Merrick School of Music Team
Where the Passion Begins
Joel holds a Master's Degree in Music from the Manhattan School of Music and completed further post-graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He is an award-winning concert pianist and recording artist.
Joel's teaching experience runs the gamut from elementary school thru college. Many of his former students were admitted to leading conservatories and have continued on to professional careers in the arts.
Bernadette is a NYS certified teacher who has been teaching in the school system for over 20 years. She holds both my BM and MA degree in Music Education, and Jazz guitar was her major instrument in college. Her system of guitar training includes work in music reading, music theory, fretboard navigation, pick-control and fingerstyle techniques, and ear-training applicable to most contemporary styles of music.
Arielle is a NYS certified early childhood teacher, receiving her MST from Fordham University. She also studied music and attained a BA in music from Fordham University Lincoln Center. As a lifelong musician, Arielle has been studying music since she was 7 years old, playing the violin for over 16 years throughout grade school and into college, performing in various festivals and adjudications including LISFA and NYSSMA.
Arielle has also been studying piano for 7 years. Last year she performed her senior piano recital after receiving her senior diploma from the National Piano Associates. She continues her piano studies, branching into pedagogy and the organ, with international pianist Nelson Ojeda Valdés who is based in New York City.
Allie Michaelis is a NYS certified teacher who obtained her B.M in Music Education from Long Island University, and is on a track to receive her M.A. in Music and Music Education in May 2023 from Teachers College, Columbia University. During her time at LIU she performed in various ensemble groups, and received opportunities to perform abroad in countries such as Australia, Spain, and Canada. She is also a member and board director of Huntington Choral Society. Allie is eager and excited to share her love and passion for music with her students!
Angelica Rivera is a sophomore speech pathology student at St. John's university. She has been a parishioner at Cure of Ars since she was born and has loved music for just as long. Angelica has played the clarinet for ten years and participated in band throughout her schooling. She is happy to be able to share her knowledge of music with children.
T.J. is a senior at Calhoun High School where he plays alto saxophone in Calhoun’s wind ensemble and rock band. He participates in NYSSMA festivals each year and will conclude his NYSSMA journey this year by participating in level 6 jazz NYSSMA for saxophone. T.J. is a member of the youth group at Curé of Ars. He is looking forward to sharing his love of music at the Merrick School of Music where he will offer saxophone lessons to beginners at the school.
Marcus Brodsky is an experienced musician with a passion for teaching violin and viola to future generations. He is a recent graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. During his time at the Copland School of Music, Marcus served as the principal violist of the Queens College Symphony/Opera Orchestra, and the Principal Second Violin of the Baroque Orchestra. Marcus has taken the Suzuki Every Child Can Course and has participated in the Elizabeth Faidley Pedagogy Workshops.
"I am a sophomore at Providence College, majoring in Music with a concentration in Musical Theatre. I am so excited to be sharing my love of music at the Merrick School of Music! I teach Flute and Vocal (Musical Theatre/Pop) private lessons for beginners and intermediates. I primarily work with older kids, but will work with all ages. I am available to begin in person lessons this summer but will have to continue lessons virtually at the end of August when I return to Providence."
"I am a Merrick native. I am excited to be working at the Merrick School of Music! I have been involved with the Youth Choir at Curé of Ars Church in various capacities for over 20 years. I enjoy the “behind the scenes” aspect of running groups, and I am looking forward to meeting more talented musicians. During the day, I am a social worker in a nursing home, having earned a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. I also enjoy spending time with my two cats and mini goldendoodle."
Multi award-winning pianist and Carnegie Hall Outstanding Teacher Award recipient in 2019, Vladimir Tiagunov teaches piano to students of all ages and levels. Many of his students prepare to the NYSSMA auditions, International Competitions, and play solo recitals. The lesson plan is developed individually for each student in accordance with their skills, level, personality, and goal.