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Teacher Directory

At Advance Music Center, our dedicated and experienced teachers make learning an instrument fun. We cater to a variety of instruments and learning styles, all while providing a supportive and nurturing environment for students of all ages. Our teachers construct customized lesson plans based on each student's interests, learning styles, and ability.

Call 802.863.8652 or sign up on-line now and tell us about your musical goals. We'll match you with the instructor that best fits your needs.

Kevin Boyea

Kevin Boyea - Guitar teacher & lesson administrator at Advance MusicBerklee College of Music alumnus Kevin Boyea is our lesson coordinator at Advance Music Center.  In addition to the weekly scheduling of over 200 students, Kevin has 40 guitar students a week.

As a guitarist, Kevin has spent time in many local bands, and traveled all over New England in regional acts like “Toy Box” and “Last Kid Picked”. Currently Kevin plays in the dance rock extravaganza “Sideshow Bob”.  Kevin is also a busy "on call" guitarist, and he subs for a variety of different projects covering funk and jazz, shifting to country, as well as performing in the “GospelFest” house band in 2008  and 2010. He has also been the house guitarist for  “Middlebury Rocks” since 2007.

Kevin has been teaching guitar for over 15 years and is very fluent in many different styles, but his favorites are rock and jazz/fusion.  During the summer months Kevin is also on the teaching staff of Vermont's popular “Rock Camp”, a Burlington based day camp instructing students ages 11-17 in the fundamentals of rock music performance.


Brian Maple

advance-lessons_brian-maple_smBrian has over 20 years of experience on the guitar as well as a BA in Jazz Performance from Johnson State College.  As a music educator, Brian is a patient and insightful teacher who genuinely enjoys sharing his knowledge.  He plans lessons so that students experience success right away, making a “joyful noise” even with just a few notes – all the while setting a foundation for growth in musical concepts and skills. Brian is experienced playing everything from Prog-Metal and Rock & Roll to Jazz and Blues, making it easy to tailor his lessons to the student’s interest rather than a certain method.

Nicola Caiano

advance-lessons_nick-c_smNick,a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, has been immersed in music his whole life.  In addition to being a guitar instructor for the past 20 years, Nick has composed music for the independent film "Dumping Lisa" and for TV ( The Today Show, Nightline.)  He has worked as a session guitarist, recording engineer and producer in New York City for such notable acts as"School of Fish" (3 Strange Days/top 10 hit), "Lisa Loeb", "The Band", "Stealth", "The Bats", "Queen", and "Sinead O'Connor" to name a few.  Nick has endorsements from Malinoski Art Guitars and Paul Trombetta Designs. 

Not only is Nick an active musician, but he also holds a deep personal commitment and passion for teaching guitarists to excel in their musical pursuits.  Nick's musical excellence and versatility combined with a gift for communicating in an easily understood and practical way is key to the feeling of success he instills in his students.  For more than 20 years, Nick has taught thousands of lessons to a diverse group including beginners, professionals, people with specials needs, and even some who went on to attend Berklee themselves.  In light of the diverse background of his students one underlying idea ties his whole approach together: helping them go from where they are to where they want to be.

Dan Bishop

Dan Bishop Bass Guitar Instruction Dan attained a BA in Music from Saint Michael's College in 2013. He has studied with Scott Spray (Johnny Winter) and Anthony Santor.

As an teacher, Dan's lessons follow a path defined by the desires and needs of the individual student. His goal is to create bass players who can have fun making music with their friends, families, and in public. He is dedicated to sharing the knowledge, techniques and tricks he's learned to help aspiring bass guitar players create their personal, original and artistic perspective towards the instrument.

Dan has been playing bass guitar since 2001 and can be seen around New England playing both upright and electric bass with Grundlefunk, Dripline and Potbelly.

Let Dan help you to find your voice and grow it on the bass to create your own style.

Caleb Bronz

Caleb Bronz - Drum teacher, Advance MusicCaleb Bronz, a Vermont native, began playing drums at the age of 10, then at 12 began studying privately with Jeff Salisbury (Albert King, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and many others).  In 1999, Caleb earned a BA in Music with a concentration in Jazz and commercial music from Johnson State College.

Caleb's musical diversity and passion for performing is illustrated by his domestic and International tours with Johnny A, Mighty Sam McClain, The Gordon Stone Band, Prydein, The Christopher Peterman Quintet, Beat Biters, Smokin' Grass, Voice and Jazzmosis to name a few. As a recording artist, Caleb can be heard on recordings such as Gordon Stone's most recent record, "Nightshade",  and Jim Hill and the Longhaulers, debut album "Endless Road", which has received sustained national airplay. He played on CMH Record's nationally distributed album, "Pickin' On Jack Johnson". He also played on Grammy nominee and Handy Blues Award winner Mighty Sam McClain's latest record, "Betcha Didn't Know".

As an educator Caleb's first hand knowledge of rock, pop, hip-hop, drum&bass, afro-cuban, reggae, bluegrass, free jazz and more, make him ideally suited to address nearly any student's needs.  Caleb currently teaches drums at Advance Music Center, and with such programs as Rock Camp Vermont and Vermont Jazz Camp.

