While we do not offer lessons at our Asbury Park location, we proudly suggest Lakehouse Music Academy located on the 2nd floor of our building. They offer both private and group lessons for all ages, instruments and styles. Lakehouse Music Academy
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We would like to Congratulate Andrew "AJ" Maddalena on winning the Best Soloist Award at the Hamilton West High School Jazz Festival! Andrew has taken private guitar lessons at Russo Music with our instructor Daniel Mosovich for 5 years and is really growing into an excellent musician! Andrew performed this solo as part of the Grice Middle School Jazz Ensemble directed by our very own Thomas Bonomo!
Meet our Instructors
Experience: 50 Years
Bio: Robert "Bob" Lowden has been teaching piano and voice for over 50 years. Bob has 3 degrees in Music; Bachelors of Music in Piano and Music Education, Masters of Music in Choral Conducting, and Masters of Music in Music History. Teaching public education for close to 20 years and being the Assistant Chorus Director, Conducting Instructor and Accompanist for Trenton State College are among some of his many accolades. Bob looks forward to a fun learning environment everytime he steps into the classroom and is as excited to get you where you need to be as you are!
Experience: 2 Years
Bio: International touring drummer - Inventor of the modern snare drum. Dakota Bethke has been playing drums since the age of thirteen and started teaching at Russo Music almost 2 years ago. Dakota had the pleasure of touring in bands throughout Europe, as well as doing professional studio work for various artists. His goal is to find intuitive ways to ensure each student has a fully comprehensive lesson plan and learning experience.
Experience: 10 Years
Bio: Dan Mosovich holds a degree in Music and has been teaching guitar for 10 years and still going strong. He is an active musician in multiple bands and also does cocktail hours, weddings, private parties etc. Dan has been playing the guitar since he was eight. Throughout his childhood, he had the chance to experience a variety of styles that he teaches today. Dan has played with different jazz and blues rock groups along with multiple alternative and hard rock bands. "I know all the tricks and musical concepts that suit your needs in playing guitar. For advanced students, I like to stress the fact of being versatile and unique. My teaching style is very laid back and fun. I teach chords, scales, music notation and any song you'd like! I make it fun and entertaining while instilling the discipline you need. Whether it'd be just to jam out or play the songs that you love, I can take you through the steps of musical success. I teach all types of students, from beginners to advanced."
Experience: 18 Years
Bio: Doug Wisniski grew up in New York and graduated Saugerties High School in 1986. Doug then studied for 2 years at Berklee College Of Music focusing on Bass Guitar and Songwriting. Doug has taught 10 years at Russo Music and 18 years total. He teaches electric Bass guitar and 6 string guitar. Doug has been playing bass for 35 years and has played nearly every idiom of music (Rock, Metal, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, R&B,...) When Doug isn't teaching, he enjoys movies, music and studying the Bible.
Experience: 30 Years
Bio: John Spodaryk graduated from Music at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers Bachelors of Music studying Jazz Studies, Theory/Composition, Musicology and Music Education. At the same time, John attended Berklee College of Music's Summer Sessions from 1990-1993 with an emphasis on Music Theory/Composition, Guitar Performance and Private instruction. John continued with his education by receiving a Masters of Music Education/Performance from Westminster Choir College., An active Studio and Touring musician, John remains one of the most requested Private Lesson Instructors in the area. My teaching method is based on 30 plus years of Academic and “Real World” experience that has been tested and refined by thousands of hours in lessons with countless beginner through advanced students. I work hard at maintaining a casual approach that's fun and motivating at every stage of learning, and satisfying for all my students. I have found this to be the most enjoyable and effective way to teach students how to realize their own personal goals, regardless of skill level, age, genre, or stylistic interests. My commitment is to your progress. Upon receiving a BA in Jazz Studies, Theory/Composition and an MME, John determined that it was more important to play 3 chords to 3,000 people than it was to play 3,000 chords to 3 people.
Experience: 19 Years
Bio:Kevin Flynn is a graduate of both Hamilton West High School and Mercer County Community College. He has been teaching at Russo Music for 19 years and is an orignally self taught guitarist. He has studied with various local musicians including Ernie White and Joe Frederico. Kevin teaches basic theory, reading, tab, and soloing techniques along with acoustic styles including finger picking. He loves all types of music acoustic and electric but he is most fond of guitar virtuosos such as Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Rik Emmett, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Ronni Le Tekrø and John Sykes. When Kevin is not teaching he likes to play golf and go freshwater fishing.
Experience: 20 Years
Bio: Michael Macchia studied at Bucks County Community College focusing on Jazz and Music theory and studied at Settlement Music School for classical guitar. He is also a graduate of Musicians Institute in Hollywood California. He teaches electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar and bass across all genres of music. Michael has studied all of his life and has taught in various establishments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Experience: 2 Years
Bio:Levon Syers is an experienced performer and teacher, having over 15 years in the music industry. He has performed hundreds of shows over the past 10 years in original bands as well as cover acts, and for three years was working as a full-time musician. He has extensive experience working in music studios, having produced his own records in the past as well as appeared on other artist’s work. The primary focus of his studies have been on the guitar, saxophone and vocals, however Levon also provides comprehensive courses on the ukulele and mandolin as well, making him a multi-instrumental powerhouse. Two years ago, Levon decided to start providing lessons to local students, and ever since has found it to be a highly rewarding experience. His idea is simple: make sure that music lessons are a fun and relevant experience for his students, while still focusing on teaching the theories behind music.
Experience: 18 Years
Bio:Illya Unhuryan has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Vorobkevich College of Music and a Master's degree in Violin Performance from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. Illya has toured internationally as a violinist with multiple groups, performing in such countries as Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Poland, Canada, The United States, Slovakia, Holland, and Hungary. He teaches beginning to advancing students using the Auer method of teaching.
Experience: 10 Years
Bio:Tom Bonomo was born in Trenton, NJ and raised in Hamilton, NJ. He is a 2007 graduate of Steinert High School, where he received the "John Philip Sousa" award for band. In 2006, Tom was the only clarinetist in the state of New Jersey to be selected to the New Jersey Governor's School of the Arts. He graduated Magna cum Laude from Ithaca College in 2011 and has been teaching music in New Jersey's public schools ever since. Tom has been teaching private woodwind lessons in the central New Jersey area since 2007, and some of his students have been selected to the New Jersey Region II Band and the Youth Orchestra of Central New Jersey. He is an active member of the Central Jersey Wind Ensemble and Rouge et Noir Clarinet Choir. Tom also performs as a woodwind doubler in pit orchestras throughout the state of New Jersey. Even though he is a woodwind specialist, he is trained in all wind and brass instruments. When he is not teaching or playing music, Tom likes to spend time with his wife and three cats, hike, and travel. Tom is thrilled to be joining the staff at Russo Music Center and also currently serves as an instrumental music teacher at Grice Middle School in Hamilton, NJ.
Experience: 27 Years
Bio:Sandy Phillips has been in the music field for 27 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Trenton State College. She has taught elementary and middle school General Music, Choir and Instrumental Music as well as piano to a variety of ages and experience levels. Her experience also includes 10 years as the Children’s and Adult’s Choirs Accompanist at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church where she also teaches small group vocal lessons. Sandy’s goal for lessons is for every student to have fun while learning music theory, repertoire and performance.