Violin /viola

Jia Xu

Sophia Choi 

Anna Francis

Chieh-Fan Yiu

 

Cello

Choi Fairbanks

Chialing Pidd

Bass

Carlos Eduardo Pino Hernandez

 

Clarinet

Adam Hutcheson

Alex Cummings

Flute

Alex Cummings 

Claire Choi 

Adam Hutcheson 

Saxophone

Alex Cummings 

Adam Hutcheson

 

Trombone

Jeff Fairbanks 

 

Trumpet

Tyler Kaneshiro

 

 

Guitar

Alex Cummings 

Steve Chelliah

 Andre Jusufbegovic

 

Drums

Alex Cummings 

Ariel Arellano

Vin Scialla

 Piano / Keyboard

Claire Choi 

Sophia Choi

Alex Cummings 

Steve Chelliah 

Simona Minns

Andre Jusufbegovic

 

Vocal

Claire Choi

Simona Minns

Abigail

Composition

Alex Cummings 

Steve Chelliah  

Jeff Fairbanks

Simona Minns

Music Production

Ariel Arellano

Steve Chelliah 


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Choi Fairbanks

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

(TEACHES CELLO & PIANO)

Queens Music Academy, formerly known as Sunnyside Strings School, was founded in 2009 by Choi Fairbanks. From teaching private in-home lessons to creating an after-school music center, Choi has built an incredible community of students, teachers and connections in the NYC area.

Choi holds dual Master degrees in Classical and Jazz Performance’s from the University of South Florida. As a multifaceted instrumentalist and composer Choi has built her career through extensive worldwide touring. Performing primarily as a world renowned cellist, her proficiencies extend to performances as a pianist, violinist, bassist, and composer.

Apart from raising a family, Choi’s vision and passion for QMA is her utmost priority. As a passionate visionary, Choi wants nothing more than to see her students progress and develop an appreciation and passion for music.

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Ariel Arellano

MANAGER

(TEACHES MUSIC PRODUCTION, GUITAR, PIANO & DRUMS)

Since his addition to the team in 2017, Ariel has revamped Queens Music Academy in numerous innovative ways. From the back end to the front end of the business, Ariel’s multi-talented skills and competencies are consistently elevating QMA towards higher achievements and success stories.

Ariel received his Bachelors of Arts in Multimedia for the Music Business with a concentration in Sound Recording Technology from State University of New York at Fredonia. From performing to recording, composing to publishing, designing to editing, teaching to managing, Ariel thrives on creating high quality work on all platforms.

On top of being the most genuine and hardworking individual, Ariel wants nothing more than to see his students and friends succeed in the music scene.

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Abigail Raiford

Teaches Voice, Piano, Flute, Violin

A Sunnyside, Queens native, Abigail Raiford has grown up making music her entire life. After spending her formative years in choirs, musicals and marching band, Abigail has focused her career on solo classical voice. Now, she can be heard on operatic and concert stages, in high-level choruses, churches, temples, society clubs, and on film.


Education:

Abigail obtained her BM in Vocal Performance from the University of Tulsa and her MM in Voice from the Mannes School of Music. She has also studied voice at SongFest in Los Angeles, Amherst Early Music Festival, the Crittenden Opera Studio and abroad in Vienna, Austria. Recently, she was the winner of the 2019 Mannes Concerto Competition, and the recipient of the George and Elizabeth Gregory Award for Excellence in Performing at Mannes.

My goal is to give my students a solid foundation to explore and have fun with making music. I want everyone that I work with to create music with joy and passion and a healthy technique. Whether you play music for fun or with a bigger goal in mind, the discipline and focus that comes with learning an instrument can make a huge impact in our daily lives.

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Jane Kim

Teaches Voice and Piano

Jane Kim is a lyric soprano from South Korea. Miss Kim received her bachelor’s degree

from Ewha Woman’s University and her master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. She

is currently studying under Mignon Dunn. Recently, Miss Kim won the Outstanding Performance

Award in the 8th Metropolitan International Competition. She also won the Grand Prize in East

Coast International Competition and the Best Vocal Technique Award in Forte International

Competition. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2017. Miss Kim has worked as a soloist for

Mahler Symphony No.4, German Requiem by J. Brahms, Gloria by A. Vivaldi and Messiah by

G. F. Handel in New York. Jaeyeon Kim has sung the role of Mimi from Puccini’s La bohème,

Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. And she also has

worked as a guest singer in Korean National Opera.

