Finding the perfect teacher for piano lessons in South Jersey is easy at the NJ School of Music in Medford. Our degreed, professional and friendly instructors teach beginning music lessons to advanced music study. Styles of study can include classical, jazz, rock and pop. Please see below to read a bit about each of our teachers and as always if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 609-654-0060.
Sally Brinkerhoff, piano teacher at the NJ School of Music in Medford, has over 36 years of experience instructing students in piano. Sally has a Bachelor of Music degree from Covenant College, on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. She also has earned education credits from Rowan College and music education credits from Westminster Choir College, which is now part of Rutgers. She is a certified NJ music teacher and has taught music in the Medford Township School district for over 35 years. She began her teaching career at Cranberry Pines when the school opened its doors. She has also taught music at Haines Elementary School, Memorial School, and Chairville School. Sally has taught students from pre-school to seventh grade over the course of her career.
In addition to teaching general music classes, Sally has directed many student concerts and stage productions. A number of her students have gone on to perform in high school and college. Sally has also enjoyed singing in a variety of choral productions and leading children's choirs at her church since she was a teenager.
Sally has privately taught piano lessons throughout her career as a music teacher. A number of her students began learning piano with her in elementary school and continued through high school. She has also taught piano to adults and special needs students. Sally uses various methods to educate students and aims to choose the series that best suits the individual student.
When teaching piano, Sally aims to combine an understanding of music theory with performing beautiful music. When parents ask how to best prepare young students for band or chorus, Sally always recommends starting with piano lessons. Playing the piano opens the door to many other musical experiences and is a talent that can be enjoyed for the rest of one's life.
Piano lessons with Sally are available on Tuesday and Saturday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
John was born in Philadelphia, son of Joseph W.
Callaghan, a pianist, composer, teacher and choir director. Growing up as the son of a piano teacher John was exposed to many different kinds of music. Music was constantly heard or being played by any of the nine members in the Callaghan family. John studied piano with his father until age 13. He was then privately tutored by concert pianist Gail Ofterdinger, studying classical form and composition.
John, at age 14, started performing with various rock and jazz acts in the Philadelphia area. After attending Temple University John embarked on a full time music career as a pianist, organist, arranger, songwriter, and band leader. By 1982, he was performing in top name bands at the Jersey Shore. These bands include; "Hot Flash", "Syn" and "Cheers the Band" which was named Lounge Act of the Year in 1985 by Atlantic City Magazine. Through the 80s and 90s John was musical director for several acts appearing in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Wildwood, and Pocono Resorts. He performed at the Aladdin Hotel Casino in Las Vegas in 1987-1988, appeared in Atlantic City's "Superstars Live" at Bally's in 1991, and played the Forum Lounge Piano Bar at Caesar's from 1992-1997, and then again from 2000-2003. In 2005, he became a member of the "Jon Lewis Orchestra", as well as an accompanist for vocalists appearing at "Tangos Piano Bar" at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. In 2006 John placed 2nd in the Philadelphia Flyers Arena Organist Competition. He performed at the "Flyers Wives Fight for Lives" carnival in 2008 and 2009. John is also a 20-year member of the "Original Dueling Pianos", a sing-along piano team who do specialty performances at clubs and beach bars from New York to Maryland. He was musician/arranger for Williamstown High School Cabaret Night in 2009, performing new and classic songs from the Broadway Stage and beyond. He is a member of "Brandywine Valley Talent", an agency providing music for corporate and private events. Mr. Callaghan was guest lecturer and performance judge at the South Jersey Teen Arts Festival held at Stockton University from 2004-2006.
As a songwriter, John has recorded three full length CDs, has had four songs placed in documentary and independent films, and has won runner-up and honorable mentions in various songwriting competitions. He also co-wrote a song on the nationally released CD from the band, "Bugzy", released in 1997.
Mr. Callaghan, is the owner/operator of Ignatius Studios, located in Williamstown and on the web at www.iggymusic.com. Ignatius Studios specializes in jingles, custom-made karaoke tracks, singer-songwriter demos, and full band recording sessions. John is also accomplished in electronic music, synthesis, and "midi sequencing".
