Meet Our Musical Family
Our teachers have over 100 years of combined musical training and hold multiple degrees and certifications in teaching and development. Each teacher is certified in our Whole-Brain Music Method, "SensAPitch"(TM), and continue training in music education, mentoring and personality types to help us custom tailor each lesson to the individual student's needs. We have curated the most qualified, joyful, caring teachers to join our family, as we believe it takes more than just mastering an instrument to be a teacher.
My whole life has been dedicated to making music lessons a beautiful experience where musical families can bond, and where students who have been hurt by harsh teachers can come to heal and grow into the musicians they have always wanted to be. I hire by searching high and low for amazing musicians who are also amazing and encouraging people. We have several grandparents who are teachers. We have students who have become teachers after growing up in our musical family. I care about you and your family. I want you to reach your musical dream, whatever that may be for you.
We welcome you to learn from our musical family, including our therapy dog, Quincy!
Music Learning Specialist, Sound Healer
Advanced Piano, Voice, Guitar,
Special Needs, Perfect Pitch
Personality Type: ENFP
My mission is to improve and reform how music is taught in the world. I believe music should always be taught from a perspective of love and joy, and that students should be taught to trust themselves when they playing. They need to learn how to feel the vibration of each individual note. This allows playing to become intuitive, and learning will be done with ease. Instead of an old fashioned style of pushing students, forcing hard work, and rigid, reading centered lessons, I believe learning music is about teaching students to love creating music. As they build good skills by recognizing and feeling the color sound of each note, we then show them how these notes represent a musical notation on stave paper. When they know the sound, the notation, and the feel of each note, they will be able to sound out and play the songs they want to play.
My method has been much more successful at teaching perfect pitch than I ever imagined it would be. 93.7% of our students demonstrate perfect pitch on at least three notes, within three months of starting lessons. They also learn to read traditional music notation. This has been proven twice per year, for the last seven years, with the independent adjudication results of over 250 students! I named my methodology "SensAPitch" because each note is an easily distinguishable vibration color that can be sensed and recognized in the body. This is called "Absolute Pitch" or in layman's terms: "Perfect Pitch", and it is this skill that gives society's true musical geniuses their incredible gifts. Over the past 15 years I have developed a method to teach perfect pitch in a whole "right-brain" way by focusing on all of the senses, and noticing the differences between the notes. My students are becoming some of the best musicians in the world, and many haven't even finished college yet! Perfect pitch is the key to learning any instrument easily and intuitively. SensAPitch has 4 lesson books, 2 songbooks, and accompanying sound tracks. We have finally finished the testing phase, and are progressing towards the date of public release, early in 2020!
We are currently in the process of starting a genetic study on the origins of musical talent/perfect pitch with Dr. Peter Gregerson, at the Feinstein Medical Research Institute in New York. This study will validate the Efficacy of SensAPitch in teaching perfect pitch, and show us the Genetic trail of the propensity of Perfect Pitch in musical families.
I love teaching. Children, Adults, Students with Special Needs, it doesn't matter to me in what form the student comes. I feel my life's purpose when I sit in a teaching room with a student... and I know that comes through in the teachers I hire and train as well. Each one of them is trained and mentored until they become an experienced encourager of students. I like meeting every new student who comes into our doors to find music in some way. I can't wait to meet you, and I can't wait to welcome you into my school!
Michael has been with teVelde for 9 years, teaching piano, drums, guitar, bass, and ukulele. He also teaches perfect pitch. He was Teacher of the Year, 2015, and has earned Excellence in Teaching Awards every year. He is a gentle and detail oriented teacher who loves to teach a multi-instrumental lesson where he and his students switch off between piano, drums, guitar, and bass . His favorite styles of music are classic rock, video game music, and electronic music. He makes sure his students read music well and have perfect pitch, and then listens to their preferences and helps them develop according to their individual tastes. His well-rounded knowledge of rhythm, guitar and music theory allows him to help develop a great foundation of musical knowledge in his students. He has worked with several A.S.D. students, and they love his consistent, gentle style. He is an accomplished pianist, composer and guitarist. He's studied music at Hancock College and played in the band, Dusk Till Dawn, for 7 years.
Piano, Guitar, Drums, Bass,
Ukulele, Recording/Garage Band
Personality Type: ESF/TJ
Teacher of the Year, AG: 2015
Excellence in Teaching Awards: 9 Years
Steve Silberstein, BS
Classical Piano, Adults & Seniors
Ages: 8 to Adult
Personality Type: ENTP
Teacher of the Year: 2018
Steve is a lifelong student of classical piano and has studied for over 40 years. His favorite composers to teach are Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, and any advanced piano literature. He's an experienced performer and accompanist who loves working with motivated students. He also has a knack for working with adults because he understands the challenges of being an older learner, and has developed strategies to help older students improve their skills in a low stress environment. Steve is teaching because he feels he learns just as much from his students as they learn from him. Steve is a fun, dynamic, and enthusiastic teacher and we are lucky to have him at the school!
Allie exhibits pure love and gentleness, and works with the littlest ones who are learning music. Allie has a double major in both child development and psychology, from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has 15 years experience teaching preschool, and developing curriculum for little ones, ages 2-5. She has experience with directing a preschool, as its owner. She also was a choir member for over 20 years and has studied music theory. She has a passion for working with our smallest children, and has taught our Perfect Pitch Method (SensAPitch) Methods and early childhood piano, voice, and ukulele lessons. Allie is currently helping Dr. teVelde develop the SensAPitch and TherAPitch Methods for children ages 0-7, and for people with special needs of all ages.
Allie Patton, BS
Piano, Voice, Uke, Drums, Perfect Pitch (SensAPitch), Preschool, Special Needs.
