Find a Teacher

         Are you looking for a music teacher for yourself or your child?  While there are many music teachers in our area to choose from, those who belong to the MTAC are highly trained professionals who possess a high level of competence in teaching their respective instruments.  Thus, you can be assured that you are studying with a truly qualified teacher. 

       The Pleasant Valley-Ventura County branch of The Music Teachers' Association of California has a roster of approximately 40 teachers in piano, strings, and woodwind instruments, and voice.  We invite you to review the "Find a Teacher" listing.  We look forward to sharing music with you!

Filter This List

Maria Ongkit Arce

Piano | Oxnard

Contact Maria Ongkit Arce by phone at 986-8191 or by e-mail at

Joy Asenas

Piano | Ventura County | Makes House Calls

Joy Asenas began her piano study at age 5. Principle teachers were Peter Yazbeck in high school and Earle Voorhies in college. Joy earned a bachelor of fine arts at California Institute of the Arts. She has been involved in teaching piano for 43 years and is a member of the MTAC. Positions in MTAC include past president, festival chairman, and Certificate of Merit chairman. A previous piano instructor at the Thacher School, Joy actively teaches in Fillmore and does in-home lessons in Camarillo. Joy greatly enjoys judging in Certificate of Merit, Bach Festival, Guild, and other festivals. She is also a recitalist, accompanist, and a church musician. Joy teaches all ages and styles of music.

Contact Joy Asenas by phone at 524-0878.

Ballerino John

John Ballerino

Chamber Music | Piano | Ventura | Openings Available

John Ballerino holds a D.M.A. in Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California, where he also studied Spanish and Latin American literature as part of his doctoral program. His principal teachers include Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Brooks Smith, Alan Smith, George Katz and Frank Wiens. He is a five-time winner of the Koldofsky Graduate Fellowship in Accompanying, and twice was the winner of the Hans Schiff Memorial Scholarship for excellence in chamber music (U.S.C.). He has also twice received scholarships to the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara). Master classes and private coaching have enabled him to work with Martin Katz, Giorgio Tozzi, Evelyn Lear, William Parker, Martial Singher, Dalton Baldwin, Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling, Marilyn Horne and Martin Isepp. An accomplished speaker and performer of Spanish and Latin American music, Dr. Ballerino lectures and performs throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Since 1999, John has been the principal coach and Assistant Music Director for ten different Zarzuela productions at the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa, California. He has also served as a Spanish diction coach for productions by the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In 2007, John was on staff at Los Angeles Opera as diction coach and pianist for the Zarzuela “Luisa Fernanda,” featuring Placido Domingo in the lead role. In 2010 John was the assistant conductor and Spanish coach for “Rio de Sangre”, a world premier opera by Don Davis that was produced be the Florentine Opera (Milwaukee). John is a Continuing Lecturer of Collaborative Arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There he teaches Spanish Diction as well as Song and Operatic Literature. He is the former Chorus Master, Principal Pianist and Assistant Conductor for Opera Santa Barbara and has frequently been on the music staffs of the Los Angeles, Florentine (Milwaukee) Utah Festival, Fresno and Sarasota Opera Companies as an Assistant Conductor and Repetiteur.

Contact John Ballerino by phone at (213) 841-2130 or by e-mail at

Karen Becker

Piano | Oxnard

Contact Karen Becker by phone at 983-1286 or by e-mail at

Caitlin Boruch

Flute | Ventura County | Makes House Calls | Openings Available

Caitlin Boruch has enjoyed a varied career of teaching and making music throughout the US and Europe. Her main teachers have included Jill Felber, Tadeu Coelho, Robert Dick, Wendy Mehne, Donald Peck, and Kathleen Goll-Wilson. Earning a Master's of Music Degree in Flute Performance from UCSB, Caitlin taught flute students and chamber musicians throughout Santa Barbara county from 2003-2008. Subsequently, she served on the faculty of the International School of Music in Washington, DC and helped launch the International Community Music School in Basel, Switzerland. Her musical engagements have included performances with the Santa Ynez Chorale Orchestra, Capital City Symphony, Great Noise Ensemble, the Arthur Lourié Society, Swiss Fasnacht festivals, and Duo Eudora. As a proponent of community music outreach, Caitlin teaches with the New West Symphony's Harmony Project and volunteers with the Oxnard Music Advocacy Group.

Visit Caitlin Boruch's website at

Contact Caitlin Boruch by e-mail at

Burns Nicole

Nicole A. Burns

Music Theory | Piano | Camarillo

Please email Nicole Burns for wait-list status, bio, studio polices, and affiliations. Referrals from students who currently study with me or have previously studied with me are highly recommended.

