Matt - piano, guitar, voice, songwriting
Matt credits his mom for “sneakily forming his musical taste” as a toddler by exposing him to acts like the Beatles, Queen, Billy Joel, and Elton John. He was quickly hooked on music, and his parents signed him up for guitar and piano lessons. However, his musical studies truly fell into place when he discovered songwriting. A passion for writing, matched with encouragement from his peers, led Matt to focus on guitar technique and begin voice lessons. Matt auditioned for and was accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he strengthened his skills in general musicianship, vocal technique, songwriting fundamentals, ear training, composition techniques, and sight reading. From there, he moved to Philadelphia where he practiced furiously, gigged frequently, and completed college at Temple’s Boyer College of Music with degree in Music Production. Matt has performed at notable venues throughout the Northeast with several bands, including his current project Man Illuminated, and operates his own recording studio. In addition to guitar and voice, Matt plays piano and enjoys tinkering with keyboard synths and soldering his own DIY guitar pedals. He also enjoys woodworking and his two fantastic cats. Matt teaches piano, guitar, voice and songwriting for the school.
Kelsey - piano, guitar, saxophone, voice
Kelsey is a multi-instrumentalist, trained educator, and active member of Philly’s DIY music scene. She “can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in music,” and began her musical studies with piano lessons at age six, adding saxophone lessons in grade school. Some of her most formative musical experiences happened at Camp Louise in Shickshinny, PA, which she attended yearly. It was here that she learned how to play guitar and bass, and that she first sang in front of a crowd. Kelsey’s positive musical experiences at Camp Louise led her to pursue a career in music education, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Ed from West Chester University, where she graduated cum laude and made the dean’s list. At WCU, Kelsey added to her already extensive list of instruments; she learned and taught flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, French horn, and more. She also continued to study and play saxophone and piano, and participated in numerous music clubs, including the school’s professional music fraternity for women. Kelsey is a very active in Philadelphia’s music community. She has been performing in original rock bands since she was 16 years old, and has opened shows for Hall of Fame nominees, punk legends, and even a cast member of a hit TV show (Creed Bratton of “The Office”). Currently, she performs throughout the Philadelphia area as a solo singer/songwriter and as the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter for a rock band. Kelsey aims to giver all of her students “the tools that they need to share what they love to do with the world.” She teaches piano, guitar, saxophone and voice for the school.
Porter - guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, piano, songwriting
Growing up, Porter’s mother was the classical music critic for the Dayton Daily News. This resulted in a childhood brimming with music: records were always playing, trips to the orchestra were common, and Porter was taking piano lessons by the age of seven. A few years later, he received a trumpet (a longtime wishlist item) and began lessons with successful professional trumpeter, Dave Coleman. Around this same time, Porter discovered his love of rock music and picked up the guitar. He began taking lessons from a gigging rock musician, followed by lessons on classical guitar from Jim McCutcheon, the guitar professor at Wright State University. Porter continued his music education in college, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance. He has played in several bands and ensembles, including The Rutgers Jazz Ensemble, alt-country group Horseman, Pass By, Bluegrass outfit Whippoorwill, math-rock band Spaceman Spiff, and his current band, King of Nowhere. Porter has also taught extensively, both privately and in studios, and “has enjoyed working with students ranging in age from six to seventy.” He rounds out his wide musical skill set with abilities on several more instruments, including the banjo and dobro. Porter teaches guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, piano and songwriting for the school.
Alex - guitar, bass, voice, piano, drums, songwriting
Alex first showed a knack for music a very young age, and worked on his rhythmic skills by fashioning drum sets out of whatever pots, pans and stools he could find around the house. In elementary school, he graduated from cookware to an actual instrument when he joined the school’s percussion section, and not long after that, picked up one of the guitars that were “readily available” in his musical household. As he progressed through middle and high school, Alex built his skills on both percussion and guitar, adding hip/hop drums styles to his skill set, and collaborating with his brother in a band. While he initially intended on majoring in History at college, his love of music came calling – loudly. Alex graduated with his Associates Degree in Music from Montgomery County Community College, where he studied music theory, songwriting, choral arranging, piano, guitar and voice. He has supplemented these studies with classes at Temple’s Boyer College of Music, studying in voice, piano, and additional theory. Alex’s teaching experience includes early childhood education courses, classroom shadowing, and private music instruction on guitar, piano and bass. When not teaching, Alex is a member of The Loop, one of Philly and South Jersey’s busiest cover bands, and releases his own music as “Chop Robinson.” Alex teaches guitar, bass, voice, piano, drums and songwriting for the school.
