Guitar Teachers

Piano Teachers

Ms. Jessyca Rose - piano and percussion instruments. Ms. Roseis 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.

Ms. Bickley Rivera  - piano, voice, steel drums. Ms. Bickley studied classical piano from age 5 until age 21 at Springfield Conservatory in Springfield, MA. and with Dr. Carole Lee at Eastern CT State University for 4 years.  She was first-chair clarinetist in High School Band and All Eastern Band.  During her music education she received multiple scholarships for piano performance; John Phillips Sousa Award and Outstanding Music Award at Eastern CT State University.Beginning in 2004, Ms. Rivera began studies and performance of Steel Pan, mentoring with respected steel pannists from the Caribbean Islands and locally in Florida.  Her journey led to her own full-time Music Performing and Publishing company in 2008 and successful recording and performing career.  She has performed in Florida, Bahamas, Trinidad, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio and Michigan.  In her recording career, she teams with Radio-station managers, promoters, world-renowned musicians, producers and engineers globally and has released 3 charted music albums and multiple singles.  Her music is heard on over 100 radio stations in US, Canada, UK, Africa, Japan and other countries as well as National TV (The Weather Channel & Music Choice), Pandora, iHeart, Spotify and more. Ms. Bickley has performed in the international Panorama Semi-Finals under arranger Andy Narell in Trinidad.  She is also the Music Orchestrator for Pro Comm Theatre in Spring Hill, FL with director and playwright Dr. Martha Velez. As a steel drum player and vocalist Ms. Bickley combines unique way to teach and have fun with her students. 


Ms.Jessyca Rose  - Piano and Drum teacher - bio  - see above

Violin Teachers

Ms. Diandra Rufin  - violin and piano . Ms. Diandrawas 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. 

Mr. Nick Smart  - piano, composition, accordion. Mr 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.

Ms. Sarah Del Monte  - piano, voice. Ms. Del Monte grew up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where she started her music studies at the age of 5 in Escuela Elemental de Musica Elila Mena. After graduation, she continued her education in different music schools in the DR. Among them Soli Deo Gloria, where she did her first debut with a concerto for piano and orchestra under the direction of Alberto Rincon. She is a graduate from Pasco Hernando State College with an Associate in Arts degree, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Music Education at USF. Her concentrations are piano pedagogy and choral studies. Ms. Sarah has studied with experienced and successful musicians such as pianist Dr. Eunmi Ko and choral conductor Dr. Jason Dungee. She has been a passionate teacher for over 5 years for students of all ages. It is her joy to see her students succeed and express themselves in their music.

drum teacherS

Mr. Noel Reyes is a double bassist with career experience in everything from classical, rock, jazz, and more.  Since coming to Tampa in 2018, he has performed with a list of notables including Dave Pietro, Marshall Gilkes, Scott Kluksdahl, and Jason Decristofaro, among others.  He regularly presents shows with composer/arranger Chuck Owen, founder and director of the multi GRAMMY-nominated Jazz Surge. 
A native of Puerto Rico, Noel studied music theory and applied performance with Humberto Ramirez, influential Latin Jazz trumpeter and 4x GRAMMY nominee, as well as with electric bassist Sammy Morales.  While playing professionally in San Juan, Noel was awarded a full tuition scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music’s Summer Performance Program; during his time there, he performed with the 2017 Salsa All-Stars, playing the music of Celia Cruz and Marc Anthony, among others. Apart from teaching at Claudia’s School of Music, Noel serves as the bass clinician for several schools throughout Hillsborough County.

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. 

accordion and composition 

Mr. David Ruth  - See Bio below 

Mr. Norman Taccati  - piano, guitar, banjo, flute, clarinet. Mr. 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.

​Mr. Emory Blake - piano and drums. Mr. Emory  graduated with his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of South Florida where he received a Merit Award for Outstanding Percussionist in 2001 and served as graduate teaching assistant from 2005-2007 where he taught private lessons and directed the USF percussion ensemble. Mr. Emory serves the music community as both a performer and educator. His performance credits include live performances with Marie Osmond, Aretha Franklin, Mannheim Steamroller, Michael W Smith and Dennis DeYoung as well as serving as a substitute percussionist and timpanist with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. In summer of 2003, Emory toured and performed with the 7 time world champions, The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corp. As an educator, Mr. Emory has served as a front ensemble technician for various high school groups across the Tampa Bay area and the greater Houston area where he was also an Adjunct Professor of Music at San Jacinto College. Mr. Emory also has recording credits as a featured soloist with the McCormick Percussion Group under the Ravello Records label. He also teaches piano and music theory to students ages 5 and up. 

Clarinet, saxophone, flute

Bass Guitar, Ukulele, banjo

Ms.Sherry Donataccio  - piano and drums.Ms. Sherrybegan 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.

Mr. Nicolas Deluca -guitar, bass, ukulele - bio coming soon 

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.

Ms. Gabriela Shephard - bio coming soon


Mr. David Ruth-drums, guitar, piano. 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.

Ms.Marian Cayabas - bio coming soon

Mr.Norman Taccati - besides teaching clainet, flute and piano Mr. Norman is also our banjo and guitar instructor.

steel drums