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Meet the Teachers

Meet Our Talented Teachers

 

MINDIA LUO

Mindia is a singer-songwriter-cellist and pianist who sings and plays the cello simultaneously. An artist who combines her classical musician background with a new kind of alternative pop sentimentality, Mindia believes good music travels through genre and time, and is deeply connected to her artistic vision. Her debut album Dusty Blue is a Cinematic concept album that evokes themes of fleeting romance and rebellious freedom, with elements of catchy dark pop melodies, nostalgic lyrics, classical string arrangements and intricate sound design....

In 2017, Mindia was a speaker of TEDxManhattanBeach, promoting the contemporary use of a classical instrument. As a session musician, her credits include widely successful films such as The Farewell (2019), Beyond Driven (2019), John Henry (2020), and Caretakers (2018), etc. Mindia is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, where she studied composition, vocal and cello performance.

Mindia teaches voice, piano and cello at Music Junction, where her passion for teaching and love of music inspires her students.

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Anastasia Charakidou

Anastasia Charakidou is a renowned young singer and songwriter with a Dual Degree of Bachelor of Music, Performance, and Songwriting from Berklee College of Music, who has quickly become one of the most sought-after singers in Greece and the Mediterranean after winning first place at the New Talent Festival in 2014. She is a markedly versatile singer, honored for her performing skills in various styles, including Pop, ElectroPop, R&B, Soul, Rock, and Gospel....

With the accompaniment of her guitar and keyboard, Anastasia became an internationally recognized songwriter, who composes original songs, with rare sounds inspired by her early life in the Greek Islands. As a professional musician and songwriter, certified in performing arts, Anastasia has a rich wealth of knowledge in music theory and composition as well as the creativity and discipline to break down barriers.

Anastasia Charakidou born in the province of Drama, Greece, grew up in the Mediterranean on the island of Rhodes. At 11 years old, her journey began in her natural talent and expression, and she would stop at nothing to fulfill her musical dreams. At 16, Anastasia moved to London and later Athens following her musical passion. At 17, Anastasia moved to Boston for a summer scholarship program she won from Berkll Collage of Music. Then at 19, she fully immersed herself in music studies at Berklee. Now, based in Los Angeles, Anastasia works in the music industry as a recording artist, writer, performer, and teacher. Sacrifices and obstacles encountered at such a young age of pursuing a career in music inspired not only original songwriting skills but also, created the tools, tricks, and professional training she brings to her students today.

Always learning and open to discovery, Anastasia always brings new ideas and techniques to her teaching, adapting the many ways of learning music to her varying students. Her students get to experience and share her joy in supporting them in their musical journeys and accomplishing their goals!

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Mark Brown

Originally from upstate NY, Mark Brown has been teaching piano and guitar for 20 years. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music in Recording Technology. Mark is a classically trained pianist who has been playing professionally since he was 16 years old. As a professional musician, he has worked in musical theater and toured internationally with rock, blues, jazz and pop artists. As a session musician, Mark has been recorded on over 200 albums. ...

In 2012, he founded the funk trio “Hambone Relay” in which he plays Hammond Organ. The band has toured consistently for 5 years and recorded five albums of original material. As a teacher, Mark owned and managed a music school in New Jersey where he taught piano, guitar and bass to students of all ages. He believes that music can and should be both fun and educational for all.

Mark encourages all of his students to perform in front of any audience big or small. "Sometimes, the best rehearsal is a gig."

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Ashot Dumanyan

Recognized for his visionary talent and devotion as a young adult, he was chosen to receive a scholarship to attend Yerevan's Tchaikovsky Music School where his passion for Violin grew into a professional pursuit. After graduating, he further mastered his knowledge in music at Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan with a Master of Music in Violin Performance. After completing his formal education in 2010, Ashot spent a few years internationally touring with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO) where he performed classical masterpieces at premier entertainment venues....

Ashot has had the privilege to work under the instruction of master musicians such as Levon Chilingirian and Bagrat Vardanyan. He’s also collaborated with leading conductors including Sergey Smbaytan, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Vengerov, Mark Gorenstein, Marko Boemi, Isaak Karaptchewski, Christopher Woren Green and Karen Durgaryan.

In 2013, Ashot moved to New York City where he played a two-year stint with world-renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts before relocating to California. Currently, he resides in Los Angeles and continues to cultivate his performance experience with various orchestras as well as teaching music and arranging orchestral strings for film soundtracks, television and video games.

