|INSTRUCTORS & STAFF
Kristina Maloney brings a wealth of business experience and a love of music to Absolute Music Studios. She initially attended Moorpark College near Los Angeles, California, where she was elected president of the Student Body Association. Subsequently, Kristina transfered to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she received her Bachelors Degree in Communications through the Public Relations Certificate Program. Upon graduating, she worked as a marketing communications specialist for several companies both in Los Angeles and in Paris, France. In 2002, Kristina started her own private company in Los Angeles, Publicity Buzz, where she helped companies with marketing, public relations, website design, multimedia and communications. She has represented businesses of all kinds, from professional sports teams and major hotels to General Electric and the Department Of Defense. Kristina also has a great deal of music education herself, including years of formal piano and vocal training. She has performed with the Center for Theater Arts in Pittsburgh, PA and the Children’s Festival Chorus, one of the premier children's choral ensembles in the country.
As the Studio Manager at Absolute Music Studios, Kristina puts her various expertise to work, including website design, creating promotional materials, interfacing with local businesses, instructor scheduling, accounting and the hundreds of other tasks necessary to run a successful music studio. If there are questions from students, parents or instructors, Kristina’s the one with the answers. Highly organized, completely approachable with a laid-back style and kind demeanor, Kristina is the perfect public face for Absolute Music Studios.
Before relocating to Jupiter, Florida to open Absolute Music Studios, Christopher Maloney spent 16 years in Los Angeles as a professional musician, singer/songwriter and educator. He has toured around the world and has recorded or performed with notable musicians, such as Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, Virgil Donati, Jeff Kollman, Hardline, Lisa Loeb, Chieli Minucci, Phil Mogg (UFO), Brett Garsed and members of Journey, Tears For Fears, Savage Garden and INXS. In addition to recording scores of CDs as a sideman for other artists, Maloney has released two solo CDs on the Sunset Records label, Control and The Terrors Of Intimacy. He is a three-time ASCAP Awards winner, and his songs have been licensed on radio and television in over 25 countries throughout the world. In the U.S. alone, his music has been used on television programs and channels, such as Saturday Night Live, Biography, NBC Sports, CNN and dozens more. His instrumental band, Cosmosquad, released the live DVD, entitled "Lights…Camera…SQUAD!", which received world-wide distribution. Maloney has also writen the instructional book Progressive Rock Bass for Hal Leonard Publishing. the world's largest music education publisher. He has been an artist and clinician for Fender Musical Instruments, Linc Luthier Instruments, Trace Elliot Amplifiers, SWR Amplifiers, Carvin Instruments, Dean Markley Strings and D’Addario Strings. He has Bachelors Degrees in Music and Communications from Oswego State University in New York and a Vocational Honors Certificate from the world-renowned Musicians Institute (MI) in Hollywood, CA, where he was named the Outstanding Student of the Year.
As an educator, Christopher Maloney has over 20 years experience in teaching private and group lessons. He was an instructor at the Musicians Institute for 15 years and was the Dean of the school’s Encore Program for 9 years. He has conducted educational seminars and workshops around the world and has inspired thousands of musicians of all ages to become better players and better people. Many of his students have gone on to great careers in music, including gigs with Rihanna, Liz Phair, A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Lifehouse and ‘on-camera’ performances on the Nickelodeon Channel and the new version of the movie Fame. He was a music instructor at the Boys and Girls Club for seven years, and he is a registered volunteer for the Palm Beach County School District.
It is with this experience that Christopher has chosen the best group of music instructors in South Florida to work with the students of Absolute Music Studios.
Piano, Guitar, Bass, Voice, Ukulele, Drums, Clarinet and Trombone
Greg Kokus is a talented and accomplished musician and instructor with 20 plus years of professional performance and teaching experience. As a gigging musician, he has logged over 3,500 performances throughout Palm Beach County. These shows have ranged from local club dates, private events, large festivals and touring Broadway theater performances. As an instructor, Greg has taught in many different situations with students of all ages and skill levels. He has been a private instructor on his own and at various private lesson facilities. He was also the band director at the Palm Beach County Day Academy as well as instructing at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Greg studied at Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University, where he majored in Music Education.
