All of our teachers are music professionals who hold degrees and have several years of teaching experience for their respective instruments. Many specialize in particular genre's ranging from classical to jazz to contemporary music, but all of our teachers have experience working with students at various levels and ages.
Sisilia Axume received her Bachelor of Music Education degree and Music Teacher Credential from Cal Poly Pomona University. Shortly thereafter, she continued her education at Chapman University where she studied Music Therapy, and became a Board Certified Music Therapist. Sisilia has taught private piano for the past 13 years, was band director of Lassallette Middle School, and taught early childhood development classes at Orange County Childrens Therapeutic Arts Center. Currently, Sisilia teaches at and operates San Marino Music Center in all its endeavors.
John began his musical training at Cal Poly Pomona where he finished with a minor in music and a Bachelor of Science degree. He's been teaching private and group guitar classes since 2004. Prior to owning San Marino Music Center, John focused on guitar performance and has played extensively throughout Southern California as a jazz, classical and rock guitarist. As a teacher, John likes to focus on building a solid music foundation that includes studying technique, sight reading music notation and chord rhythm charts to understand complicated rhythms & syncopation.
Drew Aron-Guitar, Ukulele
Drew Aron began studying the guitar at age thirteen. He attended California State University, Northridge from 2008-2012 and earned his Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance. During his studies he was awarded the Andres Segovia Scholarship and was a member of the CSUN Guitar Quartet. Since graduation he has dedicated his time to teaching classical guitar, recording and performing in the greater Los Angeles area. Drew's teaching philosophy is to help each student develop the musical skills necessary to accomplish their own individual goals so that they may become expressive and artistically fulfilled musicians.
Victor A Carrracedo studied at L'AULA de Jazz de Barcelona under the mentorship of Quim Sole, graduating with honors in 2011. While at L'AULA, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he moved in 2011. At Berklee, he garnered great experience as a studio drummer, recording over 40 sessions a year. In 2012, Victor graduated with a Master of Music degree. As an instructor, Victor gives his students the tools they need to create and perform in many styles such as jazz, latin, rock, reggae, etc. Victor's ultimate goal is to share his knowledge about drums with students and see them grow as musicians.
Tigranuhi (Tina) Chapkinyan-Violin, Piano
Mrs. Tigranuhi(Tina) Chapkinyan received her Masters Degree in Music at the Komitas Conservatory of Yerevan in 1987 (Violin Major, Piano Minor). Mrs. Chapkinyan held teaching and Originally from Armenia, Mrs. Tigranuhi(Tina) Chapkinyan received her Masters Degree in Music at the Komitas Conservatory of Yerevan in 1987 (Violin Major, Piano Minor). Mrs. Chapkinyan held teaching and performing position in professional music schools, symphony and chamber orchestras in Armenia. Since arriving in the United States in 2000, she continues her career as a violin and piano instructor and solo performer. Mrs. Chapkinyan is an active member of Music Teacher's Association of California (MTAC), Hollywood Branch. Her successful teaching method which she has developed in her twenty-seven years of teaching experience is reflected in her current student's accomplishments who participate in numerous MTAC recitals and competitions, and play in state-wide conventions.
Anthony Dellaripa is a graduate of the Los Angeles Music Academy (Sept 2013) with an Associates degree in Drum Performance and boasts over 10 years of experience in performance and studio recordings. Anthony studied with a diverse group of accomplished and highly successful musicians. His lessons consist of basic drum set understanding, Rhythm Studies, and Technique Development. Rock, Pop, Jazz, Contemporary, and Afro-Cuban are all diverse styles used in every lesson. For younger students, Anthony uses a "simon says" type game to encourage exploration on the drums. He has taught students ranging in age from 4 to 50 years and promotes a fun learning environment while developing his students' discipline for practicing the required materials.
