Meet The Team

Kirk Taylor

Kirk Taylor

Director, Scottsdale & Desert Ridge

Piano

Kirk has been teaching and playing piano professionally since high school. He has travelled from the Soviet Union to Alaska and Rawhide as a performer. He teaches all styles from classical to jazz and works primarily with more advanced students at both studios. Here is a recording of one of Kirk’s former student, Harley Jay, on one of Kirk’s originals.......read more

Alex Resnick

Alex Resnick

Instructor:

Guitar

Alex Resnick is a guitarist and educator with over fifteen years of experience in the field of music. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Arizona State University........read more.....

Billy Cioffi

Billy Cioffi

Instructor:

Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin, & Songwriting

Billy Cioffi, a 35-year veteran of the grueling and magnificent Los Angeles music scene, was born in Albany, NY. At age 16 he was signed with his band, The Grey Things, to Laurie Records and toured as the opening act of musical icons (The Allman Brothers, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, the Lovin Spoonful, and The Rascals).. .....read more....

Bob Weir

Bob Weir

Instructor: Scottsdale & Desert Ridge

Piano & Violin

Bob joins us as he begins a new phase of his career, out of New York and into the Arizona desert. Bob has performed and taught professionally in New York for over 25 years. He has accompanied numerous choruses and orchestras as well as performed as a sole pianist for many New York and private clubs......read more.....

Brett James Phillips

Brett James Phillips

Instructor

Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin

Brett James Phillips has had a guitar in his hand every day since he discovered his passion in high school. Brett has taught in the Phoenix area for thirty years......read more.....

Dr. Erik Sloyka

Dr. Erik Sloyka

Instructor:

Guitar

A native of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, guitarist Erik Sloyka holds a B.M. in Guitar Performance from the Eastman School of Music, M.M. and D.M.A. in Guitar Performance from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts—School of Music......read more.....

Emilio Caruso

Emilio Caruso

Instructor:

Drums & Percussion

Emilio is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Arts and Sciences. Since moving to Arizona, he has been awarded a 2000 Artist Project Grant from the National Endowment.......read more.....

Erick Hasbun

Erick Hasbun

Instructor:

Guitar & Voice

Erick came to Kirk’s Studio in 2008 as a young musician, already performing professionally. After a couple years of voice lessons at Kirk’s, he was ready to take on the position of instructor.......read more.....

Erin Holmes

Erin Holmes

Instructor:

Piano & Voice

Erin graduated in 2006 from the University of Southern California with a Bachelors degree in Vocal Music Performance. She has done several competitive opera intensives, including OperaWorks, a month-long clinic with training in acting,.......read more.....

Erin Hreha

Erin Hreha

Instructor:

Piano & Voice

Erin Hreha received her Vocal Performance degree from Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. While there, she performed as soloist in choirs and several lead roles in operas such as; Le Nozze di Figaro........read more.....

Frank Morrison

Frank Morrison

Instructor:

Percussion

Frank comes from an illustrious pedigree of percussionists. His instructors include: John Robinson, most recorded drummer in history and toured with Michael Jackson; Joe Morris, drummer for Whitney Houston and toured with Esteban. Frank has a six-year degree in music studies .......read more.....

Gabi Cavalcanti

Gabi Cavalcanti

Instructor: Desert Ridge and Scottsdale

Voice & Piano

Gabriella began studying music at the age of 9. A native of Tucson, Arizona, she moved to Tempe on a full scholarship to The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. .......read more.....

Gareth Montanarello

Gareth Montanarello

Instructor:

Bass, Cello & Guitar

Gareth Montanarello was born in Meriden, Connecticut and began playing double bass at age 17 after studying cello for 11 years. His primary teachers have included Michael Kazepides.......read more.....

Jeewon Park

Jeewon Park

Instructor:

Beatboxing

Jeewon has been beatboxing now for 7 years. While he was honing his beatboxing skills, he has performed in various talent shows and performances including Kirk’s very own All Star Showcase. It was after seeing his beatboxing .......read more.....

Jillene Guzman

Jillene Guzman

Instructor:

Piano, Violin & Voice

Jillene teaches orchestra at Benjamin Franklin Charter School in Mesa and private piano, violin and voice lessons here at the studio. She started piano lessons at age five and participated in the Arizona Study Program.......read more.....

Jimmy Lee Boggs

Jimmy Lee Boggs

Instructor:

Piano

Jimmy started playing the piano at the age of 6 and by the time he was 15 was in a band and gigging around town. He has since toured with a number of bands and done lots of studio work.......read more.....

Juliana Scholle

Juliana Scholle

Instructor:

Piano & Harp

A native of London, England, Juliana Scholle started playing piano and harp within a couple of months of each other when she was 12 years old. After 2 years of playing and receiving consistent top placements in competitions, Juliana became a piano and harp student at the Royal College.......read more.....

Kay Hinkle

Kay Hinkle

Instructor:

Piano, Voice, Strings, & Winds

Kay began her musical journey at a young age when she began learning the violin at age 6. Born and raised in England, she went on to lead her county’s youth orchestra on tour in European Countries such as Spain, Germany, Austria and Hungary read more.....

Kaylee Franks

Kaylee Franks

Instructor:

Piano

Kaylee has been playing piano since she was 5 years old. She participated in PMTA Federation and Ensemble throughout high school. Kaylee obtained her degree in Music Performance at Arizona Christian University in 2017. read more.....

