Our Teachers - Music Lessons at Sunset Learning Studio

"Sharing the Joy of Music"
piano lessons, singing lessons, voice lessons, guitar lessons
Go to content

Our Teachers

Instructor: David M.

Teaches: Piano and Voice
Styles: All Styles.
Background: David is an active vocalist performing music across a variety of genres and styles. He has experience singing background vocals for folk-artist and composer Moira Smiley’s 2018 EP release, indie-band Tune-Yards’ 2020 performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and most recently recorded vocals for the movie Space Jam: A New Legacy. As a choral and ensemble performer throughout Southern California, he currently performs with groups such as Tonality, Pacific Chorale, and L.A. Camerata Baroque.

He is a dynamic church musician serving as the music director at Casa de Oracion church where he leads the contemporary worship team in addition to being a soloist and section leader with the chancel choir at Bay Shore church.

Throughout his undergraduate career David has had the privilege of touring with the internationally award-winning Bob Cole Chamber Choir and performing roles in operas, scenes, and musicals. Such roles and scenes include le Duc from Chérubin, Nanki-Poo from The Mikado, and Count Almaviva from Il barbiere di Siviglia.

David Morales graduated from the USC Thornton School of music with an MA in Early Music and the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB and holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and a B.M. in Music Education. David began teaching in the midst of completing his undergraduate degree and has classroom experience, being a temporary assistant choir director at Bellflower Middle School. He believes that each of his students have the opportunity to become better musicians and in turn, better people. His teaching philosophy is rooted in promoting success for each student by having small achievable goals. He is delighted to be working with Sunset Learning, teaching and inspiring students about the art of voice, piano, and music.
Instructor: Mary P.

Teaches: Piano, Vpoce & Clarinet
Styles: All styles.
Background: Mary is a multi-instrumentalist, artist, and educator with a rich and diverse background in various genres of music. From classical repertoire, jazz standards, musical theatre to today's modern music, Mary is capable of teaching the different styles based on the student. She earned her B.A. in Musicology at UCLA, and currently teaches piano, voice and the clarinet family. She also coaches group ensembles as a technical coach at various music programs - choir, vocal clinics, and band classes.

On top of her teachings, Mary regularly performs at live events either as a solo artist or as the frontwoman of an LA-based coverband. From these experiences as a performing artist, she is able to pass down her skills and knowledge to her students who are also working on stage performances and auditions.

To Mary, music is one of life's greatest avenues of expression, that can be both free and structured at the same time. As such, she believes that music can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and will provide a fun and enthusiastic lesson while staying true to the necessary fundamentals that are required to see her student's musical knowledge grow.

Instructor: Dan Jenks

Teaches: Piano, Guitar, Flute, Sax, Trombone and Euphonium
Styles: All Styles.
Background: Dan Jenks is the founder of Sunset Learning Studio.  You can read more about him under 'Our Founder'.

Instructor: Ashley M.

Teaches: Piano & Voice
Styles: All styles.
Background: Ashley is a performer and educator in the Los Angeles area. A performer since middle school, she has sung alongside Peter Eldridge from the New York Voices, Avi Kaplan from Pentatonix, and opened for The Real Group with the vocal jazz ensemble, Singcopation.

Ashley attended Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA where she studied classical and jazz voice and participated in their annual opera scenes, performing characters such as Prince Charmant from Massenet’s Cendrillon and Maria Stuarda from Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. She sang in their vocal jazz ensemble, Singcopation, and performed at The Apollo Theatre and the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2013. She also sang in the Chamber Singers and performed at Carnegie Hall, two American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conventions and competed in the 2012 Xinghai Prize International Choir Championships and 2015 European Choir Games and Grand Prix of Nations.

After her time at Mt. San Antonio College, she transferred to California State University, Long Beach where she studied classical and jazz voice. Ashley sang in the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, Pacific Standard Time and performed at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Convention in 2018 and at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2019. She also sang in the Bob Cole Chamber Choir and competed in the Internationaler Chorawettbewerb Spittal an der Drau in 2017.

Ashley has been a section leader and assistant director at both Mt. San Antonio College and California State University, Long Beach. She is currently an assistant choral director and private voice instructor at Fountain Valley High School as well as a voice and piano instructor at Sunset Learning Studio in Redondo Beach.
Instructor: Menea K.

Teaches: Piano, Voice, Guitar, Uke & Cello
Styles: All Styles
Background: Menea is a singer/songwriter from St. Louis, Missouri, and an experienced vocal, piano, guitar, and ukulele teacher of all ages. She has just completed her Bachelor of Music at Berklee College of Music where she studied performance, songwriting, and creative entrepreneurship, and is now working as a professional musician and educator around the LA area. Growing up, she was trained classically in piano for 12 years and cello for 5, all while participating in the St. Louis Children’s Choir twice weekly.

