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Music Teachers

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  • Amber Flynn

    Piano, Voice, Recording Studio

    Amber is the Recording Studio Manager and one of the Audio Engineers at Leading Note Studios. She was born and raised in San Diego and has studied music all of her life.

    In 2009 she began composing her first original Piano compositions. This led to work on completing a first album, and starting to learn and understand the recording process.

    After her first session with a local audio engineer, she immediately became aware of the immense challenge it is to understand the entire recording process. She decided that very day to learn everything she could about Recording!

    She completed the Pro Tools Operators Certification through Avid Technology and Training in 2012 and also became certified through Avid to teach “Sibelius,” a Music Notation Software in 2014. She is also knowledgeable with many other Digital Audio Software (DAW) and utilizes both the Apple Software, “Logic” as well as Garage Band.

    Amber came to Leading Note in 2012 as a piano and music theory student of Camille Hastings, the owner. They immediately shared the vision of opening and educating the community about the Recording Process and built the Recording Studio together in 2015.

    Amber is truly dedicated to helping to “demystify” the entire Recording process from start to finish. She is excited to help you understand the process, and also wants you to receive the type of recording that you envision is right, and absolutely perfect for you!

    Call and make an appointment today for a free 15 minute Consultation with Amber about your next project!

  • Matt Gorgas

    Matthew Gorgas was born and raised in Encinitas, San Diego County. His passion for music at a young age inspired him to take piano lessons at the age of seven, and by the time he reached high school, Matthew joined Canyon Crest Academy’s music conservatory program. There he was able to study music theory, piano performance, and recording arts for multiple hours after school everyday. This motivated him to compose original songs and perform them not only at his high school productions but also in musical competitions, placing himself in top three at local contests. Matthew’s exposure to music production led him to join various bands, playing at SOMA and publishing various original music on Soundcloud and Youtube. He was inspired by the business aspect of music to earn a B.A. in Business Administration from BIOLA University with an emphasis in marketing. Throughout college, Matthew continued to write original music, employing software such as ableton, reason, and logic, while also collaborating with different artists such as Riley and the Roxies. He seeks to share his passion for music daily, whether it is playing worship for his church or encouraging his friends pursue their own music careers. He joined the faculty of Leading Notes Studios in 2018, just after producing music for Junior Achievement’s National Student Leadership Summit, a non-profit organization to help kids with their entrepreneurial goals.

    Matthew’s passions are primarily in piano and songwriting. After receiving his degree he continued to compose original pieces and find work that allowed him to share his knowledge of the piano and performing. When he is not working, he is planning his next backpacking trip, writing a new song, or organizing creative projects with his friends and family.

    My Website
  • Frank Meely

    Senior Voice & Piano Instructor

    Frank has BA in Worship Arts Leadership

    He plays and teaches Piano, Voice, Theory, Songwriting and Sax lessons too!

    Teaching Technique used:

    Piano - Scales/Chords/Ear Training/Theory as well as some book methods. (Hal Leonard and Faber)

    Singing - Physicality/Vocal Health method.

    Style of teaching: Modern songs, songs by request. Laid back, but firm on practice and technique! Self-discovering musician. All students learn to write.

    Years teaching: 10

    Goal in teaching a student: Well rounded musicianship. Excellence. Discipline. Creativity. Outlet. Play anything anywhere. Confidence. Fun.

  • Gina Granier

    Senior Piano Instructor

    Piano lessons for students of all ages and ability levels! I have been teaching for over fifteen years, including in the public school system for the last eight years. I am a fully credentialed teacher in the California and have extensive training and experience working with students with special educational needs, including ESL and gifted classification. My specialties also include older/adult beginners and mixed-method curricula.

    I have the extraordinary experience of having taught for fifteen years at a still young age. That gives me a unique combination of youth and experience that keeps both my students and their parents happy. I started my career at the age of 15 as a church organist in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, and also started teaching younger kids lessons. I taught music through college, and just never stopped!

    The most important music lesson I teach is music appreciation! It is important to me that my students and I both feel JOY. I teach a love of music, and I believe Music is for everyone in some way or another. Everyone. I always start with a traditional, classical, Note-reading method, but remain flexible enough to push only as much as a student lets me. We gradually add in chords, and jazz and pop music, as well as ear-training and music theory. I have a lot of alternative methods and “tricks up my sleeve” for ANY student. I remind myself often that there is no “ideal” way to learn, and my goal is to keep the student engaged. A student who quits will learn nothing, after all. There is always a way, and it is different for every person. That’s what I love about my job— finding a challenge for the bored student, or scaffolding a lesson to make an overwhelmed student know he IS good at it. I also relish the variety of teaching all different ages. The energy of a teen and the energy of a 4-year-old ensures I never go into auto-pilot. Never a dull moment!

