Uniting Fun with the Pursuit of Music
We are Pat and Rebecca Lapinski, owners and founders of Noteworthy Academy of Music.
Music is what we know, what we do, and what brought us together! Individually, we studied music for most of our childhoods. Pat first fell in love with the drum set at an early age and then expanded to the guitar, bass, piano, percussion, and even the banjo! Rebecca studied voice, piano, percussion, acting, and anything she could get her hands on. We met in our high school concert band in Little Falls, New Jersey. After both graduating college with degrees pertaining to music, we got married! Soon after, we started to dream of opening our own music school one day. Wonderful things fell into place and the opportunity to open within the Bethany Community Center presented itself, and thus Noteworthy was born!
Those of us who have grown up pursuing music know that it can be very overwhelming at times - Trying to master every style and impress every teacher. Often, the joy and fun of music are lost in the endless pursuit of perfection. Our goal when we opened Noteworthy was to create a school where that relationship with music was put well above the need to be "perfect". Everyone can have a positive relationship with music, you just need to find the right fit.
We hope you can find the perfect fit here at Noteworthy, where we aspire to make learning music fun for everyone.
Pat and Rebecca
Meet The Team
Owner, Drums, Percussion
Patrick is one of the owners of Noteworthy Academy of Music. He has a B. A. in Music Education with a concentration in Classical Percussion from William Paterson University. Patrick has been teaching drums, percussion, guitar, ukulele, bass, and piano for over thirteen years while still performing in professional bands, musicals, orchestras, and the Bethany Church Worship Team.
Owner, Piano, Voice
Rebecca is one of the owners of Noteworthy Academy of Music. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University and has been teaching voice, piano, and acting for over a decade. Her students have gone on to play in the Papermill Playhouse Conservatory, been on the Bethany Worship Team, earned leading roles, and they all learn to use their skills to the fullest!
Steve has been playing saxophone his entire life, studying at Brevard College and performing and teaching in various styles from jazz to classical. Steve has also received a B. M. in Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College. Steve is one of the worship leaders at Bethany Church where he plays the sax and guitar and sings.
John "Drace" Dracy
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
John has always studied and performed music, starting with the guitar and expanding to the piano, drums, and bass. He has performed in bands and other ensembles around NJ and you can find John leading teams of musicians at Bethany Church. He has a heart to teach the next generation and is highly involved in leading middle school and high school musicians on the Bethany Youth Worship Team.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Piano
Nick holds his degree from William Paterson University studying in the prestigious Jazz program, focusing on guitar and performance. He has been performing professionally for over 10 years in various musical styles from jazz to rock and classical. When Nick is not performing, he is pouring his passion for music into his students here at Noteworthy!
Giuliana Carr started learning the piano at 3 years old and never looked back! She has worked as a music director for concerts & productions, taught children’s piano classes & workshops, and written/performed her own original music featured in live concerts & sketch comedy shows. Giuliana is also a professional actor and can be seen in multiple films currently circling film festivals around the country.
Joseph "JQ" Quiles
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Ukulele
Joseph Quiles, JQ for short, discovered his love for music at a young age and has been pursuing his career as a professional musician ever since. Joseph is a multi-instrumentalist, playing bass, piano, guitar, and ukulele. He has worked with well-renowned gospel artists and he has toured and played in bands across the country. Joseph has a heart for inspiring kids in music and igniting their passion to take them to the next level.
Brandon Conti has been studying music for the past 20 years and loves to teach both voice and piano to his students. He was discovered and instructed by Vera Tisheff, a world-renowned pianist and music instructor. His most recent performance credits include Jinx in Forever Plaid, Berger in Hair, and Tunny in American Idiot.
Guitar, Bass, Piano
Michael has been playing music since he was 6 years old! He first started on guitar, playing classic rock standards and performing in many different bands. He is a graduate of William Paterson University's highly acclaimed Jazz Program, as well as a Music Education degree that qualifies him to teach grades K-12.
Liam Kerekes is a drummer, producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Originally from Red Bank, New Jersey, he studied Jazz drumming at William Paterson University, where he got the chance to play at the famous Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York, and also on the jazz radio station WBGO 88.3. Liam also enjoys teaching and hopes to inspire young students to become interested in the beauty of rhythm and music.
Ezra James Capiral
Ezra is an accomplished pianist and violinist and studied at the Setnor School of Music under the instruction of world-renowned faculty, Laura Bossert and Terry King. He has performed across multiple states in the US, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, and is highly experienced in orchestral, chamber, and solo repertoire. Ezra is ecstatic to join the Noteworthy Academy staff and can't wait to share the joy of music with his students!
Jacob Eccher has been studying music for 10 years. He specializes in woodwind instruments as well as piano, but his favorite instrument to play is the saxophone. He's also played in multiple pit orchestras for musicals including Chicago, Barnum, and Mama Mia.
Aziah has been singing since she was 8 years old. She attended the University of Valley Forge with a major in Music Performance. With over 15 years of experience, she is passionate about teaching young students eager to learn! She is currently a travel worship leader with her husband Shaun and a worship director for the Bethany Church worship team.
Nick Gaskins discovered his love for music at a very young age and began playing drums when he was two years old. He started his career as a drummer in high school and played with local rock bands. He has served as a musician for the Bethany Church worship team! Nick is currently the musical director at Progressive Faith Ministries as a session drummer and producer.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Piano, Voice
Jesse has been teaching music since high school and it is one of his life's callings. With 20 years of experience studying and performing, his goal is to make students as passionate about music as he is. He has taught students guitar and bass for over a decade and has recently expanded to teaching ukulele and piano as well.
