Our Teachers and Musicians!

Cindy Kresch, Director 
Cindy Kresch grew up playing many instruments, with cello and piano being her primary passions. After college and graduate school, she entered the corporate world, but after having her first child, Cindy rediscovered her love for music in a mommy & me class with her son. She was then asked to teach, and for the last fifteen years Cindy has been leading family music classes, first in Montclair, and then in Upper Saddle River. In 2007, Cindy brought Music For Aardvarks to Ridgewood, and since 2008 she and co-Director Sean Kiely have expanded the program to include three locations in Waldwick, Glen Rock, and Westwood. She loves bringing the joy of music and play to all the families in her classes.  Cindy lives in Allendale with her two beautiful children and she dedicates this program to the memory of her husband Ken, who relentlessly encouraged her not just to sing and play, but to share her love of music with others.
 Sean Kiely, Co-Director
Sean has been playing guitar since childhood, and teaching music since 2002. He graduated from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale in 2000, and earned degrees in Music Studies and Creative Writing from William Paterson University in 2005.  

Sean began by playing guitar with Cindy when she started the program in 2007, but soon switched to teaching classes more and more.  He loves leading classes and sharing his deep love of music with so many young families in the area in which he grew up!
Merri Kapiloff, Teacher
Merri Kapiloff grew up singing in choirs and performing in musical theatre. She spent her undergraduate and graduate years studying Child Development, Child Life and Parent Education. She has spent many years working with children and families in a hospital setting. Merri has always had an appreciation for the role music can play in a child's development. Merri has been teaching Mommy and Me classes at the Glen Rock Jewish Center for the last several years. She lives in Glen Rock with her husband, 2 sons, a guinea pig and a rabbit. Merri is very excited to be teaching Music for Aardvarks!
Laurel Nakai, Teacher
Laurel grew up in Pennsylvania where she could often be found belting out the Sesame Street theme song at the playground! At 13, she picked up the guitar and started writing songs of her own. She earned a BA in English at Temple University, where she also took advantage of the dynamic music program, participating in the choir and taking music classes whenever she could. As a young college grad, she used music as a way to connect with and inspire students through her job with a non-profit in Paterson, NJ. Laurel has performed on a park bench, a Roman piazza, a palace, and everywhere in between. Now a published children's author, she found a new love in writing children's music as well. Some of her music can be found on KidLit TV, where she created several theme songs for their children's book inspired shows. Her two little boys are constantly telling her to stop singing.
 
Tom Kiely, Guitar/Teacher
Tom is currently a senior pursuing a Music degree at Ramapo College of New Jersey, concentrating in Performance and minoring in Theater. He first began playing guitar with A Hum Music in 2012, and has backed up every teacher over the past 4 years! In 2015, Tom began teaching classes as well, and loves both leading classes as well as backing up on guitar. He has had a deep love of music, instilled and taught mostly through his family and the educators of the Allendale school districts, for as long as he has memories. “Working with A Hum Music has given me the opportunity to share the gift of music to many wonderful families throughout Bergen County. I am grateful to be a part of such a fun and rewarding musical experience.”
Pat Van Dyke, Guitar
Pat Van Dyke is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and band leader.  Equally comfortable behind the drums as he is writing at the piano, Pat has released a number of records to an international audience in recent years.  His original music has been featured on TV networks such as FOX, NBC, MTV, VH1, & Comedy Central and he has performed at world-class venues like The Blue Note Jazz Club, NJPAC, and the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.  Aside from playing guitar with A-Hum music, Pat maintains a busy teaching schedule with private students on drums and piano.  Pat is a father of 3 and enjoys pizza, potato chips, and bike rides.  Hi favorite color is blue, and his favorite movie is The Burbs.
 
Joe Bussey, Guitar
Joe has been playing music since he began taking guitar lessons in middle school.  He has a music performance degree from Rutgers University in upright bass and also plays classical piano.  His performance credits include many years of touring with gospel great Joshua Nelson and frequent freelance work with jazz and world music notables.   He has been teaching for the last 15 years and loves working with children.  He lives in Montclair with his wife and son.
Zach Smith, Teacher
Zach was born in Massachusetts, raised in North Carolina and now lives with his wife in Maywood. He first started playing music in high school when his parents bought him an electric guitar. A decision they soon came to regret as his bedroom was right next to their office! Despite the occasional noise complaints Zach has been studying music ever since, teaching his self to play any instrument he could get his hands on. He studied Theater at Appalachian State University and Performance at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. Zach has been teaching Music for Aardvarks and other mammals ever since he came to the city in 2011. When he isn’t teaching he can be found playing in bands throughout NY and NJ putting his multi-instrumental skills to good use. Zach is passionate about connecting with people through the joy of music and is excited to share his joy with Bergen County.
Chevonne Ricci, Teacher
Chevonne Ricci started playing the piano and taking dance classes at 3 years old; she’s been obsessed with all things music and performance ever since! Chevonne attended Swarthmore College, where she majored in Music. After college, she toured as a live background singer for UK artist Estelle, and later on sang live backgrounds for Lady Gaga’s MonsterBall world arena tour. Chevonne was also a contestant on season 3 of NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice,” where she worked with coaches Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera. Currently, Chevonne teaches voice and piano at Architekt Music in Butler and fronts local original rock band The Fuzz with her husband. She loves being a part of the A Hum Music family - her own early start in music programs has changed her life for the better and has inspired her to show others the true joy of music and movement!
Kristin Werking, Guitar/Teacher
  Kristin is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Music Production at Full Sail University. She has had a passion for music and singing since a young age, learning to play various instruments including cello, guitar, and piano. She has sang in choirs, led music at her church, and performed in an ensemble and city orchestra in Freiburg, Germany. Music also translates into her down time, as she spends much of her free time writing and creating her own music of various genres. Kristin began as a new member of A Hum Music in early 2018 as the first female back-up musician and has also been trained in teaching her own classes. Since she loves working with children,  A Hum Music has given her the opportunity to combine her passions and share her love of music with children and their families. 
A Hum Music offers Music For Aardvarks family music classes in Waldwick, Glen Rock, & Westwood
in Bergen County, NJ. All of our classes are parent-attended "mommy & me" classes, and each one
features two teachers -- both a class leader and a backup guitar player! Come see what all the excitement
is about, join us for a class today!