Our faculty offer artist level private instruction in almost all areas of music instruction. Each of our instructors are professional music educators and performers. This incredibly talented group of musicians provide quality student oriented instruction that will help each student become the best they can be and help to grow as musicians to the fullest potential.
AD Business Management and Information Systems Technology, Blue Ridge Community College
Mr. Allen has a deep love for music and feels that every child should have an education in the arts. He has played percussion for over 20 years in many different styles, including rock n roll, jazz, country, and show tunes. He is a highly sought after performer in the Shenandoah Valley and has performed in many local choral productions and musicals. Mr. Allen has taught private percussion lessons at VMA for over 15 years and is also a local drumline instructor.
Guitar, Ukulele, Piano
Music Theory, University of Massachusetts
Mr. Clark joined the faculty of VMA in 2015 and has been teaching privately since 1972. He has studied with great guitarists such as Sal Salvador (Stan Kenton’s guitarist), Jazz artist Ted Dunbar and Barry Galbraith of the NBC Orchestra. Mr. Clark is a highly sought performer locally and has performed with various jazz, rock and R&B groups in New York and throughout New England. John performs regularly throughout the region with his group "Johnny's Blue Locomotive" which includes several VMA instructors
Violin, Viola, Cello
B.M. in Music, Shenandoah Conservatory; M.M. in Music, Shenandoah University
Ms. Dillard is an accomplished musician, teacher and performer. She has taught violin, viola and cello privately, in public schools and at the college level since 1991. As a performer she has performed with the Shenandoah Symphony, Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, Frederick Symphony, Charlottesville Symphony and more. In addition to her private studio, Ms. Dillard is a freelance violinist performing regularly throughout the region.
BA in Psychology in Music Cognition and Evolutionary Musicology; Ethnomusicology; Oberlin College
Mr. Green is an accomplished and highly sought musician, performing professionally across the United States on banjo, guitar and bass with a variety of musical groups including Roosevelt Dime and the New York based Red Rooster. In addition to his extensive performing and recording experience, Mr. Green has taught privately for more than ten years. His studio of students are of all ages, from as young as 8 to 74. His instruction and lesson plans are custom tailored to fit the needs of each student. In addition, Mr. Green is a Lead teacher of early childhood music and arts classes at Kids at Work for children ranging from two months to five years of age. Mr. Green's experience both as a performer and teacher make him the perfect choice when looking for banjo instruction in the valley.
Piano, Electric Bass
BA in piano (Berklee School of Music); MA in Ethnomusicology (U of Washington in Seattle); PhD in Music Ed (New York University)
Dr. Havis teaches classical and jazz piano, electric bass, improvisation and composition. She plays piano, synthesizer and electric bass for music theater and other venues, and has written several plays for children with music. She teaches all ages and levels using the Socratic method, critical thinking, and programmed learning with the goal of discovering and applying aesthetic principles. She's been teaching piano since 1991 and moved to Virginia in 2012.
Violin, Viola, Cello
B.A. in Music, State University of New York at Fredonia
Ms. Hopley received her Bachelor’s in Music in 2006 and taught strings in the Florida public school system in Brevard and Pinellas County Schools in from 2006-2013. Ms. Hopley has taught at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. She has taught privately on violin and viola and is also a local performer in the region. After relocating to Virginia, Ms. Hopley joined the faculty at VMA. She is trained in the Suzuki method and teaches both in traditional and Suzuki methodology.
Musikgarten, Voice, Piano
Master of Music, Westminster Choir College of Rider University; BS in Music Education, Messiah College
Ms. Lemasney has provided vocal instruction to children, teens and adults at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ since 1999. She became an early childhood music instructor at WCC in 2010 where she helped develop the curriculum for the Early Childhood Department. Ms. Lemasney is an accomplished performer in her own right and is the receipient of the Keith Lance Kuhlmann Award and was selected for the prestigious NATS intern program in 2002. Dawn plays piano, guitar, recorder, Orff percussion and is a licensed Musikgarten teacher. She joined the faculty of VMA in the spring of 2016.
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Mandolin, Recorder, Theory, Arranging & Composition, Director
VMA SuperSax Big Band
B.M. in Jazz Studies, Shenandoah University
Mr. Moody joined VMA's faculty in January 2004. He is a highly skilled performer on both the saxophone and flute as well as an accomplished performer on many other instruments. In recent years, he has used his talents as a theater orchestra performer and soloist aboard several cruise ships. He has taught private woodwind lessons for more than 13 years and is an active member of the Stonewall Brigade Band of Staunton, Virginia and performs with the Vosbein Magee Big Band. Mr. Moody is the director and composer/arranger for the VMA SuperSax Big Band. Mr. Moody is a published composer and arranger.
Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone
B.A. in Music, Bridgewater College
Mr. Moore earned his degree from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. He has been a member of many different performing ensembles, performing on flute, oboe, and saxophone, as well as voice. He has performed as a soloist for many occasions including weddings, contests, concerts and more, and even performed as a member of the Bridgewater College Chorale in their 2008 international tour in Austria, Hungary, and Germany. Mr. Moore is also an active member of the Stonewall Brigade Band and the Stonewall Flutes of the Shenandoah of Staunton, VA.
Trumpet, Trombone, Horn, Euphonium, Tuba
BFA & MFA in Music Pedagogy, State University of New York at Buffalo,
Mr. Schessl has thirty-six years of experience in public education as an instrumental music teacher and has served as president, vice-president and secretary of Niagara County Music Educators' Association in upstate NY. He has performed professionally with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Artpark Orchestra, and a variety of concert bands, brass quintets, and solo performances
B.A. Music, Emory and Henry College
Mrs. Smith has been a teacher for more than 25 years in the Wise County, Albemarle County and Waynesboro City Schools. She taught voice at Clinch Valley College in Wise, VA and has taught at VMA for five years. Mrs. Smith was Teacher of the Year in 2000 and 2004, and a Dawbarn Award Winner in 2005. She is a charter member of the Schola Cantorum.
A complete background check is required of all faculty and staff prior to working or teaching at Valley Music Academy.