Our Teachers

The quality of our teaching staff is second to none, from classically trained teachers with doctorate degrees to accomplished jazz and hip hop teachers, each one is warm, patient, and cares deeply about helping each student learn to play the music they desire. All of our teachers have college training and many have professional performance experience both nationally and internationally as well as being recording artists. Our teachers support the goals of each student with encouragement and appropriate pacing of instruction, while providing a broad and deep foundation in all styles of music, as well as sight reading, technique, music theory, improvisation, and composition. They know the perfect balance of having their students progress well while making each lesson interesting and exciting. Our teachers love what they do and dedicate themselves to guiding you to reach your musical goals.
Some of the prestigious institutions our teachers are graduates of are, Berklee College of Music, California State University at Northridge, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Charles University in Prague, and Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

We offer MTAC/Certificate of Merit and Royal Conservatory Curriculum when requested.

Meet Our Teachers Below.


Jill Desiree

Voice

Born in Sydney Australia, raised in Jakarta Indonesia and educated in Boston Massachusetts, Jill's compositions and vocal style benefits from a wealth of diverse musical influences from the traditional Javanese scale of the gamelan to the melancholic blues of the American South.

At 19 Jill began her course of study at the Berklee College of Music. Her thirst for knowledge drove her to excel in a variety of musical endeavors including the Tower of Power Funk Ensemble, The Commercial Pop/Rock Recording Ensemble, The Berklee International Folk Festival and the Afro Pop Ensemble. The experience of such a stylistically eclectic education is evident in her approach to the musical standards of today. Jill was also a recipient of The Berklee Achievement-based Scholarship at the recommendation of her teachers in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement in music. Since earning her B.M. from Berklee in 2004, Jill has performed and recorded with many artists and session musicians in Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Sydney and Jakarta. In 2005 she also had the privilege of performing at the Las Vegas Convention Center to present the Privia line of Keyboards for Casio Corporation.

After spending five years based out of Sydney, Australia, Jill recently relocated to the United States. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she manages and performs with her band "Soul Seasonings" www.soulseasoningsband.com together with her husband, saxophonist/musical director, David Olivas. She is also currently hard at work as she continues to explore the Jazz idiom and its history through her own original compositions. Aside from being a performer, she teaches private contemporary music theory, piano lessons and coaches vocal students of all ages. Jill is also a three-year veteran instructor of the internationally renown Children's music program "Kindermusik" and is currently teaching the "Musical Moments" group piano classes for adults, teens, and kids at Knauer Pianos in Tarzana CA


Maggie Daniec

Piano

Maggie has over 7 years of experience teaching piano and composition to all ages and levels. She creates the lesson based on students strengths, needs and aspirations - making each lesson unique and engaging. Very good with young beginners, as well as adults and students trying to transition from classical music to other genres.

Maggie was born and raised in Zywiec, a small mountain town in southern Poland. She studied classical piano and performed at national and international piano competitions in Poland and nearby countries.

Upon moving to the US at age 14, Maggie started studying and playing jazz. She frequented L.A. jam sessions, and performed in local restaurants and clubs. She then attended Berklee College of Music on scholarship, and studied Jazz Composition (B.A.) and piano performance.

Maggie spent her first couple years after Berklee in California (both the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles) where she performed with wide variety of bands in many different genres.

She has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with artists such as Thelma Houston, Klymaxx, the Womack family, Victoria Theodore (Stevie Wonder/Arsenio Hall), Dr. Fink (Prince and the Revolution), Eric EQ Young (ConFunkShun), Darwin Tillery, Kirk Crumpler, Joe Archie, Brian Braziel, David Council (Graham Central Station), and many more. She has also been an active teacher, with over 35 students in her studio.

Maggie is currently based in Los Angeles. She is working on an original funk/fusion project (Joy Guerrilla), is a keyboardist for all-female band Klymaxx, and is actively teaching in the Los Angeles area.


Carlos Gardels

Pianos

American pianist Carlos Gardels has been a student of the piano since age seven, and has performed extensively throughout the United States and Mexico.

Born in Los Angeles, Carlos presented his concerto debut at age fifteen as soloist in the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto with the Pasadena Summer Youth Orchestra under the direction of Robert Allen Gross in the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and has since gone on appear at numerous festival and venues across the country, including Steinway Hall and the Yamaha artist salon in New York City, The Bowdoin International Music festival, PIANOSUMMER at New Paltz, and was selected to give the inaugural recital of the recently founded "Young Artist's Concerts (YAC)" series at the Doheney Mansion in Los Angeles. Most recently was a performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the YAC concert orchestra in the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

He has received awards in numerous competitions, including the National Society of Arts and Letters competition, Long Island Choral Society instrumental competition, Young Musician's foundation Scholarship competition, and Cypress College piano competition.

