Los Angeles Piano Teachers
Mesrop Sarkisyan is a pianist, composer, producer, and touring musician based out of Los Angeles. He studied classical piano as a child, then moved onto to study jazz at California State University of Northridge. It was there that Mesrop's quintet, which he composed all the music for, won first place in an international jazz competition held by Downbeat magazine. While in college, he also studied under people such as Tigran Hamasyan, Ben Wendel, Ari Hoenig, and many other prominent LA musicians. After college, Mesrop decided to diversify his musical knowledge, so he began studying other genres such as hip-hop, pop, rock, r&b, and funk. It was then that he also started producing, and teaching music theory and harmony as well.
Mesrop has had some of the most amazing teachers in his life, and because of this, it has inspired him to impart onto others the knowledge and experience that they have given him. His motto is simple: love what you do, and everything else will fall into place. Mesrop is extremely passionate about music, to the point where he infects others with it. He loves what he does, and wants everyone to be given the proper chance to be able to do the same.
Conrad Reeves is a professional guitarist, music educator, music producer, and audio engineer. He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory of Music, as well as his Performance Diploma from SAM College in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Reeves offers teaching services for guitar, keyboard, vocals, songwriting, bass, drums, and music production.
Reeves holds extensive teaching experience in many instruments and age ranges. He has been a faculty member at institutions such as Michigan State University CMSD, Detroit Institute of Music Education, and a secondary lessons instructor at Oberlin Conservatory. Reeves has had longtime students in the disciplines of guitar, piano, production, drum set, bass, and songwriting. His students have rave reviews for his encouraging and engaging teaching style.
Reeves is currently the guitarist for R&B legend Faith Evans, and has worked professionally as a guitarist for major acts such as Kierra Sheard, Karen Clark Sheard, and many more. He has produced and mixed projects for many local artists in Detroit and Los Angeles.
Kä was raised on her grandmother's piano bench. Learning her love of music from a young age, it was always an intrinsic essence of her being that she would go on to be a musician. She found her true love in the flute which later developed into a passion for composing. Although she studied flute, she secondaried in guitar and piano which she first began as a child. After completing her degree in Film Scoring, Kä moved to Los Angeles where she now works as a composer.
Kä has worked with several of the composer giants of our age including Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore, but outside of her love for cinematic composition she has extensive experience as a concert flautist having performed with the San Antonio Symphony and as a soloist for two premiers in Boston’s Symphony Hall.
One of her greatest passions is engaging all ages in the musical community, whether it be through playing, learning, or listening. Kä organized several community youth programs in both Texas and Boston, and taught music therapy clinics with Alzheimers patients during college. She believes music is for everyone, and especially loves working with children.
Aaron Shadrow began his musical endeavors as a drummer at age 9. He quickly fell in love with music, and soon after took on guitar, bass, and piano. He has played in countless bands of different genres and instruments, including; drums in a jazz combo, lead guitar in an indie rock band, keyboards in a pop band, and many more.
Aaron tested out of high school early to achieve a degree in Music Production from the Los Angeles Recording School. While instrumentation is still a huge focus on his life, his main daily workload relies heavily on the usage of DAW (Digital Audio Workspace) production (specifically Pro Tools and Ableton).
Aaron is actively excited and eager to engage other musicians in their musical quest. While he is ready and able to teach beginner/intermediate lessons on drums, guitar, bass, and piano, he sees first-hand that the music industry has drastically changed, and that any musician who wants to make a living off of their craft must have a basic-advanced knowledge of DAW production. Ask Aaron about signing up for production lessons in Pro Tools and/or Ableton. Hybrid lessons are also highly encouraged (instrument of choice/DAW production).
