Lauren Whittaker studied piano with Ina Pihlman of Chatham, New Jersey, and Rachel Goodwin, Music Director of the Ashmont Hill Chamber Players in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also studied the Suzuki Talent Education Program for Piano with Kiki Barley and Sue Vasquez of the Pittsburgh Music Academy.
In addition to piano teaching, Ms. Whittaker has directed both children’s and youth choirs as well as English hand bell choirs for teens and adults at the Church of Christ, Congregational in Millis, Massachusetts. She also acted as substitute (adult) choir director and organist there.
Holding a degree in Music Education (cum laude) from Boston University, Ms. Whittaker taught general music in elementary and junior high school in addition to recorder ensembles and string classes in the Wellesley (Mass) Public Schools. There she also directed elementary choruses in productions including The Music Man, The Mikado, and The Velveteen Rabbit. Ms Whittaker has been certified in Orff-Schulwerk from Carnegie Mellon University and is a registered Certification Level 1 Music Together teacher.
Jennifer Clippinger (Dudik) graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance. While attending school she performed in numerous musicals at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theater and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Jennifer spent 11 years in New York City during which time her career encompassed many different areas of the performing industry. Career highlights include touring the country with the First National Tour of “The Will Rogers Follies”; performing as a Rockette for 4 years at Radio City Music Hall; performing in numerous musicals at Paper Mill playhouse (including “Crazy For You” which was taped for PBS); touring the country again with the First National Tour of “The Producers”; and finally herdream come true, performing on Broadway with “The Producers.” In between she did work in commercials, modeling, print, soap operas,films,and industrials.
Industrials afforded her the opportunity to pursue another of her passions:travel. She traveled to such places as Brazil, Japan and the Bahamas. During her time on Broadway, Jennifer felt that she had achieved all of her goals and dreams. She and her husband decided to move back to the city of her alma mater and start a family. They now have a 7 year old son, Noah and a 5 year old daughter, Charlotte.
Jennifer was a Music Together mom from the time her daughter was 2 and she was hooked ever since! She decided to ask Lauren Whittaker one day if she needed any extra teachers and Lauren said yes they did! Jennifer completed the Music Together Teacher Training in February 2012, and started teaching her first classes in the Spring of 2012. She loves teaching such a wonderful program as Music Together and looks forward to continuing to learn and grow as a teacher. Jennifer also continues to work in films, commercials, voice-overs and print.
Rachel began her Music Together journey as a Music Together mom with her twin sons, and she is thrilled to share this fantastic program with other families as a Music Together teacher. Rachel received her BA from Yale University and her PhD from Harvard University in cognitive psychology, where she received the Derek Bok Prize for excellence in teaching.
Rachel has training and performance experience in voice, violin, dance, music theory, and musical theater, and she has served as the musical director for choral groups and musical theater productions. She has also worked with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Tanglewood Music Center. Rachel is excited to share her love of music, teaching, cognitive development, and of course, children with all of her Music Together classes.
Holding a degree in Music Education with a focus in percussive studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Goyda is a member of the Percussion Staff at Penn Trafford High School. He also has held the position of Ensemble Instructor for Elizabeth Forward High School.
Mr. Goyda has taught and conducted with Gateway High School and Elementary schools. He has instructed the Cochranton Junior Senior High School Marching band.
Mr. Goyda has performed with the IUP Percussion Ensemble and in conjunction with the IUP Dance Studio.
Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano
Janet Hackett received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Duquesne University. She received her Masters Degree in Music in 1989. She has played String Bass with the Westmoreland Symphony, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and the American Youth Symphony and Chorus. Bass Guitar with the Continental Singers (traveling all over the world), and frequently plays for musicals and church programs throughout the area.
She started her career teaching String music and Elementary general music in the Gateway School District. She is currently teaching Strings in the Norwin School District. In Norwin, Mrs. Hackett has taught string instruments from grades three to twelve. She has also taught high school Orchestra, guitar classes and has co-directed the high school musicals, directing the Pit Orchestra. She has taken the Norwin High School Orchestra to New York, Nashville, and Hawaii.
At The Music Room, Mrs. Hackett teaches all string instruments; violin, viola, cello, and bass in Suzuki as well as traditional methods. She is Suzuki Certified in violin through book 3 as well as in a combination of traditional, jazz, rock, and fiddle styles. She also is Suzuki certified through book 1 in Piano. Mrs. Hackett started piano lessons when she was 4 yrs. old, violin in the 4th Grade and string bass in 11th grade, majoring on it in college.
Piano and Jazz (Applied & Theory)
With a Masters Degree from Duquesne University in Music Performance and Composition, and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education, Dwight Hackett has played French horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Woodwind Quintet. He has taught choral groups and general music in the Norwin School District and East Allegheny Schools in addition to producing musicals.
