Piano Lessons

About The Prindle School

The Prindle School is a music school in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts offering private music lessons, classes, and ensembles. We have three convenient locations:

123 Union St., Suite 301 in Easthampton, MA
31 Campus Plaza Rd. in Hadley, MA
221 Pine St., Suite 130 in Florence, MA

We also offer online REMOTE LESSONS to English-speaking students worldwide! Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently only offering remote lessons, but we are still accepting new students to begin right away. When we return to on-site in-person lessons, you would have the option to continue with remote lessons, switch to in-person lessons, or develop a blended approach that uses both types of lessons.

Our faculty have a wealth of experience delivering exactly the right program of lessons for each individual client: young children as they begin their music journey, highly dedicated professional musicians, adult learners who hope to bring more joy into their lives, and everything in between.

About the Instructors

Nate Christy

Nate Christy is a music entrepreneur, producer, engineer composer and performer. He has been running his company, Nate Christy Music, for over ten years. Nate produces with four-time Grammy nominated musician, songwriter, and producer, Larry Dvoskin, whose songs have sold more than 27 million copies worldwide.

Jimmy Robitaille

Jimmy Robitaille has almost 20 years of experience in the percussive arts, and has spent the better part of the last decade exploring various musical styles on the piano and other keyboards. After receiving a degree in Jazz Studies from Westfield State University in 2011, he spent the next several years in Australia performing on cruise ships.  He eventually became musical director and immersed himself in an array of different genres, all the while gaining musical insite performing along side musicians from around the globe. Jimmy has performed in a multitude of local groups including the Berkshire Jazz Collective, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Pionneer Valley blues/rock trio, and The Medicinal Purpose.  He has also worked several times with Berkshire Theatre Group’s productions featuring Broadway-credited cast and directors.   Jimmy believes in exposing his students to as wide of a range of music as possible while also allowing them to direct their focus to technique, theory, and composition.  Combining all this gives Jimmy’s students a much deeper knowledge and appreciation for the music that surrounds them and allows them to improve on their own abilities.

Nina Gross

Nina Gross studied viola and piano performance at Interlochen Arts Academy. She holds her BA and MA degrees from Yale University where her focus was social science and education. She has been a private strings instructor, writer, and musician-composer. She taught elementary music and violin at Atlanta Montessori International School, general music and choral instruction on the elementary level in the Bronx, NY, and Suzuki viola at the Atlanta Conservatory of Music.
Nina has played in several symphonies including The Bronx Symphony, The Yale Symphony, and Georgia Philharmonic. She also enjoys chamber music, studio work, and improvisation.
Nina believes musical expression should be a right for every child. In her teaching, she seeks to establish a strong musical foundation and joyous relationship with music. She tries to meet each student where they are and takes an organic approach, incorporating ear work, body movement, music theory, and the language of emotion and musical expression.

Dan Prindle

Dan Prindle is an experienced performer and recording artist, having shared the stage and the studio with a diverse collection of commercially and critically successful artists. He began his career with Rane, an award-winning rock ensemble who, in addition to becoming a success in their own right, opened for such acts as The Allman Brothers Band, The Jerry Garcia Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Wilco, Rusted Root, and Santana. After working with Rane, Dan became a freelancer, playing bass and cello with artists like Simon Kirke (of Free, Bad Company, and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band), Kurtis John (of The Last Goodnight), Jennifer Hartswick (of the Trey Anastasio Band), Sean Kelly (of the Samples), and Rex Fowler (of Aztec Two-Step). His innovative and tasteful cello playing can be heard on recordings from innumerable artists, notably Frank Black (of the Pixies) and Mark Mulcahy. Dan appears on several tracks on Mulcahy’s 2005 release, In Pursuit of Your Happiness, an album that Thom Yorke of Radiohead called the best of that year.

Janine Neprud

Janine Neprud is a graduate of UNC Greensboro with a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education, and is currently working towards her Masters of Music in Flute Performance at UMASS Amherst. Janine has studied flute for 12 years, with additional background in piano and ukulele. She has experience teaching students of all ages. Her performance experience includes performances with the UNCG Symphonic Band, the UNCG Wind Ensemble, and the UMASS Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Janine took part in the Corciano Arts Festival in Corciano, Italy and lead in the creation and performance of a collaborative work for composer, flutist, actor, dancer, and poet during her undergraduate career.

Judy Bruneau

Judy Bruneau is a well-rounded musician with lots of energy and a passion for teaching. Her father was a drummer and she grew up listening to a lot of big band music which fueled her love for jazz. She also had a great interest in parade drumming and participated in drum corps at an early age, followed by musicals, piano lessons, and her first professional gigs with a wedding band at sixteen.

Judy earned a bachelor’s degree from UMass in Percussion Performance and started teaching during college before moving to the DC metropolitan area and becoming a free-lance musician and traveling teacher. She has an extensive performance background including fife and drums, pop/rock/blues/Dixieland and big bands as well as chamber jazz groups, street bands, wind/concert ensembles, orchestra, cabaret, and musical theater.

