Erik Sayles

Owner/Founder - Guitar

     Owner and founder of The Music Workshop, Erik attended The Guitar Institute of Technology (1989) as well as earning a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance from The University of the Arts in 1993 (recipient of The Faculty Award). His career in education started '93 just after graduating, opening a private studio out of his home as well as teaching at a local music store. In 1998 he opened The Music Workshop Inc. in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia which existed until 2011. In 2007 the second MW location opened in Berwyn, PA. Over the years Erik's teaching has taken him beyond TMW.  From 2014 to 2017 Erik was a faculty member at The University of The Arts. During his tenure there he taught ensembles as well as private lessons for both majors and non majors.

      Erik is as equally passionate about performing and composing. He freelances supporting mostly local singer/songwriters (Ben Arnold, Ben O'Neill (John Legend), Matt Santry, Ginger Coyle etc.).Some notable venues/festivals he has performed at are: the JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz Arts Festival, Knitting Factory Jazz Fest, Sweet Basils, Blues Alley, Rockwood Music Hall, WXPN's Exponential Festival (main stage) and WXPN's Free At Noon. Aside from being active in performance, Erik also has extensive studio experience. Some notable studio contributions:

  • Performed This is My World on Twentieth Century Fox's 2001 release "Shallow Hal" starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black.

  • Multiple Grammy Award Winner and Atlantic Recording Artist Darius Rucker (lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish) 2002 solo release Back to Then.

  • Grammy Award Winner and Sony/Hidden Beach recording artist Jill Scott "Who is Jill Scott?" (This recording was nominated for two Grammy awards and sold over 2 million copies.)

  • EMI recording artist Sakura.

  • Sony recording artist Vivian Greens' A Love Story (2003).

  • Jive records recording artist Raheim.

  • 2001 to present - numerous local artists

       Erik was co-founder and composer for the now defunct TMP/Lolo recording artist Common Ground. This ensemble featured some of the most renowned names in jazz, including: Dennis Chambers (Parliament Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Santana, John Scofield, John McLaughlin), Grammy award winner Randy Brecker (Frank Zappa, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen), Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Black Crows),  Zach Danziger (Wayne Krantz, Michelle Camillo, Chuck Loeb), and James Genus (Saturday Night Live Band, Vanessa Williams, Chick Corea).


Maricia Belgre

Piano | Voice

Syracuse University: Bachelor of Arts
University of the Arts: Master of Arts

Maricia (Missy) Danielle is a Singer, Songwriter and Music Educator who loves connecting with people at the intersection of intellect, love and art. Her work as an artist pulls from a colorful palette of experience including growing up in the beautiful scenery of Central New York, where she watched her parents work as full-time musicians in their band Soft Spoken. Under their tutelage, Ms. Danielle began performing at age 6 and quickly learned to incorporate the sounds of folk, jazz, classical, R&B and Hip-Hop into her own style. By her teen years, Maricia was performing shows in the Central New York area and competing in several national competitions including Act-So, the Essentially Ellington Big Band Contest and more. Her diligence as a young artist led her to earn a Bachelor of Art degree in Voice Performance from Syracuse University, where she studied Opera, and later earned her a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During this time, Ms. Danielle toured nationally each year with the Syracuse University Singers, performing the works of Claude Debussy, Bach, Francis Poulenc and more, and earned the opportunity to perform with many musical pioneers at the prestigious Philadelphia International Records' weekly showcase, which later landed her a yearlong internship as Performance Coordinator.

Maricia's love for teaching is evident upon first meeting her! She has been teaching a wide range of students for over 10 years! Her current teaching projects range from private students to teaching the choir at two local churches in the Philadelphia area. Maricia understands that music is an indispensable piece of everyone's overall learning experience, and makes it her goal to help students not only become better musicians, but also enhance valuable life skills such as listening, self-disciple, self-confidence, communication and team work. She also stresses the importance of music theory, sight singing, improvisation and authentic song interpretation. To her, these things all work hand-in-hand, and are the foundation to becoming an accomplished musician.

Current artistic projects include working as the lead vocalists in the Philly-Based Band, Ode to Omni, and performing her own music regularly throughout the tri-state area. Fans of a naturally gifted yet exceptionally well-trained artist, who draws from the varied wells of Stevie Wonder, Sarah Vaughn, Hall and Oats, Phoebe Snow, and Jessye Norman, will thoroughly enjoy the music and diverse teaching style of Maricia Danielle.

The University of the Arts Master of Music Jazz Studies Syracuse University Bachelor of Fine Arts Voice Performance Teaching Experience: Teaching Music since 2010.

Mary Liz Donohoe

Piano | Voice

Originally from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, Mary Liz came to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts where she earned a bachelors degree in vocal performance.  She began her music career at a very young age, singing in the Talent Olympics located in the Pocono Mountains. She competed annually and over the years took first place in the gospel, country, ballad, and up-tempo categories. Once Mary Liz entered eighth grade she focused her studies on classical repertoire and technique. At the age of seventeen she wrote and produced her own EP titled, "This Crazy Life" and is currently in the process of recording her second EP.

At the University of the Arts she was in numerous ensembles and studied jazz, r&b, neo soul, blues, pop, Motown and funk as well as piano for the better part of her tenure there.  Mary Liz is an active performer as well. Some notable performances include; opening day of Artsquest at Steel Stacks, the Blast Furnace Blues Festival and the International Blues Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. She has performed the National Anthem for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Mary Liz's passion for music and the impact it had on her during her formative years left her with a desire to share this gift. She was a teacher/counselor for numerous summers at Encore theater camp in Hellertown, PA and was the assistant director for Southern Lehigh Middle Schools' production of both High School Musical and Annie. She teaches privately out of her own studio and (in the past) as an adjunct faculty member at The Music Workshop.

