Music Instruction

Private Music Instruction

Each week, there are almost two hundred music lessons taught by ten music specialists in the areas of voice, guitar, piano, and orchestral instruments within the school day. Students registered in music instruction receive graded, one-on-one lessons for 0.25 credits. In addition to the convenience of taking lessons during the school day, these lessons are available for a fraction of the cost of private instruction outside of school. Lessons are scheduled during RFT (study hall) or advisory periods.

Begin an Instrument

Many students at Villa Maria are highly successful at beginning a new instrument and then becoming a member of our Orchestra. String and brass instruments can be borrowed for a nominal annual maintenance fee. Students with experience on the piano are especially encouraged to begin a new instrument in order to participate in Orchestra.

Performance opportunities

  • Piano Repertoire Classes
  • Voice Recital
  • Guitar Recital
  • Piano Guild Auditions
  • Constance Murray Piano Festival
  • Student Music Recital (Instrumental)

Instructors

Voice

Dr. Anthony Mosakowski (Fine Arts Department Chair)

Dr. Anthony Mosakowski is Chair of Villa Maria’s Fine Arts Department. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music composition from Temple University. He later earned a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Durham, UK. At Villa Maria, Dr. Mosakowski teaches courses in music theory, composition, music technology, ear training, music appreciation, and applied voice; and directs the Concert Chorus and Madrigal Singers.

Dr. Mosakowski’s numerous compositions include works for a wide variety of media and audiences, and his special interests include choral and electroacoustic music. Dr. Mosakowski has also directed the Early Music Ensemble at Temple University, taught aural theory at West Chester University, and is currently a tenor vocalist with the Renaissance consort, Musica Humana, based in West Chester.

Dr. Anthony Mosakowski is Chair of Villa Maria’s Fine Arts Department. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music composition from Temple University. He later earned a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Durham, UK. At Villa Maria, Dr. Mosakowski teaches courses in music theory, composition, music technology, ear training, music appreciation, and applied voice; and directs the Concert Chorus and Madrigal Singers.

Dr. Mosakowski’s numerous compositions include works for a wide variety of media and audiences, and his special interests include choral and electroacoustic music. Dr. Mosakowski has also directed the Early Music Ensemble at Temple University, taught aural theory at West Chester University, and is currently a tenor vocalist with the Renaissance consort, Musica Humana, based in West Chester.

Mrs. Susan Anders Brizick

Mrs. Brizick has a passion for helping others to sing at their best potential and has been teaching voice lessons at Villa Maria Academy since 2007 and is the Music Director of Marian Masques’ Semester 2 production.  Mrs Brizick teaches in her Independent Voice Studio in West Chester, PA and is the Children and Youth Choir Director for children ages 4-18 at Calvary Lutheran Church. She also runs a summer musical theater series and coaches musical theater audition workshops throughout the year.

Mrs Brizick  is a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singers (NATS). As a member of the Voice Foundation and the Classical Singer Community, she actively enjoys continuing her education as a teacher.

Mrs. Brizick has her M.M. in Voice Performance and Voice Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, Music Education Certification from West Chester University and B.A. in Voice Performance and Psychology from the University of Richmond. She has completed her first level of certification in teaching Contemporary Commercial Music and actively writes about all things related to singing on her blog and her website.

Mrs. Brizick’s students have been chosen for lead roles in many local theater productions including the Walnut Street Children’s Theater, Footlighters Theater, Barley-sheaf Theater, Limelight Performing Arts Center Professional Productions and Children’s Productions, and WC Studio for Performing Arts. Many of her students have also been cast in lead roles in their local high school and middle school productions, placed in both the GP Area NATS and Regional NATS Student Audition Competition, won a variety of local voice competitions and have been selected as high school performers in Broadway in the Borough presented by the Resident Theater Company.  Other students excel in choirs by placing first in All Catholic Choir and District Choir.

Susan Anders Brizick is married and is the mother of two boys. She is an avid exerciser who believes that physical activity balances the body and mind. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening.

Guitar

Mr. Dominic Mastrangelo

Mr. Mastrangelo is a graduate of the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, Ca. He plays acoustic guitar, classical guitar, electric guitar and bass. Dominic plays and teaches a multitude of styles including classical, Spanish, blues, jazz, rock and alternative.

He teaches students of all ages from beginner to pro, with an emphasis on sight reading, harmony and theory, improvisation, technique and composition. Dominic is an innovator in creating and developing the band workshops, guitar orchestra and clinic/seminar programs at Beam’s Music. Other classes he has taught in schools include jazz/rock band, harmony and theory and composition.

