Applause Music Academy instructors are highly influential performers and pedagogues in the industry. In every lesson they teach, they convey their rich experience, knowledge and passion. They are determined to help our students learn, grow and succeed. Emphasis is placed on making lessons fun, yet instructive. Get to know our talented team below, and feel free to reach out with questions.
Dr. Tigranuhi (Tig) Han is the founder of Applause Music Academy. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder as well as Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from California State University, Fullerton. A native of Armenia, Dr. Han initially started her musical journey with her mother. She inherited her mother’s love and enthusiasm for teaching and has been teaching for over 20 years. Dr. Han continues to maintain a busy private studio as well as teaches piano and fundamentals of music to intellectually disabled students at Coastline Community College. Her private students have presented recitals at state and national conferences and have been awarded numerous prizes and distinctions at competition. Dr. Han’s goal is to enhance every student’s natural musical ability and to instill a lifelong love and enjoyment of music in each and every student. She makes learning fun and frequently integrates games and technology into her lessons.
Dr. Han is an active member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). She has served as the president of CU-MTNA Collegiate Chapter. Always eager to learn and hone her teaching skills, Dr. Han continues to attend local and national conferences, masterclasses and lectures. She has been inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society – a distinction for students who demonstrate academic and artistic merit and are nominated by faculty members. She is also a member Mu Phi Epsilon International Professional Music Fraternity and served as the Vice-president of Delta Rho Chapter in Boulder, CO.
Alyssa Mueller earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in General Music at Vanguard University of Southern California in 3.5 years. She sung both Alto I and Alto II in Vanguard’s Women’s Chorus. She was an avid member of Vanguard’s NAFME club during her time there. She participated in Vanguard’s New York tour in 2019 as an alumnus, with their Women’s Chorus and as a member of the Coastal Community Choir. She has been a member of various music associations throughout the past five years, including the Kodály Association of Southern California and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Alyssa is currently attending Southwest Baptist University in Missouri where she is pursuing her Master’s in Christian Ministry with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry. After completing her Master’s Degree, she intends on working at a local church as the Children’s Pastoral and Worship Director. In the meantime, she continues to take voice lessons with various vocal coaches, including Alexa Cappelli, a former participant in the vocal television competition “The Voice,” and teaches piano, voice, and ukulele at two studios in Glendora Ca.
Abigel Szilagyi, performs regularly as a violin soloist and chamber musician in California and throughout the United States. As one of five winners of the prestigious 2016 VSA Young Soloist International Competition, she performed as a soloist at the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Abi’s list of awards and scholarships for her artistry is long and full of world-class competition, devoted hard work, and success. She has studied and performed around the globe. From the Luzerne Music Center to the Cambridge International Strings Academy in England, to Paris with Quatuor du Lac through the Lake Avenue Community Orchestra (LACO). Abi has been a part of LACO and the greater Worship and the Arts ministries at the Lake Avenue Church for many years, including many solos with the Chamber Symphony.
Abi studied with Danielle Belen at the University of Michigan School of Music. She is currently in transition to a school in the Southern California area. She plays on a violin made in 1919 by Leon Mougenot in Mirecourt, France.
Patrick Wolfe graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an emphasis in Music Production. Patrick has studied and has experience in advanced music theory, performance, songwriting, arranging and recording. He has performed many times in various ensembles and bands and has learned a lot from those experiences on how to perform well while playing live.
Patrick has experience teaching guitar and piano to students of all ages and skill levels. He likes to encourage whatever it is that the student likes about music. He teaches his students solid fundamentals and technique and also gives them an opportunity to try any material that genuinely interests them. For Patrick, making sure his students are having fun while truly learning at their own pace is very important.
Brazilian-Chilean, Griblas Lizama began his cello studies in 2005 at the age of 14 at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios Cláudio Santoro, in his hometown Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, at the Bulgarian Professor Emília Valova's Class.
In 2009, he started taking classes with Belarusian professor Anton Minenkov, completing the course in 2013. In the same year, he was approved in the audition of the Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra, the main Orchestra of the famous Amazonas Theater, of the famous Amazonas Opera Festival and one of the most active orchestras of Brazil, being the first Amazonian born in Manaus to be part of a cello section composed only by Russians, Italians, Bulgarians and Belarusians.
