Mr. Norman Taccati has enjoyed teaching and helping students of all ages for 25 years in achieving their goals in learning to play their instruments. He received his Bachelor of Music degree with a major in Music Education from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. He has performed professionally with big bands including the Cavaliers in Columbus, Georgia and The Notables in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also founded and directed bands in both the business sector and in churches. A former band director in the public schools, he teaches many instruments including piano, guitar, including Classical style, flute, saxophone, clarinet and even banjo. For the past 20 years, Norman has enjoyed working one-on-one with the novice musician, giving them a solid foundation in instrumental technique and musical knowledge, as well as those who have some experience on their instruments and who are looking to advance. His goal for every student is to experience learning their instrument in an environment that is encouraging and rewarding. He uses various published methods depending upon the individual student’s needs and desires in playing their music. Mr. Norman stresses learning to read music notation so that every student can approach with confidence any piece of music that he or she would like to play. He enjoys helping students prepare for auditions such as All-State band, and to help students who are preparing for evaluations. With the proper dedication, Norman believes every student can enjoy making music in a short period of time, always improving along their musical journey.
Ms.Sherry Donataccio began playing percussion at the age of 11 when she entered Hudson Middle School's band program under the direction of John Keon. She continued to study privately under John Keon from 2007 until 2012. Ms. Sherry was a member of the Pasco All County band from 2007-2012 as a percussionist and played drum set in the 2010 Pasco All County Jazz Band. She graduated from Hudson High School in 2012. Ms. Donataccio was a member of the USF percussion studio under the instruction of Robert McCormick and is a part of several recordings with the McCormick Percussion Group. With the USF Wind Ensemble, she has performed at the 2013 American Bandmasters Association Convention as well as the 2014 New York Wind Band Festival in Carnegie Hall. In 2016 she graduated USF with double Bachelor Degree in Music Education and Performance. During the studies she expand her knowledge to piano and currently Ms. Sherry enjoys teaching percussion, piano and music theory to students of all ages. She loves to see her students develop as musicians as well as individuals. Her extreme patience and innovative approach makes her an expert in teaching very young students.
Ms.Jessyca Rose - Piano and Drum teacher - bio - see above
Ms.Sherry Donataccio - piano and drum teacher - see bio below
Ms. Diandra Rufinwas born in Cuba, where she was admitted to the Professional Art School at the age of 7. Violin was her passion, although she combined the study of violin and theory courses as well. While she was attending 9th grade, got elected to participate in a Cultural Exchange in Russia. Graduated top of her class as a Violin Instrumentalist and Teacher and Ensemble Practice and Music Theory Courses. She participated in several concerts with the Symphonic Orchestra in National events. Her other studies include over 7 years of piano education .With over five years of teaching experience in music academies, and believing in the principle of self-expression, she promotes creativity and devotion among her students in the study of music, specially violin and piano.
Rafael Ramirez Orozco a Violist and Mandolinist is an outstanding player and educator. Born in Venezuela, Mr. Ramirez specializes in teaching violin, viola and mandolin. In 2013 he graduated University Of Miami, Frost School of Music, Coral Gables, Florida with DMA Doctoral in Musical Arts Instrumental Performance. In 2014 he published his first book "Today was my first Viola Lesson" and in 2015 " Music History books for kids". For past 15 years he performed at multiple venues all over the south America and united States. He worked with Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, Opera Naples, Southwest Florida Symphony, Andrea Bocelli 2014 Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra and many more. He has been teaching viola at Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Doral Conservatory, and at at the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. He is original and effective in his ways of teaching making music lessons an unforgettable experience .
Mr. Matthew Votino - Matthew Votino is a graduate from the Seminole State College of Florida with an Associate of Arts degree in Music performance - his primary instrument being Jazz Guitar. He is now a current student at the University of South Florida when he is continuing his education as a Jazz Studies Major. Mr. Matthew has spent a large amount of time in developing his craft by performing in a multitude of groups ranging from Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, and Country through out the Central Florida area. Once he graduates from USF he wants to continue his education at The University of North Florida’s Jazz performance masters program. He is passionate about teaching young students and teenagers and share his knowledge with his pupils.
Ms. Jessyca Rose is a percussionist and music educator based out of Tampa, Florida. She performs professionally throughout the state and has appeared with popular artists including the Electric Light Orchestra, the Indigo Girls, and the Irish Tenors. Ms. Rose is currently pursuing a MM in performance with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from the University of South Florida, where she works as the percussion teaching assistant under Robert McCormick. She also graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Music from USF, where she was the recipient of the Virginia A. Bridges Music Education Award and the USF Merit Awards in music theory and music history. In addition to performing, Ms.Rose teaches drum lines, percussion ensembles and piano at local public schools and private lessons in percussion, piano, and theory at Claudia's School of Music.
