Meet Our Teachers

Joe Egan - Guitar, Ukulele

Joe has been teaching at the Music Den since 2003 and is a valued member of our team. He focuses on individual student needs for theoretical development, ear training, sight-reading, chord progressions, lead playing, composition, and songwriting.  Currently, Joe is available Monday through Friday for lessons from early afternoon through the evenings.  He also runs various group lesson programs such as an 8 week guitar class, ukulele class, and a "Rock Band" program to give new and/or experienced students the opportunity to work with other musicians in a band setting and perform a concert in the Theater at The Music Den at the end of the program.  Please check the group lesson page to see new classes Joe may be running as well.

Sara Lindsey - Flute, Brass & Woodwind

Please, meet Sara Lindsay! "I teach all levels from beginners to advanced students and I aim to enhance players' performance and audition abilities on any winds. I do this by focusing on sight-reading, ear training, and practice methodology. I like to add in bits of music theory as well as an understanding of how the instrument works and some history of the piece, composer, and instrument. I work with the student to decide which pieces to play and what skills and genres to focus on. I'm originally from Sussex County and came up through the High Point Regional High School system. I made my way through the honors bands (during middle school as well) and am looking forward to guiding others through audition solos and scales. I went to William Paterson University music program and will guide students through college audition process as well as provide insight into types of majors that musicians may be interested in. I'm currently playing flute/piccolo with the Franklin Community Concert band, trumpet with the Franklin Community Parade Band, flute with the Jefferson Community Band, and trombone with the Jefferson Community Jazz Band.

Mike Spoer - Voice, Guitar, Piano, Ukulele

Mike Spoer studied Music Education and Teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Mike studied classical vocal technique for nearly 10 years, as well as Music Theory and Composition. Outside of the "classical" world, Mike has been performing on Guitar, Bass, and Drums for 20 years. 

Mike has been teaching at The Music Den for over 10 years. He offers invaluable skills in theory, composition, and performance to his students ranging in age from 8 to 80 and all find successful achievement in Guitar, Voice, and Bass. His approach is friendly and supportive with a focus on reading skills, and diligent practice.

Currently, Mike is available for private lessons Monday, and Tuesday evenings. In addition to voice, guitar, and bass lessons, Mike offers valuable one-on-one lessons for Music Theory Majors and High School students preparing for entrance into college music programs.

Ludmila Keller - Violin

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ludmilla Keller has been studying music since the age of 6. She attended a private music school, then was musically homeschooled by her parents.  After arriving in the United States she continued her studies at Edward R. Murrow School Screen Program for music majors.  This school was the beginning of her life long orchestra career.

Ludmila received her first "official" student in 2002 after tutoring violin students in two high schools and has been teaching privately ever since.  Her teaching style is a combination of traditional Russian and American schooling which is influenced by being exposed to three different cultures growing up.  Ludmila provides a classical approach to students of all ages and levels.  In addition to her weekly lessons, she involves her students in annual and bi-annual recitals, practice log programs, and completion awards. Many of her students have qualified for region orchestra in North and Central New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

Ludmila is an adult mentor at with the Sussex County Youth Orchestra.

Mike Malinowski


Guitar & Bass

John Hvasta - Drum & Percussion

John Hvasta has 40 years of experience playing the drums; 27 years teaching drums and 30 years playing professionally.
Genres in which John has playing experience are jazz, rock, R&B, funk, rockabilly, country, fusion, and avante guard. John has studied privately with the likes of Jim Chapin, Joe Morello, Dom Famularo, Al Miller, Gary Chaffee, David Garibaldi, and Sam Ulano.

In addition to playing drums, John is also a writer. He is the author of "New Age Drum Set Movements" and co-author of the Rhythm Section Column for Sky lands Blues Music Publication. John is also an occasional contributing author in the bang section of Electronic Musician.

Mariyetta Sarvan - Violin, Viola, Piano

Mariyetta Saryan is an experienced music educator with a career spanning over 35 years!
She was born in Sukhumi, Georgia and has been studying music since the age of 5. She graduated from Sukhumsky State Music College with a degree in music education and a focus in violin and piano.  This school was just the beginning of her long orchestral career. Mariyetta started teaching at the Gagra Music School in 1981 and moved to the Moscow Music School in 1991.  Her success as a music teacher in Georgia led to her students taking second place in competition in the entire country of Georgia!

In 1994 Mariyetta relocated to the US and continued her career as a private music teacher.  In addition to private instruction at the Music Den, Mariyetta has also worked with the Long Valley Music Center and the Tchaikovsky School of Music in Randolph.  Mariyetta offers a classical approach to learners of all ages and levels.  She often focuses on sight reading, ear training, music theory, and practical methodology with her students. She also likes to incorporate a bit of history of the piece and the composer the student is studying.  Mariyetta also believes that each student should have a general knowledge of how their instrument physically works to produce the sounds that it makes to further understand its tone and playability. 

Mariyetta works with her students to help them decide which pieces to play and which skills and genres to focus on.  In addition to her weekly lessons, she engages her students in annual and biennial recitals.  We are proud to have Mariyetta as a member of our teaching team.

