MEET THE STAFF
The Music Room boasts an impressive roster of talented musicians, each classically trained and passionate about sharing their love of music with our students.
OWNER, VOICE, & PIANO
Amanda Elizabeth Testa-Oerth is a graduate from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music program located at the Catholic University of America. There she studied voice, piano, and music education. After receiving her BM in 2013, Amanda performed and started teaching at private studios. Some of her favorite performince credits include Ado Annie in Oklahoma, Gertrude in Seussical, Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress, Second Spirit in Die Zauberflöte, and Chérubin in Chérubin. Despite loving to perform, Amanda’s true calling has been teaching. Opening the Music Room when she moved to MA in 2015, Amanda has worked for years to share her love of music, to build relationships, and to create a safe and supportive environment for individuals to work on their skills. Amanda has continued to enhance her teaching and performance skills by attending pedagogy and musical style workshops and intensives through schools such as Boston Conservatory and Shenandoah Conservatory to better understand her instruments and serve her studio families.
DRUMS & PERCUSSION
Dan Hoffman is a drummer, mallet player, and hand percussionist originally from the greater Philadelphia area. During and after receiving his Batchelor's of Music in total percussion performance at Berklee College of Music, he became a very active performer around the New England area, and has toured across the United States and Canada multiple times. While very passionate about the underground arts, Dan is incredibly proficient at all styles of music and drumming, and very knowledgeable about music history. Dan has also performed with and opened up for many notable artists, including Ray Green of Tower of Power, Lucinda Williams, Victor Wooten, Children of Bodom, and many more. He also has an extensive work history in production. He has worked on shows for Warped Tour 2018, Taylor Swift, Megadeath, Pearl Jam, James Taylor, Zack Brown Band, and many more. Dan’s number one goal when teaching is to make the learning experience fun and enjoyable. He believes that the best way to learn something new is to understand the meaning of the culture and humanity behind the music. And once you have that, the sky's the limit. So if you're looking for a teacher with real “music world” experience, then Dan’s your man!
VOCAL COACH - LANGUAGES & ACTING
Kristen Marion is a singer-songwriter and actress from High Point, North Carolina. Coming from a family of musicians, her passion for the performing arts has led to her training in several fields including film/television, theatre, classical performance, and R&B performance. She acquired her Bachelors of Arts degree in Music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently working on her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her teaching and coaching experience spans across many genres, such as musical theatre, classical (including French, Italian, German, and English diction), rock, pop, country, jazz, and gospel. The practice of mindfulness and intentionality with each musical phrasing are fundamental principles of her pedagogical technique.
MUSICAL STYLES & VOICE
Soprano Amy Suznovich has been teaching voice and piano since 2009. As a performer she's sung the National Anthem/God Bless America for over a dozen professional sports teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Cannons, Brooklyn Cyclones, and Venus Williams. She was the Soloist/Cantor at the King's Theater in Brooklyn, televised live on EWTN in October 2018, for the Silver Jubilee of the Magnificat with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York and Magnificat Foundation. Amy is a magna cum laude graduate of Ithaca College School of Music with a Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance & Pedagogy and has completed additional training at the Contemporary Commercial Music Institute at Shenandoah University on Musical Theatre Styles, Working with Injured Singers, Vocal Health and Bridging Classical Singing to Contemporary Singing. She believes that singing is a full-body, sensation-based athletic endeavor and that the voice functions best when trained that way.
Amy is currently available for remote lessons only.
GUITAR, ELECTRIC BASS, & UPRIGHT BASS
Filippo graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a degree in Music Business and one in Music Performance. He has kept his range of music wide, performing with many university groups including the Orchestra, Concert Band, Latin Band, Studio Orchestra, as well as small jazz, classical, and contemporary ensembles. Filippo teaches guitar and electric bass to an advanced level, as well as upright bass and ukulele to an intermediate level. He includes music theory, technique, musicality, improvisation, and formal music elements such as reading music in his lessons, as well as including student’s favorite songs or pieces in lessons. One of his favorite parts about teaching lessons is learning what engages the student and intensifies their interest in studying their craft. Most of all, Filippo loves watching his pupils improve, and it is always his first and foremost goal.
