About Newton Music Academy


ADRIAN ARAIZA, Guitar (electric, acoustic)

B.A. Music Performance, dual degree in Guitar Performance and Music Synthesis, Berklee College of Music, Boston Ma – 2003; Diplomate in classical guitar, Baja California Orchestra and El Centro Hispanoamericano de Guitarra, Tijuana; BC, Mexico – 1996;Training with Professor Eugenio Gutierrez;Teachers included Jon Finn, Joe Stump, David Newsam, Mike Ihde, and Apostolos Paraskevas. Numerous recitals playing Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Pop, and also worked as a Studio Musician. In addition he has lectured different schools in Boston and also given lessons at University of Hermosillo Mexico; Teaching experience ranges from teaching 5 y.o. to seniors in different styles of music, from Electric Guitar to Classical Guitar.Composed a series of Avant-Garde/Computer Music (Ambient, Minimal, Sound Object and Sound escape) pieces, based on the studies of Steve Reich, Ake Parmerud, Varese, Risset, Richard Boulanger.

Watch Adrian play:
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Svetlana Ostrovskaya, piano instructor at Newton Music Academy B.M., M.M. in piano performance and pedagogy (Gorky State Conservatory, Russia); studies with Esther Lipovich, Galina Fadeeva, Vasily Shaub,Valery Starinin; former faculty, Gorky State Conservatory; solo and chamber performances, radio and TV appearances; lectures, masterclasses on various pedagogical topics, educational concert series in Russia and U.S. Faculty, New England Conservatory; Former faculty, Gorky Conservatory, Russia; Director and Founder, Newton Music Academy.



Natalie Logan (soprano) is an accomplished singing actress and a dedicated voice teacher. She enjoys teaching students of all levels, ages, and voice types. With a strong background in voice, dance, and acting, she works with her students in many genres, including musical theatre, opera and contemporary music. Ms. Logan focuses on developing a healthy, expressive singing technique, regardless of style. She prepares her students for successful auditions, competitions, recitals, recordings, and live performances in musical theater, opera, jazz, and contemporary music. Ms. Logan is passionate about helping students find their own voice through teaching a healthy technical foundation. Each lesson is structured to develop artistry, attention to character, and connection between music and text.
Ms. Logan’s repertoire spans the genres of opera, musical theater, jazz, and contemporary music. Winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (opera), 2016-17, Ms. Logan has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Handel + Haydn Society, Boston Opera Collaborative, Berlin Opera Academy, Opera Steamboat, Symphony Nova, NewburyPort Choral Society, Opera Steamboat, Odyssey Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Chicago Summer Opera, and Opéra Louisiane.
Ms. Logan is voice faculty at Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive. She holds a B.M. in Voice from Louisiana State University and M.M., P.S.C. in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory.



Jennifer Zabelsky (Soprano, Vocal Pedagogue) has performed opera, musical theatre, and oratorio roles across the United States and throughout Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Nevada, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Duquesne University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University. She joined Michigan Opera Theatre to perform in their productions of La Bohème, The Passenger, and MacBeth. She has been a guest soloist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic on many occasions. Her most recent appearance with the RCO was as the soprano soloist for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass under the baton of Theodore Kuchar. Dr. Zabelsky was the Nevada State and Southwest Division winner, and a National Finalist in the 2002 MTNA Voice Competition. She joined Really Spicy Opera in its season to sing the part of Fiona in The Frat Party, a production that she also musically directed. She returned in the season to musically direct The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret at the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival. Dr. Zabelsky has been awarded at grant from Euro Atlantic Art Foundation to sing at the Bologna International Opera Academy.

Dr. Zabelsky is passionate about her teaching and helping her students to sing in the healthiest, most expressive, most efficient way possible. She enjoys working with different ages and levels, from beginner through advanced. She prepares students for college auditions, musical theater auditions, shows and performances. Dr. Zabelsky uses a wide range of vocal repertoire, from music theater and opera to contemporary music. She is progressing her students from fundamentals of healthy singing and development of musical fluency to performance/audition techniques and advanced technical concepts. Dr. Zabelsky was a voice instructor at Boston University and the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA. She has had the opportunity to give recent masterclasses at the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany and at the University of Nevada, Reno.