Guro Elverhoei-Voice, Piano
Guro has been singing and playing piano since the age of 7. She attended Berklee College of Music where she studied classical voice technique and contemporary singing styles such as RnB, pop and gospel. She's recorded many of her original songs and worked with talented musicians in professional studios. At the commencement concert she was chosen to sing in front of 4000 people with Julio Iglesias and Dee Dee Bridgewater as honored guests. Guro has a warm personality and is a very patient but structured teacher. She has a strong knowledge in music theory as well as technical knowledge in both piano and voice, and she goes out of her way to help all of her students to improve their skills.
Dylan Ewen began studying classical piano at age 11. In high school he branched out to other instruments and began writing original music and playing in bands. He went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in 2014. In 2015 one of his projects was asked to play the LA festival Burger-A-Go-Go which prompted his decision to move to California. Dylan has taught all ages and believes the most important thing a teacher can do is instill a lifelong love of music in their students. A background in theory and technique is important, but Dylan also loves to bring in contemporary examples to spark his students’ interest, whether it be rock, pop, blues or jazz. In addition to teaching, he continues to write and record original music for his personal projects as well as for commercials and short films.
Diego Gaeta is a performer/composer from Los Angeles, a keyboardist who specializes in sound-based critical improvisation. He has studied in New York and Los Angeles with Huang Ro, Suzanne Farrin, Kevin Hays, Mike Moreno, Walter Smith III, Michael Pisaro, Wolfgang Von Schweinitz, Vinny Golia and Eyvind Kang at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and California Institute of the Arts. He has performed with Eyvind Kang, Bill Frisell, BATTERY, Ben Street, Nani Agbeli, Logan Hone and in several of his own projects ranging from experimental pop to Highlife music. He teaches out of a desire to inspire and guide students to develop profound connections with music and life, following their creative interests and strengthening their ability on their instrument.
Dr. Cameron Ghahremani-Brass, Piano
Dr. Cameron Ghahremani holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts from the University of Miami, a Master's in Orchestral Trump Performance from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Rochester. He's performed with the Westlake Village Symphony, Golden State Pops Orchestra and the contemporary chamber orchestra, Kaleidoscope. While a member of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, Cameron has shared the stage with such world-class guest artists as Maria Schneider, Dawn Upshaw, Rafael Padron, and Ben Folds. While at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music Cameron was awarded a teaching assistantship and conducted private lessons and coached the Frost Trumpet Ensemble which reached the semi-finals in the National Trumpet Competition. Dr. Ghahremani began his musical studies first on the piano and received instruction for 13 years. He was also trained in keyboard proficiency, musicianship, and theory at the Eastman School of Music. Since his arrival in Los Angeles, he has been an active trumpet and piano instructor for all ages and levels.
Jason Golday-Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele
Jason studied Jazz and Classical Guitar at Indiana University in Bloomington, receiving his BM in Performance. He received his MFA in Jazz Guitar Performance from California Institute of the Arts. Jason has over fifteen years of public and private teaching experience including middle school, high school and conservatories. Jason is involved in several Los Angeles music projects and frequently performs in diverse venues such as The Echo and Satellite to The Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art and The Hammer Museum. Along with performing, Jason composes music for commercials, short films and silent films.
Emily Hayes began studying classical piano at age 5, and she had her debut performance at age thirteen with the Northstate Symphony. Emily has over 8 years of private teaching experience and enjoys sharing her love of music with students of all ages and skill levels. When not teaching, Emily continues to focus on furthering her own musical education. She is currently pursuing her BM in piano performance at USC's Thornton School of Music under the instruction of Vice Dean of Classical Performance and Composition, Dr. Lucinda Carver.
Esteban Obando Jaramillo-Piano
Esteban was born in Bogota, Colombia but was raised in Montreal, Canada where he began taking piano lessons very early on. While living in Montreal, Esteban was a very involved member of the music community and spent his time teaching privately, performing in bands, recording and singing in his church choir. In 2011, Esteban performed as the youngest member of the Montreal All-City Big Band in the world-renowned Montreal International Jazz Festival. That same year, Esteban began his studies at Berklee College of music in Boston. During his four years at Berklee, Esteban further developed his abilities as a pianist, performed and recorded with several artists, immersed himself in music technology/production and honed his skills as an arranger in diverse musical genres. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in piano performance and another in contemporary writing and production as well as a minor in latin music studies. Since graduating in May of 2015, Esteban has continued to teach and perform. As a teacher, Esteban is very invested in his students and motivates them to achieve their goals through passion, method and discipline.
