Music Instructors

From "Queens, Fairytales, and Fantasies" Recital at Longy School of Music, May 2018.
Photo by Huimin Zhu

Akela Franklin

Voice Instructor

Akela is a classical soprano, music educator, theatre director, and arts administrator originally from Oakland, California. She has been singing and teaching in Boston since moving there in 2016 to pursue a Master of Music degree in vocal performance at Longy School of Music. Akela is an accomplished performer on the opera and recital stage alike, and she is passionate about using vocal music as a vehicle for social change. Recent performance highlights include frequent solo appearances at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton, an immersive murder-mystery themed joint recital, the role of Fourth Spirit in Massenet's Cendrillon (Cinderella), and the role of Ghita in Alexander Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg (The Dwarf).

Akela has been an active music educator for the past four years, starting out as a teaching assistant with Boston City Singers. She has since gone on to teach for organizations such as Longy School of Music's El Sistema Program, First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton, Children's Music Center of Jamaica Plain, Community Music Center of Boston, and of course, YoFES. Akela's specialties include private voice lessons, choral activities, musical theatre direction, music theory tutoring, and early childhood general music instruction. She has also been formally trained in vocal pedagogy, choral conducting, acting, jazz studies, and Alexander technique.

Akela has maintained a private voice studio in the Boston area since 2018 and is excited by the opportunity to teach voice as part of the OAMEC program. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in the empowerment of singers through the production of healthy, free phonation. She helps students develop their technique through observation of sensation; discussion of anatomy and voice science; and experimenting with different types of physical, vocal, and emotional expression. Many of Akela's students have enjoyed success performing with organizations such as Boston City Singers and the BSO Children’s Chorus, as well in their extracurricular programs or professional lives.


Akela has been affiliated with YoFES since 2018. She started as a choral enrichment instructor for the YoFES Summer Program and went on to serve as a lead choral instructor for students enrolled Mattahunt Elementary's Touissant L'Ouverture Dual Language Academy. In addition to teaching voice, Akela currently serves as an executive assistant in the YoFES office. 

Hannah Price

Violin Instructor

Hannah Price is a graduate student at the New England Conservatory, studying under the mentorship of Ayano Ninomiya. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, after having begun her studies at Indiana University under the instruction of Sibbi Bernhardsson. In past summers she has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and Litomysl International String Masterclass, among others. Hannah has performed as an orchestral musician in venues including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, and the Meyerson Symphony Center. An active advocate for community engagement, Hannah has been involved in the development of the Musical Storytelling Project and as a participant in programs that bring music and instruction to Grafton Correctional Institution and hurricane-stricken areas of Puerto Rico. 

 

Hannah is a passionate and dedicated teacher of all ages and abilities. As an artist, scholar, and teacher, her efforts and contributions to music aim to propel the value and quality of music education forward, keeping it central to the core of human value in a quickly-evolving world.

Lucy Little

Violin Instructor

Lucy Little is a classically-trained violinist, composer/improviser, teaching artist and Fulbright scholar, with an eclectic background in both music and public service. Described by WGN public radio as an “amazingly talented musician,” Lucy’s musical practice lives on the edge of many styles, inspired by a lifelong exploration of classical, minimalist, modal, and electronic music. In addition to various solo and scoring work, Lucy is a collaborative musician at heart, playing in multiple contemporary and indie rock ensembles and with numerous singer/songwriters. Recent performance highlights include performances in The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Greece, multiple premieres at Jordan Hall in Boston, opening for Le Butcherettes and The Flaming Lips at the Taste of Chicago music festival, at the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest: Chicago Showcase, and at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. An arts educator since 2010 both privately and in community settings, Lucy is deeply passionate about using the arts to support health, wellbeing, and as a tool for positive personal and social change. Lucy spent the 2018-19 year working with Musicians Without Borders as a Fulbright scholar, where she supported their community music training program, led multiple workshops and storytelling projects in refugee centers, and studied how musicians are working to support people seeking asylum and social inclusion practices in the European Union. 

From New York City and Chicago originally, Lucy is a new resident of Boston, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), under the tutelage of Eden MacAdam-Somer and Carla Kilshedt, among others. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Chicago where she studied musicology and composition with Fusun Koksal and Kotoka Suzuki. Lucy is a longtime student of classical violinist and pedagogue Addison Teng and contemporary violinist/composer Todd Reynolds.