Jonathan teaches classical repertoire, jazz improvisational techniques, broadway, rock, pop. He enjoys teaching students of various levels and ages, from beginner to advance. Raised in Wellesley, and living with his Newton-raised wife, Mary, in Framingham, he is very familiar with the multifaceted and diverse goals of local families. Jonathan founded the nonprofit Volunteer Musicians for the Arts, Inc (www.volunteermusicians.org) because he believes “everyone deserves orchestra seats.” He is privileged to have studied at such schools as New England Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music, College of the Holy Cross (full-tuition academic presidential scholarship) and to have worked beyond the traditional concert hall, performing for corporate clients such as The Taj, Boston Harbor Hotel, Omni Parker House, CB Richard Ellis, Natixis Global Asset Management, among others. Jonathan is on a faculty at College of the Holy Cross.


Elena Ioannisyan, piano instructor at Newton Music Academy Master of Music, St.Petersburg State Conservatory, Russia; Majored in piano performance and pedagogy;Bachelor of Music, Kabardino-Balkarian College of Fine Arts, Nalchik, Russia. Winner of the International Music Competition “XXI Century Art”; Kiev, Ukraine, Guest Artist, Gaetano Zinetti International Music Competition and Festival, Italy. Performed as a soloist and as a member of chamber ensembles in the best concert halls of Saint-Petersburg, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Petergof, Gatchina etc. and abroad;Took part in series of concerts: “Mariinsky (Kirov) theater Presents” directed by Valerie Gergiev, St. Petersburg, Russia; Concerts of chamber music in N.A.Rimskii-Korsakov State museum, St.Petersburg, Russia, Concerts of “Gaetano Zinetti International Music Competition and Festival”, Italy, “St-Petersburg Conservatory Presents young Performers”, St.Petersburg, Russia, and many others.

Alexandra Porter, Voice

MM Vocal Performance and Pedagogy – Westminster Choir College, 2011, BM Vocal Performance, BS Music Education – The Pennsylvania State University, 2008
Alexandra Porter has spent the last eight years teaching students of all ages and ability levels in musical theater, classical and pop music styles. Much of her experience has been focused on middle school, high school, and college level students on musical theater – whether for school musical auditions, college level preparation, or simply for enjoyment. Her teaching philosophy focuses on each student’s individual goals and abilities and not on a set regimen. Each student is different and has their own set of needs, strengths, and personal learning style. Alexandra’s pedagogy is rooted in the classical techniques of musicality, vocal flexibility, breath support, and healthy, sustainable singing. This applies very well to musical theater, providing a solid base from which to build upon. Past teaching experience includes heading the voice division of the Rutgers High School Musical Theater Academy and working with classical and musical theater singers at Muhlenberg College.
Ms Porter is an active performer in opera, art song, and both chamber and choral music. She can be heard as a soloist on the recording of John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind and the 2019 GRAMMY winning recording of Lansing McCloskey’s Zealot Canticles, both with choral ensemble The Crossing.

Violin lessons in Newton Needham MA - Newton Music Academy


Olga Litvintsova, violin instructor at Newton Music Academy Master of Music, Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Education, Donetsk Prokofiev Conservatory, Ukraine; Awards and Honors: 11TH International Tchaikovsky Competition participant, Moscow, Russia; 4th International Prokofiev Competition, Mariupol, Ukraine; more then 10 years of teaching and performing experience; First violin/Assistant to the Music Director at Kiev national Opera House and Donetks Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Performed as a featured soloist in front of British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,participation in a Golden Jubilee celebration of Her Majesty The Queen of The United Kingdom, The Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Her Accession to the Throne (February 6, 2002); Extensively perform with Cape Symphony, Plymouth Philharmonic and Indian Hill Orchestras and as a member of “Con Anima” Duet;Recorded three albums released in London (UK) and Kiev (Ukraine).

CECILIA R. BERGER, Violin, Viola, Cello

Cecilia R. Berger has fulfilled her passion for music and education through teaching the violin and viola for over 25 years. She received her Master of Music degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University, OH and her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Lawrence University, WI. Cecilia is an advocate of fundamental practice techniques as the foundation for providing individualized methods that work best for each student in achieving their best as a violinist/violist and musician.  Cecilia has performed with over 15 orchestras throughout her career, was the violist in the Heidenheim quartet, Chicago, and currently serves as the principal second violinist with the Pioneer Valley Symphony.  She has worked with youth not only as a private lesson instructor, but also is the founder of the Strings For Kids program in Greenfield Public Schools, MA, and the manager of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra.