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Dr. Chieh-Fan Yiu

holds his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard School and Doctorate degree from Stony Brook University. Coming from 3 generations of music teachers/performers, he has been teaching violin and viola for 16 years, as well as performing concerts around the world including Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Taiwan.

When it comes to music, I value patience, determination, and thoughtfulness. I strive to custom-tailor my lesson plans to each students’ needs, and help them achieve their goals, whether it is in their love for music, their strive for excellence, or their growth as a pupil of the world

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Jia Xu

Teaches

Violin and Piano

Education & Experience

Violinist Jia Xu attended the Eastman School of Music (B.M., M.M., Performance Certificate),

As a holder of the OSD Mellon Scholarship at Eastman, she captured First Prize in the Beijing Violin Competition. Jia has also been featured on the classical radio show "From the Top" (2001). She has appeared in master classes with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Itzhak Perlman, Robert Mann, Midori Goto, Alice Schoenfeld, Donald Weilerstein, Glenn Dicterow, and Pinchas Zukerman.

A passionate teacher will create a passionate students! That’s something what I want to do with y students. One student at a time drives me.
— Jia

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Alex Cummings

Teaches

Flute, Clarinet, Saxophones, Guitar & Drums

Education & Experience

Holds a bachelors' degree in music from Oberlin college and Master's degree in Music Education from Queens College

Earned awards such as outstanding soloist awards at the N.J.I.A.J.E. State Finals Jazz Festivals, Berklee College High School Jazz Festival Judge's Choice Soloist award, and the Maestro Award at the Washington D.C. Inaugural Music Festival. His occupation is teaching private lessons and performing with session bands, as well as leading his own groups in NYC. 

I attempt to make my private and group lessons as engaging as possible, appropriating them for people of any age or ability level. I gear my lessons towards the individual interests of my students, and they can cover anything from reading music notation, learning music by ear, improvising and technique. My ultimate goal is to motivate my students in the long run, helping them to achieve a greater understanding of music, building their confidence and having fun.
— Alex

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Steve Chelliah

Teaches

Guitar, Piano, Music Production and Composition

Guitar (Electric, Acoustic), Composition/Arranging, Music Theory, Jazz Piano

Education & Experience

Steve holds a dual B.M degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music (Boston) in Jazz Composition (Master’s Degree equivalent), and Contemporary Writing & Production. He is an innovative composer, guitarist, and singer-songwriter in the Rock/Jazz/Funk/Soul idiom.  Steven has developed advanced improvisational and compositional techniques which utilize all of the Eastern exotic scales of Indian Carnatic Music, within a Western frame-work to open up a whole new world of Harmonic and Scalar (melodic) innovation. This fresh new system of his called FuzAsian can be heard throughout his work.  Apart from teaching music part-time, Steven is a full-time musician in New York City’s music scene, leading his own solo project and also working on film scoring projects as a freelancer.

I craft each lesson or class to the individual student, focusing on things that stimulate them musically. Every student comes to the table wanting to learn or get something specific. I often teach them what they want (be it pop songs or Classical or Jazz pieces), but I also throw in essential material that I feel is necessary for the development of their musical growth on their instrument. In other words, I try to make the lessons as fun as I can by diving into the fun stuff, but I also stress on certain fundamentals as they are necessary and beneficial for the long run of the students musical education.
— Steve

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Sophia Choi

Teaches
Violin and Piano

Sophia started playing the violin since she was 2 years old. At the age of 6, she was the youngest ever to be the Grand Prize winner of The Korea Times competition for music, and also the youngest to be accepted into the Juilliard School Pre-College. She also attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of Music and Art and Performing Arts, performing as the concert master, soloist and more.

Sophia has received many scholarships, awards and recognitions for her performance and has appeared as guest concert master for the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. Sophia holds BM degree from Mannes School of Music and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher, Morse Recital Hall, Paul Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and more.

