Our Teachers & Staff

Our Teachers & Staff

Currently, we collaborate with more than 30 professional musicians/teachers in order to offer a comprehensive set of classes across a wide array of instrument and musical disciplines.

Our teaching staff across the board were chosen specifically because of their ability to both inspire and educate students within their areas of expertise. Individually and collectively our teachers are some of the most talented musicians and sought after music teachers in the Bay Area.


  • Matt Couzens: piano (esp. jazz), sax, clarinet
  • Daniel Finnamore: piano
  • Paul Hansen: vocals, piano
  • Jordan Nadell : trombone, trumpet, bugle, piano, composition
  • Pete Feltman: banjo, accordian, harmonica, uke, piano, voice (esp choir)
  • Jesseka Barbosa: piano


  • Max Judelson: cello, double bass, composition


  • Paul Hansen: vocals, piano
  • Pete Feltman


  • Laura Wesely: violin, viola (English, German, Spanish)
  • Ariel Wang: violin, viola, uke, guitar, piano


  • Max Judelson: double bass, cello, composition
  • Owen Kelley: electric bass, guitar, uke


  • Dave Creamer : guitar
  • Pete Feltman: banjo, accordian, harmonica, uke, guitar, piano, voice
  • Owen Kelly


  • Pete Feltman: banjo, accordian, harmonica, uke, guitar, piano, mandolin
  • Owen Kelly


  • Pete Feltman: banjo, accordian, harmonica, uke, guitar, piano



  • Bob “Orion” Edmonson: drumset (esp jazz)
  • Alan Hall: HIATUS  jazz drumming, ensemble, consultant
  • Donald “Duck” Bailey: Rest in Peace November 2013 our dear friend. harmonica, drum set (a jazz living legend available for consult and


  • Matt Couzens: all types of saxophone


  • Jordan Nadell: trombone, tuba, trumpet, bugle, composition, piano

Tuba, Trombone, Baritone

  • Jordan Nadell: trombone, tuba, trumpet, bugle, composition, piano




  • Ryan Phillips
  • Kirah Caminos
  • Catherine Mehta
  • Jesseka Barbosa
  • Owen Kelly


  • John Middle: owner, audio and sound
  • Annette Loveless: owner, Early Childhood Education specialist, Kindermusik
  • Adam Lipansky: guitar tech, instrument clockmaker
  • Todd Huth: consultant (Primus, Sausage, Porch)
  • Brian Glaze: all sorts of helpful stuff, consultation (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Gris Gris)


  • Donald “Duck” Bailey: Rest in Peace November 2013 our dear friend. harmonica, drum set (a jazz living legend available for consult and mentoring).
  • Emery Barter:
  • Kirah Caminos:preschool music and movement (English, Spanish)
  • Matt Couzens: all types of saxophone
  • Dave Creamer : guitar
  • Pete Feltman: banjo, uke, piano, harmonica, accordian
  • Daniel Finnamore: piano
  • Bob “Orion” Fredrickson: drumset
  • Brian Glaze: all sorts of helpful stuff, consultation (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Gris Gris)
  • Hanif: sax (on sabbatical healing from a recent stroke–good news, he’s playing again!)
  • Alan Hall: jazz drumming, ensemble, consultant
  • Lauren Hulbert: guitar, piano
  • Todd Huth: consultant (Primus, Sausage, Porch)
  • Max Judelson: cello, double bass, composition
  • Owen Kelly: electric bass, guitar, uke
  • Adam Lipansky: guitar tech, instrument clockmaker
  • Annette Loveless: owner, Early Childhood Education specialist, Kindermusik
  • Dave Matthews: harmonica
  • Catherine Mehta: vocals, piano (English,Spanish)
  • Joe McKinley: stand up bass
  • John Middle: owner, audio and sound
  • Steve Moriarty: (The Gits, Joan Jett), drumset, drum repair, consultant
  • Dale Nabeta: sound engineering, tech stuff.
  • Ryan Phillips: french horn, trumpet, bugle, piano, composition
  • Jonathan Seiberlich: tuba, trombone, trumpet
  • Ariel Wang: violin, viola, uke, guitar, piano, rock band
  • Laura Wesely: violin, viola (English, German, Spanish)


Jesseka Barbosa

My first work experience was teaching music lessons in 2000. I was recruited by my piano teacher, in the studio where I studied! Years worth of hard work, motivation and diligent practice paid off in the form of an occupation.

