The Instructors

Ryan Chilcote

Director & Instructor

Brian Maag


Brian is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist with a deep performance history. As a composer, performer and collaborator, he brings his versatile and “big-picture” understanding of music to his lessons with any given instrument.  His broad performance history and work in varied types of venues brings a valuable perspective to aspiring musicians. His love of all kinds of music and experience in many genres makes him a musical educator who can align with the interests of his students, and offer not only musical instruction, but a vast knowledge base for them to build on.  Brian loves to pass on his love of music and use his teaching experience to further the goals of other aspiring musicians. He currently offers lessons in instrumental technique, music theory, improvisation and composition.

Tyler Straining


A versatile musician with a broad range of talents, Tyler is able to offer instruction based on each student’s skill levels and goals. He teaches a wide variety of students from beginner to intermediate levels on all types of guitars (Classical, Acoustic, Electric and Bass) embracing all styles of music, offering unique lesson plans individualized to each student. Tyler always meets the students at their level whether the student reads tablature, sheet music, lead sheets or simply learns by ear. Tyler has taught all age groups from 5 years of age to 72 years of age, and finds great value in making sure that all of his students are prepared for a lifelong journey in making music.

John Scarpato


John’s background includes studying standard guitar and music theory under his father, Johnny “Hagen” Scarpato, a well-known South Philadelphia big band/jazz guitarist. He has focused on working with singer songwriters in songwriting & arrangement, pre-production & studio production. John’s ability to share the basics of guitar with others makes him an excellent choice for beginning and intermediate students. The beginning guitar student is introduced to the basics of standard guitar playing & music theory. As the student advances, they are able to apply the basics learned and their developing skills in a direction or style of guitar playing they choose. John encourages his students to have fun in attaining their musical goals. He is also available for group instruction.

Julie Moffitt


Julie began teaching soon after leaving music college. She enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels. Her specialty areas are folk and folk-rock, as well as beginning classical guitar. Lessons address the individual students’ goals, whether it is playing for pleasure or with a career in mind. Julie focuses on a strong grounding in technique: rhythm, notational skills, and interpretation. With this foundation, the student is well-equipped for a variety of genres. With more tools and skills, students are freer to express themselves musically. Julie also enjoys helping each student find their own special relationship to music. Lessons are geared toward drawing out the musical ability unique to each.

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