Piano lessons with John are available Monday through Wednesday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Lam-Ying Cheng began her classical piano studies at the age of four. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, she studied piano with Professor Lianping Zhu, Yuan Tian, Dan Zhou, and Zi Sang at The Attached Middle School and High School of Wuhan Conservatory of Music for six years.
Lamying graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, where she studied under the tutelage of Dr. Clipper Erickson, Dr. Joyce Lindorff (Harpsichord), Dr. Charles Abramovic (Chamber Music), Dr. Dyo Vladimir (Chamber Music), and Pro. Jeffery Solow (Chamber Music).
Lamying has had many experiences to perform as a collaborative pianist in various capacities, including vocal accompaniment, instrumental accompaniment, piano duo, chamber, and chamber orchestra. She has performed in master-classes with pianists Jeremy Denk, Eleanor Wong, Gilles Vonsattel, Anna Polonsky, and the Lysander Trio.
Piano lessons with Lamying are available on Tuesday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Janet began taking piano lessons when she was 5 years old. She played clarinet during her school years and was an active member of her elementary and high school bands. Janet also sang in her church and in her school choirs. Her dedication to music earned her the John Phillip Sousa Award in her senior year of high school.
Janet attended Mount Union University where she worked toward a degree in Music Education as a piano major. She completed her degree at Thomas Edison College.
Over the years Janet has played piano for church services, church choirs and women’s groups. She has been teaching for over 30 years using a blend of Suzuki and tradition methods, all with an emphasis on reading, scales and technique using various methods. She works with each student’s aptitude, keeping their goals in mind. Playing piano requires hard work but Janet strongly believes that learning should be also fun and she incorporates that philosophy into every lesson.
Janet has experience teaching students of all ages and abilities.
Piano lessons with Janet are available on Wednesday and Thursday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Diane is a reputable teacher, and musician with a BA in Music Education and a MA in Performance. Diane has taught music at the college level, in public schools and at International Summer programs. She is a sought after woodwind and piano teacher and her clarinet, sax, flute and oboe students have placed in first and top chair positions in the South Jersey, NJ State and All Eastern Orchestra, Band and Jazz Groups.
During Diane's teaching assistantship at Indiana University of PA, she completed course work focused on pedagogy for teaching the very young, teen and adult beginner piano student. Her supportive and multi-disciplinary teaching style focuses on each individual student and their specific needs. This enables her to provide students with a solid foundation in music that leads to greater achievements and enjoyment. She is also experienced and skilled in teaching students with learning/behavior challenges.
Diane has performed with Music Da Camera, Pastoral Winds, Burlington County Union Band, Musical Interludes of Camden County, Philharmonic of South Jersey, Haddonfield Orchestra, Relache and Church, Opera and Pit orchestras in the Philadelphia/NJ area. She has managed and arranged performance opportunities for students in public venues and in assisted living and nursing homes.
Diane enjoys outside activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, and cross country skiing. Currently, she is involved as a volunteer with the Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program.
Piano lessons with Diane are available on Wednesday and Thursday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
EJ(EunJung)Park, was born in Gwangju, South Korea where she began formal music study at the age of five. Between second grade and her entrance to Dong Ah Institute of Media for voice, she participated in and won several piano and voice competitions. After graduating from University of Cheonnam as a piano major she attended Dong Ah Institute of Media and Arts (DIMA) to study voice. It was there that she became exposed to jazz and quickly determined that jazz would be the perfect vehicle for the creative self expression she was seeking.
In Korea, EJ performed at many well known jazz venues and participated in various concerts, singing both jazz and gospel music. She served as leader/arranger of "Da Capo," a jazz vocal group and taught voice at the Entertainment Management Academy. In 2011 EJ's love for jazz and her commitment to artistic growth led her to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she received a Master of Music in Jazz Studies, graduating in 2013.