He was a member of the Experimental Orchestra of Amazonas Philharmonic, Amazonas Chamber Orchestra, Amazonas Philharmonic, Mariuccia Iacovino Symphony Orchestra (RJ) and California Young Artist Symphony numerous presentations in Brazil, Argentina and USA.
He has a degree in Music from Claretiano University and is currently part of the certified artist program in the class of renowned cellist Dr.Marek Szpakiewicz at Azusa Pacific University in California.
Gabriel Teixeira holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Composition from the São Paulo State University, Brazil. With several years of experience teaching piano to all ages, he helps each student to find the best way to develop their skills at the piano. Gabriel is also a licensed Suzuki Method teacher for Piano and Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE).
As a composer, he recently premiered one of his movie scores at Warner Bros. Studios and got Second Place at the 2022 8SW Composer Competition in New York. Currently, Gabriel is pursuing a Master's degree in Music specializing in Composition.
Samuel has been playing viola for over a decade and piano for about two. He studied music and chemical engineering at California Baptist University where he was involved in several chamber and ensamble groups. Sam continues to play through his church and compositions for smaller ensambles.
His first passion is music and it is his goal to impart that to his students. Throughout the lessons students will not only learn the fundamentals of their instrument but they will also learn music theory and auditory ear training, including pitch dictation and sight singing, regardless of their instrument. Music should be fun! With this in mind Sam tries to include a variety of games and puzzles to help students learn and grow in their craft.
Dr. Justyna Misiewicz began studying classical piano in her home country, Poland. During her studies at Opole University, she also learned to play the organ and studied church music. Before moving to the L.A. area, she lived for five years on Catalina Island, where she played the organ at a local parish and taught piano lessons.
Justyna continued her musical interests at California State University, Los Angeles, receiving M.A. in Music and teaching credentials. Justyna has been teaching piano to young children as well as professional adults. In 2019, she received a Ph.D. in Musicology and M.A. in Piano Performance from Claremont Graduate University. During her doctoral studies, she served as a Research Assistant and received a dissertation award and a grant to conduct her research in Cracow, Poland. Justyna is interested in the early music and piano compositions of the 19th century, especially works of her countryman, Chopin. Currently, Justyna teaches piano at three music schools. She loves to share her musical interests with her students and hopes they will continue piano playing for a lifetime.
Magdaline Kovalchuk is an American born Russian/Belorussian cellist and pianist who was born and raised in Whittier, CA. She was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Boston Massachusetts and Washington D.C., taking home first place Gold in each ensemble. She would often create her own quartet/trio groups to perform in front of local stores and monumental galleries within the area.
She was a part of the Whittier Area Youth Orchestra (WAYO) run by Deborah Carnahan, performing in various locations such as Disneyland, Skyrose chapel, and was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall with her ensemble.
Magdaline was given a scholarship and the opportunity to pursue private lessons with her previous teacher, Wendy Velasco where she later received a scholarship to perform at the SoCal Chamber Music Institute and perform as a cellist for a quintet over the summer.
She is now an active member of the California Young Artists Symphony (CYAS) where she recently performed at the Royce Hall and is studying cello with her current professor Dr. Marek Szpakiewicz as well as piano with Dr. Éva Polgár at Azusa Pacific University. She is also a part of the APU chapel team and continues to work as an independent musician in the Los Angeles music scene.
Raphaela Lacerda holds a Bachelor's degree in Music with a specialization in Conducting from the Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. As a violinist and educator, she has participated in several courses and masterclasses with internationally renowned violinists and pedagogues. Raphaela is also a licensed Suzuki Method teacher for Violin, Viola, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE).
As a conductor, Raphaela has conducted prominent orchestras such as the Santo Andre Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo State Youth Orchestra, Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, and San Bernardino Symphony, among others. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's degree in Music with a specialization in Orchestral Conducting. Also, she is the Orchestra Director of the World Music Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the APU Symphony Orchestra and Diamond Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Luíza Rosas Ribeiro is a Los-Angeles-based flutist who has a beautiful and sweet sound that enchants the people who listen to her. Miss Ribeiro is from Northeast of Brazil and holds degrees in flute performance and pedagogy from the Federal University of Paraíba.
She played as a flutist at the Paraíba State Youth Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the University of Paraíba, João Pessoa Municipal Symphony, Academia Jovem Concertante (Touring Musician) and Wind Orchestra of the Évora University and the Orchestra of the Évora University during her one year exchange program at the University of Évora in Portugal. She attended various masterworks music festival such as Barra Mansa International Music Festival, Music in the Mountains Music Festival, Flute Festival of the University of Évora in Portugal, Music in the Mountains Music Festival, Eleazar de Carvalho Music Festival, Brasília International Summer Course and many others.
