Alex Hand - Guitar
Alex Hand is a guitarist currently based in the San Francisco area. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno's jazz program in 2011.
Alex's musical journey has taken him from classic rock and punk to classical guitar, jazz and the Django Reinhardt tradition of gypsy swing. Recently back from studying in Eastern Europe, he's been focusing on European folk styles, including Bulgarian, Romanian and Irish.
Alex has been teaching for over five years and his students have ranged from age 6 to 60.
Abigail Tesfaye -Violin
Abi Tesfaye started playing the violin at 5 years old in Houston, TX, where she was born and raised. Her musical abilities led her to go to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she graduated with a certificate in viola performance. Abi graduated from Concordia University Texas in 2016. Her time in Austin gave her the opportunity to play in an array of venues with many folk and contemporary Christian bands (as well as a degree in Religious Education). Abi is a product of the Suzuki method, teachers who made playing the violin an enriching and challenging experience, and parents who wouldn't relent in having kids who played string instruments. Today, she enjoys teaching the same method through careful instruction and encouragement, and by partnering with parents in the lifelong journey of playing the most rewarding instrument there is.
Kate Lloyd - Voice & Piano
Kate began playing piano at age 7, and singing at 12, and began studying Theatre at 16. As an individual that needed to know "everything about everything" in the arts, She studied Vocal Performance and Theatre Performance at Saint Mary’s College of California. While there, she sang with the internationally known SMC Chamber Singers and Glee Club when they became a gold and silver medal recipients in the 2014 World Choir Games, performed as the jazz band's vocalist, performed as Anna in SMC's adaptation of Spring Awakening that toured to the Kennedy Center American Conservatory Theatre Festival. While in college, she also accompanied vocal students on the piano during rehearsal hours. Kate performed in musicals throughout the bay, as well as in musical cabarets. More recently, she has worked as a music director for Children's Theatre in and out of state. She also recently created the performing arts program for a school designed for students with Learning Differences.
Kate approaches music education with a mix of humor, excitement, and discipline. She strives to maintain a safe and comfortable space, where students are welcome to be themselves, be curious, build confidence, and grow.
Kate has been teaching children and teens beginning to intermediate piano for the last 6 years. She also has been teaching voice students of all ages and experience levels for 3 years, in the genres of musical theatre, classical, jazz, and contemporary.
Bill Judd - Drums
Livermore native Bill has over 40 years experience performing and teaching drum. Bill began studying music with the Livermore schools program where he played in Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz band as well as the pit orchestra for Oklahoma and Peter Pan.While still in high school, Bill began playing with rock bands at parties, school dances and weddings. Nightclub gigs soon followed and performances had Bill traveling up and down the state of California for many years. Bill knows both the technical and the practical sides of music, having spent many years managing bands in which he performed. Bill teaches all drum set styles and reading including classical snare, marching snare, drum set tab and big band charts.Bill works with students of all ages and experience levels; instruction is individually designed to focus on whatever the student wants to learn!
Tim DeCillis - Drums
Tim first began playing the drums at age 10, in garage bands with his friends growing up in Rochester NY, and after playing both drums and guitar in several bands and receiving private lessons throughout high school, his love of music led him to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in percussion from the State University of New York at Fredonia. While studying classical percussion, Tim also cultivated a love for jazz and contemporary music, eventually going on to receive a Master's Degree in jazz studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he maintained a strong concentration in vibraphone and drum set, and was the recipient of the Stiver's Award for Outstanding Performance in a Graduate Recital. Since earning his Master's Degree, Tim has maintained a busy schedule of performing, teaching, and recording, with groups of a wide variety of styles, from rock bands and jazz combos to chamber groups and new music ensembles. He is passionate about sharing the joy and inspiration he finds in music with others as they pursue their own unique and personal journeys as musicians.
Victoria Taylor - Voice, Piano, & Acting
Victoria loves to teach and enjoys helping young people explore their passion in Creative Arts. She began taking classical piano lessons at age 10 and also performed as a vocalist at her home church & school making her solo debut at age 8 on a local radio station. She has Performed & Taught a variety of Workshops to Youth for the last two decades.