Mr. Gardels holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Indiana University where he was a scholarship student at both institutions. His principal teachers have been Dr. Jacqueline Salas, Haksoon Swiatkowski, Jeffrey Cohen, Evelyne Brancart, and Emile Naoumoff. He has completed additional coaching with Vladimir Feltsman, David Dubal, John Perry, Jerome Lowenthal, Cyprien Kasaris, and Daniel Pollack.

In addition to his performing activities, Carlos is also an established pedagogue, and has served on the faculty of Indiana University's pre-college division, the California Academy of Music, as well as having run a private studio for the past five years.


Anjela Tokadjian

Piano

Anjela Tokadjian has always had a love for classical music. Ever since she was a little girl, she was fascinated with the genre and couldn’t help but to listen to it everywhere she went. She began taking piano lessons at the age of 5 years old and her love for music grew even more. After being asked to perform for her 5th grade culmination ceremony, her passion for music grew to an even higher level. As she became older, Anjela was figuring out some of her favorite pop songs by ear. During her time in high school, Anjela devoted several hours to serving her peers by accompanying the Vocal Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble, and the elite jazz choir Vannaires. Anjela finished off her high school career by performing piano at her graduation ceremony.

After graduating high school, Anjela completed the applied music program at Los Angeles Valley College. She is currently preparing audition pieces for transfer and studying under renowned professor Margarita Markosyan from the Moscow Conservatory. In addition, Anjela has completed advanced levels of the ABRSM Merit Exams, and she has participated in several competitions, concerts, and festivals where she has won awards like the Heritage Festival’s Maestro Award and the Fullerton Soloist Award. Anjela is currently working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, devoting most of her time to practicing and preparing for competitions, master classes, and performances.

To add to her many accomplishments, Anjela has a great love for teaching. She believes in teaching her students all the necessary tools to become a successful and literate musician through music theory, sight reading, ear training, exercises, and through mastering the skill of accompanying. Anjela also believes in teaching her students to love and understand the music at a deeper emotional level. She loves seeing her students share the same passion for music that she has, and believes that through passion, kindness, and hard work, any student can excel in piano. Anjela looks forward to teaching future students with care and guiding them through the right path to musical success.


Rosanna Klaus

Piano

Rosanna Klaus has been a passionate and avid classical pianist beginning her journey at the age of five. Eager to learn and play just like her three older brothers, she took lessons from her grandmother and member of the West Valley Branch of Music Teachers Association of California - Rosemary Carswell. Her passion for playing first launched when she was in the third grade, after learning Beethoven's Eccosaise in G Major. She took advantage of every opportunity to perform, whether it was at school in front of her third grade class or at home in front of family members and friends. Later, her passion was further intensified by the Nocturnes of Chopin which dominated her repertoire throughout middle school. First playing Chopin's Nocturne in c minor and tackling various other Nocturnes, she learned a great deal of things from these pieces and ended with Chopin's Nocturne in c minor, opus 48 no. 1. She now tackles very advanced level music, from Prokofieff and Chopin Sonatas to Chopin Ballades and Rachmaninoff Concertos, however she still loves to sit down and play her most memorable pieces as often as she can.

Rosanna has performed all over the valley, participating in monthly general recitals with the West Valley MTAC. She has been a contestant in numerous competitions, and among those has placed in the CAPMT Romantic/Impressionistic Competition in 2011. She has been asked to participate in numerous master classes with some of the staff from CSUN, such as Dmitri Rachmanov and Ed Francis. She has passed all levels of Certificate of Merit, passing level Advanced (lv. 10) twice, achieving exemption from theory tests her first year doing advanced level, at the impressively young ages of 14 and 15. She passed Panel Level which is another set of levels, at the age of 16 and is taking part again at the age of 17. She has been chosen to perform at Honors Recitals and Annual Conventions since the age of nine. Each year she also takes part in National Guild Auditions where it is required that each student plays ten pieces by memory covering all classical eras; Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary. The year of 2014 will be her 13th and last year participating. Her passion for piano continues to grow and is now able to share this passion with her students.

Rosanna understands the importance of technique in developing a beautiful, strong pianist and also understands that every student learns differently. She makes sure to focus on all aspects of learning how to play from theory to sight reading and everything in between. Both a very talented and creative teacher, Rosanna tries very hard to keep all of her students motivated, inspired, and interested in learning the beauty of the piano in all sorts of styles.


