A MESSAGE FROM THE OWNER AND MUSIC DIRECTOR DR. MARIA F FARINHA:
At the core of our Faculty’s teaching philosophy are the following beliefs:
Each learner is unique, as shown by strengths, preferences and innate abilities.
Creative learning and thinking is promoted by our teachers in order for the students to reach their highest musical and intellectual potential.
The goal of our Music Teachers is also to teach people something fun in a fun way that has a trickle-down positive effect into other areas of their lives.
MEET OUR TEACHERS AND STAFF:
Doctor Maria F Farinha Owner and Music Director
Canadian performing artist (Singer, Pianist), she began musical studies when she was 5 years old and played piano professionally at the age of 16. Her career began to soar in the late 1980s with the rise of her new blended style of Jazz. She studied piano, voice and composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for three years and finished her BA in Music at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fl. Doctor Maria Farinha finished her Masters and Doctoral degrees in music at York University in Toronto-Canada. She is recognized world-wide as one of the definitive Jazz music composers of her generation and one of “The Best Jazz Divas.” (Mark Holston for Downbeat Magazine-California). Some recent performances include the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Markham Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Art of Jazz Festival in Toronto, “Global Divas” from the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, City Jazz at Universal Studios, Fl. In the past Maria has performed with many of top artists, including Danny Gottlieb, Jane Bunnet, Manfredo Fest, Helio Alves, Romero Lubambo, Arturo Sandoval, Giovanni Hidalgo and Gilberto Gil.
Ben Tiptonford: Guitar, Drums, piano
Benjamin Tiptonford has been playing guitar and drums for the past 17 years and teaching for the past 8 years. He began playing in different bands at the age of 13 and have continued to play in various musical projects ever since. He discovered and fell in love with listening to and playing Jazz shortly after graduating high school and went on to receive his bachelors degree in Jazz Studies from UCF in 2012. On July 2016 Ben Tiptonford performed in the White House for Michelle Obama. He can be found playing jazz gigs at bars and cafes around the Orlando area.Teaching and spreading musical knowledge to future generations has been a very fulfilling and rewarding job for him, and considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Christian Padron: Guitar, Drums (beginner – Advanced)
Music has been always a huge part of Christian’s life. He has been playing drums, guitar, and piano for almost 20 years, and he has been a music teacher privately and at private schools for about 8 years.
He graduated from UCF with a degree in Music and a minor in Statistics in 2014, and music remains his main passion and career . He has been playing drums in rock bands for the past 10 years and have toured the US extensively and last year got to tour around Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Christian considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Paul Garson: Drums, Guitar.
Paul Garzon has been playing guitar since the age of 7. He learned basics from his dad alongside his 2 brothers, and has pursued that and drums at the age of 13 since. He was constructing his own songs in their entirety at the age of 14 and was playing them live by the age of 15. He’s played in a diverse onset of musical projects in ambient rock, cover songs, metal, and acoustic. He fell in love with music during his early high school years and enrolled at Seminole State College thereafter where he got his Associates in Arts. He’s taken part in studio/recording work, currently part of a band and can be found playing live gigs on drums in the Mid-Florida area, filled in on drums for other musical projects, and also does private events playing acoustic guitar. He is going on several years of teaching drums and guitar now and instills a solid foundation of fundamental principles to his students that shows strong signs of progression in their playing, as well as their desire to play. He shows sincere gratitude in being able to do what he loves and to have the opportunity to teach others why he loves what he does, and considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Maggie Gifford: Voice (beginner – Advanced), and Piano (beginner )
Maggie has a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance with a minor in Performing Arts Administration. She currently studies with Thomas Potter, and has also studied with Christopher Holloway and Cynthia Munzer. Maggie has given several public performances. She has been very involved in the Opera Workshop program. She was seen as Witch #2 in Dido and Aeneas in Spring 2015 and as Gianetta in L’elisir d’amor in Spring 2016, as well as featured in several of the opera scenes programs. She also won third place in the First Year College Women category in the 2015 NATS competition. Maggie was also recently accepted into the Musiktheater Bavaria program and studied opera in Germany during the month of July in 2016.
