Teachers/Lessons

*Please contact teachers directly for scheduling and rates*

Flute

Sasha Launer

Sasha LaunerSan Francisco based flutist Sasha Launer has performed extensively as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. She is currently a member of Bay Area based chamber groups Areon Flutes and Valinor Winds, the unconducted chamber orchestra One Found Sound, and she holds the Principal Piccolo position with the San Francisco Wind Ensemble. Additionally, she has performed with the Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Kennedy Center, and Brevard Music Center under such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, and John Adams. As a soloist, Launer has won awards in competitions held by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Schubert Club, Thursday Musical, and Upper Midwest Flute Association. A founding member of the Vivace Flute Quartet, she has performed with the group throughout the United States, Costa Rica, and Chile. Launer received her Masters of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with SF Symphony Principal Flutist Tim Day, and she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University studying with former New York Philharmonic Principal Flutist Jeanne Baxtresser. In addition to her performance career, Sasha teaches flute privately and is the Director of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra’s Flute Ensembles. Sasha also works as a recording engineer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

sasha.launer@gmail.com

Bethanne Walker

Bethanne WalkerKnown for her intensity and versatility in her performances and repertoire, flutist Bethanne Walker is dedicated to modern and historical performance practice. In the San Francisco Bay Area, she is the principal flutist of Stockton Symphony, second flutist of Symphony Napa Valley, flutist of Wild Rumpus, and a member of HK&tCS, and has also performed with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Elevate Ensemble, Curious Flights, and several orchestras in the Bay Area; and has been featured on the Switchboard Presents, BAMM!, and the Berkeley Arts Festival concert series; and has performed on the Hot Air New Music Festival. She has also been featured on the Presidio Sessions Concert Series at the Presidio Officers’ Club, and has been a featured guest artist at 405 Shrader Concert Series.

A strong advocate of new music, she has given performances of over fifty world premieres, including works by Mason Bates with the San Francisco Symphony, Nico Muhly, and Lei Liang. Winner of the SFCM New Music Concerto Competition, she gave the West Coast Premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s “Terrestre” in November 2014, where she collaborated with choreographer KT Nelson, and dancers from San Francisco’s premiere modern dance company, ODC in San Francisco. She also is the winner of the 2014-15 SFCM Baroque Concerto Competition on baroque flute. Walker was the William H. Grass Memorial Prize Winner of the 32nd Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition in Boston. She is a recipient of a fellowship at Music Academy of the West, the Kaplan Fellowship at Bowdoin International Music Festival, a full scholarship recipient at American Bach Soloists Academy, and a Historical Performance Fellowship Recipient of a full academic scholarship at Juilliard, among several others. An active recording artist, she can be heard on Gunmar, Aeneid, Albany, and Golden Fetus recording labels, as well as independently produced albums.

Walker maintains a small private teaching studio, and also teaches baroque flute through the Historical Performance Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has studied with Tim Day, Linda Toote, and Dr. Nancy Andrew, as also with Sandra Miller and Stephen Schultz on baroque flute.

bethanne.walker@sfcm.edu

Clarinet & Saxophone

James Pytko

James PykoJames Pytko has dedicated his life to musical performance and education. He received his Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in 2011, where he studied with Richie Hawley. James currently freelances in the Bay Area as well as performing regularly with Symphony Parnassus in San Francisco. He currently teaches at the Community School of Music and Arts, the Veksler Academy and the Gorin School of music as well maintaining a private studio.

jpytko@me.com, (631) 365-2146

Trumpet

Chad Goodman


Chad Goodman maintains an active career as a trumpeter, conductor, and music educator. He has performed with esteemed music groups, including the Monterey Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, Berkeley Symphony, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Chad holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from San Francisco State University. While at Eastman, he was a recipient of the prestigious Howard Hanson Scholarship and, upon graduation, was awarded the Sidney Mear Trumpet Prize. Chad has made music festival appearances at the Chautauqua Music Festival, the Banff Brass Ensemble Residency, and Le Domaine Forget International Music Festival.

As founder and Music Director of San Francisco-based Elevate Ensemble, Chad is dedicated to uniting talented musicians with leading visual and literary artists. His progressive vision for concert programming results in the pairing of art and music to create a fresh, exciting experience for audiences. Chad has also taken the podium to conduct the San Francisco State University Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco State University Wind Ensemble.

When not performing, Chad maintains a private trumpet studio and works as a coach and guest clinician with school and youth symphony music programs throughout the Bay Area.

ctgoodman1@gmail.com, (410)504-4526

Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, & Tuba

Ryan Black

Ryan Black
Ryan Black began his musical studies at the age of 11 in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2010 Ryan and his wife came to the Bay area seeking to further their musical careers. Ryan’s wife went to work on her Masters in Piano performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, while Ryan set about finding freelance performance work. Since his move, Ryan has become a fixture in the thriving music scene here, performing across all genres from salsa, jazz, and classical to world, folk and avant guard music. As a multi-low brass instrumentalist, he can often be called upon to play tenor and bass trombone, as well as euphonium and tuba. Having graduated with both a Bachelors and Masters in music performance on bass trombone and euphonium from Florida State University and the University of Alabama, Ryan quickly started working as a musician, becoming in demand both as a performer and an instructor.