To engage children and young adults through their musical education, Ashot customizes his delivery to fit the personality and skill level of each individual student. Ashot believes creating a personal connection with his students is the key to their success and the motivation behind their growth and endurance. Ashot teaches Violin, Viola and Musical Theory at Music Junction. 

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Sevana Abramyan

Sevana Abramyan, a professional violinist with over twenty years of experience, has participated in a myriad of concerts, competitions, and special events throughout her career. Highly skilled in chamber performance, classical music, and modern adaptions, she is an accomplished musician who has demonstrated the ability to perform contemporary and classical pieces as a participant in both ensembles and orchestras. A member of the Ani String Quartet, she has studied scores to develop suitable interpretations of pieces written by J.S. Bach, Handel, Armenian composer Komitas, and various other composers from different musical time periods....

As a String Coach at Glendale High School, she has guided students through rehearsals with Symphonic Orchestra and String Orchestra to prepare for upcoming annual festivals and competitions. While collaborating with fellow coaches and teachers, she prioritizes improving students’ technical and musical abilities. She earned her Certificate of Merit from the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) in both Music Performance and Music Theory to further develop her abilities on the piano and violin. She also received her Diploma in Social Music in piano performance from the National Guild of Piano Teachers - American College of Musicians (NFSM).

In addition to performing at several venues, including Colburn School Zipper Concert Hall, California State University Fullerton Recital Hall, and Cal State University Northridge, she was an active participant of annual Armenian Allied Arts Association competitions and American String Teachers Association (ASTA) events. She is a graduate of Woodbury University and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) – Management degree in June of 2020.

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Salinay Abramyan

Salinay Abramyan has two passions: music and holistic health. The twelve years of private lessons sparked the joy within her to become a concert pianist and music teacher. She hopes to inspire children of all ages to explore their talents and encourage them to nurture their creativity. She has played piano since the age of six and after obtaining her diploma for social music, she became drum major of Glendale High School. Marching band was an amazing experience where she explored playing the clarinet, piano, and honing her skills in leadership by conducting and leading rehearsals for over a hundred-member band and color guard....

After graduating high school, she began her journey into holistic health and became a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, as well as an NLP Practitioner. She is the founder of Havenzen Holistics, a holistic health practice that encourages clients to heal chronic health conditions with EFT tapping, herbs, trauma therapy, and neuro-linguistic programming. Salinay is a firm believer in the incredible power of the human mind and body, that is responsible for healing itself, as it is a self-healing mechanism.

She has a passion for classical music, reading books about the power of the human mind, and spending time with her two yorkies grounding anywhere where there is sunshine.

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Andrew Heavelin

Andrew Heavelin, a California-based classical guitarist, pianist and teacher contributes to the excellence of Music Junction’s education team. Born and raised in LA's San Gabriel Valley region, Andrew began his music studies at Pasadena City College, where he received honors for his contribution to the program. As a member of PCC's resident quartet, he performed regularly in the area....

In 2014, Andrew relocated to Humboldt State University and received a Bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance. While there, Andrew performed regularly in the area, and received various academic and musical honors.

In May 2018, Andrew received a Master of Music degree in guitar performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Marc Teicholz. While at the Conservatory, Andrew had the honor of working with some of the top professionals in the field, including playing in master classes for Meng Su of the Beijing Guitar Duo and Gaelle Solal. He has performed alongside John Dearman of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and in studio recitals with Marc Teicholz. Andrew has been featured as a guest soloist with the LIKHA Pilipino Folk Ensemble at San Francisco's iconic Palace of Fine Arts, and has performed widely in the Bay Area.

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Josh Kim

Josh Kim is a multi-instrumentalist, passionate teacher, and caring educator that always puts students first. Josh teaches piano, singing, guitar, and ukulele lessons at Music Junction. He also loves working with kids in the classroom setting, and has spent many years teaching music class to children in a local private school. Josh firmly believes in anyone and everyone’s innate ability to be creative, inspired, and musical, and works hard to get them to their musical goals....

After spending nearly a decade pursuing a wide range of music industry positions, Josh focused in on his musical journey and obtained a Master’s in Music Education at University of Southern California. Josh is a very talented and well-rounded teacher at Music Junction that every student will enjoy!