Elizabeth Rutan - Low Brass, Brass & Woodwind

Coming from a musical family, Elizabeth Rutan has always been surrounded by music. Her first introductions to musical instruments were piano and flute. In high school, Elizabeth chose the euphonium as her primary instrument. Elizabeth graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She performs professionally on both euphonium and trombone. Currently, Elizabeth is a low brass mentor with the Sussex County Youth Orchestra. In addition to music, Elizabeth enjoys creative writing and all kinds of board games. 

Ming Shiao - Piano

Ming is a graduate of Akron University, Ohio with a Bachelor in Music Education. She has been playing piano since the age of 4. She has maintained her private studio for over 15 years, and extends her talent and skills to the students of the Music Den for 17 years.

She is a member of NJMTA preparing students for state and region auditions and for competitions. Many of her high school students prepare for college music auditions. She has been recognized, on many occasions by International Music Competition and Festival, with a certificate of teaching excellence. Ming is also affiliated with the internationally based Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Ming’s gentle approach enables her students to confidently pursue their interests in music and to become excellent well-trained musicians. Building technical and theoretical skills, students learn through a classical approach. Ming also enjoys other diverse styles such as jazz, ragtime, and popular music. Ming has encouraged many of her students to work on original compositions.

Clint Morris - Guitar, Ukulele, Bas Guitar

Clint Morris has been studying guitar, bass, music theory, and performance for over 25 years. Clint has a bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University and has been teaching music professionally since 2003. He has a wide range of musical interests and influences and appreciates all styles, making him a good choice for students with musical interests outside the realm of “pop” music. Clint’s teaching style is casual, but serious, with a focus on the fundamentals of scales, chord structure, and tone. He works to promote the development of good technique early on, benefiting both youth and adult students. Clint enjoys teaching beginners as well as helping accomplished players work toward more challenging goals.

Camille Olivier - Drums

Camille graduated at the top of his class from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles with a Major in Percussion Performance and a Minor in Music Business. He also attended Manhattan School of Music pre-college for Jazz Performance. Camille studied privately with Travis Barker - Blink 182, Chris Pewe - Dillinger Escape Plan/Coheed and Cambria, and  Chuck Silverman - Latin guru and clinician.

He has performed with NCY Pop-Rock Band, TV/TV, played all of Warped Tour 2009, South by Southwest '09, and is signed to Mom & Pop records.

Camille has been teaching for more than 6 years previously at Original Music School and at Scratch DS Academy. We are proud to have him here at The Music Den. 

His philosophy is dedicated to theory and technique for drum set application. He helps his students set goals and work on songs in the contemporary music landscape. Ensuring that the students have knowledge of all genres and an awareness of the business of music.

Camille has won awards from the Governors School of the Arts, NJ 2001, and from Morristown High School - Jazz Award 2002. He is also a professional DJ in NYC playing top clubs and festivals.

Amy Sandoval - Electric and Upright Bass, Guitar, Voice, Piano, Cello, Violin

Amy  is a lifelong musician and teacher of music. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, and received a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Music Education with a concentration in electric bass guitar. She has a vast array of teaching experience ranging from public school, special education, and private instruction for over 15 years.

As a musician she has played/sung both solo and as a part of jazz bands, rock bands and modern worship teams at many popular establishments and venues in New Jersey and NYC. As a songwriter and performer, she has intimate knowledge of the struggles that new and experienced musicians face when trying to express themselves musically.

Kathleen Burke - Piano, Guitar, Violin

Kathleen comes from a family who often played and sang music together. Arrangements of a few jazz standards by her father and brother were most memorable. She has played organ, piano, and violin since elementary school. In Middle School, she added the viola to her repertoire and played with the New Jersey Symphony Preparatory Orchestra. As an accomplished accompanist, she has helped launch careers for vocalists, played for students in competitions at Carnegie Hall, and accompanied junior and senior high musical theater productions.

A graduate of Moravian College (now a University) (B.A.), Kathleen toured seven countries in Europe with a college-community choir and played viola with the Moravian College-Community Orchestra. At the University of Notre Dame (M.A.), she led liturgical music for Sacred Heart Parish and the graduate student community. Her nine years in the Midwest were spent as a teacher, campus minister, and liturgical musician. 

Upon returning to New Jersey, Kathleen worked in educational publishing in NJ and NY for Silver Burdett Ginn and Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, once earning a Corporate Achievement Award (shared by the marketing and editorial teams) for Innovation in Music Publishing. She then taught private music lessons at Gill St. Bernard’s School for seventeen years. Kathleen aims to foster a lifelong love of music, recognizing that students take lessons for a wide variety of reasons. She loves keeping up to date with the innumerable benefits, academically and otherwise, of studying music. She balances music literacy goals with the interests and abilities of her students, always aiming to have fun along the way.

Kathleen has also directed and accompanied church music for as long as she can remember, currently serving as Music Minister at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish in Randolph. She is excited to join the amazing team at The Music Den this summer.

Paul Campbell - Bassoon and Woodwind

Paul Campbell is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. He is currently working as a band director in the Union Township School District. Paul is entering his 10th year of public school education and he has been teaching privately for about 13 years. His primary instrument is bassoon, and he specializes in woodwind instruments. His approach is friend and supportive with a focus on fun and engaging practice routines. He continues to play with various community bands and orchestras throughout New Jersey.