth in New Jersey. She has served as the accompanist for All Children's Theatre in Parsippany, NJ for seven years, was a substitute piano accompanist for the New Jersey Ballet School in Morristown, NJ and a vocalist and keyboardist for a wedding band in northern NJ. Betsy began teaching piano from her home in 1993 while raising her four children. Twenty years later, having relocated to Doylestown, PA, she is continuing to teach beginner through intermediate students of all ages from her home studio and at The Conservatory. Betsy was first introduced to the Conservatory in 2008 as an accompanist for the Starstruck Theatre camps as well as accompanying student performers at the Conservatory student recitals. She has also accompanied the vocal students of Diana Larsen which included students, as well as adult professional artists, at their weekly lessons and recording sessions. Teaching piano is very important and rewarding for Betsy. Through playing and teaching music, she has been able to share with her students the joy and satisfaction that music has brought into her own life. Pursuing one's talent or skill can enrich and fulfill a person's life and Betsy's hope is help her students to discover and develop their skills in a positive and creative way.

Kim Harris

Voice and Piano Instructor

Kim Harris holds a BA in Music and Piano Performance from Cal State Los Angeles. She has been teaching music and drama in schools in the Conejo Valley for the past 16 years. As a professional actor, she has performed in commercials, TV shows, New York City Opera. regional theatres in the U.S., Japan, and South America, and a Broadway National Tour of Pirates of Penzance. She has advanced training in acting, voice, and dance.

Ms. Harris was the accompanist for Emmanuel Church for 16 years and has accompanied choirs at Oaks Christian School, Thousand Oaks High School, Los Robles Children's Choirs and Ascension Lutheran School. She is the personal accompanist to Joanna Bushnell, soprano, as well as William Martinez, tenor; performing in concerts, recitals, and studio recordings. Ms. Harris was Ascension Lutheran School's Music and Performing Arts director and teacher from 2011-2016.

Faye Meyer

Voice and Piano Instructor

Faye Meyer graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music where she earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. She studied singing, acting, and dance. After graduating, she performed with many theatres in the Boston area. She then moved to the Philadelphia area and has since been active in the theatre community. During this time, she became a member of the Actor's Equity Association. During her acting career, she performed in over 15 professional productions. Faye has taught at The Conservatory since 2006. She offers both private voice lessons and vocal coaching. This includes song interpretation and different styles of the Musical Theatre Songbook. Many of her students have been successful in achieving roles in their school's musicals and local productions. Faye enjoys working with students of all ages and skill levels!

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