At Absolute Music Studios, Greg gives lessons in piano, guitar, bass, voice, ukulele, drums, clarinet and trombone. His extensive performing experience makes him equally comfortable playing and teaching rock, pop, blues, jazz and many of the other modern, contemporary styles. His goal is to use his musical and teaching talents to inspire other to their greatest potential.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele
Gary Frost is originally from Bennington, Vermont. He has been a professional musician since 1985 when, at that time, he went on the road with his first rock & roll dance band. The road tours took him all over the country and abroad playing hotel show rooms and casinos until 1989 when he decided to settle in Nashville. Intent on learning the craft of songwriting, Gary quickly began working in acoustic groups that performed original music around Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
In 1993 Gary relocated to Stuart, Florida. He has since made his living working in the local music scene. Over the years he's performed solo acoustic, in duos, trios, and various rock & roll bands including the popular Night Train. Currently he is the guitarist in the Jupiter based band Big Vince & the Phat Cats. He still works regularly playing solo, in the duo Acoustic Soul, and hosting open mic nights. Over the years he has had the opportunity to be the opening act for many artists at numerous South Florida venues including Dr. John at BB King’s Blues Club, Loverboy and The Knack at the Meyer Amphitheater, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds at Florida’s largest music festival, Sunfest.
Gary also teaches guitar and believes that learning an instrument builds confidence, self esteem, and an ability to expand one's social network by becoming part of the music community.
Drums, Percussion, Vocal Technique, Band Sessions
Born and raised right here in South Florida, Sam has taught and performed in everything from orchestras to Broadway-style shows to rock, pop, and funk gigs. He was the drummer for the Christ Fellowship band for 6 years and currently plays in the popular local band The Helmsmen, whose second CD release, "Midterm", includes the single and music video “Rollercoaster”. His work with these highly professional groups gives Sam unique skills in teaching not only drums and voice, but also songwriting, arranging, band rehearsal techniques, and live show production. Absolute Music Studios is excited to have Sam share his deep knowledge of drumming and his wealth of performance experience with his students.
Voice, Vocal Technique, Songwriting, Piano
Helene Kaufman hails from Bara, Sweden, where she started performing music at a very early age. At 15, she was accepted for voice studies at the University of Music in Malmo, Sweden, where she studied for three years. At 19, Disney/Buena Vista cast Helene as the voice of Pocahontas for the Swedish release of Pocahontas and Pocahontas II - Journey To A New World. She also did vocal work on the Lion King II, The Little Mermaid and other films. After moving to New York City, Helene attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to work on her musical theater abilities. She sang in various stage performances in NYC while studying privately with some of the top vocal coaches in the city. Helene moved to South Florida in 2004, where she has been gigging regularly with many different groups in different styles. In addition to her 2006 release "My Favorite Songs", Helene has also released the CD "Small Steps" in which she wrote all the material and showcased her ability to mix pop, jazz, rock and reggae styles. In addition to her numerous pop gigs around town, Helene can also be found performing with the Palm Beach Opera.
At Absolute Music Studios, Helene uses her impressive training and real-world experience to work with vocal and piano students of all ages. Her ability to sing styles as varied as Pop, Rock, Broadway, Soul, Classical, Jazz, R&B and Opera allows her to assist any student regardless of the type of music they like. Helene gives her students the tools they need to become better, stronger singers by focusing on vocal technique, breathing, placement of sound and preparation for performances and auditions. Her experience as a songwriter helps her students begin to create their own music.
Mervyn Johnston(Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Piano)
Originally from London, England, Mervyn Johnston moved to New York in 1993 to study saxophone and music theory with Dave Glasser, lead alto saxophone in the Count Basie Orchestra, and to play the vibrant New York club scene. Wanting to check out the west coast jazz circuit, he moved to the Bay area and studied sax and piano at San Francisco State University, where he also had private instruction with saxophone great Branford Marsalis (Sting, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock). Mervyn received his Bachelor of Music from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he also had a small studio of students. He worked with several high school bands as a leader of their small groups and combos.
Mervyn's experience as both a performer and educator makes him a valuable instructor at Absolute Music Studios. He is currently playing weekly with his own jazz quartet as well as other groups in the West Palm Beach area. He has helped students young and old learn not only how to play better, but to create their own music and sound. Mervyn's understanding of contemporary music allows him to give a special insight into learning improvisation, composition and other skills necessary for today's musical styles.