During this time, Menea also taught herself guitar and started studying vocal jazz under the direction of Jan Shapiro, who taught her proper vocal technique as well as the importance of versatility. As a teacher, Menea strives to create an environment where her students can freely express themselves, while guiding them towards mastery of their instrument through creative technical exercises meant to educate and entertain students. She brings her enthusiasm and passion for education into every lesson in hopes of inspiring her students and teaching them how to enrich their lives with the music they make.
Instructor: Kathleen V.

Teaches: Voice & Piano
Background: Soprano Kathleen (she/they) is a classically trained soprano and music instructor with experience in musical theatre, pop, jazz, and opera styles. They are a lifelong Long Beach resident and graduate of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB, where they earned a B.M. in Vocal Performance.

In her four years as a member of the Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir, Kathleen participated in two European tours, where they earned the title of Choir of the World in 2016 and took first place in the Internationaler Chorawettbewerb Spittal an der Drau in 2017. Kathleen then had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural session of the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen Music Festival, where she studied and performed alongside members of Seraphic Fire. She has gone on to sing locally with LA-based ensembles Tonality and Zoe Choir, as well as abroad as a ringer, performing as a soloist in such venues as St. Peter’s Basilica and St Paul’s Cathedral. Beyond classical voice, credits include Most Outstanding Vocalist at the Reno Jazz Festival, Mary in Mary Poppins, Fiona in Shrek! The Musical, and Maria in The Sound of Music.

Kathleen is a working vocalist in the LA and OC areas, serving as a cantor at St. Cyprian’s Catholic Church, as well as an instructor of voice and piano. With over five years of teaching experience, Kathleen welcomes students of any ability level to work on technique, musicality, and expression in a variety of musical styles. She is passionate about working with singers to encourage strong, healthy singing and build confidence in their voices!

Instructor: Cass S.

Teaches: Piano
Styles: All Styles
Background: Cass is a pianist and composer from Chandler, Arizona. He started piano lessons at 13 and soon after began playing for his high school jazz big band & jazz choir. It was this collaborative, peer-driven environment that sparked a lifelong pursuit of songwriting and performance.

In 2017 he won the Chandler Teen Talent Show with his original composition “Catalyst,” catching the attention of producer Mike Bolenbach at Alice Cooper’s The Rock Teen Music Center, where he took film scoring and production lessons. He also worked as a Sunday School teacher’s assistant at Redemption Gilbert.

After graduation he attended Arizona State University with a major in jazz piano performance, but soon pivoted into production at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS) where he graduated with a degree in audio engineering. Simultaneously, he continued expanding his classical/jazz piano repertoire, often performing at The Nash Jazz Club and with local indie bands around the Phoenix metro area.

Cass moved to Hermosa Beach in 2023, where he now works in live sound entertainment and piano teaching. He believes in an individualized learning approach to help every student become the best version of themselves.
Instructor: Elena C.

Teaches:  Advanced Piano
Styles: All Styles
Background: Elena graduated with her bachlors and masters from the prestigious Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory of Music in piano, vocal music and choral conducting . Her teaching experience includes piano, vocal, choral and music theory.   She is dedicated to enthusiastic and dynamic teaching as a means of creating and nurturing a lifelong love of music in children.
Instructor: Rachel F.

Teaches: Piano & Voice
Styles:  All Styles
Background: Rachel is a committed and experienced teaching artist who delights in  students’ progress and success. Able to be highly organized or  improvisational as the occasion demands, as a teacher she emphasizes  both professional conduct and creative joy. Comfortable with all ages,  Rachel utilizes knowledge gained from a wide variety of performance,  teaching, and training to customize learning and the creative process.
Rachel  grew up in New York City in a family of artists. Her father is a  professional pianist and music director, and Rachel began studying piano  and music theory when she was three. In addition to learning to read  and play music Rachel was always singing and acting. As she grew up  Rachel took private voice lessons and attended LaGuardia Arts High  School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts (the “FAME” school) in  Manhattan as a voice major. Rachel graduated high school and was granted  a number of awards, after which she attended Mannes College the New  School for Music and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music as a Voice  Performance major. She then spent the next few years singing opera and  operetta, acting in musicals, and teaching students of all ages  privately as well through several children’s music companies in NYC and  Rutgers/NJIT in New Jersey.While  living in Washington, DC from 2017-2022, Rachel earned an MFA at George  Washington University and established herself in the theater community;  acting in productions with esteemed companies such as Arena Stage.  During the pandemic shut down Rachel was a producer of a weekly concert  series from her home with numerous collaborators from the arts  community. In addition to performing as an actor and musician in plays  and musicals, Rachel is an award winning composer. She has written,  arranged, and music directed for multiple productions. As a singer  Rachel regularly performs in a wide variety of styles from rock and pop  to classical.Rachel  is an educator and performer who works with students of all ages. She teaches Piano, Voice, and  Guitar, and she embraces creativity in her instruction, as well as  customized theory and practical curriculums. As a goal, Rachel wants to  always make sure her students feel empowered by their lessons and that  learning an instrument is a positive experience.