 

Lucy’s musical experience and training is rooted in community, having started violin at the age of six with Roberta Guaspari and the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in NYC, a program similar to El Sistema. Currently a Teaching Fellow at NEC, Lucy believes strongly in her community musical upbringing and the importance of music education, and through her work and teaching aims to holistically support her students. Lucy’s teaching specialities include classical music (with a special love for beginning violin studies), general improvisation and composition, folk styles, and more.

Yi-Mei Templeman

Cello Instructor

Cellist Yi-Mei Templeman aims to creatively fuse genres, and to rethink the typical presentation of classical music in order to welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and musical worlds into her emotive storytelling. Yi-Mei has performed throughout Asia, South America, Canada, and the U.S., bringing her music to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Walt Disney Hall, MIT, Jordan Hall and the Nokia Theater. She has spent past summers at Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Institute, Yellow Barn’s Young Artists Program and the BU Tanglewood Institute, where she served as principal cellist. She also toured Taiwan with the National Taiwan Youth Symphony, performed in the 2016 International Piatigorsky Festival, and was principal cellist of New England Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra. A native of Los Angeles, Yi-Mei studied with LA Phil's associate principal cellist, Ben Hong, for four years. Her previous quartet received first place at the Classics Alive Artist Management Competition, and currently, she is the cellist of the exciting professional piano trio, Trio Gaia. Trio Gaia was named an Honors Ensemble at the New England Conservatory, received the audience prize at the Plowman Competition, and are community performance fellows at NEC. For Yi-Mei, generosity is at the heart of music-making. She brought her cello-playing to outreach events for the TED-Ed and Classics Alive organizations with the goal of providing context for classical music outside of the concert hall. Yi-Mei is pursuing a B.M. with Lluis Claret at New England Conservatory of Music. When not practicing or rehearsing, you can find her songwriting, solving Rubik’s Cubes, or practicing yoga. 

Erez Dessel

Piano Instructor

Erez Dessel is a pianist, composer, and educator currently based in Boston, MA. Originally from Ann Arbor, MI, Dessel has been playing piano since the age of six, letting his musical passion guide him through life and leading him to explore a multitude of styles, and creative worlds. While he remains grounded by the music of his heroes, people like Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington, his music has expanded to include the influence of genres ranging from Mandé music of West Africa to 21st century classical music. 

 

After winning two Downbeat student music awards with his high school combo, Dessel went on to study at the New England Conservatory, which he graduated from in 2020 with a degree in jazz performance. In his four years at NEC, Dessel made arts outreach one of his primary goals, which manifested in him leading his quartet, 8 Legs, in over 50 workshops and masterclasses throughout schools, museums, and other Boston community music venues. In 2019 this group was selected to travel to Virginia Beach as parts of the Virginia Arts Festival’s outreach program, where they performed and taught in Virginia Public Schools for a week. Dessel also took study and performance seriously at NEC, where he worked with Ethan Iverson, Ran Blake, Cecil McBee, and Jason Moran. He was chosen to perform in two residencies with Moran and was selected as the pianist in NEC’s 2019-2020 Jazz Honors Ensemble, coached by pianist Frank Carlberg. He was also selected to participate in the 2019 School for Improvised Music workshop in Brooklyn, NY, where he studied with master improvisers such as Tim Berne, Gerald Cleaver, Kris Davis, and Ralph Alessi. 

Dessel’s work extends beyond the piano, as the production director for the Nova Fellowship he planned and produced two multidisciplinary events during the 2019-2020 concert season, one of which was held at the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre and included collaborations with dancers, poets, and visual artists from across Boston. He is also an avid film fan and has scored projects for film students at the University of Michigan, Brandeis University, and Emerson college. In 2019 he and co-composer Evan Wright received a grant from NEC to score filmmaker Chassidy David’s directorial debut, “missing first period,” which will be released in 2020. 

Dessel can be found playing solo, with his own groups, or as a sideperson, at venues that include Cliff Bell’s (Detroit, MI), Wally’s Jazz Club, The Lilypad, Outpost 186, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA), and many more. This past year, Dessel was privileged to join co-collaborator Seajun Kwon on tour in Korea, playing for packed audiences at Club Evans, Veloso, and Una & Q. 

Phone: (617) 364-0370

1234 Hyde Park Ave, Suite 104, Hyde Park, MA 02136, USA

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