As a flute professor, Luiza taught two social projects at Paraíba state: PRIMA Project (Programa de Inclusão Social através da Música e das Artes)- El Sistema-inspired and Gente Que Encanta, a non profit initiative. Luíza is a recording artist on three Albums, one entitled Fuloressendo with her forró band called Fulô Mimosa, and the others with two different artists from Brazil. Luiza performed three different recordings of distinct Brazilian styles of music: forró, progressive Brazilian rock, and more. One of them is entitled Fuloressendo with the band Fulô Mimosa, a brazilian group composed by 7 woman, and the other recording were with two different artists from Brazil.
Ms. Ribeiro is currently studying with Gary Woodward, former principal flutist of the Los Angeles Opera, at Azusa Pacific University and is working in the Artist Certificate Program.
Jessica Ornaghi is a percussionist and drummer with over 15 years of experience in orchestra performance, ensembles, recitals, and teaching. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.
She recently received her master's degree (2022) in performance with full scholarship from Azusa Pacific University, with professors Raynor Carroll, Mark Converse, Yuri Inoo, and Bill Schlitt.
In Brazil, Jessica played with several orchestras, participated in several festivals and competitions, and in 2016 she was part of the European tour of the YOA orchestra.
Since Jessica arrived in the US, she has been playing freelance with orchestras and ensembles and teaching percussion and drum set to kids and adults of all ages.
Lexi Ho King Chan started playing piano at age 3 and fell in love with music since then. She originates from Hong Kong, where she received her Master of Arts in Music with distinction at Hong Kong Baptist University. She is very experienced in teaching the UK ABRSM syllabus for both piano practical and theory exams. She was awarded a distinction in Diploma Class and a Teaching Excellence Award from the Hong Kong Community of Arts. In 2015, she was the first runner-up in the Diploma Class at Hong Kong Asia-Pacific Youth Piano Competition. By adopting various teaching pedagogies, she is passionate and able to teach in different styles for students of all ages and needs.
She is especially patient with young learners, as she has worked with many young children in the past years including music playgroups in Orff music centers. In addition, she strives to foster learners' interest in music, while creating a fun, safe, and dynamic learning environment. Lexi also has prior experience in performing piano in professional settings namely wedding parties and vineyard cocktail events. In her leisure time, she enjoys transcribing various kinds of music into piano arrangements. She can speak fluent English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese.
Mr. Armando graduate from CSUSB with major emphasized in music education with advanced skills in guitar, voice, and music theory. Armando Salazar educates music in the field of heavy metal, Spanish classical, opera and art songs for voice. He is actively performing in local/national performances, writing, producing songs and musics, group and private music lessons.
Leslie Aguila has been playing the violin for over a decade. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from Cal state University San
Bernardino and is pursuing a 2nd Bachelors of Music with concentration in Violin. Leslie is involved with vocal jazz, concert choir, and orchestra; she also specializes in folk music and plays with world class leading mariachi performers worldwide. As a violinist, vocalist, educator, and performer, Leslie continues to perform on stage locally and nationally with professionals, at amusement parks, and with world class Mariachi groups.
Leslie has left her imprint passionately in her community at her local church where she volunteers and hopes to do the same with her
students, she is fluent in English and Spanish and has worked with students of all ages and skill levels. She teaches the foundational knowledge and helps her students grow while making her lessons enjoyable for students of all ages. She helps them build the confidence they need for performing.
Cristian Granados, a very energetic instructor, has always had the passion not only in creating music, but also sharing how music can be impactful in someone’s life. Cristian is a full round percussionist, but mainly plays drum set. He has put himself in many different ensembles varying from different genres and styles of music such as rock, jazz, pop, and his favorite, fusion. His experiences allows him to be versatile and make any musical challenge possible. His goal is not only to make his students proficient and go far beyond but to also have fun.
We welcome beginners and all levels no matter what age!
Applause Music Academy provides Music Lessons and Classes to students of all Ages and Levels of Ability. To offer you easy access to our services, we have convenient locations in Glendora and in Rancho Cucamonga. We specialize in tailoring our instruction to your individual strengths to help you progress quickly and reach your goals.