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Meet our Instructors

Our music instructors are what set us apart from the competition. All are professional musicians with extensive backgrounds in performance and education.

Just as important as their talent and experience, our music instructors are also great teachers. They offer patient, personal attention to each and every student, making the learning process as easy and enjoyable as possible. Contact us today to find the perfect teacher for you and your child! 

 We're always adding new faces to our teaching staff. Interested in teaching lessons at David French Music? Call us at (508) 366-5994 or send your resume/cover letter to [email protected]

 
   
Adam Mejaour - Trumpet

Adam Mejaour
Area of Instruction: Trumpet

Adam holds a double Bachelor’s in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from UMASS Amherst. He has been teaching since 2013 and began by independently starting a studio while finishing his studies. When teaching, his varied educational and performing background gives him an eclectic “bag of teaching tools.” He feels comfortable teaching at any age and/or ability level in both the classical and jazz idiom. He credits much of this to his teachers: Bill Fanning (classical, jazz, lead trumpet), Eric Berlin (classical trumpet), and Jeff Holmes (lead and jazz trumpet). He also can be found playing as a member of the Abletones Big Band and High Society Orchestra under the direction of Dan Gabel throughout Massachusetts and New England.

Arnie Krakowsky - Saxophone

Arnie Krakowsky
Areas of Instruction: Saxophone (Alto, Tenor & Baritone)

Arnie Krakowsky has a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music and has been teaching students for many years. He individualizes lessons for each student by assessing their talents/needs and helps them find their ‘voice’. He uses ear training techniques, rhythmic dictation and recordings of the masters as models for development. Among his many teachers were Joe Viola, Charlie Mariano, Herb Pomeroy, John La Porta, Eddie Daniels, and Jerry Bergonzi. Check out more about Arnie on his website www.ArnieKrakowsky.com

 Ben Falkoff - Percussions

Ben Falkoff
Areas of Instruction: Drums, Percussion, Guitar

Ben Falkoff has a Master’s degree in Jazz Composition & Arranging from UMass Amherst and has been teaching private lessons for more than 8 years. Having played hundreds of shows as a Guitarist and Drummer, he brings a wealth of real-world experience and insight into a diverse range of styles including Rock, Jazz, R&B, Folk, Blues, Pop, Reggae, Funk, Soul, and various world music. He currently leads his own original jazz quartet and frequently performs throughout the Pioneer Valley with a wide assortment of bands. An active session musician, Falkoff has appeared on over a dozen commercially released songs.

Bill Tower - Trumpet

Bill Tower
Area of Instruction: Trumpet

Mr. Tower holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education and Masters from New England Conservatory. He has been teaching students ages 8 to adult for 30 years. He has experience coaching students for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and previously taught at the Norwood and Belmont Public Schools. Bill also studied music at The Curtis Institute of Music and Julliard School of Music. Bill has studied under many teachers, including John Coffey, Samuel Krauss, Armando Ghitalla, Gilbert Johnson, and Roger Voisin.

Bonnie Cochran - Flute

Bonnie Cochran
Areas of Instruction: Flute, Piccolo

Bonnie is a dedicated teacher with more than 15 years of experience teaching students from age 7 to adult. Many of her students participate in Districts, All-State, Community Ensembles, and Summer Music Programs. She has an MM in flute performance from Boston Conservatory & BA in Music and Religious Studies from Agnes Scott College. Other performance locations include Washington D.C., Nashville, Atlanta, and New England, while she is familiar with recording projects through Berklee College of Music, PBS American Experience, Sarah Manning Stuart, and Willow Flute Ensemble. Her principal teachers include Linda Toote, Elinor Preble, and Paul Brittan. An avid chamber musician, Bonnie regularly performs concerts with The Amaryllis Chamber Ensemble, the Cochran-Wrenn Duo and Chamber Music Metrowest. Find out more about Bonnie on her website, www.BonnieCochran.net or see her at upcoming events with Chamber Music Metrowest.

Dave Handrick - Saxophone

Dave Handrick
Areas of Instruction: Saxophone

Dave Handrick holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. Mr. Handrick has been teaching students in both private and group lessons for over twenty years. He likes to use ear training and singing in his lessons to help his students better understand what they’re playing. He is also a freelance musician and has performed with Soul Custody, the Claflin Hill Summer Winds, the Second Story Band, the Metro Saxophone Quartet, The Fantasy Big Band, and various other organizations. When not teaching at David French Music, Dave Handrick also teaches saxophone in the Acton-Boxborough school system.

