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About Maple Avenue Fine Arts Academy

Maple Avenue Fine Arts Academy (previously Shaun’s String Studio) was founded by bassist Shaun Jurek in 2021. 

Our mission is to help students of all ages and levels find their voice and joy in playing music!

Our Values

Our mission is to help students of all ages and levels foster a life-long love of music. We help them find their voice and joy in playing music!

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All are welcome

Music is a language
we all share

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Each student is unique

Lessons are catered to an
individual’s interest and ability

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We connect, share, and
build each other up

Our favorite resources

Buy, sell, and trade used musical instruments and gear in Beltsville, MD

Restoration, repairs, services, and sales of acoustic string instruments

Recording, mixing, and mastering by Sean Robinson

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Maple Avenue Fine Arts Academy is a nurturing and engaging place for our young musician to flourish. Shaun is the best — responsive, flexible, yet also asking for a student's best (and getting it!). Going to the studio feels like joining a community where respect, appreciation, effort and love of the arts surround you. Highly recommend!
Jaime L.
Shaun is the best music instructor for kids of all ages I have ever met (and I've met quite a few)! He is equally talented at patiently working with children as he is at teaching the technical side of the bass. His positive energy is shared with the student and keeps them interested and having fun while learning.
Rick B.
Love, Love, Love the instructors here. Extremely friendly, kind and patient. Their new location is nice, but I can't say enough about the staff. Mr. Mason and his approach to teaching my young son the drums has been wonderful. Mr. Jurek is always welcoming and great with whom to have a conversation. They make you feel like you are part of the family instead of a face at a school.
Mukur H.
Not only is Shaun a very talented musician and teacher, but he’s also been a very positive and motivating person in my life. He constantly encourages me to try my best and supports my goals in every way possible.
Shaun is a good listener; he always has a plan and extra energy to motivate you to play even when you don’t feel it that day. He finds ways to make you enjoy playing and you always end up leaving his class happy and inspired to play more.
I like having lessons because Mr. Shaun makes it super fun.
We are so lucky to have this gem of a music studio in Vienna! My daughter’s cello lesson with Shaun is the highlight of her week; she wishes she could come twice a week. The studio is beautiful and well run as far as payments and scheduling go... but most importantly, the teachers bring great energy and positivity to the time spent with the students— everyone should have a musical education like this!
Susan A.
We love our lessons with Shaun!! He has taught my son bass and guitar since 2019 — through COVID — and now in person. Shaun is so enthusiastic and energetic about his craft. He is great about finding a way to connect with each student. He also teaches my nephews and is wonderful with younger students as well. If you’re looking for a place to fall in love with music, you’ve found it!!
Loretta D.
Shaun has been a wonderful influence and teacher for our son with ADHD over the last five years, teaching him cello for his school's advanced orchestra and improv jazz on guitar.
Pleasant ambiance, great instructors.
Bryce F.
Shaun has been our daughter’s bass teacher for five years. He has inspired her to achieve state and regional honors in both jazz and classical bass.
Shaun makes learning the double bass easier. He’s a lot of fun to work with he also inspired me to play the bass guitar.
Shaun has taught our children for 5 years on bass, cello, and guitar. His consistent positive supportive demeanor has kept our children motivated — especially helpful during the covid and online education era.
Shaun is the best teacher I’ve ever had.
We LOVE Maple Avenue Fine Arts Academy!! Shaun and Aurora are so friendly and welcoming, and you can tell that they put so much love and effort into everything they do (um hello, Studio Ghibli float at the Halloween parade?!) This is an amazing place for any young musician to grow and such a fun community to be apart of! Highly recommend!
Jess T.
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Shaun Jurek

Shaun Jurek

Double Bass, Electric Bass, Cello

Shaun Jurek is a professional upright bass player and music educator. He graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition. Since then he has been performing professionally and teaching throughout the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area.