Tyler Rivera Stein is an award-winning multimedia producer and music educator. His arrangements for Nick Luckenbaugh’s “Royal Fables,” earned a New York Innovative Theater Award in 2014. After graduating from New York University with a Bachelor’s of Vocal Performance Cum Laude, Tyler began performing professionally as a member of Actor’s Equity Association. In 2012, he was in consideration for Frankie Valli for the Chicago production of "Jersey Boys." His passion for film composing and education brought him to the West Coast after working as a hook singer for Hip Hop label, King’s Vision Entertainment and Michael Gilboe of Broadway Bullet.
Since then, he has served over 100 students as a voice and piano teacher, piano accompanist, stage and film director and specializes in working with youth students making their transitions into adult voices. Tyler teaches classical, rock, funk, pop piano, vocal jazz, pop, musical theater and vocal percussion styles. In 2015, he helped develop special needs arts programming with Arts4LA’s Activate Arts Leadership program, sponsored by the LA County Arts Commission. His work with adult with Autism at Inclusion Films produced the first film musical by and for the population, set to premiere on the COX cable networks in September set to his original music. A member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, Tyler’s film music has accompanied films at the Catalina Island Film Festival, Las Vegas Black Film Festival, and Ft. Worth Indie; in 2016, his music was nominated for best score at the Maverick Movie Awards.
Lyusi Simon graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, and Voice Performance.
Lyusi started her music career as a drummer, but she felt truly passionate about voice and piano. During her studies at Berklee, she performed with originals and covers arranged for an acoustic set as well as for a 20-member band.
Now Lyusi continues her career in Los Angeles as a singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and an educator. She wishes to bring her immense love for music and knowledge to her students.
William Peterson is a musician, composer, music educator, and audio engineer. He holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where he was mentored by Matt Wilson, Glenn Alexander, Daniel Wohl, Chester Biscardi, among others. Peterson has been playing professionally since his teenage years. His style is derived from a very diverse taste. Drawing from jazz, classical, blues, and experimental music, Peterson has developed a limitless perspective on expression.
Currently, he plays bass for Los Angeles based band Thrillers, as well as pursuing his own compositional projects.
Peterson comes from a family of educators, and he himself has been teaching guitar, bass, piano and music production for the majority of his adult life. His students have varied in skill-level and age. He sees teaching as a crucial and fundamental part of being a musician. Helping give his students the tools they need to express themselves through music has been one of his life’s greatest passions. Peterson’s curriculum encourages the fundamentals of musicianship, yet still greatly focuses on what the student wants to learn. He is available for piano, guitar, bass and music production lessons.
Katie Gilchrest is a musician, sound engineer and composer. Teaching piano, guitar and music production, she also holds a Masters of Music in Music Technology from New York University and a B.A. in Music from the University of Southern Maine. She began classical piano lessons at age 8 and discovered the guitar and rock music as a teenager. She began teaching lessons with the Maine Academy of Modern Music in 2012 and led their summer rock and songwriting camps. Katie has been teaching guitar and piano lessons around the Los Angeles area since 2016. She currently performs and tours with the LA based heavy rock band High Priestess as lead guitarist and vocalist.
Katie believes everyone has a unique learning style and adapts the lessons to fit the student’s needs. She combines learning technical skills with music the student enjoys. In addition to music, Katie holds an advanced degree in music technology and has experience in live and studio sound. She is also available to teach music production - recording, mixing and mastering in Pro Tools, GarageBand or Logic.
Jane Witzenburg is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and producer who recently graduated from CSU Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She has studied Jazz Theory, Classical & Contemporary Vocal Technique and is skilled in singing in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French. She began performing in Musical Theatre Productions at 5 years old and has performed alongside many industry professionals such as Miles Robinson, the drummer from the 5th Dimension, Mark Pender, the trumpet player from the Conan O'Brien Show and many more.
Ms. Witzenburg is extremely passionate for passing the knowledge and love of music and quickly caters to the needs of each individual student, meeting them on their level.
Lauren Carter holds a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and a Master of Music, Vocal Performance from University of Southampton, UK. She is an award-winning soprano and has crossed over as a recording artist.
