Guitar & Bass
Carla attended the Berklee College of Music and finished at The New England Conservatory of Music. She studied composition with jazz great George Russell and contemporary composer William Thomas McKinley. Carla was elected as a member into the Pi Kappa Lambda Society. She graduated with academic honors and a degree in music.
Carla was the vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, & lead guitarist for Earthwurm. Earthwurm recorded 2 independently released studio CD’s, Sex & Anxiety & Blank The Same. “I Wait For You” a track off “Blank the Same”,was chosen to be featured on a compilation called “Octaves Beyond Silence” featuring Ani DiFranco, Sarah Mclachlan & The Indigo Girls.
For 3 years Carla played the Chappman Stick for the off-broadway sensation, The Blue Man Group. She was the 1st female band member of the NYC show and the 2nd female in the entire company.
Carla has performed & toured as a lead vocalist and a back ground vocalist for many artists, such as: Danny Vaughn (Tyketto/Vaughn), The Party Dolls, Richie Canatta ( Billy Joel), Allison Miller (Annie DiFranco, Natalie Merchant & Brandi Carlile), Sheryl Bailey, Lucy Arnez, The Newyorkettes and many Vegas style tribute acts.
Carla still takes an occasional lesson and her teacher is the private vocal coach for Arianna Grande, Megan Trainer and many Broadway artists.
Carla and her husband PJ are the writing team known as “The Alphabet Astronauts” and they write music for TV, Film and original artists.
Rock, Funk, Blues and Jazz Guitar
Derek John Buechel is an honors graduate of Columbia College in Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending Columbia, Derek based his studies in the jazz and rock/fusion guitar idiom, and had private lessons with Chicago greats Frank Dawson and Peter Lerner. Through his studies and training, Derek attained a solid foundation in all aspects of music including composition, theory, technique, production, sight-reading, and ear training. While at Columbia, Derek was surrounded by many of the businesses’ finest musicians including blues greats Koko Taylor and Fernando Jones, jazz greats Pat Martino, Jon Faddis, and John Pizzarelli, and funk legend Fred Wesley.
While maintaining a solid rock n’ roll foundation, Derek’s style is described as an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, blues, funk, and psychedelia. Part of the reason for his unique style is his involvement in a number of different musical outfits. Derek was a member of almost every different ensemble Columbia had to offer including Jazz Guitar, Blues Ensemble, Pop Orchestra, New Music Ensemble, and Groove Band. He was also very involved in Chicago’s theatre and comedy scene, working as Music Director for a production based out of Chicago’s legendary 2nd City and also playing lead guitar for the Apollo Theatre’s Baby Wants Candy, the most popular improv-comedy sketch in Chicago.
Since moving to Los Angeles in late 2008, Derek has built a solid musical foundation for himself through teaching lessons, and his rock band, Hey You!. Hey You! has been lighting up Hollywood, constantly playing some of L.A.’s best venues such as the House of Blues, Key Club, Viper Room, and the Troubadour, and has even won a couple of awards along the way (RAW Artist Musician of the Year, Project Rock Warrior winners). The band happened to catch the ear of Producer/Engineer Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Heart, Metallica), and is currently in the studio recording their debut album with him.
While performing with Hey You!, Derek has still kept his love for teaching alive. He has received much praise for his teaching of all age groups, but specifically with children. He has been involved with childcare and education since high school, and this can be seen in his teaching style with kids. Some of his students have even given him the nickname “Happy”.
Derek is available for private guitar and piano lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Pj studied jazz performance & music theory at City College in New York City. Some of his mentors include Joe Giglio, Vic Juris, Alex Skolnick, Metal Mike Chlasciak, Oz Noy & Greg Harrison. Pj has toured the globe with such artists as: Tyketto, Danny Vaughn, Brother Love, Jon Jones, The Bobby Lynch Band, New Power Soul & Garden State Radio. While with these bands Pj has shared the stage with: Motorhead, ZZ Top, AC/DC, Don Felder, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Kris Allen, Barenaked Ladies, 3 Doors Down, Michael Franti, & Joe Piscopo.
