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, graduation galas and car shows.  

Christine - Piano, Violin & Viola Instructor - In-person & Online

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.

Gabrielle - Violin, Viola & Piano Instructor - Online Only

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.

Anj  - Piano, Voice, Woodwinds & Brass Instructor

Anj is an active Los Angeles based multi-instrumental musician and music educator.  She has been teaching for over 15 years and has her BM from USC's Thornton School of Music and an MA in Composition for Visual Media from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  Anj works with each student to build a foundation in solid technique, while incorporating creative activities and relevant pieces.  She prides herself on being a friendly, patient teacher, and is flexible and adaptive to each student's interests, helping them to own their musical journey and meet their goals.  Anj has been a performing member of groups from 100+ member wind ensembles and orchestras, to mid-size jazz groups and experimental improv ensembles, to worship bands and church music groups, and prog/psych rock bands.  With this diversity in her music experience and background, Anj is able to bring fresh insights to each student's lesson.  Anj has performed at venues from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Blue Whale Jazz Club in downtown L.A., from Wanderlust Hollywood to the Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland.  She has also had several compositions premiered by the L.A. Symphonic Winds, and served as co-artistic director of the Commercium Musicum Renaissance Winds.  Anj teaches beginning to advanced lessons 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. 

De Ana - Voice, Piano & Ukulele Instructor

De Ana is a passionate singer/songwriter, musician and teacher, youth advocate, and a proud native Los Angelino. De Ana has been teaching and bringing the joy of music through voice and piano to kids and adults of all ages for over 8 years and loves every minute of it.  She has performed all over the South Bay and the Greater Los Angeles area as a singer/songwriter and in the past was seen performing with her acapella family singing band.  De Ana has an EP out, War Cry (2017) and will be releasing her next EP Soul So Deep February 15th, 2022. She is currently studying Jazz Vocal Performance at Cal State Northridge. 
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

Sandra - Piano, Voice & Flute Instructor

Sandra was born and raised in Montenegro. She started pursuing music when she was 6 years old at “Vasa Pavic” Music School. She graduated from The Music Academy of Cetinje, with a B.A. in Music (concentration in Classical Flute). Sandra is a passionate musician, with over 25 years of diversified teaching experience both in Europe and the U.S. Her teaching experience includes: music theory & history, classroom instruction, curriculum development, lesson planning, student evaluation, and performance coordination. Sandra is a credentialed school teacher here in Los Angeles and a long time resident of El  Segundo.
Sandra’s Most Notable Awards & Achievements:
Author of “Folk Dances, Songs and Costumes formMontenegro,” Analysis of Regional Ethnomusicology 
Award of Recognition for Exceptional Achievement asChoreographer 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 musicfestivals and concerts in Montenegro 
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

Stacey - Voice & Piano Instructor

Stacey is a Jazz singer and pianist who combines natural talent, professional skill, and intelligence into a powerful and diverse sound.  Educated at Humber College for Jazz Performance, she was mentored by world class musicians like Shannon Gunn, and won the Thomas Kohoe vocal jazz award.  As a musician in Seoul, Stacey translated her skills into impressive professional achievements.  As a member of the vocal jazz group Hi-Singers, she collaborated on singles, albums, and live performances.  As the bandleader of the fusion group Fahrenheit, she produced two mini-albums.  As a vocal coach for the Korean indie label 9th Street Records, she nurtured talent and directed recordings.  Through all those professional engagements, she cultivated an independent voice as a singer-songwriter, composer and arranger, culminating in a wide range of creations.  In Los Angeles, Stacey composes for firm and TV and does session vocal work.  Throughout, she has taught and mentioned a diversity of talent, and continues to teach with empathy and skill.  Stacey specializes in vocal techniques and improvisation at all professional levels, music theory, stage performance, and piano in the beginner and intermediate range to all age groups.
Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

