Our Instructors

photo Marianne Ryan

Founding Director


Marianne Ryan has worked as an actor, singer, theatre and music educator, entrepreneur and humanitarian for over 20 years. Fortunate to have started her love affair with the arts from a very early age, her mother discovered The Performing Arts School of Philadelphia and her path was clear. Ms. Ryan continued her studies at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was an invited member of the Academy Company.


The Arts have afforded Marianne with rich and rewarding opportunities from working in a number of our historical theatres across the country, as well as with respected arts organizations such as, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and recently as an acting coach for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for a Facial Expression Pre-Trial study with Beth Israel Medical Center.


Believing theatre, art and music has a way of reaching deep inside our soul to help us understand that which cannot be expressed otherwise. In whatever context Marianne is working she has the remarkable ability to connect deeply with all individuals allowing them to engage fully with their own experiences.

Mary Barba

Violin ~ Piano ~ Ukulele ~ Cello

Mary Barba holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire and is currently finishing up her Master of Music in Music Education online at Illinois State University after a year of residency leading their String Project. Mary’s greatest passion is teaching privately, specifically incorporating improvisation and emotional expression into her lessons. She has been teaching privately for five years, including piano, violin, viola, and cello. Most recently, Mary taught piano privately at Thomas Metcalf Laboratory School in Normal, Illinois. She also taught at Illinois State University as a lead teacher in their String Project. During her undergraduate degree, Mary helped jumpstart the University of New Hampshire Youth Symphony Orchestra program, where she taught violin and viola. Mary Barba believes that each student will uniquely learn from individualized instruction, and therefore utilizes an eclectic mix of philosophies and literature to teach. She teaches in order to develop emotional literacy and happy musicians in the future generations!

photo Katie Jillson

Voice ~ Piano ~ Young Musicians ~ Glee

Katie Jillson has enjoyed a continuous performance career in Boston and surrounding New England areas for the past 20 years. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Katie has performed with organizations in the New England area such as Masterworks Chorale (Cambridge), the Paul Madore Chorale (Salem), Boston Cecilia, Zensemble (Jamaica Plain), and The Down East singers of Thomaston, Maine. She is also a frequent soloist at St. Ignatius of Loyola church in Chestnut Hill, where she has been a member of the music ministry since 1999. Excelling in the early and classic repertoire, Katie has performed as a soloist in works including the Messiah, Chichester Psalms (Bernstein), Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Stabat Mater (Poulenc), Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (Schubert), and the Mozart Requiem. This year Katie was also chosen as a participant in the 2016 Winter Intensive Program at OperaWorks, an internationally-recognized training and performance company.

To Katie, singing is an extremely rewarding art, and it is a different experience for each student. She desires for students to enjoy every moment of singing and to leave all fears at the door, which is why she chooses to create a supportive environment for students. Katie works with students on an individual basis to achieve a dialogue of teaching and communication that maximizes the use of lesson time. Her approach is centered around achieving vocal freedom by teaching students how to use their breath, release any tension, and strengthen vocal ability in all registers of the voice. She also teaches lyric diction to students when applied to repertoire.

Katie is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the NATS New England chapter.

Hannah Choi

* Master Teacher ~ Violin, Piano, Viola and Chamber

Dr. Hannah E. Choi is an active soloist, chamber musician, orchestral violinist, and teacher. She received her Doctorate from Boston University where she studied with concert violinist Yuri Mazurkevich, former pupil of David Oistrakh. During her coursework, she completed a dissertation on composer Moritz Moszkowski along with a performance study of his Suite for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 71, culminating in her document, "Moritz Mozkowski: A Historical and Present-Day Perspective." She is a member of the National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda - Alpha Kappa Chapter. Former teachers include renowned pedagogue Dr. Gerald Fischbach from the University of Maryland and soloist Dr. Tao-Chang Yu from The Peabody Institute of John's Hopkins University. 


Hannah has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is a former member of the Washington Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Marsh Chapel Collegium, the New England Repertory Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the All Eastern Orchestra. She has been awarded scholarships from the Heifetz International Music Institute as well as Garth Newel's Emerging Artist Fellowship Program. She has performed in various master classes with violinists such as Charles Castleman, Sarah Chang, and Grigory Kalinovsky. She has also studied with the Guarneri Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, and the Muir String Quartet. In 2011, she was a member of the Berklee Symphony Orchestra for the RE:GENERATION music project - a classical music documentary featuring DJ Premier and Nas. From 2010 to 2015, she was the first violinist of The Boston Quartet.


Hannah has been teaching students of all ages and levels since 2003 and has extensive teaching experience throughout the DC metro area. She has taught violin at Boston University and at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD. Currently, she teaches violin and piano and coaches chamber music at Discover Music & Art. She also maintains a private studio in Boston while performing as the violinist of Trio Moderno.