Gabe - piano, violin, guitar, songwriting
Gabe began violin lessons at a young age, and (after his pro-jazz-drummer neighbor gave him his first jazz albums) later added jazz guitar to his musical studies. He grew his skills in both areas while also exploring folk guitar styles and learning piano by ear. In high school, he was accepted into JazzU, a competitive program in St. Louis that “places talented middle and high school musicians in small jazz combos, which meet weekly.” The program also gave Gabe free admission to shows at the city’s premiere jazz club, where he regularly saw some of the country’s greatest musicians. During this time, he also participated in musicals, and played guitar and violin in bands of various genres. For college, Gabe headed to Temple’s Boyer College of Music, where he received a presidential scholarship and graduated cum laude with a degree in jazz performance. His teaching experience includes training in the WeBop program (a jazz program for kids), the “Every Child Can” music program, and substitute teaching at local schools in subjects ranging from rock band to guitar, piano and drums. Gabe is an active performing musician, and is the member of four local bands, including the lighthearted (and playfully titled) group Sushi From the Future. He also performs in and wrote the music for a play appearing in the upcoming Philly Fringe Festival. In addition to violin and guitar, Gabe enjoys playing piano, mandolin, bass and drums. When not making music, he enjoys eating, biking, running, and exploring Philadelphia. Gabe teaches piano, violin, guitar and songwriting for the school.
Katie - piano, guitar
Katie is an experienced music educator who boasts degrees in both Music Education and Music Therapy from Immaculata University, as well as fifteen years of teaching experience on piano, guitar and French horn. She is a lifelong musician – she began studying piano at a young age, and soon added French horn to her studies after an orchestral performance of “Peter and the Wolf” left her fascinated with the instrument. She was classically trained on both piano and horn, and continued to study both instruments while attending Immaculata, adding studies on the guitar along the way. After graduating, Katie worked in liturgical, therapeutic, and educational settings. She applied her music therapy degree at Massachusetts Hospital School, Easter Seals of Philadelphia, and the Music School of Delaware with programs for children with special needs. She taught music to preschool through middle school-aged children at parochial schools in Delaware and Chester Counties, and also became a group music instructor for the very young. In addition to teaching music, she has also performed with local municipal bands and presents music programs at her local library. When not teaching, Katie enjoys spending time with her family and learning to play the mandolin. She teaches piano and guitar for the school.
Drew - piano, guitar, bass, songwriting
Drew’s pursuit of music has been life-long: he was singing before he could speak, studying piano by six years old, and a member of his first rock band by the age of twelve. His piano studies continued through high school, and in elementary school he also took up the saxophone and joined the school band. Drew continued to play sax in ensembles through high school, including the concert band and marching band. Around this time, he became fascinated by rock music and took up the guitar and bass, joining the school’s pit orchestra and jazz band on the latter instrument. He continued his musical pursuits in college, majoring in Audio Production (and minoring in Physics) at Washington DC’s American University. While at AU, Drew performed with the American University Jazz Orchestra, worked as a college radio DJ, and interned for NPR Music and SiriusXM's The Loft. Upon graduating, he taught youth music and private lessons in the DC area. Drew has extensive live performance experience, both on the stage and behind the sound board; he has performed extensively with his band, Boon, at venues like the Rock and Roll Hotel, Mercury Lounge, and DC9. As a sound engineer, he has recorded and done live sound for notable acts like The Antlers, BadBadNotGood, Strand of Oaks and more. Drew is a self-proclaimed “huge audio nerd” and has an extensive collection of music gear, including keyboards, synths, guitar effect pedals, amps, and recording gear. When not teaching, he still enjoys performing, recording and mixing music. Drew teaches Piano, Guitar, Bass and Songwriting for the school.