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SEAN YOSHIOKA

Mr. Sean Yoshioka holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition and Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music. He was the winner of the Quincy Jones Composition Award and is a classically trained pianist, having attended the preparatory program at New England Conservatory of Music. His classical concerts include a performance of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in g minor with the Claflin Hill Symphony in Massachusetts when he was 16 years old....

The son of parents who are both educators, Mr. Yoshioka became interested in teaching early on. As the oldest of five children in a musical family, he has the sensitivity required to help his young beginning students enjoy learning and developing. Mr. Yoshioka’s philosophy of teaching is to make the study of music engaging, fulfilling, and fun. He is able to adapt to the diverse needs and interests of each of his students whether it is classical, contemporary, or even video game music.

MR. YOSHIOKA’S TEACHING STYLE IS SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING; HIS STUDENTS ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO THEIR LESSONS!

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Loren Barnese

Loren Barnese, one of Music Junction’s talented and experienced guitar and ukulele instructors commits her time and attentive care to her students, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced. Leading with patience and dedication, she strongly believes in building a solid foundation of technique and feel to create a thriving environment for creativity and a life-long relationship with music....

Loren studied at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, where she was awarded Outstanding Original Style in her graduating class. A goofball at heart, she lives a life filled with laughter without sweating the small stuff.

She is currently performing with alternative rock groups and festivals as well as accompanying jazz/soul singers at restaurants and private clubs. The bands she plays in have partnered with several social organizations including the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Special Olympics, the Best Buddies Foundation, and LGBT advocacy groups. Loren teaches all ages at Music Junction from as young as 4 to adults!

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Lois Rocha

ABOUT

My grandfather taught me how to play piano when I was seven, and I continued studying music all the way to college. I grew up learning how to play a variety of musical styles, from classical works by Chopin to classic rock by Elton John. Outside of music, I worked with children in after school enrichment classes around LA, and I lead outdoor recreation activities with the City of Glendale. I love to write stories, knit, and draw in my spare time....

LESSONS

My piano sessions include getting to know the musical likes and goals of my students, the songs they want to learn, and the teaching style that may suit their process best. They learn finger exercises, chords, scales, key signatures, notation, pitch, proper wrist and back posture, improvisation, and performance skills. My students are given individualized online folders with music sheets and practice exercises that I write for them. I also create video demonstrations and slideshows to visually explain certain concepts and songs.

GOALS

I ensure that all my students are taught the fundamentals of music theory. I teach them this foundation so that they can interpret and understand any music at their skill level, and to make it easier and less frustrating to grasp new musical concepts as they advance. I want my students to have the tools they need to learn, grow, and appreciate music, so that they see it as a positive part of their life.

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Armine Aloyan

Armine Aloyan was born in Armenia where she started playing the piano at the age of seven. Very soon she understood, that this wonderful instrument will accompany her all her life.

At the age of sixteen Armine entered Yerevan State Conservatory in Armenia, where she earned with Honor her Master`s Degree in Pianist, Accompanist. For her further musical and educational development she came to Vienna in 2001. In the capital of music she studied musicology at the University of Vienna where she earned her Master`s Degree in Musicology. It were wonderful and musically very intense years that have influenced her artistically, musicality....

A unique combination of Russian and European schools of piano playing gives her a vast musical perspective, evident in her powerful technical capacity as well as her understanding of musical interpretations.

Armine has performed on numerous famous stages of the world's cultural capitals and received universal applause from audiences because of her purity of tone, powerful technical capacity and deep musical interpretation. Her concert appearances include countries such as Austria, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, Russia, Armenia, France . She has also collaborated with many other instrumentalists and singers throughout her many years of performing and teaching. Armine Aloyan is accomplished pianist, musicologist, highly experienced piano and music Instructor. She has over 15 years of successful teaching experience with children and adults and over 20 years of performing experience in classical music. In her piano lessons, Armines main goals are to inspire, provide expert instruction, and to bring joy to students through positive learning experiences. She helps students of all ages and abilities discover (or rediscover) a passion in studying music, develop better cognitive and fine motor skills, and to gain exposure to different styles and genres of music. She works with various levels of difficulties, different cultural backgrounds, and musical diversities. Besides teaching the Piano, Armine was involved in several other activities: She worked as Co-Founder of the European and International Music and Culture Association, as counsellor of Cultural affaires in the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Austria and as Vice Principal at the School and Planed, scheduled and organised cultural events, concerts festivals with different artist’s musicians, institutions, directors, stage managers.

