Music Instruction

Stellar Faculty

Music instruction, like all Arts and Athletics programs, begins with amazing teachers. Our music instructors include graduates of Juilliard, the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, the Manhattan School of Music, the Berklee College of Music, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. They’ve shared their talents and love of music with audiences all over the world—touring with Grammy winners, with Broadway shows, and composing scores for blockbuster movies—and they’re here to share those gifts with our children as well. Our aim is to create ever more opportunities for our teachers and students to work together…including daytime class instruction, afterschool practice time, one-on-one lessons, weekend, holiday, and summer break camps, as well as recitals and concerts.

See below for bios of our instructors and details about private lessons. Visit this space and be on the lookout for emails and newsletters publicizing all upcoming programs as we roll them out. For a list of upcoming faculty performances and afterschool tuition credit incentives, click here.

Study Time Jam

Those students studying a musical instrument during the school day—trumpet, clarinet, violin, percussion, and recorder—can use part of their afterschool “Study Time” to practice their instruments under the supervision of their daytime instructor–Camilo for trumpet, Jarien and Kevin for clarinet, and Aris for recorder. This program launched first for trumpet and clarinet earlier this winter and will continue to expand to include the other instruments as well. Increasing the amount of time children spend, instruments in hand and with the support of their peers and the virtuoso players on our staff, will help to build the foundation of an exemplary elementary school music program.

Private Instruction

Instrumental music lessons (piano, guitar, violin, saxophone, clarinet, flute trumpet and drums) are offered at PS 9 from 3:00 and 5:30 each day that afterschool is in session. Lessons are 30 minutes long. The price for a block of 10 lessons in $600.

Lesson scheduling: Because all students progress at their own pace, the lesson schedule is independent of the regular afterschool cycles for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Once a student approaches the end of their block of ten lessons, families will be reminded to purchase another block. Once a day and time is agreed upon we’ll add the charge to your account.

Cancellation policy: If a student is unable to make it to a scheduled lesson, we ask that parents inform us 24 hours in advance so that another student can be scheduled for the time slot and the teacher doesn’t travel to school unnecessarily. Missed lessons will be charged.

Inquiries or to register: email Ryan@ArtsAndAthletics.org

Instructors:
Stephen Benson: Guitar, Piano

Stephen Benson, an active figure in the New York City Freelance music scene. His versatility spans various musical genres, from jazz and classical to rock, blues, Broadway, Bluegrass, and Klezmer. Stephen’s extensive experience includes performances and recordings with a diverse array of artists, such as Phoebe Snow, John Sebastian, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Harry Connick Jr., Take 6, and more.

Stephen’s musical journey has taken him to prestigious stages, including the Grand Canyon Music Festival with Robert Bonfiglio, performances with Evelyn Blakey at the Carnival of Venice, and a two-year European tour with the Giora Feidman Trio. He contributed to a worldwide tour of “A Chorus Line” and recently played in Broadway orchestra pits for “Aladdin,” “Chicago,” and “The Lion King.”

Randall Klitz: Guitar, Piano

Meet Randall Klitz, a seasoned music instructor with a rich heritage of musicianship and education. Hailing from a family deeply rooted in music, his grandfather contributed his talents to the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, while his father served as a professor of music (history and theory) at the University of Connecticut.

Randall extends his passion for music through teaching, offering lessons in piano, guitar, and bass for students of all ages, including adults. Beyond instrumental instruction, he shares his expertise in songwriting, recognized as an award winner of The John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

With an impressive performance background, Randall has graced Broadway stages and toured nationally with Broadway shows. His musical journey has seen collaborations with various artists, from Nick Jonas to Jennifer Hudson. Notably, he had the honor of meeting his favorite musician, Stevie Wonder, during a tour in New Zealand.

Randall Klitz brings a wealth of musical experience and a genuine love for teaching to inspire and nurture the musical talents of his students.

Feifei Yang: Erhu and Voice

YANG Feifei is a virtuoso on Chinese string instruments, an actress, as well as a mezzo soprano. She is a dual Global Music Award Winner. She has performed in such legendary settings as the United Nations, Abu Dhabi Palace, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Barclays Center, CBS, WNBC and more. She has performed for the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, the Rockefeller’s, Steve Forbes, China’s President and the First Lady. Her singles and albums include You Will Never Be Alone, Heroic China, Love Will Win Again, Tug of War, Dance of the Strings, Gu•Ran, and China Caribe. You can also see her in the Emmy Award-winning TV show We Speak New York.

Ed Horan: Drums, Piano and Voice

Ed Horan, a dynamic teacher, and composer/performer rooted in Brooklyn. A recent graduate of Princeton University, Ed channels his passion for music into teaching Musical Theater percussion, drums, piano, and voice with the Arts and Athletics afterschool program.

Ed’s artistic pursuits extend beyond the classroom, where he can frequently be found performing around the city or even further afield, with recent appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Outside of music, Ed enjoys expanding his skill set by learning new instruments and indulging in a love for old horror movies.

