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Why Manasquan Music Academy

Manasquan Music Academy offers private and group lessons for ages 4 to adult. We provide many performance opportunities throughout the year allowing our music students to showcase what they’ve been working on. While you are here researching the best school for you, please consider the benefits of becoming a Manasquan Music Academy student and find out why we are the area’s number one choice for music lessons.

We teach Piano, Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drums, Rock Shop, Woodwinds, Brass, Jazz House & Ukulele

Meet Our Teachers

Joe Caroselli


Joe Caroselli has a degree in Communications from Seton Hall University. Joe has performed with some of the nation’s best known orchestras, groups, and soloists– including The Temptations, The Drifters, Dionne Warwick, Dick Clark, The Manhattan Transfer, Kelly Ripa, Barbara Walters, and the legendary rock icon Chuck Berry. Joe was the “Chief Drummer” for Disney on Ice, The Ice Capades, the touring company of Jersey Boys, the Broadway shows Grease, Shenandoah, and the Motown Revue at the Ritz Theater. More than anything, Joe helps to develop his students’ skill level and self confidence, and helps to make learning to play the drums “FUN” for them at MMA!

Jim Pellegrino

Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Oboe

Jim Pellegrino was born in Plainfield, NJ and started his musical studies at the age of nine. At the age of fourteen he was a member of the NJ All-State Band on saxophone.
He is a Graduate of Kean University where he received his BA in Music Education. Studied Classical Music with such notables as John Wion (New York City Opera), Harold Bennet (Philadelphia Orchestra) and Engelbert Brenner (NY Philharmonic). Has
performed with many orchestras in the New York and Metropolitan area. Studied Jazz with Jazz Greats Frank Foster (Count Basie Band), John Stubblefield (McCoy Tyner Band) and Jimmy Heath (Saxophone)


Lynley Evans


Education: Lynley obtained her BFA in musical theatre from Montclair State University in 2015. She has performed in numerous main stage productions and was nominated for the 2014 KCACTF Irene Ryan award for the role of Maggie Jones in 42nd Street.
Professional Background: Lynley Evans has been classically trained since the age of eight and has performed in many different choirs including All State Chorus, AMEA honor chorus, Acapella Jazz ensembles, and Show Choir. A Birmingham, Alabama native, she has worked with two-time Tony Award-winning Red Mountain Theatre numerous times as a performer, youth ensemble member, facilitator, and instructor since 2005. Lynley is a seasoned vocal instructor and has been teaching for the past six years freelance and at Mason Music Studios (Birmingham, AL).

Jon Bass

Bass, Guitar, Drums, Ukulele and Rock Shops

Jon Bass primary instruments are bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele, and Drums. Jon currently teaches multiple of our Rock Shop Bands, Bass Camp, Beatles Camp, Songwriting Workshop along with his regular multi-instrumental classes. Graduated from Monmouth University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Music with a concentration in Music Industry. Has been playing a variety of instruments all over New Jersey and the east coast for various artists and organizations.

“I have a deep appreciation for all genres and styles of music. I love being able to introduce people to the wonderful world of music. If you are looking to learn an instrument, come and see me! I will show you just how fun music can be, no matter your level of knowledge. If you’re already experienced and looking to learn more we can take a deeper dive into your instrument and music theory.”

Brendan Ell

Guitar, Bass, Voice, Drums and Rock Shops

Brendan Ell is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist and actor who has over twenty years of experience, performing, teaching and producing music. With extensive touring through the early 2000’s he has performed at many major venues, including, CBGB’s , The Theater of The Living Arts, The Electric Factory, The House of Blues Atlantic City, The Stone Pony, The Trocadero, Joey Harrison’s Surf Club, and more, and has opened for artists including George Clinton, Bob Marley’s Legendary Wailers, Fishbone, Sublime With Rome, Pitbull, The Dirty Heads, The Expendables, amongst others.
He has also worked as a session musician in studios all throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia, and on radio performances including one on Power 99 and on 95.9 The WRAT.
He studied music at the Toms River music Academy and Music Production at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and the Ocean County Vocational School.
His teaching philosophy comes from a deep rooted passion for all forms of music and the belief that “….you should always keep your ears open to all styles of music because you never know where you are going to draw inspiration from….”

Matt Balkovic

Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums, Ukulele and Rock Shops

Matt Balkovic is a NJ based musician and has played over 1,000 live shows. He’s been with MMA for about a year and is currently the lead instructor for 3 of our ROCKSHOP bands. Most recently his student lead band “STRETCH” won our first MMA LIVE! Band Demo Contest!

Adam Malarich


Adam Malarich is a trumpeter in the Central New Jersey area living with his wife and two dogs. He graduated with a Bachelors of Music Performance from Rowan University and a Masters in Jazz Studies from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. You can find him playing various gigs around New Jersey whether it’s in musical pit orchestras, churches, jazz combos, parades, brass quintets, or anything else that may have a trumpet! Besides music he enjoys other arts of woodworking and cooking. He’s been happy to be teaching at Manasquan Music for over three years.