Contact Nicole A. Burns by e-mail at

Chiliachka Siliana

Siliana Chiliachka

Piano | Camarillo | Makes House Calls | Openings Available

Siliana Chiliachka is a dedicated music educator who has performed and taught piano throughout North America, Canada and Europe. She debuted as a soloist with the Vratsa Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria when she was 10 years old. She is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada and holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has received training from renowned artists such as Jerome Lowenthal, Charles Asche, Yuval Yaron, Anne Epperson, Peter Yazbeck and Richard Bosworth. She is a recipient of numerous scholarships including the UCSB Music Affiliates Quarterly Performance Award, the SB Music club, and an awardee of several competitions and festivals in Bulgaria, Canada and the U.S.

Visit Siliana Chiliachka's website at

Contact Siliana Chiliachka by phone at 284-3005 or by e-mail at

Gail Compere

Piano | Camarillo

Contact Gail Compere by phone at 482-0818 or by e-mail at

Compinsky-Tinturin Noelle

Noëlle Compinsky Tinturin

Music Theory | Piano | Camarillo | Openings Available

Noëlle Compinsky Tinturin has performed as soloist, accompanist, in orchestras, and as a chamber music artist throughout North America and Europe. She was born and educated in Los Angeles, studying piano with her aunt, Sara Compinsky, and chamber music and orchestral music with her father, Manuel Compinsky, both members of the internationally renowned Compinsky Trio. Noëlle continued her musical education at Mt. St. Mary’s College, CSUN, and USC. She has been teaching piano since 1969, and has developed many award-winning students at The Tinturin Music Studio. She teaches private piano lessons in Camarillo to students of all ages and levels from beginning through advanced. She teaches sight-reading, theory, ensemble, and performance skills, and offers many performance opportunities for students throughout the year. Noëlle is also an evaluator for the MTAC Certificate of Merit program. Noëlle has recorded three CDs of solo piano music, Romantic Miniatures (1999), Romantic Miniatures II (2000), and American Portrait (2006). You can contact Noëlle at 805-419-4229 or For more information, visit

Visit Noëlle Compinsky Tinturin's website at

Contact Noëlle Compinsky Tinturin by phone at 419-4229 or by e-mail at

Julie Elliott

Guitar | Piano | Voice | Camarillo

Contact Julie Elliott by phone at (805) 482-4909.

Xiangyang Fang

Piano | Ventura County

Speaks Chinese

Contact Xiangyang Fang by phone at 300-9151 or by e-mail at

Linda Fern Fay

Organ | Piano | Oxnard

Fern Fay is a teacher, pianist, organist and entertainer who enjoys performing a wide variety of music from classics to jazz. She is on the piano faculty at Ventura College, performs regularly in recitals and concerts, as well as restaurants and hotels, is organist at First Presbyterian Church of Oxnard and accompanist for the Channel Islands Choral Association/CSUCI choir. Fern holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano pedagogy from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Pacific Lutheran University, where she served on the faculty. She serves on the board of the Pleasant Valley-Ventura Branch of the Music Teachers' Association of California and the Ventura County Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She is active in the American Federation of Musicians, the Dominant Music Club and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Visit Linda Fern Fay's website at

Contact Linda Fern Fay by phone at (805) 985-0405 or by e-mail at

Goretti Ngao Fong

Piano | Oxnard | Makes House Calls | Openings Available

Goretti Ngao Fong is a professional piano instructor, who has taught private piano lessons to grade school children up through adults since 2006. An active member of Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC), she finds the greatest joy in nurturing musicality in her students and seeing them flourish through the magic of music. Ms. Goretti started her musical journey 25 years ago in Macau, a former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong, when her cousins purchased an upright piano at their home, where she spent many of her after-school hours. Just a few months later, she took her first piano lesson. Throughout the years, she has had the pleasure to study piano with Irene Vu, Pamela Lam, and Joseph Ordaz. She has been a part of numerous recitals, competitions, and master classes. While pursuing her engineering degree at University of California at Berkeley, Ms. Goretti took classes in musicianship, harmony, voice, and private carillon lessons with Jeff Davis. Although successful as a manager at a Fortune 500 high-tech company in Silicon Valley, she found it was not where she belonged. Her passion is in teaching piano! Since then, she has worked with music pedagogy experts in mastering piano teaching, attended the annual MTAC Conventions, and taken numerous piano master classes, music history and music theory classes. After a five-year effort, she recently qualified to be a lifelong active member of MTAC. Ms. Goretti is a choir member at a local church, and serves regularly as a piano accompanist for community activities. Besides music, she enjoys traveling the world and tasting the variety of authentic cuisines.

