top of page

Team Biographies

Our instructors are among the most talented and experienced in the industry. It would be our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you.

Sharon Bratton, Founder, Music Mentor / Coach (piano, music theory, team-building) (on-line and face to face instruction currently available)

Passion for music and passion for developing individuals to their fullest potential, combined with ambition and drive, Sharon cares deeply about our community, particularly our young adults. A musician from the age of 4, she developed her keyboard skills through private instruction at Duquesne University, and continues to use those skills today through various opportunities of teaching and playing. With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Duquesne University, she has enjoyed a career in manufacturing operations and service management where she's had the opportunity to learn good process development, continuous improvement and other management skills. She's been able to develop and challenge individuals, leaders, and other companies to reach their full potential through various performance management avenues. Over the years, she's developed curriculum to improve teamwork and communication. She is thrilled to be using those talents to develop people to their fullest potential. Sharon is the Worship Director for Murrysville Alliance Church, and the founder and co-owner of 12th Octave and currently teaches private piano and music theory lessons and team-building workshops.

I am a musician, an engineer, a mentor; my desire is to leave things better than I found them; I am a sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, friend. Suicide breaks my heart; cancer breaks my heart; human trafficking breaks my heart; seeing people make bad life decisions breaks my heart. I am thankful for the One True and Living God who saved me from myself and, through His Son Jesus Christ, has saved me from my sins. I am confidently persistent, boldly creative and passionately determined that I may inspire others to live a life that ultimately matters. --Sharon

Dan Jonczak, Co-Founder (guitar / bass) - Forever in our Hearts

A lifelong musician, Dan began guitar lessons in fourth grade, but didn’t have a full appreciation of music until he began playing in a band in 7 grade. Throughout high school and college, Dan played in a band, often-times 5-6 nights a week. He has a degree in electrical engineering and has enjoyed a career developing new products along with developing people. Dan has played with various worship bands over the years and recorded CDs with them. In 2019, he partnered with Sharon to become co-owner of 12 Octave, LLC.

Sadly, Dan lost his battle with cancer on August 2, 2022 and went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus.  He will be forever in our hearts - his legacy will live on in our studio forever. 

Chris Volpe, Music Mentor (Trumpet, Guitar, beginning Voice): (on-line and face to face instruction available)

A lifelong passion for music drives singer / songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Christopher Volpe. Starting his musical career at 15 years old, Chris played trumpet in local dance bands, and continued performing throughout his college years. Studying music education at Saint Vincent College, and music performance at Berklee College of Music, provided a blend of both classical and contemporary musical training. The 70s & 80s disco / funk era, presented the opportunity for Chris to develop skills as an arranger, while and performing with: The Macurdy Brothers, New World Connection, Buddy & The Allstars, and Airtight. After touring with Airtight, Chris joined with former band-mates to form the band Masquerade, where he developed his skills as bassist, guitarist, and vocalist. In 2011, Chris began hosting the Open Mic at the legendary Speal’s Tavern, in New Alexandria Pa. This quickly became a popular performance venue for hundreds of talented musicians, and has become a rich environment for musicians to meet and collaborate. Chris now hosts additional open mics and songwriting clinics, at several other venues as well. He is currently performing as a solo artist, and with his trio; Three Good Reasons, and also performs with Crawdad Joe and The Agway shoplifters.

Colin Childs, Music Mentor / Recordning Engineer (percussion) (on-line and face to face instruction available)

Colin has over 10 years of experience as a percussionist, specializing on the Drum Kit. Studying under Pittsburgh Symphony's Jan Fung, Colin has experience performing on Concert Snare, Marimba, and Timpani. While obtaining his degree in Commercial Music Technology from California University, Colin also participated as a percussionist in Guitar Ensemble and Concert Band. Additionally, Colin spends time as a freelance recording and mixing engineer.

Tiffany Bratton, Music Mentor (Ukulele) Currently unavailable

Tiffany began singing at the age of 5, and shortly after began piano lessons with her mom. Since then, she has picked up flute, ukulele and guitar as well. Tiffany is currently a senior at Franklin Regional High School, where she was one of the drum majors, and a worship leader at Murrysville Alliance church.  She will graduate in 2023, and pursue a degree in biology/pre-veterinary medicine. 


Cara Remaley, Music Mentor (Piano, Flute) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available, both individual and group)

A Pittsburgh native, Cara has been interested in music her whole life. Beginning with the flute at age 9, she took private lessons and played in her school's band and church's orchestra. After beginning the piano in high school, she decided to pursue her passion of music at Grove City College, where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Music in 2011. During college, she played in Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Flute Choir, and Flute Quartet. Upon graduation, Cara began teaching private flute and piano lessons, which she currently teaches, averaging 20-30 students. In the past, she has hosted semi-annual student recitals at churches and nursing homes in the Pittsburgh area.