CHRIS RUBEN WINTERS
Guitarist Chris Rubén Winters graduated with his Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from UMass Lowell in the spring of 2020. He specializes in jazz and classical guitar, but he possesses years of experience performing in a wide variety of ensemble formats, including big band, salsa band, chamber choir, and pit orchestra for various local musical productions. As a member of these ensembles, Chris has performed at many venues across Massachusetts, among them the State House and the Hatch Shell; he has also participated in workshops at several public schools across New England. Chris enjoys tailoring his teaching to his students’ own stylistic preferences and goals while emphasizing fundamental reading and theory skills. Above all, he hopes to share the intrinsic joy of guitar-playing and music-making with others.
Jordan Jones is a Lowell-based soprano vocalist, arranger, conductor, and educator. She is currently completing her M.M. in Music Education at UMass Lowell. Throughout her career, she has worked across the musical spectrum from classical and musical theatre to pop-punk and R&B. Some of her favorite performance credits to date are as Maria in The Sound of Music, a soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.
PIANO, VOICE, & GUITAR
Spencer Winell is a Boston-based composer and educator. A magna cum laude graduate with a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, he has written for multiple ensembles, including grand operas, with performances by Vimbayi Kaziboni, Felix Fan, BEO String Quartet, among many others. As a performer, Spencer’s experience dates back over a decade in classical, jazz, rock, musical theater, and heavy metal styles with venues including Lollapalooza, Summerfest, Webster Hall, The Stone Pony, & The Metropolitan Opera. Spencer’s approach to teaching is focused on tailoring lessons to help students achieve their individual musical goals while incorporating fundamental reading and theory skills. He is passionate about helping students develop their technique, navigate new ways of thinking and talking about music, and finding their own unique voices while having fun with the process.
COMPOSITION INSTRUCTOR & VIDEO GAME SOUND DESIGN
Jared Burrell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Composition from New England Conservatory. He has worked as a trumpeter, composer, and orchestrator. His notable
releases include the original soundtracks for NBA Life (by Kentucky-based video game publisher Hit Cents) and Shock Jocks (by Boston-based independent video game designer Michael Andryauskas). His original composition for trumpet ensemble, "Music for Friends", garnered significant interest from the Alabama Trumpet Guild before Covid-19 canceled public performance in 2020. As an orchestrator, Jared collaborated with composer Vincent Diamonte and That Game Company on the sound track for the video game Sky, which was briefly the #1 top-selling album in Japan in August 2020. Jared takes his eclectic experiences with him as a teacher and enjoys sharing his knowledge of jazz, classical, and commercial composition. He believes in guiding students towards their aspirations, delving into their influences, and broadening their foundations to help them have
long and fruitful creative lives. Jared strives to find the right balance of technique, concept, structure, freedom, theory, and ear training for each student’s learning style. He aspires to teach in questions whenever possible to spark the student’s imagination.
VIOLIN, VIOLA, & CELLO
Travis Laughlin earned his BA in music from the University of Virginia, where he studied violin performance and chamber music. He has taught violin and viola for more than ten years in the Los Angeles area and is an experienced ensemble coach. Travis has performed with the New Hampshire Philharmonic, the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra, and has organized ensemble activity at the Neighborhood Music School in Los Angeles for many years. As a teacher, Travis emphasizes note reading, musicality, self-reliance, and performance skills. Lessons prepare students to participate in a wide variety of musical activity: from solo performance, to chamber groups, to symphony orchestra. With long-term study, students can expect to internalize the habits and responsibilities of a professional musician.
BRASS, PIANO, & GUITAR
Justin Taveras is a Boston-based composer, performer, and educator. As a composer of acoustic and electronic music, he has worked with ensembles such as the Boston Conservatory Graduate Chorus, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and the prestigious Ensemble Intercontemporain. As a performer, he has played in a wide variety of styles, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, pop, and experimental. He has played in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kresge Auditorium, Sanders Theatre, and the Tilles Center. As an educator, he has worked with musicians in areas of performance, music theory, music history, and composition. Justin holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.