Develop & Improve Your Musical Abilities

Offering music lessons throughout Ocean County

Garden State Music Center provides music lessons for both beginners and advanced musicians in the Toms River area. You can come to us for lessons for instruments of all types, including: piano, guitar, bass, drums, cello, violin, upright bass, viola, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, vocal, ukulele, trombone, flute and others!

We have a great staff of experienced and highly-educated music teachers on staff ready to help other aspiring musicians develop their skill set. With our patient, kind teachers, you’ll have a great time learning your instrument and your abilities. Read more about each member of our wonderful staff down below:

Guitar

Bill Merritt has been teaching guitar lessons at Garden State Music for 20 years and has been playing for over 35 since he was 4 years old. Bill has played in numerous bands and is a former Union Studio Musician.

Chris Gojdics has over 20 years of teaching experience with a Degree in Music Education from Monmouth University. He is also a dedicated Elementary School teacher. Joined Garden State Music Center in 1994 where he has been helping our students flourish ever since.

Steve Szucs has a Bachelors Degree in Music from Monmouth University as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Georgian Court College. He has been teaching Guitar for over 10 years and joined the Garden State Music Center team in 2009.

Don Fenimore is a New Jersey guitarist and keyboardist,, who studied Vocals and songwriting with legendary Vocal Coach Don Lawrence ( Lady Gaga  and Christina Aguilera ,Mick Jagger and many more) ..he has  been in several popular Tri-state area bands including , "Zyris" a popular NJ hard rock band  that in the 80's featured Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osborne's guitarist) and toured regionally opening for Major recording artist such as ; Poison, Blue Oyster Cult, Zebra ,White Lion, Twisted Sister , Widowmaker,  RTZ , Ace Frehley ,Government Mule ,Bad Lands ( Featuring Jake E Lee ) These days You may have seen him with his trusty acoustic guitar playing cover songs at a Jersey Shore boardwalk bar or Pub.

Drums

Mike Mastropierro has over 12 years teaching experience in public and private settings. He acheived a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from the Technical College of New Jersey. Mike moonlights as a Audio Engineer and is also an avid Ukulele enthusiast.

Steve Bloss - Over 30 years experience. Has studied with many of the world's best such as Tommy Igoe, Will Calhoun, Zoro Bernard Purdie to name a few. Also performed with artists such as Fuel, TM Stevens and many cover bands playing the Stone Pony to PNC. However, Steve is most proud of his many students and has been his pleasure to teach and watch them grow into great musicians.

Piano & Strings

Jennifer Fantaccione is able to teach Cello, Violin, Viola & Piano here at Garden State Music Center. Jenn began playing piano at 7 years old under the direction of Martha Cybyk and Hsin-Ting Feng before picking up the cello at age 10, She has performed as Principal Cellist in various regional and state orchestras. In 2007 Jenn began recording and performing with Jersey Shore native folk-rock ensemble River City Extension, with whom she traveled on numerous national and international tours. Jenn has been Teaching at Garden State Music for over 3+ years.

Shelly Moniz is a talented violinist, specializing in the Suzuki method. She has been teaching for 8 years.

Christine Metzger - Graduate 1985 Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music - Music Teacher/Director of Elementary and College on S.I.N.Y. Choir Director of various churches.

Don Fenimore is a New Jersey guitarist and keyboardist,, who studied Vocals and songwriting with legendary Vocal Coach Don Lawrence ( Lady Gaga  and Christina Aguilera ,Mick Jagger and many more) ..he has  been in several popular Tri-state area bands including , "Zyris" a popular NJ hard rock band  that in the 80's featured Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osborne's guitarist) and toured regionally opening for Major recording artist such as ; Poison, Blue Oyster Cult, Zebra ,White Lion, Twisted Sister , Widowmaker,  RTZ , Ace Frehley ,Government Mule ,Bad Lands ( Featuring Jake E Lee ) These days You may have seen him with his trusty acoustic guitar playing cover songs at a Jersey Shore boardwalk bar or Pub.

Band Instruments

Alex Ciaciarelli teaches all band instruments, Oboe being his his forte. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education with a Double major Piano and Oboe. He also has a Masters Degree in Music Composition from Montclair State University. He taught in Public School for 36 years but recently retired as of January 2016. Alex has been with Garden State Music Center for over 21 years.

David Greenberg specializes in teaching Alto Saxophone. David has a Master of Arts in Teaching from University of the Arts in Pennsylvania. He is currently an Elementary School Band Director at Lakewood Schools. David has been teaching privately with Garden State Music Center since 2009.

Laura Carattini teaches all band instruments as well as Violin. She attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from West Chester University. Laura has 10 years teaching experience and has been teaching at Garden State Music Center for of 5 of those years. Currently, she is also a teacher within the Toms River Schools.

Vocal

Don Fenimore is a New Jersey guitarist and keyboardist,, who studied Vocals and songwriting with legendary Vocal Coach Don Lawrence ( Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera ,Mick Jagger and many more) ..he has been in several popular Tri-state area bands including , "Zyris" a popular NJ hard rock band that in the 80's featured Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osborne's guitarist) and toured regionally opening for Major recording artist such as ; Poison, Blue Oyster Cult, Zebra ,White Lion, Twisted Sister , Widowmaker, RTZ , Ace Frehley ,Government Mule ,Bad Lands ( Featuring Jake E Lee ) These days You may have seen him with his trusty acoustic guitar playing cover songs at a Jersey Shore boardwalk bar or Pub.

Meet the Garden State Music Center Team

Mike Mastropierro

Drum Instructor

Mike Mastropierro

Alex Ciaciarelli

Band Instrument Instructor

Alex Ciaciarelli

Shelly Moniz

Violin Instructor

Shelly Moniz

Jennifer Fantaccione

Cello, Violin, Viola & Piano Instructor

Jennifer Fantaccione

Bill Merritt

Guitar Teacher

Bill Merritt

Jeff Snesko

Guitar Teacher

Jeff Snesko