Mr. Hackett founded the SyntheSound Recording Studio and is well-known as an arranger, keyboard player, producer for gospel albums, jingle and commercial writer and recorder. He is well-versed in studio design.
Currently Mr. Hackett is Music Minister and Choir Director at the Christian Fellowship Center in Jeannette.
At The Music Room, Mr. Hackett teaches traditional piano lessons incorporating theory and technique, with music from the Baroque period through Contemporary. He also teaches Jazz, Rock, Blues, Southern Gospel Piano lessons and Jazz Theory. Mr. Hackett will also teach the French Horn (major instrument) and brass instruments.
Piano, Voice & Guitar
Tom Murphy is a music educator with the Ligonier Valley School District and teachers general music K-5, Band and Chorus. Mr. Murphy has been teaching privately for 11 years.
Tom Murphy has been actively involved with numerous marching bands in Western Pennsylvania including: Norwin, Greater Latrobe, Indiana, Yough and Elizabeth Forward. He has toured extensively with the Drum and Bugle Corps and entertainment bands. Mr. Murphy has performed with various community groups including Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, Mountain Playhouse, St. Vincent College, Ligonier Valley Players, area high school musicals and and church services/productions. As a percussionist, he gives master classes and clinics throughout the music community, as well as volunteering for benefits as Relay for Life, Rock for Life and March of Dimes.
Holding a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania he created the Greater Latrobe Percussion Ensemble and has also choreographed dances for the Southmoreland Jr. High School Chorus and Laurel Valley Elementary chorus. Born and raised in Latrobe he now resides in North Huntingdon with his family. Through teaching he strives to create a learning environment that is suited to each student.
Voice achel Myers~Voice
Rachel Myers has studied voice with Marybeth Sederburg, Lisa Layman-Weber, and Louisa Jonason. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree cum laude from Mercyhurst College. In addition to performing at Mercyhurst College, Ms. Myers has performed at the After Dinner Opera Company in New York, the Undercroft Opera, and at the Greensburg Civic Theater.
Her many roles include Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Lover in The Husband, Wife & the Lover, Nanetta in Falstaff, the Stepsister in The Real Story of Cinderella, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Jenny in Roman Fever, Josephina in License to Marry, and Polly Peachum in The Beggar's Opera.
Ms. Myers has coached children's productions at the Greasepaint Players and has been a board member of the Greensburg Civic Theater.
Roy Sonne is a 28 year veteran of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Now retired, Mr. Sonne teaches in his own studio in Mt. Lebanon, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, and Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the teaching faculty of The Music Room in 2012.
Mr. Sonne annually spends six-weeks a year in La Paz, Bolivia working with string players from the Bolivian National Symphony and the National Conservatory of Music. He is the organizer of an after school music program in the Hill District of Pittsburgh modeled after the renowned El Sistema program in Venezuela.
Roy Sonne was the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra for 12 years. He continues to make guest conducting appearances with student and community orchestras. Mr. Sonne is also the creator of instructional DVD's on the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin.
Eileen Grace Reynolds
Eileen is currently a Director/Choreographer for various theatres including Radio City Music Hallwhere she performed as a Rockette for 8 years. Eileen was in the Broadway casts of 42nd Street, Will Rogers Follies and in the international tour of My One And Only (with Tommy Tune). Her television credits include the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, One Life to Live, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Macys Parade, Christmas at Rockefeller Center, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Late Show with David Letterman and Oprah. She also served as Associate Producer for the theatre company Reagle Players in Boston.
As a teacher Eileen has taught all ages, levels and styles of dance including creative movement classes ranging from teaching inner city children to senior citizens at a convalescent center. She has also taught at Point Park College in Pittsburgh where she earned a BA in Dance and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the Artistic Director of the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive Program.
Eileen is happy to be joining the staff after enjoying being a Music Together mom with her 2 year old twins.
Candice is a lifelong music lover who found her "home" in the Music Together program. Veteran Music Together Mom turned Registered Music Together Teacher, she has been with the Music Room since 2010. Candice received her initial Music Together Certification with instructor, Susan Darrow. In 2013 received her Certification Level 1 with Music Together Co -founder and Director of Research Dr.Lili Levinowitz.
Ms. Wansor has performed in community theater productions and has performed and directed in church programs. Candice continues to research young children and music learning in order to bring this information to her families. She is enthusiastic about sharing the joy of making music with her families in the Irwin and Murrysville locations. Candice says, "I have always felt in my heart that you do not have to be a music performer to be a music maker, the Music Together program validated that feeling for me. You have to play with music before you can play music. I want to share that freedom of musical play in my classes and with the families I am blessed to teach."
Copyright 2013 The Whittaker Music Studio. All rights reserved.