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Private Lessons

Private music lessons are available in:

Private lesson times are arranged between teacher and student, once registration has been processed and fees are collected through the  Community Music Program Office (rm 4097, Creative Arts Center). Teachers do not handle registration forms or tuition payments. Fees are based on a 13-week semester for Fall and Spring, and on a 9-week term for Summer Session.

Private Teachers

(*All teachers have completed certification in the understanding of dealing with minors, through the "WVU Protect Our Children" training)

  • Nina Assimakopoulos WVU – Flute (WVU Faculty)
  • Andrew Aycoth – Guitar (Associate)
  • Catherine Baker – Violin (Senior) - Catherine Baker is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education. She earned her Master's in Educational Leadership from University of Texas at Arlington. In addition to teaching group classes and private lessons in Morgantown and Wheeling, she is the orchestra director for Steubenville City Schools in Ohio.
  • Sara Beattie – Cello, Viola, Violin (Senior) - Sara Beattie graduated from the High School of Music & Art in NYC. She earned a BA with a music concentration from Brown University receiving the Marion P. Hassenfeld Premium in music and the Rostropovich Prize.  In 2010 she received a MM in Cello Performance from WVU, where she began work on a DMA in Cello Performance, as well as passing level 3.5 on viola.  Beattie has performed with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, is a founding member of the Allegheny Chamber Players, and established a local Chamber Music Camp.  She is currently Professor of Strings and the Orchestra Director at Waynesburg University, and teaches Aural Theory at WVU. Beattie’s students participate in WVMTA and ASTA events, as well as the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations.  She believes that music is intrinsic to all human beings, and that everyone is capable of learning to play an instrument well, at any age.
  • Dr David Bess WVU – Digital Photography (Artist) - David Bess, Associate Professor of Music Education at West Virginia University, joined the WVU music education faculty in August 1987 following a successful career in high school band directing. He went on to serve in several administrative positions at WVU, including Chair of Division of Music from July 2000 through June 2007. He has earned three Division of Music Distinguished Service Awards, two WV Music Educators Association (WVMEA) Presidential Awards, and has served as WVMEA President. In addition to his forty year career in music education, David has a passion for photography dating back to his high school years, when he served as a yearbook photographer at Berea (KY) Community School, a publicity and group photographer for the WV State Baptist Camp, and won first-place awards for his black and white portraits and landscapes at the Kentucky State Fair.  In January 2010, he started a business named David Bess Photography LLC, focusing on portrait, event, and wedding photography. He has taken student, faculty, and staff portraits for WVU websites and publications over the past several years. His photos have been displayed and sold in four solo shows at Slight Indulgence II in Morgantown, WV, a solo show at Glen Manor Winery in Front Royal, VA, a solo show at the Fairfax Coffee House in Berkeley Springs, WV, and at the Mountain Laurel Gallery in Berkeley Springs, WV. He teaches a popular class in digital photography through the WVU Community Music Program. He states that his work in photography represents his “inner journey from a world governed by fear, mandate, judgment, and illusion to a world of peace, love, beauty, and creativity.” David is a member of the Professional Photographers Association of WV.
  • Dr Hooi Yin Boey – Piano (Artist)
  • Dr Marie Borillo – Piano, Jazz Piano (Senior)
  • Dr Marguerite Bostonia – Organ (Artist) - Marguerite Bostonia is an organist who has been working in the field of church music for over forty years. She completed a Doctorate in pipe organ performance in 2009 at WVU. As an officer in the American Guild of Organists, she is active in providing instruction to youth and adults, and offers the introductory class “Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza” for organ fans and players, in addition to private lessons. She is also on the music faculty of WV Wesleyan College, teaching piano, theory, and accompanying.
  • Savanna Butcher - Voice, Theory, Basic Composition (Associate)
  • Matthew Cyphert - Voice (Associate) - Matthew Cyphert (Baritone) is a vocalist and teacher of vocal arts working and teaching in the greater Pittsburgh/Morgantown area.  Matthew currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant to the Vocal Division within the School of Music at West Virginia University, previously serving as an Adjunct Lecturer of Voice and Aural Theory (Fall 2018 and Spring 2019).  Additionally, Matthew holds a teaching position through the Community Music Program at West Virginia University, instructing voice at the Associate Faculty Level.  Mr. Cyphert can be found performing as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, and operatic/oratorio soloist.  Selected roles performed include; Papageno, Speaker, Armored Guard 2, and Priest 2 in The Magic Flute, John Sorel in The Consul, Top in The Tender Land, Boy no. 2 in Trouble in Tahiti, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, the Superintendent in Albert Herring, and Count Carl-Magnus inA Little Night Music.  As a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Matthew takes great pride in his teaching career and his students.  Before coming to West Virginia University, Matthew served as an Instructor of Applied Voice, Aural Theory, and Voice Class 1 & 2 within the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University.  Mr. Cyphert received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Vocal Performance with a Piano Minor from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree from Kansas State University, and is currently completing his second-year of study toward the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at West Virginia University.  
