Our Teachers

All of our teachers are passionate about music and the development of children.

They create a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child's musical development.

 

 

 
photo Nikolai Moderbacher (Director)

Nikolai's earliest memories include his mother playing the guitar and singing folk songs with him and his brother. Fast-forward 30 years and he's been overjoyed to see his daughter having some of those same experiences with him. Nikolai finds himself truly lucky to be working and creating in this field of family music and education since 2005, teaching Music Together® classes as well as performing his own original funky family music around town. (www.nikoskids.com)

     
photo Victoria Salmeri

Victoria has been teaching Music Together since 2004.She is proud to have trained several apprentices. Her background includes music, theatre, dance, choreography and computer programming.

When recently asked to share a meaningful moment from teaching, she wrote, “When I decided to become a Music Together teacher, I knew I would love my job, but I didn’t anticipate the wonderful weekly reminders of just how powerful music can be. There are so many examples, but most recently I sat in awe of a 2 ½ year old child, who was singing each and every word with pride and confidence, and even starting the next phrase for us when I paused for too long. This is the same little boy who was especially shy and inconsolable when he started to attend my class a little over a year ago. I get a ringside seat to this type of development on a regular basis. How lucky am I?”

Outside of the classroom, Victoria might be found choreographing flash mob dances, or singing in her church’s band.

     
photo Melissa Stylianou

Melissa is an accomplished jazz vocalist, recording artist, and educator, originally from Toronto, Canada. Here in NYC, she has performed at venues such as Birdland, Jazz Standard and Carnegie Hall, and has released 5 solo jazz albums. Most recently, she has been performing in NYC and touring all over the country with her 3-part harmony group Duchess, and has been nominated multiple times in the Rising Star Jazz Vocalist category in the Downbeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls. She can also be seen on Canadian television on the hit kids' TV show "Foursquare". An experienced educator, Melissa has taught at National Music Camp, Humber College and University of Toronto, teaches voice privately and is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto with a degree in Acting. She has been teaching Music Together since 2007 and is very happy to be a part of the MT community in the Park Slope and Bay Ridge Music Together centers. Melissa plays guitar and has her Music Together Certification Level 1.

www.melissastylianou.com

     
photo Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor has been teaching Music Together for 13 years and is currently on staff in Park Slope and at The Hootenanny Art House. He is the Early Childhood Music and Movement teacher at Poly Prep Lower School and teaches private lessons on guitar, ukulele, piano and drums. As an independent artist, he composes music, performs with video and writes about life on his blog,www.supergood.org.

     
photo Dan Vonnegut

Dan is a multi-instrumentalist who loves many styles of music from all over the world. In addition to teaching at Music Together of Park Slope he is the director of City Sounds Music Together as well as a private music instructor on guitar, drum set and piano and a professional freelance musician. He lives in Windsor Terrace with his wife, two children, two cats and a dog. He enjoys the unique combination of personalities families bring to the classes he teaches.

     
photo Anath Benais

Performer and educator, Anath Benais holds a bachelor's degree in Hebrew Literature and Civilization from University Paris VII. She has been teaching language (French and Spanish) as well as music at preschool and elementary levels in New York City private schools since 2010. A registered "Music Together" instructor, Ms. Benais has formally trained in music and dance in styles and countries as diverse as classical and jazz in Israel to Middle Eastern dance and Arabic music in Egypt and France. In films, on stage, and on recordings, she has performed internationally as a vocalist, songwriter, actress and dancer, including at the BlueNote and City Winery in New York City. She is the musical curator of "The Rough Guide to Bellydance" (a CD/DVD set) as well as the narrator of the documentary "Corpus Christi." Having taught classical Egyptian dance for over a decade, Anath continues to build her own portfolio of musical compositions in Brooklyn, where she resides with her husband and young son.

www.anathmusic.com

     
photo Zev Haber

     
photo Emily Stout

Emily Stout is a Brooklyn-based actor, teacher, and music-maker! She has been running a children's theater camp with her sisters in Colorado for the past six years, and also teaches drama for Child's Play NY. She loves to use theatrical images and language to transport you and child to magical and imaginary lands, all the while guiding them through the basic principles of music! 

     
photo Leo Wexler-Mann

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Leo Wexler-Mann is a New York City Pianist and composer. He graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2015, where he studied solo piano with Robert McDonald. Leo has taken prizes in many national competitions throughout high school, but has since stopped performing for judges after taking a keener interest in performing for his peers; he has developed a passion for collaborative piano, and is currently a staff pianist at Juilliard, working with many singers and instrumentalists in repertoire ranging from duos to quintets, and in styles from the Baroque to modern premieres.

As a composer, Leo has worked in various mediums, but focuses mainly on classical, electronic, and improvisation, often in combinations of all three; he is a frequent collaborator with other musicians and composers around New York City. Eclectically inspired, Leo lives in Brooklyn writing fugues, producing beats, making audio recordings of his subway commutes, practicing Beethoven to no end, running a growing private teaching studio, and searching for New York’s best bánh mì. 

 

     
photo Stacey Capobianco

Stacey is a children’s yoga teacher, family health coach, former Kindergarten teacher and mom of three young girls. She loves watching children explore and is forever in awe of the way they see the world.  When not teaching or taking yoga classes herself, Stacey loves to cook, travel and spend time in nature. Stacey teaches Children's Yoga Classes on Tuesday afternoons (12:15 for 2s/3s & 1:15 for 3s/4s - all with caregiver).

www.spreadthehealthnow.com