Currently, Victoria has created & taught Voice & Studio Acting for youth through Community Arts (City of Walnut Creek). She simultaneously teaches private piano & voice lessons. Victoria's passion for singing has earned her ASCAP status, when her original song was broadcast on radio stations Worldwide (2005-2016). She has performed in varied Musical Theater productions all over the U.S., writing her own music which has been sung in churches and on radio stations. She has also appeared on numerous TV shows such as Greys Anatomy, House, ER & Ally McBeal and has been featured in a few local and Regional Commercials.
After earning a “Teacher of Excellence” Award from CMS in 2007, she continues to pursue her passion in the Arts and most recently relocated back to the Bay Area. Victoria is happy to be back and says it’s true, there is “no place like home”.
Terrell Liedstrand - Guitar, Violin, Ukulele, & Piano
Terrell Liedstrand began playing music at an early age. His parents are professional musicians, and while growing up immersed in the fun of a musical household he learned several stringed instruments. During middle school and high school Terrell played violin in the orchestras, guitar in jazz bands and sang in choral ensembles. He then went on to study music at Diablo Valley College and in the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific where he began, but has yet to finished, a Master Degree in Music Therapy. Here he studied many aspects of music including theory, history, classical guitar, piano, singing, and the therapeutic use of music in educational, clinical and community settings. Terrell performs music regularly as a solo artist and in various music groups with friends and professionals. He currently teaches guitar, violin, piano, ukulele and mandolin lessons.
Ariel Wang - Piano, Violin, & Guitar
Ariel has always felt most alive when playing and listening to music. At five she started taking piano lessons, and then moved on to the violin at age nine. By 14, she realized that her passion was not just for classical music, but also the wild and free spirit of bluegrass and rock & roll, so she picked up the guitar. With an understanding of the strict discipline of classical music but also the complete freedom of rock and folk, she tries to instill a passion and love for all aspects of music into her students. With years of experience coaching rock bands and teaching private lessons to both kids and adults, playing in a number of bands as well as composing her own music, she hopes to continue inspiring musicians of all ages.
Nick Bang - Voice & Piano
Nick Bang began teaching and developing his own private voice and piano studio in his early twenties, and he’s reminded on a daily basis how important music is in peoples’ lives. For Nick, music is a key element to feeling happy and fulfilled. He can't imagine life without music, like imagining life without air or water. Through teaching, he's discovered this is the case for many people, and nothing brings him more joy than helping people nurture and hone their skills in such a vital aspect of the human experience.
Nick specializes in working with young and developing musicians. His extensive knowledge of technique and sensitivity to the adolescent mind make him the perfect candidate to work with young people. Nick received his bachelor's degree in music with an emphasis on Vocal Performance from CSU East Bay in Hayward. While pursuing his degree, he performed in numerous musicals and operas and put on multiple solo recitals. Upon graduating, he focused mainly on developing his private voice and piano studio. However, as a popular and respected teacher in the Lamorinda area, Nick also works as vocal coach for both Campolindo and Miramonte High School.
Kyrstyn Pixton - Voice & Piano
Kyrstyn began teaching music to children at 14, and has been performing since before she can remember. She teaches Voice, Piano, Song-writing, and Music Production privately as well as in public schools to both children and adults. A multi-instrumentalist, she regularly performs as a solo song-writer and improvisational crowd-sourced music producer. She studied Classical Voice, and Music Technology at University of Michigan School of Music, and Portland State University. Later, she studied Classical Indian Voice and Tabla in Varanasi, and Dharmsala, India, after which she toured internationally with multiple bands, including a 40 piece traditional Balinese style Gamelan which played in Bali, Java, Japan, and the US. After she had her fill of big bands, she started her solo career and has been writing, producing, and performing her own music ever since. With a special passion for unlocking the innate creative drive in each student, she creates individual curriculums and assignments suited to each student’s needs, with a big dose of encouragement along the way.