Voice & Vocal Coaching
Jaki Nelson was born to an entertainment family. She began learning piano at the age of 8 and has continued her study of the instrument to this day. She has taken vocal lessons from the best, including Rosemary Butler, Monica Margolis, Alexis Lopez, and Hannah Ferber. She began her recording career at the age of 17 with a song she engineered herself, titled “Take My Hand” that went worldwide, debuting on BBC radio, and getting picked up by Mau5Trap Records, a partner of Capitol Records. Jaki has begun her teaching career at Monster Music Lessons and looks forward to taking on new students to help them explore their creative instrumental and vocal abilities.
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!
Pop, R&B, and Jazz Vocal Teacher
Coco York has performed for President and Mrs. Bill Clinton twice, royalty, dignitaries, State Departments around the world, members of the Dutch Government and she has also authored a book: Simple Vocal Technique with Inner Engineering. Hailing from Strong, Arkansas, USA, where she was born, Coco has made her way to New Orleans, Australia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Asia, Africa, Europe, leaving her mark in music across the globe.
CoCo has shared the stage with artist such as McCoy Tyner, Dianne reeves, Tanya Marie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Toots Thielemans, and many others. She has appeared in theaters, recorded, and has extensive television and radio experience from around the world.
Born Guinevere Henry and nicknamed CoCo because of her penchant for drinking hot chocolate, she earned a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Music from Southern University in Louisiana. She studied Opera with Matiwilda Dobbs then subsequently returned to Southern University to continue her education. She has since earned a Masters Degree in Psychology and a Masters Certificate in Music Therapy.
Coco has worked as a Music Therapist at Links High School in Montreal, QB with developmentally challenged children, as well as in geriatrics at the St. Andrews Long Term Care Facility (also in Montreal, QB) with adults who suffered from autism, Parkinson’s, stroke and other ailments. Additionally, Coco has served as a Substitute Teacher at a number of schools in the LA County, has taught Master Classes all over the world, and has held permanent positions at both the Aboriginal School of the Arts in Sydney, Australia and the prestigious Rotterdam Conservatory of Music in The Netherlands.
When asked about her teaching style, Coco responds: “My teaching style is extremely simple: I always meet a client where they are. I assess to find out what their individual needs are and join them there.”
Coco is available for private voice lessons on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Alexis Stone Lopez
Pop, Rock and R&B
Click here to watch Alexis compete on American Idol!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 and Saturday.
Kevin Field’s involvement in the arts began at birth, as he remains convinced he emerged from the womb wearing his first pair of Capezio tap shoes. Descending from a long lineage of medical professionals, his parents first noticed his magnetic pull to the arts when it was discovered he preferred conducting the score to Les Miserables in his bedroom instead of executing algorithms or playing football. His mother decided to enroll him in piano lessons at the age of four and a longstanding relationship with music was born.
Kevin hails from Laingsburg, a small farming community just northeast of Lansing, MI, where the arts was something one did for “fun” rather than “profit.” Therefore, he took it upon himself to do any and everything he could to expand his knowledge of all things musical. In addition to piano, Kevin also developed a fervid love for tap, jazz and gymnastics. He also studied the alto saxophone and participated in his high school jazz and concert bands, while also serving as drum major for the marching band. He was fortunate enough to tour internationally with the Lions Club of Michigan All-State Band during his summers off. A well-rounded academic background helped him land admission into the University of Michigan School of Music, where he began his collegiate career as a Choral Music Education major, studying voice with Grammy award-winning soprano Carmen Pelton. He also sang in several university choral groups under the direction of Drs. Jerry Blackstone and Sandra Snow, as well as continued his saxophone studies with the Michigan Marching Band under Drs. James Tapia and Jamie Nix. Though training to be a teacher, Kevin recognized that the inner vocalist and dancer hiding inside was dying to be let out and soon sought a career on the stage.
Kevin earned his first professional theatrical experience as an apprentice at the historic Barn Theater, one of the nation’s oldest Equity summer stock companies. Now in its 66th season, the Barn has a reputation as a stepping-stone for many an actor and is home to famous alumni such as Jonathan Larson (composer of Rent), Jennifer Garner (TV’s Alias), Tom Wopat (TV’s Dukes of Hazzard), Lauren Graham (TV’s Gilmore Girls), and Marin Mazzie (Broadway’s Kiss Me Kate). It was there that he first acquired a taste for the complexity and swift process of show business by having to rehearse and perform up to eight musicals and ten cabarets in as little as fourteen weeks. Among the 40+ plays and musicals he’s performed in, his favorite credits include Keno in The Full Monty, Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof, Amos in Chicago, Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense: A-Men and Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, the latter of which earned him his membership into Actor’s Equity Association. Upon returning to school he quickly switched to a performance major with an emphasis in musical theatre repertoire and graduated summa cum laude in 2003.
He soon thereafter moved to New York with Tony-award wishes and Broadway dreams in tow. He studied voice with Broadway’s Ann Arvia (Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins) and was lucky to land his first tour after just one month—Broadway’s Tony-winning revival of 42nd Street. He remained with the show intermittently for three years and has flap ball-changed for audiences in over thirty US states and much of Southeast Asia including China, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.
In addition to 42nd Street, Kevin has had a 10+ year relationship with the Walt Disney Company, having performed in the fifteenth anniversary company of Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World, and more recently several shows, special events and parades at the Disneyland resort. With his wealth of knowledge and musical versatility, Kevin has free-lanced as a vocal coach and musical director, conducting My Way for Seaside Repertory Theater in Seaside, FL and The Pleasure is Yours for Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s in Los Angeles. He has also returned to the Barn, serving an additional two seasons as musical director/arranger/pianist for the Rehearsal Shed Lounge and in 2009, as resident choreographer. It was this last endeavor that reawakened his passion for teaching, having been responsible for staging and directing shows such as Guys on Ice, Joseph…, The Full Monty, Big River, The Civil War, as well as nine cabaret revues.
Now based in Los Angeles, he received his Masters in Teaching degree from USC, and hopes to emulate those teachers that inspired him to become the person he is today. He recently added producing to his resume by putting together I Hear Voices: Songs For Psychosis, a benefit for Project 22. He can also be “heard” in the upcoming featurette Aria For a Cow for Disney and Dan Lund Productions. His true passion is the art of creation and inspiration through music. Nothing thrills him more than seeing a performance come to fruition, or the success achieved of a student when they finally nail that high note for the first time. He hopes to one day combine his mutual love of both instrumental and vocal music with his passion for theater, instill this passion in his students, and continue to music direct and perform until the day he dies, or he can no longer tap dance—whichever comes first.