Rich Johnson-Woodwinds, Piano
Rich Johnson attended the Hart School of Music at the University of Hartford where he studied to become a music education major. He later transferred to and graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Music Technology Degree. Rich gained much experience teaching private and group music lessons while at the Abrons Art Center in New York. He also spent time working on the production side of the music business at various companies in New York City, including the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Rich is a recent transplant from the east coast and looks to establish himself as an educator and performer in the Los Angeles area.
Sara Jones-Violin, Viola
Sara Jones originates from Pasadena, CA and began her violin studies at the age of 7. She attended Pasadena City College for violin studies and transferred to the University of Redlands, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music, Violin Performance. Sara has performed with many orchestral groups such as Crown City Orchestra, Coachella Valley Symphony, Redlands Symphony, along with various string quartets, piano trios, and string duos who perform across Southern California. Besides performing, Sara has been a violin instructor for almost 5 years and has loved every second of it. She uses a traditional approach in her methodology and tries to instil great musical knowledge and passion in her students. She strives to help students become very knowledgeable in playing the violin itself and in music theory, history, ear training, wise practicing, and performance etiquette. Sara hopes to continue this ideology here at San Marino Music Center.
Sean Knapp received his Master of Fine Arts in Piano Performance from Tulane University under the instruction of international concert recording artist Faina Lushtak (Moscow Conservatory). His culminating thesis explored the correlation between sound and movement, resulting in an original book of piano compositions aimed at teaching piano technique through Laban Movement Theory-a system of analyzing and notating movement often used in ballet companies. Sean has taught privately throughout the course of his music career and continues to do so as he plants his newfound Los Angeles roots.
Federico Llach-Bass & Piano
Musically raised in Buenos Aires as a jazz performer and classical composer, Federico has recently received his PhD in Composition from University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he taught courses on Fundamentals of Music, Musicianship and Composition and Digital Music. He founded and currently directs Now Hear Ensemble, a quintet of classically trained musicians collaborating with composers working with electronics and intermedia, in residence at UCSB. Federico’s music has been presented at venues of such geographical and aesthetic diversity as Darmstadt Ferienkurse and Festival Internacional de Jazz Buenos Aires.
Joshua Linsky-Percussion & Piano
Josh Linsky has established himself as a passionate musician from Boston whom has been in Los Angeles since 2009. Josh graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2013 and California Institute of the Arts in 2015. He has directed large music ensembles and curated the production of seven collaborative recording projects over the last six years. During his MFA program at CalArts, he provided private lessons to undergraduate and graduate level students and taught high school students in conjunction with California State Summer School for the Arts program in 2015. Since graduating, Josh has been teaching drum set, percussion and piano lessons on a weekly basis to students of all ages. He creates a fun and inviting environment for students to learn to love music! Josh is deeply interested in the kinds of music his students enjoy and focuses his teaching on the types of things his students want to learn on their instrument while also providing a thorough understanding of fundamentals and technique.
Francisco Lopez-Trombone, Tuba, Trumpet
Francisco Lopez graduated California State University Los Angeles in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Instrumental) and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics (General). He has been playing trombone for 14 years and studied with jazz trombonist Jacques Voyemant during his collegiate years. While at Cal State LA, Francisco regularly performed with the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, the CSULA/Olympia Youth Orchestra, and the Afro-Latin Ensemble. He helped reform the CSULA Brass Quintet and provided trombone lessons for participants of the CSULA First Chair Honor Band and visiting schools and ensembles. Francisco has had the privilege of performing with the CBDNA Intercollegiate Band and Kansas as well as playing with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Currently, he is the lead trombonist of the Wiseguys Big Band Machine in Montebello and performs with various groups in the Los Angeles area. Francisco believes lessons should be tailored to the students’ unique needs to better cultivate proficient musicians, interest in the arts in general, and well-rounded human-beings.