Jacob has studied and played music nearly his whole life, focusing mainly on guitar and most recently expanding to the piano. He is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor's in Music and a concentration in performance. He has performed various styles of music such as jazz, blues, and rock, and is excited to share this knowledge with his students.
Andrew Lavery has been performing since the fourth grade and specializes in vocal singing. He received his B.M. in Music Education from the University of Delaware’s School of Music and currently teaches K-5 Music and Choir in Bergen County. He has performed across multiple states in choirs along the east coast, including Carnegie Hall, and in France, Germany, Israel, Malta, and with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Drums, Beginner Guitar, Piano
Dan is a multi-instrumentalist who began playing music when he was 8 years old. Since then, he has performed live with several bands while pursuing music production. Dan enjoys the creative process of teaching and strives to bring the best out of his students musically, all while maintaining a fun and encouraging atmosphere to explore and appreciate music!
Drums, Piano, Brass, Woodwinds
Chris first started playing piano when he was very young. He has since earned his Bachelor’s in Music Business/Management from Berklee College. He received his Master of Arts/Teaching from CUNY Lehman in the Bronx and a second Master's degree in School Leadership from Montclair University in NJ. Chris has been a band director in NY and NJ public schools for 20 years!
Lauren is currently a BFA Musical Theatre major at Montclair State. She’s been training in voice, piano, and dance since she could walk and talk! She started teaching math and music in high school, and instantly fell in love with helping others grow. She’s also taught at Paper Mill summer intensives and drama classes.
Advanced Piano, Beginner Violin
Agustin has been studying music for 11 years and specializes in piano and violin. He is currently attending William Paterson University for his B.M. in Music Education with a concentration in classical piano and a minor in classical violin. He also plays in various ensembles including the WPU Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and small chamber ensembles.
Guitar, Bass, Beginner Piano, Drums
Noah grew up in a musical household in Rockland County, New York. He attended William Paterson in New Jersey, earning a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance on guitar and Music Education. Today, he performs regularly with several bands, including his own, singing and playing guitar. Noah has been privately teaching for over 5 years now!
Dr. Carol Shansky holds a DMA & MM from Boston University and BM from Ithaca College. She is an active teacher and recitalist in the New York area. Carol has performed at international & national concert halls, appeared on several recordings, and has premiered numerous new works for the flute including Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Recital Hall), the Bruno Walter Auditorium (Lincoln Center), and Music by Women Festival. She has won awards from the Pearl Amster Concerto Competition, Concerts Atlantique, and Artists International.
Andrew Morales has been studying music since he was 8 years old. He specializes in teaching Brass and Piano. Andrew has performed in places such as Princeton University, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and other jazz festivals in Italy. Andrew is attending The College of New Jersey for his B.M. in Music Education. He enjoys playing different musical genres such as Classical, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Chamber Music.
Advanced Guitar, Piano, Beginner Voice
Michael studied jazz guitar at Montclair State University as a music education major, and has been teaching privately for three years. A Bergen County native, Michael formed his own band, Echo Road and is the lead singer/guitarist. Michael focuses on developing a strong ability to communicate using the guitar and a passion for discovering the mysteries of the fretboard. Michael also composes his own music and has a strong affinity for music theory. He enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and expertise with guitar students of all ages and levels.
Michaela (Kuzia) Cotoia began studying classical piano at the age of 5. She holds a BA degree in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music. Michaela wrote and produced her debut album and has played in various music venues most notably, Carnegie Hall. Additionally, she has been a vocalist and keyboardist with several bands and Jazz ensembles over the years. Michaela’s two children study piano at Noteworthy and she is excited to be joining the Noteworthy community to share her passion for music with her students.
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Jerry Ulichny has been playing music for 20 years, starting with guitar. During his time studying at University of Vermont and Rutgers University he took up playing piano, bass and drums as well. Jerry has spent the last few years finishing his degree in Jazz Studies, giving private lessons and gigging in the New York/New Jersey area. Though he studied jazz, he loves playing a wide range of music from rock to R&B to funk.
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Graham Orbe is a multifaceted musician specializing in bass, guitar, drums, and piano. His musical journey began at age 8 with the guitar. He is a graduate of William Paterson University. Graham's talent has brought him to perform with renowned musicians, tour North America, and share the stage with the likes of the Allman Brothers and Ziggy Marley. He excels in booking and playing music for various venues and events, creating memorable experiences. Additionally, Graham is a dedicated music teacher, focusing on working with children and fostering a love for music.
Adv. Woodwinds, Piano, Beg. Brass
Krstofer Collier is a dedicated music educator specializing in advanced woodwinds and piano. With a classical foundation from William Paterson University, he has been playing these instruments for most of his life. In his three years of official teaching experience, Krstofer has helped students flourish and fostered a deep appreciation for music while maintaining an active professional presence in various ensembles and orchestras.
Office Manager & Social Media Coordinator
Kristina holds a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Stage Management & Audio Production from Montclair State University. Kristina has stage-managed new work initiatives in the New York theater community, called professional dance shows, and has been a part of band, and choir since a young age. She is a proud Central Jersey native who is excited to bring her love of music and the arts to Noteworthy!
Tori received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. She is a professional theatre artist and director. Her most recent performance credits include the 25th Anniversary International/National Tour of RENT, Shows That Shaped Me, her debut solo concert at 54 Below in NYC, and Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman's Broadway-bound musical, and
New York Times Critic's Pick, Harmony.
Patty Lapinski helps all of the lessons run smoothly and is in charge of scheduling our new students. Patty also operates a video and photography production company with her husband. Their pictures can be seen on our Website Gallery and in our office!