Meet The Staff
Zach has been playing guitar and working as a freelance musician for the past 15 years. Studying briefly at the University of Akron in the Jazz Studies program. He has shared the stage with many talented acts across the state, and has been working many different jobs in the music world. He is great with students of any age and skill level.
I graduated from The University of Akron in December of 2019. I currently work at Firefly Music School as a drum and percussion teacher where I enjoy helping my students to learn to play drums and percussion. During my time at The University of Akron, I studied percussion in the areas of chamber music, large ensemble, and world percussion. I look forward to helping anyone who wants to further their skills!
Flute, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele
Hi there! I have been playing flute since I was 8 years old, and I am a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). I graduated with a B.M. in music therapy from Baldwin Wallace, in 2019. I have experience playing flute in wind ensembles, orchestras, and small chamber ensembles. I love all genres of music, and making music with people is one of my favorite things to do! I am currently teaching lessons online, but I am still able to adapt lessons for students of all ages and ability levels. I look forward to making music with you!
Drums, Percussion, Brass, Piano
Hello! My name is Matt Murphy and I teach drums, percussion, beginning piano, beginning violin and brass at Firefly. I am a junior at The University of Akron pursuing a degree in Instrumental Music Education. I began my journey as a musician in 5th grade when I joined band as a percussionist. I now play in the percussion ensemble, the steel drum band, the African and Brazil ensembles, the concert band, and other chamber music groups at the University of Akron. I enjoy getting to teach lessons and I love discovering each student's personality. It's so much fun getting to help them grow as musicians. In my free time I love to read, travel, and go hiking with my dog Nyx.
I began taking piano lessons at six and continued through high school where I was active in the school’s instrumental ensembles. While at Akron U, I played keyboards for a band that had recently released an album (now in the Local Artists section of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and was opening for some well known musical acts of that time. That part of my career lasted for seventeen years and involved touring and recording as well other projects including radio commercials and video soundtracks. I’ve had the honor and privilege of sharing the stage and studio with a number of immensely talented people and continue to grow, both professionally and personally I currently work in sales for a satellite radio company, teach at Firefly, am active on my church Worship Team, play on radio commercials/video soundtracks, and occasionally perform live outside of church. I take the responsibility of teaching my students seriously, regardless of their goal musically, and hope that when the practice becomes laborious, it will be a labor of love as it has been for me (usually)
Voice, Piano, Sax, Clarinet, French Horn
Hi, my name is Claire Cogar and I am a 4th year double voice and psychology major at the University of Akron. I teach clarinet, saxophone, piano and voice at Firefly School of Music. I am a double undergraduate major to pursue a graduate's degree in music therapy in the near future. I started clarinet and saxophone in the 4th grade. I have been playing piano for around 10 years and have been taking voice lessons for 4 years collegially. I am in The University of Akron’s Chamber and Concert choir. I have toured both nationally and internationally with these ensembles. I also have been in The University of Akron’s all female acapella group Kanga Blue for 4 years. Teaching is something that I love very much. Being able to assist students while they exceed their expectations is something that brings me so much joy!
Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele
Brian has been playing guitar for eleven years, and has played in groups ranging from small blues trios to large jazz ensembles. He is currently studying jazz at The University of Akron, but his eclectic style also encompasses rock, funk, hip hop, and more. Teaching is something Brian has been doing for six years, and he enjoys it very much. He uses a personalized approach with each student to cater to individual musical interests and goals.
Guitar, Bass , and Piano
My degree is in Composition and Performance from Columbia College in Chicago. I like helping other people have fun learning music, and teaching helps keep me sharp. I play locally with my trio “Operations” at The Nervous Dog Cafe, The Wolf Creek Winery, Northside, and other places. I like jazz, funk, fusion, and latin music. Hobbies would be reading, working out, travel… I want to visit Brazil someday. And, when I was much younger, I did enjoy eating ice cream with pepperoni on it!
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele
Hi there! I’m a teacher and music therapist here at Firefly. I’m a graduate from the University of Akron with a B.A. in music with a focus of voice. I attended Baldwin Wallace for music therapy and am now a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). Music therapy is not only my job, but my passion. I love getting to know my students and believe music can benefit anyone. I enjoy all types of music and enjoy when my students bring me a song or piece I’ve never seen or heard before
Hi! My name is Olivia Beal. I'm a recent graduate of Akron School for the Arts and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory with a major in Vocal Performance and a minor in Italian Studies. I spent a semester in Siena, Italy studying voice and Italian, and eating pasta every single day. Music has been a huge part of my life since age 2. I've studied both voice and piano privately and at the Conservatory of Music. While I was at BW, I also took guitar and cello. Right now, I am now the worship leader at Riverside Alliance Church. In my free time, I love hiking, cooking, painting, and spending time with family and friends. I'm so happy to be a part of the arts thriving in Akron's community!