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Piano & Keyboard

Our Piano staff all have at least a masters degree in piano performance or pedagogy. Our associate piano staff have bachelor degrees or minor in piano. The Certificate of Merit program which is held by the Music Teachers Association of California shapes much of our standard curriculum, providing a steady diet of standard repertoire, music theory, scales and chord progressions, sight reading, playing by ear (aural training) as part of their weekly lesson. While this program is not for everyone, it is an option that is presented to most grade school students who choose to study with us.

At the heart we focus on a student’s enjoyment and appreciation of music and private study allows each student to go at their pace and once the basics are mastered, may choose the type of repertoire they play.

Our teaching staff have backgrounds in classical, jazz, pop music fields, and even video game composition. We accept students from the age of 3 years old who show an ability to follow instructions and sit with concentration for a period of at least 15 minutes.

Solo performance opportunities include at least 2 recitals per year, in house master classes, numerous citywide, statewide, national and international festivals. Standardized examination opportunities include participation in Certificate of Merit exams, ABRSM programs, Royal Conservatory programs.

Ensemble studies and performance opportunities include participation in jazz ensembles, worship bands, and learning to accompany soloists.

Recommended Lesson Books:
age 3 FJH My First Piano Adventure
age 4 FJH Piano Adventures
age 5 and up: Alfred, KJOS Bastien Piano Basics
age 10 and up FJH Accelerated Piano Adventures
age 16 and up: FJH Piano Adventures for Adults, Alfred

Our Piano Department


Melissa Lai (voice/piano/viola)Melissa Lai  (vocal, piano, viola) 
Melissa Lai is a jazz vocalist/composer/arranger/educator who loves sharing in the collective joy of making music. She started out with classical piano lessons from age 4 to 13, and then started playing viola, studying with Anna Lim and performing with various youth and school orchestras. In her middle school big band, Melissa developed a passion for jazz and improvisation, which led studying jazz piano with Janet Jones and then Barb Catlin and Gary Fukushima at Pasadena City College. She then found her heart's calling in jazz voice and studied with Alina Roitstein, subsequently transferring to Cal State Northridge and studying with Erin Bentlage (of the vocal group säje), completing a bachelor’s of music degree in Jazz Studies. Melissa’s teaching approach stems from the belief that music is a vehicle for expressing oneself authentically and learning to become a kinder human, and she melds this with her varied musical background to meet students where they’re at and foster space for them to grow.


Available: Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri1:30pm-8:30pm, Sun: 10am-3pm



Jeffrey Tay (piano, guitar, voice)
Jeffrey Tay (voice, piano, guitar/ukulele) 
Jeffery Tay is a singer-songwriter, Independent Artist, Producer. Jeffery started learning classical piano a at the age of 10, and shortly after began learning the ukulele and guitar. He majored in vocal studies and holds a bachelor degree from Xinghai Conservatory of Music where he was awarded “outstanding graduate student.” After graduation, he signed a contract with a Chinese label to be a singer and songwriter and released two original albums between 2013-2015. Soon after, he released 4 original singles as an independent artist, producing his own music videos, one which was pitched by MTV Chinese Channel and aired for more than one year. In 2018 Jeffery moved to Los Angeles and graduated from Musician Institute with a Certificate in Independent Artistry.
He holds awards as Top 4 in “The Guangzhou Foreign Language Singer Competition” (2009); Champion of “Budweiser of China Campus singer competition”; Top 10 in Hong Kong TVB “International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship” shows (2012); Top 4 in MTV China channel ‘Aloft Star’ (2015); Top 4 in Guangdong TV ‘Live casting idols of China’ (2016) Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.  Vaccinated.

Monday-Friday 1:30-8:30pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, additional availability upon request.