A caring and supportive teacher, Judy can help you achieve your musical goals whether you’re just starting out, want to sharpen your skills for school/community band, or just have fun playing a hand drum in a drum circle. Students can take advantage of preparation for auditions as well as learn to fix and maintain their instruments and get advice regarding equipment purchases.

Steve Yarbro

Steven Yarbro is a prolific musician with experience in a wide range of musical styles and capacities. A seasoned performer, his highlights include a tour of the Midwest U.S. and Japan with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble, a feature solo saxophone performance with the Arizona State University Concert Jazz Band, several performances as a saxophonist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and a solo saxophone recital at Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Hall in Honolulu. Yarbro was a founding member and the clarinetist and saxophonist for the Grammy-nominated Dixieland Jazz/Funk quintet The Primate Fiasco from 2004-2014. He continues to perform in a variety of jazz, funk, soul, and folk groups based in Western Massachusetts. In addition to playing woodwinds, Yarbro is also an accomplished pianist, and he is frequently an accompanist for chamber groups and soloists from middle-school-level through University-level students. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Indiana University, where his principle studies were with renowned saxophonist and educator Eugene Rousseau. Yarbro has led a number of instructional clinics in schools in Central Arizona and Western Massachusetts and he has been teaching private saxophone, clarinet, and piano lessons for over 20 years.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in clarinet performance and music education. While at UMASS, Emily has been a member of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Studio Orchestra, Clarinet Choir, Clarinet Quintet, Woodwind Quintet and Oboe, Clarinet and Piano Trio. As a clarinetist, Emily has over  twelve years performing and eight years teaching clarinet students of all ages.  A student of the piano since age 5, Emily has many years of  experience as a performer and teacher to students through middle school. Emily is dedicated to creating and fostering an individualized and supportive approach to learning to optimize her students’ potential to reach his or her goals.

Mical Henriquez

Mical Henriquez is a member of the class of 2020 at UMass Amherst where she is a double major in Composition and Vocal Jazz Performance. She has been playing the violin for 10 years, singing in vocal jazz ensembles for 9 years, and arranging and composing music for 5 years. She is also involved in leadership roles in the UMass community, where she is the president of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and serves on the Religious and Spiritual Life Council. Mical is a multi-talented musician who has extensive experience teaching voice, violin, music theory, and composition. She also teaches guitar, ukulele, and piano to beginning and intermediate students.

Killian Karlsson

Killian Karlsson has been a professional educator, session player, and nationally touring musician for the past 8 years. Since attending Berklee College of Music, he has played with many great artists including Alan Evans (Soulive, Play On Brother), Beau Sasser (Z3, Play On Brother, Melvin Sparks), DarbyWolf (Rubblebucket), and Miro Sprague (Thelonious Monk Institute Graduate) among others. He is a founding member of the Massachusetts based psych-fusion band Mammal Dap, as well as a member of rock/pop group Polar Planet. As a session player Killian teaches a variety of styles and techniques with a central focus on understanding the instrument in a holistic way. This empowers 
students to more fully understand the language of music and excel in any genre or situation regardless of age or skill level.

While attending Berklee, Killian also became part of the college’s first Turntable Ensemble, and became a Teaching Assistant for the Turn Table Technique class. Teaching along side two of the best in the field and leading practice sessions for students Killian gained a deep understanding of DJing, scratching, and beat juggling.

As a writer and producer Killian also teaches music production with Logic as his primary software. He also plays and teaches piano.

Chloe Danitz

Chloe Danitz is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and a focus in Piano Pedagogy. She is continuing her studies in music by attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a Masters student studying Historical Musicology. Chloe is an accomplished and versatile pianist, having won several awards for performance while at CMU, including the John N. Irwin Memorial Scholarship. Outside of her classical studies, Chloe has worked as a church pianist for her local church for eight years, played as a restaurant pianist since the age of 13, and has ten years in private lesson experience, both independently and through the Community Music School at Central Michigan University. Chloe is familiar and comfortable employing multiple styles of teaching and repertoire and can easily compose a teaching method that is most appropriate for you/your student’s goals.

Michelle Prindle

Michelle Marinelli Prindle is an active soprano with a Bachelor of Music degree in classical vocal performance from The Hartt School in West Hartford, CT, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2002. Her operatic roles include Frasquita in Carmen, Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, the Second Lady in The Magic

Flute, and Nannetta in Falstaff. Her sacred music performances include soprano soloist in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Miserere in B Minor and Mozart’s Regina Coeli with Capella Carolina in Heidelberg, Germany, and soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo in Manchester, CT. Recital work has included concerts and lecture-recitals in Salzburg, Austria; Heidelberg, Germany; and Florence, Italy.

She was a soprano section leader and soloist with the Gallery Choir at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, CT for three seasons. Michelle is currently a student of renowned soprano Constance Hauman, and has also studied with Fritz Moses, Benita Valente and Julian Rodescu. Fluent in German, she has studied extensively the poetry of the German Romantics and is a specialist in German Lieder.