Bill - guitar, bass, piano, ukulele
Bill is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist, certified teacher, and former classroom music instructor who has founded and led multiple bands, vocal and instrumental ensembles. His musical journey began years ago – at five years old, Bill managed to pluck out the Star Spangled Banner on the piano by ear, and was immediately signed up for piano lessons. He studied piano throughout his youth, later adding rock guitar and classical guitar lessons. In high school, Bill’s guitar skills grew and he “felt compelled to shred,” so he immersed himself in the music of Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and others, followed by an exploration of classical guitar. At this time, he also began to write his own music, which he continues today, specifically focusing on indie-folk, finger-picking and electronic orchestrations. For his higher education, Bill attended William Paterson University, where he received his Bachelor of Music Management Degree with a concentration in Classical Guitar. He followed this with a Master of Multicultural Education degree from Eastern University, and a K-12 Music Teaching Certification. Bill taught music in PA and DE public schools for over five years, where he taught a variety of music subjects, and also led choirs, stage bands, and a drum line. Bill was formerly a member of the band, Eat Your Birthday Cake, and is currently a freelance studio and stage guitarist, working on multiple projects in DE and PA. In addition to piano and guitar, Bill plays bass, ukulele, mandolin, drums and several string instruments. When not teaching, he enjoys meditating, woodworking, and hiking. Bill teaches guitar, bass, piano and ukulele for the school.
Kathryn – voice, piano, ukulele
Kathryn’s love of music has been lifelong – some of her earliest memories include jamming with her father and putting on concerts with siblings and cousins. By middle school, she moved from dabbling in music to pursuing it with fervor: she joined the choir, enrolled in music class, and began to learn piano, drums and write her own songs. She continued these studies through high school, also adding in guitar class, mallet percussion and a world drumming class. For her senior project, Kathryn composed an original piece for concert choir and arranged a Muse song for jazz band, both of which were performed at her school’s spring concert. Her dedication to music paid off: Kathryn completed AP music theory and scored a rare and impressive “5” on the AP exam. (The fact that she was a National Merit Finalist and graduated fourth in her class is also of note.) When Kathryn began college at The College of Saint Rose, her AP score allowed her to skip several levels in her Music Theory and Ear Training courses. She majored in Music Industry, where the curriculum included classes ranging from Keyboard Harmony to Record Production to the History of Rock. Kathryn also studied private voice, participated in an internship and completed a senior capstone project. For her efforts, she received the school’s highest academic scholarship, the Trustees Scholarship, in addition to making the Dean's List every semester and ultimately graduating Magna Cum Laude. A seasoned performer, Kathryn played synthesizer and sang in an alt-pop band called Callout Culture for three years, and currently writes and records her own music. When not playing or teaching music, she enjoys cooking, painting, and going for hikes. Kathryn teaches voice, piano, and ukulele for the school.
Jordan – violin, guitar, piano, banjo
Thanks to his professional banjo-playing father, Jordan grew up spending his summers at Bluegrass and Old Time music festivals. He began Suzuki violin lessons at the age of five, while also exploring and learning his father’s collection of other instruments, including banjo, mandolin, and guitar. Jordan continued to study classical violin through high school, also taking private piano lessons, private guitar lessons and attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster, PA. He continued to study and perform in ensembles while studying psychology at Temple and then Millersville University for his undergraduate degree, later receiving his Masters Degree in psychology from Villanova University. Throughout all of his studies, Jordan has been an active performer. He was awarded second place in the 2016 Freshgrass Fiddle Awards, and has taken high (often top) honors at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival’s Band and Songwriting Contests several times. He currently performs as guitarist and singer for The Secondhand Suits and the Joe Hillman Band as well as his own solo and duo projects, and has performed in notable venues like Boston’s Club Passim and Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store. Jordan has worked with kids and taught music in many settings, including private instruction, volunteering with Music For Everyone, and teaching music to adolescents with behavioral problems. In his spare time, Jordan enjoys traveling to national parks, and being a Philly sports fan. He teaches violin, guitar, piano and banjo for the school.