Over the years Maggie has performed in several festivals/conferences/clinics, including Festival of Voices at the University of South Florida, and both the Women’s Choir and the Sight Reading Choir at the Florida Music Educators Association Convention. She has also performed several times with the Candlelight Processional Choir at Disney World. Maggie is currently involved with both the UCF Chamber and University Choirs under the direction of David Brunner. Maggie considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Alyssa Long: Voice (Beginner-Advanced), Piano (beginner)
Alyssa is a trained vocalist, pianist performing worship/Christian, pop/rock, classical, Jazz, and Opera. She has been playing the piano since 7 years old and studied vocal technique classically for four years (Opera). Alyssa has a background in pop and worship, but she employs her classical techniques to teach her students how to maintain the best and healthiest voice possible.She also enjoys singing both contemporary, classical, and musical theater. She has been in several productions such as the play Cinderella and the opera L’elixir d’amore. She loves to be a singer/ pianist and everything that goes along with it, and is pursuing her Music degree at University of Central Florida. Alyssa considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Christian Ryan: Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Christian Ryan is a rising figure in the Florida music community. After 600+ shows, he has been dubbed by fans and peers alike as “the busiest musician in Orlando”. Christian has a degree in music from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ma. Possessing equal appreciation for complex harmonies to simple grooves, instrumentals to clever lyrics, new school to vintage, commonplace to the weird; he is constantly testing his musical palette.
Taking his talents throughout the state, southeastern United States and parts of the Caribbean, he has had the opportunity to learn from the road with some of best and upcoming bands in the scene. From major festivals and sold out venues. As a teacher, Christian has worked with students all ages. He believes that studying music develops creativity, hard work, collaboration, patience, and appreciation for many different aspects of culture. Christian considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Sarah Bracken: Voice , Piano, and Violin
Sarah Brickeen has grown up with music. She learned piano from her mother, and picked up the violin as a child, and studied these instruments up until the 11th grade, where singing became her main passion. She has been a part of many choirs, including Children’s Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh, Bach Festivals chorus, and took part in Florida All-State’s Women and Concert choirs. Sarah is currently finishing her degree in music performance at UCF, and has played roles in their past Opera productions, L’elisir D’amore and Die Fledermaus. Sarah’s teaching style includes classical technique to ensure a healthy musical career in music, but she also coaches singers in different genres and styles. She is confident in her abilities to help your child or any beginner raise their performances to the next level in voice or piano, and considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes.
Thai McGrath: Piano and Guitar (beginners),Voice (beginner, intermediate).
Thai is a dynamic musician, composer & producer adapted for the modern demands of the music industry. Raised from an early age in rock music, he expanded upon his knowledge by enveloping himself in the choral, jazz and orchestra scenes all throughout high school, college and professionally. With a degree in music from UCF, he continued to arm himself with knowledge by developing his skills in audio engineering and music production resulting in him working part time as a producer. He has performed with the University Singers at UCF and his own performance groups such as Oathkeeper, along the east coast. He is a unique teacher with a rare approach to music that bridges the gap between traditionally trained and non-traditionally trained students. Thai considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats & Tunes School of Music.
Marcus Ojito: Violin (Beginner- Advanced), Guitar (beginner)
Luis Guerrero Guitar (Acoustic and Electric), Bass guitar
Luis is a music performer and teacher that plays guitar in many styles such as Jazz, Funk, Rock, Pop, classical and many more. He graduated with a bachelors degree in Jazz studies from UCF. Luis currently performs at Universal Studios theme park in the Harry Potter’s london train station as a solo guitarist and plays around town in music festivals, musicals, weddings and private events to name a few. Teaching and spreading musical knowledge to kids and adults has been a very fulfilling job for him, and considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats & Tunes School of Music.
Bryan Hayes: Piano (Beginner – advanced), and Voice (Beginner – Advanced)
Bryan Hayes is a working pianist and vocalist with a background ranging many genres including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, R&B, Rock, Pop and more. In fall 2013 he received bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Florida in the studies of Classical music and in Jazz Studies. He has performed as a pianist and singer in numerous operas, oratorios and theatrical productions, including two separate productions in the Czech Republic, and has toured with different groups in many different countries. He has performed major roles in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Menotti’s “The Consul”, oratorios, such as Handel’s “Messiah” and Bach’s “St. John’s Passion”, and theatrical productions, including Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado” and Leiber & Stoller’s “Smokey Joe’s Café”. He has performed with such noted artists and ensembles, including but not limited to; The Royal Symphony of England, Reggie Wooten and Ben Folds. In 2015 Bryan released his first album of original compositions entitled “This Is Me”, he aspires to continue a career of performance and composition, and considers it a privilege to be onboard as one of the instructors at Beats and Tunes..