Throughout four years of high school and two years into art school, I taught beginner lessons at the Peabody Music Box. My primary instruments at the time were flute, piano and violin, however, the skills I learned as a pianist proved applicable to other instruments, and I began teaching alto sax and guitar, as well. Despite refusing to pursue a collegiate musical education, I have maintained a position as a musical instructor for the past 12 years, serving as an employee for The Music Connection/Kidsworks (2006-2008) and West Newbury School of Music (2008-present).

When my passion for music expanded beyond the realms of school-based competition and performance, I sought musical satisfaction in a different form: by becoming an active member of the Boston Music Scene. Friendships formed for love of music, I’ve performed in bands in basements, traveled to other states and have come to the understanding that music is an overall form of goodness, a form of therapy, and most importantly, that sharing this gift is the most important part of being me.

*** Lesson Details ***
With a decade+ of experience and a less-formal approach, it is my mission to provide you with the basic essential skills you need to make the music YOU want.

While the majority of my past years experience involves teaching children ages 5+, I always enjoy the experience of helping an adult fulfill a childhood longing or a new interest, as well as taking on intermediate students looking to better understand or harness previously learned skills and grow as a pianist. The pace of each lesson is entirely based on the individual student and while ALL students must first prove understanding of the basic skills taught, lessons will ultimately be a 50/50 compromise between myself and the student.

Kirah Caminos

Kirah J. Caminos, MNA. has served as Director of her own bilingual (Spanish) family daycare in Oakland, acted as Director of a First Five Center in Contra Costa and served as program director for multiple youth and family service agencies throughout the Bay Area and New York.  As a former Peace Corps volunteer overseas, she has also enjoyed engaging in community service projects and activities abroad.  Growing up in the lower east side of Manhattan, raised by a musical family and being surrounded by some of the salsa greats encouraged a lifelong love and passion for Salsa. She has studied under some of the best instructors in salsa in the Bay Area for over 12 years.

Dave Creamer

Guitar cognoscenti nationwide have known Dave Creamer for over two decades. George Benson said regarding Creamer in a Cadence magazine interview, “Absolutely the most fantastic guitar player alive in America…”

This legendary guitarist creates a rich blend of styles ranging from his exquisitely crafted original modern jazz compositions to his adaptations of jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter. Over the years in an expansive career, Creamer has performed and/or recorded with the great Miles Davis, master guitarist John Abercrombie, steel drummer Andy Narell, Bay Area favorite Mel Martin, Mel Torme and many more.

As a teacher Creamer has worked with many outstanding performers. Some of his former students include Tuck Andress, Rory Stuart, Joe Satriani, Berry Finnerty (Miles Davis, Crusaders, Brecker Brothers), Jason Becker (David Lee Roth) and Will Bernard (Will Bernard, T.J. Kirk).

Currently serving as a faculty member for Berkeley’s Jazz School and a former faculty member of the Cazadero Jazz Camp, Creamer has presented many seminars including those for the Bruce Forman Jazz Workshop.

He has authored important educational literature and his unique improvisational concepts have been spotlighted in the Guitar Player magazine columns “Chops Builder” and “Master Series”.

“Guitarist Dave Creamer is magnificently inventive and technically astute. Playing with a murky, slithery sound. Creamer flies through his solo lines, barley suggesting his influences and emerging as a towering performer.”

-Phil Elwood – San Francisco Examiner

“Dave Creamer is an artistic treasure waiting to be found by the listening public.”