Dominic has composed, arranged, performed, recorded and produced over 25 albums in many styles. He is the author of six books for the guitar. His book “Blues Bag” has been used both in the USA and internationally.

Violin/Viola

Ms. Leah (Kyoungwoon) Kim, Director of Music

Ms. Leah (Kyoungwoon) Kim was born in Busan, S. Korea. She was an Associate concertmaster at Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea and a guest concertmaster for Pottstown Symphony. As a violinist she performed with Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Opera, Harrisburg Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Elysian Camerata Trio Excelsior. She is the founding member of La Croix Quartet, Tononi Quartet, Sori Duo and Caritas Trio.

Ms. Leah was faculty at Temple University, West Chester University, Valley Forge Christian College, West Catholic High School, Settlement Music School and Peabody Conservatory Prep. She was a director of string ensemble at Archbishop John Carroll High School, Lehigh Valley Performing Arts High School, and director of music at Rebecca Davis Dance Company.

Currently Ms. Leah is the Director of Music at Villa Maria Academy High School, faculty at Eastern University, a violinist in La Croix Quartet and Director of Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra, Pennsylvania Petit Ensemble and Vivace Competition and Chamberstrings Summer Camp.

Ms. Leah studied Performance and Pedagogy at Juilliard, Peabody Conservatory, National Conservatory in France and began her Doctorate in Music and Arts at Temple University.

Ms. Leah’ music majoring students have gone onto (recently working for Philadelphia Orchestra 2nd violin section), Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard Music School, Manhattan School or Music, Eastman Music School, Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Boston College, Swarthmore, Berkley, Michigan, Vanderbilt, University of Hartford, Moravian University and Temple University.

Piano

Mrs. Pavinee Snyder (Piano Coordinator)

Mrs. Snyder was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. She earned a degree in Pharmaceutical Science from prestigious Chulalongkorn University and a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Trinity College London.  In 1985, she moved to the United States and earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Language from Florida Atlantic University. Mrs. Snyder has performed professionally and taught piano for over 40 years.  She is an active member of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs and National Guild of Piano Teachers.  She encourages her students to participate in piano festivals and competitions sponsored by these organizations. Mrs. Snyder has taught piano at Villa Maria Academy since 2000 and is the piano coordinator for the school music department. She is also a chairperson for the National Piano Guild Auditions, Malvern PA Center.  Besides working at the school, she also teaches piano to students of all ages in her home studio.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Snyder performs at weddings, funerals and special occasions as well as weekly masses at SS. Simon & Jude Catholic Church and at Immaculata University, Villa Maria Chapel. As part of their music ministry, she coaches and helps with the children’s choir and college choir. She also works as a professional accompanist for both instrumental and vocal auditions and competitions.

Mrs. Snyder is married and has two grown children – a son who is a 2010 Malvern Preparatory School alumnus and a daughter who is a 2013 Villa Maria Academy alumna. In addition to music, she enjoys gardening, cooking, jogging and family activities.

Mrs. Ieva Carucci

Mrs. Carucci has distinguished herself as a highly insightful and artistic piano instructor whose students consistently achieve excellent results at variety international, national competitions, festivals and exams. She is a member of several organizations including the National Guild of Piano Teachers since 2004, the MLTNA since 2003, the World Piano Competition (Cincinnati) since 2005. She has also been a member of the New Jersey Young Pianist Competition since 2007, serving on the board since 2015.

Mrs. Carucci began her music education at the age of 5 under an intensive system of training that was prominent throughout the Soviet Union. She graduated with honors from the Jazeps Medins Music College and Latvian Music Conservatory in Latvia where she received instruction from Constantine Blumenthal and Ventis Zilberts.

Piano and Flute

Mrs. Wendy Tarnoff

Ms. Tarnoff has devoted most of the past 30 years  teaching in independent schools, managing a private studio and freelancing in the Philadelphia area. She has performed in a variety of groups featuring repertoire ranging from classical jazz, reggae and blues.

She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory, magna cum laude, and did post graduate flute studies with  the legendary John Krell, of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Curtis Institute.

In addition to teaching flute and piano at Villa Maria Academy since September, 1999, she has taught flute at Friends Central in Wynnewood, Settlement School in Philadelphia and The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, where she also directed concert band and wind ensembles in the lower, middle and upper Schools. Most recently she serves as board member, principal flutist and director of marketing for the Orchestra Concordia, in Radnor, PA.

Winds, Brass, & Percussion

Mrs. Jennifer Dillon

Jennifer Dillon is an exceptionally high caliber jazz musician, who’s been studying music for over half of her life.