Shaun has nineteen years teaching experience including ten years as an adjunct professor of music at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland. Shaun currently teaches upright bass, electric bass, and cello, and loves teaching and sharing his love of music with his students!

Eddie Adams

Eddie Adams


Eddie Adams is an experienced cellist that has performed on numerous stages.

His passion for the cello, as well as choir and band, flourished during his high school years when he had the chance to perform with his orchestra at Disney World. His musical journey was featured in The Washington Post, CBS, and Reuters.

Eddie has a rich history of solo performances, having taken the stage with the Washington Sinfonietta and the George Mason Symphony. He held the position of principal cellist with the George Mason Symphony for several years and served as its Music Librarian.

Notably Eddie has performed as a member of the Bach Cello Suites Festival on the Carnegie Hall stage in New York, as well as at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, VA.

Currently Eddie teaches and performs out of the Northern Virginia area.

Susan Anspach

Susan Anspach

Preschool Music

Susan Anspach teaches preschool music classes at Wesley United Methodist Church Preschool and FB Meekins Cooperative Preschool in Vienna. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy with a major in horn performance. From time to time, her byline pops up in Arlington Magazine. She champions hands-on music instruction, body percussion, balloon-animal hats and copious bubbles. Mom of three, she is a devotee of rainbows, dance parties and, most especially, rainbow dance parties.

Paul Bernfeld

Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Piano

Paul Bernfeld (he/him) is a performer and educator from Annandale, VA with over 20 years of percussion experience. At George Mason University he studied Classical Percussion Performance and performed with 12 ensembles ranging from the Wind Symphony to the Green Machine Pep Band. Paul was also the co-founder of the GMU Fife & Drum Corps.

After graduating in 2014 with a BA in History and minor in Jazz Studies, he worked with the Mason Green Machine Ensembles as an office administrator and coach of the rhythm section, consisting of a multitude of instruments. From 2018 to 2022, Paul worked in both theater production and advertising based in Manhattan.

Now back in the Northern Virginia area, Paul regularly performs with the Dirty Gold Brass Band and the 8th Regiment Brass Band, a branch of the GMU Green Machine. This upcoming NFL season he will be performing on snare drum with the new Washington Commanders Marching Band, and has also recently been brought on at Oakton HS to teach drumline.

While drumset is Paul’s speciality, he has performed across percussion mediums at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Capital One Arena, and Hylton Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Sung Hee Choi

Dr. Sung Hee Choi

Viola, Violin

Violinist Dr. Sung Hee Choi has been a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra member and leader, and music educator for over 30 years. She graduated with a BA in music from Seoul National University and a Master of Music from the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with Eric Gruenberg and Simon Standage (baroque violin). Thereafter, she studied at Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore with Martin Beaver where she graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts. While a student at Peabody Conservatory, her recital performance at the McLean Alden Theatre was reviewed in the Washington Post.

Upon moving to Korea in 2002, she has been actively engaged as a soloist and chamber musician and performed in England, Finland, Germany, Singapore, Russia, Estonia, US, as well as numerous venues in Korea. She was also a long time member of the Korean Chamber Orchestra, widely recognized as the leading chamber orchestra in Korea.

Her teaching experiences in Korea include serving as an adjunct professor at Seoul National University, Kyung Hee University, and Sejong University among others, as we all as a full time professor and director of musical programs at Daegu Kyungbuk Institute of Science and Technology.

As a faculty at various colleges, she has taught violin performance, violin pedagogy, string ensemble, chamber ensemble, string orchestra, symphony orchestra, music theory, string performance practice, music history, and 20th century music.

Dr. Choi also served as a juror for many string competitions including KCO String Competition, Music Journal Competition and Daejon City String Competition.

Dr. Choi currently resides in Northern Virginia with her family.

Jesús Gómez

Jesús Gómez

Viola, Violin, Piano

Jesús Gómez began playing the violin at the age of seven at the Conservatorio Profesional Joaquín Villatoro in Jerez, Spain. He later continued his studies in Seville with instructors Tamara Bektemirova and Anca Bitan.