– Berigan Taylor. – Jazz for Dummies


Matt Couzens

Matt Couzens has been playing alto/tenor/baritone saxophone for over 20 years. He holds degrees in music (classical and jazz) from Santa Rosa Junior College (AA 1998) and Sonoma State University (BM 2000). He also briefly studied post graduate at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Matt studied saxophone (reading, tone, technique, etc.) with Ralph Carney, Duane Ewing, Ari Camarota, Ernie Small, and Harvey Weinapple. He has also studied jazz improvisation with Bennett Friedman, Jeff Pittson, and Mel Graves. He has toured and recorded extensively.

A member of several Bay Area bands, much of his other work comes from sit-in and sight reading gigs. Born in Germany, Matt moved to the Bay Area when he was three years old and has called the Bay Area his home ever since. He has played in countless bands of most genres including: Swing, Jazz, Rockabilly, Funk, Ska, Blues, Dixieland, Soul, Hip Hop, Top 40, and more. Matt has been teaching new and experienced musicians of all ages for most of his adult life. He owned and operated a piano store. He has a young daughter (born in 2001) who is also musically talented. He can tailor your lessons to your specific needs.


Alex Doty

Alex has studied with some of the greatest guitarists in california. He recieved his formal degree from Musicians Instititute, specializing in guitar performance.  Alex has studied with Scott henderson, Carl Verhyen, Ken Rosser,  Santana guitarist Chris Solberg,  Matt Heuliet, among many others.

Lessons are available in all western music styles, as well as Latin and World styles.   Topics can include: soloing, rhythm chops, understanding the complete fretboard, stylistic idosyncracies, music theory as it applies to YOUR favorite music, songwriting, comping for singers, help playing with YOUR band, dealing with “changes”, and any other topics music can present. 

Daniel Finnamore

“Tone and color..musically cohesive, exciting performance.” -Michael Walsh, S.F. Examiner & TIME Magazine

“The performance of the Liszt B Minor Sonata is right up there with the Greats.” Richard Cross, American Liszt Society

Daniel and trained at UC Berkeley and the Oakland Conservatory, has had 38 years teaching experience, and is a professional classical recording artist (5 CDs) and concert pianist.

As a teacher Daniel is patient, kind, understanding, supportive, encouraging and knowledgeable.

He teaches to **YOU**, not to a pre-determined lesson plan, book or style. Theory, history and keyboard technique are emphasized.

Daniel offers a free half-hour introductory session to discuss your goals. He teaches all styles, all levels and ages (4 — 104)

He also organizes biannual student performance workshops for his student ages 4-18.


Brian Glaze

Brian Glaze is a modern troubadour from the land that spawned The Brian Jonestown Massacre (of which he was a member), Badly Drawn Boy and Mayo Thompson (Red Krayola). Between the deep, rich and dark songwriting and the masterful Ashley arrangements, Rainsplitter widens Glaze’s scope and puts him prominently in place of the New WEIRD AMERICA folk psych scene that is taking the world by storm. Fresh off of the troubadour with the Greg Ashley Medicine Fuck Dream Hootenanny, Brian Glaze is ready to come into your hearts as he splits the rain from the sky on his new album, Rainsplitter.

“Navigating the waters of love lost and found, Glaze draws from his days drumming for the San Francisco psych rockers and sets sail across an ocean of mind-altering melodies with fuzzy guitars, spacey Hammond organs and quivering tambourines” –- Oakland Tribune

Alan Hall

Hiatus. Alan has been Percussion Department Chairman at The Jazzschool, Berkeley, CA;  adjunct faculty at U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, CA and Cal State Hayward. He was assistant professor in the Percussion Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1986-1993. He is author of the drum book, Internalization: A Non Reading Intensive Approach to Jazz Drum Set Phrasing and Independence.