 
Jonathan Lacayo(voice)Jonathan Lacayo (voice, piano, children) 
Jonathan, a lyric tenor and San Diego native, studied vocal performance (B.A.) under Dr. John Craig Johnson and vocal coach Ines Irawati at Point Loma Nazarene University. Before finishing his studies, Jonathan had become an accomplished teacher. At the age 18 he began directing his church choir and by the following year had become the Director of Worship Ministries (Centro Cristiano La Palabra.) In the middle of his junior year of college he had been offered a teaching position at the Recreational Music Center in San Diego. There he created a Vocal Arts Summer program and helped create school curriculums through their school site programs, establishing a vocal curriculum at the Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Academy. Furthermore, Jonathan has sung with Diego Opera’s university partnership program Opera Exposed! and outreach program Opera on Track under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Reveles.
Jonathan has had the privilege of being invited to sing throughout the United States and internationally in Mexico. He made his U.S. Debut with Long Beach Opera, March 2016, in the role of “Wissam” in of Heather Raffo & Tobin Stokes’ Fallujah, an opera inspired by the story of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis in the Iraq War. He reprised the role in his debut with New York City Opera November 2016. Jonathan made his international debut with Opera de Tijuana in the role of “Joe” in Gershwin’s Blue Monday October 2015. Other roles include Long Beach Opera as “Man 1” in Robert Xavier’s west coast premier of Frida (2017); Opera Theatre of the Rockies: “Radames” in Verdi’s Aida (2017/scene), “Goro” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (2017/scene), “Pylade” in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (2017/scene); Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (2015/Act 1), Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen (2015/scene); San Diego Opera’s Opera on Track as “Don Ramiro” in Rossini’s Cenerentola 2016/Act 1); Point Loma Opera Theatre: “Parpignol” in Puccini’s La Boheme (2015), “Prince Charment” in Massenet’s Cendrillon (2014), “Beppe” in Donizetti’s Rita (2014), “Giuseppe” in Loesser’s Most Happy Fella (2013), “Aeneas” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2012) understudy for “Camile” in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe (2012) and “Don Anchise” in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera (2011).  Fluent in Spanish. 

 Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 1:30-6:00




is dedicated and passionate about contributing to growth in the field of music. She began studying piano at the age of 5 and was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music in China as a middle schooler, where she studied percussion with a piano minor. She participated and performed in both the Junior Orchestra of Central Conservatory of music and the China Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Holding a Bachelors Degree from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from UNLV in Las Vegas, Xin participated in the UNLV Wind Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, the Rebel Marimba band, Rebel Steel, and the Brazilian ensemble, traveling across France and Australia as a performer.  With over 10 years teaching experience and a diverse background in music, Xin is a passionate piano teacher who focuses on enhancing students’ awareness of both the musical details and practice methods, while emphasizing the expression of their emotions through music

Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm





Eve Chen (piano)Eve Chen (piano) 
first started piano lessons at age five at the Yamaha Music School in Taiwan; this is where she began to develop her passion for music. During college she participated in various recitals, placing in many competitions, most notably receiving the Honor Award at the Performance Scholarship Competition of Old Town Music for Piano. She also won first place at the Seventh Annual Piano Ensemble Festival of Fullerton College. Ms. Chen graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano. At CSUN, she studied under Dimitry Rachmanov and performed in master class with Roberto Prosseda. She was a recipient of the CSUN Music Department of the Music Teacher’s Association of California, West Valley Branch Scholarship in 2010-2011. Eve has been active as a teacher and performer for over 10 years, and she is currently a member of the Certificate of Merit program (MTAC). Fluent in Mandarin. Vaccinated.

 

upon request





 
Lori Richardson (flute)Lori Richardson (flute, piano) 
Earned a Bachelor of Music degree with and emphasis in Performance from California State University Fresno. Lori also studied with Leone Buyse, Jim Walker, and attended Summer Master Class Seminars with the renowned master flutist and teacher, Frances Blaisdell.  With over 20 years of performing and teaching experience Lori is passionate about passing on her love of music to her students through a nurturing environment that emphasizes tone production, technique building, ear training and artistry/musicianship.  She believes the study of music enhances every aspect of a young persons development, creativity, sense of accomplishment and future success.  Vaccinated.

Board Member MTAC, Member National Flute Association 









Circe Diaz (cello)Circe Diaz (Instructor of cello, multi-instrumentalist strings, piano) 
is an award-winning Venezuelan cellist hailing from El Sistema, Venezuela’s acclaimed youth music program. She was a student of magnet school New World School of Arts in Florida, studying under David Cole, as well as a cello performance student at the University of Florida– graduating both academic programs with honors. Ms. Diaz also holds a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Florida. Ms. Diaz has performed as a touring featured cellist with The Nuevo Mundo String Quartet, the World Orchestra String Quartet, and as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Aragua and the Whittier Symphony Orchestra, among others. She was also a principal cellist for the World Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, among others. Currently, Ms. Diaz is the principal cellist with the Pacific Opera Project. She also is a Teaching Artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Whittier Youth Orchestra, and Santa Monica Conservatory of Music, and is the conductor of the Watts-Willowbrook Conservatory Youth Orchestra and Harmony Project at Longfellow Elementary School. She is a founding member of the JAC Trio, and the Yellow Bird String Quartet. She also is a recording artist for Warner Bros. Studios and Sony Studios. Circe ofrece classes de cello en Espanol  


Monday: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm







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  • Neighborhood Music School & Store
  • ??????
    (626) 708-0122
  • ???25 S 1st Ave.
    Arcadia, CA 91006
    • Fall hours Aug 15-Oct 15
      • Mon - Wed 2PM-7PM
        Thu-Fri 2pm - 6pm
        Saturday 10AM - 4:30PM
        Sunday appointment only