Michelle has taught private voice and piano lessons for more than eight years. Her students have been admitted to competitive voice and musical theater programs throughout the United States, including those at Wagner College and the Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and have been accepted to the Eastern Regional and All-State Music Festivals in Connecticut. She is also a diction coach, specializing in German and Italian vocal literature.

Ilana Morris

Ilana Morris is an active vocalist in the Western Massachusetts music scene.  She has her Bachelor of Art degree with a focus on Music and a minor in Jazz Voice from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She discovered her love for singing at the early age of four, and as a former member of the touring band The Alchemystics, she has traveled all over the Northeast performing. From music festivals and concert halls to small theaters, she is most comfortable as a vocalist when she is on stage performing.  Now, Ilana tours with Albany based band, Wurliday.  Wurliday brings together some of the most exciting, dynamic musicians in the live music scene for a lively injection of soul-funk goodness, direct to your ears. Although she has her degree in Jazz voice, she is a versatile vocalist focusing on R&B, Soul, Funk and Pop as well as Jazz.

Jon Carroll

At age 18, Jon Carroll was a founding member of Starland Vocal Band, recording the #1 Pop hit “AFTERNOON DELIGHT”. The group went on to be nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning two, one for Best New Artist and one for Best Arrangement for Voices. Vocal arranging was one of Jon’s roles in the group. Since winning two Grammys at such an early age, Jon has not slowed down as a performer, composer, arranger, producer, songwriter, and musician. His works have appeared in films, commercials, episodic dramas, and comedies. He is highly sought after studio session performer and has appeared on many recordings. His songs have been covered by artists such as Linda Ronstadt (her 80’s hit “Want Love? Get Closer!”), Tom Jones, and Kenny Rogers. He is the long-time keyboardist and backing vocalist for Mary Chapin Carpenter and has done touring stints for countless others including Rodney Crowell, Dixie Chicks, Peter Wolf, and Eric Lindell.

Brian O’Connell

Brian O’Connell is widely known for his kinetic and inventive playing on bass guitar and touch guitar with several bands. Active on the Northeast music scene and beyond for over 20 years, he has performed widely with Uncle Sammy, Gordon Stone, Gary Backstrom, Jo Henley, Rev Tor, Dave Brunyak, Sarah Blacker, under his own name, and with many others.

He currently leads The Brian O’Connell Fellowship, which performs his original rock-fusion compositions and features his bass playing in a lead role. Over the last several years he has been appearing at clubs, festivals, and theaters with The Steal Your Peach Band, a tribute to the music of The Grateful Dead, Allman Brother’s Band, and The Band. Brian’s multimedia theatrical rock opera, Over The Line, debuted in 2012 in Boston, MA. Most recently he has launched a podcast called “Witch Hunt – history told in music, sound, and story”. Originally conceived as a rock opera, Witch Hunt is a prog-rock telling of the Salem Witch Trials in the format of an old time radio drama.

He has had shared the stage or recorded with: Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), Mike Keneally (Zappa, Vai), Prarie Prince (The Tubes), Kasim Sulton (Utopia/Todd Rundgren), Peter Prince, members of moe., and many more.

He teaches lessons on bass, guitar, upright bass, ukulele, piano/keys, and drums; as well as composition, songwriting, and music theory.

Brian has a Music Degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s in Education from Temple University.

Darby Wolf

Darby Wolf is a pianist, organist and keyboardist based in Western Massachusetts.  He grew up studying piano with family friend Mitch Chakour (musical director for Joe Cocker).  He played piano and trumpet in bands with friends in middle school and starting gigging while in high school at age 15.  He continued his education in jazz piano at Holyoke Community College and Umass studying under Ralph Whittle, Eugene Uman, and David Berkman.  Over the years he has toured and recorded with groups such as Rubblebucket (of which he was a founding member), Brian Thomas and Akashic Record, the Bomb Squad with Jen Durkin and Brenna Gethers (American Idol), Ryan Montbleau, blues guitarist Matt Schofield,  DJ Williams (Karl Denson) Shots Fired, Sam Kininger (Lettuce, Soulive), the Band of Killers featuring, Johnny Trama, Toussaint the Liberator,  Nate Edgar (the Nth Power), Alan Evans (Soulive) and he works as a session player for Alan’s label Vintage League Music.  Darby performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, John Mayer’s Mayercraft Carrier Cruise, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and at Chicago’s Millenium Park with Makaya McCraven’s Global Unit. He has played at many festivals including Bonaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, SXSW, Wakarusa, The Ottawa Blues Fest,  All Good Music Fest, Camp Bisco, and the Gathering of the Vibes.

Darby’s lessons tend to focus on the basics (technique and reading) but are easygoing and he enourages students to pick material that inspirers them.  He likes to discuss ear training, improvisation, theory and helps students develop the practical skills required to perform with and accompany other musicians.