Professionally trained in both instrumental music (saxophone) and voice, Jennifer studied under Kira Baklanova (a former Italian opera star) for three years before attending college. She then studied at West Chester University, achieving high marks in the vocal and instrumental programs, and most notably becoming a star performer in the West Chester Criterions Jazz Ensemble for three years. Her playing has been praised by national leading jazz artists, including Denis DiBlasio and Matt Gallagher.

After graduating college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education (and having earned the Mike Falcone Scholarship), Jennifer became the director of the Jazz 4 Nothin’ Big Band and currently arranges therapeutic music programming for patients in long-term rehabilitative care. Jennifer was the instrumental music teacher and band director at Bonner and Prendie High School for 2 years.

In the future, Jennifer plans on continuing her jazz studies, and anticipates a return to the academic world to study musicology and/or music therapy. Jen has experience teaching saxophone and voice privately, and is currently working as a Music adjunct at Villa Maria Academy teaching winds.

Aside from advocating music, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband Shawn and 4 year old son John. They enjoy road trip vacationing to various states. Jennifer also enjoys visiting her family who reside near the Jersey shore.

Mr. Ken Vogel

Mr. Ken Vogel’s teaching experience spans over 30 years. A strong foundation of the basics and fundamentals are the core of his instruction. He specializes in teaching rock, double nass, jazz, Latin, odd meterspolyrhythms, hand technique, and reading. He presents annual drum clinics and student recitals. His summer drum camps have featured such drum set styles as rock, jazz, Latin, and world music, as well as percussion ensemble and drum line. Students perform with a live band at some of the camps.

Mr. Vogel is the author of six drum method and solo books including Drum Set Unlimited, Melodic Solo Encounters For Drum Set, The Creative Rock Drummer Volumes I & Ii, Bass Busters (Double Bass Method) And Sticking Method For Today’s Drummer. His articles have appeared in Modern Drummer Magazine, For Drum Instructors Only, and The Creative Drummer Magazine.

Armand Santarelli and William Schinstine are two well known drummers/teachers and authors that Ken studied with. Both were very influential to Ken as a teacher and performer. He also studied at Drummer’s Collective in New York City and participated in percussion and jazz symposiums at the University of Miami from 1971-1975.<

Ken currently performs and records with a variety of rock, jazz, and Irish bands in the Philadelphia area. Some of the bands he has performed with include: Side FX, The Nerve, The Junkyard Band, The Donnie Allen Band, The Project Big Band, Jellyroll, The Sixth Street Quarternion, Big Band Theory and Mary Beth & Friends.

Many of Ken’s former students have moved on to successful careers such as composing scores for TV and Film and touring and recording with National Acts such as Rusted Root, Hoots And Hellmouth, Dolly Parton and The Blue Man Group. Many are respected instructors.

Cello/Bass

Ms. Kathryn (Kitty) Bobnak

Kathryn Leonard Bobnak is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Philadelphia area.  She holds a cum laude degree in cello performance from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and pursued graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.  Her principal teachers have included Deborah Reeder and Christopher Rex (in Philadelphia), and Mihaly Virizlay (in Baltimore).  She attended the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine for five summers and for four of those summers served as orchestral assistant to Maestro Charles Bruck and performance manager of the weekly chamber music concerts.  An interest in early music led her to study baroque cello and viola da gamba at the Baroque Performance Institute (Oberlin Conservatory), where she also learned to dance the Minuet!

Ms. Bobnak has performed for many years as assistant principal cellist with the Pottstown Symphony Orchestra and as a substitute with the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.  She founded two successful wind and string chamber ensembles, tre voci and the Sebastian Trio, and frequently collaborates with guest instrumentalists and vocalists.  In the early music realm, she has performed with the Penn Baroque Ensemble and in recitals and concerts in Philadelphia and New York.

In addition to her performance commitments, Ms. Bobnak is a dedicated and sought after teacher, chamber music coach, competition judge, clinician, and writer of program notes.  She has amplified her traditional conservatory training with coursework from two of the great twentieth century teaching masters:  Zoltan Kodaly and Shinichi Suzuki, including formal Suzuki Teacher training at the Hartt School of Music (Univ. of Hartford, CT).  She encourages her students by developing an individualized lesson plan tailored to each student’s abilities and learning style; creating not just performers but informed listeners.

Ms. Bobnak currently teaches cello at Friends’ Central School and co-directs the Lower School string ensemble.  She also teaches cello and bass at Villa Maria Academy High School, is an adjunct instructor of cello at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, and maintains a lively private studio for students of all ages.