Ryan has performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra as well as most of the regional orchestras around the Bay Area and the Southeastern U.S., including the Symphony Silicon Valley, Sacramento Philharmonic, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, and Macon Symphony to name a few. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Monterrey Mexico’s professional orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica UANL on both tenor and bass trombone for multiple concerts as well as Mahler’s Symphony #3 and #6. Besides classical music, Ryan also performs in a number of genres including salsa, jazz, rock, and ska. Some groups that he is currently working with are Avance, Tommy Igoe Big Band, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Pacific Mambo Orchestra as well as various salsa groups around the Bay. Ryan has also had the opportunity to perform in the backup bands for Sheila E., Natalie Cole, Wayne Newton, and the O’Jays.

Ryan also keeps a busy and diverse teaching schedule, coaching low brass sections at middle and high schools, and maintaining an active private studio of low brass students from ages 7-60. Many of his students have gone on to achieve first chair placement in All-State ensembles and honor bands and have gone on to pursue degrees with various prestigious collegiate music programs.

contraeuph@hotmail.com, (850) 322-7876

Violin

David Zimbalist

Davis Zimbalist
David Laurence Zimbalist is from New York, and hails from a very artistic family which includes: Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. and Alma Gluck, founders of Curtis Institute, the actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr, Stephanie Zimbalist, Grammy Award-winning musician Lisa Gutkin (the Klezmatics) and Academy Awardwinning movie Producer Sam Zimbalist. Zimbalist studied Viola, Violin and chamber music for ten years with Olga Bloom, founder of Bargemusic, Ltd., in Brooklyn, New York.  In 1981 he moved to California to continue his studies at UC Santa Cruz with Roy Malan and Ruth Freeman, Concertmaster and First Violist, respectively, of the San Francisco Ballet. He also took advanced music theory with composer David Cope. Zimbalist attended Graduate School at UCLA in Historical Musicology to research the Viola D’Amore, and studied this instrument with Dr. Daniel Thomasson, President of the International Viola D’Amore Society. He has toured the United States and Europe as violist with productions of The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar, and as violinist with Peter Pan. In 1991, Zimbalist formed The Speakeasy String Quartet to specialize in his note-for-note transcription arrangements of early jazz from the 1920’s and 30’s. Their first CD, Rumble Seat Music, was produced by Academy Award-nominated Sound Designer Ren Klyce (Fight Club; The Game; Seven; Panic Room). The group has performed to standing ovations at the New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival. His arrangements and musicological research has also been featured in Strings Magazine. As a music educator, David Zimbalist specializes in young beginners age 4 and up, and utilizes a combination of the Suzuki violin method plus other more traditional and always age appropriate approaches. Violin and Viola students learn music theory including how to read and write music from the very beginning.

david@violin4kids.com / www.violin4kids.com, (347) 495-6342

Guitar

Greg Vaughn

Greg VaughnPalo Alto resident, Greg Vaughan has been teaching guitar lessons to students young and old in Palo Alto for over two decades. He has knowledge and passion for many types of music including: contemporary music, alternative, punk, rock (modern and classic), acoustic (especially classic and new rock), and electric blues guitar. Greg has had many young students go on to university level music schools and to careers as professional musicians themselves.

Greg has a Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Studio Music and Jazz performance program at the University of Miami. He has also studied music at Foothill College and at the Jazz School in Berkeley. Greg has studied jazz guitar privately with Sal Salvador, Randall Dollahan, Bruce Forman, Brian Pardo, and Rick Schmunk. He has also taken master classes with John Abercrombie, Tuck Andress, Pat Metheny, and Pat Martino. He has studied classical guitar privately with guitarists Rene Gonzalez, Bill Yelverton and John Sayles, and has taken master classes with Juan Mercadal and Richard Provost. He also studied jazz theory and improvisation with pianists Mark Levine and Ron Miller and saxophonist Dave Rickenberg.

Greg’s professional experience has been as varied as his education. It has included big bands, rock bands, funk bands, jazz ensembles, fusion bands, and wedding bands. He has worked as a studio guitarist, and composer, and producer. He has played or performed with Brad Russell (bassist-Joe Satriani band), Chip McNeil, Lori White and Favored Nations artist Andy Timmons. Greg currently is performing a weekly solo guitar gig at a local night spot, playing jazz, pop, and rock arrangements.

Greg’s teaching style focuses on the individual student’s personal taste in music. Technique is emphasized throughout the lessons (especially for beginning students) to ensure the instrument is being played optimally and the student is using proper form. Theory and sight-reading are also offered at the student’s request but are only choices made by the student to fit his or her personalized curriculum and needs. It is important for the student to remember that they themselves set their own goals and each lesson is another step toward achieving those goals.

