Music On Main - Meet Our Faculty

John Durbin - Owner of Music On Main & Music Instructor 

John has an extensive background in learning and teaching musical instruments.       He specializes in piano, guitar, bass, ukulele, drums, saxophone and clarinet.  John  has  been teaching music in the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula area for over 30 years. He attended Pepperdine University under a full music scholarship and    holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.  In addition to his teaching career, 
John is the leader of two successful  bands, "All Nite Express" (Top 40 & Classic Rock) and "The Fabulous Chevelles" (50's & 60's music).   His groups have    entertained crowds on board cruise ships, at major hotel chains, restaurants,             and casinos throughout Southern California and Nevada.  They have shared the       stage with Aretha Franklin; Paul Revere & the Raiders; Blood, Sweat & Tears; 
Chubby  Checker; and Dick Dale.  They are invited back year after year to 
entertain at various corporate events throughout Los Angeles, school award ceremonies, debutante balls, cotillions, and graduation galas.  

Christine - Piano, Violin & Viola Instructor

Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Christine is a classically trained musician with a talent for musical improv on the violin, a flare for Mozart on the piano and a love of teaching. Her music education began at age 7 with piano lessons. And by age 10, she had persuaded her parents to allow her to study violin as well. Christine is an all-around musician with over 14 years of private instruction on both instruments and experience performing in orchestras, ensemble groups, and as a solo artist. As a violinist, she has performed as Co-Concertmaster of the Colorado College Chamber Orchestra, played five concert seasons with the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and as solo fiddle player in the musical Quilters for the Arizona Repertory Theatre. More recently, Christine has performed and recorded with indie band MAGs Element in Pasadena, creating her own solo arrangements. Christine has an M.A. in Theater Education from the University of Arizona. And in addition to teaching music lessons, Christine has enjoyed teaching creative drama classes as an afterschool teacher with Woodcraft Rangers and as a summer camp instructor.  But what Christine loves most is teaching piano and violin. She loves sharing the joy of music with students of all ages and skill levels, helping to bring out their highest potential with her patient approach. She helps her students build a strong foundation in the classical tradition while also encouraging them to explore various contemporary styles, from jazz to modern. She strives to make music lessons creative and fun, while covering all the basics of music theory, proper technique, note reading, and musicality. Christine teaches beginning to advanced piano, violin and viola.

Charissa - Piano Instructor

Charissa represents the 3rd generation in her family of pianists and music instructors.  
A California native of the South Bay, who grew up with a love of classical music, she began taking lessons from her mother at the early age of 4.  Just a few years later, the whole neighborhood knew she had a natural talent for singing as well.  Her father loved to listen to opera and as most children do, she imitated the sounds she heard.  Throughout high school and college, she had many roles in operas and musical theater performances as a soloist and ensemble member.  Charissa is a Music Director/ Worship Leader/Organist for two Episcopal churches in OC.  During the holidays, she 
is a professional Caroler, and has been working as a musician since 1996.  Charissa teaches beginning to advanced piano.

Yong - Piano Instructor

Born in the U.S. and raised in So. Cal., Yong is a Korean-American pianist who has been studying the art of piano for over 20 years.  He started to learn the piano at the age of 7, and decided to start pursuing the path of a pianist just before entering high school, where he attended OCSA from 2001-2005.  He graduated with awards such as “Most Promising Pianist” and “Most Dedicated Pianist”. Yong has also attended the Colburn School pre-college music program from 2003-2005, where he studied primarily under Dr. Louise Lepley and chamber music with Henry Gronnier.  During his time at the Colburn School, Yong has performed in numerous School Recitals, Honors Recitals, and live on K-Mozart 105.1 FM radio. Yong attended Oberlin College from 2005-2009 with the Conservatory Dean Scholarship, where he majored in Piano Performance with Professor Alvin Chow. During his time at Oberlin College, he also studied vocal accompanying with Professor Philip Highfill and instrumental accompanying with Professor James Howsmon. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree, Yong pursued a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Karen Shaw at Indiana University: Jacobs School of Music.  At Indiana University, Yong had the privilege to participate in a work-study program as an Associate Instructor of Secondary Piano, where he experienced teaching piano in a class setting and individual lessons for non-piano and non-music major university students.  He was also exposed to a lot of collaborative piano and instrumental accompanying at IU.  Yong is currently the choir pianist for his church and has been actively teaching privately and in after school music programs in the Orange County and Los Angeles County areas since graduating from IU in 2012.  Yong is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC)  and teaches beginning to advanced piano to students of all ages.