In the contemporary music scene, Gómez was involved in premiering pieces by Spanish composers Julián García de los Reyes and Pedro Guajardo, with one of these performances aired on the National Radio of Spain.

Gómez’s musical pursuits have taken him around the globe, including notable venues such as the Louvre Auditorium in Paris, France, China’s Guangzhou Opera House, the National Auditorium of Beijing, as well as England, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United States, and even the historic Governor Palace in Gibraltar, where he had the honor of playing a 1711 Stradivarius for the governor.

He honed his skills through masterclasses with renowned musicians such as Simon Lewis, Gabrielle Lester, Fabián López, Rainer Sonne, Zakhar Bron, Sophia Jaffé, Kevord Mardivossian, Ray Chen, and Frank Almond. He also received invaluable coaching from esteemed groups and musicians the Esterhazy Quartet, Arianna Quartet, Michael Stern, and Joel Krosnick from the Juilliard Quartet.

At the age of 18, Gómez embarked on his conducting studies under the tutelage of the English violinist and conductor, Michael Thomas. He also sought guidance from Ángel Luis Pérez, Kirk Trevor, and Gabriel Delgado. Throughout his career, he had the privilege of conducting various orchestras, including the Joven Orquesta Sinfónica de Granada, Orquesta German Alvarez Beigbeder of Jerez, the University Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Missouri, Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra, Southside Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Music Ensemble at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Additionally, he served as the music director of the Philharmonic Choir of Capuchinos and as an assistant at the Opera House of Jerez.

Under the guidance of Dr. Ana Luque, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music Victoria Eugenia of Granada. He pursued further studies, completing a master’s program in violin performance
with Eva Szekely and orchestra conducting with Edward Dolbashian at the University of Missouri, where he was a teaching assistant and member of the Graduate String Quartet. He also taught violin and viola through the Community Music Program of the University of Missouri and the Missouri String Project.

During his time in Missouri he was a part of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and served as the principal second violin with the Maryville Symphony Orchestra.

In 2016, Gómez had the honor of being a guest artist at the yearly gathering of the Violin Society of America in Oberlin. Since his move to Virginia in 2018, he has remained actively involved in teaching, with his students achieving remarkable success in district, regional, and state orchestras, as well as securing scholarships to prestigious institutions like the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Justin Mason

Justin Mason

Drums, Electric Bass, Guitar, Piano

Justin Mason is a professional bassist with over thirteen years of live performance and touring experience. He started performing at the age of fourteen and hasn’t stopped! His wide range of experience includes a national tour of original music, off broadway shows in NYC, multiple church bands, and even being signed to a major record label.

Justin brings his real world experience to his students in a fun and focused way. His primary goal in teaching is to give students the tools and confidence to create and perform music—and have fun doing it!

Beckett Milzman

Beckett Milzman

Drums, Electric Bass, Guitar, Piano

Beckett Milzman is a professional performer and multi-instrumental educator with over 9 years of experience on stages around the country. After beginning classical piano lessons at 8 years old, he discovered his passion for live performance and joined his first band at age 12. Because Beckett was introduced to the live music scene at an early age, he quickly picked up bass, guitar, drums, and continues to perform in the DMV area with various local acts of all genres, including his own original music.

Beckett recognizes and values every student’s unique perspective along their own musical journey. His multi-instrumental and multi-genre capabilities give him a leg up when finding what suits the needs of each individual as they see it fit. Whether it’s becoming an accomplished classical or jazz player, or just having fun playing easy pop and rock songs to wind down and relax. He is excited to share his experience while providing a safe space to learn!