Carolann – violin, guitar, ukelele, piano, voice
Carolann is no stranger to strings – whether they’re guitar strings, ukulele strings, violin strings, piano strings, cello strings or even double bass strings. (And, actually, do vocal cords count too?) Carolann’s first instrument was the guitar, which she received as a gift in elementary school, but it wasn’t long before she was also participating in the school choir, taking voice lessons, studying viola, and playing in the school orchestra and jazz band. When it was time for college, she attended Susquehanna University and majored in Music with a Music Technology minor. There, Carolann participated in the string pedagogy program, teaching weekly seminars in addition to being paired with private students. All the while, Carolann continued to study viola, hone her guitar, piano and vocal skills, and teach group music classes. Her educational experience doesn’t end there; she received her Masters of Education degree from Eastern University, was trained in The New Teacher Project's (TNTP) Teaching Fellows Program, and has taught in various school programs. A recent highlight was a stint at Community Academy of Philadelphia as a Creative Expression Teacher. Carolann brings her musical and educational knowledge to the Meridee Winters School of Music as a teacher on violin, guitar, viola, piano and ukulele.
Nelson - guitar, piano, voice, ukulele, bass
It’s very likely that music was the first thing Nelson ever heard. He was born into a whole family of musicians and it’s been a way of life ever since. Nelson learned harmonica and ukulele at an early age, and had also picked up the saxophone by the end of grade school. Not long after, he joined the school choir and his additional music lessons allowed him to conquer guitar, piano and several other instruments. While completing his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Maryland, he joined the acappella group Faux Paz. Performing with this group fueled Nelson’s love of song and won him the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) Mid-Atlantic Semifinals in 2015. Currently, Nelson plays blues/rock with his Philly based band, SHKRS. He’s always up for sharing his love of creative songwriting and the mindful experience of music with others. He loves studying the Beatles and White Stripes for songwriting inspiration and teaches guitar, piano, voice, ukulele and bass for the school.
Jared - piano, guitar, bass, violin, cello
Jared first picked up the guitar in the 8th grade, and years of practice and self-instruction led him to advanced studies and a music education degree from West Chester University, and even to an opening spot for the hit band, Dawes. At West Chester, Jared studied not only guitar, but also aural skills, orchestral strings, advanced music theory, double bass and piano. He also performed with the West Chester University Classical Guitar Ensemble. Currently, he plays in an acoustic duo called Salient Roots. They play country, bluegrass and blues and are best known for their vocal harmonies. When not teaching, Jared is an avid woodworker, and has been teaching himself string instrument luthiery in his home wood shop. He teaches guitar, bass, piano, violin and cello for the school.
Rebekah - *Lead Teacher: voice, piano, guitar, musical theater
Rebekah fell in love with music and acting at a young age, and followed that passion as it led her through music lessons and school theater all the way to professional productions and spots on commercials and TV sitcoms. The musical leg of her journey began with piano lessons, later adding voice and flute. Rebekah also picked up the guitar so that she could sing and accompany herself. Her acting experience is extensive – she has worked for professional theaters in Denver, Dallas, Virginia and PA and toured as an MC with the Radio Disney Road Crew. Rebekah graduated summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University with a BFA in acting and musical theater. While there, she was a presidential scholar, received a theater scholarship and studied abroad in Uruguay. While not teaching or performing, Rebekah loves to play with her cats, Mischief and Echo, and enjoys nature, biking, reading and painting. She is a lead teacher of voice, musical theater, piano and guitar.
David – *Lead Teacher: voice, piano, guitar
A born performer, David has graced the stage of many well-known Tri-State area theaters, including the Walnut Street Theater and the Arden Theater in Philadelphia and Candlelight Theater in Delaware. His stage credits have even taken him abroad to places like Edinburgh, Scotland and Beijing, China. David studied music throughout his youth – beginning with the saxophone and voice, and soon adding on the piano and the guitar. His love of music and the performing arts led him to Syracuse University, where he earned his BFA in Drama. (He also has extensive training in the Linklater voice method.) David has several years of music direction under his belt in various local school and music theater programs, and is currently serving as the music director for the Wolf Performing Arts Center. While his musical theater experience is extensive, David enjoys and teaches many genres, including jazz, rock, folk, classical and recording programs like Logic and MainStage. He is a lead teacher of piano, guitar and voice for the school.