Since graduation EJ has performed extensively, singing both jazz and gospel music. She completed an eight state tour of the east coast and performed at the prestigious Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. As a solo vocalist/pianist she has performed at the Revel Resort Casino in Atlantic City and at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. EJ also performs and records as featured vocalist with the Don Glanden Jazz Trio.
EJ teaches classical, pop and jazz piano to students of all ages.
Piano lessons with EJ are available on Friday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Denise attended Temple University Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia for Music education and Music theory. Denise had taught piano, keyboard, music theory, instrumental music and music appreciation to the grades K through 8 at local schools in the past; simultaneously gaining over 20 years of private teaching experience. She is the Music Director for St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Hainesport, NJ. At St. Paul's she plays classical and contemporary music on piano and pipe organ, sings, directs choir, accompanies the children's choir, composes, leads the rock bands, teaches the youth rock band and leads and arranges all the music for the jazz band.
Denise has studied and teaches classical, jazz, blues, popular, composition, arranging, and piano vocal accompaniment. She likes working with students of all ages and musical backgrounds. In addition to standard lessons, Denise, offers twenty-minute music lessons to children between the ages of 3 and 5 with shorter attention spans and has a lot of experience working with children with special needs such as blindness and autism as well as other developmental disabilities and conditions.
Denise is most interested in what the student wants to accomplish regarding music in his or her life and creates a program specifically suited to each individual students' wants, needs and dreams.
Denise's primary teaching methods are based on the Gordon Music Learning Theory. She teaches her students how to read music, as well as developing their ability to play what they hear. She chooses methods based on each student's goals, and emphasizes technique, style, interpretation and theoretical knowledge when developing individual programs. She actively assesses each student's music aptitude and works to develop and maintain it. Her main goal when teaching is to create an environment where the student is challenged and engaged as well as having fun. Denise is also a member of the South Jersey Music Teachers Association.
Piano lessons with Denise are available Monday through Friday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Pianist/Organist Chris Simonini's Love for music began as a teenager. While first purchasing a guitar and playing for a year, he soon began to direct himself towards the piano.
Inspired by the feeling and soulfulness of jazz greats such as Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, and Cedar Walton he decided to devote his time to the tradition of Jazz. He first sought out formal training with jazz and classical piano lessons. Simonini had also become immensely interested in jazz organ and began to study the Hammond B3 organ. He currently continues to gig on the Instrument to date.
Chris, a New Jersey Native has been working as a freelance Pianist/Organist for the last Seven years with ample performance opportunities in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Washington DC. These opportunities include performances at Chris's Jazz Café (Philadelphia) playing as sideman with Denis Di Blasio, Grant Stewart, Behn Gillece, Brian Betz, Michael Pedicin as well as performances at many of the tri-state area's jazz festivals including, Exit Zero Jazz Festival(Cape May NJ-Organist in Brian Betz Quartet, 2015), Somers Point Jazz Festival (Somers Point NJ-Pianist in Michael Pedicin Quartet, 2013) and True Blue Jazz Festival(Rehoboth Beach DE-Leader of Organ Trio, 2014). Simonini has also lead many his own bands featuring his original music. He holds a long standing steady Wednesday night jazz gig at The Historic Smithville Inn (Galloway NJ),where he has had guest performers, Eric Alexander, Joe Magnarelli, Ken Fowser, Behn Gillece, Grant Stewart, and many others. Chris has had the privilege to work with some of today's well respected jazz musicians, some of which include, Javon Jackson, Grant Stewart, Steve Giordano, Vince Cherico, George Rabbi, Denis Di Blasio, Dan Monaghan, Justin Faulkner, John Swana, and many more.
In 2010 Chris received The Bill Walters Scholarship through the New Jersey Jazz Society which resulted in a performance at the annual Pee Wee Russell Stomp. Simonini holds a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from Rowan University(2013) Where he Studied under Dean Schnieder, Denis Di Blasio, and Lidia Bugoslavsky.
As a Clinician/Educator Simonini has had great experiences including serving as a guest clinician/performer at Rowan University's 2016 jazz festival. Chris has also served as a clinician at many of the south jersey area's high schools including Cherokee(Evesham) and Absegami(Galloway).
