Conservatory Outreach


Conservatory Outreach Keyboard Adjunct Faculty

Mary Kate (Katie) Ballard Cross (piano private lesson teacher, group piano teacher) has a varied studio of pianists from beginning to advanced and enjoys teaching all levels!  She holds a Bachelor's degree in Piano from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master's in Piano and Pedagogy from Ithaca College.  While at Ithaca, she also became certified in both Dalcroze Eurhythmics and all levels of Suzuki Piano.  For over 20 years Ms. Cross has taught at various institutions in the Cleveland area and Pennsylvania, including the Fine Arts Association in Mentor, the Cleveland Music School Settlement, the Riverside School (now the Beck Center), and the Oberlin Community Music School where she presently teaches piano and eurhythmics.  With a firm belief that any beginner deserves to start lessons with a highly trained professional, Ms. Cross also emphasizes the importance of play and socialization in the learning process and encourages musical collaboration on all skill levels with parents and peers.  Students may catch Ms. Cross in performance at the International Music Festival in Bay Village yearly, at faculty recitals or playing piano and organ at Christ Church in Oberlin on Sundays or Olmsted Community Church on Saturdays.  In addition, she sings professionally in solo and choral settings.  Her interests outside of music include her family (husband and three children), involvement on the board of Azalea Blossom, Inc. (working for the prevention of domestic violence), also NAMI (advocating for the mentally ill) and vegetarian cooking.

Anthony Fuoco (private piano lesson teacher) teaches classical and jazz piano to all levels, ages 7 and older.  He serves as a faculty member in the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, where he has taught a variety of courses in music theory and piano.  He has also been on the faculty at Lorain County Community College since 2002.  Mr. Fuoco earned a MM at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and a BM at SUNY Potsdam.   As a result of over a decade of experience teaching piano students he has learned the importance of building a sound technical foundation, and developing an overall awareness while practicing. In his free time, Mr. Fuoco enjoys practicing, composing, and playing chess. 

Christine Fuoco (private piano lesson teacher and BW piano faculty) Click link for full bio.

Leonor Garcia (private piano lesson teacher) has been teaching piano for three years. Her studio consists of mostly beginners and children. She is comfortable teaching in the classical style, as that is what she has been trained, but will occasionally mix in other styles. She loves when parents are interested and actively involved in their children's music studies!  Leonor has experience teaching Dalcroze Eurhythmics and often incorporates this method in a private lesson setting. She is a recent graduate of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory. Away from the piano she enjoys sushi, yoga, martial arts, quality family time, and dark chocolate.

Rachel Harrington (piano private lesson teacher) has been teaching for 12 years.  She has experience teaching students of all ages.  Rachel has had training in Kindermusik.  She specializes in beginning to intermediate piano students and all levels of bass students.  Rachel graduated from Baldwin Wallace with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance.  Prior to teaching at BW, she taught at Talent Unlimited Music Studio and Richland Academy for the Arts and Sciences.  She has experience accompanying a variety of groups, ranging from private students to opera workshops and theater groups.  She keeps busy with three young children at home.

Sue Huszai (organ & piano private lesson teacher)
Bio coming soon

Robert Mayerovitch (piano private lesson teacher and BW piano faculty) Click link for full bio.

Zarina Melik-Stepanova (piano private lesson teacher) taught piano for students of various ages since 1999. She earned her Doctor of Piano Performance and Literature Degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and served as Assistant Professor of Piano at Oklahoma State Univeristy and Millikin University.  She is an active performer and collaborator, and performs regularly in United States and abroad.  Dr. Melik-Stepanova is first prize winner of several prominent piano competitions, including National Federation of Music Clubs, J. Earl Lee International Piano Competition and Schubert Club International Piano Competition.  She often appears as guest recitalist and adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association.

