Tag: Piano

Ellis Laifer

Ellis Laifer

Piano, Guitar

Ellis is a musician currently residing in Los Angeles, CA where he teaches guitar, piano, and music production. When he is not teaching, he is a multi-instrumentalist and producer with alternative R&B trio, Fortuno. He was formally trained in music composition, piano, guitar, and voice at Bowdoin College, where he graduated in 2019. Ellis sees his students as companions in music discovery and strives to cultivate a collaborative, joyful environment for musicians at all levels. When he is not making music or teaching, you can probably find Ellis playing chess, rock climbing, or in the kitchen making smoothies.

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Pat Johnston

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Cynthia Speer

Cynthia Speer

Piano, Voice

Cynthia Speer (Cindy) grew up in the Deep South of Louisiana and Mississippi.  Playing piano since age 4 and singing publicly since her teenage years, she is happy to bring her experience to children of all ages to inspire and educate them in music.  She performed, playing solo piano and singing, as well as singing with Big Bands and smaller groups (Blues and Jazz Standards), in Jackson Mississippi, Buena Vista Colorado, then here in Los Angeles since the mid 1980’s.  One of her first gigs in LA was playing solo piano and singing at the Sidewalk Cafe’ in Venice Beach, down the street from where she lived at that time.

Cindy has performed at Weddings, Private Parties, Restaurants and Nightclubs in and around Los Angeles for the past 35 years, and has done many jazz gigs with Lana’s Dad, and founder of Santa Monica Music, Chico Fernandez.  She began teaching in 2001 and is happy to be inspiring children of all ages in their piano, preschool music and vocal lessons.

Working on an original project of a different genre with a band that she co-founded, is a huge passion for Cindy currently.  You will hear her keyboards and singing if you visit akashicalchemy.bandcamp.com. Once on the site, if the band name doesn’t come up right away, you can search for the “Artist” Akashic Alchemy.  A good tune to start with is “Sublime”.   Her name in the band is Ahnaleya.   Let us all remember...Music Heals!

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2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
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No available times?
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You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Elissa Moser Linowes

Elissa Moser Linowes

Upright Bass, Bass Guitar, Violin, Piano

Elissa plays in bands on both upright and electric bass. She plays in the bass section with the Santa Monica Symphony. You can hear her around town in the band “Abby and the Myth”. She loves playing all kinds of music — classical, rock, blues, folk and jazz. She sings backround vocals in bands and at home likes to sing jazz standards while playing bass. She has performed in venues ranging from CBGB’s to The Kennedy Center

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

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Gary Nesteruk

Gary Nesteruk

Piano

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 earned both his BS in Music Education and his MA in Music Performance from Indiana University.  His studio work spans over 100 films, television shows and soundtracks including: The Wonderboys, Sweet November, The Twilight Zone, and many more.

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

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Isaac Takeuchi

Isaac Takeuchi

Violin, Cello, Guitar, Ukulele, Accordion, Piano

Isaac Takeuchi lives in Los Angeles - his main focus is cello performance and composition. He has been playing cello for 27 years and studied cello performance at Cal State University Northridge. He has played in many ensembles, orchestras, and chamber groups over the years as well as successful bands, including Soko, Saint Motel, Cesar Saez, Chelsea Wolfe and many more. Isaac is currently offering lessons for cello, piano, guitar, violin, and accordion.

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No available times?
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You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Kevan Torfeh

Kevan Torfeh

Violin, Viola, Cello, Upright Bass, Guitar, Piano

Kevan's musical activities include playing recording sessions, concerts, and teaching. Mr. Torfeh served as Principal and Solo Cellist for the L.A. Mozart Orchestra for 14 seasons, Guest Principal Cellist with the Mozart Chamber Orchestra in Irvine for 2 seasons, and as Associate Principal with the Temianka Virtuosi for five seasons, touring with the same group under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management.  Mr. Torfeh performed and recorded with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for 17 years.  He has also performed with the New West Symphony under Boris Brott (6 seasons); and with the California Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall under Victor Vener (as asst. principal and principal for 7 seasons). Mr. Torfeh has been playing principal cello with the Westside Ballet's "Nutcracker" performances from 2014 to present.

Mr. Torfeh’s music studies were completed at USC, at L’Accademia Chigiana in Siena, in London with William Pleeth, and at the Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg. From 2004 to present he has served as adjunct professor of cello in the applied music program at Santa Monica College.  Mr. Torfeh is a regular guest lecturer/performing artist at the internationally acclaimed Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
Highlights of Mr. Torfeh's 42-year recording career include sessions with Ray Charles, Jackson 5, 5th Dimension, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, ELO, REM, Barbra Streisand, John Williams, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dog, David Foster, Alicia Keyes, Mary J. Blige, Harry Connick Jr., Hans Zimmer, James Horner,Tom Newman, Randy Newman, Michael Giacchino, Luis Miguel, Jose Jose, Isabel Pantoja, Boyz II Men, Baby Face, Graham Nash, Jerry Goldsmith, John Debney, Elmer Bernstein, Maurice Jarre, Bette Midler, and Earth, Wind & Fire just to name a few...His recent recording credits include Incredibles 2, Coco, Moana, Spiderman: Homecoming, Star Wars: Rogue One, War for the Planet of the Apes, Up, Zootopia, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Miracles from Heaven, Tomorrowland, Star Trek Into Darkness, Ride Along 2, Frozen, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Toy Story That Time Forgot, Justice League (from 2016 to present), Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Revolution, Fringe, Alias, Intelligence, X Factor, American Idol, American Dad, Ally McBeal, and All the Way (HBO Movie of the Week with Bryan Cranston and Anthony Mackie). In the last few years, Mr. Torfeh has also recorded on albums of John Legend/Common, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, and Mari Nobre. He also appeared onscreen as a musician for a Microsoft commercial with Common, and on the television shows House, the Young and the Restless, and Chicago Hope. Mr. Torfeh has also been recording for Disney TV shows and theme park music (2016-2019).

Schedule a Lesson

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2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
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No available times?
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You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Laura Leighe Stockton

Laura Leighe Stockton

Laura Leighe Stockton

Voice, Piano

For 11 years, Laura has been a private vocal instructor in Los Angeles, OKC, and Online. With a Degree in Vocal Music Education from Oklahoma University and certification in the "Singing with Ease" (Seth Riggs S.L.S) method, she teaches from the perspective of someone who's voice and life has been changed, strengthened, and brought to it’s full healthiness, range, and ability through the holy grail of techniques.

As a piano instructor and songwriter, she has developed a simple system of teaching music theory and chording to her clients, which is ideal for vocalists and songwriters to learn to accompany themselves, as well as for the beginner or intermediate pianist to learn a combination of traditional sight-reading and reading / composing chords on their own.

As an International Billboard hit singer/songwriter, Laura L.'s hit single "Boys Just Wanna Have Fun" hit #5 on the UK Music Week Pop/ Dance Charts, and #27 on the US Billboard Dance charts in the same week! Laura Leighe was also a finalist in the 2017 Unsigned Only International Music & Songwriting Competition, with 2 of her songs making the top 12 of their genres out of 6,000 submitted.

Schedule a Lesson

1. Pick a Plan 
2. Choose the same instrument as in your plan
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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
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You can always call us at (310) 453-1928 to schedule over the phone. See hours below.

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com

Mary Harper

Mary Harper

Piano

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

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

Email us at lessons@santamonicamusic.com