At Tabone Academy of Music, our instructors are well-trained and inspiring musicians who share our passion for educating people through their own love of music. We understand that you need more than just a certain skill level to be considered an all-around talented musician. Our instructors will teach you more than just music theory, including but not limited to stage confidence, creativity, and songwriting! At Tabone Academy of Music, we believe it's important to engage your untapped potential by significantly elevating more than just your ability to read music. Whether you are beginner or advanced, you'll be in the hands of some of the most influential musicians in Hamilton and the GTA, and you can be confident that every lesson will contribute to unlocking your overall musical talent!
To learn more about our teachers, please refer to their individual bio's below.
Founder + Piano Instructor
David is an award-winning pianist from Hamilton, Ontario. He studied at The University of Western Ontario in the Music Education program. David had the unique opportunity of being the piano player under the direction of Phil Nimmons, outstanding Canadian Jazz Ambassador, in the UWO Jazz Orchestra. He majored in Music Education at The University of Toronto and has successfully been teaching music for over 30 years. He is the founder of the BR Xpression, an award-winning 250 contemporary vocal ensemble. He has a long list of achievements, including but not limited to winning the Directors Award for the HWCDSB and the Distinguished Service Award. He was a Nominee for the Prime Minister Award For Teaching Excellence and the Premiers Award for Teaching Excellence. David continues to change students lives through his passion + unique ability to elevate their talents.
Paula French (Tessaro) is a professional vocalist and vocal instructor. Paula has spent the better part of the past four decades in the music industry. As a founding member of the Juno nominated band Ray Lyell and The Storm, she has toured exclusively throughout Canada and the US. As well as lending her vocals to Top 40 hits, "Carry Me" and "Another Man's Gun," Paula has fronted bands throughout her entire career such as Tracy Kane, Ta-she, Powerhouse and The Paula Tessaro Band. Her musical passion has led her to teaching vocals for the past 30 years in private and studio settings. Currently, Paula enthusiastically entertains outside of Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes for seniors to spread some joy during the pandemic.
Keaton Tye is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter based in Hamilton, Ontario with a passion for all genres. Be it rock, folk, jazz - any music is good music. He is a graduate of the jazz performance program at Mohawk College and is currently working toward his Bachelors of Music at McMaster. He is super excited to be joining the talented TAM teaching team as a piano, guitar, vocal and ukulele instructor...because what can't he do?!
Breanna is a pianist, vocalist, and performer from Hamilton, Ontario. She began playing piano at 11 years old and has been singing her entire life. Breanna performed in the Jr BR Xpression and BR Xpression Vocal Ensembles, and while attending McMaster University, played as the rehearsal and official pianist for the MMT and MacSci Musical Orchestras. She also occasionally performs for patients of the Hamilton General Hospital to further spread joy in the community. As a First Class Honours student of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Breanna has completed many RCM exams and performed at several competitions in Ontario with outstanding success. She also won the top Piano Scholarship at the Forest City Music Festival in 2018. Breanna’s passion lies in helping students of all ages discover and develop their musical talents while gaining a lifelong appreciation and love for music.
Nigel Stewart is a professional drummer based out of Hamilton, Ontario. He has been playing drums for twenty years, with over twelve years of live performance experience and six years of teaching experience. Before completing the Mohawk College Applied Music program in 2017 he was mostly self-taught, learning by ear. He strives to use both facets of his own learning experience when he teaches, aiming to give students a fundamental understanding of reading, but also developing the ear so they can continue to learn on their own. Over the years, Nigel has taught all skill levels ranging from beginner lessons, to students preparing to study jazz at a post-secondary level. In the past, Nigel has performed with Juno-award winning musicians, from jazz pianist Adrian Farrugia, to members of punk-rock outfit The Dirty Nil. He currently performs and records with emerging Hamilton-based rock trio Captain WildChild.
Laila is a second-year student at McMaster University working towards a Bachelor’s of Music, with a major in piano. In high school, Laila was in both the concert band and the choir. Now, Laila also plays the tuba in the McMaster Concert Band. She enjoys creating music and has had the chance to work on and release a few original tracks with musicians that she connected with online during the pandemic. Laila is extremely excited to continue working on her passion while inspiring her own students through her teaching!
