Meet the Instructors

Our Music Instructors are Second to None

Western Reserve Music offers high quality instruction on all instruments and aspects of music including theory and improvisation.

Sean Collins, the founder of Western Reserve MusicSean Collins, the founder of Western Reserve Music, decided after years of teaching that people needed a place that offers quality musical instruction in an atmosphere conducive to enjoyment and learning on an individual basis. Sean received his degree in music from The University of Akron in Jazz Studies and Guitar Performance. He is a protégé of Ohio and nationally known guitarists Dean Newton and Bob Fraser, as well as keyboard legend and jazz great Roland Paolucci, and classical guitarist Steve Aron.

Sean has been in many bands and has performed at Blossom Music Center and other venues across the Midwest and also has his own instructional guitar videos. He is well versed in all respects of music and is accomplished in all styles of music from rock to country.

Álvaro Molina has a Bachelor of Music from the Universidad Industrial de Santander (Bucaramanga-Colombia and is currently a student obtaining his Master’s in Music-Violin Performance at Kent State University. He enjoys making any kind of music as well as teaching. Álvaro has played as a musician in orchestral, chamber and popular groups, playing bass, guitar, violin, viola and piano. He has also contributed to these groups as an arranger and composer.  




Jeremey Poparad guitar instructorJeremey Poparad, guitar instructor, is an Akron area guitarist and bassist who regularly performs with jazz, rock, and fusion groups. Jeremy is a 2006 graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Jazz Studies and Music Composition. He studied with local jazz greats Bob Fraser, Jack Schantz, Rock Wehrmann, Rich Shanklin, and Dean Newton. He can be seen and heard performing with various jazz and rock groups. You can learn more about Jeremey on his website, www.poparad.com.

Josephine (Josie) Wright is a student at The University of Akron pursuing a degree in history. She is a member of two choirs, a section leader in one of her choirs and also takes piano lessons at the university. Josie has been playing piano since she was four and singing in esteemed choirs and ensembles since she was nine.

She loves playing the piano and singing. Josie’s repertoire consists of everything from Chopin and Beethoven to Les Misérables to Whitney Houston and everywhere in between. She is a strong sight reader, adding to her many musical talents. Josie is always striving to broaden her musical horizons and help others do the same. She has a passion for teaching and helping others come to love music and grow in their musicianship. 


BJ Bishop brass instructorBJ Bishop, low brass instructor, received his bachelor’s degree in music performance from The University of Akron studying under Ed Zadrozny and Jack Schantz. There he won the annual Concerto Competition open to all students.

Since graduating, BJ has performed with such notable groups as the Youngstown Symphony, Bobby Selvaggio’s “Jazz Hendectet Collective,” The Temptations, and many others. He is well versed in reading music as well as playing by ear and improvising. BJ brings his wealth of knowledge to help his students whether they are working on marching band rhythms or jazz band chord changes in a conceptual manner conducive to the student.

Andy Flanagan drum instructorAndy Flanagan, percussion instructor, received his Bachelor of Music from The University of Akron. He was a student of Dr. Larry Snider and Mark Gonder for jazz/drum set, and Matt Dudack for steel drums/improvisation. Andy has performed with The University of Akron Steel Drum Band, playing various venues throughout Ohio, African Ensemble and Brazilian ensemble, as well as various jazz combos, contemporary percussion ensembles, and rock groups.

He has also performed with the Paragon Brass Quintet and The University of Akron Brass Choir. He also has experience working with students with both learning and developmental disabilities. Andy is currently the percussion instructor for Kent City Schools.

Jeff Rice, woodwind and piano instructorJeff Rice, woodwind and piano instructor, is a graduate of Kent State University and Berklee College of Music. Jeff has over twenty years of teaching and performing experience. Through hard work and dedication, Jeff provides his students with a wealth of knowledge in regards to all aspects of music including the basics, music theory, improvisation, and other advanced techniques. Jeff has studied and performs all genres of music both locally and nationally. He uses these experiences to inspire and motivate his students in an educational and fun learning environment.

