About Us

Piano Lab

Meet our STAFF

We have a wonderful and talented team of teachers that bring their own musical experience and talents. But what do we all have in common? We are grateful to have had parents and teachers who protected our musical educations and gave us this lifelong gift. It is now our pleasure to pass that gift to your family.

Marilyn O’Leary

Marilyn is the founder/owner of Piano Lab. She is a professional musician and a piano teacher with 25 years experience. Marilyn was a piano performance minor at American University. Since graduating in 1994 she has worked continuously as a professional musician including 3 years as the pianist for Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra and 15 years as lead singer for Chaise Lounge, a popular DC sextet. Marilyn was trained as a solo, classical pianist before entering the world of jazz and swing ensembles. It is the combination of these experiences that inspired the creation Piano Lab. Marilyn envisioned a learning environment that would create successful, well-rounded musicians who were not only comfortable at the piano, but had the skills and experience necessary to follow their musical inspiration, wherever it led them

John Hayes

John is the Studio Manager at Piano Lab. He is a Shenandoah Conservatory Graduate with a B.S. in Arts Management John had a focus in Jazz Guitar as his instrument while attending Shenandoah University, but was also participating in group piano lessons, classical private lessons, & even classical voice lessons every year. His passion for teaching was also found in college when he was enrolled in a first year seminar course that required him to assistant teacher a fourth grade class at a local elementary school. In addition to Piano Lab, John performs regularly with his band Threesound which he has been a part of since 2011. John is also a member of the Jazz/Organ trio House Band “The Soul Benders” which play Friday’s in Leesburg, VA at Tarbenders Lounge.

Darrin Burrell

Darrin has been teaching music in the DC area since 2011, working as a private instructor and a group instructor with Music for Life Kids, Winterhalter Music, and Learn Now Music Inc. He graduated from Greensboro College with a BA in Music Performance and an MBA from Louisiana State University.

Travis Alexander

Travis has been teaching music since he graduated from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. In addition to playing and teaching piano, he also loves playing and teaching guitar.

Darrell Payne

Darrell directed the Harlem Voices as they performed with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Beacon Theater. He also sang background for Josh Groban at Madison Square Garden and on Good Morning America. As a performer, he has most enjoyed the role of Master of Ceremony for two wedding bands.

“I believe that part of my purpose is to help other people discover their unique skills. Those lightbulb moments are the moments I live for.

Piano Lab is an upbeat, very well planned, safe, clean, and exciting place for students to learn to play WELL, and for teachers to teach well. We get paid to do what we love as teachers @Piano Lab.

Something interesting about me is that I have perfect pitch, I love to arrange songs and six part harmony, and I love learning and discussing how music is influenced by nature.”
JURI FOTO

Juri Nardelli

Juri studied piano in Italy (bachelor) and in the Netherlands. (master), obtaining both of the degrees with the maximum score and honours by the commission. In 201, he made his debut as a soloist with an orchestra in Siena, (Italy), performing Rachmaninov piano concerto n.2. Currently, he works as a performer, teacher and opera repetiteur.

“My favourite thing about teaching is the connection that creates between the student and the teacher when they both experience something beautiful about the music.

I chose to teach at Piano Lab because it is an honored job in an organization with a well structured system and a serious management. A lot of work is being done to ensure that the students have an efficient learning platform and at the same time I feel trust for my work capacities.

One dream (and goal!) I have for the next years is to move to an Island. I would love to live in a place surrounded by the ocean. I have many places in mind that could fit, such as Okinawa (japan), or New Zealand, or Canary Islands. I would also like to have a farm and many animals with me!”

Susana Gallegos

Susana Gallegos was born in Granada, Spain.  After finishing her bachelor’s degree in her hometown, she decided to expand her knowledge and perspectives on music by studying in Freiburg, Germany with an Erasmus scholarship and studying her Master of Piano in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Her enjoyment of sharing the wonderful experience that music is has led her to develop a special dedication about working on projects in conjunction with other musicians, sharing chamber music performances and working extensively as an accompanying pianist and as a teacher.

Sonia Warrior

Sonia has been learning piano and sharing her love for music for over 12 years. She has received numerous awards and has played at prestigious halls all over the country, including Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has been involved in teaching underprivileged gifted students for over 5 years, through the renowned American Youth Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras. She has also participated in the NVMTA piano festival and National Guild Audition through the American College of Music, earning the highest possible score every year.

“My favorite part of teaching is watching students smile after learning a new piece of music. I chose to teach at Piano Lab, after realizing how much of an impact music can make on one’s life. An interesting fact about me is that I just adopted two very large dogs from a shelter!”

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