Nicolle Bruyette

Piano | Voice

The University Of The Arts: Bachelor Of Arts


Originally from Massachusetts, Nicole began her musical journey at an early age. Starting voice lessons at 11 yrs old her focus was learning classical repertoire and it was not until a few years later that she switched her focus to jazz. During high school she was a member of the New England Conservatory Jazz Lab and Ensemble as well as the Handel and Haydn Society Youth Women’s Chorus. Nicole’s passion for music led her to Philadelphia to study at The University Of The Arts where she was a member of the Philadelphia Pops Chorus as well as a National Anthem vocalist for the Philadelphia World Affairs Council and eventually earned her Bachelors degree in Vocal Performance.

James Santangelo


Ester Boyer College of Music

Philadelphia native, James Santangelo is a prominent force in the tri-state jazz community. James started his piano studies at the age of six. During his high school years he studied privately with University of the Arts faculty member Tom Lawton as well as at the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts in Center City. James attended both the Ester Boyer College of Music (Temple U) and The University of the Arts (Promising Artist Scholarship Award winner). Along with running the jam session at Chris' Jazz Cafe for over three years, James has performed at Ortlieb's Jazz Haus and the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival among others.

James has been teaching both privately and at area music schools for the past eight years and is currently on the faculty at the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts teaching both ensemble classes and private lessons.

James is thrilled to be joining the faculty at The Music Workshop and can't wait to share his knowledge and love for music with his students!

Jessika Brust

Violin | Voice

American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria
Elon University, BA (Cum Laude)
Disney University, Walt Disney World Resort, College Program

Jessika has been teaching at various schools of music and centers for the arts as well as music/theater camps since 2005. She currently works through Source4Teachers/Kelly Educational Staffing as a substitute teacher in the Philadelphia school system. Her performance experience is as extensive as it is varied. She regularly performs everything from jazz standards to rock/pop/country covers to theater work.

Jessika is a well-versed musician with experience in show opera, jazz, show bands, and more. She attended Elon University, where she minored in music and theatre and discovered her passion for opera and jazz. Jessika then went on to attend the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she concentrated on opera performance. 

Professionally, Jessika toured the U.S. fronting a show band for many years, and began playing with other ensembles of several branches of music. She also picked up several roles in different musical theatre performances. Jessika has been teaching violin and voice at Music & Arts for many years, and she is a great fit for all ages and performance levels!

Alexandra Paduraru

Violin | Viola

Alexandra is a graduate of Cleveland State University with her Masters Degree in Music Performance and earned a Bachelors Degree in Viola Performance from The National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania.

Alexandra began studying violin at the age of seven, in her native country, Romania. She attended a specialty music high school in Buzau, Romania where she developed her craft and was a principal member of the school's Symphony Orchestra as well as many Chamber Ensembles.

Alexandra pursued her post graduate studies in the United States having been awarded a full scholarship to attend Cleveland State University in Ohio. She studied under the tutelage of Arthur Klima, violist with the Cleveland Orchestra.

While at Cleveland State University, Alexandra served as principal Violist of the CSU Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble. Alexandra also served as a member of the teaching staff for the String Project Orchestra, which was focused on developing the skills of inner city youth pertaining to furthering their abilities within the field of classical music performance.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Alexandra has continued to perform with a number of orchestras and chamber Ensembles within the region, while sharing her love of music with her violin and viola students. Alexandra takes great pride working with her students on a personalized basis and is motivated by assisting them with realizing their full potential. A patient and committed teacher, she believes strongly in providing positive reinforcement and proven methods to achieve the best possible results both in musical performance and lifetime classical music appreciation.


Michael Simmons

Guitar | Uke | Bass

Boston University: Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Education
Temple University: Masters of Music History and Guitar Performance
University of the Arts: Bachelor of Music - Guitar Performance

Michael Simmons is a freelance guitarist and music educator with over 25 years of experience. He currently serves as Music Director at the Woodlynde School in Strafford, Pennsylvania and is an Adjunct Instructor at Montgomery County Community College where he teaches courses in guitar and music history. He teaches classical, rock, jazz and finger style guitar as well as bass and ukulele. Michael has two sons, one attends Conestoga High School and the other TE Middle School.

Tim Schilling

Guitar | Uke | Bass

A graduate of the University of the Arts (BM Jazz Guitar, 2013), he has been making a name for himself by performing in a variety of genres and venues throughout the country. In 2015, Tim embarked on a two-month tour with Matt McAndrew (of NBC's The Voice) as a direct support act for The Plain White T's on their Guantanamo And Beyond Tour. A short stint in Nashville, Tennessee also led Tim to perform on radio stations in the area with Transoceanic Records artist, Katie Hargrove. Most recently, Tim has worked as guitarist and musical director for Joe Bachman and The Party, a nationally touring cover act sponsored by Miller Lite.

Locally, Tim has worked with grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Ben O'Neill, award-winning gospel producer and keyboardist, Dana Sorey, vocalist Laurin Talese, and The Tiffany Jones Band to name a few. Tim has been a faculty member at the following schools of music; The Lumberton School of Music in New Jersey, Music Nation Academy in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and also served as an adjunct professor at The Community College of Philadelphia.


The Music Workshop

643 Lancaster Ave.

Berwyn, PA 19312

Phone: 610-240-0505

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