  • Dan Bailey


    Dan Bailey spent a decade touring and performing around the world during which he appeared as either Conductor, Associate Conductor, or Pianist. His travels took him to Japan, China, Europe, and many states across the U.S. Dan's first tour featured him as Associate Conductor/Keyboardist for "Grease the Musical". He traveled with this production for nearly 3 years. After the first year, he was then named Conductor, and eventually Music Director. This tour starred Frankie Avalon in the role of "Teen Angel." After "Grease", Dan was hired as the keyboardist on The Who's "Tommy," where he traveled Europe performing in such great cities as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Belgium over the course of 8 months.

    Mr. Bailey then came back to the U.S. where he played for the U.S. tour of "Miss Saigon." During the Spring of 2006, Dan traveled to Tokyo for an encore performance of "Tommy" during a 1 month engagement at the famous Bunkamura Theatre in Shibuya (Tokyo, Japan). Following this tour, Mr. Bailey moved to New York City where he landed the position of Music Director for Elton John's "Aida." He directed and conducted the 2006-2007 U.S. tour of this production with a group of dancers from the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. After concluding the U.S. tour of "Aida", he began work on the off-broadway production of "The People vs. Mona" in New York City during the summer of 2007. This show was written by Jim Wann (writer of Pump Boys and Dinettes). The show was given great praise in the New York Times, Variety Magazine, and several other publications.

    Following "Mona," he once again left New York, this time to become Associate Conductor on Disney's first national touring production of "High School Musical." Dan conducted this show from the Wang Theatre in Boston to the famed Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. The tour continued across the U.S. playing 54 cities, again including the Palace Theatre at Playhouse Square where he was proud to be home and playing with his old colleagues. The trip didn't stop there, but continued for 4 months in China, again directing and conducting Elton John's "Aida" through 9 cities including a 3 week sit-down in Shanghai and then a week in Beijing. He continued as Associate Conductor on "Legally Blonde, The Musical" from 2009-2010. Dan then left to become a pianist, a Hammond b3 organist and Assistant Conductor on Dreamwork's "Shrek the Musical" (2010-2011). He continued on to the most recent touring production of West Side Story (2011-2012).

    Dan has collaborated with hundreds of musicians, recorded for Time Warner Cable, led his own jazz trio "BPC", recorded in studio, played in many rock bands, given choral music direction, performed several solo piano recitals, been sideman for Charro, Chubby Checker and The Four Aces, and has collaborated on music that was recorded and used on a Los Angeles morning TV talk show.

    Mr. Bailey holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance from Cleveland Institute of Music, Master of Music in Piano Performance from Kent State University, and Master of Arts in Theory and Composition from Kent State University.

    Dan Bailey is excited to be offering piano lessons in a diverse array of styles, from classical to jazz to rock! Youth to adult. Dan will offer private lessons tailored to each individual. Whether you want traditional, classical piano lessons or learning theory to understand chords for rock, pop, or jazz, he can help you to learn the fundamentals of music making.

  • Samuel Wilmurt


    Teaching music is my calling in life. I grew up in large musical family of teachers, and have a passion for music and education. I went on to study music in college and earned my BA in Music Education with an emphasis in voice. Singing has always been my focus, but learning and teaching all the Instrumental famlies (strings, brass, wood winds and percussion) has been an absolute joy for me. I've been at Leading Note Studios for about 5 years. I am the music teacher and choir director for Park Dale Lane Elementary School here in Encinitas. Previously I was the band director at Horizon Prep in Rancho Santa Fe and have served as a sectional coach for beginning and advanced bands at Ada Harris Elementary School in Cardiff. I love playing music with my family and am so blessed to be a part of this one!!!
  • Shantaya Whittaker


    Shantaya Whittaker has been a professional musician since 1996. Shantaya studied voice, piano, rhythm and music theory at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, Germany. In 2009, she began an old-style rhythm and blues project and became the lead singer of Jenny Boneja & the Ballroomshakers which toured throughout Europe, she got nominated for Germany's best female Voice in Rhythm and Blues. In January 2013 she moved to New Orleans to study yoga and to get the feel for the real New Orleans Music.

    In March 2015 Shantaya released her Album “ Healing Mantra Unveil” and is currently touring on various yoga Festivals and is teaching workshops.

    Quote from Shantaya:

    “Singing and playing an instrument is the Gateway to heaven, when we sing and play, we don't think anymore! Music, singing, yoga and dancing are my life`s passion. The connection between breath, movement, voice and presentation has shaped who I am in life today. I enjoy sharing the musical knowledge and vast live experiences that I have accumulated in Europe and India over the years."

