Piano Lab Staff

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.  She has over 20 years experience as a piano teacher in both private and group settings.


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.

Joyce Friedman

Joyce is an experienced piano teacher who joined Piano Lab to learn an alternative way to teach piano in a group setting. Joyce is a dedicated teacher who loves to see her students achieve their goals and most importantly, have fun!

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