It is my passion to instill a love for playing and singing in each of my students, by tapping into what excites them about music! I believe learning music is a highly personal experience, and each student requires a unique approach that reflects their own individuality. For that reason, I never use one single method of instruction, and try to tailor my approach to each student.
— Sophia

Jeff Fairbanks

Teaches

Trombone, Trumpet, Jazz Composition and Creative Lego Workshop

Education & Experience

Deemed a “rising multi-faceted star if not musical voice on the New York scene” (@CriticalJazz), 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow Jeff Fairbanks has won a number of highly competitive awards for composing, including the USAF Sammy Nestico Award, the Jerome Fund, ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, and the BMI Charlie Parker Award.  He has won eight grants from the following institutions: the Aaron Copland Fund, the Queens Council on the Arts, and New Music USA (formerly American Music Center).  Click here for the artist website.

I encourage my students to learn music in multiple genres, and to bring in songs of their own choosing when possible. During lessons I emphasize improvisation, basic theory knowledge, and ear training. Above all, I attempt to give students music that challenges and excites them, and to help students find a connection to music both within and outside of their lessons.
— Jeff

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Claire Jihye Choi

Teaches

Voice, Piano, Flute

Education & Experience

Manhattan School of Music, Voice Master Degree,  College of Music Extension Program, Eugene Italia (Italian Language Program) in Milano.

I believe that learning an instrument can be overwhelming, as she remembers from taking lessons starting at age five, and aims to keep her lessons fun and low stress ensuring that students develop a healthy and positive relationship to their instrument.

Guillaume Muller

Teaches Guitars and Pianos

French musician and composer currently based in New York city, Guillaume started to play the guitar in his teenage years. Originally from Paris, he moved to Boston to study guitar and composition. In the Fall 2012. Upon his arrival at Berklee College of Music, Guillaume earned a scholarship, and had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest musicians and teachers the school had to offer. In the Fall 2015, Guillaume graduated and shortly after moved to New York city. While teaching and playing in New York, Guillaume has also been able to attend NYU Steinhardt as a graduate student and obtained his Master degree in Jazz Studies in the Spring 2019. As a guitarist, Guillaume has had the opportunity to perform in iconic New York venues such as The Blue Note, Minton's, Bar Lunatico and even performed a live set on the radio station WBGO. This past year, he has also been recording his debut album entitled "Sketches of Sound" which should be released in August this year.

French musician and composer currently based in New York city, Guillaume started to play the guitar in his teenage years. Originally from Paris, he moved to Boston to study guitar and composition. In the Fall 2012. Upon his arrival at Berklee College of Music, Guillaume earned a scholarship, and had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest musicians and teachers the school had to offer. In the Fall 2015, Guillaume graduated and shortly after moved to New York city. While teaching and playing in New York, Guillaume has also been able to attend NYU Steinhardt as a graduate student and obtained his Master degree in Jazz Studies in the Spring 2019. As a guitarist, Guillaume has had the opportunity to perform in iconic New York venues such as The Blue Note, Minton's, Bar Lunatico and even performed a live set on the radio station WBGO. This past year, he has also been recording his debut album entitled "Sketches of Sound" which should be released in August this year.

My philosophy is to tailor my teaching based on the student tastes and needs and help him/ her reach his/ her goals as a musician
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Simona Minns

Teaches

Voice, Piano, composition

Education & Experience

Simona Minns is a jazz singer, zitherist, composer, arranger and artistic director originally from Lithuania, currently living and working in New York City. Simona has degrees in jazz vocal performance from The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater and a contemporary composition degree from Berklee College of Music of Boston MA. 


Simona holds an extensive, over 10 years of international teaching career. She's been working as a vocal coach in professional theaters, vocal director at Boston Public School system, faculty member at Berklee Faculty Outreach program, teaching privately piano and voice lessons in different music schools, and giving artistic workshops in US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Teaching was always my passion, because it gives me a unique opportunity to connect to students and to music at once! I like my lessons to be
personally tailored to each individual student, based on his or her needs and abilities. I like to be positive and playful, but at the same time, I focus on fundamentals,
stress the importance of practice. I love teaching little kids starting at the age of 3 and continuing to teens and adults. In my lessons you can expect to get inspired, positively encouraged and motivated to always do your best!
— Simona
 

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Adam Hutcheson

Teaches

Flute, Saxophone and Clarinet

Education & Experience

Masters and Bachelor in Jazz Studies (University of North Texas)