Nick - piano, guitar, bass
Nick’s interest in music began during his elementary school commute, when he would sing along to old Motown and 50’s songs on the radio. This interest led to guitar lessons, and later, the bass. His musical studies continued when he attended Bates College, where he earned a BA in Music, with Honors in Composition. By the time he completed his degree, he had already compiled almost 200 hours of student teaching in music as well as physical education classes. He later taught in smaller, private studios in Northeast Philadelphia and Washington, DC. In addition to private lessons, Nick has worked with kids, helping them form bands and prepare to compete in statewide “Battle of the Bands” performances. He currently plays in several ensembles in the Philadelphia area, earning the title of “Philly Band of the Year” at the 2012 Tri-State Indie Awards and performing at the Peach Music Festival, run by the iconic Allman Brothers. Nick has also toured with the Kalob Griffin Band and performed with a member of a popular funk-jazz group, Soulive. Nick loves to travel the US and explore the local flavor wherever he finds himself. Always looking to explore his neighborhood and discover new restaurants, he loves finding new foods that he never thought he would like.
Willie – piano, guitar, bass and drums
For Willie, music has never been a choice – it has been a necessity. His life has always involved music from his fascination with the bagpipes as a child to playing in punk bands in his teens and now as a student of music therapy. The arts, musical theater, chorale groups, jazz and marching bands played big role in his adolescence and they have helped shape his education and career paths. Today, Willie is studying music therapy and piano performance at Immaculata University. He was awarded a scholarship by the music department and more recently was elected president of the Immaculata Chorale. Prior to embarking on a musical education journey, Willie was trained as a professional photographer at Hallmark Institute of Photography. Willie taught private music lessons on his own before joining the MW Team and has also served as a Boy Scout camp counselor. Willie plays with several bands in Philadelphia including a wedding band and an original funk band. He performs his own original music under the stage name Crills Wilson and has played with the popular indie-rock band Cheers Elephant on many occasions. When he isn’t playing music, Willie enjoys working on home improvement projects. He teaches piano, guitar, bass and drums for the school.
David - piano, guitar, voice, bass, drums
David has always had a strong interest in music and art. After seeing the iconic performance of “Johnny B. Goode” in the film Back to the Future, he was inspired to pick up the guitar, and began lessons at 7 years old. David later took up percussion and bass and played in rock bands, concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands and choruses throughout school. He's also no stranger to teaching – he began teaching lessons when he was a freshman in high school and has since worked in his own private studio and as the music director at Easter Seals' Camp Carefree. At Camp Carefree, he directed, instructed and wrote the curriculum for children with special needs. While in college, David studied composition privately with composers such as Robert Maggio, Adam Silverman and Michael Fiday. He graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition and from University of Cincinnati with a Master’s Degree in Music Composition. David genuinely loves and embraces a wide range of music styles from the Beatles to Beyonce, Bob Dylan and Luciano Berio. When he’s not busy studying the craftsmanship of all things musical, he keeps himself busy listening to podcasts about science, philosophy and the arts. David teaches guitar, bass, piano, percussion and voice.
Brendan - *Lead Teacher: guitar, voice, piano
Brendan grew up loving and listening to his Dad’s records. What he heard inspired him, so he started guitar lessons, formed a band with some friends, and began writing his own songs. Brendan followed this musical path to college, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Music Recording Technology from Lebanon Valley College where he studied both guitar and voice. Though he has a passion for jazz, Brendan loves playing in all different styles – rock, R&B, blues, progressive, and folk. His band, Johnny Action Figure, has performed at top venues in Philadelphia, Nashville and New York, alongside great bands like Wilco, the Get Up Kids, and Apollo Sunshine. Their music has been featured in television shows and commercials on MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central. Outside of music, Brendan is a big Philadelphia sports supporter. He is a lead teacher of piano, guitar and voice for the school.