Visit Goretti Ngao Fong 's website at!teacher/c14vz

Contact Goretti Ngao Fong by phone at (805) 616-2688 or by e-mail at

Celine Gietzen photo

Celine Gietzen

Cello | Music Theory | Camarillo | Openings Available

Celine Gietzen has been teaching since 1986, and she currently has a full studio of private cello students in Camarillo. She also teaches an Adult Cello Ensemble and is a coach for the Junior Chamber Music program. Her students have been awarded college scholarships, have received honors in the Certificate of Merit program, have achieved principal chairs in student orchestras, and have been chosen to perform in the MTAC state convention. She regularly adjudicates for competitions, scholarship auditions, and the MTAC Certificate of Merit program. Celine Gietzen attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, one of the most prestigious conservatories in the nation, with a merit-based scholarship as a student of Alan Harris. In 1997 she received a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance and was elected to the Dean’s List. She then received a Master of Music degree from UCLA in 2009 as a scholarship student of Antonio Lysy. Another of her influential teachers has been Dr. Richard Naill of the Colburn School of Performing Arts. She has performed professionally in solo recitals, chamber music groups, and in many orchestras. Celine is an active board member of the MTAC and is also a member of the American String Teachers’ Association.

Visit Celine Gietzen's website at

Contact Celine Gietzen by phone at (805) 484-4721 or by e-mail at

Ben Ginsberg

Piano | Oxnard

Ben, a former student of Nicole Burns, has been teaching in Ventura County since 2011. He earned his BFA from CalArts in 2010, and works as a pianist, music director, coach, arranger, and session and church keyboardist. He has music directed over 75 musical theatre productions all over Southern California as well as in Seattle and New York, earning several award nominations. He is delighted to return to MTAC PV-VC, having spent a year in the Conejo Valley branch while music directing and teaching in Westlake.

Contact Ben Ginsberg by e-mail at

Gary Hammond

Piano | Ventura


Contact Gary Hammond by phone at 647-3202 or by e-mail at

Johnson Judy

Judy Johnson

Piano | Camarillo | Openings Available

Judy Johnson teaches private piano and theory. She has been a piano teacher for over 30 years. Before coming to Camarillo she taught piano in the San Fernando Valley, where she was president of the West San Fernando Valley Branch for four years. She has been on the board of the Pleasant Valley- Ventura Co. branch for the last 18 years. Judy’s students participate in the state Certificate of Merit program and the branch Holiday Festival. She also has a private program, Memory Marathon, in which the students memorize multiple pieces for an evaluator. Judy’s students participate in two private recitals every year, a holiday recital in December and an awards recital in June.

Contact Judy Johnson by phone at 383-7575.

Ruth Johnson

Piano | Ventura | Openings Available

Ruth Johnson is an experienced piano teacher with 30 years teaching experience. She holds a Master of Music degree from Boston University and is an instructor at Ventura College. She teaches students of all ages, from beginner to advanced. She enters students regularly in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program as well as in other MTAC recitals. She is also a member of the National Piano Guild and her students participate in the Guild auditions every year. Ruth has a studio in Ventura near Ventura High School, and she also teaches at Hensons' Music Store in Camarillo.

Contact Ruth Johnson by phone at 653-1689 or by e-mail at

Kim Sharon

Sharon Kim

Piano | Ventura County | Makes House Calls | Openings Available

Sharon Kim has taught piano for over twenty-five years to hundreds of students from various age groups in private lessons and at the Selah Music Studio that she owns and directs since 1996. She has been an active member of MTAC and MTNA for many years. Her teaching skill and experience have helped many students to successfully advance quickly in piano performance through piano competitions and programs such as MTAC Certificate of Merit, the National Guild Program, Holiday Festival, and piano competitions at local and national levels. Her students have won Gold medals and honor awards including scholarships in Piano performance competitions. Sharon Kim holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from University of Illinois at Urbana where she studied with Ian Hobson. At that time, she taught at school and was a member of various music organizations such as Orchestra, Junior Symphony, etc. She won many piano performance awards in piano competitions. Since moving to California, Sharon continues teaching piano at private student homes, at her studio, and at home school sites. Sharon also plays piano as an accompanist at Los Cerritos Middle School and churches in Westlake and Thousand Oaks. She speaks and teaches in both English and Korean.

Contact Sharon Kim by phone at 807-4266 or by e-mail at

Julie Kim-Kwon

Piano | Camarillo | Openings Available

Julie Kim-Kwon holds bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School.