  • Christopher Delouis – Clarinet, Saxophone (Associate)Saxophonist Christopher DeLouis is an avid soloist, chamber musician and educator based in Morgantown, West Virginia. With a passion for all styles of music ranging from traditional to contemporary, he has been a featured soloist with the University of Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra and has given concerts and clinics across North America, Croatia and Germany. He has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for the saxophone as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. Recent projects include the world premiere of two commissions by Jean-Patrick Besingrand and Anthony Donofrio at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia.  Current research topics include performance anxiety and personal habits.  He has frequently appeared at the United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, the annual New England Saxophone Symposium, the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival, the University of Nebraska Kearney New Music Festival, the World Saxophone Congress, and the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt. He has won prizes in the Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition and the MTNA Chamber Music Competition, as well as being a semifinalist at the Plowman National Chamber Music Competition and competing in the live rounds of Fischoff.  Christopher is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree on a University Provost Fellowship at West Virginia University. His primary teachers include Michael Ibrahim, John Sampen and Jared Sims.
  • Samantha Donnell – Flute (Associate)
  • Jeanne Frieben – Clarinet (Artist)
  • Dimitri Georgantonis – Percussion (Associate)
  • Leticia Grutzmann – Conducting, Voice (Associate)
  • André Januário – Bassoon (Associate)
  • Dr Andrew Kohn  WVU – Upright Bass (WVU Faculty)
  • Youngju Lee – Piano (Associate)
  • Christine Mazza WVU – Harp (Artist)
  • Andre Magalhaes – Composition, Viola, Violin (Associate)
  • Brandon Morgan – Composition, Guitar, Theory, Ukulele (Senior)
  • Deborah J Morgan – Conducting, Piano, Voice (Senior)
  • Cody Pasden – Violin (Associate)
  • Mary Morrison NCTM – Cello, Piano (Artist)
  • Katherine Palumbo – Alexander Technique (Artist) – Pittsburgh-based musician Katie Palumbo received her Alexander Technique teaching certificate from the Philadelphia School of the Alexander Technique under the instruction of Martha Hansen Fertman. This topic-of-study benefits students with an interest in increasing spacial self-awareness, improving movement habits, and enhancing overall physical well-being. Katie is also a pianist, vocalist, and advocate for the performance of contemporary music.
  • Janis-Rozena Peri WVU – Voice (Artist)
  • Dr Alyssa Schwartz – Flute, Piano (Senior)
  • Dr Michelle Smith – Piano, Voice (Associate) – Dr. Michelle Smith has a DMA in Voice Performance from WVU, as well as a Master’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of Central Missouri, and both a Master’s degree in Romance Languages and Literature, and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has also studied at the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca, the Universidad Veracruzana, and the Accademia Europea di Firenze. Michelle is a coloratura soprano, and has sung with Kansas City Metro Opera and Kansas City Civic Opera, has performed in several operas and musicals, and has given recitals in Italy and Spain. She has been teaching voice and piano lessons for several years in colleges and community programs in both Missouri and West Virginia.
  • Karen Taddie NCTM – Piano (Artist)
  • Konstantinos Valianatos – Piano (Senior)
  • Abigail Watson – Violin (Senior)  
  • Abigail Williams – Piano, Voice (Associate) 
  • Mary Wilson – Violin, Suzuki violin (Artist)
  • Yiwen Zhang – Piano, Aural Theory (Associate) – Yiwen Zhang graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University with her Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance. And she received her Master of Music Degree from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Currently she is pursuing her Doctoral of Music Degree at the West Virginia University with Dr. Peter Amstutz. Yiwen has participated in numerous summer festivals, such as the Orford Music Festival in Canada, Perugia Music Festival in Italy, and European Music Institute Vienna. She had been the soloist with the Alicante Philharmonic Orchestra and West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, Yiwen has taught music theory class, aural lessons, and private piano lessons for past five years. Many of her students have received distinction from the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).
  • Lauren Zwonik – Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Trombone (Associate)

WVU – designates current or emeritus School of Music faculty
NCTM – designates “Nationally Certified Teacher of Music”


WVU Music Faculty: Includes School of Music College Faculty. Some, however, elect to teach at “Artist Faculty” rate.

Artist Teachers: Includes some School of Music College faculty; and our most outstanding, successful, highly-achieving, and experienced community teachers (as determined by awards, honors, performances, continuing education). Successful teaching experience is exhibited in student retention rates, studio growth, student participation in program-sponsored/endorsed activities, and leadership/volunteerism of the teacher.

Senior Teachers: Members of the community, selected on the basis of advanced professional training and experience and achievement (as determined by awards, honors, performances, continuing education); or Master of Music degreed students who are working toward completion of a Doctoral degree or have demonstrated equivalent professional achievements (as determined by awards, honors, performances, continuing education). Successful teaching experience is exhibited in student retention rates, studio growth, student participation in program-sponsored/endorsed activities.

Associate Teachers: Outstanding music students, generally upperclassmen working under faculty supervision; or degreed students working toward completion of a Masters degree; or most of the ‘newly-hired’ to the program.