Pj has recorded numerous recordings & promotional videos and has been a featured artist online with Guitar World Magazine, Guitar Player Magazine & Premier Guitar Magazine demonstrating numerous efx pedals from: Maxon, TWA, Guyatone, Emma, Providence & HAO.
Pj has also been a featured artist for the past 5 years at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim California & is proudly endorsed by- ENGL amps, Marshall amps, Music Man Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings, V-picks, EMG pickups, Gator Cases, Godlyke Distribution, Providence, Maxon, Guyatone, Emma, TWA, HAO, Get’m Get’m Straps & Loxx strap locks.
Andreas Farmakalidis is a professional performing musician, published musical author as well as educator with national as well as international touring experience.
He is primarily known as an electric bass player. He was fortunate enough to record with notable musicians such as Grammy award winning guitar player Marty Friedman,Megadeth, aika (J-pop top10), Neilaproductions, among others. In addition, he supported many well known artists and he has shared the stage with the likes of Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, WAR, Greek x factor and super idol artists among many others.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music as well as a MA degree from Brandeis University . In addition, Andreas is a Rotterdams Conservatory alumnus, where he was studying Jazz bass Performance as well as Music Pedagogy. Moreover, he has a performance grade degree in piano from Trinity College in the UK.
Lastly Andreas is a staff writer for the renowned bass magazine. His First music book, which is published through academic publishing, focuses on observations and analyses in the music of Ornette Coleman. His second book (hip hop bass lines), which is going to be published through bassline publishing, will be out early 2012.
Andreas is available for private lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Alexis Stone Lopez
Beginning & Intermediate Guitar
Alexis was born in August 1984 in Modesto, CA. She attended Woodrow Elementary, Somerset Middle School, and Fred C. Beyer High School.
Shortly before graduation from high school, she decided to audition for the first season of American Idol. So, at 17, she skipped school just before finals to drive more than 300 miles alone to Los Angeles for a 40-second audition. Although competing with more than 10,000 Idol-hopefuls, she made it all the way to the final Wildcard competition, before leaving the show.
After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music interests. She attended Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, where she studied Linguistics and Music, and then went on to earn a full scholarship to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.
Alexis has been working in recording studios since she was 14 years old, not only as an artist and studio vocalist, but also as a recording engineer and a producer. Although her primary focus has been on her education, she has also managed to tour with several major acts at venues including MGM Grand, Cal Expo, Universal Amphitheater, and other major locations across the U.S.
She is currently back in the studio full time, working to complete a volume of songs, to draw from for her upcoming album.
Alexis is Available for Private Lessons Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Jay Vincent is an award winning, USC-educated composer, performer and educator. He has composed music for the #1 kids’ television series “LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu,” Morgan Freeman’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Golden Globes, and became one of the youngest composers to receive a BMI Film & TV Award. Jay is also part of the Star Wars universe, having composed music for the new “LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles” on Cartoon Network. A longtime collaborator with EA Games, his music can be heard as the top selling track on EA’s “Dragon Age 2: Epic Times” video game soundtrack, and in many award-winning trailers including “Battlefield “4,” Mass Effect 3,” “Command & Conquer,” “Dragon Age 2″ and the upcoming “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” As an avid teacher and educator of the next generation of musicians, Jay has been passing along his extensive knowledge of many instruments and styles since the age of 14, and continues to do so 14 years later.The worldwide phenomenon of “Ninjago” has given him the privilege of presenting rich and intelligent music to a new generation of children, in the spirit of the classical masterpieces in Chuck Jones’ “Looney Tunes.” In a time where musical themes are losing popularity, “Ninjago” fans in 40 countries are treated every week to memorable melodies played by unique instruments from around the world. As a vocalist and instrumentalist he has brought Haydn to life with the Vienna Philharmonic, sung for Pope Benedict’s 80th Birthday at the Vatican and toured the islands of Japan. As a listener, his diverse and meticulous study of sound, story and history has yielded an arsenal of abilities that make even the most challenging project possible. This passion for musical history, diversity and intense study always comes out in his teaching; every lesson with every student becomes both a trip to the past and a new venture into the future.Educated at USC in Composition and Cinematic Arts with a graduate degree in Film Scoring, Jay’s knowledge of music and art across multiple disciplines comes out in his multifaceted teaching style. As and undergraduate he had the privilege of studying composition—particularly for voices—under world renowned choral composer Morten Lauridsen. He also was fortunate enough to sing under LA Master Chorale music director Paul Salamunovich for a year in the USC Chamber Choir. Maestro Salamunovich’s wealth of stories about Luciano Pavarotti, Zubin Mehta and Marilyn Horne provided a firsthand look into the history of world-class music making, a knowledge Jay is relentless about passing on to his students.Jay loves teaching largely because of the many great teachers he was lucky to have. Their passion and genius was infectious, and it comes out every day in the music he writes, plays and sings. And he insists on carrying that torch and passing it to the next person who walks through the door of the lesson room!