Mitra Sadighim

Mitra Sadigh Piano LessonsMitra Sadigh is a classically trained pianist who studied music at the Hartt School in Hartford, CT. During her college career, she attended the Juan Pedro Carrero School Piano Festival in Barcelona, Spain as well as the Golandsky Institute Piano Festival in Princeton, NJ. In addition to pursuing music, she studied philosophy at the University of Hartford where she was the winner of the 2011 Ethics in Philosophy Essay Competition.

She has been teaching for over eight years, mostly private students but also duets and other ensembles, through music institutions and in student's homes. Mitra adapts her teaching methods according to each individual students' needs, resulting in better student engagement, leading to greater success in learning the instrument.  She combines many different sources, including music theory, singing, sight reading, improvisation, listening and rhythm exercises, and even music history. Mitra strives to create an open, nonjudgmental learning environment in which students can find their most comfortable music expression while learning about themselves along the way..

Gina Merlini

advance lessons gina merlini smGina's lifetime passion for music started at age four, and has been a part of her daily life ever since.

Gina attended the Pittsfield Community Music School in Massachusetts, for ten years, studying Violin/Viola, Piano and Flute, while participating in the orchestra, concert band, and various chamber groups, culminating with a graduation recital on Viola.  Gina then studied at Marlboro College in southern Vermont as a music major under the guidance of Blanche Moyes, with a concentration in voice.

Gina continued her studies at the University of Vermont, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in music education, classical voice and a secondary interest in Jazz saxophone and piano.

For more than thirty years Gina has been a liturgical musician, acting as music director, song leader and soloist.  Gina has performed with groups such as the Montpelier Concert Band, Northfield Jazz Band, and the Mad River Chorale. Additionally, she sang with Marlboro vocal ensembles and chorus as well as the Brattleboro Community Chorus and has also played in the pit for several high school and community musical productions. Gina currently performs in the duo Gina & Jeff and the Queen City Quartet. 

Gina, a member of the National Association of Music Education and the Vermont Music Educators Association, is a Vermont licensed music educator.

As a teacher, Gina shares her love for music, by helping students connect to themselves and others, through appreciation, understanding and practical musical application, catering to the needs of the individual. Gina teaches piano, accordion, violin, viola and voice.

Annalise Shelmandine

advance_lessons_annalise_smAnnalise Shelmandine is a vocal performer and teacher in Chittenden County, as well as a dancer and choreographer. In addition to teaching voice at Advance Music Center, Annalise has taught at Mt. Mansfield Union High School preparing students for The New England Music Festival auditions, Allstate music festival auditions, and scholarship competitions.

Annalise' success with her students is demonstrated by their accomplishments, including a 2010 district scholarship winner, 2008, 2009, and 2010 student acceptance in the New England Music Festival, 2009 and 2010 student acceptance into the Allstate music festival, and leading roles in musicals in the area.

Along with Evelyn Kwanza, Annalise is also a founder of "Centre Stage" - a musical theatre camp for students ages 9-15 where Annalise teaches vocal skills and choreographs all performances.
Annalise acted in the motion picture, "Shout It Out" and has performed in more than a dozen stage productions including major roles in "Chicago", "Once on this Island" and "The Voices Project".

Stephanie Wheel

Stehpanie Wheel Vocals & PianoVermont native Stephanie Wheel is a graduate of the University of Tampa with a degree in Vocal Performance. There, she studied under the world-renowned vocal instructor, Noelle Van Etten, whose pedigree includes studying under Joan Sutherland one of the most famous sopranos to ever live.  After teaching and performing in Florida and Arizona, Stephanie has returned to her roots, excited to continue performance, and educating students in her home state.

She has performed in several musicals, including the role of Polly in a production of Gershwins' "Crazy for You", but has found her true love to be in the studio, on the stage and educating students. She currently is a session recording artist for DJ Shane Thomas in Los Angeles, collaborating on electronic dance and pop hits.  Stephanie is the lead vocalist for the Queen City Jazz Quintet, and is a regularly featured vocalist with other area musicians, performing a mixture of everything from contemporary music to country.

In 2009 Stephanie was the musical director and head of the dance department for Camp Dudley at Kiniya where they produced two full musicals in less than 6 weeks.

As an educator Stephanie brings nearly five years experience working one-on-one with students learning voice and piano. Ms. Wheel caters lessons to each student´s ability and interests.  Stephanie's focus on the student, combined with her fun and supportive approach to teaching is the perfect recipe for guiding budding performers and allowing them to grow musically.

While Stephanie teaches proper vocal health and technique using the Bel Canto approach, she considers her teaching specialty to be in musical theatre, jazz, contemporary music, and helping her pupils transition from student to performer!  She truly believes that with the right instruction, absolutely everyone can learn to sing or play an instrument.

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Store Info

802 863-8652
800 660-8652
Fax: 802 865-4687

Store Hours
10:00a.m. - 6:00p.m.

10:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

12:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.

75 Maple Street
Burlington, VT 05401

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