Category: Uncategorized

$41.25/30 Minutes/Single Lesson

Schedule a Lesson

1. Pick a Plan 
2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
3. Choose Teacher
4. Schedule available appointments.

No available times?
- Choose a different day (i.e. Monday, Tuesday)
- Use the "Next" button in the upper right hand corner above the calendar
- Choose a different teacher
.

 

You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

$145/30 minutes/Pack of 4

Schedule a Lesson

1. Pick a Plan 
2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
3. Choose Teacher
4. Schedule available appointments.

No available times?
- Choose a different day (i.e. Monday, Tuesday)
- Use the "Next" button in the upper right hand corner above the calendar
- Choose a different teacher
.

 

You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Piano Lessons

Schedule a Lesson

1. Pick a Plan 
2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
3. Choose Teacher
4. Schedule available appointments.

No available times?
- Choose a different day (i.e. Monday, Tuesday)
- Use the "Next" button in the upper right hand corner above the calendar
- Choose a different teacher
.

 

You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

What Instrument is Right for Me?

The Right Instrument at the Right Time

Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing an adult is to commit practicing. We teach many beginner students in their 60s and 70s.

For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. Some people will tell you, "the sooner, the better", but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative. If a child is put into lessons too soon they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented. Sometimes if the child waits a year to start lessons, their progress can be much faster. Children who are older than the suggested earliest age usually do very well. The following guidelines is what we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.

3-4 Years Old

If a preschooler has a keen desire and wants to start music, a group preschool music class will give them a good foundation in music basics, which will be helpful in later private lessons. At this age, private lessons generally do not work as the child has not yet experienced the formal learning environment of kindergarten or school and learns more effectively though the game-oriented preschool environment. Babies and toddles can start learning music with our Mommy & Me classes. For more information, contact Lana at Pitter Patter Studios (310) 463-4847.

Questions?

If you're not quite sure what instrument is right for you or your student, feel free to contact Santa Monica Music Center at (310) 453-1928 or Culver City Music Center at (310) 202-6874. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff are happy to field any questions or concerns you may have. You can also contact us via email at the bottom of the page.

Book Online & Price List

Piano/Keyboard

At our school, 5 years old is the youngest age that we start children in private piano lessons. At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.

Violin

We accept violin students from the age of 5. Some teachers will start children as young as 3, but experience has show us the most productive learning occurs when the beginner is 5 or older.

Drums

The average age of our youngest drum student is 6. This varies greatly depending on the size of the child. They have to be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals. However, younger students can start on the snare drum and practice pad learning stick control and rudiments.

Guitar

8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable. Bass guitar students are usually 10 years old and older.

Flute, Clarinet, and Saxophone

Due to lung capacity (and in the case of the saxophone, the size of the instrument), we recommend that most woodwind beginners are 8 years and older.

Voice

10 years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords, and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the rigors of vocal technique.

Book Online & Prices here.

Call for availability and schedules, or use the contact form.
(310) 453-1928 Santa Monica Music Center
(310) 202-6874 Culver City Music Center

Email Us!

Teachers

Piano

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.

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.

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Gary Nesteruk

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.

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.

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.

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.

Guitar

Guitar/Ukulele

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.

Guitar/Banjo

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.

Bass

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.

Drums/Percussion

Phillipe 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

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.

Reeds

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.

Horns

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.

 

Trombone/Trumpet/ Tuba

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.

 

Strings

Violin

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.

 

Violin/Viola

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.

 

Violin/Viola

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.
 

Violin

Nan Ying

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.

 

Cello

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.

 

Cello/Violin/Viola

Evan 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.

 

Cello/Violin/Viola

Joan Torfeh

 

Cello/Accordion

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.

 

Voice

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.

 

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.

 

Parent & Me

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.