Lauren Hulbert

Lauren Hulbert is a folk singer/songwriter from Los Angeles and has lived in Oakland for the past 2 years. Lauren began music at the age of 7 with 10 years of private piano lessons. She learned classical styles and participated in festivals (Bach and Contemporary to name a few) and received highest honors from acclaimed judges. She taught herself to play guitar at the age of 14 and began writing songs soon after. Lauren has performed her work for many years around Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

She composes on guitar and piano and teaches beginning and intermediate students on both instruments. Music theory and songwriting can be taught if the student desires.


Todd Huth

It took years of hard work and gigging in the Bay Area before freak-metal outfit—and unlikely rock stars—Primus blew up in the ’90s. Spazzy, weirdo bass player/frontman Les Claypool started the band in the early ’80s with guitarist Todd Huth. In 1988, literally months before Primus released their first album, Suck on This, Huth quit the band. While Larry LaLonde, Huth’s replacement, ended up getting most of the credit for Primus’s unusual guitar work, it was Huth that wrote most the parts for those early albums and essentially laid the groundwork with Claypool to create the Primus sound.

Huth’s departure was amicable, but terribly timed. Still, it’s not like Huth didn’t benefit from Primus’ success. He’s gotten to play in some of Claypool’s side projects. (Sausage & Les Claypool’s Fearless Frog Brigade). But where Huth really shines is in his own project, Porch, which he started in the mid-’90s, and features former Today is the Day bassist Christopher Frey and former Samiam drummer Dave Ayer. The distinct guitar work that would help elevate Primus into monster-cult status is abundant in Porch. Huth mixes heavy distortion and traditional blues scales with dissonant chords. Unlike LaLonde, who would bring a tinnier tone and a lighter, more abstract flair to Primus, Huth has a deep, gritty style.

Porch is clearly more purely Huth’s musical vision. In other words, there isn’t any of Claypool’s goofy cartoon qualities. It’s a lot of heavy metal chops mixed with prog-rock timing and atmospheric experimentations. Huth likes to go for that slow, deep, powerful sound, though it sounds nothing like the Melvin or later-era Black Flag. His affinity for Zepplin riff-rock is balanced by a love for math rock, atonal noises and passionate vocals.

Max Judelson

Max began his bass studies with Cameron Brown in the New York City area. In2006 Max lived in Paris, France where he played in cafes, clubs, the street and subway with pop bands, and improvised music groups. He is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory where he studied bass with Benjamin Levy. While in Boston Max regularly performed at Massachusetts General Hospital where he developed a music program for patients, families and staff. His article, “The Economics of the Street Musician” was published in The Wall Street Journal (on-line) and was interviewed for NPPR’s “Talk of the Nation” addressing the same topic. Max now lives in Berkeley where he works with Oouroboros Shadow Pictures, accompanies dance classes, composes music for dance and film and races cyclocross professionally. To see videos of Max’s work collaborating with dance visit http://vimeo.com/maxjudelson.

Owen Kelly

Owen Kelley is a Guitar teacher and performing Guitarist and Bassist. He began playing guitar at age 11 and went on to study Jazz and Classical Guitar at Capital University in Columbus, OH. Owen moved to Oakland in 2010, and has been performing locally and nationally ever since. Today he performs with original rock groups Cash Pony, Talkies, and Fine Points. In addition to Acme Music he is a guitar teacher at Music Land School of Music in Fremont and Guitar/Piano accompanist at Studio Grand Group Voice class. *** Lesson Details *** I specialize in all forms of rock and pop music, primarily modern rock, blues and jazz. I also study and am proficient in classical guitar technique as well. I use the Hal Leonard Guitar and Bass Method and Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method books to establish sight reading and general technique and theory. I try to keep lessons interactive and loose while still staying on task and making sure the student has something new to work on for each session. I’ll start out with simple chords fingerings and melodies, something fun and musical to work on. Sight reading, music theory, and scales are added as we progress. I find that most students enjoy learning some of their favorite songs on the guitar, so I encourage them to bring in recordings and we can work out the chords and melodies of those songs. Overall I try to promote improvisation and experimentation with what we work on, striking a balance between learning new concepts and having fun with them. Playing the guitar can be very enjoyable but it does take practice and some dedication to get better. I encourage students to practice at least a little bit each day.