Mr. Pedro Ariza began his studies with the popular guitar with Professor Duberney Pineda, and his classical guitar study with professor Luis Eduardo Ortiz. In the city of Cali, he obtained an academic training as a guitar player at the Conservatory of Fine Arts in Cali, studying with teachers Gustavo Nino, Carlos Torres and Marc Jean-Bernard. He also has a bachelor's degree as professor in the teaching of music with emphasis in guitar at the National University of Costa Rica.
He has participated in the guitars ensemble of the National University of Costa Rica, in different Costa Rican scenarios and has been distinguished teacher in public school and high school in Costa Rica and taught in areas of classical guitar and nylon fingerstyle, musical grammar, musical appreciation, solfeggio, harmony, complementary piano, arrangements and original compositions for the guitar. He teaches at Claudia's School of Music classical guitar, acoustic guitar and ukulele.
Mr. Nick Smart is a classical and jazz trained pianist with further intensive studies in music theory, composition, improvisation and piano pedagogy. Mr.Nick is a three time national member of the Piano Guild, a division of the American College of Musicians.
Mr.Nick graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami Frost School of Music in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Keyboard Performance and a Minor in Jazz Studies. During his time at UM, Mr.Nick gained a wide variety of experience as an accompanist, including performing with vocalists, string quintets, choirs, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Nick also expanded his keyboard skills through studying the organ. He currently performs on the organ and piano at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church in Tarpon Springs.
Nick also enjoys playing the accordion, on which he has performed in several jazz ensembles and wedding bands. Since graduation from UM, Mr. Nick’s focus has been on music composition. He regularly writes and conducts music for the choir at St. Ignatius, as well as a variety of classical and jazz ensembles. Mr. Nick enjoys fostering the musical interests of younger generations. He encourages his students to learn a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and popular music. Nick strives to instill each of his students with a well-rounded musical education that includes music theory, ear training, improvisation and music history.
Mr. Roger Casey graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy in 1977, with a major in guitar. Mr. Roger completed his internship in Music Therapy in Miami Florida in 1979, through a cooperative agreement with University of Miami and Highland Park General. Upon completion of the internship, Mr. Roger performed with various groups in the South Florida area, including recording artist Robert Wuagneux. Mr. Roger joined Paragon Studios, Colorado in 1982, and worked as session guitarist, audio engineer, and producer, recording both local and national acts and creating radio and television product advertising. In 1984,Mr. Roger joined the Pearl Band in Boulder Colorado, and performed in popular venues throughout the Midwest. In 1987, Mr. Roger moved to Tampa and established the Dukes of Juke rhythm and blues band. The band achieved regional success, touring and recording and has been featured at prominent jazz and blues festivals in Florida. Mr. Roger continues to perform with the “Dukes” to maintain a music balance. Mr. Roger has experience playing most styles of music including country, bluegrass, big band, standards, top 40,blues, and rock. He has developed a teaching curriculum for beginning and intermediate guitarists based on an assessment of the student’s skills and abilities within the primary areas of guitar playing fundamentals. He is passionate and exited to share his skills and knowledge with guitar students at Claudia’s School of Music.
Mr. David Ruth - See Bio below
Ms. Gabriela Shephard - bio coming soon
Mr. David Ruth-Drums, Guitar and Piano teacher
Mr. David is a musician and educator currently living in Tampa, FL. He has been teaching aspiring musicians of all age groups for more than 4 years. He is becoming knowledgeable in both classical and modern music techniques through scholastic and self-taught methods in percussion, keyboards, guitar, steel pan, and more.
Mr.David has studied with many accomplished and wonderful musicians such as Bob McCormick and Grammy nominated artist Brian Slawson. He is currently studying Percussion under the direction of Bob McCormick and pursuing a bachelor's degree in Music Education at the University of South Florida.
Mr. Derek Roura - A seasoned pianist and vocalist, Mr. Derek Roura is a USF Sophomore pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music Studies, with a concentration in Vocal Performance. He has been performing all throughout his high school and college careers, and has starred as a lead performer in various musical theater and theme park venues. His ultimate goal as a singer/songwriter is to communicate different parts of the human experience through his raw and real music production. With that being said, his biggest wish as an artist are to bring people together using his relatable subject matter and catchy writing style. As an instructor, Mr.Derek hopes to provide young musicians with inspiration, not only via his assiduous instruction, but also via the assertion that anything is possible. His energy and enthusiasm is undeniable asset that brings joy of learning to the classroom.