Emily Chen received her Bachelor of Musical Arts from DePauw University. She grew up in Newton and is an alumna of Newton Music Academy, and she is delighted return to teach piano where she received her musical training. In her teaching, Emily integrates piano technique, music theory, and performance skills to help her students develop facility at the piano and become well-rounded musicians. Emily has studied piano with May Phang, Sivan Etedgee, and Carolyn Hague. In addition to her piano studies, Emily is also a classically trained soprano. Emily enjoys reading in her free time.


Irina received her Master of Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Gorky Conservatory of Music in Russia, and Bachelor of Arts in Teaching and Performance from Tiraspol College of Music, Russia. Irina has over 15 years of teaching students from young beginner through advanced level. She takes a flexible approach that fits to the needs and goals of each individual student. While teaching a solid musical foundation, she is always looking for ways to maintain student’s interest and enjoyment. In her lessons Irina includes music theory and composition, playing duets and encouraging student’s creativity. Former faculty, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston MA.

BELLA IAN, Piano and Voice

Bella Ian, Piano and Voice instructor, is an accomplished pianist and singer. She received Bachelor and Master’s of Music in Piano Performance and Bachelor and Master’s in Vocal Performance from Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Completed a pedagogy course in Stanford University; 15 years of teaching experience with variety of students ranging from young children to adults; Bella is teaching in many styles, including classical, music theater, pop, jazz, country and blues. Building musical foundation in singing and in piano skills, while keeping student interested and engaged through carefully choosing musical pieces that student can enjoy is at the core of her teaching approach. Her love for singing and composing brings creativity into her lessons. Besides love for music, Bella’s interests include clothing design, swimming, reading, traveling, cycling and figure skating, cooking.


Adam Merrill  earned Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance with Magna Cum Laude from Idaho State University. He currently studies at Longy School of Music to earn a Masters of Music in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Spencer Myer. Notably, Adam is a named Janet and Irving Plotkin Scholar, as well as a Teaching Assistant. Previously, he has studied with Dr. Kori Bond and Dr. Brandon Bascom.

Adam J. Merrill has 8 years of teaching experience and loves sharing his passion for music with his students. He wants to make music available to those who need it. It is because of this unyielding desire to give back that he decided to pursue Teaching. To do this, Adam have found that analysis, reading, research, and score study give me more opportunities to find expression and understanding in music. With this concept, he wants to share that all aspects of music making and music study can be used for artistic expression. He is not only teaching students how to  be proficient at piano playing, but also to use the piano as a tool to express their unique thoughts and feelings.

Mr. Merrill has found great joy and satisfaction by being involved in the creative music process. Adam’s music career took off in 2014 when he performed with the Idaho State Civic Symphony. Sense then he has premiered new works, given benefit concerts, collaborative recitals, as well as solo recitals. He holds many awards, most notably, first prize in the state MTNA Young Artist competition, first prize in the ISCS Young Artist competition, first prize in the Musicians West piano competition, as well as honorable mention from both the 2018 and 2019 International Buono and Bradshaw competition. In addition, he is the assistant director of Musicians West Piano competition and Festival.


Sivan Etedgee, B.A. in Piano Performance, University of New Hampshire; M.M in Piano Performance, Magna Cum Laude, Boston University; Extensive experience teaching students ranging from age 6 to adult; Teaching style includes improvisation and music theory, with strong emphasis on classical repertoire; Former Faculty Berwick Academy in ME; Adjunct Faculty University of New Hampshire; member of New England Piano Teachers’ Association; Frequent lectures and performances throughout New England; Director of “Concerts at St. John’s” in Dedham; Principal Teachers include Anthony di Bonaventura, Christopher Kies and Luiz de Moura Castro.


Julia Austenfeld is a musician with varied interests in performance, teaching, composition, and research. She earned her B.A. in Music from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where she studied piano performance, vocal performance, and composition. She has studied with teachers at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy at the New England Conservatory under the direction of Dr. Ian Howell. Julia is a regionally awarded pianist and professional singer who regularly performs new music in the Boston area. Her lessons focus on developing a well-rounded musician at any age, including healthy technical fundamentals, music history and theory, and cultivating the student’s personal artistic voice. In piano and voice, she teaches both classical repertoire and contemporary pop and musical theatre styles.