Julia - Violin & Piano Instructor 

Ms. Julia is a violinist and music teacher based in Los Angeles. Her mission is to cultivate a love of music in every student by facilitating exploration, growth, and musical independence. Julia has over 10 years of teaching experience for students of all ages. She has taught as both a private instructor and as a public elementary strings and general education teacher, overseen by Education Through Music - Los Angeles. Julia has presented with various groups including the CSUN Symphony and Video Game Orchestra, LA Valley College Orchestra, and chamber music at the Montecito Music Festival. She is currently an active member of the California State University Northridge chamber program, a performer with the Pasadena City College orchestra, and actively plays in events throughout Los Angeles. She also performs and records with bands of differing styles and genres which include indie folk and country. In May 2022, Julia will receive a Bachelor of Music from California State University Northridge in violin performance with a dual emphasis in Music Education. She will be joining CSUN’s credential program in the fall of 2022. She hopes for continued opportunities to perform, to bring her joy for music to Music On Main and to inspire the next generation of musicians.

Jasmine - Violin & Piano Instructor​

Ms. Jasmine is a professional violinist and music teacher/coach based in Orange County. She received her Bachelor’s in Music Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory in California State University, Long Beach in 2014, where she studied with Linda Rose. She also studied with Elizabeth Baker, past director of the Taos Music School and LA Phil First Violinist. She currently receives coaching from Stacy Wetzel, a first violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Jasmine performed as a soloist in the Glendale Youth Orchestra in 2010, in the Bob Cole Conservatory Showcase Concert in 2014, and in various recitals, operas, musicals, and concerts. She has also played for a group of 20,000 people at the Urbana Missions Conference in 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys being a chamber/orchestra musician and is part of the American Youth Symphony based in UCLA, and the La Mirada Symphony Orchestra. Jasmine is also an MTAC-certified music teacher for beginner piano and violin and a strings coach for Laguna Hills High School, Millikan High School, and Hughes Middle School. Currently in her 9th year of teaching, she enjoys teaches students of all ages around Los Angeles and Orange County. 

Brenda - Voice & Piano Instructor

Brenda is a soprano vocalist and pianist from the South Bay. She has been singing her whole life. She specializes in musical theater and opera; however, she is also well versed in other genres such as jazz, pop, and R&B. Brenda is currently working on obtaining her BA in music performance. She has trained in multiple countries including the US, Mexico, Italy and Colombia. Brenda is experienced in singing in English, Italian, Spanish, German, and French. She has performed in theaters such as Carnegie Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Teaching has always been just as much of a passion for Brenda as performing. She has been teaching students professionally for over three years and has taught various students ranging in age from 5 through adults. She firmly believes everyone has a voice and it’s never too late to sing! Brenda teaches beginning to intermediate piano and advanced vocal coaching.
​Special Note for Vocal Instruction: Due to warm-up and amount of information covered, minimum lesson time is 45 minutes. 

Janis - Piano Instructor​

Janis is an Albanian native who migrated to the U.S. at the age of 6. Janis’ dad named her after the rock and roll star, Janis Joplin, because of his high hopes that someday he would take his daughter to the U.S. to get her enrolled in music classes. Janis kept her music lessons consistent and was the youngest working musician in her high school performing weekend gigs such as weddings, funerals, and Sunday services. She then went on to pursue a Bachelors in Music from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. At a young age, Janis won numerous American Guild of Music Awards and came in 1st place in Regionals and 2nd place in State finals. Janis was brave enough to explore the organ as a secondary instrument and ended up making a career out of music directing of congregational services in addition to playing gigs, corporate events, and accompanying theater rehearsals.  Janis then decided to take her education to the next level and moved to California to pursue a Masters in Music from Azusa Pacific University. Overall, Janis is a versatile musician who loves to play all genres with a mastered classical technique. Her love for performing escalated to teaching which she finds rewarding to get to teach students of all ages. She is inspired by her students because when she sees the light bulb go on and their hunger for learning, she is brought back to the time she was a little girl with big dreams.  Janis is a substitute teacher at this time for Music On Main.  She teaches beginning to advanced piano to students of all ages. Janis is also a member of the Music Teacher Association of California (MTAC) .  

**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).