Contact Julie Kim-Kwon by phone at (805) 465-0370 or by e-mail at

Kramer Kary

Kary Kramer

Composition | Piano | Ventura County | Openings Available

Kary Kramer is an active composer, pianist, and teacher who has been a member of the MTAC for many years. He currently serves on the board of directors for Southern California Junior Bach Festival. Kary teaches in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara and is also highly sought after as a judge for MTAC Branches, competitions and festivals throughout California. Mr. Kramer holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied with Dr. Betty Oberacker and Peter Yazbeck. He is an alumni fellow of the prestigious Music Academy of the West, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. Additionally, he holds an Artist Diploma in Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Anne Epperson, Eunice Podis and Paul Schenly, and where he is the recipient of the first Robert C. Weiskoph Memorial Award in Piano. Mr. Kramer has also received several Corwin Awards and commissions for his work in Music Composition.

Visit Kary Kramer's website at

Contact Kary Kramer by phone at (805) 453-3481 or by e-mail at

Ada Lovingfoss

Piano | Ventura

Also teaches theory.

Contact Ada Lovingfoss by phone at 647-7213 or by e-mail at

Marty Mandras

Piano | Ventura | Openings Available

Contact Marty Mandras by phone at 644-7876 or by e-mail at

Modell Niccole

Niccole Modell

Flute | Music Theory | Piano | Camarillo | Openings Available

Niccole Modell is an active freelance performer in the greater Ventura County area. In addition to performing for weddings and special events, she also performs with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. When not performing, Niccole owns and operates the Modell Music Studio, where she teaches private flute and piano lessons in Camarillo, CA. She is a professional member of the Music Teacher's Association of California (MTAC) and the National Flute Association (NFA). Niccole also serves as adjunct flute professor at California Lutheran University. Niccole earned her Masters degree from California State University Fresno in Flute Performance, studying under Teresa Beaman. Niccole also earned bachelors degrees magna cum laude in both flute and piano performance from La Sierra University, and later completed the Performer Certificate program. While at LSU, Niccole studied flute with Dr. Martin Glicklich and Peter Sheridan and piano with Dr. Elvin Rodriguez. Her previous piano teachers include Vadim Serebryany and Edward Francis.

Visit Niccole Modell's website at

Contact Niccole Modell by phone at 279-0017 or by e-mail at

Newman-Lessler Daniel

Daniel Newman-Lessler

Piano | Ventura County | Openings Available

Teaches in Somis. Daniel Newman-Lessler started studying classical piano at age four and was taught by Peter Yazbeck from ages eight to eighteen. During this time, Daniel performed as a Rising Star at the Ventura County Music Festival in 2006 and as a concerto soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic on three occasions; participated in summer music festivals at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Franz Liszt Piano Academy in Sopron, Hungary, where he studied with William Wellborn from the San Francisco Conservatory and Professor Adam Wibrowski from the Paris Conservatory in 2007; excelled in competitive circuits, winning the Anne George and Bernice Bernard Scholarship Competitions, the 2008 SYMF and 2009 MTAC State Concerto Competitions, and the State Certificate of Merit Panel Competition, which resulted in his receiving a master class from Steinway Artist Jon Nakamatsu. Daniel graduated magna cum laude, as a Discovery Scholar, and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Musical Honors Society with a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance with emphases in composition and conducting from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he studied piano with Daniel Pollack. Additional teachers in performance, composition, theory, history, and orchestration include Morten Lauridsen, Frank Tichelli, Stephen Hartke, Donald Crockett, Erica Muhl, and Lucinda Carver. Daniel often performed the new piano music of fellow student composers and occasionally his composition teachers. As a member of the USC Concert and Chamber Choirs, Daniel sang Bach’s b minor Mass conducted by Helmuth Rilling and in performances with Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, David Foster, and Jennifer Hudson. He was a founding member of Remedy Through Music – USC’s musical therapy club that performs in hospitals and retirement homes in downtown Los Angeles. In 2011, Daniel participated in a summer music festival as a pianist and composer at the Landesmusikakademie in Ochsenhausen, Germany. Daniel has decided upon a career in conducting and to date has studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the first Los Angeles Conductors Workshop, Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival, Maurizio Ciampi from the Conservatorio Santa Secilia, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Christian Grases, and Michael Christ Powers. He is currently the pianist for the Oceana Trio and the Music Director and Founder of the Boys and Girls Club Choral Singers.