  • Anton Maroun


    Anton Maroun has been performing professionally in operas and musical theatre consistently in San Diego for the last 6 years. Having studied intensely in the music program at Mira Costa College, his education lead him to perform on big stages throughout Southern California. Although one of his strongest passions is performing on stage, his biggest passion is for teaching music. His passion for teaching music comes from the great teachers he has learned from and he hopes to inspire students through music just as he was inspired by his teachers and mentors. Anton is quoted as saying "It is such a gift to be able to spread the love of music! Seeing so many breakthroughs and 'AHA!' moments are what drives my passion for teaching every day." Anton is currently performing as "Lumiere" in the Pechanga Resort production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast".
  • Sameer Bhattacharya


    Sameer is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter who co-founded the platinum selling band Flyleaf at the age of 17. From his formative teenage years into his 30's Sameer has toured the world sharing stages with bands like Foo Fighters to Twenty One Pilots to Korn and Rage Against the Machine. Over the past 15 years Sameer has recorded multiple albums working with top music producers in world class studios (Howard Benson, Don Gilmore, Mike Plotnikoff).

    Sameer offers students a real world approach to learning music equipping them with the tools to blossom between lessons and grow as musicians and songwriters.
  • Arman Tabrizian


    Hi I'm Arman Tabrizian!

    I have been playing music in North County for 10 years now.
    I studied music at Mira Costa College.
    I've been teaching for 2 years. I teach modern pop songs and take songs by request.
    My focus is to make every lesson fun while learning and growing.
    Whether you are wanting to play piano, guitar or sing, I can teach you! Let's start learning today!
  • William Marsh IV


    Will Marsh began his formal music education at the Interlochen Academy of the Arts in Northern Michigan. There he learned extensive classical guitar repertoire, music theory, composition and jazz improvisation. Will's next musical venture lead him to the California Institute of the Arts where completed his BFA in Music in 2010. At Cal Arts, Will became a serious student of the sitar and went on to complete his MFA in World Music Performance from Cal Arts. Will is now an international performing musician who resides in Encinitas. His music covers a wide range of influences and he is virtuoso on both guitar and sitar. more at www.willmarshmusic.com
  • Sal Russo

    Guitar-Drums-Bass Guitar

    When you are a student of Sal's, you are in great hands! Sal is a super fun and reliable teacher who works with all ages and experience levels. He will not only teach the instrument, but he will pay along and provide a "rock band" experience for each student. This allows for growth not only in playing the instrument, but also provides the students with performance experience.

  • George Volkov

    Strings and Piano

    George Volkov was born in the small town of Azov in southern Russia. His parents were amateur musicians and his love of classical music started early. He was sent to a local music school at the age of six to study the violin. Later he went to the world famous city of the arts, St. Petersburg, Russia, where he began his advanced music education. Mr. Volkov, studied viola and graduated from the Music College and Conservatory in 2010. He studied with Anna Pavlovich,a 30 year veteran of the noted Mariinsky Theater. In addition Mr. Volkov studied with Andrey Dogadin, principal violist and soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. He played several master-classes, notably with Roman Spitzer, principal violist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as several graduate and post-graduate recitals. He has been a member of the St. Petersburg Music Comedy Theater Orchestra and the St. Petersburg State Academic Orchestra and Capella. In 2008-2010 Mr. Volkov served as principal violist in the Cairo Opera Symphony Orchestra, in Cairo, Egypt. He performed two recitals in the small hall of the Cairo Opera House. Upon leaving Egypt, he toured central Russia playing numerous recitals in various music schools and colleges. Soon after he immigrated to the United States and settled in the San Diego area, Mr. Volkov began teaching and is currently principal violist with the MiraCosta College Symphony Orchestra.

  • Jason Berman


    Jason is a graduate of MiraCosta College with an AA in Jazz Performance and a current student at San Diego State University in their Music Education Bachelors program. He is also been a music instructor in the North County area for 4 years. At MiraCosta College Jason was both the section leader for the men in the vocal jazz choir Frequency, as well as the Director of the 2015 Oceanside Jazz Festival. Jason is a firm believer that music lessons should be a fun engaging experience, and fosters an energetic creative environment in his lessons. Jason also teaches a strong foundation in Music Theory so you do not only learn the how, but also the why. Whether you are wanting to learn to sing, play on the piano, or both, Jason can teach you in Pop, Rock, and Jazz styles.