Master Degree in piano performance, pedagogy and Artist of The Chamber Ensemble, Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, Ukraine; Bachelor Degree and Specialist Diploma in piano performance, Odessa Music Conservatory, Ukraine;Over 15 years of experience in teaching piano to children and adults of all levels. Galyna believes that developing of artistic and imaginative thinking in her students, and is as important as building up their knowledge of piano technic, music theory, music analysis and ensemble playing skills. She personalizes her lessons to the individual musical goals of each student. Performances in concerts and competitions as a soloist and a concertmaster.



Bachelor of Piano Professional Studies Certificate and Bachelor of Music Arts from from Newton England Conservatory; Extensive teaching experience with attention to piano technique, music history and music theory; preparing students for various performances and auditions; patient and encouraging approach to develop student’s confidence and musicality and love for music; develops individualized program tailored to meet every student’s unique needs. Incorporates games and fun challenges into teaching sessions to keep piano lessons interesting and enjoyable as well as structured and informative. Well rounded and goal-oriented teaching approach allows an imaginative and creative learning process with structure.


Synthia Sture, Piano

Synthia holds DMA (with Major in Piano Performance) from Boston University, MM with Major in Piano Performance from Longy School of Music and BM with Major in Piano Performance from Riga, Latvia. She has 25 years of teaching experience, which started when she was still in high school. Synthia enjoys working with students of all ages and levels, from beginning to advanced. Many of her students are winners of prominent music competitions. She also worked as a teaching assistant and vocal coach for Composers/Vocalists in Boston University Opera class. Synthia is a First prize winner 1997 in La Grange Symphony Orchestra competition. She was praised by Richard Dyer in Boston Globe for “tremendous virtuosity and heart” in 2002 for Premier of Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Vuk Kulenovich in Boston College; Synthia performed in Germany and France with chamber performances, made her Japan Tour in Hiroshima, Kyotao, Tokyo in 2008, performed in Hodson Concert Hall, Athens, Georgia recital with Levon Ambarcumian, Boston University, University of Georgia, Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Tufts University, First Baptist Church, and other places. Synthia is also fully proficient in Russian (Russian literature), French, Italian and German.



Olga Berkovich received PH.D in piano and composition from Moscow Conservatory named P.I.Tchaikovsky, Russia; Ph.D in pedagogue from Russian Academy of Education; B.A. in Piano Performance from Vladimir College of Music, Russia. Ms. Berkovich has over 20 years of teaching experience of students of various ages and levels, from young to adults. Being a pianist as well as a composer, she is very creative and resourceful in her teaching methods. That includes not only nurturing piano skills, love for beautiful sound and fluent technique, but also teaching harmony, composition and music theory. Ms. Berkovich achievements include the first prize and the Big Gold Medal at the All-Russian Contest of Composers; She was a member of the jury in number of children’s performing competitions. Many of her students became performers and piano teachers. But she equally loves teaching young beginners, who are just starting their musical journey.  Ms. Berkovich approach to teaching is highly nurturing, playful and creative, from games to fun musical activities, all aimed toward nurturing student’s imagination and their love for music learning.



Jane Wong received her Master of Music in Music Education from Boston Conservatory. Her interest in early childhood motivated her to also receive a Graduate Certificate in Dalcroze Studies from Longy School of Music, and to complete Music Education program from Weil Music Institute from Carnegie Hall. She received Diploma in Performance studies from University of London. Jane Wong grew up studying the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal College of Music) syllabi and passed the exams with distinction. Her teaching approach focuses on cultivating the joy of learning music as well as teaching students how to practice wisely, how to develop a healthy piano technique and confident performance skills. She believes that music learning is a great way of developing executive function in the growing brain and developing awareness of physicality, emotions and sound. Jane Wong is currently accompanying and teach music section of dance classes in the Boston Ballet School, accompany ballet classes in the Education and Community Department and is a workshop faculty for dance teachers in the Adaptive Dance Summer Intensive.
Jane Wang is a Lead Teaching Artist for Cantata Singers, where she teaches Music Theory as tools for student composition, guides students in the creative process how to compose piano accompaniment for choral performances, prepare students for their performances and leads teams of teaching assistants.


Zhanna Kaplan received her Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Chistopol College of Music in Soviet Union.  Ms. Kaplan greatly enjoys teaching. She is focusing on nurturing musicianship, love for music and works with students of all ages and levels, from beginners to advanced. In addition to working with students on their piano technique, developing their hand movement and beautiful sound, she also teaches music theory and prepares her students for performing in recitals. Above all, Ms. Kaplan endeavors to foster a productive musical relationship with all her students that will allow them to flourish and reach their potential.