The Music Connection offers a variety of Music Lessons and Programs like our Rock School with the best staff on the North Shore.


Randy Leventhal

Guitar, Bass

Randy  has been teaching guitar and bass since 1991 and is the longest running teacher here at The Music Connection starting just 10 months after we opened in January of 1996.  He is also the originator, director and and the reason for the tremendous success of our Rock School Program.

Randy has played in several Boston based bands over the years. Most notably “Michigan Blacksnake”, “Sugar Daddy” and “Kari Nations” and currently with the rock band  “Electric Sugar”.

He studied music at the Berklee College of Music and UMass Lowell.  His passion and enthusiasm for music and teaching shows everyday and his students reap the benefits.  He is the teacher that sets the standards for all others to follow.


Erinn Brown
Voice, Piano, Guitar

There is no one else more dedicated to her craft and to her students than Erinn. Erinn has been teaching at The Music Connection since 1998. She is fondly called the “Queen” of The Music Connection. You will often find Erinn attending the performances of her students.

Outside of the Music Connection, she is an accomplished singer/ songwriter/ musician is sultry with an edge. She has a soulful,original style fusing folk, blues/rock and funk. She has performed in clubs and festivals all over the Boston area.

“Erinn Brown is an amazingly talented vocalist. You don’t just hear the notes or words she sings – you feel them. She has an uncanny knack for knowing when to hit the brakes and when to slam the gas pedal to the floor…” -Jeff


Bethany Vahn

Bethany has been Teaching Voice and Stage Performance for over 10 years on the North Shore. She brings with her a passion for singing and performing that is second to none. Her students have gone on to perform in many musical productions with theater groups all over the North Shore.

Bethany graduated from the University of Connecticut in Vocal Performance and Musical Theater.
She is originally from Peabody but now resides in Beverly.

Pop Girls 2013

Mara Bettencourt
Voice, Piano, Guitar

Mara Bettencourt, is a Professional Vocalist /Songwriter and Music Educator. She is one of our more recent additions to The Music Connection Staff. She has been teaching with us since 2008.

Mara was born in the Azores, Portugal, and spent most of her life living and traveling between the U.S.A and Europe. Mara has a strong passion for the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s musical style.

Mara embraces music in such an unique way; her repertoire is embelished with a fusion of diverse styles: Country, Rock, Pop and Latin , and this truly reflects her cultural and musical influences as well as her personality.

She wrote her first songs when she was only 15. Mara has always loved the beauty of linguistics; and therefore, she writes and sings songs in different languages, such as: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
Mara’s other artistic expressivities include: Creative Dance, Painting and the Art of Travel!
She is a Certified Specialist in Voice Technique and Musicianship and she also holds a Bachelors in Music .
Mara currently performs around the Boston area with great musicians.

Mara says: “Music is the essence of my life, and without it, I just can’t survive”

Peter Cohan
Drums, Guitar



Nat Simpkins

Although he started out on the piano at eight, Nat Simpkins switched to tenor sax at the age of 13 on the advice of his doctor, who suggested that playing this horn would help cure him of asthma.  He also teaches lessons on most of the single reed instruments as well as trumpet, trombone, guitar, harmonica, ukelele and piano.  Simpkins has appeared with many major jazz figures in addition to the Texas Tenors, including Ray Bryant, Branford Marsalis, and the Count Basie alumnae band.   Simpkins has produced or co-produced 13 albums for the now defunct Muse label and for his own label, Bluejay Records.

Darren Muise

Darren started taking drum lessons at the age of 6 at The Music Connection.  He studied drums for 6 years and participated for many years in the Rock School program hear at The Music Connection.  When he hit his teens, he taught himself how to play bass guitar and connected with some school friends to form the band A Different Angle.  That band went on to combine with musicians from other bands to to form the current band, Exit 18.  He has played at venues like The Cabot and even at The House Of Blues in Boston.  Exit 18 is currently finishing up their first album and will soon be released.  Darren has also taught himself how to play guitar and piano and has become so proficient that it has allowed him the opportunity to teach all 3 of those instruments.  Darren is great with the younger students and is developing his own teaching system.


Al Palubeckis