Program Coordinator, Piano, Composition, Music Production
Jason is a graduate from the University of California at Irvine with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Digital Arts. Starting private piano lessons at age 5, Jason has 13 years of private piano study and over twenty years of experience in piano performance, technique and theory. Having mastered the art of classical performance and completing the rigorous testing of the California Certificate of Merit, Jason went on to pursue the study of blues, jazz and funk improvisation on his own.
Today, Jason works as a teacher (since 2003), studio musician and performs regularly as a professional musician, touring and playing with acts like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and with members of Frank Zappa, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Fishbone. Jason has also recorded an album of classical favorites from Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu to Debussy’s Clair de Lune. His music can also be heard on independent movies like Camjackers and has been a sought out songwriter in recent days and is also working on his own methodology for teaching beginning improvisation. He devotes his life to music and aims to influence the youth to find relaxation and peace of mind through the art of sound.
Sylvia graduated from the University of California at Riverside with a BA in Psychology. She started in private piano lessons since the age of eight, and she has over 10 years of private piano study in classical technique and theory, with over 20 years of classical piano performance.
Sylvia has received her diploma from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, a division of American College of Musicians, the most prestigious certification in piano, at the young age of 18, and also graduated in the top 1 percentile. She has performed in countless performances, events and had also competed in the Los Angeles Music Festival Piano Competition. Today, Sylvia concentrates most of her time teaching than performing, but she still plays for churches, occasional weddings and special events.
Classically trained and with the rare gift of ‘Perfect-pitch’, Sylvia has been teaching since 2005 in piano and also in violin. She teaches all age groups, from young children to adults, as well as students of all skill levels. Some of her favorite pieces are Beethoven Sonata No. 8, Schubert Impromptu #4 in A flat minor, and Chopin “Fantasie” Impromptu, Op. 66.
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Brian has played drums and percussion in the Orange County/Los Angeles area since the age of 12. Starting Beginning Band in Elementary School shortly after seeing Ringo bounce away on the drums with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, he caught the “music bug.” His first drum set was a $75.00 pawn shop kit that his mother bought him as a birthday present. Intermediate High School introduced him to the concert band setting and reading of music. Continuing into High School with concert, marching, and stage bands improved rapidly his drumming skills and interest. During High School, he was recruited by a fellow drummer into the Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corp where his natural ability and willingness to grow earned a “Rookie of the Year” Award. This tremendous growth experience took him on four (4) National Competition Summer Tours, culminating with sharing in the winning of the First DCI (Drum Corp International) Championship of 1972 in White Water, Wisconsin. After aging out of Drum Corp, Brian carried his training and knowledge through many college music ensembles, bands, and orchestras. Continued performance in countless musical situations has enriched his life greatly, including five (5) European concert tours with the Golden West College Symphonic Band. Brian feels that his innate talent helps him to easily share the joy of drumming with students: “My students always feel the lesson is too short and end with eager anticipation of the next meeting.”
Guitar, Bass, Voice, Production
Russell is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer born and raised in the city Las Vegas, Nevada. Getting his first guitar at the age of twelve for a Christmas present would the beginning of a journey that would ultimately end up becoming his career. Through the years Russell has studied many genres of music including classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, and hip-hop and he continues to do so saying “Guitar is something I feel can never truly be mastered; I am always learning new techniques and growing as a musician and guitarist everyday.”
With the support of major music companies such as Fender and Dean Markley strings Russell has toured the United States opening for national artists such as Rihanna, Lifehouse, Buckcherry, and Metro Station.
Most recently Russell has been keeping busy writing and producing songs for his upcoming album to be released later this year. Having over 7 years of guitar teaching experience under his belt Russ has a unique teaching style that is nothing short of amazing.
Tim is a Downbeat award-winning Orange County based trumpeter, vocalist, and composer. His unique style of writing and playing have been featured with such artists as Wayne Bergeron, Nicholas Payton, Branford Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Gilbert Castellanos, and Clark Terry; on the Ellen Degeneres Show (NBC), and at Universal Studios, Hollywood and the Disneyland Resort- to name a few! He has appeared on Film and Television, most recently in Disney’s “The Muppets” and the Warner Brothers release “Gangster Squad”, starring Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling.
His studio work has been featured on such album releases as “Birthday Suit” and “End of the Hits” by San Diego’s acclaimed pop band, Bill, and “Imitation of Life”, by David Pascucci.In addition to leading his All-Star Big Band and Sextet at venues throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Tim maintains an active teaching schedule as a private instructor and as a clinician/ajudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Assosciation (SCSBOA). His students consistently win spots in local honor groups such as the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensemble and the SCSBOA All-Southen and All-State Honor Jazz Bands. When he’s not playing, writing, or teaching, he’s spending time with his three beautiful children- Amelie, Aiden, and Angel.