Along with teaching and performing, Hannah is also getting ready to publish a book that centers on the skill sets and fundamental knowledge needed for efficient and effective instrumental practice. Stay tuned for the official announcement of her book, The Practice Room.

photo Lucy Bocchiaro

Music Together

Lucy is a local singer-songwriter who has been performing at local Boston venues for over 20 years. She grew up in a family where dancing and singing were a part of her everyday experience. She and her siblings are all musical and she believes it's because music and speech were both presented as equally important to the family experience. Lucy studied music at a young age playing clarinet for 15 years and later switching to guitar and eventually adding tenor banjo and percussive instruments.


Lucy has two daughters, Rajani and Shanti ages 8 and 10. She is a co-creator and performer for a yearly fundraising event called Rock the O at her children's school. This program has been a huge success for the past five years helping to raise thousands of dollars for music programs at Ohrenberger Elementary school in Boston. Lucy has been writing music and songs since she was a child and has 2 CD's with her original music. Recently she wrote and coproduced her band's CD, which received a positive review in the

May 2014 issue of The Noise magazine.

Lucy loves engaging with family and children through music and dance and her wealth of experience as a singer-songwriter enriches her Music Together classes.

Travis Nelson

Guitar ~ Ukulele

Travis is a student at Berklee College of Music where he is studying Music Therapy and Guitar. His musical journey started around the age of 4 when he started picking up his dad’s guitars. At age 8 he began studying Viola and continued until age 13 when Travis got his first electric guitar and became enthralled with music. Since then he has studied with many teachers in the New England area.

Travis believes that music is an inherent capability of all people. It is a language that we can all learn with practice. To him the most important aspect of music is the emotional connection it can create between both the players and the listeners. Travis hopes to plant the seeds to help individuals discover their own inner creativity and curiosity in music and forge their own path on the guitar. 

photo Elizabeth Schorr
Elizabeth Schorr, Soprano, is a graduate of the University of Hartford's The Hartt School with Bachelor's Degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance. During her studies, Elizabeth primarily studied classical voice, and uses a classical vocal technique to help her students access a healthy vocal tone in a variety of genres. Outside of the classical realm, Elizabeth has collaborated with the talented, up-and-coming composer Zach Heyde, and recorded one of his original songs Silent Words. Additionally, Ms. Schorr has performed Vocal Jazz selections for the Unitarian Society of Hartford's Hot Jazz on a Cool Night, and comes from a background of Musical Theater, Pop and Jazz. 
Elizabeth has worked as a private voice and piano teacher at Music & Arts, where her studio included students of many ages, experience levels, and styles of music, and spent a year working as the Director of Choral and General Music at East Windsor Middle School. Elizabeth is currently working as the music teacher in the Walpole Public School District where she specializes in general music education, ukulele and recorder instruction, and elementary choral instruction. Ms. Schorr is very passionate about sharing her love of music with her students, and focuses on helping her students create a healthy vocal tone, and developing their own musical identity as a vocal performer!
Kathryn Christensen Lieppman

Pianist Kathryn Christensen Lieppman is sought after as solo performer, chamber musician, adjudicator and teacher. The Sierra Vista Herald declared of her Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 performance, "She truly deserved to have the final bow for that evening's concert...The gracefulness of Christensen was a joy to see, as the composer's notes took control of her as she fingered them on the keyboard. Lightly when needed, powerful when appropriate."


Ms. Lieppman received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where she studied with Tannis Gibson and Rex Woods.  She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Rice University where she studied with Brian Connelly. She has enjoyed participating in summer festivals across the United States including Aspen, SongFest, Tanglewood, Interlochen and New England Conservatory's Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.  


An energetic educator, Ms. Lieppman loves working with students who have varying abilities and interests. She is known for her patience and creativity as a teacher. She has also been on the piano faculty at the Concord Conservatory of Music (West Concord, MA), and The Brimmer and May School (Brookline, MA).  She spent three years on the summer faculty at Camp Encore Coda (Sweden, ME), leading masterclasses, chamber music groups, and private lessons, and has also been a returning piano teacher at the Boise State Chamber Music Camp (Boise, ID) for several years, coaching piano duets, trios, and quartets.

As a masterclass clinician, she has instructed groups of pianists at BASIS schools in Arizona (2009-2011), as well as young pianists in Sierra Vista, AZ as a guest of the Cochise Music Teachers Association (2012). Her students, past and present, come to group classes periodically and perform for each other in a “masterclass” setting.


Ms. Lieppman also teaches early childhood music classes called Clap for Classics! (West Roxbury), co-runs the Music Makes Me Happy Chorus for adults with special needs (Lexington), and accompanies classes for Boston Ballet.


photo Anitra Little

Musical Theatre ~ Story Book Theatre

Anitra Little is a Texas girl who has recently moved to Boston. She grew up in a big family of
singers and musicians. She began singing at the age of 4 in church. By 14 she was the only
youth in the adult choir. She received her Bachelor’s in Theatre at Texas State University in San
Marcos, Texas. She is currently pursuing her Master’s at Emerson College, studying Theatre
Education. She has a heart for fine arts and loves working with children, especially
preschoolers. She was a Teaching Artist at The Magik Theatre in San Antonio and one of her
favorite memories was helping a boy overcome stage fright. In her free time she enjoys hosting
game nights at her house, going to the park to play her guitar, and watching movies. She is
thrilled to be a part of this great team!