Private Music Instruction
Each week, there are almost two hundred music lessons taught by eleven music specialists in the areas of voice, guitar, piano, and orchestral instruments within the school day. Students registered in music instruction (ONE TO ONE private lesson) – receive .25 credit and grade. Lessons are scheduled during study, lunch or advisory periods.
If you’ve ever wanted to play an instrument but never had the opportunity, you will find it at Villa Maria!
Begin an Instrument
Students at Villa Maria are highly successful in beginning a new instrument and then becoming a member of our highly acclaimed Orchestra. If you’ve ever wanted to play an instrument but never had the opportunity, you will find it at Villa Maria! Stringed and brass instruments can be borrowed with very small annual maintenance fee. Students with experience on the piano are especially encouraged to begin a new instrument.
Dr. Anthony Mosakowski, Ph. D. (Fine Arts- Department Chair)
Dr. Mosakowski 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. Dr. Mosakowski is a music teacher and choral director at Villa Maria Academy, where he teaches courses in music theory, composition, music technology, ear training, music appreciation, and applied voice; and directs the Concert Chorus, Madrigal Singers, and Handbell Choir. Dr. Mosakowski’s numerous compositions include works for a wide variety of media and audiences, and his special interests include choral and electroacoustic music. His most recent premiere was of Menuet-Fantaisie, a quintet for Baroque instruments composed for Mélomanie, a Wilmington, Delaware early music ensemble. Dr. Mosakowski has 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. She also teaches in her private voice studio in West Chester, PA. Susan runs a summer musical theater series and coaches musical theater audition workshops and glee workshops throughout the year. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singers (NATS), and is assisting with the re-vitalization of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter. As a member of the Voice Foundation and the Classical Singer Community, she actively enjoys continuing her education as a teacher.
Susan has completed her first level of certification in teaching Contemporary Commercial Music. She holds a 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 also actively writes about all things related to singing on her blog and her website.
Susan’s students have won a variety of local voice competitions, placed first in All Catholic Choir, District Choir, and held multiple leads in area high school, middle school, and local musical theater productions.
Susan Anders Brizick is a wife and mother of two boys. She is an avid exerciser who believes that physical activity balances the body and mind. Susan also enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening.
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.
Ms. Leah Kim (Director of Music)
Ms. Leah was born in Busan, S. Korea. She was an associate concertmaster at Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea and a guest concertmaster for Pottstown Symphony and Philadelphia Camerata. 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 Tononi Quartet, Sori Duo, Caritas Trio and La Croix Quartet.
Ms. Leah was a member of the faculty at Temple University, West Chester University, Valley Forge Christian College, West Catholic High School, Settlement Music School and Peabody Conservatory Prep. She was director of string ensemble at Archbishop John Carroll High School and Lehigh Valley Performing Arts High School, and director of music at Rebecca Davis Dance Company.
Currently Ms. Leah is a faculty member at Eastern University and Director of Vivace (Young Musician’s) Orchestra, Vivace Competition and Chamberstrings Music Camp. (chamberstrings.org)
Ms. Leah studied Performance and Pedagogy at Juilliard, Peabody Conservatory, and National Conservatory in France, and began her Doctorate in Music and Arts at Temple University.
Ms. Leah’s music majoring students have gone on to Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard Music School, Manhattan Music School, Eastman Music School, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University, Indiana University, Swarthmore University, Boston College, Berkley, Michigan State University, PennState University, University of Hartford, Gettysburg College, Eastern University, Moravian University and Temple University.
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 35 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 music department. She also teaches piano 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 as part of their music ministry. 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.
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 reeived instruction from Constantine Blumenthal and Ventis Zilberts.
Piano and Flute
Mrs. Wendy Tarnoff
Mrs. 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 groups featuring repertoire ranging from classical to jazz and blues.
A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, Wendy did post graduate flute studies with the legendary John Krell, in Philadelphia.
In addition to teaching 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 other wind ensembles in all divisions.