Lauren has been teaching voice in the Los Angeles metro area for five years, including positions on the faculty of AMDA, The French Conservatory of Beverly Hills and Music Nation in addition to running her own company, Lauren Carter Vocal Coaching. She coaches students of all style, age and level of ability from beginner to pro.
Lauren's current singing engagements include a residency at San Manuel Casino and engagements El Camerata Singers of Long Beach. She is currently studying with Gabriel Vamvelscu who has performed several roles with LA Opera.
Steven Gordon was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA and is a jazz pianist, composer, songwriter and private teacher. He has performed at venues including Disney Hall, The Blue Whale, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Royce Hall. His ensemble, Steven Gordon Group, is a winner of the Angel City Emerging Artist Competition, kicking off the Angel City Jazz Festival at LACMA.
Steven attended New England Conservatory of Music where he studied jazz piano with renowned pianists Fred Hersch and Bruce Brubaker and went on to receive his B.A. from UCLA where he studied with the legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell.
As a private teacher, Steven works to help students grow in their personal areas of interest. He particularly enjoys teaching improvisation, chord theory and composition.
Jordan Hemphill has been performing and teaching music for over 10 years. At 19 years old he studied at Musicians Institute with world class musicians such as Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X), Chris Broderick (Megadeth, Nevermore), Scott Henderson and session guitar legend Carl Verheyen.
As a session guitarist in Los Angeles, Jordan worked alongside notable industry professionals like Grammy-winning engineer Robert Margouleff and has done recording work for movies including the title track to Drive Angry (2011).
Lara was introduced to the violin at the age of three and a half. Throughout her youth she played in orchestras and string orchestras, including performances at renowned venues such as the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. She participated in Chamber Music Courses, including summer courses with organizations such as Pro Corda. Lara studied the Suzuki method throughout her early years with violin teacher, Elizabeth Arnott. She took up the piano and voice by the age of eleven.
Going on to earn a Bachelor Degree in Music from The University of Southampton in Southampton, England, her degree spanned performance, composition and the history of music. Lara has taught at several music schools over the past five years and has guided both children and adult students in many aspects of their technique and performance in violin, piano and vocals, as well as preparation for recitals. She is passionate and driven in guiding each of her students to realize their full potential.
Originally from Berkeley, California, pianist, composer and educator Michael Orenstein enjoys teaching in a variety of settings. He has taught at multiple summer programs, including California Jazz Conservatory's Summer Youth Program. He has also taught many Oberlin College students privately. Orenstein recently taught piano at Hudson and Fairlawn music schools where had the honor of working with musicians of all ages. Part of what Orenstein loves about teaching is getting to watch musicians develop a passion for music. While Orenstein strives to make music a big part of every students life, he also recognizes that for some piano is a hobby, and that is just as great.
Orenstein graduated from Oberlin in 2017 with a B.M. in Jazz Piano as well as a B.A. in Economics. Through programs like the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, the Jazzschool and Oberlin conservatory, he has had the opportunity to play with Terrence Blanchard, Eddie Henderson, Christian McBride, Wycliffe Gordon, Tiger Okoshi and BiIlly Drewes. In 2015 Michael attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative music where he performed his compositions with Ingrid Jensen and Zakir Hussain. In 2016, Orenstein's quartet at Oberlin was chosen to represent the jazz program by performing his original composition at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.
Other awards Orenstein has won for compositions include Best Original Composition-Lead Sheet in Downbeat SMA 2013, Outstanding Composition for Small Ensemble in Downbeat SMA 2017 and SMA 2018 and an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers award. In January 2017, Orenstein traveled to India with percussionist Jamey Haddad and nine other Oberlin students to perform and learn about Indian classical music. Orenstein has been on tour in the Bahamas with bassist Adrian D'Aguilar, South Africa with guitarist Bobby Ferrazza and in Canada with Frisson. This past year he has done midwestern tours with the Camila Meza Quartet and the Sam Blakeslee Quintet. Most recently, Orenstein was chosen as a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance where he performed in front of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, James Newton and Ambrose Akinmusire.
