Lessons given since 1995

Meet Our Teachers - North

Adam Dunson

Adam Dunson

Adam Dunson began teaching drumset and percussion in 2012. Fun fact: he is a former FMC student under Steve Purifoy, Tom Mears, and Conrad Csogi. He has been playing the drums for 15 years and traipsing through the more elusive jungle of all things percussion for 12. Adam received his Bachelors of Music from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013 and his Masters of Music from the University of Oregon in 2015. Upon graduation, Mr. Dunson was awarded the distinction of Outstanding Graduate Student in the percussion discipline. As a percussionist, he has performed with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Ruby Mountain Symphony, Oregon Percussion Ensemble, The Rogue Valley Symphony, Orchestra NEXT, and the Eugene Symphony. As a drummer he has performed in bars, clubs, rock venues, theater showcases and even on top of a snow-covered Mountain.
Adam also remains active as an actor and singer in the Vegas community. Most recently he had the starring role in the musical adaptation of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” with Super Summer Theater Out at Spring Mountain Ranch.

Arlinda McKinley

Arlinda McKinley

Arlinda McKinly has been a piano teacher for 45+ years and an elementary school teacher for 4 years. She has been with Family Music Centers for over 12 years beginning in October, 2005. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa. She was appointed Music Director for Community Theatre, has directed children’s bell choirs and several musicals, and has directed various children’s and adult choirs.

Bridget Cain

Bridget Cain

Bridget Cain has taught private music lessons for over 25 years and has been the Director of Education and piano instructor at Family Music Center’s North location since 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s Degree from Arizona State University, both in Instrumental Music Education. She has worked as a high school and middle school band and orchestra director, music theory instructor, and was Professor of Piano, Music Appreciation, Popular Music History, and Musicianship for the Elementary School Teacher at Southwestern College and Platt College in San Diego. For ten years she was a performing percussionist with the Flagstaff, Sun City and Mesa Symphonies in Arizona.

David Cabezas

David Cabezas

Mr. Cabezas has been a Guitar instructor since 2009. He is a graduate musician with a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Music, obtained at the San Fransisco University in South America, a University that has a partership with Berkley College of Music. David Cabezas has played and toured with several bands of different styles, in South America, and Europe. Also, David worked on Cruise Ships for 4 years, where he visited several countries around the world, and got to work in many different stages and Theatres. He is currently the lead guitar player of the local Metal band Mastiv, performing 2 to 3 times a month in multiple venues. David has been teaching, providing particular lessons that include the instrument itself, music theory, and stage performance, since he graduated university in 2009.

David Navarette

David Navarette

David Navarette began his professional teaching career in 2008, teaching both private lessons and public school music classes. David is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. At Pacific, David received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Cum Laude. He has also earned the Master of Music from New Mexico State University. David has worked extensively with students in the Reno Philharmonic’s RPAK after-school music program teaching Suzuki-inspired violin and mariachi. At Family Music Centers, David teaches violin, viola, cello, and guitar. In his free time, he enjoys arranging and writing music; his arrangements have been performed by the Reno Pops Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic.

Emily Figueroa

Emily Figueroa

Emily (Talampas) Figueroa has been teaching private lessons since 2014. She began singing and performing at the age of five. At the age of twelve, she was invited to sing with the 9 o’clock church choir at the St. Brenden Catholic church for about two years. Then at the age of fourteen, she became a main cantor for the 8 o’clock church choir. With the same choir, during her junior year of high school, she became one of the choir leaders. In 2011, she competed and won the “Sing with Sarah Geranimo (a famous Filipino artist)” competition where Emily opened for one of Sarah’s concert in San Diego. In 2012, Emily won the “Tawag Nang Tanghalan” singing competition during the Filipino-American convention in Los Angeles. She has also performed with Katriz Trinidad (appeared in the Voice season 7), Marco Sison and Sheryn Regis (known artists in the Philippines). With twelve plus year of voice lessons, she then began learning how to teach from former private instructor, Rolando De Leon, during her senior year of high school in 2012. Under his supervision, she began to teach his students before his retirement. After graduating from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, she continued her education at Grossmont College where she earned her Associate’s Degree in Music in 2016 and also had the honor to sing the National Anthem for her graduating class. She continues her education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in jazz studies with an emphasis in voice. Her ultimate goal is receive a Master’s in speech pathology.