Dimitar Krastev - Violin

Dimitar Krastev
Area of Instruction: Violin, Viola

Dimitar Krastev has been teaching and playing the violin for 25 years and received his master’s degree in violin, chamber music, and teaching from the National Music Academy in Bulgaria. He played First Violin in the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra and has also participated in many different recording projects and tours in various European countries. Before moving to Massachusetts, he taught and played Violin at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León in Monterrey and University of Saltillo Coahuila Mexico. He was a member of the well-renowned Civil College Quartet throughout his time at the university. When not teaching at David French Music, Mr. Krastev teaches violin and viola lessons at Marlborough High School and plays in the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and the Brockton Symphony Orchestra.

Ed Clough - Trombone

Ed Clough
Areas of Instruction: Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone Horn, Tuba, Low Brass

Ed attended Boston University for Music Performance and has been teaching for 30 years. Ed has studied trombone with Ronald Barron, William Harris, and members of Empire Brass. He is one of the founding members of Boston Brass and is currently on staff at Boston College. Ed likes to use “music theory, history and even singing to give his students a complete grasp of music performance”. Ed specializes in ensemble coaching and encourages all his students to participate in district preparation regardless of ability level.

Elizabeth Vysin - Cello

Elizabeth Vysin
Areas of Instruction: Cello, Viola, Violin

Elizabeth holds a dual Master’s degree in Cello Performance and Music Theory from the Hartt School, studying with Terry King and Mihai Tetel, and also a dual Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance and Music Education with a special focus in string pedagogy. A dedicated teacher, Elizabeth has studied, performed, and taught violin, viola, and cello through the collegiate level. She is an adjunct professor in Violin at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and is cello faculty at the Viola Workout Summer Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado, where she works with undergraduate cellists in solo and chamber playing. Her students have auditioned into the Interlochen Music Summer Program, regional honor orchestras, and top school ensembles. Elizabeth does not currently have any openings in her schedule, but please contact us if you are interested in a cello teacher.

Elizabeth is not accepting new students at this time

Evie Brogan - More info coming soon!

Jessica Popik - Clarinet

Jess Popik
Area of Instruction: Clarinet

Jess holds a Bachelor’s in Music Performance from UMass Lowell. She is experienced with preparing students for Districts and All-State and has been teaching private lessons for 12 years, ages 8 to adult. Jess is currently on staff for Westminster Elementary and the Oakmont-Overlook Marching Spartans. Currently, Jessica is performing with the Claflin Hill Summer Wind Ensemble and the Indian Hill Clarinet Choir. She has studied with David Martins and Paul Surapine. (Photography by: © Charles Saulters II http://charlessaultersmedia.com)

Justine Popik - Oboe

Justine Popik
Area of Instruction: Oboe

Justine received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ithaca College in Music Performance, studying under Paige Morgan. Justine earned her Master’s Degree in Classical Oboe Performance, studying under Robert Botti. Justine spent two summers at the Hot Springs Music Festival and another at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. She has performed with a variety of orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout her career including the S.E.M Ensemble, Bronx Opera Company, Vienna Orchesterverein, and the Richmond County Orchestra. She was a winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition in 2012. Her teaching experience spans 11 years, working with students from Kindergarten through High School.

Louise Hetzler - Piano

Louise Hetzler
Areas of Instruction: Piano, Voice, Guitar

Ms. Hetzler is an experienced teacher, singer-songwriter, and folk musician. She has been teaching ages 5 to adult for 12 years. In addition to teaching piano and guitar for over 40 years, Louise is an experienced speech-language pathologist. Her self-produced album, On Clear Water, has eighteen original songs that emphasize peace, love, and environmental awareness. Her accompanying curriculum guide is used to improve language and auditory processing skills.

Mario Portev - Cello

Mario Portev
Area of Instruction: Cello, Violin, Piano

Mr. Portev holds a M.A. degree in Music Education and Music Performance from the State Conservatory of Music in Sofia Bulgaria. He has been an active performer and teacher for over 20 years both in his native Bulgaria and New England. He has been preparing students for entrance exams into local conservatories as well as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exam, and the Central District Festival. He has been a cellist for many of the local ensembles and orchestras, most recently Newton Symphony Orchestra and Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Portev is a member of the audition committee for Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra as well as Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family. He is also a professional ski instructor. Mr. Portev speaks English, Bulgarian, Polish, and Russian.