Instructor: Amanda M.

Teaches: Piano & Voice
Styles: All Styles
Background: Background: Amanda is an emerging soprano and music educator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from California State University, Long Beach in 2019, and will graduate with her Master of Music in Vocal Arts from California State University, Northridge.
Amanda’s most recent roles were the Kaylee in Speed Dating Tonight by Michael Ching, Second Lady in The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, First Furie in L’ivrogne corrigé by Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Mrs. Fiorentino in Street Scene by Kurt Weill. Outside of opera, Amanda was a member of Tonality, a Los Angeles based professional choir. After graduating CSULB, Amanda had the privilege of participating in Aspen Music Festival’s Seraphic Fire Professional Choral institute, where she sang alongside members of the professional choir Seraphic Fire. Amanda was also a soprano section leader for First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, where she was the soprano soloist for the Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.  

Alongside her performance endeavors, Amanda has been teaching private and group lessons in voice and piano since 2019. She enjoys sharing her bubbly enthusiasm for music with her students. Amanda not only wants her students to enjoy expanding their knowledge of music, she wants them to feel comfortable on stage and experience the beauty of connecting with the audience. Teaching is one of Amanda’s greatest joys and looks forward to sharing her love and music to all of her future students at Sunset Learning Studio!

Instructor: Catherine G.

Teaches: Piano
Styles: All Styles
Background: Catherine began playing the piano at the age of 11 while studying under Ruth Morton of Chicago, a Carnegie Hall alum. Catherine studied music in college where she began tutoring students as a Teaching Assistant. She is very personable, fun and enjoys working with children as well as adults. Her mission is to nurture the love of music in students, spark their desire and strengthen their talents to grow to greater levels.
Instructor: Travis R.

Teaches: Drums, Guitar, Bass & Uke
Styles: All Styles
Background: Travis is a multi-instrumentalist  originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.  In his 10-year teaching  career, Travis has taught guitar, bass, ukulele and drums to students of  virtually all ages.

His teaching style  is intuitive and practical and places student engagement above all else.  Travis believes in a fun, flexible curriculum of material.  He is well  versed an all styles so that he can teach according to the type of music  that speaks to each student.

Performance  credits include guitar work for regional theatre productions of “Spring  Awakening”, “American Idiot”, and “In The Heights”, on-stage credits  with various theatre companies across the SF Bay Area, Improvisational  musical accompaniment for Improv  groups across Los Angeles.

Instructor: Cory W.

Teaches: Piano
Styles: All Styles
Background: Cory has 20 years of classical piano training and has studied with some of the best pianists in the area. His own pedagogical linage goes back to Beethoven and Liszt. He studied with Lois Roberts (who was taught by Josef Raieff, who was taught by Theodor Leschetizky, who was taught by Carl Czerny, who was taught by Ludwig van Beethoven). He was accepted into the School of Music at Cal State Fullerton for piano performance and holds a Bachelor's in Religious Studies.

Cory has been teaching locally for many years and is dedicated to passing on the love of music to the next generation.
Instructor: Eddie R.

Teaches: Guitar, Bass, Uke
Styles: All styles.
Background:  Eddie started playing guitar at 14 and performed in bands through out high school.  He studied music at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria and  then moved to Hollywood to study Music Theory at L.A.C.C. In 2012 he joined "The Dead Notes", a Hollywood based band.  And In 2015 he  attended the Musicians Institute of Contemporary Music to study Guitar Performance and Sound Production. At MI he has had the pleasure of playing  along side some industry professionals  like Brent Harding ( Bass, Social Distortion) and Ritchie Ramones (Drummer, The Ramones).

His guitar idols are John Frusciantes from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Hendrix, & Eric Clapton. He is very versatile playing blues, rock, funk, jazz and even bossa nova. And he is currently part of a 11 piece band called "The Live Heavy Water Project".

.Instructor: Seth J.

Teaches: Guitar, Bass & Uke
Styles: All styles.
Background: Seth is an established guitarist, a passionate composer, and educator of all ages and skill levels. Having earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from San Francisco State School of Music and his Master of Music degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts (under the tutelage of Vic Juris), Johnson grasps and interprets a well rounded and expansive scope of musical genres.

He plays Jazz, Western Classical, Afro Latin music, Funk, Rock, Bossa Nova and many popular North American styles. From free improvised music to rock to jazz standards, he will find joy in all of it and pass this joy on to his students.

Instructor: Josie B.

