Guitar, Bass and Ukulele
Where would the world be with these instruments? Certainly missing out on a lot of amazing music and leaving a lot of singer/songwriters out in the cold. Our teachers know a thing or two about these instruments, and they want to share their knowledge with their students to get them playing quickly!
Thomas Fay studied piano in a Franz Liszt style conservatory from ages three to nineteen. During this time he also studied oboe and voice in addition to performing guitar, bass, and other woodwinds in jazz, rock, and R&B groups. He received a BA in piano and oboe performance from The University of Mary in North Dakota and a MM in piano performance with an emphasis in music theory and history from University of Wisconsin, Madison where he studied with two-time Van Cliburn award winner Christopher Taylor.
Thomas has performed with an array of artists including Lenny Pickett, Henning Kraggerud, Lisa Henry, and Frank Mantooth. He enjoyed the position of Principal Oboist in The Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra for three seasons. He was an alternate for The Minnesota Orchestra from 2006 to 2009, and performed with The National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. He has given piano recitals and held master classes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. He also composed for esteemed music firm Hest & Kramer and Carlson Marketing Group in Minneapolis, MN before moving to Los Angeles in 2010.
Thomas has been teaching piano, guitar, voice, bass, and woodwinds for twelve years. His teaching style is a successful blend of traditional methods and embracing innovation and individuality. He believes in a balance of structure and enjoyment in private instruction that is different for every student. He is passionate about the progress of all his students and the continued enjoyment, appreciation, and celebration of music.
Blenda Lau, who grew up in Hong Kong (China), had been playing the piano and violin since the age of 7. In 2013, with the Berklee Entrance Scholarship, she began her study at Berklee College of Music, with Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing & Production as her dual majors, minoring in Recording and Production for Musicians. Her principal instrument is piano/keyboard, but she also performs as a violinist and pipa-ist.
In July 2013, half year after she moved to Boston, she joined the Rhythm of the Universe. Enlightened with the fusion music that they were doing, she performed and arranged a traditional Chinese tune with beatboxer, Gene Shinozaki, and didgeridoo player, Max Jackson.
In July 2014, she started the band, Jong Jazz, of her playing the pipa with Billy Yeung on Dizi/Saxophone/Ewi, Jason Lee on violin and Victor Gonzalez on double bass. Then they began performing around Boston area. In January 2015, they were invited to tour for 10 days in Guangzhou, China.
Graduated in May 2015, she now moves to Los Angeles, CA and has started her music career as a film composer.
Andrew Johnson is a passionate and precise guitarist well known in the Greater Philadelphia area. He has received his Bachelors of Art as a Classical Guitar Performance Major and Jazz Minor at West Chester University. While at WCU he studied under the guidance of Grammy Award Winning Guitarist David Cullen, who is a frequent guitarist at the Kimmel Center's Philly Pops. Andrew is now in LA to pursue a masters degree at CalArts and teach.
Mr. Johnson is a professional educator with a collective 6 years of experience teaching numerous genres of music such as classical, jazz, latin, funk, r&b and pop. Andrew has the ability to teach guitar, piano, bass, drums and ukulele to all age ranges. He believes that learning to play an Instrument helps build fundamental skills such as multitasking, discipline, focus, motivation, dedication and accountability. He has full confidence that whether you are a child, teenager or adult it can be a fun, thrilling and rewarding experience.
Andrew guides his lessons in a way that contributes to intrinsic motivation and student ownership of learning by providing choice and guidance in course of study. Flexible and dynamic curriculum built around the fundamentals of single-line melodies, chords and rhythm. He has earned his reputation amongst his students and parents as a patient, kind and personable teacher. Andrew strives to make each lesson challenging and enjoyable in a way that is fully focused on student-centered instruction.
Charles Dolph is a Pianist, Vocalist and educator from Minneapolis. When Charles graduated from Oberlin College, where he studied jazz singing, he decided to move to Washington, DC and begin teaching private lessons and performing professionally. After three years Charles accepted a full-time position as a public school music teacher. He held that job until relocating to Los Angeles, all the while continuing to perform regularly.
Charles has performed extensively in venues ranging from jazz clubs to the Sydney Opera House. He has a deep knowledge of music theory and technique, which allows him to develop his own teaching materials to meet the specific needs of his students. Charles hopes that his students have as much fun learning music as he does teaching.
“I think learning music is one of the best things a person can choose to do. It’s collaborative, it’s creative, and it’s rewarding when you see yourself getting better. Learning music taught me that I have the ability to get better at anything by practicing. I’ve applied the same method of improvement through practicing to so many facets of my life, from academics, to athletics, to everyday things like remembering people’s names. I learned how to play piano and sing, but I also learned a framework for approaching all manner of challenges and obstacles that may arise.”