Bryan Brosen

Drums, Bass and Guitar
Bryan Brosen teaches Drums, percussion, hand drums, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele & harmonica. Bryan has studied drumming with jazz legend and author John Riley (Art Of Bop Drumming, Beyond The Art of Bop, Jazz Drummers Workshop), studied drumming with Joe Bergamini, has studied with drummer Dom Famularo as well as many others.  He was chosen to help co-write material for the legendary “Turn It Up & Lay It Down” Warner Bros publication, which is widely used at the Berklee School of music in their music curriculum.  Bryan has worked with and recorded with many bands in the jersey, New York and Philly area. Bryan continues to tour the east coast with the band Screaming Broccolli

Amy Girtain

Bassoon, Flute, Piano and Voice

Amy Girtain is a recent graduate of Rowan university. While at Rowan she studied under Michelle Rosen. At Rowan university she had the opportunity to perform for a masterclass at The Curtis Institute of Music. She was principal bassoonist in the Rowan university orchestra under the direction of Salvatore Scarpa. She was also the co-principal bassoonist in the university wind ensemble which was under the direction of Dr. Higgins. Amy has a great interest in jazz and while studying at Rowan she had the opportunity to perform and work with the Rowan University Lab Band. Some major works that she was able to perform in were: Mozart’s Magic Flute, and Orpheus in the Underworld. While at Toms River High School North, she was principal bassoonist of the Toms River High School Orchestra. She also had the opportunity to be the principal bassoonist of the All-State Orchestra in 2013. Sophomore to senior year Amy was able to perform and work with South Jersey Regions Wind Ensemble and had the great pleasure of working with Bruce Yurko, Jack Stamp, and many other great conductors. As an extracurricular she also performed with the ocean county college concert band. From her freshman to senior year of high school she studied privately with Dennis MacMullin.

Anthony Walton

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano and Ukulele

Anthony Walton is a Brookdale Comm. College Grad and is an active musician in the NJ music scene. Anthony currently teaches guitar, drums, bass, piano and ukulele and is also one of our inhouse Audio/Digital Recording instructors. He has been excited to help people grow musically and encourages his students to “Don’t overlook the basics and try to play every day!”

Dan Hogan

Drums, Guitar, Piano and Ukulele

My name is Daniel Hogan. You can call me Danny or Dan if you like. I am from Bridgewater, NJ and I live in Seaside Park. I very much love to sing, write songs, and compose and arrange music. I especially love to play gospel organ, gospel/blues/bluegrass guitar and bass guitar, mandolin and banjo in the context of Irish folk music, American jazz music on the piano, European classical piano repertoire on keyboards, and as of recently I am teaching myself to play alto saxophone. I play with many musicians locally and around New Jersey, I play keyboards with Jarod Clemons and the Late Nights, and I have my own band the ‘Hogi Berra Orchestra’. At Rutgers University I studied mathematics, economics, and computer science. I love to teach people how to become more fluent in the language of music. I believe all humans are born very apt to understand music. If you can put a song on in the car, and feel some type of way, then you are quite fluent in understanding the language of music. If you can speak, tap a pen, hum, shake any number of limbs, or blink at all you are very much able to communicate musically.

Ryan LeChien

Trumpet, Bass
Ryan LeChien is a trumpet and bass player who began teaching trumpet at Manasquan Music Academy in 2018. Playing bass in both worship groups and a contemporary rock band, his bass playing is all across the spectrum. On trumpet, Ryan enjoys practicing trumpet methods books and transcribing jazz solos from his biggest musical inspirations, particularly Maynard Ferguson and Canadian Brass. He also works as a live sound engineer all along the east coast of New Jersey. It is his biggest dream to teach his wide musical knowledge to his students.

Jacob Wazeka

Jacob Wazeka teaches Trombone at MMA. He is currently a senior in high school and plans to attend college for Music Education. He is a member of many prestigious bands including the NJ All-Shore Band, NJ Region II Orchestra & Symphonic Band, and the NJ All-State Orchestra. He is also a member of the award winning Howell High School Pit-Orchestra.

Chris Catania

Guitar, Drums and Rock Shops
Growing up in a house where music was playing at all times, Chris got his first guitar at age 12. It led him to study at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated with studies in Songwriting and Studio Production & Engineering. He has since formed his band Moonwater for whom he writes, produces and performs with throughout the greater NYC/NJ area and freelances as a recording and mix engineer, having worked in a commercial studio in Manhattan as well as an independent studio in Philadelphia. Chris plays a wide variety of genres but his favorite songs always have a little extra groove to them.

Ashlee Driscoll

Ashlee Driscoll studied vocal performance at Columbia College in Chicago. There she was in many ensembles and performed at the historic House of Blues. She graduated in 2017 and started teaching voice lessons in 2018. With 5 years of experience she hopes to help her students discover their own sound and confidence with performing!

Melanie Hope Long

Voice, Piano
Praised by Opera News for her “bright, vivacious“ soprano voice, Melanie Hope Long is is an emerging young artist in the classical world who is known for her “particularly promising young voice” and lyric soprano. Ms. Long is a graduate of the Mannes School of Music with a Master’s in Music, and also holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music. Melanie has years of experience teaching piano and singing to students of all ages, from kids to adults. Coming from a classically trained background, Melanie teaches her private lessons with an approach in classical technique which can be used in all genres of music! She enjoys helpings students of all levels to understand and enjoy music theory as part of their musical journey. She believes music should be a fun, positive and rewarding experience for all students, regardless of age or level. Her upbeat, positive energy is infectious, and she makes sure every student leaves each lesson with a smile! Melanie’s repertoire and prior opera roles range from Handel to Verdi, as well as brand new opera and workshopping one on one with composers like, Missy Mazzoli.

Fran O'Brien

Guitar, Bass, Drums and Piano
A local to Manasquan NJ, Fran O’Brien previously studied at Berklee College of Music. He is known for being the lead guitarist in the Gabi Cinque Band and Duo. Fran is also an alumni of our very own MMAcademy Summer Jazz Ensemble.

Johnna Orrico

Voice, Vocal Performance and Beginner Guitar

Voice, vocal performance, beginner guitar.