Greg lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and their young son.

greg.guitar@sbcglobal.net, (650) 269-4174

Piano

Magdalena Shumanova

Magdalena ShumanovaOriginally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Magdalena Shumanova started her piano studies at the age of 4, and attended Secondary Music School “Dobrin Petkov” from 1st – 12th grade, finishing her studies under Svetlana Koseva. After graduating with honors, she continued her studies with Dr. Carolyn Bridger at Florida State University, pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance. She recently graduated with her Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Dr. Tim Bach.

Through the years she has accompanied singers, instrumentalists and choir groups at Florida State University, University of Alabama, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a part-time faculty at Stillman College in Alabama, she worked and toured with their choir, accompanied the voice, woodwind, and brass studios. Magdalena has also maintained her own private studio of students ranging in ages from five to sixty-years-old, with all levels of experience. She has also participated in a number of piano masterclasses under the direction of Andre Watts, Antonio Pompabaldi, Jose Feghali, Anton Dikov, Atanas Kurtev, Dimo Dimov, and Atanas Atanasov.

Magdalena has accompanied world renowned musicians at the Summer Brass Institute in Menlo Park for 4 years, and at the International Euphonium Institute in Atlanta, GA for 7 years. Some of the musicians she has collaborated with include international brass soloists and brass members from the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras, as well as members from the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. She currently has the pleasure to be working as the Music Director and Pianist for the Musical Theatre Works in San Francisco as well as other high profile freelancing work around the Bay Area.

magdalena.shumanova@gmail.com, (850)264-5600

Voice

Deborah Levoy

Deborah LevoyDeborah teaches voice, guitar, songwriting, and performance and recording skills. Many of her students focus on vocal technique exclusively, whereas others work on a combination of skills.

Deborah artfully takes you under her wing with infinite patience, positive attitude, encouragement and clear masterful understanding of vocal mechanics and takes you to where you never thought you could go.” -Alexander Leon, student

Deborah teaches a vocal method that is effective for all levels of singers, from people who claim “they can’t sing” to professionals who want to strengthen their vocal technique. Scores of Grammy Award winners, Metropolitan Opera singers, and pop music stars – Stevie Wonder, Amy Lee, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Prince, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Anthony Kiedis, and Annie Lennox, to name a few – use the same method to expand their vocal range, flexibility, and strength.

As students develop a kinesthetic awareness of how their bodies work during singing, they gain confidence, their range expands, and they are able to sing with greater ease and freedom through their entire range. As singers improve their technical proficiency, she helps them develop their own style and learn how to interpret songs in their own voice.

RECORDING & PERFORMANCE COACHING
Deborah coaches students in performance and recording skills by analyzing students’ live performances or studio sessions. Deborah has helped countless students improve their stage presence, pacing and stamina, microphone technique, and emotional delivery of live and recorded performances. Deborah helps performing artists integrate singing, playing, performance, style, and stage presence. She also advises performers on the creation of album projects and promotional packages.

GUITAR
Deborah teaches beginning guitar to students of all ages and musical experience. Students will learn to read and play from written music as well as understand beginning music theory. Students also focus on how to play guitar accompaniment, so they can play and sing at the same time.

SONGWRITING
Deborah teaches beginning and advanced students how to write meaningful, well-crafted songs. Learn how to write lyrics, melodies, and instrumental accompaniment that express your unique sound.

deborahlevoy@comcast.net, (408) 800-2755

Kristine Sinajon

Professional vocalist, Kristine Sinajon, has over twenty years of musical experience. She is a laureate of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Kristine received a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in vocal performance from San Francisco State University as well as a Graduate Diploma in vocal performance from the Royal College of Music in London. She is presently a Cantor and a Music Director for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Ms. Sinajon is also a songwriter and a recording artist. She has been a featured soloist in concerts taking place in the Bay Area as well as in China, Cuba, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Philippines. Ms. Sinajon, though a classically trained musician, is a versatile artist who is able to translate her knowledge of utilizing a healthy vocal technique as it relates to any other genre of music. She is able to adapt to the learning approach of her students so that they may be able find their own voice and personal style. Kristine believes singers should be well-rounded. She incorporates the technical aspect of music in her teaching, but also guides her students to be able to implement the emotional nuances that exist beyond what is written on a score.

kristinesinajon@gmail.com, (650) 580-2835

Drum Set

Anthony Franceschi

Anthony FranceschiAnthony Franceschi has been playing the drum set and percussion since age eight. Through the years Anthony has played in big bands, jazz combos, Afro-Cuban bands, rock bands, symphonic bands, pit orchestras, and percussion ensembles, which has made for a well-rounded knowledge of playing the drum set and percussion. He studied music at San Jose State University graduating Cum Laude with Bachelors of Music degree in Jazz Studies. While at San Jose State University Anthony played in the San Jose State University Jazz Combos under the direction of Frank Sumares and John Shifflet, the Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Wayne Wallace, and the San Jose State University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Aaron Lington. Anthony studied classical percussion with Galen Lemmon and studied the drum set with Jason Lewis.  After graduating he studied with Tommy Igoe. He currently teaches and actively plays drum set around the bay area.

apfranceschi@gmail.com

We do keep contact information for other local music teachers in the area, so if your instrument is not listed, or you would like the names of other teachers who might not teach here at the store, please don’t hesitate to call us and ask.