    Lessons Taught:

    Classical Piano
    Rock Piano
    Jazz Piano
    Rock Vocals
    Jazz Vocals
    Pop Vocals
    Song Writing and Composition
    Music Theory

  • Jess Piasecki



    I love teaching kids how to read music. Learning rhythms, note reading, scales, and basic music theory while keeping it fun.
    I have studied both classical and jazz. I have been here at Leading Note Studios for over a year already and some of my students have been with me the whole way through. I love working with the kids and picking their brain for their personal learning style to develop an ear and eye for music.

    See you in the studio!
  • Susan Fisher

    Susan is a Graduate from CSU Chico, receiving her BA in Vocal Performance and English. She has studied the Orff Method of music for Children, instructed by Darva Campbell & creator of "Once Upon A Thyme Productions". Susan studied voice with Anita Lee Mixson in the San Francisco Bay area, with Soprano Alla Markovich, Beth Freeman of the University of Nevada Reno, and Costa Rican Tenor Ulises Solano. While at Chico State, she toured Eastern Europe, singing with the Chamber Chorale and Acapella Choirs, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Paul. She was part of their Opera Workshop led by Gwen Curatillo and performed for the Bravo Association.
    Susan has been teaching privately in the North County San Diego area for almost 30 years and works with all styles and genres of music. Currently, her students are involved in a host of Musical Theatre productions. They also participate in Choral performing, Rock n Roll, Folk, Opera, Bluegrass, Indie, Pop, Alternative, and various other styles of music. Many students come to her to prepare for auditions, recitals, and learning good stage presence.

    Susan continues to perform and sing for local events and helps with the worship at her church.
    Having taught students from 4 to 85, it's her belief that everyone can experience the joy of singing and creating beautiful music at any age. It's such a delight to see her students grow and flourish, using their musical talents.

    She offers Voice Lessons for Beginning to Advanced students
    Beginning to intermediate guitar instruction, and finger picking styles.
    Combination lessons are also offered

    Susan looks forward to meeting new students at Leading Note Studios!

  • Shaun Knoop


    From San Clemente CA. Began playing Music in 6th grade. Graduated from The Masters College with a degree in Communications and a minor in Biblical Studies. Drummed for 330 plan, Trevor Davis, Kokua, The Manhattan Jazz band, Travis Oberg, and Tyson Motsenbocker. Guitar/drums/vocals/songwriter for the album "Great Dane" - on iTunes. Author of the book "Drum Cycles." An officially seasoned music teacher as of 2016.
  • Daniel Plane

    Daniel Plane is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with over 10 years experience teaching individuals and groups. He is a former member of Taarka, a stringband based in Colorado, and owns a five stringed cello. Daniel performs around San Diego county, where he recently moved his family from western Massachusetts.
  • Christian Hastings

    Guitar & Rock Bands

    Christian is co-owner and a graduate from Berklee College of Music. He has performed with the greats like Bo Diddley, Chris Duarte, The James Brown Horns, Johnny Lang, John Mayall, The Memphis Horns, Bonnie Raitt, Junior Wells, Waldo Weathers

    He loves to make sure kids get a grasp of the theory basics, note reading and jamming on the blues chords. His students are inspired to create and sing along as they play.

    The Christian Hastings Band Get It On Voltage Hog Records
    Waldo Weathers Live In Barcellona Mas i Mas Records
    Waldo Weathers Saxual Fulfillment Mas i Mas Records
    Martha High & Waldo Weathers Live In Paris Independent
    The Christian Hastings Band Callin'For Rain Voltage Hog Records

  • Greg Armstrong

    Woodwinds including Sax-Clarinet-Flute

    Woodwind artist Greg Armstrong is comfortable in virtually any performance situation. He has appeared with the internationally acclaimed Sonora Quartet, with the Tucson and Albuquerque Symphony Orchestras, and in numerous theatre, radio, television, and film productions. Greg earned his Bachelors degree in Jazz Studies and Masters degrees in Saxophone Performance from the University of Arizona where he studied with Elizabeth Zinn Ervin, Kelland Thomas, and jazz professor Jeffrey Haskell. Greg's teaching credits include positions at the University of New Mexico and the University of Arizona. Greg is a valued adjudicator at festivals and competitions, and provides workshops and clinics throughout the Southwest. He is currently active in a variety of musical groups, including the Special Edition Jazz Orchestra, the San Diego Concert Jazz Band, The Ira Liss Big Band Jazz Machine, the San Diego Winds Concert Wind Ensemble, The Apex Trio Chamber Ensemble, and continues to perform in Arizona through Nederlander Productions and the Arizona Theater Company.

  • Marissa Hastings

    Bio coming soon