Teaches: Cello, Violin, Piano
Styles: All Styles
Background: Josie has been playing cello since she was six years old.  With the  help of her mother, a musician as well, she picked up violin and piano  along the way.  She studied for her Masters of Music in cello  performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts after getting her  Bachelors of Music from CSULB.  While in Texas, Josie won a section  cello position with the Round Rock Symphony.

She has been teaching for  nine years throughout California and Texas.  She is particularly  interested in teaching young children as she feels she has a personality  that would engage and inspire a young beginner.  However, she is  capable and willing to teach all ages.

Instructor: Kai K.

Teaches: Drums
Styles: All styles
Background:  Kai began playing drums as a child after  his parents exposed him to live music and an extensive record  collection.  He started taking private drum lessons and reading music at  age nine, eventually playing with the concert, jazz, and marching bands  at school.  While attending Long Beach Poly he would compete annually  at the Reno Jazz Festival against other high schools and go on to win  several awards as part of Poly's prestigious music program.  After high  school Kai continued to study jazz music, classical percussion, music  theory, and music business while enrolled at CSULB, eventually earning  his degree and moving on to perform on cruise ships as a show band  drummer for Norwegian Cruise Line.  

Since  graduating from university and performing on cruise ships, Kai has  taught private lessons and continued to perform with various musical  groups, companies, and DJs as a freelance drummer, often playing a large  variety of musical styles.  His philosophy is that musical inspiration  can come from anywhere, and that without the drums nobody would be  dancing!

Instructor: Joe T.

Teaches: Drums
Styles: All Styles
Background: Joe has been playing drums for over 25 years.  He started taking private lessons in 4th grade.  During his pre-college years, he was involved in every music program offered at his school in Michigan.  This included Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Pit Band, and back up for the Choir.  After high school, Joe turned his focus to writing and performing original music while attending Michigan State University.  

After working with many different groups and multiple nation wide tours, he moved to California to pursue music full time. Joe's positive energy and enthusiam for music and playing the drums is contagious with all of his students!
Instructor: Al P.

Teaches: Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Euphonium, Tuba
Styles: All styles.
Background: Al grew up in a family of musicians. He was exposed to many kinds of music such as Classical, Jazz, Pop, and Folk music. By age 12, music became his passion and he decide he wanted a career in the music industry. In high school he performed in several small venues from Santa Monica to Venice beach.  He also started teaching part time during the summer. He completed his formal musical studies at El Camino College.

He studied other instruments as well that were not in the woodwind family such as trumpet Euphonium, Trombone, Tuba and Vocals. His primary instructor is renowned jazz saxophonist, Ann Patterson. He studied both Jazz and Classical saxophone and thanks to Patterson  is recognized as one of the best gigging Saxophonists to come out of El camino college.  Besides teaching, he can also be found playing not just Jazz, but other popular styles of music all over Los Angeles.

Instructor: John V.

Teaches: Trumpet
Styles: All styles.
Background: Known to the Music-loving community as Johnny V, he has been hittin' the notes and playin' the riffs for more than 30years all over the world in the hottest clubs and concert halls with the likes of: Bill Medley, Otis Brown, Slash, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) Percy Sledge, Eric Clapton, Ernie Watts, The Daddy O's,  Drifters, Coasters, Boxcar 7, Chevy Chase, Other musical accomplishments include: Musical Director for Otis Brown (formerly of The Drifters),TV commercial for Zima (Adolph Coors Corp.), solo performance on Film soundtrack ("Saturday Night Special"), and TV's "Guiding Light". Johnny can also be heard in MATTEL TOYS BARBIE'S “My Size Throne”
John Vandenberg’s musical journey began at the young age of 9.

Although He’s always loved to play and practice the trumpet, he credits his parents with helping him to stay committed to lessons by providing him with the tools he needed to succeed. Johnny Is from Long Beach Ca. and attended Cal State University of Long Beach.

.Instructor: Ralph W.  

Teaches: Trumput, Trombone & Tuba
Styles:  All Styles and Levels
Background: Ralph is a long-timeresident of LA. Growing up in Torrance, Ralph began playing all forms of music, styles, and genres at 9.

He then attended El Camino for jazz applied studies as well as general music and taught for 7 years. He has been a part of marching bands, orchestras,
jazz big bands as well as combos on top of many other ensembles that garnished national recognition as well as worked with many well known artists such as Kamasi Washington and Ryan Porter of the West Coast Get Down, Aloe Blacc, Lenny Goldsmith of Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire and many more under the study of the great George Bohanon (of Motown fame).

Ralph’s emphasis is not only on the technical aspects of playing brass instrumental music, but also to expose students to the joys of music on the soul and
mind as an art, creativity and history to many cultures and backgrounds.

Sunset Learning Studio  
(310) 749-7099
1203 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
612 Meyer Lane #9B, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Our Online App is HERE
Back to content