Annette Loveless

Annette has worked with young children for more than 20 years. She has a B.S. in Developmental Psychology and has developed curriculum and managed programs for infants through 12 years of age.

She is also a part-time actor, musician and performance artist. As a performance artist and MC, she does original pieces combining music, dance, comedy and narrative story telling.

Other stage credits include Nora in Ibsen’s “A Doll House”, Yente in “Fiddler on the Roof” and more.

In addition to being passionate about the care and education of young children, she is an active environmentalist. Her family’s organic farm on the east coast is now a nature preserve.

Her energy, warmth and patience make her a natural for working with young children–and their parents!

 Dave Matthews

My name is Dave Matthews (not that one…or that one either) and I have been playing harmonica since 1982.  My blues band has been performing all over the Bay Area for the past 10 years.  Get that 10-hole major diatonic harmonica [key of C] out of the dusty drawer (or get a new one) and join me on a great musical adventure!


Joe has been in the Bay Area for over thirty years performing on string bass, electric bass and tuba. His versatility has allowed him to perform in various genres including pit bands for stage productions, circuses, second line New Orleans style bands and orchestras. He has also accompanied a wide range of musicians from Earl “Fatha” Hines to Sun Ra; from Chuck Berry to Joe Henderson’s Big Band (West Coast Version); as well as John Handy, Eddie Henderson, Marlena Shaw, Oscar Brown Jr, Jimmy Witherspoon and many others.

He is also available for duos, trios or whatever combination your situation calls for.

Catherine Mehta

Catherine loves nothing more than singing with people and has had the great fortune of doing so in musical contexts ranging in genre from classical to rock ‘n’ roll. She holds a Vocal Performance Certificate from Denison University and was the musical director and arranger for the women’s a cappella group there. She also served as the principal vocalist for the Blues, Swing, Latin Jazz, and Bluegrass ensembles at Denison. Prior to that, she performed in competitive concert and show choirs and musical theater productions for 10 years. She has provided vocals and arrangements for studio recordings, independent film soundtracks, stage productions, and musical tours of the Portland Art Museum. In recent years, she has lent her voice to rock, R&B, soul, experimental and jazz bands and currently sings and plays keyboard and guitar in a local independent band.

Catherine taught music in a bilingual program at an elementary school in Barcelona and is fluent in Spanish. She ran an after-school program for children in Portland, OR in which she taught music and ran summer camps. She taught voice lessons and vocal master classes at Starfish Studios there before she moved down to the Bay Area. With her breadth of musical experience, Catherine enjoys teaching music of many genres and will tailor lessons to the musical goals of each student. Basic theory, ear-training, breathing, placement, style and performance, anatomy, posture and other elements of Alexander Technique will be embedded in the fun lessons. She teaches voice and beginning piano and is happy to combine the lessons if desired. She believes in the importance of healthy technique and positive reinforcement to preserve the body and maximize vocal potential for a lifetime of making music.


Steve Moriarty

Steve studied Music and Theater at Antioch College in Yellow Springs Ohio. He has a Masters Degree in from University of Washington School of Social Work in Seattle. He is a founding member of Seattle punk band THE GITS. He has also been a prolific studio musician and performer and can be heard on dozens of records around the world.

He is proficient in Jazz drumming, rock, Latin, swing, punk, Country, Funk, Orchestra and Marching band drumming, and he loves working with beginners.

Steve has toured and recorded with Mia Zapata and THE GITS, Joan Jett , Nirvana, Jawbreaker, Mudhoney, GreenDay, Presidents, Dead Kennedys, American Professionals, The Pinkos, Saint Bushmill’s Choir, Stink, Big Brown House and Toucans Steel Drum Band. He has toured virtually every state in the country. Even Alaska!

