Teachers Bios

Dan Perriello

Percussion Instructor


Since graduating from George Mason University in 1999, Dan Perriello’s career as a drummer and songwriter has included performances at major music venues, award-winning recordings, and critically-acclaimed original compositions licensed to major television networks.  A passionate drumming educator and hand technique devotee, Dan has absorbed Jim Chapin’s “Moeller Method,” Joe Morello’s “free stroke” approach, and legendary teacher Alan Dawson’s “Rudimental Ritual.”  In his nearly 20 years in education, Dan has taught with both Fairfax County and Loudoun County public schools, and his percussion students have consistently won top spots in school jazz and All-District bands, with several going on to study music at the university level and pursue music careers of their own. Dan Perriello has been teaching at Mintons Academy of Music since 2009. 

Shannon Rivera

Piano & Woodwinds Instructor


Piano and woodwinds teacher Ms. Shannon is devoted to giving her students the same enriching musical opportunities she experienced growing up in Loudoun County.  A product of Eagle Ridge Middle and Stone Bridge High Schools, Shannon’s education in music lead her to undergraduate music studies at Longwood University, and eventually to a master’s degree in music from George Mason University.  Along the way she has performed throughout the country and as far away as Taiwan with the Virginia and National Intercollegiate Bands, WASBE International Youth Wind Orchestra, and WASBE World Youth Wind Orchestra, gaining the type of practical musical knowledge that has informed her teaching since she began giving lessons at Mintons Academy of Music in Ashburn in 2010.

Sarah Clements

Piano & Percussion Instructor


Piano and percussion instructor Sarah brings an extensive background in ensemble performance to her lessons.  A graduate of the University of Virginia - where she accompanied Opera Viva on piano, participated in percussion ensemble, and was a section leader in the Cavalier Marching Band – Sarah is currently a member of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra and the Pied Piper Theater Pit Orchestra.  Sarah’s educational philosophy is borne of her own experience as a student: recognizing that success brings success, she stresses problem-solving and self-reliance with her students, leading them down the path to efficient practice and faster musical progress.  Extending a tried and true precept of learning, Sarah says “If at first you don’t succeed, figure out why you didn’t succeed and have a plan to succeed next time.  Then, try again.” Sarah has been teaching at Mintons Academy of Music since 2015.

Thomas Gardner

Strings Instructor


Thomas brings a wealth of professional experience to each of his strings students, along with the same passion for music that he felt discovering music himself as a fifth grader.  In addition to his work as first violinist with the Haase Quartet, and as Assistant Principle Second Violin with the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, Thomas serves as Associate Concertmaster with Tysons McLean Orchestra.  Thomas has studied with National Symphony Orchestra violinists Brian Johnson and Peter Haase, and with Dallas Chamber Orchestra founder Ron Neal, and earned a degree in music education from George Mason University.  In addition to giving lessons at Minton’s Academy of Music since 2013, Thomas teaches strings with Loudoun County Public Schools.   

Phil Kane

Guitar Instructor


Not many people turn down an acceptance to Berklee College of Music, but that’s exactly what guitarist and vocalist Phil Kane did.  Preferring to remain in the musical melting pot of New York City, Phil studied with jazz guitarists Frank Terris, Sal Salvador, and George Barnes, and obtained a BA in music education from the City College of New York.  He also studied with vocal and performance coach Billy Shepard, and channeled his early inspiration from groups like the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel into a career of performance and education that has included teaching with both NYC and Loudoun County public schools, a role as Musical Director and Cantoral Soloist for a religious school, and appearances as an entertainer at nightclubs, corporate and private events, and assisted living facilities.  Phil has been a great inspiration to our students here at Minton’s Academy since 2017.

Derek Evry

Bass Guitar, Guitar & Piano Instructor


Derek Evry began his career at age 11 in the Washington Opera Company at The Kennedy Center before briefly attending the Berklee College of Music.  As a singer, songwriter and music producer, Derek had his compositions featured on several episodes of the ABC crime drama “Castle,” and in a more than two-decade career as a performer and bandleader he’s played legendary venues and events such as D.C.’s 9:30 Club and the Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas.  Derek has released several solo albums of original material, as well as produced and performed on several albums for various DC-area musicians.  Derek brings his wide-ranging musical taste and experience to Bass, Guitar, Ukulele & Piano lessons at Mintons Academy of Music.

Kyle Alperstein

Strings Instructor


Kyle Alperstein combines his individually focused student-centered teaching style with a sincere dedication to formal string pedagogy to provide his strings students the best of both worlds.  Kyle is vice president and co-founder of Shenandoah University’s chapter of the American String Teachers Association and is also founder and director of Shenandoah Conservatory Cello Ensemble.  Kyle studies with world renowned cellist Julian Schwarz and is currently pursuing his music education degree and performance certificate.

William Mercier

Vocal Instructor


William Mercier is dedicated to helping his vocal students find their voice and develop their unique style.  Bill was an adjunct professor of music and voice at Castleton University in Vermont and has conducted at the Basilica of The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg MD and at the Basilica of The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.  His work as a performer has taken Bill across the country and abroad to Italy and Cuba, performing in oratorios, choral and orchestral concerts, small vocal ensembles, musical theater, and cabarets.  He has also been a high school choral director and performed that role at many churches.  Bill focuses on technique, relaxation and preparation for auditions and has had several students win NCA Cappies awards.

Jesus Franco

Percussion Instructor


Percussion teacher Jesus Franco brings extensive international educational and performance experience to his drum lessons at Minton’s Academy.  A native of Venezuela, Jesus spent three years at the Venezuela National Conservatory where he studied privately and performed as percussionist with the National Conservatory of Venezuela Orquestra.  He also performed with La Candela Orchestra from Austin, in addition to performing and recording with several top Venezuelan artists, including the award winning Rolling Band.  Jesus has composed and recorded music for commercials and advertising agencies, including for El Nacional newspaper in Caracas and communications company Movilnet.  He serves as percussionist at One World Festival Orchestra and performs various styles with DC-area artists.  Jesus has shared his love of drums and music in private lessons for more than 25 years, and has been teaching at Minton’s academy since 2016. 

Contact Us

21690 Red Rum Drive, Suite 157

Ashburn, VA 20147






Pre-school Lessons





School Hours

Monday - Friday       12pm - 8pm

Saturday                     9am - 3pm

Sunday                For events Only

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©  Mintons Academy of Music 2002