As a teacher, it is my job to engage the student in such a way where they grow as a musician while having fun. Each student learns and processes information differently and I try to adjust my teaching style accordingly to meet the needs of each student. That could mean anything from playing by ear, reading music, composing, playing multiple instruments in one lesson, or even getting to know the student’s hobbies and somehow tying them into what we’re working on!
— Adam

Adam has been teaching and performing professionally in New York City since 2013.  He is active in the NYC jazz club scene and most notably performs frequently as a leader and sideman at Jazz at the Kitano.  He graduated from the University of North Texas where he played lead alto saxophone with the Grammy nominated One O'Clock Lab Band, earned several Downbeat Magazine student awards, and was a finalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Competition in 2011 and 2013.  Adam has recorded on numerous albums and also released his debut album as a leader in 2017.  He actively teaches private lessons both in NYC and Westchester County.


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Andrej Jusufbegovic

I always start with the student’s personal connection to music and the instrument, whether it’s a favorite band or a song or something else. If we build everything we learn on the foundation of that initial spark of passion, then the student will have a fun, meaningful, and infinitely rewarding experience with music for the rest of their lives! There is no limits to what music can teach us and give us and I look forward to going on that adventure with you!
— Andrej

Teaches:

Guitar, bass, piano, drums, rock band

Education and Experience:

Andrej has graduated with honors from Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and has recently participated in the prestigious Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music. Originally from Croatia, he has performed many musical styles all around the world on cruise ships, as well as in hotels, restaurants, and many other environments. He is currently working on an album of original and highly improvisational music. 


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Carlos Eduardo Pino Hernandez

Teaches

Bass & Guitar

Education & Experience

Carlos Pino is recognized as one of the most versatile musicians that have emerged from Colombia in recent times. He has played virtually every style of music from Symphonic Orchestral repertoire to Rock, Funk and Heavy Metal, with a lot of Jazz and world music in between.

He holds a Master of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he had the opportunity to study with some of the world's most renown musicians including Classical bassist Donald Palma and Jazz masters Dave Holland, Cecil McBee and Rakalam Bob Moses.

I design every lesson according to the student’s specific interests focusing on the musicality and the understanding of the role of the bass in the specific style that we are approaching, I have created unique technical exercises and etudes that will help develop the mechanical hability and also will encourage the students to think for themselves and acquire a sense of time and groove which are the essentials of a good bass player in any musical situation...I enjoy working with musicians of all levels cultivating in them the passion for the instrument and for the music
— Carlos

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Anna Francis

Teaches

Violin & Piano

Education & Experience

Anna Francis received her B.S. in Music Education in 2012 and her Masters in Music with a violin proficiency in 2014. She has taught private schools in Florida as a private strings and piano teacher as well as an intermediate orchestra conductor and monitor for a beginning strings class. She played violin with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2019. She loves arranging music, performing in groups, and loves helping young musicians grow in their musical skills and love for music.

My philosophy is to give my students an excellent foundation in technique, note reading, and counting. I also think that students need to be motivated by not only hearing outstanding examples of playing but also playing music that is interesting and something that they get excited about
— Anna
 
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Shereen Cheong

Teaches

Piano

Education & Experience

Shereen Cheong is a New York-based Malaysian arranger, composer, producerand pianist who developed a sense of music from a tender age of three. She is agraduate from Berklee College of Music, holding a dual degree in ContemporaryWriting & Production (CWP) and Music Business & Management (MBus).Pursuant to her classical training with a highly skilled teacher Ms Saw Wee Qin,she studied jazz piano with Malaysia’s top jazz pianist, Sir Michael Veerapen.

As a keyboardist/pianist, she toured extensively with RocNation's newly signed jazz/soul/folk artist, Victory Boyd, who was discovered by Jay-Z himself, alongside distinguished icons in the music scene such as Empire’s drama series actor/singer Jussie Smollett on his “Sum of my Music” tour, Grammy winner/jazz artist Gregory Porter at the City Park’s Foundation SummerStage NYC in association with Sony Blue Note Jazz Festival, platinum selling and Grammy Award winner artist Lauren Daigle, and well-known jazz artist Kamasi Washington. She has also performed at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, ESSENCE Music Festival and LEAF Music Festival, and appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Live Show and radio station Sirius XM Heart & Soul.