Visit Daniel Newman-Lessler's website at

Contact Daniel Newman-Lessler by phone at (805) 407-5855 or by e-mail at


Jeong-ah Ryu

Piano | Ventura County | Openings Available

Dr. Jeong-ah Ryu is widely in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and teaching artist. She has won numerous prizes including the Bromsgrove International competition, British Contemporary competition, and Concours national de piano de Lagny-sur-Marne in Paris. She appeared extensively in venues across the world such as Wigmore Hall and St. John’s Smith Square in the United Kingdom, and Sala Argenta Palacio de Festivales in Spain. Highlights of her performances include concertos with the City of London Sinfonia, Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra, and Trianon Symphony Orchestra in the Norwich festival in London, which was highly praised by the East Anglia music magazine. Other countries she has performed in include France, Germany, South Korea, the United States, and Lithuania. While she was pursuing her degrees under scholarships—at the Royal Academy of Music in London (BMus), Yale University (MM), The Colburn Conservatory (AD), and Northwestern University (DMA)—she served as a fellow instructor. Her mentors include Christopher Elton, Claude Frank, Ory Shihor, Pascal Nemirovski, and James Giles. Currently residing in Mission Oaks Camarillo, Dr. Ryu continues her passion to impart the richness of music through active performing and private instructions. She conducts her lessons in both English and Korean.

Visit Jeong-ah Ryu's website at

Contact Jeong-ah Ryu by e-mail at

Schmidt Beverly

Beverly Schmidt

Piano | Oxnard | Openings Available

I have been a member of the Pleasant Valley-Ventura Co. Branch of MTAC for 19 years. I served two terms as branch president and 15 years as Certificate of Merit Chairperson, and am currently the Certificate of Merit Chairperson. My students participate in the Certificate of Merit annual evaluation. They, also, participate in Bach Festival, and other branch festivals. They participate in National Guild Auditions and Federation of Music Clubs annually. I am an adjudicator for Certificate of Merit, Guild Auditions, and Federation of Music Clubs, Bach Festival, and other festivals. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from California State University at Fullerton, California. I was a piano studies major specializing in piano pedagogy and early childhood development. I have been a private piano instructor for over 30 years. If you are interested in piano lessons give me a call or send an email.

Contact Beverly Schmidt by phone at (805) 988-1764 or by e-mail at

Zarema Seymour

Piano | Ventura | Makes House Calls

Contact Zarema Seymour by phone at 644-9009 or by e-mail at

Pat Shullanberger

Piano | Camarillo

Contact Pat Shullanberger by phone at 482-5445 or by e-mail at

Mariana Smith

Flute | Music Theory | Winds | Ventura | Openings Available

Teaches flute, recorder, piano, chamber music, and music theory.

Contact Mariana Smith by phone at 509-4895.


Becca Stankis

Piano | Camarillo

My name is Becca Stankis and I have been cultivating my enjoyment of music since I was a youngster sitting beneath the piano bench listening to my siblings playing “Hot Cross Buns” and “Old MacDonald’s Farm.” I graduated from Pepperdine University with an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and English Literature, and while there, discovered my affections for Russian music as well as Russian literary works. I am currently a student in the University of Oregon’s Graduate Music Program and enjoy it immensely! I am fond of hiking, playing chess, traveling, and I have a wicked sweet tooth. My favorite moments as a teacher have been when my students experience the "light-bulb effect." Phrases such as – "I FINALLY get it!!"; "Ohhhhh that makes so much sense!"; "Well now it’s easy!" – enliven the enjoyment and delight that music offers.

Contact Becca Stankis by e-mail at

Lily Starobinets

Piano | Camarillo | Openings Available

Also teaches music theory.

Contact Lily Starobinets by phone at 437-6518 or by e-mail at

Shirley Tat

Piano | Ventura

Speaks Chinese.

Contact Shirley Tat by phone at 650-9968 or by e-mail at

Megumi Tatsuzawa

Music Theory | Piano | Ventura | Makes House Calls | Openings Available

Megumi Tatsuzawa studied music at Ventura College and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her BA in Music from UCSB in 2015. She studied piano under Professors Fern Fay, Mariana Smith, Ruth Johnson and Dr. Charles Asche. She came to California in 2005 from Japan and lives in Ojai. Megumi teaches exclusively in students' homes in Ojai and Ventura.

Visit Megumi Tatsuzawa's website at

Contact Megumi Tatsuzawa by phone at (805) 558-0858 or by e-mail at

Hiromi Tilsner

Piano | Ventura

Teaches Suzuki and speaks Japanese.

Contact Hiromi Tilsner by phone at 320-2819 or by e-mail at

Jill Walker

Piano | Voice | Camarillo

Contact Jill Walker by e-mail at