Dominique Poulin graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor Degree in Music Theory & Composition in 2012. Dominique's main instrument has always been piano, but she also has experience studying vocal and flute, in which she completed a double major in during his first year of university. Dominique taught piano and voice at the London Conservatory of Music before moving to Hamilton, where she continued her passion of teaching privately from her home. Dominique's passion lies in helping students of any age discover their musical abilities and celebrating their successes!
Matt Soliveri is a professional drummer and instructor based out of Hamilton Ontario. Matt’s journey as a drummer began nearly 20 years ago, playing in numerous local acts before studying Music at Mohawk College. After completing his music degree, he began performing and recording with some of Canada's top artists such as Alessia Cara, Jesse Labelle and Brian Melo. These experiences allowed him to perfect his craft as a session and live drummer. Since joining the award-winning alt-country/ roots-rock band The Redhill Valleys in 2017, Matt has continuously proven his expertise as a drummer, songwriter and performer. The knowledge and experience Matt has gained working in the Canadian music industry has funnelled into his 10-year span as a music instructor. Above all else, Matt has a never-ending passion for drumming as an art form which he hopes to pass onto future generations of drummers and musicians alike.
Kevin is a Hamilton-based pianist, composer, and teacher who studied at Mohawk College with some of Canada's great pianists such as Adrean Farrugia and Rob Fekete. Kevin started playing piano as a young child in church and now performs all around Ontario in different groups and styles from jazz, funk, salsa, pop and more. In 2020, he was the winner of the Dundas Valley Orchestra Composition Competition. He has a wide range of teaching experience including RCM classical repertoire, jazz & pop styles and theory/composition.
Ryan knew he wanted to be involved with music ever since buying a Who CD at the local Zellers when he was young child. Through practical application and training at both Mohawk college and Humber, Ryan has developed a stylistic agility. Teaching not just theory and text, Ryan strives to engage each student individually at their own specific level. Outside of teaching, Ryan can be found getting creative, playing and writing on different instruments for different bands and music projects. Ryan hopes to one day develop a music therapy program for senior citizens living in long term care homes.
George is a drummer, percussionist, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in live shows, musical theatre productions, and recording studio sessions. His performance experience features shows with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-Winning artist Armando Manzanero, multi-platinum selling Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, and Grammy Award-Winning artist Lila Downs. He also served as a drummer for the internation production "Elvis Live in Concert" feat. Priscilla Presley and a 50 piece orchestra. As lead drummer for the Argentian folk dance group Malevo (America's Got Talent semi-finalist), he has performed at great venues around the world such as the "Fall For Dance Festival" in 2019 at the NYC Center, "Gloval Village" multi-cultural amusement park in Dubai, "Salles Des Etoiles" in Monaco, and "World's Got Talent" in China. One of his fields of expertise is musical theatre, having performed in Argentinian Broadway productions such as Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Rent and more!
Gabriel Giammaria is a multi instrumentalist from Hamilton, Ontario. He started drumming and singing at the age of 5 and has gone on to perform throughout Ontario, opening up for Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell, and has also performed internationally with All McCartney Live on Celebrity Cruises. Gabriel has a Bachelor’s degree in music from Humber College in Toronto, and a certificate in drum performance from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California. He is
currently endorsed by Los Cabos Drumsticks and Udrum Underground Drum Company.
Joseph grew up surrounded by music in the Tabone family. His creativity and expressive nature makes his playing style unique and musically impressive. Although he plays ukulele, electric guitar, and piano, his passion is for the acoustic guitar. His patience and gentle demeanor makes him a perfect instructor for beginner students of all ages. He is excited to work with his students and help them develop their own unique strengths within the world of music.
Founder + Vocal Instructor
Mary is an active member of the Hamilton music community, acting as the HWCDSB's Arts Facilitator. She has sung as the lead vocalist in various bands and has been a catalyst in growing musical confidence in young students in the Greater Hamilton Area. Mary developed and grew the HWCDSB Junior Vocal Ensemble's from 70 students to over 300 in 2 years. Mary continues to teach music throughout her day to day life and acts as the Assistant Director to the BR Xpression Group.
