Instructor biographies

Melanie Ambler cello, 203 885-6669, melanie_ambler@brown.edu
Melanie has been playing the cello for thirteen years and is a senior at Brown University. She loves spreading her enthusiasm for the cello to younger musicians, having taught private lessons to individual students, as well as the Rhode Island Philharmonic Summer Chamber Music Camp. She has a positive, fun, and engaged teaching style, adapting to student’s needs by mixing traditional Suzuki books with student/teacher duets as well as other solo pieces. She is currently a member of the Spritzig Quartet and performs at Brown and the RISD Museum. She played in the Western CT Youth Symphony Orchestra and won their concerto competition as a senior in high school. She is combining her passion for music with her interest in medicine to write an undergraduate thesis regarding the effects of music on surgical patients. 

Wilfred Beaudoin drums, flute, bassoon, 401 781-2142, bbeaudoin@gordonschool.org
Bill attended Rhode Island College and Berklee College of Music. He plays rock, jazz, and classical music among other genres. He enjoys playing drums, flute, and the bassoon. He plays regularly with the Fall River Symphony Orchestra and Classic Winds woodwind quintet. He has performed with the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble, local orchestras, and smaller ensembles, and enjoys performing in a variety of musical styles. He is the director of the Jazz Band for the Gordon's seventh and eighth grades, as well as founder and director of the Percussion Ensemble elective.

Adam Dias guitar, piano, ukulele, voice, banjo, songwriting, 401-954-0016, colournouveau5@gmail.com
Adam graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music as a guitar principle with a B.A. in Songwriting. He plays and teaches rock, jazz, blues, classical, pop, folk, bluegrass and other traditional music genres. A guitarist, pianist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who has been teaching for 10 years, his specialities include classical guitar, electric guitar, piano, ukulele, voice, banjo, and songwriting. Teaching all ages and all levels, Adam creates fun, original, and exciting lesson plans that contour to his students’ individual learning styles and needs. He provides a compassionate, caring, and creative learning environment along with a solid foundation in classical technique, theory, ear-training, and musical fundamentals. Besides teaching professionally, he is a nationally touring recording artist that has performed at venues such as: Salem Arts Festival, RISD, Cornell University, Hampshire College, Colgate University, The Multicultural Theater Space in Kitchener Ontario as well as numerous colleges, festivals, fairs and coffeehouses around the US. His performance storytelling program is entitled, “True Colours, Exploring Your Identity” and seeks to explore multicultural identities and bring diverse communities together. 

Cheryl Faria piano, 401 419-8682, cherylafaria@verizon.net
Cheryl loves to play and teach piano and is excited about helping students learn the joys of piano playing. She grew up in a musical family and began taking classical piano lessons at the age of six. Ms. Faria has dual undergraduate degrees in Music and Art Education and has a Masters degree in Business Administration. She is also certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Her repertoire includes classical piano works, popular standards and original compositions. Recent performance venues include the Rhode Island College Recital Series, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Studio 34 Dance Shows and the Hallworth House. When not playing or teaching piano, she works part-time for the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School researching and writing grant applications. Her other passions include gardening, jazz dance, local 1600’s history and travel. 

Michelle Kaminsky violin, fiddle, 401 246-2720, mkfiddle99@gmail.com
Michelle joined Gordon’s after school music program ten years ago, and has been teaching music and fiddle for over twenty-five years. She is known for her flexible teaching style and patience, inspiring a love of music in her students. Combining her background in classical violin with familiar folk songs to teach good technique; her goal is to give students a good foundation for wherever music will take them. Michelle started on the violin at age nine, and continued her classical studies through high school. In high school she discovered New England country dancing, and string band music, and has been hooked ever since, learning from other fiddle players for the last thirty years. Michelle currently plays with Magnolia Cajun Band and French Roast. Michelle has had the honor of teaching fiddle as a master for the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA). Michelle also teaches in her private studio, and for Rhode Island Fiddle Project. Michelle has a degree in elementary education, specializing in early childhood music. She is certified in Level 1 Orff, Early Childhood Kodaly and Music Together, as well as having studied the Suzuki method. Michelle offers private lessons and group experiences. 

Ian Kasarjian piano, 508 966-4628, ikasarjian@hotmail.com
Ian is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University’s School of Music. He began piano lessons at the age of four, and quickly developed an eclectic repertoire of music, ranging from classical to pop and everything in between.  He has been a professional musician since he was sixteen and got his first job as a church organist.  He is currently the organist/music director at Saint Joseph Church in Medway, Massachusetts. Ian has also recently accompanied Royal Conservatory Program vocal students in recitals at Carnegie Hall. He began teaching piano lessons in 1985, and has taught piano at Moses Brown School since 1998.  In 2005, Ian began regularly accompanying the Gordon School’s plays. Ian’s approach to teaching is different for each student, depending on their individual preferences and strengths. While he includes technique and exercises in his lessons, his focus tends to lean toward performance and personal style to ensure students have fun and feel confident in their ability to perform the pieces they choose. Besides teaching and performing, Ian loves to compose, having performed his first composition at his third grade piano recital. He also enjoys traveling with his wife and three boys.
 
Elena Kishkovich piano, 401 651-5175, ok43@cox.net
Elena joined Gordon's after school instrumental faculty seven years ago. A mother of four children, she holds a Master of Music degree from Moscow University and is both a piano instructor as well as a professional accompanist. Elena is also the organist and choir director at Providence Presbyterian Church in Providence, RI. 

Wayne Marcus saxophone and clarinet, 401 500-0329, waynesaxophone@gmail.com
Wayne has been fascinated by the saxophone since the fourth grade, loving every minute of learning and discovery, studying all forms of music for saxophone, especially jazz. He was the lead alto saxophonist of the Syracuse University Jazz Ensemble for five years, a member of a popular local Rhode Island band, and currently engages in various local performance, teaching, and recording projects, including jazz, blues, reggae, rock, and musical theater. Wayne is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Teaching, in Elementary Education at Rhode Island College.

Joel McCoy piano and trumpet, 401 368-5886, joel.mccoy@outlook.com
Joel received his Bachelor of Arts in Music History and Literature from Rhode Island College. In addition to playing piano as a soloist/accompanist, his experience also includes orchestral brass music and singing tenor primarily as an early music choral member and soloist. Recent activities include participation in the Boston Early Music Festival, the Society for Historically Informed Performance, and the FirstWorks Festival, a program that focuses on world and local premieres of cross-genre works. Joel brings two decades of teaching experience and solid knowledge of performance practice to his studio.

Chris Monti guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, bass, 401-374-4478, montichristopher@gmail.com
Chris has been teaching since 2001, and teaching at Gordon since 2007. He composes and performs in various American styles as well as styles from West Africa, South America and The Middle East. He also collaborates with the Puppet Showplace Theater and Big Nazo on puppet shows for children and adults.
 
Cheryl Poisson piano 508 761 4225 (home) or 401 359 3329, cheryl.poisson@juno.com
Cheryl has been teaching piano and keyboard to adults and children for over 25 years. She has her Masters Degree from Rhode Island College.  She is very excited for the opportunity to be joining Gordon's after school music program.  Teaching is one of Cheryl's passions!  Her philosophy is to offer her students stress free yet professional lessons. Giving exposure to music and the opportunity to learn an instrument is so beneficial for children!  She teaches note reading and rhythm in a progressive manner and offers a strong foundation of chord skills with opportunities for solo and duet pieces. Besides giving lessons at Gordon, she is teaching private lessons in her home and at Barrington Christian Academy.