Midori graduated from Senzoku Gakuen Senior High School in Music and Senzoku Gakuen Music College in Japan. She began music study at the age of six and was classically trained in piano and vocal performance.
After coming to the U.S. in 1998, she joined the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC). She has been teaching music to various age groups and levels for over 20 years in Japan and the U.S. She focuses on teaching not only performance skills but also works on proper posture, technique, music theory, sight reading, sight singing, and dictation.
Besides teaching music, she constantly performs as an accompanist for music events such as recitals, competitions, and CM performance evaluations.
Her teachers include Professor Emeritus Nakyong Chai and Yoshiko Karatsuma for piano and Yumiko Sasaki for voice.
Hannah started taking piano lessons at the age of four until graduating high school at 17. Growing up she played the piano and guitar for hwr chiexh choir She also played the piano for her school orchestra and participated in a school for gifted music program where she and the orchestra had the opportunity to perform at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Palomar Performing Arts Center in 1998.
She began teaching piano while at Cal State Fullerton while earning her B.A. In English as well as her Yoga Teacher Certification from Cloud Nine Yoga. She loves teaching piano, writing, and yoga to children and adults and continues to play her favorite composers such as Chopin and Hiromi.
As the winner of their Young Pianist Competition, Helen debuted with the San Jose Symphony at the age of sixteen under conductor George Cleve, the youngest pianist to ever perform with the orchestra. Ms. Tjioe has also performed as piano soloist with other orchestras including the South Coast Symphony and the Rio Hondo Symphony. She has given performances in both the United States and Europe, including appearances in both the Czech Republic and Budapest, Hungary.
Having studied with noted pianists Adolph Baller at Stanford University and Frantisek Maxian at the Prague Conservatory, Ms. Tjioe is a dedicated teacher. She especially enjoys working with children and youth, imparting the expertise and passion she has for music making to another generation.
Aaron began learning the violin when he was five years old. Aaron was Concertmaster of the UCI Symphony Orchestra in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years and was a recipient of the Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Scholarship, studying violin performance under the tutelage of Haroutune Bedelian. In May 2011, his sophomore year, he performed the Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 with the UCI Symphony Orchestra in the Irvine Barclay Theater under guest conductor Helena Bayo Delgado, visiting from Spain. In his freshman year, Aaron’s quartet performed in Christopher O’Riley’s university tour of From the Top and was also the second violin principal of the UCI Symphony.
Aaron graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in 2009. In his senior year of high school, he was Concertmaster of the Olympia Youth Orchestra (OYO), which performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in March of 2009 as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s International Youth Orchestra Festival under the baton of his former teacher and mentor Fung Ho. In the summer of 2008, he received a scholarship from the International Educational Exchange Association to perform in the Olympic Youth Cultural Festival preceding the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Aaron was a recipient of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Scholarship, the Accelerated College Enrollment Program Scholarship at the California State University of Los Angeles, and the International Culture and Exchange Society of USA Scholarship. He has also received a number of awards in the Southwestern Youth Music Festivals, Taiwan Benevolent Association of California Annual International Chinese Young Musicians competitions, and American String Teachers Association competitions. Aaron has been a dedicated musician at St. Stephen Martyr Church, volunteering since he was nine years old, and coaches the OYO violin sections. He has participated in masterclasses under the Szymanowski Quartet, Renata Knific from the Merling Trio and Western Michigan University, Taiwanese violinist and winner of the 1985 Queen Elizabeth Music Competition, Nai-Yuan Hu, and founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, Menahem Pressler.
Desmond is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, studying at the University of California, Irvine. He started studying piano at the age of four, and is still taking lessons today, under Professor Nina Scolnik in Irvine. Other notable teachers include Mark Richman, Ellen Lohneiss, and Linda Govel. Though passionate about classical music, he also has enjoyed success in improvisatory music. In 2010, Desmond won the Certificate of Merit state competition for young piano improvisers. He has also participated in master classes taught by improvisers such as Phillip Keveren, composer for Hal Leonard Publishing, and Norman Beede, renowned Hollywood dance accompanist. Desmond believes that all music is supposed to be narrative, and that story is what humans are moved by. He also believes the goal in teaching piano is to help cultivate a life-long passion for music as art that moves people, using a medium that is the most mechanical of all musical instruments (the Piano), and making it sound like the most subtle and orchestral of all instruments, in order to share inspiration from the performer to the listener. Because of these beliefs, he loves to teach all ages of people, and is always quick to learn and make himself a more subtle and communicable artist and teacher. The two primary composers Desmond looks to for inspiration are JS Bach and Sufjan Stevens.
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