Ages: 18 months to 10 years
Personality Type: ESFJ
Preschool Teacher of the Year: 2018
Piano, Guitar, Voice
Personality type: INFP
Emily is a singer/songwriter, pianist, guitarist, who is in the Jazz Music Program at Cuesta College pursuing a music degree. She earned a Chopin Prelude Plaque, in addition to other ICME awards. She is now a professional musician, and sings, writes, records, and plays at local venues. She is a gentle, kind, and encouraging teacher who loves working with shy students who need a little more space to learn and grow.
Lori is an advanced level pianist who studies advanced piano with Bonnie teVelde. She has had 14 years of private piano instruction, including 7 years with Ms. Elaine Merhar. During the 45 years she has been playing, she has performed private concerts for charities, accompanied symphonies, choirs, ensembles, musicals, and soloists. Her favorite composers are Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and other classical composers. She was invited to join the teVelde Teaching Team after demonstrating excellence in teaching her son, M.J. in collaboration with Ms. teVelde. Lori is a fun, inspiring, dynamic, and knowledgeable teacher that helps her students get to the highest levels, fast, no matter what age they are. She loves working with children, ages 4 & up, as well as adults and seniors. She also loves figuring out how to motivate students who have had a difficult time with lessons elsewhere. She loves working with adults who want to blast off on piano and really have fun with the learning process!
Lori Silvestri, BS
Beginning to Advanced Piano, Music Theory, Perfect Pitch (SensAPitch), French Horn, Ukulele, Drums
Ages: 4 to Adult
Personality Type: ENFP
Ryan Scott, BA
Beginning to Advanced Drums, Bass Guitar, Piano, Perfect Pitch (SensApitch), Electronic Music, Preschool Music
Personality type: ES/NFJ
Ryan is a gifted professional drummer with a gentle, kind personality type. He has a knack for working with students of all ages, including very young students (2-Up). He is a graduate of Musician's Institute, and enjoys sharing his vast music knowledge with students who want to take their drumming to the next level. Ryan works hard to make lessons fun and engaging for his students, no matter how young or old they are. He is certified in teaching SensAPitch, and is a great role model for students of all ages. He can work with students as young as 2, who are baby beginners, while also tackling some of the hardest, complex grooves with older students. Ryan also teaches bass, and helps his students see the connection between the bass player and the drummer in a band. Ryan is simply the best drummer we have ever had on staff, bar none!
Nasibeh has pure positive and gentle energy, and is trained to work with our littlest students. She is also a highly trained vocalist who loves to work with children and adults who want to find their voices. She has worked with vocal groups, as well as teaching individual lessons. She speaks several languages, (English, French, Persian) which comes in handy when she is helping her students learn songs for college and theater auditions. She also specializes in working with our youngest students, teaching students as young as 2 years old with her very gentle, loving, and sweet personality.
Nasibeh Abdollahi, BA
Voice, Piano, Perfect Pitch (SensAPitch)
Personality type: ENFP
Teaches: Piano, Ukulele, Guitar, Drums, Perfect Pitch (SensAPitch), Preschool
Personality type: ENFP
Lilly is another member of the "Love Team", and has a beautiful spirit and pure positive energy. She is a music student who has been studying piano with Bonnie teVelde since she was 11 years old, having taken piano from Maria Townsend since the age of 7. She is a fun, encouraging, and energetic teacher who loves to make lessons fun for her students! She has a real knack for teaching multisensory lessons with our Perfect Pitch SensAPitch method, having learned it during her own lessons with Bonnie 10 years ago. She loves working with children as young as 4, but also loves inspiring teens who may have lost their motivation to play. She finds fun popular music that inspires them to stick through the lessons until they rediscover their joy for more classical selections. Her favorite composers are Bach, Debussy, Chopin, and Beethoven, although she also loves 80's music! She is starting an 80's band with some of our students, and can't wait to play "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Africa" with them!
Jarrod is a professional guitarist who plays electric and acoustic guitar. He started music lessons at age 2 with Bonnie teVelde, his grandmother. His favorite music is classic rock from the 70's and 80's, and he loves to improvise, write music, and play. He can teach just about any song written for lead or rhythm guitar, and he teaches the theory and reading concepts that are the structure behind the music. He is a gentle teacher with heart who wants his students to LOVE music more than anything else. He is currently in the process of finishing his AA degree in music at Cuesta College, so he is fluent in music theory, jazz, hip hop, R&B, and electronic music styles. He is also studying recording technology. He is a songwriter, and building a band to record hip hop cross with 70-80s styles of music. He listens to his students, and teaches them what they want/need to learn to reach their musical goals.
Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Perfect Pitch (SensAPitch), Special Needs
Teaches School of Rock
Personality type: ENFP
Shaili has been playing piano for 15 years, having had private lessons since she was five. She is currently studying architecture at Cal Poly, and loves to show her students how math translates to music. She loves to work with children, with her favorite ages to teach being 5-15 years old, but she is also happy to work with older students and adults. Her favorite type of music for piano is classical, and she likes to keep the lessons upbeat and happy at all times.
Personality type: ENFP
Piano, Voice, SensAPitch
Personality type: ESTJ
Stephanie is an experienced piano and voice teacher who has been playing and singing for the majority of her life. She completed a Bachelor Degree of Music at University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995. She loves working with children and adults who are serious about learning music, and who want to work hard to get good at it. She has been teaching piano and voice in her own studio in New Zealand for 18 years, and is excited to be living in San Luis Obispo, CA. She is in the apprentice process of teaching at teVelde, and has already completely almost all of her teacher training with Bonnie teVelde, personally.