Michael Wyckoff

Piano

Michael Wyckoff is a pianist, composer of film and orchestral music, electronic music producer, and sound designer. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Michael has been playing piano since the age of four. He has won numerous competitions across California and has performed to an audience of over 10,000, yet prefers to spend his time alone in his room writing music. His compositions as "R!OT" have been loved by thousands, and his scores for YouTube channel "Freddiew (Rocket Jump)" have been heard by millions.

Michael is, and will always be a student of music; his current and past teachers include: Joanna Ezrin (SFV Symphony Orchestra), Edward Francis (Thousand Oaks Symphony Orchestra), Bruce Broughton (Miracle on 34th Street/Silverado), Jim Dooley (Pirates of the Caribbean), Gerard Marino (God of War), Scott Glasgow (Spider Man 2).

As a teacher Michael combines his knowledge of piano performance, music composition, and the physics of sound to provide the motivated student with a means to be as well rounded a pianist and musician as possible.


Michaela Eremiášová

Piano

Michaela Eremiášová, has been named recipient of the 33rd annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The Prize was awarded for Emblems, an 11-minute work for solo violin and chamber orchestra.

Michaela Eremiášová was born in Prague, Czech Republic and now resides in North Hollywood, California. Her music has been performed by the ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung) Choir from Indonesia, Chamber Choir Hymni of Denmark, Madrigalia, Musica Nova, Duo vio-Link-oto, Arabesque Winds, Eastman Chorale, Eastman Trombone Choir, and Novus Quartet, among others. Eremiášo's collaborations include work with performers, contemporary painters, poets, and modern dance choreographers as well as with experimental and mainstream filmmakers. One of her closest collaborators is her husband, Colombian composer Jairo Duarte-López. Together, they co-composed the chamber work Car Crash Opera for an animated film by Skip Battaglia. Eremiášo's collaborative works have been recognized with awards such as the ASIFA Award for "Excellence in Experimental Techniques" for All That Remains. Her music has been featured at New York City Opera's VOX Festival, New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University, Kurt Weill Festival at Berlin's Sony Center in Germany, Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music, and in over one hundred national and international film festivals. Most recently, Eremiášová and Duarte-López co-composed several es for their opera-in progress Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), based on the play by Federico García-Lorca, as a commission by the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Eremiášová holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Conservatory of Jaroslav Ježek, a Masters in Musicology from Charles University in Prague, and a PhD in Composition from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Her principal teacher and mentor is Prof. David Liptak.


Mariana Sargsyan

Piano

Mariana Sargsyan has devoted her life to the piano and music since the age of 6 years old. She attended a music school in Armenia and at the age of 14 was accepted into Kara-Murza, a music college in Armenia. After graduating with high honors, she was accepted into Yerevan State Conservatory of Komitas. In the meantime, not only was she a private piano teacher, but she performed in many concerts and participated in several prestigious competitions. After she graduated, she moved to the US, where she continued as a piano teacher and received her Master of Music Degree at CSUN. At CSUN, she studied under the guidance of her professor, Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov.

Mariana has been teaching piano since she was 14 years old and because of that and her musical experience, she has all the proper skills to make her students be the best they could be. Mariana is an active member of NGPT, and she annually prepares her students to participate in the ABRSM Royal Exams and Guild Exams.

She loves and cares for all her students and tailors the lessons to fit the needs of every student.


Richard Gill

Voice

Richard grew up in a musical family. His mother a concert pianist, playing Carnegie Hall, taught him piano from a young age. Piano was followed by cello, and finally violin, of which he studied with Ivan Shapiro, the father of famed violinist Eudice Shapiro. At the age of 15 Richard performed with the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra of California under the direction of Dr. Ernst Katz. There he performed several concerts, often with celebrity guests, at The Music Center and Shrine Auditorium.

Around this same time, Richard’s singing voice changed and he demonstrated a very powerful and mature sound. It was at that point that he decided to focus on the voice as his main instrument. At this time he already had earned PTA Music Scholarships, The City of Hope Award of Excellence, and a scholarship from the Wilshire Ebell Theater Society. Richard went on to study classical music and opera at the California Institute of the Arts (CAL Arts). He developed his voice with the infamous singer and actress Marni Nixon, as well as with James Low, coach and accompanist to top Met, New York City Opera and International Opera Stars. Richard also studied voice with musical theater expert William McKenna as well as Vladimir Shustroff, the latter of which he learned the Bel Canto approach, an Italian vocal technique literally meaning “beautiful singing,” that can provide for a strong vocal technique for any kind of singing. Richard can modify this approach for every type of music style including classical, opera, rock, pop, jazz, country and R & B.