Grant BogoradGrant is a singer/songwriter, born and raised in Southern California. Learning to love music at a young age, he began to study the drums under Al Valesquez in the 5th grade. He was taught everything from rock drums, to a reggae one drop, to many different percussion instruments. Grant was apart of the World renowned Pandero player Chalo Eduardo’s Samba marching band, and marched 2 years in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice parade. At age 13, he picked up the guitar and began to sing and write songs painting a picture of his experiences and adventures around Ventura County. One of the biggest musical inspirations in his journey was his Flamenco/Latin guitar teacher Fredi Shifton. Fredi taught him to love and appreciate latin music and the basis of chord-melody. This prepared him to fit his skills into any and every musical situation.Grant is a recent graduate of Musicians Institute in Hollywood California, where he received an Associates of Arts in Guitar Performance with an Emphasis in the Independent Artist program. He was taught to be a stylistically versatile and well versed guitarist. Grant based his studies in Blues/Rock, Latin and Reggae, having private lessons with country star, Rick Monroe’s touring guitar player, Jeff Marshall, Ziggy Marley’s touring guitar player, Takeshi Akimoto and Flamenco/Rumba extraordinaire, Yussi Wenger. Grant also is well verse in Harmony, Theory and Ear Training.Currently, playing shows and festivals all around California with his band Dankrupt, Grant’s professional live experience extends to the Uplift Arts and Music Festival, the Grassroots Festival, Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal City Walk, hosting a block party inviting all of the neighbors in his Granada Hills home, 710 Beach Club in San Diego, Bombay Bar and Grill in Ventura and many more around California. The band is going to release their brand new EP titled, ‘Moonlight’, in the end of July.Grant has a very unique style of teaching, with the simple yet effective methodology of tapping into the strength of his students and achieving THEIR goals. If the student is not enjoying themselves and learning to love music, it will be hard to get them to study and truly invest time into their instrument. Music is our universal language to communicate and anybody can learn!Grant is available for lessons 7 days a week
Andy PerezMy name is Andy Perez, I am musician based out of the San Fernando valley. I can play a wide range of instruments, from playing the guitar to playing the accordion. I have been playing for about 9 years and experimented with versatile styles of playing. My passion for music started at a young age. I began playing the accordion and took lessons at a local music school where I learned to read music and developed the skills needed to become a more rounded musician. I then switched over to the guitar when I began taking lessons at powerhouse music now know as monster music lessons. I also learned how to play other instruments such as the piano, violin, viola, saxophone, bass guitar, and a little bit of drums. I started to play with many local bands where I learned to work with other musicians in a band environment. As time went by I took on the decision to start teaching music so I could spread the joy of playing and learning music to other people. I worked for an old teacher of mine at a local music school teaching a group of 9 students at a time for about a year. I soon retired from teaching at that music school, now I’ve currently been giving private lessons at the comfort of my home.