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Reese Massey

Reese Massey is a recent music education graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Having grown up in Los Angeles, Reese spent her childhood singing in every choir she could find. She started taking vocal and piano lessons at a young age, but soon learned that her passion was singing with others. At Berklee, Reese performed in countless shows as a soloist, background vocalist, choir member, and accompanist....

Additionally, she spent her time arranging a cappella music, songwriting, and directing numerous choirs. With vast performance experience, Reese enjoys singing and performing all genres from classical to jazz! However, her biggest passions lie in teaching music.

Reese has a focused and engaging teaching personality. She strives to be genuine in everything that she does and believes her teaching reflects that. Being a preschool music teacher at Small World Child Care helped her to become comfortable teaching younger ages and meeting students where they were. She learned how to balance making music class fun while also making sure the students were learning important skills. Additionally, during her time at Berklee, Reese focused on vocal pedagogy where she learned vocal anatomy as well as how to communicate vocal concepts and techniques to a variety of different ages. She prides herself in her ability to teach the same concept in a multitude of ways, an essential skill for a voice teacher.

To Reese, teaching music is not a back-up, but her goal. The more she learned about music education and vocal pedagogy, the more she fell in love with teaching. In fact, Reese comes from a long line of music teachers. There has been a music teacher in every generation of her family starting with her great great grandparents! Reese truly feels a passion for teaching and showing children the joys of music as an art as well as sharing the socio-emotional benefits of music with her students.

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Daniel Klass

Daniel Klass is a guitar teacher and composer, originally from Los Angeles, California. He started his journey with the instrument in 1987 and has not looked back since. Along the way, he has taught both acoustic and electric guitar to all ages and all levels in Washington D.C., Michigan, Iowa, and LA virtually. Danny is fluent in all genres of the guitar, especially finger-style acoustic and jazz. He has an indepth knowledge of music theory, and is passionate about sharing that with his students....

Above all, he is motivated by inspiring students to find their own, authentic voice through the guitar, whatever that might be, and Daniel recognizes the varying teaching styles that work for each individual’s goals and learning preferences. Danny currently has six albums of original, finger-style guitar music under his belt. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Northridge, and a Master of Arts Degree from The George Washington University.  Danny is taking new students currently at Music Junction, and is highly effective and experienced at teaching virtually. 

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KEVIN BROWNE

Kevin started drumming in 4th grade in his elementary school band. He moved on to take private lessons until high school. While in high school, he played bass drum and quads for his high school marching band. With the band, he made trips to play in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Europe. After high school, he played in some bands with friends....

After taking a 10 year break, Kevin had the opportunity to come to Los Angeles several times to play in a project with Dangerbird Records. In August of 2017, Kevin moved from Pennsylvania to LA to advance his music career. He volunteered his time to help out with Keppel Rocks the Arts in 2018 and 2019, while also joining a band called The Holy Broken. He plays gigs regularly, as well as having some big shows like opening for Chicago Transit Authority, The Tubes and Los Lobos.

His passion for music and working with kids has led him to become a drum teacher at The Music Junction.

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Gretchen Klempa

Gretchen Klempa, Music Junctions’s talented Voice, Piano and Guitar teacher, brings a blend of experience to her students with professional vocal instruction, advanced piano, music theory, guitar and song writing. Passionate about singing and playing piano early in life as a as a child, Gretchen was destined to create beautiful music and inspire others in their journey to do the same. She started singing in choirs and a cappella groups which led to her fronting Boston-based band, Gretchen and the Pickpockets. Performing, recording and touring brought them various awards throughout the years including Jazz Artist of the Year in the 2018 for the Boston Music Awards and the New England Music Awards. ...

Gretchen also studied at Berklee College of Music, expanding her music theory credentials, composition, and commercial songwriting techniques. She studied classical and jazz piano as well, and holds a BFA & BA in Performance and Music Education. Among the many tools Gretchen engages her students with is the experience in working with young children in settings such as preschools and birthday parties using music and movement.

Now living in Los Angeles, Gretchen’s powerhouse vocals with blues and jazz influences combined with her talented guitar and piano skills have created versatility in her ability and success to teach all types, levels and ages in many styles.

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