It is this rich body of experience that Richard brings to his teaching. Over the years he has gone on to teach several professionals in the entertainment industry. Richard continues to play violin and piano, and can transpose music at sight. He has performed in operas, musical theater, and at concerts and weddings. He also has a repertoire of original songs, which he continues to expand. Being a people person, Richard is unique in his ability to connect with any and all personalities, and it is this warmth and passion that he brings to his music and the relationships he develops with his students. With an emphasis on effortless and beautiful singing, Richard is able to successfully help students reach their potential to grow into the best artist they can be.


Brandon Encinas

Violin Viola

Brandon is a professional violinist and violist in the Los Angeles area. Brandon spent 2 years at the University of Redlands as a music education major, teaching violin both privately and in the classroom. In 2011 he was the associate concertmaster for the University of Redlands Symphony Orchestra. More recently Brandon has performed with groups such as the Tulare County Symphony, Fresno Grand Opera, and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. He’s also been able to play under several professional conductors and composers such as Dr. Bruce Kiesling, Roger Kalia, Inon Zur, Gary Schymann, Chris Lennertz, Austin Wintory, Bruce Broughton, Russell Brower, and Jack Wall. When not performing regionally, Brandon spends his free time as a traveling musician. In the past four years he has spent over 12 months on the road, performing in over 30 U.S. states and in the countries of Haiti, Colombia, Portugal and France, as a violinist and music director with the Celebrant Singers. Brandon now continues his education as a violin performance major at California State University Northridge studying under Michael Ferril.


Anzhela Davtyan

Piano

Anzhela Davtyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, where she received her first musical lessons.

At an early age she began her piano studies, and at the age of 6 she attended a special school for gifted children. She went on to complete her musical education at the Music School of Arno Babajanyan in Yerevan, where she obtained a Bachelor degree with honors in solo performance, ensemble performance, accompanying and pedagogy.

After her emigration to USA, she continued her piano studies at the California State University of Northridge under the direction of Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov and engaged in pedagogical activities and ensemble performing.

Her teaching experience includes maintaining a private studio for the past 9 years. She really enjoys teaching and has experience teaching piano for students of all ages.

Currently, Anzhela is working on her Master degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the California State University of Northridge.

Anzhela is also fluent in Armenian, Russian, and French.


Alexandra Kagan

Violin, Piano

Alexandra Kagan received her music education in the city of St Petersburg, Russia. She took her first violin lesson at the age of 7. Her life changed completely after her audition for the string program of St Petersburg's Palace of Youth Creativity. She entered the life of great challenges, competitions and hard work. The very first violin that she got was tiny, however, nothing in the world excited her more than holding this treasure in her hands. Alexandra's love for violin grew with every day and at the age of 8 she performed at the Anichkov Palace annual recital. She was afterwards invited to participate in the city's chamber ensemble under the guidance of Dmitrova S.

Her childish appreciation of violin now grew into strong passion, which found its outcome in music. Alexandra became an annual participant of Palace's performances, competitions, and showcases. She was honored the award "Star of the Palace 2010" and performed various solos with her chamber ensemble, as well as held solo and duet performances with her colleagues. Strong preparation and numerous rehearsals attracted worldwide attention to the chamber group. From September 2008 to May 2012 ensemble participated in competitions and festivals around the world. Alexandra and her 3 fellow friends were honored to rehearse and perform with orchestras in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Makarska, Croatia, Neumarkt, Germany. St Petersburg's city ensemble held performances on most of the stages of the city. The Great Philarmonic Hall, Mariinsky Concert Hall, and Anichkov Palace were among others. They were also honored to meet the city governor as well as President of Russia.

The ensemble took first prizes in the Morning Star International Competition held in Stockholm, Sweden; We Play Together International Competition of string players of Paris, France as well as the Shostakovitch Contest of Russian Music Society. In 2012 Alexandra participated in the Morning Star Competition with her duet partner and took the honorary diploma.

Alexandra's tiny violin later on grew into a full size one. And so does passion and love for music grows bigger with every day. "The world of music already gave me so much more than I could ever ask for."

Alexandra Kagan is still growing as a musician and understands how important it is to never stop the pursue of your biggest dreams and passions. She is dedicating her time to the teaching process of younger kids and thinks that as well as the techique of this beautiful instrument it is important to "feel" and express your soul through the music, not just "play notes." Alexandra loves teaching and finds different approach to each of her students. She finds it important to find understanding with the students and give them as much of herself as she possibly can.


