Alison is a fun, experienced, and patient teacher. She has taught over 13,000 lessons in various instruments to over 200 students in private lessons and small groups in person and online. Her students range from age 3 through adults. Alison is is the co-owner and founder of Strand Studios in NJ.
Alison holds an Associate of Arts in Music from CCM, where she studied piano and voice. While there, she was the alto section leader of the Chamber Choir. She is currently pursuing a B.M. in Contemporary and Popular Music with a concentration in Music Education at the University of Maine at Augusta and a Piano Pedagogy Certificate at Valley City State University. Alison started her music education in elementary school with the recorder, saxophone, and chorus. She then moved onto private vocal, piano, violin lessons and so forth. By the time she graudated high school, she was playing over 10 instruments. Alison also holds a certificate in Music Theory from Berklee College of Music Online and a certificate in Theatre & Performing Arts from WCTS. She is proud to be on the Dean's List and a member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda honor society.
Alison has studied Piano with Prof. Joseph Bilotti, Music Theory with Dr. Richard Gradone & Prof. Joseph Bilotti, Voice with Dr. Melanie Mitrano, Prof. Marielaine Mammon, and Prof. Marcia Gallagher; Drums/Percussion with Prof. John Mehrmann; Violin/Viola/Cello with Prof. Eliza Meyer; and Saxophone/Flute/Clarinet with David Michalewsky.
She is a graduate of WCTS. While there, she earned a place in the National Technical Honor Society, membership in The National Society of High School Scholars, the PTA Citizenship Award, and the John B. Laporta Scholarship. She took part in the schools a Capella club, bowling club, SGA, peer2peer mentoring, and Key Club.
Alison is the current (Saturday) Music Director at St Peter & Paul Church. She has sung in the St. Marks Invitational Christmas Concert and has also sung with the Church of the Messiah. She is a member of the choir at St. Theodore's. Her other credits include many theatrical productions. Some favorite roles of hers include Margot in "The Diary of Anne Frank," Belise in "The Learned Ladies," Helen in "Carrie: The Musical," and the Angel in "The Journey." She has been involved in numerous recitals/concerts/showcases, co-hosted Knightline News for her high school, modeled for Paladin Knight Entertainment, LLC and was featured in and on staff for a Paladin Knight Pictures independent film production.
Alison has performed the National Anthem at various Morris County USBC bowling tournaments. Her favorite musical accomplishment is singing with one of her musical theatre idols, Idina Menzel during her world tour in Bethlehem, PA in 2015.
In her free time, Alison enjoys volunteering, bowling, photography, ATVing, amateur radio, traveling, and modeling. Additionally, Alison holds a seasonal job as an actor at Schaefer's Farm of Horrors. She is part owner/manager of the Hackettstown Center for the Arts and is an active member of Strand String Ensemble and the Strand Performance Group.
I enjoy teaching students of all ages, levels, and styles. I strive to provide the best possible music education for every student. This is accomplished by providing interesting work for the student such as learning pieces, technique, theory, sight reading, ear training, etc. Lesson plans are customized to each student based on their age, previous experience, learning style, individual goals, etc.
"Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it's essential to being human." - Jewel
I gear my instruction to the needs of the student. I believe music should be fun and stress-free. My goal is to help students feel at ease and to help them gain confidence in their abilities. I pride myself on being a patient and encouraging instructor. As an instructor, I continue to study and master my craft by taking lessons, attending seminars, and collaborating with other music educators.
~ Testimonials ~
Teresa W., Piano, Drum, Viola Lessons - “My son takes piano lessons from Alison. We absolutely love her, she tailors the instruction to how each child learns best and keeps each lesson interesting. My son looks forward to practicing and his next lesson, which is a testament to Alison and her program.”
Robyn L., Clarinet Lessons - “My son took clarinet lessons for several months; he had a great experience with Alison.”
Stephanie C., Piano Lessons - “I highly recommend Miss Alison! Alison gives her students individual attention and will work with your child to develop their potential and meet their music/performance goals.”
Maryann T., Drum Lessons - “My 5 year old grandson takes regular drum lessons with Miss Alison and loves it! Highly recommend!”
Nicole P., Preschool Piano Lessons - “Alison was very patient and great with little kids.”
Sharon F., Piano Lessons - “Alison is great with kids!! My daughter is continuing lessons virtually and it’s been great!! So glad she can continue during this time.”
Helene N., Preschool Piano Lessons - “Alison is awesome with my son.”
Kristin M., Piano Lessons - “My daughter takes lessons with Alison and loves it!.
Christine, Preschool Piano Lessons - “We love Miss Alison.”
Kristin V., Piano, Drums and Violin Lessons - “We love Miss Alison. She is awesome with my daughters. My 6yo takes piano and my 4yo takes drum lessons (she started at 3).”
Jennifer C., Preschool Piano Lessons and Drum Lessons - “My 4 year old takes piano with Miss Alison. She is great!”
I do not believe one method works for all students. I have used many different lesson books and resources over the years. Below are a list of some of the lesson books I have used in my lessons. After a few lessons with a new student, I decide which book would be a good match for their learning style. Along with the lesson books below, I use a lot of supplemental materials based on the students' interests. The pace we go and the emphasis placed on certain concepts will vary from student to student.
Piano/Keyboard - Piano Pronto, Alfred, Bastien, Piano Adventures, Leila Fletcher, Schuam, Pianimals, etc.
Violin/Viola/Cello - Strictly Strings, Essential Elements, All for Strings, A Tune a Day, Sassmannshaus, New Directions, Suzuki, Mel Bay, etc.
Clarinet/Flute/Saxophone - Essential Elements, Standard of Excellence, Accent on Achievement, etc.
Drums/Percussion/Xylophone - Breaking it Down, Stick Control, Syncopation, etc.
Music Theory - Theory Time, Keith Snell, Ultimate Music Theory, Alfred's Essentials
Ukulele - Hal Leonard, Essential Elements, Rainbow Ukulele