Here at SSR we believe that everyone has the ability to be a great musician. So to help out, we have gathered some of the best instructors around to teach you to play like a pro. Our instructors are specialized in multiple instruments and are active musicians who have dedicated their lives to music. We can teach to any level or ability. Whether you are just starting out or getting ready for your next tour, Soul Search Records is the place for all your needs!
Meet the Instructors
Teaches: Guitar, voice, beginner level keys
Brian Caine has been performing for over 10 years. He is experienced in genres from hip-hop to classic rock, and delivers a style all his own. He is an honors graduate of Berklee College of Music with a dual degree in Music Production and Engineering and Music Business Management. Prior to Berklee, Brian was classically trained as a vocalist by Georgia Marandino. He fine-tuned his skills at Berklee with Joey Blake (performs with Bobby McFerrin). Brian learned guitar and piano from his father a semi-pro guitarist and an educator of educators. As a producer and sound engineer, Brian has worked with musicians spanning different genres and cultures including Grammy Award winning sound engineer Hector Ivan Rosa (Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, El Gran Combo). He currently offers voice, piano, guitar, and music theory lessons to students of all abilities.
Teaches: Guitar, bass, beginner level keys, music reading and theory
Ernie Gerardo is from Cleveland, Ohio, where he has taught guitar since high school. He was also a member of his school show choir, jazz band, and orchestra. As a senior, he also took an internship assisting his own guitar teacher, and learning how to deal with students of different ages. To make a long story short, he's got a lot of experience in music education.
When not teaching, Ernie wears a lot of hats in the music industry; he is a producer, engineer, composer, songwriter, and a multi-instrumentalist.
He's been Brian's production partner since they met at Berklee College of Music in 2006.
He is a 2010 Berklee graduate with dual degrees in Music Production & Engineering and Music Business/Management. You can learn more about him by clicking here
Teaches: Guitar, bass, music reading and theory
After picking up the Bass around age 12, Phil Crayton attended Berklee College of Music and received his bachelors in Music Production and Engineering & Music Business. While working across many genres, Phil specializes in Indie, Alt. Rock, and Pop with a strong focus on production, artist development, mixing, and mastering. Before coming to Soul Search, he worked as a freelance producer and engineer working with a variety of bands across New England. Outside the studio, he currently works as an accomplished manager in the music products industry.
Dan found his love for music at a young age. He grew up in a home of musicians and was surrounded by different styles of music. It only makes sense that Dan would choose a creative career. At the age of 13, Dan began studying the guitar with a local guitar instructor in Clinton, NJ. After taking private lessons for 8 years, Dan went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he learned and adapted many different styles and techniques.
After experiencing Boston, Dan decided to move to New York City to establish his career as a guitarist. Since then, Dan has been playing for many different artists in some of the city's best venues. In playing with these artists, Dan has had the fortune to share the stage with such names as Big Sean, Nick Jonas, Flo Rida, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, JLo, Jason Derulo, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen and more.
Aside from his live work, Dan has also been active in the studio, where he has recorded for a variety of genres and artists like Wale and Matt Nathanson. Currently, Dan is working as a guitarist for a handful of NYC based groups and is working hard every day to establish himself as a force in the New York music scene.
Kaitlin is a graduate of the prestigious Musical Theatre program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center and played leading roles at regional theatres including the Bucks County Playhouse.
Some of her favorite credits include Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), The Music Man (Marian Paroo), and Into the Woods (Cinderella). Film and television credits include Confessions of a Shopaholic, Law & Order: CI, Gossip Girl, and MTV's Camp'd Out. Kaitlin has directed and choreographed numerous shows such as Seussical Jr., Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr., Oklahoma!, FAME Jr.!, Once on This Island Jr., and Godspell Jr.
Kaitlin has been a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing since 2010 and is currently the NJ Vice President. She is also working on getting her Master's Degree in Vocal Pedagogy through Westminster Choir College.
For the past eight years, Kaitlin has held a private studio of over 50 students. Kaitlin is so excited to be joining the staff at Soul Search Records and spending her days doing what she loves best - teaching voice. She welcomes students of all ages, and looks forward to teaching them how to build a solid vocal technique, expand their self confidence, and express themselves through music!
Teaches: Bass, Piano, and Music Theory
Justin is a bassist, composer, producer, and NJ native. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with degrees in Bass Performance and Film Scoring and with minors in Conducting and Video Game Scoring.
Justin has performed and/or recorded with David Fiuczynski, Jojo Mayer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Kenwood Dennard, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Paula Cole, Don Was, The Doubleclicks, Nona Hendryx, and Peter Eldridge.
As a teacher, Justin aims to produce well-rounded musicians and instill in the student not only technical proficiency but an intuitive understanding of musical language. Justin strives to equip and encourage the student to interpret and create music through his or her own developing musical sensibilities, and to take ownership of his or her own education.
Justin welcomes students of all ages and experience levels to explore the joy of music making!
Teaches: Guitar and Piano
Mike Palazzi has been working with Soul Search Records since the Fall of 2012 and began teaching in 2015. He has been playing piano for 17 years and guitar for 15 years. Mike has played in various bands as lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist. He has performed in shows across New Jersey, including the Skate and Surf Festival along side Fall Out Boy, Time Flies and Macklemore. He loves teaching and looks forward to working with any future students!
Justin Di Ricco
Justin has been actively playing and studying drums for over 20 years. He studied privately with professional drum instructor and performer Joe Bergamini from 1998 until 2003. As a Mountain Lakes resident, Justin has learned many different instruments throughout his years of education including Piano, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Tuba. During high school, he performed in the concert band, pep band, brass quintet, jazz band, and pit band. Since then, Justin has continued his love of drums by performing in many different local bands, as well as touring up and down the east coast. Besides being a lover of music and performance, Justin owns BoonTunes, a small music venue located on Boonton Main Street. His mission is to provide a safe and clean environment for people of all ages to perform or just to have fun and enjoy a show. While teaching, Justin's goal is patience and understanding. He knows there are many different levels of talent that each student presents and strives to accomodate their personal needs. His biggest goal is to share his knowledge of music with his students with a smile.
If you would like to visit our state-of-the-art facilities and meet with the instructors, give us a call at (973) 588-5557.