Arkae Tuazon

Piano,Voice

I began playing piano at age 4. My family moved around a few times and I had to learn to adjust to my new surroundings. I wouldn't say I was shy, but I kept to myself. Music gave me a constant companion through composing and improvising. It helped me stand out and it also allowed me to make friends. At 14, my teacher encouraged me to start teaching, so that I would see playing in a different way. I found that it was more than just technique, reportoire or even the sound coming out of a box of 88 keys, hammers and strings. It's all about sharing yourself to the listener. You choose how little or how much you share. But you can do it without any words at all.


Michael Ragonese

Piano

Michael Ragonese began playing piano at the age of seven. Throughout years of strict instruction, Michael had studied classical pianountil he entered high school. In high school Michael developed a passion for jazz and participated in jazz groups at The Colburn School ofPerforming Arts. Michael graduated from California State University Northridge in May of 2014 with a Bachelors in Jazz Performance. During his college career, Michael had led his jazz combo to win first place at TheMonterey and Reno Jazz festivals. He also won the "Best College Performer" award at the Reno Jazz festival. Since Michael graduatedcollege he has performed with many Jazz legends such as Bennie Maupin, Alphonso Johnson, and Charnett Mofet. Michael performs all overLos Angeles in various Jazz Venues. He loves music and loves to teach!!


Alex Nizzoli

Piano,Voice

Born and raised in California, Alex Nizzoli has been playing and studying music from a very young age. Starting with piano and voice at the age of 4, Alex's musical journey led him to virtually every part of a musical ensemble. He picked up trumpet at the age of 6, as well as performed in musical theatre productions from that age on as well. In middle school, Alex started playing jazz and his journey would be forever changed. In high school, Alex began studying classical music extensively both in the orchestra and as a conductor. Also at this time he sang, played trumpet in, and wrote music for a ska band. When the time came to go to college, Alex went to CSU, Northridge and completed a degree in Jazz Studies with an emphasis on piano. Since college, Alex has enjoyed being a freelance teacher and musician around the Los Angeles area. As a teacher, Alex's style stems from his multifaceted musical journey. He tailors each lesson for each student and his primary goal is to spark a lasting love for music in every student. From jazz to pop and rock, classical music to music theatre, Alex has seen it all and loves to teach it all. You can hear his music by going to www.soundcloud.com/alexnizzoli or by searching his name on YouTube.


Eric Astoria

Cello

Eric Astoria was born and raised in Los Aneles County. Ever since he was very young music was the one thing that always made him happy and feel complete. At the age of 9, he was first introduced to music with his first instrument being the flute. After falling in love with learning music he did not stop there. He later went to learn the clarinet, piano, violin and the cello. The moment he touched and played the cello, it was fate that it would be an instrument he would master and grow to love. The cello is more than an instrument to him, but a form of personal expression and it truly shows his personality.

With over 10 years of experience he has had the privilege to play with The Kadi ma Conservatory of Music under the direction of Beth Elliot, and had the opportunity to play a solo with the orchestra. Still being an active member he continued his education from Los Aneles Valley College under the direction of Lynn Rembrandt. He is now attending California State University, North ride, with an emphasis of Music Education, under the direction of Professor. Diane Concettism.With immense love of music, Eric continues to learn more instruments and strives to be a music director of all ages.

" Everyone can play if they put their heart into it" is his motto. Eric teaches from ages 7 to 40 and at all different levels. Still learning the instrument day by day he will continue and strive to be the best performer and teacher he could possibly be. He will not only teach his students music, but teach them to love it and continue to play for years to come.


Chris Hernandez

Piano

Hi everyone, my name is Chris. I started playing piano when I was 9 years old. I was lucky enough to be able to take lessons from my Grandmother, Rosemary Carswell. She gave me a great foundation and I believe it’s given me an edge in helping out my own students. I’ve done my best to be a sponge in every musical endeavor since then and I get a lot of joy and excitement in passing on what I know.

My musical background has been a long, eclectic mix of performance and composition experiences. I’ve participated in Music-Teacher’s-Association-of-California (MTAC) State Conventions, MTAC-San Fernando-West-Valley-Branch recitals, festivals and competitions. I was a featured piano soloist in school performances every year from 4th grade all the way up through my senior year in high school. In middle school and high school I played piano in the jazz bands. I’ve accompanied singers and solo instrumentalists from high school through college and all of it has been a blast.

I also studied and played Euphonium while I was in middle and high school. With it I was accepted into various honor groups, I received a scholarship in middle school for lessons and further study, I made principle player from sophomore through senior at Hamilton High School Academy of Music in Los Angeles and marched in the Rose Parade in 2002 with the LAUSD All-City-High-School-Marching-Band.