Jessica Pellicciotta started singing from the day she was able to talk. Jessica heavily trained in musical theatre and pop, along with jazz and classical music. In 2015, she won the Maestro Award in Boston with the St. Thomas More All Star Jazz Band. She also placed first in 2017 at the Provincial Qualifiers for the Hamilton Music Festival for advanced musical theatre. In addition to singing, Jessica is also an actress holding an advanced diploma in theatre performance from George Brown College. She has taught drama in the past and was a vocalist on Thomas and Friends: All Engines Go! She starred in several musicals while she trained with Theatre Aquarius’ Summer Programme (which has now become Zamprogna Arts). She was also featured at TAM in A Night on Broadway. Jessica is also a registered early childhood educator and is passionate about helping her students be the best they can be and building confidence and joy in their craft!
Jessie Bower is a singer/songwriter based in Hamilton Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the Humber College Bachelor of Music Program where she majored in Vocal. Jessie has been writing and performing her original music for over ten years. Currently, she performs with the successful country music duo “Jess and Tay,” who have performed at various music festivals such as “The Havelock Jamboree,” and “Boots and Hearts Music Festival.” The duo released their first EP “Bad Luck If You Don’t,” featuring their breakout single “Into Tomorrow,” written by Bower, to streaming platforms in 2019. The two have been nominated for Group or Duo of the year at the 2020 CMAO Awards.
Rachel Piscione is an R&B/jazz vocalist and music teacher from Mississauga, Ontario. She has always lived and breathed music, as she began studying voice and piano at the age of 6 years old, going on to begin performing at the age of 9. She attended high school at Cawthra Park Secondary School, where she was enrolled in the Regional Arts Program as a voice major, and then went on to attend and graduate from the University of Toronto, obtaining her bachelor's degree in jazz Voice Performance, studying under some of the most renowned jazz musicians in North America. Rachel has also obtained her Grade 10 RCM for voice and prepped for Grade 10 RCM for piano. Throughout university, Rachel fronted her own jazz quartet and would frequently play shows at some of the biggest venues around Toronto. She has collaborated with many esteemed artists/producers, releasing her first original project in May of 2018, titled “Soul Ties”, under her artist name, Andrea Mendez. Rachel has been teaching for nearly 14 years, beginning at the age of 15. She got her start at Lowe’s School of Music, in Mississauga, owned by Timothy Smith, who saw great potential in her music and teaching ability. Since then, she has taught at several music schools around the GTA, such as Long and McQuade, Addison Music Learning Centre, Singer’s Edge, and more. Rachel has learned so much throughout her years of teaching and is committed to helping her students excel in music, while considering their learning styles, personalities, and past experiences. Rachel can teach classical, musical theatre, jazz, contemporary and more. She also has extensive training in both ear training and theory and can offer audition/university prep as well. Rachel is an incredibly versatile teacher who will always make sure to put her students first and make things fun!
Having studied music at Mohawk College + McMaster University, Alex's passion is in contemporary, jazz, and blues styles. When he is not performing, Alex can be found in the classroom. Alex has his Bachelor of Education in Music from Western University and continues to strive towards inspiring more students to develop their musical talents.
Louise began piano lessons when she was 6 years old and later, taught herself ukulele and guitar. Louise was involved in school choir as a child and was part of her Church's choir for majority of her upbringing. In high school, Louise was a part of BR Xpression as a soloist and successfully travelled and competed. In her grade 12 year, Louise and friends started their own band "Tabitha," in which they came out with their very first single in 2019. Aside from musical extra curriculars, Louise taught piano throughout high school at the Ontario Conservatory of Music, now called the Hamilton Academy of Music and occasionally fills in for teachers when needed. Louise also enjoys writing her own music and collaborating with other talented musicians during various jam sessions.
Ben has been playing the guitar for over 14 years. From a young age, music has been an extremely important part of his life. Ben has taught guitar lessons for the City of Hamilton for two years and currently writes his own music. Ben was a singer and guitarist for the Bishop Ryan Xpression for two years, where he
performed at various different prestigious events. Ben was the winner of two Maestro Awards from the Heritage Music Festival for Outstanding Solo Performance. Ben has experience as a guitar student himself, and therefore understands the wants and needs of his own students. In the future, Ben plans on releasing more original music onto Spotify, and ultimately, continuing to educate children about music and the guitar!