Currently Simonini is working on his Debut Recording Project. This project features all original music and the talents of John Swana-EVI, Andy Lalasis-Bass, Keith Hollis-Drums. The Project is due out in the Spring of 2017.
Piano lessons with Chris are available on Monday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.
Karen obtained her Music Education Degree from Baptist Bible College. She continued her music training at the Kodaly Center of America in Boston, Massachusetts and Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.
Karen is a state certified music educator and has taught vocal and general music in several private and public schools throughout the area. She has enjoyed directing more than 30 Musical and Dramatic productions.
She also started a Mommy and Me music program called Sing & Sign which has held classes in Cherry Hill and Shamong. She has enjoyed researching the power of music to strengthen a child's mind, not just musically but also verbal skills, patterning skills, logic, mathematical and reading skills, along with analytic and creative skills. She notes that movement activities also develop fine and gross motor skills. This research has enflamed a passion to grow a preschool music program in the area.
Karen has authored a book, "Singing Without Tension", and uses the philosophy taught in that book to teach her students. She believes each lesson should be tailored to the needs and goals of the student and should always include proper breathing, diction and singing techniques.
Her experience on stage and as a director gives her a passion for musical theatre and drama. She enjoys preparing her vocal students for auditions as well as recitals, plays and special singing engagements. Other genres she specializes in are country and many styles of pop music.
Karen has been the recipient of prestigious awards, including the Award for Excellence in the MACSA Choir Competition. She has over 30 years of teaching experience.
She has also taught piano to students ranging in age from four to seventy five. She uses various methods from Alfred to Bastien and chooses the book that best fits the age and experience of the student. Karen believes learning piano can be fun, so she teaches various genres including classical, general and the latest pop or Disney hits. She mixes the students individual preferences in with technique and theory.
As beginner students learn to read music, Karen teaches different strategies from rote to mathematical to analytical, enabling each individual student to utilize their own strengths to develop into an accomplished pianist.
Karen loves working one on one with her students and watching them develop as musicians.
Piano lessons with Karen are available Tuesday and Wednesday at the NJ School of Music in Medford
The call of music has always been a strong one for Clarence Watson. While still in high school he was asked to be part of a Dixieland Band to perform at Carnegie Hall. Then still fresh from his first year at Temple University he was recruited to play with Lionel Hampton's band. Realizing that he needed to finish his education Lionel Hampton graciously allowed Clarence to leave the band so that he could finish his degree under the stipulation that the minute he graduated from school he would give him a call. Clarence left the Hampton band and finished his degree at PMA (University of the Arts) then returned once again to tour with the Hampton band for another two years. After spending a year and a half in the army Clarence began teaching music in the Pemberton School District; where he remained until 1999.
Parallel to his long teaching career Mr. Watson has had an equally long performing career. His list of performances reads like a list of who's who of musical talent. Clarence was in the pit orchestra at the Valley Forge Music Fair, the Show Boat, Schubert, Keswick and Forest Theatres as well as various casinos in Atlantic City. Mr. Watson regularly arranged and conducted music for Joan Myers' Philadanco at the Academy Of Music, and he spent several years conducting the house band at the Trump in Atlantic City. Mr. Watson has played with and for many greats over the years including; Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Bernadette Peters, Elvis Presley, Arthur Prysock, Joel Gray, Willie Nelson, the O'Jays, Michele LeGrande, Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca, Crystal Gale, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Martha & Vandellas, the Four Tops, Temptations, Joan Rivers, Jerry Lewis, Bette Midler, Red Skelton's TV show, Chita Rivera, Gregory Hines and the Hines Brothers. and Johnny Mathis to name a few.
Clarence brings his love and excitement about music to the students that he teaches. His ability to convey his knowledge in a way that reflects his own passion is unsurpassed. Clarence teaches trombone, French horn, tuba, trombone, theory, piano, brass band and jazz band to students of all ages and abilities.
Piano lessons with Clarence are available Monday, Wednesday through Friday at the NJ School of Music in Medford.