Dr. Chang Lu-Flute, Piano
Dr. Chang Lu is both an active musician and dedicated instructor in Los Angeles. Born into a family of musicians, she was introduced to piano at the young age of four, then flute at nine. She has given performances on both instruments throughout her music career. Having attended elementary, middle and high schools that were attached to a music conservatory, she has been a professionally trained musician since a young age. She taught private flute lessons, piano lessons, aural skills and music theory classes throughout high school while in China. Dr. Lu just graduated with a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from USC Thornton School of Music in flute performance with minors in Music Theory, Orchestral Conducting and Early Music. Chang has been a successful teacher teaching at USC as an adjunct flute instructor as well as piano and music theory teaching at several music studios. Recently, Chang’s flute student just won 1st prize in the SYMF competition in July 2016.
Casey began studying piano when he was 6 years old and developed a passion for music from a young age. He is a graduate of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley CA (B.M., '16) where his teachers included Benny Green, Peter Horvath and Art Lande. In 2011 Casey began teaching piano and guitar lessons to children and adults in the San Fransisco Bay Area. In addition, he led and accompanied workshops for vocalists and instrumentalists at the California Jazz Conservatory while performing extensively throughout the region in Jazz, Blues, Rock, R&B and Pop groups. As a teacher Casey is attentive, patient and adaptive; welcoming each students individual needs and goals. His lessons focus on fundamentals of performance, technique and theory, as well as customized methods tailored to spark students musical imagination.
Shotaro Matsumoto began his piano studies at the age of 7. He received his Bachelors and Masters of Music in Piano Performance at Azusa Pacific University. During his teenage years, he performed in various concert venues for Master Classes with prestigious pianists, and with many different orchestras around the world in locations such as France, Japan, London, Germany, and Italy. Some Pianists Include: Robert Schwartz, Hans Boepple, Paul Roberts, Dina Joffe, Menahem Pressler, Nelita True, and many more. Throughout his Undergraduate and Masters, he has continued to perform in famous concert halls around the World including the Walt Disney, Carnegie, Royal Albert, and the Concertgebouw Concert Halls, as well as winning State, National, and International Piano competitions. He began to teach privately in 2011 and tutors Music Theory to prepare students for AP Music and CM/RCM tests. He loves to teach his students to create goals and deadlines as this establishes work ethic that is specific to the student as well as feeling the sense of accomplishment, thus allowing the students to be ambitious and grow musically.
Jeff Melendez is a woodwind performer and educator based in Los Angeles. Jeff currently studies at the Los Angeles College of Music and is an expert in saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe and bassoon. His performances include the Los Angeles Latin orchestra and he had the prvivilege to be part of the Tournament of Roses Honor Band for 2 years. Currently, Jeff teaches at Helen Bernstein High school as a coach and was former director of music at Belle Vista Elementary school. Jeff believes in helping students achieve a goal of musical knowledge and experience.
Guitarist Sean Mulholland is a classical musician who has been a featured performer throughout the country. At 17, Mulholland was accepted to the Hartt School's prestigious guitar program with a performance scholarship. There he spent four years of intense study under prominent New England performer and pedagogue Christopher Ladd. As an instructor, Mulholland has seven years experience with students of all ages. He has received extensive training in teaching principals from the Hartt School’s guitar instruction courses developed by leading pedagogue Richard Provost. Mulholland currently studies with Scott Tennant of the LAGQ at the USC’s Thornton School of Music. He has had the opportunity to participate in masterclasses with artists such as Pepe Romero, Oscar Ghiglia, Richard Provost and William Kannengieser amongst others. As a competitor, Mulholland was recently awarded first prize at the 2015 ASTA Aaron Green guitar competition and is a founding member of Orpheo Guitar Quartet, having performed at LACMA.
