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PAT JOHNSTON: Pat has been performing and teaching music for more than 40 years. Pat teaches classical, pop, country and jazz to students of all ages. She has a wonderful way with young students, utilizing the Alfred's Music for Mozarts Method. In addition, Pat is skilled in teaching with the Thompson, Alfred, Bastein, Shaum, and Hal Leonard methods. Her experience spans from private instruction in piano and organ, teaching music at Aliamanu Elementary and professional performance.

LUIZA CLOUD: Masters in musicology and piano from the National University of Music, Bucharest. Teaching certificate in Pedagogical Piano Training also from N.U.M., Bucharest. Luiza has performed, taught and lectured in Romania and the U.S. Specializing in classical music. Luiza has an extensive knowledge of music theory, technique, composition and performance.

ABE CURAMMENG: Receiving his Bachelors of Arts from Pepperdine University and his Masters in Music from USC, Abe has traveled and performed in a variety of locations, including Europe and Argentina. Abe has an extensive keyboard repertoire and performance resume, which also include violin, composition and collaborating in all types of musical genres.

MARY HARPER: After getting a Bachelor of Music from the Berklee College of Music, Mary played professionally and taught private lessons. Over the years she has developed a unique and creative method for the very young students and an excellent rapport with adult students. Mary has been teaching at the Music Center for almost a decade now and she keeps a full schedule with loyal students.

GARY NESTERUK: Gary earned both his BS in Music Education and his MA in Music Performance from Indiana University. Gary has been teaching with us since 1982 combining his wide range of professional experience with his deep interest in the development of young artists and a wish to encourage their study and creativity in music. Gary's studio work spans over 100 films, television shows and soundtracks including: The Wonderboys, Sweet November, and the Twilight Zone.
Piano/ProTools/Logic Audio
STEVE SCOTT: Known in the Film, TV, Production Industry as Stephen G. Scott, Senior Producer and owner of Pinnacle Audio Group, has produced over 500 radio commercials and audio video marketing campaigns for clients. He specializes in writing and producing radio, TV, Webcast, In Store Video Production, Corporate Marketing DVD, Marketing Video and Audio Presentations, Sound Design for Film and TV. He is familiar with using Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro for music editing, audio production, mixing, and mastering.

DAVID SHEPHARD: David received a BA in Music from Wesleyan University, Connecticut and pursued additional studies at the Grove School of Music in CA. While in New York City, his unique abilities as a musician earned him posts as piano accompanist for the prestigious Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Centers for Dance. Now in LA, he is active as a composer, producer, and session pianist. His fresh approach garnered him scoring work with Warner Bros., ABC Television, HBO and FOX.

JAY GREEN: Jay specializes in teaching rock, punk, alternative, country and blues to students of all ages. In a comfortable, at-your-own-pace environment, Jay will help you learn the basics such as chords, scales, reading, theory and soloing. At the same time jam on your favorite tunes, riffs and solos, meticulously transcribed for your playing level. Jay can also help with song writing and how to create chord progressions to get your own ideas down. Jay has been teaching guitar at SMMC since 1996.


TIMOTHY HALL: Attending the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Tim earned his Bachelor of Music with Magna Cum Laude honors. Tim concentrated on jazz guitar in college, but is an excellent teacher for many styles including classic rock, blues, pop, and folk. Tim's patient demeanor and approach to teaching has made him a popular teacher for students of all ages and levels.

Guitar/Electric Bass
BRIAN STURGES: Graduated from Berklee College of Music and The Second City Conservatory.  He teaches Guitar, Bass, Piano, Rock Band Workshops, Jazz Ensembles and Music Theory specializing Jazz, Blues, Funk, Country and Rock.  Credits include: Red Lobster, Disney, Warner Brothers Records.

PAUL MORIN: A Los Angeles native, Paul began playing upright and electric bass at the age of 12 and has enjoyed a long career playing all styles of music.  Paul has worked with many artists on a variety of projects including movies, television, theatre and studio work.  Some of his credits include: Sideways, Life Aquatic and Legally Blonde 2.  He has worked on shows at the Pantages and Shubert theatres as well as NBC and PBS.

PHILIPPE MATHYS: Born in Switzerland, Philippe started playing drums at an early age. After moving to the US, he received a Bachelor of Music in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has toured extensively in New England and California with different pop, rock, and funk bands. Philippe is currently a working session player and teacher, involved in several projects in the LA area.

TODD TATUM: A graduate of the Grove School of Music, Todd has been teaching with us since 1983. In addition to instructing drums and percussion at SMMC, Todd currently freelances in the LA area. Some of his latest projects include playing with Rhino Records Artists, Big Daddy and recording with Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees), Warner Bros. Act the Foreman, a variety of children’s albums for Rhino Records and various studio and live performance work.

MARC VAN AKEN: Marc studied music at the University of Music and Acting Arts, Hamburg, Germany. Marc engaged in additional studies at the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood. His private instruction has included study with Casey Scheurell, Ralph Humphrey, Gary Hess and more. Marc plays drums and percussion and has toured Europe and the U.S. Touring with such artists as Deacon Jones, Peter Tork, Finis Tasby, The Drifters and more. Marc has been a music educator with us since 1999.

RONNIE VILLANUEVA: With over 12 years experience with group and private lessons Ronnie teaches all levels and ages. He focuses on technique, time, notation and sound concepts applied to all styles of music and drumming. Ronnie has a Major in Music Education and a Minor in Music Performance from the University of Hawaii.

