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.
My name is Andy Flowers, I’m 18 years old and have been playing drums since I was 9. I grew up in a musical family which encouraged me to pursue music as a passion. I went to Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts as a middle schooler. There I was involved in many different percussion groups. Over the years I’ve continued to regularly play drums at Grace Church Bath Campus and in a band with my brother called Deepwood Drive. I enjoy playing music and sharing my passion with those around me. I am attending the University of Akron as a financial planning major.
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
Hello to everyone reading this, my name is Claudia Vaccaro and I also help out with the scheduling and administration here at Firefly. I am a graduate of Firestone High School and a current junior studying Music Therapy at Cleveland State University. Just as Makayla said, working at Firefly is an enjoyable experience because I also have been playing music for quite a while. I took piano lessons for about 9 years and am self-taught on guitar. In high school I was in the vocal program at Akron School for the Arts, and at one point was a part of every choir at FHS. I am a voice primary in school, so I do a lot of singing, both in collegiate ensembles and choirs and various bands, worship teams and solo projects on campus, at my church, and with friends. After college, I am looking to pursue a master’s degree in ministry or music therapy and use my degrees and education to help others. In my free time, I enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family. Stop into the office sometime and say hey!
Hi all! My name is Ange, and Firefly has been a part of my life since I was six years old and started coming here with my two sisters for piano lessons. Throughout middle/high school, I also studied flute and guitar, and eventually joined the admin team. I stepped out of the office for a few years as I finished my Applied Mathematics major and Piano Performance minor from the University of Akron. Growing up, if I wasn’t singing/playing music, I was dancing, so from there I spent a few years teaching and working as a rehearsal assistant at a local dance school, which led me to spend a year in Brazil training with a professional ballet company! I kept up with my music while I was down there, serving in my church’s worship ministry.
Now I’m back in Akron, and thrilled to be back behind the desk here at Firefly Music School. So stop by, because I’d love to help you get set up with some music lessons of your own!