While performing professionally is a big part of Orenstein's life, teaching is equally important. Orenstein is the right teacher if you are just beginning piano, serious about pursuing music as a career or are anywhere in between!
Melonie was born into a very musical family. She started piano lessons at the age of 4. After much pleading with her parents she started harp lessons at the age of 8. Many hours were spent with both instruments and by the age of 16 Melonie was playing professionally and accepting her first students. Melonie taught both harp and piano during her junior and senior years of high school. After turning down a scholarship for harp to UCLA, Melonie decided to venture beyond her music and attended UCSC, acquiring a BA in Art History. She continued to play professionally all through her college years.
Still very involved in the music world, after graduating Melonie was exposed to Early Childhood Music education. She became passionately interested in attaining education in Early Childhood Music having seen the unbelievable results of starting children learning the language of music from infanthood. Melonie started enrolling and attending classes at campuses all over the United States to certify as an Early Childhood Music and Movement teacher. By the age of 22 she started teaching her first toddler classes and had 30 - 40 ongoing private piano and harp students. She opened the Musikgarten of Carmel Valley at the age of 23 and offered toddler (3 & 4, 4 & 5 and 5 & 6) group classes as well as private piano and harp.
Melonie has taught private piano and harp as well as Early Childhood Music and Movement classes for 20 plus years. She has taught at private schools and written music curriculum for grades kindergarten through 8th grade. She is passionate about the experience of learning music being a positive experience for both young and old. Melonie has been a resident of southern California since birth. She has two children; Makai (21) and Siena (18) who both play multiple instruments and are attending colleges in San Diego and Arizona.
Mia Minichiello is a songwriter with master craftsmanship of melodies and words. She has had major label, film and TV placements and her songs have been covered by artists in genres ranging from pop to Latin to Urban.
Some of Mia's major label releases include Becky G (RCA/Kemosabe) and Lia Marie Johnson (Capitol). Recently, Mia wrote the theme song for DreamWorks Television Animation's series, "Trolls: The Beat Goes On," which debuted on Netflix in early 2018. Mia has had numerous placements in major motion pictures including "Leap!" starring Elle Fanning, and is included on the film's soundtrack alongside Sia and Carly Rae Jepsen. She has also had recurring songs in Freeform's hit television show "Pretty Little Liars" and CBS's "Under the Dome".
Before embarking on her career, Mia's master craftsmanship of melodies and words landed her an invitation to join the inaugural class of USC's prestigious Popular Music Performance program. Now one of their most successful graduates, Mia continues to collaborate with top songwriters and producers to create a growing catalog of memorable and relevant songs.
Paul Vargas is an L.A. native with many years experience in the performing arts. He is an in demand sideman/session player and a fixture in many L.A. nightclubs. He has traveled the world many times over as a performer and is known for his work with such groups as The Breakestra, Dakah, The Dazz Band, Missing Persons, Slapbak, 00 Soul, Barbara Mason, Tim Weisberg and Chuck Alvarez. Paul performs for all types of private events and with many cover and tribute type groups and holds a degree in music from Cal State Northridge. He currently maintains a busy performing and teaching schedule.
Linda Lockwood is a songwriter, performer and music teacher based in the Antelope Valley of California. She sings and plays guitar, piano and bass. She graduated from Vancouver Island University in January 2010 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. Linda relocated to Los Angeles in 2014 where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts as a Performer-Composer at the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in May 2017. She also holds the Apple Certified Macintosh Technician credential.
During her early life she had an immense passion for music that continues to thrive today. Her early participation in songwriting competitions including the Canada Music Week Writing Competition in 2003 led her to achieve second place in the country for her composition "Flower of Lies".
Linda currently earns her living through teaching music (guitar, electric bass, piano, voice, home recording and songwriting/composition) and continues to write and perform her original music which can vary from extreme metal to jazz to pop and other genres in between.