Danielle Oda-Voice, Piano
Danielle is born and rasied from Mililani, Hawaii. She began piano lessons at the age of 7 and quickly fell in love with the art. She enjoyed playing the works of David Benoit, David Foster and many forms of pop/contemporary music. Feeling a need to try something new, Danielle began voice lessons in middle school, and became even more intrigued - she trained hard in private lessons and began feeling comfortable combining piano and voice. Attending the University of Hawaii, she majored in music, with an emphasis in voice. In May 2014, she made the big move from Hawaii to Los Angeles to pursue music.
Jeff attended the Eastman School of Music (B.M., ’07) where he studied jazz saxophone with Walt Weiskopf and classical saxophone with Chien-Kwan Lin. After completing his degree, Jeff became a full time production assistant and stage manager at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Returning to academia, he received his master of music degree in jazz performance (M.M., ‘11) from the elite Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While in Miami he studied jazz saxophone with Gary Keller and jazz piano with Whit Sidner. Recently Jeff has been in pursuit of his doctorate in jazz performance (D.M.A.) and has received a certificate in arts entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. Jeff uses music to inspire his students to challenge themselves and make learning a more enjoyable experience.
Emily Rosenberg graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, where she received a Bachelor of Music in both Vocal Performance and Professional Music with a focus in Songwriting. While at college, Emily helped found Berklee's first opera program and directed, produced, and starred in several of the organization's productions while simultaneously pursuing her original pop/rock music. Among her proudest performances are being chosen by Arnie Roth as soloist for the sold-out Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY concert at Boston's Symphony Hall, and her performance at Carnegie Hall with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the official chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. Having released her first record at the age of twelve, she has been singing, writing, and recording throughout her life and has never stopped learning and training. As a teacher, Emily puts a strong emphasis on vocal health and learning proper technique to achieve a singer’s optimal sound.
Rachel Schlenz is an up and coming vocalist in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. She is currently completing a BM in Music Education at California State University Los Angeles. Rachel is well versed in several genres, notably jazz, classical and popular music. Past credits include a featured ensemble in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". She has also worked with The Music Companie, a prestigious caroling company in Los Angeles. Currently, Rachel is slated to sing the role of Adele, the maid in "Die Fleidermaus" at California State University of Los Angeles. As a voice teacher, Rachel is well versed in foundational classical literature, as well as contemporary popular styles and musical theater. Rachel places an emphasis on healthy technique and passionate performance, in a manner that is inspiring for all ages and levels.
Amy Schleusner-Violin, Viola
Amy Schleusner is a born and raised Tahoe native transplanted into Southern California to study Music Education at Cal Poly Pomona. Starting the violin at age nine, music has always been a part of her life. Amy grew up learning the Suzuki method through group classes and private instruction. After her time with Suzuki group classes, she joined the Philharmonic Youth Chamber Orchestra in Reno, Nevada and played with them for two years. Since graduating high school, she has taught beginning violin lessons for students ranging from early childhood into adulthood for four years. One of her future goals is to continue working with beginners, emphasizing the role of good posture for the excellence and enjoyment of strings.
Juan Sixto began his guitar studies as a hobby, intending to replicate and cover the music of The Beatles. Soon, his teenage pastime matured and turned into a passion. His dedication has acquired him the opportunity to accompany and perform with groups such as the “Rio Hondo Guitar Ensemble” and the “Workman Mill Industrial Orchestra” in Whittier, California. Juan Sixto has studied under the private instruction of respected instructors such as John Dearman, Grammy Award winner with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. With an abundance of patience and nearly a decade of experience in teaching, Juan has had the privilege of guiding many students through their musical journey. His approach to teaching and his unique methodology can make the daunting skill of reading and playing music feel so easy and natural to any student.