Eben Arias

Eben Arias

Mr. Arias has been a private music teacher since 2009. He began his collegiate studies at the College of Southern Nevada and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Mr. Arias was a member and performed with the award-winning Jazz 1 Ensemble at UNLV, performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival. He has also toured in Latin America with groups such as the San Juan Project and Willy Zavala. He has been awarded the Outstanding Soloist Award at the University of North Texas Jazz Festival. Additionally, he has performed at the Smith Center with Grammy winners/nominees Take 6, Kirk Whalum, Clint Holmes and Nneena Freelon.

Gina Eckstine (voice)

Gina Eckstine (voice)

Gina as been teaching vocal students both private and in group settings for over 25 years. She is the youngest child of model/actress Carolle Drake, and legendary jazz singer Billy Eckstine. Her career began at the age of 7 when she was invited on stage with her father during his nightclub act. Gina says, “From then I was hooked. I knew what I wanted to do…SING!” With family friends like the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan, Gina’s household was a constant source of inspiration and guidance. At age 13, Gina began extensive vocal training and music study. She was a student at the Ira Lee’s Studio, Phil Moore’s,” For Singers Only” Workshop, and the Dick Grove School of Music.

After witnessing Gina’s graduation performance, her father decided that Gina was ready for his “College Of The Road”. She joined her father in his show and traveled the world, sharing the stage with the likes of Count Basie, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bill Cosby. She also had the distinct pleasure of performing on The Tonight Show. After three years with The Billy Eckstine Show, Gina moved to California and started her own nightclub act working exclusively for the La Costa Resort Hotel. Her show was a tremendous success and the Las Vegas connection was made. For 9 years Gina performed in all the major Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

Currently residing in Las Vegas, Gina performs as an opening act for major performers in Las Vegas, most recently for Brad Garrett, at The Mirage Hotel. Gina performs her own show and has recently released a CD “Everything I Have Is Yours,” a tribute to her late father.

Gina Eckstine is a true artist. She performs all styles of music beautifully and her powerful presence and unique voice will captivate you. Blessed with her mother’s beauty and her father’s talent, Gina is definitely a star on the rise!

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Michael New

Michael New

Michael New has been a private music teacher since 2005. He is a diverse instructor, teaching guitar, piano, bass, banjo, and ukulele. Michael earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Kennesaw State University. He continued to the University of Texas, San Antonio for graduate studies, where he earned the 2009 UT Teaching Recognition Award. While in Texas, he served on the faculty of the University of Incarnate Word and St. Phillips Community College. Michael has over 20 years of solo and ensemble performing experience, including appearances with the Cobb Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He is a former adjudicator for the Nevada Music Educators Association and continues to be active in the Las Vegas community, performing in classical and jazz ensembles.

Lillian Roberts (voice, piano)

Lillian Roberts (voice, piano)

Lillian Roberts has been instructing voice for over 20 years. As a soprano, she has performed throughout the US, Central America and Europe. During this time, she has worked with world-renowned conductors such as Eduardo Müller of La Scala, Warren Jones of the Metropolitan Opera, and James Conlon of the Paris National Opera. Some noteworthy performances include roles with Chautauqua Opera, Hudson Opera in New York, and Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. In addition to performing notable roles like the title role in Aïda and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, she has been featured soloist with the Carson City Symphony, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, and the National Television Broadcast of KET/PBS at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Kentucky. During her 3rd Spain tour with the American Spiritual Ensemble, she appeared in a broadcast on the Spanish National Radio at the Santander Festival Internacional in front of the King and Queen of Spain. Ms. Roberts has competed extensively in high profile competitions. She has won numerous times at the District and Regional levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition, Ms. Roberts has won 1st place in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria, and was a finalist in the George London Foundation Competition in New York. While at the world-renowned and prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Ms. Roberts won 1st place in the Oreste A. Giargiari Bel Canto Competition and performed at the Oprah Winfrey Humanitarian Awards as a winner of the Marian Anderson Competition in Verizon Hall. Recently, Ms. Roberts presented a solo concert and voice seminar for Artes Educative Coros y Orquestas de Honduras organization in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and was a guest vocal clinician and lecturer for the Asociación Panameña de Flautistas festival at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música de Panamá and Universidad de Panamá. Other significant training in addition to her Doctor of Musical Arts degree include training at the Aspen Opera Theater Center Music Festival in Colorado, the Martina Arroyo Foundation in NY, the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Slavic Song at the Aldeburgh Festival in England with Bernarda Fink, Lada Valesova, and Anthony Spiri. Additionally, Ms. Roberts is the Founder and Executive Director of Voccalis International.