Jason - *Master Teacher: guitar, drums, bands
Jason graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance and also received his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance, both from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music. He was the recipient of both the Frances G. Lumsden Memorial Scholarship and the Temple Jazz Grant for his academic efforts there. Jason has been featured in Jazziz Magazine and one of his compositions was included in the Jazziz University Education in America Compilation to represent Temple University’s music program. He is currently performing regularly with several original and cover bands and writes, arranges, and conducts for his nine piece jazz ensemble Tap Room Nine. Although very accomplished in the Jazz world, Jason was raised on rock and heavy metal and loves nothing more than to get on stage and shred. His original rock band was recently featured on 93.3 WMMR's Local Shots Vol. 6 compilation and is in rotation on DJ Jaxon's radio program. Jason has been teaching for the MW School of Music since 2005, teaches guitar and drums and is a master level teacher for the school.
Michael - *Lead Teacher: guitar, piano, bass
Michael Campanile has spent the past eleven years teaching, performing, and recording music on both the east and west coasts. A graduate of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, he teaches private and group lessons, guitar clinics and online lessons. Michael has helped many students discover music, with lessons ranging from beginners starting guitar to advanced players looking for a more specialized focus, as well as piano and bass students. Recently completing his 10th studio album, "More Songs No One Wanted", Michael is involved in several projects: a local metal band, a rockabilly Sun Records cover act, and various electronic music recordings. He is comfortable teaching all genres, including rock, metal, jazz, folk, improvisation, and composition, as well as electronic music, recording and production. He has recorded/produced with West Coast performer Peter DiStefano (Jane's Addiction), and the notable east coast act Infernal Opera. Some of his favorite musicians include Claude Debussy, Pat Martino, Marty Friedman, and Brian Setzer. When Michael isn't teaching or performing, he enjoys hand tool woodworking, Z grade horror, and anything Dostoyevsky. Mike is a lead teacher of piano, guitar, and bass for the school.
Doug - guitar, banjo
Doug holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from University of Delaware with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Anthropology. Doug started studying music at an early age. For most of his youth he studied with the great Mark Unruh mastering the styles of blues, bluegrass, rock, country and jazz. In recent years, he has been devoted to the study of bluegrass banjo and flat-picking guitar styles. Doug is a former member of the Philly indie-pop band Dr. Dog. During his tenure with the band he had the privilege touring with indie-rock darlings My Morning Jacket and has played venues across the country. He currently performs and records regularly with the rock-and-soul band Doublehorse!, and plays bluegrass, jazz and blues in a variety of group and solo settings in the Philadelphia area. Doug has been a teacher with the school since 2006 and teaches guitar.
Abhi - *Lead Teachers: guitar, bass, piano, ukulele
Veteran teacher Abhi Taranath is no stranger to music. His musical resume includes performances at Philadelphia's Theater of Living Arts and opening for the Sugarhill Gang as part of "The Ernest Goodlife Band." In addition, he is currently pursuing a degree in Media & Technology at Villanova University that he will use to explore the fields of music, recording and digital audio. This passion for music began long ago; as a toddler, his father would play Beatles and Ravi Shankar albums "endlessly" on repeat, and Abhi credits that as when his lifelong love of music began. In his youth, he received high honors for his saxophone playing and, looking to expand his musical skills, also began his studies on guitar, which has continued to study and master. Throughout his life, he has been exposed to a great variety of music genres and instruments – his expertise ranges from guitar, saxophone and piano to the Indian tabla. With a strong understanding of the traditional guitar approach, Abhi is also well versed with the more unconventional uses of guitar sound (such as soundscaping, looping and noise), and he is happy to explore all genres and approaches with his students. In his spare time, Abhi is working on his debut solo album and enjoys raising his two children. He is a lead teacher of guitar, bass, ukulele and piano for the school.
*Our lead and master teachers earned their positions through longstanding records of high performance within the school. Learn more here.