Patrick Shiroishi-Guitar, Saxophone, Piano
Patrick received his BM in Music Therapy and Music Performance in Classical Guitar from Chapman University. While at Chapman, he actively performed in the University's Guitar Quartet and Duo, which in 2008 took first place in a nationwide competition in Brownsville, Texas. He was also given Chapman's Guitarist of the Year Award in 2009 and Music Therapy Scholarship Award in 2008. From 2010-2013, Patrick worked at Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center where he served as the Therapeutic Arts Coordinator. There, Patrick worked as Music Therapist for children with special needs, lead the Early Head Start/Pre-Kinder Arts program, and taught piano and guitar to children of all ages. When he is not teaching, Patrick performs and collaborates with several ensembles and bands around the Los Angeles area.
Jeremy Stacey- Drums
Jeremy Stacey has been teaching professionally since the age of 19. Currently Jeremy is the Drum Line Instructor for Blair High School, Gabrielino High School, & Washington Middle School. During the summer, Jeremy teaches a beginner drum and music class as part of the Pasadena Learns Summer School Program. In the past, Jeremy held the position as percussion coach for the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and while in his first year at Gabrielino High, the drum line took home 3 2nd Place trophies. When he is not teaching, Jeremy works as a composer/arranger for student films, singer/songwriters, or high school drumlines/band programs and performs with his own jazz quartet and other ensembles.
AnnMarie Stanislaus-Voice, Piano
AnnMarie Stanislaus is a singer and songwriter from Malaysia who studied at the International College Of Music in Kuala Lumpur, and graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Songwriting. AnnMarie is well known for her performance with Grammy Award winning composer/producer, David Foster, at The David Foster & Friends Concert at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil in 2011. Aside from performing, AnnMarie has also been a dedicated Voice and Piano Teacher and Show Choir Vocal Coach, teaching students whose age groups range from children to adults. She has given private voice lessons and has coached show choirs at International schools. In 2013, she conducted a Songwriting Workshop at the International College of Music. Currently, she’s a music instructor and continues to perform extensively in the music scene here in LA.
Alejandro (Alex) Thompson-Cello, Piano
Born in Mexico, Alejandro Thompson began his cello studies at age 5. He is currently a student at Azusa Pacific University School of Music pursuing his bachelors degree in Cello Performance. He has been a dedicated teacher since 2010, and has played in many orchestra's as well as attended music festivals in many places such as Michigan, Ohio, New York, Colorado, Utah, and here in California. He has been a finalist and a winner of numerous music competitions and has a passion for performing as he maintains a busy performance and competition schedule, but he is also dedicated to teaching students and giving them the same opportunities that was given to him. He believes that with motivation and a work ethic, anyone can learn how to enjoy playing an instrument.
Xi Yang began playing cello from age 4 with her father. She was enrolled into the prestigious Music Middle School affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music when she was 14 years old. Yang received her Double-Bachelor Degrees from Bard College and Bard Conservatory of Music as Cello Performing and Art History in New York. She received her Master Degree from University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Andrew Shulman. Currently, Yang is an active performing cellist and cello instructor who has taught in USA and China. She has held master classes in China, has played in many Hollywood film recordings and has performed in concerts worldwide: New York, Prague, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Berlin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow and Budapest.
Kevin Yokota is a graduate of University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Kevin has over 10 years of teaching experience and is passionate about sharing his love for drumming with students. Kevin covers a wide range of drumming topics including technique, groove, rudiments, sight-reading, styles, songs, and time. He is enthusiastic about teaching drummers of all ages and ability levels. Whether it's learning how to hold the drumsticks or preparing for a college audition, Mr. Yokota equips each one of his students with the tools they need to become a great drummer and have fun. As a drummer/percussionist, Kevin has performed and recorded extensively with many world-class musicians including Sam Amidon, Eric Reed Trio, Inc. No World, INGA, Snowblink, Adam Levy, and Hi Fi Honeydrops. His drumming has also been featured on many movies, T.V. shows, and commercials.