Soyeon - Piano Instructor

From South Korea, Soyeon started playing piano at the age of 7.  She earned her Masters of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at USC.  Soyeon has won several competitions in Korea including the Seoul Music Competition, Korea Mozart Orchestra Competition, the New Arts Competition, and the Bucheon Scholarship Competition.  At the age of 17, she received an award from the Superintendent and Mayor of Seoul.   Soyeon received the Faculty Merit Award at the 17th Chautauqua Piano Competition in New York in 2012.  She has performed at Yamaha Hall and Youngsan Art Hall in Korea and New York.  Soyeon is a member of  the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) and prepares enrolled students for the Certificate of Merit exam.  She has been teaching beginning to advanced piano for the past 7 years to students of all ages. 

Gabrielle - Violin, Viola & Piano Instructor

Gabrielle grew up in Bangor, Maine and moved to California in 2015.  She graduated from the University of Maine with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Music and went on to get her Masters in Music Education  from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.  Gabrielle began playing violin at the age of eight and has been a violin, viola  and piano teacher for the past 8 years.  In addition, she has been a mentor at summer music programs and played for community events and local theater productions.  One of the highlights of her career was performing backup for Il Divo when they performed in Bangor.  Gabrielle also teaches at The Help Group where she enjoys working with kids that have special needs.  Gabrielle teaches beginning to advanced violin and viola, as well as beginning to intermediate piano to students of all ages.

Yasmeen - Violin & Vocal Instructor

Yasmeen began her studies of violin at the age of six under the instruction of Fudeko Takahashi at the New England Conservatory.  She has performed all over the world, particularly in Germany, Italy, England, Austria, and the Czech Republic as well as in the U.S. in revered venues such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, Royce Hall and Tanglewood.  Yasmeen majored in violin performance and political science at UCLA.  After arriving at the university, she won the 2013 UCLA All-Star Competition and performed as a soloist alongside the UCLA Philharmonia.  In addition to teaching violin, Yasmeen is also a talented voice teacher and accomplished singer-songwriter and producer in the Los Angeles area.  She has sung in arenas such as the Staples Center, TD Banknorth Garden, Pauley Pavilion, and Los Angeles Tennis Center for televised sports, commencement ceremonies, government inaugurations and other various events.  Yasmeen specializes in teaching basic operatic techniques as well as advanced contemporary rhythm and blues.  Lessons include vocal warm-ups and techniques, posture and relaxation exercises, an introduction in sight reading, sight singing, theory, and working on a song of the student's choice.  She specializes in getting vocal and violin students ready for auditions and talent shows.  Teaching genres include:  Classical, R&B, Folk, Country, Jazz, Pop, Electronic, Hip-Hop and Improvisational.  Yasmeen teaches beginning to advanced violin as well as beginning to intermediate voice to students of all ages.  She also speaks fluent Japanese.  
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

​Hannah - Vocal & Piano Instructor

Born and raised in beautiful Sonoma County, California, Hannah's passion for music was nurtured by her musical family:  grandparents a jazz piano/vocal duo who toured the night clubs of New York, her father a guitar player who serenaded her with classical guitar and Beatles tunes from the time she was an infant.  It's no wonder Hannah began writing songs at the age of two, her first song entitled "Sarah Sue" telling the tragic tale of her runaway cat.  After earning her Bachelor of Music from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Hannah followed the warmer weather and the industry to Los Angeles where she now works as a session singer, singer/songwriter, composer and teacher.  In the studio, Hannah has had the opportunity to work with both indie artists and large companies.  Some of her more notable work has been for major publisher, Hal Leonard and for Japanese ad company, Mr. Music, for whom she sang on three national Japanese commercials, writing lyrics to one in English.  As an artist, Hannah has released both an EP and a full length album of singer/songwriter pop under the name Hanalise.  She has also performed and recorded with pop/punk band, Electrets, as keyboardist/background vocalist.  Most recently, Hannah has been composing music for production company, Megatrac, and working with her band.  Hannah teaches beginning to advanced voice as well as beginning to intermediate piano to students of all ages. 
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

Sandra - Flute, Clarinet, Voice, Piano & Music Theory Instructor 

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Flute from the University of Montenegro.   She has been teaching flute, clarinet, voice and piano for over 20 years and is a long time El Segundo resident.  Sandra is a flutist in various performing groups which have been showcased throughout the Southland.  She is also a special education teacher in Los Angeles County as well as a choir teacher.  Sandra’s Most Notable Awards & Achievements:
Author of “Folk Dances, Songs and Costumes from Montenegro,” Analysis of Regional Ethnomusicology
Award of Recognition for Exceptional Achievement as Choreographer for youth ensembles in Southern California 
Commendation for achievements as the music teacher and coordinator of choirs and solo performers who have demonstrated exceptional performance expertise at music festivals and concerts in Montenegro 

Sandra teaches beginning to advanced flute and voice, as well as beginning to intermediate piano and clarinet to students of all ages.
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. ​

We are always looking for talented and experienced music teachers to join our awesome staff.  If you are interested in teaching at Music On Main or would like to be considered for our substitute teacher roster, please submit your resume for consideration via email (no phone calls or walk-ins, please).