New York City Piano Teachers
Diana Benson is a classical guitarist and pianist originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to guitar and piano, she teaches voice, ukulele and songwriting in New York City, where she now resides. She spent the better part of a decade studying closely with two mentors: celebrated classical guitarist Lynn McGrath, and revered pianist Stephen Montoya. As a high school student, Diana regularly performed in recitals and participated in competitions and festivals across the U.S., including the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) and The Parkening Guitar Competition, where she received masterclass instruction from distinguished guitarists like David Russell, Ana Vidovic and Christopher Parkening. She went on to study classical guitar at the North Carolina School for the Arts as the youngest student admitted in her focus at the age of 17, and later completed her studies in music performance, composition, and foreign language at the University of New Mexico. In addition to her classical studies, Diana sang in a variety of traveling choral groups throughout high school and took small roles in the Broadway musicals ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘Rent’.
In the course of her studies, Diana was honored with awards of excellence from the National Honors Society of Guitar and recognized for her performances with the critically acclaimed woman’s guitar ensemble, ‘Presti Quartet.’ She was selected two years in a row to perform 1st chair in the New Mexico ALLSTATE Guitar Orchestra - the first-ever young woman to earn that position. The following year she was chosen as one of twelve guitarists to represent music in education in the United States.
In the time since her studies, she has called many places home. She lived in New Orleans for several years and in that time her musical interests broadened to embrace traditional American forms, such as jazz and the blues. During her time there, she ran a private music practice, teaching children and young adults to become proficient in these idioms. She continued her travels, her studies and her teachings during the summer of 2017 in Spain. She has been living, studying and teaching in New York City since the fall of 2017, always carrying with her the belief that music should never feel like a chore and that learning music should be curiosity-driven, active, enjoyable, and emphasize self-expression. Diana believes in building a strong foundation of musical knowledge with her students by providing the tools to create good habits from the beginning and encouraging effective, deliberate practice. It is her mission to inspire aspiring musicians as a music educator and bring a life-long love of music to her students.
Liz Hogg is a piano and guitar instructor from NYC. She has taught private and group piano lessons throughout NYC and in Long Island to various ages and skill levels. She has taught freelance and at Brooklyn Musical Arts, Treblemakers Music School, Poppenhusen Institute, Montessori Progressive Learning Center and Dr. Jun Fu Music Learning Program. She enjoys exposing students to music theory, improvisation and the various eras in music history, as well as teaching students how to play songs they already know and love.
Ms. Hogg is also an accomplished guitar instructor. She has taught at Sunset Park School of Music, Staccato Music Center, Hosh Kids and Melody Time Music Center. Performing as a soloist, she has toured nine countries, playing numerous festivals and concert halls. Awards include the Lanciano International Guitar Festival fellowship, Mannes School of Music’s Dean Award, the Maurice Kagan Memorial Scholarship Award for Excellence in an Orchestral Instrument and a Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship semi-finalist. In her hometown, Ms. Hogg has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brookfield Place, Morgan Library, and the Italian Academy, and internationally at venues including Portugal’s Casa da Música and Mexico’s Tlaqná Concert Hall. She has also performed live at radio stations including WFMU, WNYC and WHFR and has been a featured artist at festivals Internacional Camerata 21, CMJ and New Sounds Live. As a composer and performer/singer of her own music and in various groups, Liz has recorded eight full-length albums and eight eps, self-released and released by Don Giovanni Records, Mouca and Acuarela.
Deanna Melendez is a voice teacher/vocal instructor from Queens who is very passionate about singing, creating, and teaching music. She is an alumni from LaGuardia Performing Arts HS, a.k.a the “Fame” school, where she pursued classical voice. She is currently a Music Education major at Long Island University Brooklyn, where she studies jazz, classical and even musical theater. She is also the Worship Director at her church, in Ozone Park, Queens.
Her main goal is not only to help her students reach their full potential in vocal quality, but to give them all of the tools and techniques needed to go above and beyond their own expectations. She is a firm believer in teaching her students how to breathe and properly use their core, through legit singing, and has in turn witnessed a clear, strong, and sustained sound with no strain or discomfort!
She is able to teach: Broadway/Musical Theater, Classical Voice, Gospel Singing, Jazz Voice, Opera Voice, Pop Voice, and basic Vocal Training. She has been teaching since 2015.
Residing in Brooklyn, NY, Colin is an active member of the creative music community. As a drummer/composer, Colin brings a unique approach to his music combining elements of jazz, free improvisation, and 20th century classical music. His music draws heavily from Bartók, Ligeti, Feldman, and Grisey, as well as Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, and Muhal Richard Abrams.
Colin initially began piano lessons at age 4. At age 8, he received a drumset. After 10 year of intense classical piano study, Colin decided to pursue percussion as his main instrument. Outside of performing, he is an active educator in the NYC area. He has privately taught students of all ages and experience levels, as well as group classes at music schools and colleges. He offers lessons on both drums and piano.
Colin has studied drums with Ed Soph, Dan Weiss, Ari Hoenig, Ralph Peterson and Tyshawn Sorey. He has studied composition with Ingrid Laubrock, Tyshawn Sorey, and Eric Wubbels. Colin attended the University of North Texas and City College of New York. He holds a BFA in Jazz Performance and an MA in Music Performance with a focus in 20th century theory and composition.
A native of Oakland, California, Jesse Levit started playing piano and saxophone at the age of seven. After winning numerous honors and performing with the SFJAZZ High School All-Star Band and the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band, he has had the opportunity to perform with such talents as James Moody, Frank Lacy, Jim McNeely, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jane Monheit, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Wycliffe Gordon, Frankye Kelly, Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Lenny Pickett, Khalil Shaheed, Mark Levine, Diane Witherspoon, Benny Green, Stefon Harris, Seamus Blake, and Rufus Reid.
Jesse has been featured on three CDs: Oaktown Jazz, Pocketized, and Excursions. He currently resides in New York City and recently earned a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music. He performs regularly on piano, sax, and EWI in numerous venues around NYC, the Bay Area, and beyond.