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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)
  • 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.
  • Bonnie Blanchard – Voice (Associate)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Jeanne Frieben – Clarinet (Artist)
  • Dimitri Georgantonis – Percussion (Associate)
  • Leticia Grutzmann – Conducting, Voice (Associate)
  • Jia Sin Hon – Piano (Associate)
  • Xiaohan Hu – Piano, Theory (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)
  • 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)
  • Jose Ramirez – Flute (Associate) - José Fernando had had a successful international carrier as a performer and instructor. Jose has traveled around Colombia, Germany, and Netherlands performing and teaching. He performed as a soloist with “Academia Filarmónica” (Medellín – Colombia) and Rhythm & Melody Concertband (Berlin – Germany), where he used to be the principal flute. He was also principal flute at the “Young Orchestra of Antioquia” and “EAFIT University Concert Band”. In 2012 Jose finished his Bachelor degree at EAFIT University with his professor León Grialdo. In 2013, he traveled to Europe to have his certificate as flute instructor. Currently, he is finishing his last year of Master degree at West Virginia University with Professor Nina Assimakopoulos. In the last 2 years, he has received several awards from the School of Music at WVU and in 2016 and 2017 he won the Canady Scholarship. He had master classes with excellent flautist such as: Luis Julio Toro, Tadeu Cohelo, Gabriel Ahumada, Peter-Lukas Graf, Alberto Almarza, Conor Nelson, Linsey J. Goodman
  • Dr Alyssa Schwartz – Flute, Piano (Senior)
  • Michelle Smith – Piano, Voice (Associate)
  • David Stedge – Flute, Voice (Associate)
  • Dipendra Sunam – Piano (Associate)
  • Karen Taddie NCTM – Piano (Artist)
  • Abigail Watson – Violin (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).
  • Ruby Zhao – Voice, Piano (Associate) – Ruby Zhao earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in Vocal Performance, where she also studied piano. She received her Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ruby is now a candidate of Doctor of Musical Arts degree at West Virginia University. Ruby worked a professional opera singer at Shanghai Opera House in China from 2007-2010, where she performed operas, oratorios, concerts throughout Asia and Europe. For the past three years, Ruby worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant of Voice at West Virginia University, where she has taught music major and minor students, and voice class for non-music major students. Ruby has been teaching private piano lessons since 2004 and voice lessons since 2005.
  • 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.