Beginning in 2013, Cara began her freelance performing career at local nursing homes in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Currently, she performs at 25-30 nursing homes per month including assisted living, dementia care, and independent living facilities. She also performs for Weddings Ceremonies and Cocktail Hours, Funeral/Memorial Services, and Special Events such as Art Shows, Anniversary Dinners, Phipps Conservatory, and Kentuck Knob.Cara is a substitute Flute player for the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra.

Cara also teaches piano, flute, and voice for Duquesne University's City Music Center.

Cara is a member of the Pittsburgh Musicians' Union (Local 60-471).

Her website is:

Rebecca Harr, Music Mentor (piano, flute, clarinet) (face to face instruction available, both individual and group)

Rebecca Harr began studying piano at the age of 5 and the flute at the age of 10, followed by clarinet a short time later. Her music studies began in South Korea, where studying instruments was part of daily academic expectations. While living in Canada, Rebecca continued studying music and competing in local and regional competitions. She attended a small Christian college, majoring in music, but eventually completed her education with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counselling. Rebecca has taught piano, flute, and clarinet privately for 25 years and is excited to bring her love for competition to the 12th Octave. Rebecca is able to work with children and adults and can accommodate learners with emotional, educational or developmental disabilities. She enjoys seeing all students succeed and scales, scaffolds, and paces lessons appropriately to match the needs of the learner. She teaches students in a variety of styles from classical to sacred to jazz and is looking forward to meeting and teaching you or your loved one.

Jim Burger, Music Mentor (guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available)

Jim has been teaching for over 30 years, and welcomes students of all ages and all levels of playing. His approach is to teach them how to learn how to learn. Since he knows all students learn differently, he does his best to discover individual goals and interests and help students achieve them. He works with students to find the balance between enjoyable experience and reasonable challenge – he teaches playing by note and chord, recognizing that reading music is not necessarily always required to enjoy playing music. Jim teaches multiple instruments and multiple styles of music, and shares our enthusiasm for developing people to their fullest potential!

Jeanne Kane, Music Mentor (piano, voice, drama) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available)

"Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world"   Martin Luther

Jeanne Kane loves music and loves to share it with others! She began studying piano as a child, then added voice when she entered her teens.  A graduate of Grove City College with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, she began teaching for the Franklin Regional School District in 1989.  For the better part of the next thirty years, she taught for the district.  Other teaching experiences include private voice and piano lessons, a music director position at the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, and a teacher at several preschools.  During these years, she continued studying voice at the graduate level.  Currently, she also teaches at Stage Right! School for the Performing Arts, where she also performs in professional company shows.  A huge fan of Broadway musicals, Jeanne can be seen in musicals in many of the local theaters.  In her younger days, she was a member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh as well.

Jeanne is enjoying an "early retirement" status from the public school system, while finding ways to teach and share music in ways that are enjoyable and fulfilling.  She feels that this new adventure with 12th Octave is a Godsend because it allows her to work with people of all ages and grow as musicians and as people. 

Joe Scheller, Music Mentor (bass guitar, guitar, sax, clarinet) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available)

Joe has been performing and teaching professionally since 2009 after he graduated from Kutztown University with his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. Joe specializes in several instruments including the Saxophone, Acoustic/Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar. He received his Masters in Music Education (concentration in Music Technology) in 2015 from West Chester University.

Joe is the Director of Worship Arts at Charter Oak Church - Crossroads in Greensburg, and plays the Saxophone with the Derek Woods Band. Joe recorded his singer-songwriter album “Remembering the Atlas” in 2014. He is also featured on Derek Woods Band albums “The Question” and “Picture Yourself”. Joe was the recipient of an award from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for best Americana/Folk song “Unforgiving Tree” from the Derek Woods Band in 2020. He has been in bands that have shared the stage with groups such as Jefferson Starship, Allman Betts Band, and Melvin Seals & JGB.

Lee Stevens, Music Mentor (Violin) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available)

Lee is a violinist and aspiring composer based in western Pennsylvania, currently studying music for a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Seton Hill University.  From a young age, Lee has admired music and would dream of composing and performing. Through his studies and musical performance, Lee has discovered a passion for playing violin and composing music. His favorite aspect of teaching violin is watching his students develop a passion for music and learning.  His favorite students to teach are those who wish they had studied violin as a child

bottom of page