Outside of school I’ve also done various things, from being a piano teacher for the last 10 years, to working at various churches as a pianist/guitar player/assistant music director and arranger. I’ve also had the amazing opportunities to play at UCLA with the Jaman Laws group and I even got to work in Japan as an accompanist and as a lyricist with Teichiku Records as their first non-Japanese hire. All in all, my musical knowledge has gifted me many open doors and experiences. I feel blessed to have it as well as a whole-hearted happiness and privilege in sharing what I’ve managed to soak up in my short time as a musician and I hold a hope that I can help others get out there and play.


Camille Ramirez

Saxophone Flute Clarinet

Camille Ramirez has taught Sax, Flute, and Clarinet for over 4 years. She specializes in Music Theory, Improvisation Techniques, Performance/Rehearsal Techniques, and Ear Training. She attended South Bay School of Music Arts, Cal State Northridge for B.M. Jazz Studies,Valley Christian High School, and attended multiple workshops such as San Jose Jazz Camp and Stanford Jazz Workshop. She has received many awards for her jazz performances such as 1st place at the Monterey and Reno Jazz Festivals. She has taught at the South Bay Summer Jazz Intensive and Stanford Jazz Workshop Day Camp for 3-4+ years. Camille is enthusiastic and charismatic towards her profession and her students. She strives to motivate her students of all ability levels.


Kim Yarbrough

Voice Instructor

Kim is a classically trained violinist and vocalist and has over 20 years' professional experience in each. She was a violin education and performance major and a classical vocal minor in college. Kim is currently vocal coaching several Disney and Nickelodeon child actors. One of her star vocal students is Amber Montana (Taylor of Nickelodeon's "Haunted Hathaways"). Kim recently vocal coached Amber through completing her very first successful studio recording demo.

Kim has been a working professional singer for more than 2 decades and have performed and toured throughout the United States and Paris. She was a finalist on Season 2 of "The Voice" and continue to perform and sing for all types and sizes of audiences.

Kim has been teaching vocally for over 25 years and believes in a 360 degree music education with my students. She not only teaches them how to have a command of their vocal instrument and be excellent singers, but also covers a bit of music theory, ear training, performance practice, reading music, and handling themselves confidently in performances and auditions.

View Kim's Performance's on the Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfHSmb4mPKI


Jon Monter

Guitar

Jon Monter grew up in St Louis Missouri and found guitar and music around the age of 14. He was first drawn towards heavy metal and rock music before expanding into a appreciation of all music. He picked up on it quickly and it wasn't long before Jon embarked upon his formal musical training. Starting at a local college in St Louis Jon learned all the basics before transferring to Berklee College of Music.

At Berklee Jon immersed himself into his studies and aquired much knowledge and musical tools. With subjects like Music Theory, Music History, Ear Training, Arranging, Ensemble Practice and more - there was plenty to study at Berklee. Jon graduated with degrees in Guitar Performance and Music Business and he since moved to Los Angeles.

Being in a city like Los Angeles, with its wealth of opportunities, has given Jon the chance to play many live gigs, recording gigs, touring, etc. Jon's real world experience combined with his education has allowed him to broaden and refine his musical skills.

With years of teaching experience Jon is comfortable with all ages, and versed in all musical styles. So matter how old you are, or what you want to learn, Jon will be a great teach for you.




Jordan Avesar

Drums

Jordan’s philosophy to teaching music is to keep an open-minded, and fun approach to developing a student’s talents. He is highly proficient in reading drum/percussion music and has the ability to dive into the technical and physical properties to maximize a student’s development and effort. At the same time, Jordan understands that the most important aspect of music is having fun. So, Jordan focuses on keeping the learning process relaxed yet inspiring, and challenging students when they are ready. Jordan has experience teaching students of all ages and levels of ability, so he knows that anyone has the potential to be a great musician.

Jordan Avesar, has been playing drums since he was eleven years old and has been the drummer of the band Infantree for the last seven years. In the time that Jordan has been playing with Infantree, he has performed on the Conan O’Brien show twice, toured the country with Neil Young and Crazy Horse at venues including the Hollywood Bowl, recorded two studio albums at Sunset Sound Studios with producer Niko Bolas, and recorded two in-home albums. Jordan has also toured the country several times and opened for Portugal the Man, Black Dub, Los Lobos and other artists at venues and festivals including Outside Lands, Banaroo, South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Wakarusa, CMJ, and more.