Emma Pivetta

Emma Pivetta

Piano, Woodwinds

Emma Pivetta is a saxophonist and vocalist born and raised in the DMV area. With an ear for music and a strong desire to serve her community, Emma has been teaching since she was sixteen years old. She has taught private lessons, group lessons, and ensembles to students of all ages and abilities. Pivetta has also served as an elementary general and choral music teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools. Her work is described as “engaging, and her lessons are filled with energy and enthusiasm. Ms. Pivetta cares deeply about the children she services and looks for ways to engage all learners.”

“My goal as an educator is to light the fire that inspires a drive to learn and to provide students with the tools necessary for exploring their interests. I find that by instilling a strong foundation and incorporating it into the study of music that students already enjoy, they remain equipped and excited to learn.”

When she is out of the classroom, Emma can be found performing at local venues, gardening, drawing, or taking a walk.

Jason Seiler

Jason Seiler

Guitar, Piano

Jason Seiler (he/him) is an award-winning, freelance guitarist based in the DMV who performs in a wide variety of bands and contexts. Jason believes music can evoke beautifully nuanced emotions and connections with others. Over the last decade, he has performed as a guitarist in countless shows and productions ranging in styles from jazz, RnB, and Hip Hop, to indie/alternative rock, singer/songwriter, and even musical theater. He is currently working on two projects: Nesmith & the Argonauts, an RnB based and rock influenced neo soul group, and MiraJe, a singer songwriter duo with jazz influences.

Jason loves teaching and sharing his abilities and passion for music both on and off the stage. His teaching philosophy is centered around providing a personalized approach to each student’s unique needs and goals. He believes that every student has their own style and pace of learning. Jason’s experience as a professional musician gives him a unique perspective on performing and the process to mastery.

Jason holds a Bachelor’s in Music from George Mason University.

Andrew Velez

Andrew Velez

French Horn, Piano, Trumpet, Voice, Music Composition

Andrew Velez currently lives in Northern Virginia while maintaining a vibrant voice in the D.C. and Maryland areas. His talents as a trumpeter, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and bandleader have propelled him to both national and international stages alike with various artists.

Along with an active performance schedule, he has 10 years of teaching experience through clinic work, private instruction and coaching at the collegiate level. Andrew holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies and Master of Education in English Secondary Education (both from George Mason University) and was recently featured on NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series with Jessie Reyez for Hispanic Heritage Month 2022. That same month, he released parts 1 and 2 of “Rubie Route: Volume One”; a lofi-video game inspired collaboration project with Twitch streamer Rubie Heart and producer John Wehmeyer.

Alejandro Villareal

Alejandro Villareal

Guitar, Piano

Originally from Springfield, Virginia, Alejandro Villareal is a musician, educator, and multi-instrumentalist in Northern Virginia.

Alejandro has a love for performing and teaching music, he has played countless recitals, social gatherings, restaurants, concert halls and weddings throughout the Philadelphia, New York, and DMV areas.

As a private instructor, his goal is to share his knowledge and utilize his experience as a musician to curate an individual teaching approach for each and every student, at any age.

Alejandro holds a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies with a concentration on Jazz Guitar from Temple University.

Fan Wang

Fan Wang

Fine Art

Fan is a professional Art teacher. She graduated from Xi’an Polytechnic University with a degree in Fashion Design, where she remained to teach art to college students for 10 years. She then continued to work as an Art Director for a French company and now has been teaching young children ages 4 to 12 for 5 years. Her favorite part about teaching is helping her students find and develop their own unique style of art.

JennaMarie Warfield

JennaMarie Warfield

Flute, Piano

JennaMarie Warfield (Ms. Jenna, She/her) is a performer, musician, and educator in the Northern Virginia area. As an educator, Ms. Jenna has over a decade of experience. She enjoys teaching in her private flute and piano studio, in which many of her students have placed in district bands, won local competitions and have successfully auditioned into college music programs, such as Shenandoah Music Conservatory and Berklee School of Music. 