Steve took up residency in the Bay Area in 2004 to do Social Work with struggling youth and he even incorporates music into his group therapy. He has been teaching students of all ages for many years and he plays gigs around The Bay while continuing to work as a Therapist.


Ryan Phillips

Ryan has been playing and involved in music since the 5th grade at the age of 10. He has been playing French horn, trumpet, and bugle for 11 years, piano for about 7 years, and drums for about 5 years He has experience in many fields including composinhg and conducting wind ensemble. He is currently an undergraduate student at California State University East Bay for Music Composition with an option in Music Education. He is currently working towards attending the Cal State East Bay credential program along with completing a master’s program. He plans on conducting and/or teaching music theory at a University.

Ryan is involved with multiple ensembles ranging from playing French horn to drums in local rock bands. Here at Acme he will be teaching beginner through intermediate French horn, trumpet, piano and composition.

Erica Richardson

Erica Richardson is a bi coastal Artist, Performer and Teacher. She started singing and writing music at the age of 4 in Connecticut were she grew up. She studied music and theater at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City UT. During her time living in Salt Lake, Erica won various awards for her music and theater performances and was invited and performed as a guest soloist for the Utah Governors Gala. Erica began teaching during her college studies and has been teaching ever since. Erica specializes in helping singers find their own unique voice and then helping them shape and master their vocal instrument. She is a Soul-Reggae Jazz Hip Hop Rock Artist and performs music and theater  throughout the Bay Area and is currently performing and making music a part of her daily routine. She has been nominated for and has won  awards and acknowledgments for her performances. “The Art’s have enhanced and changed my life and I would like to share the power of Art and how it allows you to grow and express yourself with others.” Erica currently teaches singing, vocal performance, musical theater performance, acting, and beginning piano private and group classes.



Jonathan Seiberlich

Jonathan was raised in Concord CA. He began studying music in 4th grade. He attended Los Medanos College for two years before transferring to the Oberlin Conservatory where he completed his undergraduate studies after which he earned a Masters degree from USC. Both degrees are in Music with a focus in tuba Performance.

Jonathan now freelances in the Bay Area and plays in a wide variety of groups including brass bands, tuba quartets, brass quintets, orchestras. He also plays guitar and sing on the side. He has been teaching tuba, trombone, and trumpet privately for years.

Laura Wesely

Born and raised near Frankfurt (Germany), Laura took up the viola from the age of 6. She studied with Almut Steinhausen (Eichendorff Trio) until she moved to New Hampshire in 2003. There she took up studying with Joni Hill, becoming the principal violist in the New Hampshire All State Symphony Orchestra. In 2007 Laura moved to New York, where she attended Hofstra University. Even though she studied Spanish and German literature in her undergraduate, Laura continued to play viola with the Hofstra University Symphony orchestra, where she held the principal chair for two years. She also performed in numerous small ensembles, the opera pit and gave violin and viola lessons for several months on Long Island. Now Laura lives in Oakland and teaches Spanish at an Oakland public middle school. In Oakland, Laura is performing with the Prometheus Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Women’s Orchestra and can be seen occasionally playing the fiddle in small blue grass string bands.

Pete Feltman

Pete Feltman is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter.  He loves to play, teach and talk about music regardless of the genre or tradition.  He’s been singing all of his life, playing piano for 28 years, and strings for 17 years.  Pete believes that music itself is the best teacher and is excited to help you discover your own voice and the ability to express your musical ideas with a confidence in tone and a comfortable feel.  He currently plays banjo in two bands: Westcoast Wildfire and The Gravel Spreaders.  He is also Director of Music Ministry at College Ave Presbyterian Church in the Rockridge neighborhood.  He holds a BA in Theatre/Communication/Education from University of Northern Iowa, and an M.Div from San Francisco Theological Seminary.  



Bob Fredrickson

Adam Lipansky




John Middle