Maestro Music Academy L.L.C



Meet Our Teachers


 

Piano Teacher



 

Patty Sopita

 

About Patty                                                                                        

              Patty started working as a piano teacher when she was studying music at the university in Thailand. She has over 12 years of experience teaching piano. Patty’s goal, as a piano teacher, is to share her love for music and playing the piano with each student. All lessons are uniquely tailored to fit each student's strengths and weaknesses.  Patty is well liked by both students and parents for her infectious enthusiasm when conducting her piano lessons, and dedication in imparting her music skills to her students. She also has experience teaching children with special needs, and trained in person-centered planning with children, adults and families.  


Vocal Teacher

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Soprano Elizabeth Hicks

 

About Elizabeth

                     Soprano Elizabeth Hicks recently finished her bachelor's degree in vocal music and is currently pursuing a second degree in psychology. She has studied voice for 10 years with professors such as Mary Stewart Kiesgen and most recently, Oliver Henderson. She performed her debut as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall last summer. She has also traveled in two European orchestra tours as a soloist. Elizabeth specializes in operatic and classical literature and continues to perform actively in the community. She has been teaching for four years and utilizes a classical approach to the vocal mechanism. Ms. Hicks is also quite comfortable teaching music theater and pop styles and has ample experience in both areas. 


Vocal / Piano Teacher


 

Felicia Christian


 

About Felicia             

            

                Felicia began singing in the choir at age 10 & directing the choir at her church. She sung in choirs and as a soloist around the city as a teenager. Felicia attended DPS Schools for K-12 Education. She sang in the elementary school's glee club. She graduated from Northwestern High School. During her high school years, she sang in a teen gospel group and sung around Metro Detroit.  She also sung in Community Choirs where she travelled locally and through the United States to sing at various engagements. Felicia completed her Undergraduate education from the University of Detroit Mercy. She also studied piano with a former musician of her church. Felicia is a teacher with a passion for music that continues to cause her to attract young people and adults of all ages to assist them in living out their dream through music and song. Felicia loves singing and performing in celebrations and engagements around Metro Detroit & throughout the United States. 


Violin Teacher

 

 

Ariana  Watson

About Ariana

 

          Ariana has been playing violin for six years. Ariana has participated in MSBOA Festivals and Solo and Ensemble festivals. She has studied at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Ariana has also played the violin for the school musical. Ariana loves music and the violin more than anything else in the world, and loves helping people especially to learn new things. Ariana plans to pursue music through college and major in music.


Violin/Viola

Teacher

 

Linda J. Ignagni 

About Linda

             Linda J. Ignagni completed her studies in performance under scholarship at Wayne State University. In 1989 she was invited to study privately with Peter Michalica in Czechoslovakia and to perform at social events and on television airing across eastern Europe. Interviews with Mrs. Ignagni by European CNN and Bratislava TV were aired on western and eastern European television. She also did interviews for the Bratislava Radio children's program in 2001. Mrs. Ignagni is an alumnus of the Interlochen International Music Camp, All State Division (1958-1965) and National Camper (1966). Mrs. Ignagni played in the Saginaw Symphony for 20 years and also played in the Nashville Symphony and the Flint Symphony. She is the founder and a member of the Doree' String Quartet and provides private lessons in violin and viola.

             


Piano/ Saxophone/ Clarinet  

Teacher



 

Kevin McKinney
           
About Kevin

 

           Kevin W. McKinney is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator originally from the Cleveland area. Kevin earned a bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in Jazz & Improvised Music from the University of Nevada, Reno. Kevin performs regularly on various instruments in a wide range of musical settings including jazz, hip hop, Bulgarian/Macedonian folk and wedding music, freely improvised music and others. Kevin has maintained a private teaching studio for seven years, taught at summer programs in the northeast Ohio area, and was a teaching assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno in the music department.

           

 

 

 

 

 

Guitar Teacher

 

 

 

Matthew Sheppard

About Matthew

                Matthew has been involved with music since he was a child. His father was a music teacher, and Matt followed in his footsteps. Earning a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2008, Matthew has been teaching since then, and has been teaching private lessons since 2009. While in college, he had the privilege of studying under Anthony Titus and Joe Hagedorn, the latter of which is one of the founders of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Matthew has a passion for travel, and has had the opportunity to play Bass with the local Minneapolis band "Cosmonaught," around the Twin Cities area and Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Guitar/Bass/

Music Theory Teacher



 

Jeff Marshall

About Jeff

              Jeff has been a music teacher since 2003. He has a BM from the Berklee College of Music and a MA from New York University. He also scored music for the independent film, "A House Divided" which received best screenplay award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. And also composed music jingles for advertising and was a music editor for the animated series "Pokemon"


 

Guitar/Drum

Teacher

 

 

Steven Diehl

About Steven

               Steven has played guitar, bass, drums, and studied music theory for over 10 years. He started playing in bands when he was 13 and started his own recording sessions when he was 16. Steve writes, produces, and records music. He is excited to help students on their journey with music!

Banjo Teacher


 

Ronald Smolka

About Ronald

                 Ron started listening, studying and collecting Bluegrass and old time music for the last 55 years. He has been playing 5 string Bangjo for 35 years and has been teaching Banjo for over 20 years. He has his own band "Bluegrass" and is know as "The Lonesome Mountain Boys". Ron teaches and play many styles ; traditional bluegrass old time MT. music, three fingers scruggs style and clawhammer style.

Drum Teacher 

 

Dave Cheney

About Dave

            Dave has been playing drums for 32 years.  He has a B.A. in music education from Michigan State University and has 22 years of percussion teaching experience.  These experiences include marching bands, drum corps, drum set, concert percussion, and hand drumming.  His education based playing experiences include high school band and 3 years marching in top 12 drum & bugle corps.  At M.S.U. he played 2 years in the marching band drumline, the jazz bands, symphony band, Latin combo, Blues combo, Competition Drumline, and African Drum & Dance ensemble. He has studied privately with names such as Randy Gillespe, Robert Hohner, Kieth Dudek, Allison Shaw, and Francisco Mora.  Dave has also been a percussion judge for many M.C.B.D.A. marching band and indoor drumline competitions. 

Piano / Flute
Teacher

(On Vacation)

 

Davina King


About Davina

              

             Davina has been teaching music since 2009. She received her BM with a concentration in education from Wayne State University, where she studied flute under Ervin Monroe and Laura Larson. She has worked with middle school and high school bands and orchestras in Ferndale, Centerline and Detroit. After receiving her degree, she taught general music in schools as well as private lessons. Davina has experience teaching piano and flute lessons to children as well as adults. Although she is certified to teach other subjects, she has a passion for music.

 

 

 


Maestro Music Academy L.L.C.

35647 Central City Parkway, Westland, Michigan 48185

(734) - 762 - 0775