Patricia Feinstein – Piano Instructor, Founder
Founder, owner and instructor at Prelude Music Academy. Patty has over 30 years teaching experience in multitude of settings including public school music teacher and private instrument instruction, and has been playing the piano since she was five years old. She presents at conferences and workshops and holds Master classes for various Piano Teacher Organizations. Her students consistently receive Superior and Excellent ratings in Federation Festivals, Sonatina Competitions and theory events. She is married with three children who all love music as much as she does.
Patty has a BA from SUNY Buffalo in music Performance and Education, and an MS in Music and Recreational Therapy from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a NC Licensed Music Teacher.
David Richter – Guitar Instructor
David has 37 years of teaching and performing experience. He holds a Masters of Music from Florida State University and has many years of formal studies with many of the world’s greatest guitarists, including Andres Segovia, Eliot Fisk, David Russell, Christopher Parkening, Holzman, Ghiglia, Morgen, Tomas, and Isbin. These experiences have left him with a rich and in depth understanding of music and the guitar in which he shares with all his students. David is committed to helping students enjoy and excel in playing the music they love to listen to the most!
Cyndel Hill – Piano & viola Instructor
Cyndel has an extensive background in music. She began singing at a very young age and started playing the piano when she was six. At age eleven she began to play the viola. In high school her orchestra was rated “Superior” in an orchestral competition. Cyndel continued her learning and musical performance of the viola throughout high school and college, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from North Carolina Central University in 2013. Cyndel’s goal is to spread the love and enjoyment of music to all of her students.
Jackson Manuel – Guitar Instructor
A native of Durham, NC, Jackson has been a guitarist and vocalist for the past 21 years, performing and recording with a variety of different artists, bands, and school ensembles. He began his college education in the Music Industry Studies program at Appalachian State University, focusing on Guitar and Recording & Production. He later transferred to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music, where he completed a BM in Professional Music with a concentration in Guitar Performance. Jackson’s playing and teaching draw from a variety of styles, most notably rock. He has previously taught guitar privately and through Cary School Of Music. He currently plays with the original funk/rock/soul group, The Chit Nasty Band.
April Brown – Piano and Voice Instructor
An Alabama native, April has been a pianist and vocalist from a fairly young age. She started singing occasionally at the age of four and started playing piano in the fourth grade. April attended Judson College in Marion, Alabama where she earned a double Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Music Performance in both voice and piano. She moved to North Carolina to attend Graduate School at Campbell University Divinity School where she is emphasizing in church music. April’s piano style tends to be more classical, but she enjoys playing show songs on occasion. she enjoys singing in all music styles, but her favorites are Spirituals.
Cordera Harper – Piano Instructor
Cordara discovered his passion for music at a very young age. He was encouraged to foster this passion by singing and playing piano for his childhood church. Becoming more aware of his talent, Cordara equipped himself with the skills and tools necessary to further his studies independently. His classical training at CCC inspired him to continue to grow as a musician and enroll in the music department at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Cordara has performed at several venues with the NCCU Jazz Ensemble and University Choir in both Wake and Durham Counties. When Cordara is not continuing his education at the University he enjoys teaching K-8 music classes at Global Scholars Academy in Durham. Cordara’s childhood passion for playing piano and singing for the church has led him to accept the position of Director of Music where he leads worship every Sunday. Cordara is eager to cultivate future students’ passion for music in “one on one” lessons.
Dessalines Ford – Piano Instructor
Dessalines Ford, an accomplished pianist, songwriter, arranger, and educator is a musician for all ages and cultures. Having had extensive classical piano training with prominent classical musicians such as Juanita Hurd, Cassandria Hanna, Peggy Irwin, and Rosalina Sackstein, Dessalines’ musical foundation was thoroughly cultivated. His interest in abstract harmonies and jazz keyboard harmonies also lead him to study with the late Sanford Gold. Dez, as he is affectionately known, attributes the essence of his musical success to his late grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Collie.
Dessalines is a graduate of the University of Miami’s School of Music where earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Business, a graduate of Nova Southeastern University where he earned a Master of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Boston University where he earned a certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Music Education. Presently, Dessalines is the Minister of Music at the historic St. Paul AME church in downtown Raleigh North Carolina.
Rowena Rantanen – Piano Instructor
Rowena Rantanen has been involved in musical productions for over 45 years, having worn several hats including Director, Producer, Music Director, Choreographer, Dance Captain, Stage Manager, Costume Mistress, Properties Mistress, and various principal and ensemble theatre roles.
She has a B.A. in Music from the University of Massachusetts and has over 30 years of experience as a professional musician. Her career in the performing arts has included being a piano instructor, an organist, a choir director, a dance teacher, and a published playwright. She is the founder of RMC Fairy Tale Theatre, FUMC Theatre Ministry Group, and several ensembles (both dance and instrumental).
TJ Richardson -Piano, Electric Bass, and Double Bass Instructor
TJ is an internationally known performer, composer, and music teacher from Raeford NC. He grew up in a musical family, and while his mother directed choirs, his father and brother became accomplished drummers. He spent his childhood playing whatever he could get his hands on.
In college, composition classes helped him to expand his piano skills while Orchestra and Jazz Bands introduced him to the Double Bass. After earning a BM in Bass Performance from UNC CH and a Masters of Film Scoring from Berklee, he has been on a quest to spread the joy of music.