CHARLES ORENA: Charles attended UCSB studying clarinet with Mitchell Lurie. Since moving to L.A. in 1976 Charles has toured with the "Temptations," the "Lettermen," Mel Torme and Bob Hope, to name a few. His sound track credits include such films as the "Mambo Kings" with Tito Puente and "My Fellow Americans." Charles has been teaching reeds at SMMC since 1986 with students of all ages. Charles is very familiar with the structure and requirements of the local school districts band and orchestra program

VINCE SUZUKI: Vince has been teaching with us since 1999 and has become well known for his enthusiastic approach in teaching the reed instruments. Vince has worked with various artists including, the "Temptations," "Franki Valli and the Four Seasons," and "Brian Setzer Orchestra." Having played with the Burbank Symphony and working closely with many band and orchestra students, Vince is well versed in the demands and expectations of the local school district band and orchestra program.

Trumpet/Cornet/Trombone/French Horn
TIM BATTIG: Upon completing his education at SDSU, SMC and CSUN, Tim has performed with various symphonies and orchestras throughout the West L.A. area and with various artists, such as, the Barry White, Bugle Boy Jeans, Ray Charles, Morcheeba and Juan Gabriel. Though the French Horn is his main instrument, he has had much experience within the last 15 years or so in instructing students for all brass instruments, guitar, music theory and composistion.

DAN WEINSTEIN: An exceptionally talented, accomplished musician and composer, Dan has had an extensive career since the early 1970’s performing with hundreds of artists in all styles.  Credits include Ray Charles, the Jacksons, Teddy Edwardo, Ernie Andrews, Gerald Wilson, Roy Gaines, George Segal and Jerry Lee Lewis. Dan is active in movie soundtracks, musical shows and sideline work as well.  He has his own salsa/latin jazz band, Viva, and two swing/blues combos, The Groove Merchants of Venice and The Hot Club Trio.  Dan has also been active as a music journalist, writing for L.A. Jazz Scene newspaper and other local L.A. Publications.  Dan has been teaching at SMMC since 2001.

LUIS-GUSTAVO MASCARO ALBERTO: Part of a new generation of creative string players, Brazillian violinist Luis Alberto is not afraid of using his solid classical background to explore new musical ideas, techniques and sounds. A native of Brazil, Luis founded the only Brazillian Mahavishnu Orchestra cover band, touring with the Comboio Big Band and playing with Choro musicians. Luis holds his Double bachelors in Violin Performance from Campinas State University, Master of Music in Violin Perfromance from both University of Southern Mississipi and University of New Mexico where he attended on full assistanship and scholarship awards. Luis has taught everything from introductory violin, to undergraduate violinists ,coached and organized jazz combos, instructed orchestras and taught at the Mastery level. His experiance extends to faculty workshops, imporvisations, music history, theory, fiddle and combining traditional education with popular music creating unique sounds through amplification and the use of string effects.

YIN JIANG: Before coming to the US in 1988, Yin was a member of the China National Philharmonic and Central Opera Theatre. Yin earned her degree in music from Pepperdine University where she studied with Yokiko Kamai and Margaret Baijer. Yin continued to pursue her musical education with advanced studies at USC with professor Alice Shoenfeld. In addition to her teaching, Yin is a member of the New West Symphony as well as other orchestras and has various works in the studio recording industry.

NAN YING: Before coming to Los Angeles, Nan studied and played professionally overseas and was a member of the Conservatory of Beijing Central Philharmonic Society. Upon moving to Southern California, Nan attended USC for advanced graduate studies. Nan has been a member of the USC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the New West Symphony Orchestra. Nan has been teaching with our program since 1995.

APRIL GUTHRIE: April holds a Master's Degree in multi-focus cello performance from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA in cello performance and environmental studies from Illinois Wesleyan University. She recently completed an artist's residency at The Armand Hammer Museum of Art with her duet Guthrie & Streb. April consistently performs with ensembles with musical styles that range from classical and contemporary to experimental, rock, improvisational, Javanese gamelan, and performance art.


KEVAN TORFEH: Starting out as a substitute for violin and viola at SMMC and CCMC, we soon found out that cello is his main instrument. With some key previous performance experience with being the principal and solo cellist in the L.A. Mozart Orchestra from 1978-1992 to playing with the New West Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and California Philharmonic, he has also taught general and instrumental music for over 35 years. Kevan’s studies were completed at USC, L’Accademia Chigiana in Siena, with William Pleeth in England and at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg.


ISAAC TAKEUCHI: Isaac studied cello performance at CSUN with his main focuses being cello performance and composition. Starting out as a cello substitute at SMMC, he has moved on to having several cello students and his knowledge of accordion came to be known. He focuses to develop the students' fundamental needs and developing a repertoire. He has played in many ensembles over the years and is currently teaching privately and at various institutions in Southern California.

LINDA MITCHELL: Linda brings to her students a vast background of experience, both in performing arts and teaching. After studying with Rose Edwards at the age of 16 she went on to perform much solo work, winning the Southern California John Child Walker vocal contest, and continued her studies into graduate school at WSU. Linda teaches the Bel Canto method of singing; The Italian method of singing stresses proper breathing, correct vowel placement and consonant articulation. With over 20 years of teaching experience Linda has a working knowledge of what each individual needs to succeed.

SANDRA PERSSON: From an early age, Sandra has studied and performed music. After her education at Sundsgarden's Folkhogskola in Sweden and Leeds College of Music in England, she began teaching music in 1997 with an emphasis in vocal and piano instruction. She has taught from ages 5 to 95 individually, in community groups, and also has had experience with autistic children. Sandra is dedicated to bringing a committed and inspirational music education to her students.

Voice/Piano/Parent & Me Class
CINDY SPEER: After studying at Belhaven College in Mississippi, her vocal experiences have taken her as far as the Philippines and Los Angeles. Since 2006, Cindy has instructed and performed locally, from Pasadena to Santa Monica, to students as young as preschoolers to teenagers and adults. She enjoys building her students' confidence and technique to help them reach their musical potential.

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