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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 freshman at Westminster College studying Biology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine with a Music Minor.   She graduated in 2023 from Franklin Regional School District where she was one of the drum majors.  When she's home she is also a worship leader at Murrysville Alliance church.  


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.

Martin Bour (recording engineer, face-to-face instruction available)

Music has been a part of Martin’s life from a young age having a father who played jazz guitar, wrote songs, and dabbled in other instruments.  Martin started his journey with music when he took interest in the drums in grade school, but eventually switched focus to the guitar during high school.  

His inclination toward the technical aspects of recording and production led him to complete a degree in Music Production and Technology from Middle Tennessee State University.

He appreciates all styles of music, but tends towards acoustic instruments, and enjoys playing music with others whether it be a living room jam or getting to play a gig out.  

He teaches guitar, ukulele, banjo, and music theory.  He enjoys helping others learn and grow in musical knowledge and capability.



Tom Maroon  Music Mentor (face-to-face instruction available) Piano, Voice, Drums, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass Guitar

Tom grew up in Greensburg, PA, and began performing professionally as a guitarist/vocalist in 2010. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2016 and worked in Boston as a music instructor and radio station production manager until 2019. Since moving back to the Pittsburgh area, Tom has continued teaching while writing and recording original music. He is signed to Mint 400 Records as a solo artist and has performed in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Providence.

Tom teaches guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, drum, and voice lessons to students of all skill levels. He especially enjoys working with beginner guitarists and any musicians with interest in composition/songwriting.

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



Philip Graziano, Music Mentor (face-to-face instruction available) Guitar, Voice, Bass Guitar

Philip, is a a multi instrumentalist, with over fifteen years of experience playing guitar and other instruments such as harmonica and lap steel. Philip has been working to teach musicians in Westmoreland and Allegheny county for over seven years. And before that playing in a variety of bands starting in 2014. Bands like Kaeleber, Luke Weltz Band and Saturn VI to name a few. Philip's specialization is in teaching guitar, mandolin, ukulele, bass and banjo. Beginner or advanced.


 His main goal with any student is learning to play songs. Learning songs helps people realize the benefits of their practice habits and studies more immediately. Additionally learning songs let's students see how they fit into bands and the roles they could fill in the music world

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