LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight music teacher Mike Maino, guitarist of the popular New Jersey-based cover band “Screaming Broccoli.”

Seen above performing his original composition, “Sky Full of Dreams,” Maino has been a musician for approximately 35 years and an instructor at Andy’s for 12 years. He said he has been through many jobs, but that a career in music was always his main goal.

“I saw my uncle play when I was about five or six,” he said. “I wanted to play then, but I got turned away because I was too young. Then when I heard KISS at 11 years old, I begged my mom for lessons and after about a month she gave in and I’ve been playing ever since.”

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Maino’s first love was for rock bands like KISS and Led Zeppelin. From there, he started listening to more jazz/rock fusion as well as straightedge jazz and blues. Lately, he said he has been into Matt Schofield, an English blues guitarist and singer.

As the guitarist in a popular local cover band, Maino recently played with Steve Augeri from Journey.

His biggest show ever, however, was with his original band “Shotgun Symphony,” which played an outdoor festival in Belgium opening for White Snake. The band, which has been touring internationally since 1993, also recently released a new CD entitled “Shotgun Symphony—The Last Symphony.”

As far as teaching at Andy’s Family Music Center, Maino said he gears his teaching toward each individual child.

“I try to get the children reading music and music theory, but if a student wants to learn a specific song, I teach that too,” he said. “So it depends on the student, but I always try to reinforce music reading, theory, improvisational skills and even songwriting.”

Many of Maino’s original songs are instrumental tracks and are available on Band Camp.

Andy’s Family Music Center is located at 77 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Livingston. Like Andy’s on Facebook by clicking HERE.