Mark Holovnia

Mark Holovnia
Area of Instruction: Drums, Percussion

Mr. Holovnia attended Westfield State College and has been teaching privately for 8 years, ages 10 to adult. He studied with Alan Dawson and Jeff Hamilton. He served for 20 years on the faculty for the Jazz in July Summer Music Program at UMass Amherst. He works locally with the Dick Odgren Trio and has performed with Steve Lippia’s “Simply Sinatra” tour, Artie Shaw Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Dick Johnson, Herb Pomeroy, Harry James Orchestra, and The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

Mark Weissman
Area of Instruction: Saxophone

Mark is not accepting new students at this time

Mary McFee - Piano

Mary McFee
Area of Instruction: Piano, Advanced Piano, Music Theory

Miss Mary has been teaching piano for over 15 years, and we are so excited to welcome her to our lesson program! She received her degree in music education from Anna Maria College and has been teaching in Worcester County ever since. In addition to substitute teaching in the Westborough and Southborough public schools, she has received a scholarship to The Juilliard School for both piano and voice. She continues teaching in her own private studio but will be at David French Music on Mondays and Fridays. Miss Mary is available to teach piano students who are at least 6 years old, from beginner to advanced.

Rachel - Bassoon

Rachel Juszczak
Area of Instruction: Bassoon

Rachel Juszczak is an active freelancer, chamber musician, and teacher. She has performed with Symphony New Hampshire, Orchestra of Indian Hill, Lexington Symphony, New England Chamber Players, Commonwealth Lyric Theatre, and other ensembles in the New England area. She currently teaches at Westfield State University and is the Bassoon Workshop Assistant at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Previously, she taught non-degree lessons at Boston University and lessons through the Butler Community Arts School located in Indianapolis, IN. She holds a Master of Music degree and a Performance Diploma in bassoon performance from Boston University and earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from Butler University, Indianapolis. Her principal teachers include Richard Ranti, Suzanne Nelsen, and Dr. Doug Spaniol.

Rich Graiko - Trumpet

Rich Graiko
Area of Instruction: Trumpet

Rich Graiko studied jazz performance at Berklee College of Music and has been teaching and playing for the last 20 years. He was most recently the music department head of the Smith School in Manhattan where he taught trumpet, drums, bass, audio production, ensembles, and music theory. In addition to occupying the original Trumpet seat in the Reggae/Soul group Westbound Train, he is a co-founder/producer of traditional ska group The Void Union and the founder of Brooklyn-based Reggae/Jamaican Jazz band The Brooklyn Attractors and has many other freelance credits. Rich has toured extensively, studied and worked with several renowned musicians and producers and draws upon this diverse professional experiences to deliver balanced and inspirational music lessons.

Ronni Gillette - Clarinet

Ronni Gillette
Area of Instruction: Clarinet

Ms. Gillette holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Clarinet Performance from UMass Amherst where she studied with Michael Sussman and Kai-Yun Lu. Her performance background spans a variety of settings and styles. Ronni has been teaching private lessons for 7 years, promoting proper technique, musicality, ear training, and an array of repertoire. Guiding students towards realizing their talents, needs, and goals are the elements she finds are key in facilitating growth in lessons. Outside of teaching, Ronni plays Bb and Eb clarinet in the Valley Winds, a professional wind ensemble stationed in Belchertown and actively performs in pit orchestras doubling on clarinet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, and oboe.

Vinnie Penella - Saxophone

Vinnie Penella
Area of Study: Saxophone, Flute & Clarinet

Vinnie attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied classical and jazz saxophone with woodwind master Joe Viola. He has been teaching for 40 years, from ages 8 to adult. He taught classical and jazz studies along with jazz band director and music theory labs at Binghamton College in New York. He has also taught at the Marshfield Public Schools and the Indian Hill Music Center and sent countless students to the All-State and District festivals. Along with his private teaching, he also does freelance performances in New York City and the Boston area. Mr. Penella has played with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, productions at Joseph Papp Public Theatre in NYC, the Tom Jones International Tour, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Larry Elgart Orchestra, the 18th Army Band, the Worcester Jazz Orchestra and many others.

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