Calvin Miller, percussion instructorCalvin Miller is a percussionist currently attending the University of Akron double majoring in music education in percussion performance. Calvin graduated from Manchester High School in 2012. After graduation, Calvin Miller joined the 122nd Ohio Army National Guard band and attended the Army School of Music in June of 2013. He is a currently member of Copali, a Funk Fusion group in the northern Akron area.

He has also played in numerous groups in the University of Akron School of Music including: Symphonic Band, New Music Ensemble, Steel Drum Band, Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz combos, and many more.

Adrian Ramirez is a classical oboist and teacher with professional music theory training. He has more than a decade of performing experience and has taught oboe at Aubrey ISD and in the Corpus Christi area. Adrian is trained to teach Trinity College music theory and oboe curriculum.

Adrian has associate’s degrees Oboe Performance and Music Theory/Composition from Del Mar College and bachelor’s degrees in Music Theory and Oboe Performance from the University of North Texas. He is studying for his Master’s in Oboe Performance at the University of Akron. His mission is to teach and perform music theory and oboe with an emphasis on contemporary works. Adrian utilizes them to inform his performances and teach the mechanics of his music to others.

Watch his performance on YouTube.

Steve Curry, drum instructorSteve Curry has been teaching and playing drums professionally since the age of 18. He currently performs with The Gap Mangione Big Band and with upstate NY jazz singer Nancy Kelly. Extensive past performances include legendary saxophonist Joe Romano, Spyro Gyra guitarist Chet Catallo and pianist Andy Calabrese. In addition, concerts and tours include Chuck Mangione, Mickey Rooney, Frank Gorshin, Howie Mandel, Donald O’Connor, Kenny Rankin, Mark Murphy and Cornell Dupree to name a few. He also played with vocalists Austin Giorgio, Jackie Foster, Britton Buchanan and other members from the TV show “The Voice”.

Steve has performed on various movie soundtracks and jingles for TV and radio. He also played drum and percussion in a number of theater productions mostly at Geva Theater in Rochester, NY. Teaching experience includes Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY; Eastman Community School in Rochester, NY; and the Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, NY. Steve had his own studio in East Rochester, NY and in the late 1980s created a group through Young Audiences to perform in schools called the New Millennium Jazz Quartet. Steve studied drums with jazz legend Vincent Ruggeiro and percussion with John McNeil of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ti-Li Nastycz, piano and voice instructor, is a 2006 graduate of The University of Akron’s School of Music where she received her degree in music, specializing in piano and voice performance. In 2003 she received her certification of piano pedagogy, also from The University of Akron.

Her experience includes eight years of teaching piano, voice, and music theory and piano and voice instruction at the Talent Tree in Hudson, and is the Interim Conductor of Children’s Music at Messiah Lutheran Church in Akron. Currently, Ti-Li works as the mezzo-soprano soloist and section leader at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton. She also performs with the Canton Symphony Orchestra Chorus and performs across Ohio and Pennsylvania. Ti-Li teaches at Medina City Schools. She has an eclectic teaching approach, focusing on the learning style and need of each student as a guide for her individual instruction.

Rex Allen, guitar/bass,/banjo/mandolin instructor studied music at both the University of Akron and Kent State University. Having formed his first band at age 11, by 16 he attended school in the day and played local clubs at night for the next six years. Leaving college, he assembled and toured the mid-west for seven years with Hott and Rampage. Adept at all styles, Rex’s main goal is to “pay it forward” passing on a lifetime of knowledge to the next generation of musicians.

Liam Brown is a guitarist currently living and teaching in Hudson, Ohio. Liam began playing guitar at age 11 and has lived a musical journey that took him through many different playing styles, from rock and metal to funk and jazz to country and folk.

In addition to teaching, Liam has also had experience as a guitar tech, and enjoys working on the instruments that he plays and teaches. Liam is currently a STEM student at the University of Akron, pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. 

Interested in lessons? Get in touch over on our lessons page!

Western Reserve Music offers high quality instruction on all instruments and aspects of music including theory and improvisation. We also provide expert on-site repair service for all instruments. In addition, we offer student instrument rentals for band and orchestra. We also buy and sell new and used musical instruments and musical merchandise. We look forward to serving you and helping you to make music an important and enjoyable part of your lives.