His vibrant energy and commitment to musical education make Ed a valuable member of the Arts and Athletics team, enriching the afterschool experience for students through his diverse musical talents.

Kevin Oliver Jr: Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute

Kevin Oliver, Jr. is a saxophonist from Atlanta, GA currently based in New York City. He has had opportunities to perform all over the world including during the inaugural year of NYO Jazz where he performed at Carnegie Hall and across Europe with Dianne Reeves and Sean Jones. He was a YoungArts Finalist in 2019. Since then, he has graduated from The Juilliard School where he gained insight from saxophonists Bruce Williams, Ron Blake and artistic director Wynton Marsalis. He also completed a YoungArts Mentorship with Vijay Iyer. As a sideman, Kevin has performed with Endea Owens, Jon Batiste, Immanuel Wilkins, Etienne Charles, and Giveton Gelin at clubs and venues such as Dizzys Club, Brooklyn Steel, DC Jazz Festival and Newport Jazz Festival. As a bandleader, Kevin has performed at jazz clubs across the U.S. namely the Velvet Note, Goodtimes Jazz Bar and all over New York City.

Kevin is a passionate educator. During his time at Juilliard he was a Morse Teaching Fellow and was a Jazz House Kids teaching artist. He also teaches private lessons for flute, saxophone and clarinet. His teaching philosophy is a people-centered approach that focuses on giving a student all the foundational tools they need to succeed while celebrating and cultivating their humanity. Kevin hopes to be a positive force that changes the world. Read more about Kevin here.

Camilo Molina: Trumpet

Camilo is a jazz trumpeter who grew up in North Port, Florida; a small town located just south of Sarasota. Right after high school, Camilo attended Miami Dade Community College before transferring to the University of Miami, where he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in jazz performance at the Frost School of Music. Camilo has been involved in the jazz scene in Miami, performing in many popular jazz venues, such as Lagniappe, Le Chat Nior, The Fish House, Miami Beach Bandshell and many more. He has also performed in several music festivals in Miami such as the Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival, Young Musicians festival and the Frost School of Music Festival. Currently, Camilo is an active performer in New York City. Camilo has been awarded second place at the 2022 International Trumpet Guild Competition in the jazz division. He has received mentorship from many present greats such as Marquis Hill, Philip Dizack, Michael Rodriguez, Etienne Charles, and Dafnis Prieto to name a few. He has also studied and performed with the likes of Brian Lynch, and Marcus Strickland and performed in a big band led by Christian McBride. Camilo Molina released his debut album, The Journey, in 2023 which is now available on all music platforms.

Matthew Tufaro: Guitar

Matthew Tufaro is a guitarist, composer, and educator from South Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance and minored in Classical Composition. He has been playing guitar for 20 years and teaching music for a decade. While living in South Florida, Matthew performed at various clubs and festivals in Miami and Fort Lauderdale such as the Uptown Avenue Festival, Miami Beach Youth Music Festival, and for international festivals such as Straßenfest in Berlin, Germany. In addition to his festival appearances, he has performed on Miami’s WDNA Jazz radio station. Since his recent move to New York City, he has jumped right into the Broadway scene performing at Playbill as a part of their Musical Theater Songwriter Series. His focus ranges from jazz to indie rock, pop songwriting to metal, and musical theater to classical. As an educator, Matthew teaches all skill levels by tailoring instruction to the student’s needs, strengths, and goals. He loves to help students who want to write their own music and find/strengthen their unique artistic voice.

“I love the limitless expression made possible through music. My favorite musicians range from Yvette Young to Tosin Abasi, and bands like CHON to Snarky Puppy. These artists’ musical explorations show us the possibilities and power of expression through music. In teaching, I hope to inspire in my students a sense of awe and wonder at the potential that each of us has in our own musical voice.”

Jarien Jamanila: Woodwinds

Jarien Jamanila is a woodwinds specialist born and raised in San Diego, California. He currently resides in New York City. He received a bachelor’s in jazz performance at the Juilliard School in 2021. His musical voice ranges from all the common saxophones, clarinets and flutes. Some of his key influences include Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan. Most days he stays very consistent in his daily life in regards to improving his craft, his health and his philosophy. The past few years he’s developed an extreme affinity for reading. He is at peace most days of the year and is truly inquisitive about the world. These attributes help perpetuate his creativity in his art and keep him grounded.

Aris Dolce Jr: Woodwinds

Born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, Aris Dolce Jr. moved to Miami when he was 3 year old. After completing part of his studies there in 2019, Aris moved to New York to study with  saxophone greats Steve Wilson, Godwin Louis, and Patrick Bartley. As a performer, Aris has had the opportunity to travel as a sideman with great bands such as Mwenso and The Shakes, and play at festivals and venues around the U.S, namely, the Summer Stage Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, DACAMERA, and Perleman Performing Arts Center, SF Jazz Center and the Montclair Jazz Festival. Musically, Aris looks to blend his wide range of musical interests like traditional jazz and swing music, Haitian Konpa, R&B, Hip-Hop, Rock, and Funk into his compositions and improvisations.