In addition to recording and playing with Infantree, Jordan has been developing his technique and musicianship in rock, jazz, latin and orchestral styles of drumming by studying drums/percussion under the world-renown drummer and teacher Bruce Becker for seven years, as well as studying from Burleigh Drummond from Ambrosia for four years. In his earlier days as a drummer, Jordan played in the Agoura High School Jazz Band for all four years, where the students competed and received 3rd place in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band competition in New York, and received 2nd place in the Swing Central High School Jazz Band Competition in Savannah Georgia. By preparing for these competitions, the students had the amazing opportunity of being coached by legendary jazz musicians including Jeff Hamilton and Ali Jackson. Now, Jordan and Infantree are excited to be recording their fifth album and releasing their music on hand-cut vinyl records.




Athan Gousios

Drums/Piano

Athan Gousios began playing drums at the age of 14, and has been hooked ever since. His drumming journey began when he caught a violent case of mono, and was bedridden for weeks. Unable to participate in sports or other activities, Athan turned his attention to the old drum set tucked away in the corner of his room. After just one practice session, he knew he had found his passion, and with that came the drive and determination to be the best musician he could be. Athan's hard work led him to such groups as the Downbeat Award winning JazzSchool Studio Band, county and state honor bands, and eventually to Los Angeles for the highly acclaimed California State University Northridge Jazz Program. In Los Angeles, Athan has had the wonderful opportunity to work with bands such as the CSUN Jazz A Band (2013 Downbeat Magazine's Top Collegiate Jazz Big Band), and participate in festivals like the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Reno Jazz Festval, where he received the award for Outstanding Small-Group Musician.

Additionally, Athan's education has cultivated his love for piano, songwriting and composition, and he now frequently works as a songwriter and composer, in a variety of genres that include pop, jazz, rock, big band and orchestral. Some of Athan's composer and songwriting credits include work with Emmy nominated composers and producers, orchestration of a musical that premiered on Broadway in New York City, and many student films and independent works. Working daily as a professional performer/composer, Athan hopes he can use this vast experience to take your music making to the next level. Whether beginner or advanced, and any genre from jazz to rock to hip hop, he has the knowledge to take your playing to the highest level, and guarantees you'll have a blast doing it!


Marie Captain

Piano/Voice

Musician, performer, composer, musical arranger, Producer Pop-Rock-Electronica Music, computer musician, Song Writer. Has performed and taught in both the New York and Los Angeles areas.
As a performer she has played keyboards and guitar in rock, jazz, and broadway pit bands. She is also a recoding studio musician. As a composer she has written full scale musical shows with both the script and the music. As an arranger and a Producer directed school, community, and regional theatre for over 30 years. She has directed musicals at the Emelin Theatre and stages reading at the West Side Arts Theatre in NYC. She has also directed and musically directed well over 65 musicals.

Some of Marie’s Students have gone on into the field of entertainment. Natalie Toro, the original Eponine on Broadway as well as National tours and the original Madame DeFarge in Tale of Two Cities and presently Lauryn Chiardullo, role of Jasmine in Broadway’s Production of Aladdin. She musically directed the Off Broadway production of "The Wonderful Story Of the Babes In The Wood", and 3 songs she composed were featured in it. Marie has also composed the music for "My Poppa", "Rosalita", "Revelations", "Dick Whittington", "Princess", "Velveteen Rabbit" all original shows
Marie has directed Summer Theatre Intensive Camps in NY and in Sedona Arizona. She continues to teaches piano, guitar, voice and computer music and Song Writing. At present she is arranging Pop and Pop Rock songs
Along with composing Pop Music, and movie themed music. Marie is Thrilled to be part of the staff at The Knauer School of Music in Tarzana and Agoura Hills CA.


Stevie Bensusen

Vocal Coach

With three #1 records and four top ten records in the UK. Three top forty albums in the U.S. and 20 million records sold worldwide written and produced for multi platinum recording artists including Jordan Knight (NKOTB), O Town, No Mercy, top UK artists Shola Ama, (best new artist), A1 and many more, Stevie Bensusen continues to make his mark in the record business.
To write and produce hit records, Stevie takes from his experience as a songwriter being mentored by legendary producer/songwriter Thom Bell, one of the founding fathers of “Gamble, Huff & Bell” the iconic Philadelphia sound. As a writer/producer signed to Warner Chappell Music. As a recording artist with RCA records. As a live performer fronting his top drawing original R&B band in the L.A. music scene and from his company, Artist Vocal Development where he develops vocalists, preparing them to make records and tour.
Stevie’s Vocal Group “Girls United” with members Nichole Cordova, formally the lead singer of “Girlicious”, Alex Segal and Candice Craig formally with L. A. Reid and Island Def Jam Records, is the next big female vocal group to watch for.
Stevie is also working with female solo artist “Skylar Stecker”. At 11 years old she is already being hailed vocally as an artist to follow in the footsteps of today’s pop superstars.
Stevie has the rare ability as a songwriter to write for any kind of music successfully, from Pop to Rock, R&B, Dance and Country. As a producer in the recording studio or in live performance, Stevie has the gift to take the artist to the level they need to be on, regardless of the style of music.