Kelliann Jensen

Kelliann Jensen

Instructor:

Piano, Flute & Oboe

Kelliann Jensen was born at Fort Knox, KY and moved to Arizona at age 2. She has always loved music, and really enjoys sharing it with others. She plays the flute, piccolo, oboe, piano and organ. She also is a strong soprano. She started learning music at age 7 when she started taking private piano lessons....Read More

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

Instructor:

Voice & Piano

Kirk Douglas is an enthusiastic educator who has had the privilege of teaching private voice and piano to students of all ages. In addition to his private studio work, he is the choral director of the award winning Boulder Creek High School Choirs and Christ the Lord Lutheran Church.....Read More

Kristi Hanno

Kristi Hanno

Instructor:

Clarinet

Kristi Hanno is working on her second year as a Clarinet Performance student in the doctoral program at Arizona State University, studying under Dr. Robert Spring and Dr. Joshua Gardner, where she received her Master of Music degree.....Read More

Lauren Berman

Lauren Berman

Instructor:

Acting, Piano & Voice

Lauren holds a Bachelor’s in Vocal Music Education from Loyola and a Master’s in Voice Performance from Chicago College of Performing Arts. She has now settled in Arizona as she works on.......read more.....

Mark "Gus" Scott

Mark "Gus" Scott

Instructor:

Drums, Brass & Winds

Mark “Gus” Scott comes to Kirk’s after an extensive career in the internationally renowned rock band Trixter. They’ve sold over 3 million albums, toured the globe and appeared with other notable bands such as Kiss, The Scorpions, Poison, Warrant, Slaughter, Skid Row and more........read more.....

Mary Jane McCloskey

Mary Jane McCloskey

Instructor:

Voice & Piano

Mary Jane McCloskey’s passion is sharing her love of music with her students! She is an accomplished teaching artist with over 30 years experience working with young singers........read more.....

Max Young

Max Young

Instructor:

Percussion

Max has been drumming professionally since high school and started teaching at Kirk’s shortly after graduating from Desert Mountain........read more.....

Meghan Ruel

Meghan Ruel

Instructor:

Violin and Piano

French-Canadian violinist Meghan Ruel is a sought-after pedagogue and performer in both the United States and Canada. She completed her Masters Degree in Violin Performance........read more.....

Michael Ferraro

Michael Ferraro

Instructor:

Guitar, Ukulele, Songwriting, Beatmaking

Michael is a community musician, performer, and educator who has taught at Kirk’s Studio since 2011. He began playing guitar when he was 14, and has a bachelor of science in communication........read more.....

Michael Vazquez

Michael Vazquez

Instructor:

Cello

Michael’s story is simply amazing. Homeless at the age of 15, a local nonprofit in Tucson helped him find stable housing. He took up cello in the 6th grade and no matter how bleak the circumstance, he continued to practice and perform with school orchestras........read more.....

Nancie Kozel Tobison

Nancie Kozel Tobison

Instructor:

Piano

Nancie Kozel Tobison relocated to Arizona in 2016 after becoming a legend in Chicago as a music educator. She has experience as a Piano teacher and adjudicator for over thirty years, Choral Director, Organist, Business owner.........read more.....

Paul Avram

Paul Avram

Instructor:

Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin

Paul first started with Kirk’s in 2009 as a very gifted, young guitarist. He was so good in fact, we made him a part of the faculty in 2015.........read more.....

Peter Vamos

Peter Vamos

Instructor:

Piano

Peter grew up in Budapest Hungary and has been playing piano since the age of four. He studied classical music at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest – the most prestigious music university in Hungary. Here, he earned his Masters.......read more.....

Robert Avril

Robert Avril

Instructor:

Piano

Robert Avril has been teaching at Kirk’s Studio for the Performing Arts since 2014. He received a Bachelor of Music degree, Summa Cum Laude, in Piano Performance from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts of Arizona State University........read more.....

Roger McKay

Roger McKay

Instructor:

Acting & Voice

Roger has been teaching voice and acting at Kirk’s Studio since 2006 and is a veteran of the entertainment industry. He’s done everything from acting classes with Richard Dreyfuss to co-directing with Don Bluth.......read more.....

Sam Detweiler

Sam Detweiler

Instructor:

Guitar, Piano & Saxophone

Sam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a Master’s in Saxophone Performance from ASU where he was the saxophone teaching assistant. He has taken pedagogy coursework for all wind instruments.......read more.....

Sara Mitton

Sara Mitton

Instructor:

Piano

Sara has a degree in Piano Performance from Utah State University. She has taught both privately and at the conservatory at the University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and since relocating to Arizona is excited to be a part of the piano faculty at Kirk’s........read more.....

Stacie Anfinson

Stacie Anfinson

Instructor:

Piano, Voice, Guitar, & Oboe

Stacie’s list of accomplishments and accolades is lengthy to say the least, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll present the tip of the iceberg. After graduating as Valedictorian of her class........read more.....

About Gina

Gina has been greeting students since 2014 and has become an integral part of the Kirk’s Studio family. She’s always friendly and super helpful. Here’s your chance to get to know her a little better. : )

Jaimee Romero

Jaimee Romero

Administration:

Jaimee Romero has been running the show at the Scottsdale studio since March 2016. She brings an infectious smile and laugh to families, students and staff as well as a dedication to getting things done right. Occasionally she doubles as a magician when there’s a need to create lesson openings out of thin air or find an open space when the studio is packed. In addition to her administrative prowess, she sings a mean karaoke. We thank our lucky stars that the stars aligned to bring Jaimee to the Kirk’s Studio family. We are pretty sure you’ll be thanking your lucky stars as well. : )