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Instructors

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Janessa Cardillo

Owner, Voice and Piano Instructor

Janessa, owner and instructor, is a classically-trained vocalist pursuing an education in vocology, an 18-year veteran private voice and piano lesson teacher, a piano bar entertainer, and a mom of 4. If you couldn't guess, she doesn't like to be bored! For that reason, lessons and classes with Janessa are anything but boring!

Raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH, Janessa earned a bachelor's degree in music from Eastern Michigan University, and has worked steadily in music all of her adult life. In recent years, she has performed with The Cleveland Opera, Cleveland Opera Theater, and Tri-C. She now works as a dueling pianist at The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar in The Flats and with Felix & Fingers in Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas.

In the past three years, Janessa has dramatically updated her teaching resources with research-based, engaging, FUN materials. She is thrilled to be able to offer these resources, combined with her knowledge, skills, and personable teaching style, to the community via private lessons, small group classes, and summer camps.

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Maddie Polk

Piano Instructor

Maddie has 7 years of experience in music education and has been playing piano for over 20 years. She has her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Capital University and has taught band, choir, orchestra, and general music curriculum in classrooms with students K-12, as well as private piano and percussion lessons for all ages.

While Maddie plays piano teacher by night, her full time job is in arts administration, where she is currently the Head of Operations for a local non-profit festival, ENCORE Chamber Music Institute.

When she isn’t making or organizing music, Maddie can be found crocheting, volunteering at the city dog shelter, or enjoying the outdoors hiking, camping, and backpacking!

Maddie resides in Tremont with her husband, dog, and 2 cats. 

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Tim Lane

Drum Instructor

Tim Lane is an inspired working Cleveland drummer that has been playing since 1986. Armed with 23 years' teaching experience, Tim Lane has a wide variety of knowledge to share, from music reading skills to rudiments and improvisation. Tim will help you grow and keep you challenged while having fun with drums. Snare drum, drum set, hand percussion, and more!

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Tricia Crane

Early Childhood

Tricia Crane is a music educator, choral director, performer, and Lakewood resident.
She is engaging, energetic, passionate, and experienced. With her degree in Music
Education and Level III Kodaly certification, she strives for each lesson to be a solid and
well-rounded foundational experience, while still having fun, playing games, and
exploring the world of music. Tricia has over 17 years of experience in classroom
teaching and directing choral ensembles of all ages. Her passion is for everyone to find
their own inner-musician, and plans lessons and rehearsals with that goal at the
forefront. Tricia has developed a curriculum designed specifically for Lemon Seeds,
and is very excited to be providing music education to the community that she and her
husband, Ian, and their children, Phoebe and Alex, have made their home.

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Keith Nicholas

Guitar/Bass/Ukulele Instructor

Keith Nicholas began guitar lessons at age 5...buuuut it didn't go so well. He spent his childhood noodling around, learning from the musical greats in his life, and most importantly: LISTENING. Michael Bay, Ernie Krivda, Steve Enos, Joe Hunter, and Lee Taylor were all influential in helping Keith understand music as a language. Having taught guitar lessons privately and in music schools for quite some time, Keith loves the adventure of finding the role that music serves in his students and watching that light bulb illuminate!

Keith currently works as the principal guitar/banjo player for the Brian Pappesh Party Band. They play every Saturday at Hofbrauhaus and at many outdoor gigs and festivals. He is also an active fill-in player throughout Cleveland. He'd love to see you at one of his many shows!

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Dan Gilles

Drum Instructor

Dan's earliest memory is using his mom's wooden spoons on her pots and pans and his parents buying him a "Muppet Show" kiddie drum set for Christmas. But he never took lessons or got his own kit until he was 18 and found out one of his co-workers at the pizza shop he worked at taught drum lessons. He fell in love with the instrument right then and there and has been playing ever since. After surviving an explosion that caused severe burns to his arms and legs in 2007, Dan jumped back behind his drums about a year later and started going to local jam nights frequently. His playing caught the attention of many other local musicians, and eventually he started his own cover band called DiRt in 2015. DiRt quickly gained a following around Northeast Ohio covering 80s thrash metal like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax & Megadeth and has played everywhere from The Odeon to the Akron Empire to the Outpost in Kent and much, much more. DiRt broke up in May of 2022 and Dan has since caught on with tribute bands Maiden America (Iron Maiden), Wall of Sleep (Black Sabbath) and The Mob Rules (Dio), while also picking up fill-in gigs with various bands.


Dan has privately taught off and on for the past 6 years and is excited to teach out of a great music school. Dan, 49, lives in Elyria with his wife Allie and their 2 dogs (Abby & Lemmy) and 4 cats (Dio, Bonzo, Morris & Dakota). He cites Neil Peart, John Bonham, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, Bill Ward & Nicko McBrain as his favorite drummers and metal as his favorite style of music to listen to and to play.

Instructors: Team
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