Kiana Sofia is a Hamilton based singer-songwriter. Kiana began singing when she was only 3 years old. She has been trained by vocal coach Teresa Nocita, Owner of Studio E and now author of “the Vocal Compass.” Kiana has preformed at many singing competitions and has received multiple 1st place awards - Hamilton music festival, London
Forest City Music Festival, Niagara Music Festival, and The Singing Contest With John Santos. She then moved onto “The Singing Contest” in 2019 winning first place during the finale. Here she worked with producer/composer “Anthony Wright” who has played alongside Canadian Idol Eva Avila, Jada Kiss, BoB, FloRida, Fergie, Bryan Adams and joined Beyonce for her I Am Sasha Fierce Tour. Kiana is so excited to be working at TAM and looks forward to hearing all of the beautiful voices, and is excited to inspire her students!
Danielle Tabone has been playing piano since she was six years old and has completed the Royal Conservatory of Music programs up to Grade 8 Piano and Grade 2 Theory Courses. Danielle has been trained in vocals by Canadian singer/songwriter Ray Lyell. She actively sings at her local Parish for masses and was a runner up in the Juno Juniors Sound original song competition in 2015. She graduated from McMaster in 2020 with a degree in Medical Radiation
Sciences and previously worked at the Hamilton General hospital in Diagnostic Imaging. She is now embarking on her second career in teaching! She is currently in her first year of teacher's college and hopes to teach primary/junior students one day. She looks forward to meeting her new students and embarking on this musical journey with them!
Lorretta holds degrees in both piano and voice, as well as a Master’s degree in Music Education. She has taught private music lessons and music classes to students of all ages for over 25 years. Lorretta has vast experience in teaching, directing, and performing various musical styles from; jazz, contemporary, classical, musical theatre and opera. She is an active musician in the community and has recently performed in: West Side Story with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, FireHall Theatre’s “She Loves Me”, Jazz Trios, and Jazz Bands. She enjoys finding creative ways to help students of all backgrounds love the music they are playing.
Elianna is a classically trained violinist, with an active career teaching and performing throughout the GTA. Her musical journey began at an early age, learning the piano, and soon after, the violin. Since obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University with high distinction and multiple awards, she has pursued a career performing with orchestras, choirs, and chamber orchestras in the area. With over 7 years of experience teaching private lessons in violin and piano as well as tutoring university-level theory students, she offers a well-rounded and flexible approach to learning music. Her passion is for making music come alive, inspiring students to meet their full potential!
Lindsey graduated from Redeemer University with a Bachelor of Education with the teachable music in 2022 and currently teaches music, drama and dance with HWCDSB. Prior to this she studied music performance at McMaster University before switching majors. When studying music at McMaster, she was accepted on a musical performance scholarship. Her musical journey started at the age of 10. Lindsey started off with classical piano lessons and added on oboe in high school. She has her level 10 RCM and Advanced Rudiments. Throughout the years Lindsey has performed with Mississauga Symphony Youth Orchestra, Toronto Youth Winds Orchestra, Dundas Valley Orchestra, and has conducted the McMaster Musical Theatre pit band during the 2019-2020 production of Sondheim's "Company." Lindsey is also a member of the West Highland Orchestra and Choir. Lindsey's passion is to continue sharing her love of the arts, and helping students grow through their expression and exploration of music.
After receiving early piano instruction and many experiences performing at cafes and restaurants, Crina has made huge strides in her musical career/studies. Crina has participated in choir performances at various schools and art centers, as well as band performances. In the winter of 2022, Crina was the accompanist for her church’s annual Christmas concert, accompanying the choir and performing pieces. She is planning on pursuing a career as a teacher in addition to minoring in music in post-secondary studies. Crina has also been shadowing her current teacher, in addition to receiving mentorship and training for her own teaching. Currently, Crina is preparing for her Grade 9 RCM exam, with plans to finish the examination in the spring. Crina is eager to teach and inspire positivity in her students, and she hopes to help them find their passion in music just as she has.