Lily Nijehovsky (piano private lesson teacher) is an accomplished classically trained pianist with a Masters Degree in Piano Teaching, Piano Performance and Accompanying from Prokofiev Conservatory, Donetsk, Ukraine. She is a certified Suzuki piano teacher from Ohio Capital University.  She has been teaching piano for over 20 years to students of all ages and all levels, teaching in the Greater Cleveland area since 1991.  She has taught at The Moscow Music Military College, the Preparatory and Continuing Education Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music, is an Associate Artist with Opera Cleveland, and has been an accompanist with the Cleveland Ballet.   She has performed in The Big Hall of Moscow Conservatory, House of Composers, House of Arts Representatives, The Fairmount Center for The Performing Arts, and has accompanied various soloists, both vocal and instrumental, in multiple concerts.  Ms. Nijehovsky's teaching methods are tailored to suit each particular student, beginner or advanced. Her goals as a teacher are to have her students love playing the piano, to make sure that they are enjoying the time they spend making music, to motivate them to develop their musical talents, and to achieve their personal musical goals.

Marta Perez-Stable (piano private lesson teacher, Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor) is returning to teaching piano after raising her family. She enjoys working with both children and adults, from beginners through early advanced levels. Marta emphasizes the physical side of playing in order to establish a good technique from the very beginning; equating playing an instrument to learning to dance or to play a sport. She believes great musicianship is impossible without knowing how to control one's body. Marta follows traditional methods of teaching piano involving classical music. Reflecting her Dalcroze training, she also incorporates improvisation skills into lessons in order to prepare students for future composition and collaborative opportunities. As a performer, Marta regularly sings with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus as well as accompanying student productions and choral concerts. She received her Dalcroze training and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Ithaca College and her Bachelor of Music right here from Baldwin Wallace. Aside from her family, Marta's current interests include cooking, especially baking, knitting, and software engineering.

Lea Pullizzi-Smith (piano private lesson teacher) has been a private piano instructor for 21 years.  She specializes in teaching children and is a Music Specialist for the Berea City School District.  She hold both a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a Master's Degree in Education (specialization: Specific Learning Disabilities) from Baldwin-Wallace College. 

Susan Schoeffler (piano private lesson teacher) Click link for full bio.

Ronald Schultz (piano private lesson teacher)
Bio coming soon

William Shaffer (piano private lesson teacher) has been teaching piano for over 15 years.  He teaches all abilities and age levels of students.  His philosophy on teaching is that each student will be taught on an individual basis, honing lessons to utilize their learning capacity while using every style of music to make lessons both enjoyable and educational.  William has extensive performing experience, and has recently played with The Cleveland Orchestra and with the touring company of Wicked. William is also an active performer in the greater Cleveland area.  He has a Masters Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Bachelor's degree from BW. He enjoys spending time with his wife, reading, traveling and playing with his cats and bunny rabbit.

Gregory Upton (private piano lesson teacher and BW piano faculty) Click link for full bio.

Vilma Vargo (piano private lesson teacher, Music+Rhythm+Movement instructor) received her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Education from Baldwin Wallace University, and her Dalcroze Eurhythmics Certificate from Carnegie-Mellon University.  Ms. Vargo also teaches at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio.  Along with piano, she plays harpsichord and organ.  She is a member of the Dalcroze Society of America and the Dalcroze Society U.K. in London.  She attends many summer school sessions in London and the United States and is an avid world traveler.  Many of her students have successful musical careers teaching and performing. 

Jeanine Waisala (piano private lesson teacher) earned a Bachelor’s of Music and German from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s of Music from Akron University studying under Philip Thomson. She has a strong desire to help students of all ages develop their musical abilities whether for performance or personal enjoyment in a wide variety of musical styles. She focuses on developing solid technical skills and understanding musical theory in a way that can be applied to all styles of music and contributes to more expressive playing. Before teaching high school German, she maintained a large piano studio for over 20 years and her students performed regularly at recitals, master classes, Guild Auditions and Federation Auditions where she also served as an adjudicator. Jeanine has supplemented her education by studying for a number of post graduate years with Nancy Bachus, pianist and teacher, and a clinician and writer for Alfred Music.  Jeanine has accompanied and directed many church and school programs locally throughout the years, working recently as a part time co- director in the vocal music department at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. She studied, traveled and led trips to many cities in Germany and Austria such as Vienna, Salzburg, Leipzig, and Nuremberg, cultivating a multifaceted understanding of their rich classical musical heritage. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking, tennis, traveling and learning foreign languages.

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