Our instructors

 
 
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Ioana Sherman

Owner

Ioana’s passion to share her love of music with others in the community led her to open Harmony Music Studios in 2009. Ms. Sherman is currently owner and director of Harmony Music Studios, teaching piano and woodwinds. She loves helping children to grow not only in their musical abilities, but also in developing lifelong skills that have a positive impact on their everyday lives. She is a member of the National Music Teachers Association and the Chapel Hill Music Teachers Association, where she co-chairs the annual playathon.

Ioana Sherman received a bachelor of arts in music education and master of arts in musicology from the University of California at Riverside. While pursuing her degrees, she was awarded the Arts Bridge fellowship to develop curriculum and teach music to children in inner-city schools. In 2004, Ioana was awarded the William J. Fulbright Fellowship in ethnomusicology to research woodwind instruments in Romania. In 2007, Ms. Sherman’s research was on display at the Duke University Musical Instruments Collection.

In addition to teaching, Ioana has assisted with the collections at DUMIC and previously worked as a curator for the Tuba Exchange in Durham. She is active in the community and often plays in local churches. Ms. Sherman has served as a judge for the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association Festival of Auditions, and her students have participated and placed in the Chapel Hill Music Festival.

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Kimberly Philpott

Studio Manager

A passionate advocate of music education, Kimberly Philpott has dedicated much of her career to broadening music awareness in young people. Kimberly taught at Harmony from 2009-2012, working with students of all ages and levels; she is very excited to be back! She brings over 15 years of experience as a teacher, performer, accompanist and choral director. She is a member of the Chapel Hill Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.  An experienced performer, Kimberly has performed in numerous operas throughout North and South Carolina. As a musical director and pianist she has worked with the Greenwood Community Theater and is currently the Director of Music at Asbury United Methodist in Durham, NC. She is also a freelance accompanist and most recently accompanied for Smith Middle School Chorus.

Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., where she graduated summa cum laude, and a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from UNC Greensboro. She currently resides in Durham with her husband and two children.

Mrs. Philpott is the studio manager at Harmony Music Studios.  She also teaches piano, voice and music theory.

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Alison Weiner—Piano, Melodica, Jazz, Improvisation, Composition

Alison is an improvising musician - teaching, performing, and facilitating community music-making. While working for 21 years as an architectural designer she played music on the side - jazz, R&B, rock, pop, reggae - with all sorts of groups in all sorts of places in and around North Carolina. After two years working and playing music in Hawaii, life brought her to Florida, where she completed the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies (2007) and Masters of Arts (2010) from Florida Atlantic University. She is a graduate of Music for People’s Musician and Leadership Program (2016). Alison has been teaching privately since 2005. You can find Alison performing with her flexible ensemble mahaloJazz at The Eddy Pub in downtown Saxapahaw every Tuesday evening, where jazz meets farm-to-table meals. She is a passionate believer that all people are able to express themselves musically. If you want your student to embrace an instrument as a source of comfort and joy, she will be thrilled to be a part of that process.

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Zach Gossett—Piano, Guitar, Jazz, Composition

Durham based composer and pianist Zachary Gossett is an improvising musician who cultivates a diverse palate across genres. As a sideman or accompanist, Zach has performed jazz standards, originals, big band music, old school salsa, chamber music, solo classical piano, liturgical music, contemporary classical, wedding music, and even touring pop acts. Recently, Zach was the Musician Apprentice for the 2019 American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. As a composer, Zach has arranged for the UNC and NCCU Big Bands, as well as maintaining his own small group collective the Za Um. In 2017, Zach was selected as one of the winners of the UNC 360° Jazz Initiative Composers Call for Scores.

Zach earned his Bachelor’s at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Masters at North Carolina Central University under the tutelage of Dr. Ira Wiggins, as well as great privilege of lessons and clinics by resident artists Joey Calderazzo and Branford Marsalis. 

As a teacher, he emphasizes musicality, ear training, and rhythm, but a primary focus in his lessons is on the physicality of playing an instrument, with the goal of addressing how can our movements enhance our facility at the instrument. He is extremely passionate about connecting music with not just other art forms, but with current and historical events in a way to make it a relevant and enriching part of life. Zach welcomes all levels of piano students, offering composition upon request, and also teaches beginner through intermediate steel string acoustic/electric guitar.

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Erica Fedor—Piano, Music Theory

Erica began her musical journey with piano lessons at age six, followed by cello lessons at age eight. She holds a BA in English and Music from Wake Forest University, where she studied piano with Dr. Louis Goldstein. A lifelong student, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill, and her dissertation explores music as a form of international diplomacy. As an educator, Erica has years of experience teaching piano and musicianship skills to students of all ages and levels of advancement. She loves connecting with her students, and seeks to promote musical excellence through encouragement and game-based learning. 

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Jakob Hamilton—Piano, Organ and Composition

Jakob Hamilton, a recipient of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, graduated with highest honors and distinction with a B.A. in Music and a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019. His principle teachers included Dr. Clara Yang and for the piano and Dr. Susan Moeser for the organ. Hamilton is a recognized performer and composer. Most recently, Hamilton has played alongside artists like the Grammy-nominated concert organist, Cameron Carpenter, on his international tour at venues across the United States and throughout Europe. In addition to piano and organ performance, Hamilton has composed over 100 works for piano, organ, and orchestral ensembles and he served as the head of the Carolina Film Association Composition Guild at UNC. His recent works have premiered throughout Florida and North Carolina. He is currently pursuing his MS in Metabolic Biochemistry and Nutrition at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

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Joe Wilson—Piano, Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute

A recent transplant to Chapel Hill, Joe Wilson is a passionate and dedicated musician and educator, with over a decade of professional experience in New York City, Houston, as well as international touring.   He teaches piano/keyboard, woodwinds, and improv/composition/theory, customizing lessons to guide each student’s individual “artist’s journey”, learning to practice the fundamentals of music via deep study of songs they already know and love.   

As a bandleader, sideman, and as a soundtrack composer, Joe has created and released music in many genres to success on major streaming platforms. He has performed and had works featured in concert halls, clubs, festivals, cinemas, and theaters, including Lincoln Center, Cannes Film Festival, The Jazz Standard, and many others.   

Joe received music and merit scholarships to attend NYU, where he studied film, music, and anthropology.  

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Cloie Dobias—Piano, Music Theory 

Cloie Dobias is a recent graduate of Miami University, where she earned degrees in Music Performance and Psychology. Growing up in Colorado, Cloie learned piano with Marcia Gift and Eileen Horgan, taking collegiate lessons from Dr. Siok Lian Tan in Ohio. During college, Cloie accompanied instrumentalists in the music department, taught piano at Oxford Music Academy, and held leadership positions in various organizations including Miami's Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chapter and the Miami University Choraliers. Her research lab in the psychology department inspired her to consider graduate school, and she moved to Durham for its many research opportunities before exploring graduate programs where she may investigate how music study improves cognitive and social skills, mental health, and self-confidence.

Cloie engages learning musicians with a well-rounded approach to music by incorporating theory and history in lessons, and she believes few things are more rewarding than building authentic relationships with students.