Ms. Jenna has taught all ages and levels of students, but especially enjoys working in early childhood settings. She most enjoys experiencing music through a child’s eyes and discovering new things alongside her students. Ms. Jenna holds a masters degree in music performance and an undergraduate degree in music performance and pedagogy. In addition to joining the faculty at Shaun’s Strings Studio, she has developed programs and curriculum for early childhood music at local Montessori Schools, the Mason Community Arts Academy and in other group lesson settings.

As an active performer, Ms. Jenna performs with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of Northern Virginia, and Capital Wind Symphony.

In her free time, Ms. Jenna enjoys reading, fostering dogs for A Forever Home Rescue, gardening and hiking with her husband, Chris, and dog, Gizmo. Ms. Jenna’s favorite children’s books are anything that encourages individuality including “Pete the Cat” and “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”

Sam Whetzel

Sam Whetzel


Sam Whetzel is a professional guitarist and performer in the Northern Virginia and D.C. area. Over the past 12 years, Sam has performed with bands and artists covering a variety of genres. Everything from Gospel music, blues, heavy metal, Latin pop and Southern rock, just name a few. Musical diversity has always been a large focus, as he believes music is something that brings us all together regardless of origin.

He currently performs with two cover bands (an Agency / Corporate Band and VCMI Church) as well as with other artists in the DMV area. Sam is committed to meeting each student’s goals, while exploring new styles along the way.

Sam received a Bachelors Degree in Contemporary, Urban and Popular music from Columbia College Chicago in 2019.

Thirteen Bahizi

Thirteen Bahizi

Emeritus Faculty

Thirteen Bahizi is a professional Music Producer with a focus on Electronic Music Composition. He began studying music at the age of 10 and plays a wide variety of instruments.

Thirteen started his career guiding local DC bands and artists through their songwriting development phase. Since early 2017 he has spent the last 5 years teaching Music Production, Lyric Writing, and Song Writing in Argentina.

Currently Thirteen teaches Music Production through a wide range of DAWs (music production software) in a variety of styles and genres. He loves helping students learn to express themselves through music using the tools they already have, or that are modestly achievable. He believes that participating in music is called PLAY for a reason! Learning music in a structured but fun exploratory way (almost like a video game!) will keep students engaged and consistent on their journey. Even with minimal resources, but consistent effort, anyone can create music at any level.

Mandy Wang

Dr. Mandy Wang

Emeritus Faculty

Violinist Mandy Wang is the first prize winner of the 2015 MTNA Kansas State and West Central competition, third prize winner of the 2015 Enkor International Chamber Music Competition, honor prize of the 2016 Misbin Memorial Chamber Music Competition. Other competitions she got top prizes include 2010 Shandong Young Artist Competition and Golden Award of the Music Competition in Beijing. 

She has performed extensively as a soloist and member of the CNU String Quartet throughout Beijing and Shandong. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Wang was frequently invited to perform in Japan, Korea and Taiwan with the Shandong Youth Philharmonic as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. In the summer of 2017, she performed in Aspen Music Festival under the baton of Ludovic Morlot of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and prominent British conductor Jane Glover, where she studied with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Robert Chen and Cornelia Heard. Dr. Wang was a member of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico in its inaugural season in 2017 and continues to receive invitations to perform with prestigious ensembles.

Dr. Wang’s talent for music was noticed when she was very young, and she began studying the violin at the age of 5 in Shandong. In 2007, Wang was admitted to the Beijing Capital Normal University (CNU) as a top student. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with the most prestigious scholarships. In 2018 Mandy Wang received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance from the University of Kansas, where she studied with Dr. Véronique Mathieu and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the university orchestra. In 2021 she received her Master of Music degree in viola performance from the University of Kansas under the instruction of Boris Vayner. 

Since 2017 Dr. Wang has served as a faculty member at Ottawa University and performer-artist at NAVO Organization. In 2017 Dr. Wang joined the Community School for the Performing Arts at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where she serves as string division chair.