Click here and see Stevie's vocal group, Girls United!, that made it to the final top 10 groups on "X Factor" season 3


Here are two artists Stevie develops. He produced and arranged the vocals on these cover record videos!




Mahsa Ghassemi

Cello/Piano

Mahsa Ghassemi started playing cello at the age of 12 and pursued a music degree, obtaining a diploma from the only official music school in Tehran, at the age of 18. During the same time she was performing with Bahman Symphony orchestra, The Iranian-Austrian Chamber Orchestra and also won the "Youngest Instrumentalist" competition in Iran at the age of 16. She also played with Tehran Symphony and the national Television & Radio orchestra. She has also recorded in several of Tehran well known studios for many movies and TV series all before the age of 18.

She decided to further enhance her musical technique and knowledge and got acceptance to the Komitas State Conservatory Masters program in Armenia and trained with internationally recognized cellist Maestro Zareh Sarkisian.

While studying she played in various symphonies and chamber ensembles including The Yerevan Philharmonic orchestra as her reward from the University for graduating with honours. She was one of a chosen few to play for world renowned cellist, Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich. she also played with Demis Roussos’s band while in Yerevan, Armenia.

After Completing her Master’s Degree in Yerevan, She moved back to Iran and became the Youngest teacher at The University of Art, faculty of music in Tehran at the age of 22. She was also a soloist with Tehran Symphony, Armenian Virtuosi string orhestra conducted by Loris Tcheknavorian and made many recordings before moving to Canada with well known iranian composers. While In Canada, she received her 2nd Masters degree in Cello Performance, Played with Toronto Philharmonia, Sudbury Symphony, Toronto sinfonietta and has been the Principal Cellist for the Koffler Chamber orchestra and the Helliconian Orchestra. She has also Played non-classical groups such as playing for an audience of 15000 with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Air Canada Centre. She has worked with many well known contemporary Iranian composers and performers such as Loris Tcheknavorian, Ahmad Pejman, Karen Homayunfar, Saeed Shanbezadeh, Habib Meftah Booshehri, Khachik Babayan, Iman Vaziri, and Babak Amini.

In 2013, she co-founded The Collide Project with composer and guitarist, Behnam Jahanbeiglou. The Collide Project has already produced and released their debut album and is on to second. she has also Manuscript and arranged Behnam Jahanbegolou’s cello parts in their first Catalogue for The Collide Project.

Since 2013, Mahsa has been active with margaritas string quartet, trio moonshine, The Sudbury symphony and The Guelph symphony performing many concerts and recitals as well as teaching in her private studio.

In March 2016, she was the guest performer with the Adaawe and singer Mamak Khadem in Long Beach, CA.


Andrea Roberts

Piano

Andrea Roberts began studying piano at the age of six in her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. After completing her bachelor’s degree in jazz studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, Andrea moved to Rosario, Argentina. Over the next six years, Andrea became an integral part of the local jazz scene, playing with a variety of groups and leading her own trio.
While living in Argentina, Andrea discovered a passion for tango. She joined the Sexteto Vendaval, playing regularly for two years in Argentina and touring in Europe. In addition to tango, Andrea studied the rhythmic diversity and complexity found in Argentine folk music and other Latin American musical styles. In 2017, Andrea moved back to the US and settled in Los Angeles.
In addition to performing, Andrea has over seven years of experience teaching students of all ages, both as a piano and music theory instructor. Andrea adapts her lessons to meet the individual needs of each student, incorporating her love of improvisation with her deep knowledge of music theory.

Offering Quality Piano Lessons, Voice Lessons, Guitar Lessons, Bass Lessons, Violin Lessons, Cello Lessons, Saxophone Lessons, Trumpet Lessons, Flute Lessons, Drum Lessons, Ukulele Lessons, Viola Lessons, Clarinet Lessons


We’d love to arrange your first lesson.
Call us Tarzana: (818) 206-3379, Agoura Hills: (818) 206-3412

Contact Us

TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS

Tarzana Location

19301 Ventura Blvd. At Tampa Ave & 101 Freeway
Tarzana, Ca. 91356

Agoura Hill Location

29360 Roadside Dr. Agoura Hills
Agoura Hills, Ca. 91301
We are near the Kanan off ramp and 101 Freeway

We are in close proximity to Woodland Hills, San Fernando Valley, Calabasas, Encino, Agoura Hills, Canoga Park, Thousand Oaks, Tarzana, Westlake Village & Northridge CA