Reviews

Reviews

These reviews were gathered from online review sites such as Yelp and Google places, some were given directly to our instructors. To submit your own testimonials consider joining our social media pages (Facebook, Yelp, Google) or send feedback through email. You can also leave a feedback personally at the Front desk or by calling us. Thank You.

SMCM Reviews 2017

 

These are amazing teachers! Always positive, the passion for their instruments always comes through. Their great skill as a players allows them to lead their students as far as they are able. – Stephen

 

The Santa Monica Conservatory of Music is a haven for sonic and harmonic exploration. My kid loves the people and the place. She has attended their music camps and has taken lessons with wonderful teachers. Trumpet, guitar, and now flute … they’ve got it covered. My highest recommendation! – Hal

 

It’s hard to express how lucky we feel to have landed with these teachers for my son, daughter (and for me, too!) We’ve been coming every week to SMCM for a long time and the experience is everything we could hope for and more.  They are extraordinary musicians, educators, and people. My kids enjoy every lesson, even as they are being challenged. As a parent, I also appreciate the formality of the school system, where students and teachers are part of (and accountable to) a larger body, full of diverse ages and instruments, coming together often for free concerts and recitals. In no small part thanks to their patient, creative, energetic, disciplined, warm, inspiring, talented teachers, music making is for my kids both fun and serious, and also POSSIBLE. They feel capable of making music, and they do! (Needless to say, I’ve observed many of SMCM’s other teachers in action, too, and the caring and professionalism seems to be across the board. – Jonathan

 

My daughter plodded through her 4th grade mandatory music lessons with little enthusiasm, and resisted practicing. Because friends were enrolling in the Santa Monica Music Camp, she agreed to try it for a week. After the first day, she did not want to return, because she thought it was too hard. On the second day, she fell in love with it, and begged to return for additional sessions. I can honestly say that the SM music camp was the turning point in my budding musician’s enthusiasm for the violin, and for music in general. She came home and practiced without prompting, and even attempted to play pieces that the higher levels performed in their end of the week “concert”. She has since taken regular weekly lessons from a Conservatory teacher, who has instilled in my daughter both the confidence and the skill to succeed. She is an exceptional instructor with a clear passion for music and for teaching. My daughter’s enthusiasm and drive to excel has continued to grow this past year. Our experience with Music Camp and the SM Conservatory has truly been a game changer for my child… We are very thankful, and are looking forward to summer camp again this year. – Julie

 

My 12-year-old son began private cello lessons five months ago, after taking up the cello in middle school. It goes without saying that his teacher is an incredibly accomplished cellist, but what’s important to a student is the rapport he has with his teacher. He is able to strike the perfect balance between the roles of teacher, friend and mentor. He encourages parents to sit in the studio room during the lesson, something both my son and I enjoy. The conservatory itself is a very pleasant space and the teachers I’ve met are dedicated, enthusiastic people. A recent recital performance of students both beginning and advanced was a heartwarming experience. You can tell the students are dedicated and enjoying themselves and I attribute that to the quality of the Conservatory. – Christine

 

I am very happy that we made the switch to the Santa Monica Conservatory of Music. The violin teacher is excellent and my seven-year-old daughter loves attending her lessons. I feel that my daughter gets a lot out of her lessons, including learning about proper technique, sight reading & she even plays duets, which are a lot of fun and very inspiring. I feel that my daughter’s ability has progressed and she has even performed at one of the school recitals and done very well. I wholeheartedly recommend the Santa Monica Conservatory of Music and its teachers, if you are serious about teaching string instruments to your child. – Eve

 

This is truly an exceptional music conservatory with full-time dedicated instructors who are undeniably outstanding musicians. It is well worth the time and money if you are serious about learning how to play an instrument. Excellent instruction for kids as well as adults. Highly recommend!! – Mitch

 

Our daughter’s instructor started teaching our daughter Clare cello at age 9 and instilled a passion and love of the cello and music in her. Her progress was fueled by his teaching techniques of using the Popper Studies and giving her gorgeous Bach Suites to challenge her. It is that passion and giving her challenging goals to aspire to that have made Clare an accomplished young musician. That is gold! We are so grateful to him for leading Clare in the direction to be a part of orchestras, solo concerts, music camps and ultimately, a University experience in music. The Santa Monica Conservatory has a wonderful feeling which the director creates with his love for music, and seeing all the students thrive and find success in learning to play music. He is an amazingly generous soul, a dedicated teacher, amazing cellist and great friend. – Michelle

 

My son started off at their summer day camp and each day would come home saying how much he loved his experience and couldn’t wait to go the following day. He now studies guitar regularly at the conservatory and I am so impressed with the learning atmosphere and their teacher’s ability to encourage the children’s love of music and musical imagination. This is a superb institution for anyone wanting their child to have a first-rate musical education! – Hila

 

I love it here! I take piano lessons as an adult but I would say the majority of students at the conservatory are kids. It’s certainly a kid-friendly studio. Good location, great teachers, give it a go! Also, the associates at the front desk are excellent. They helped me secure an ideal lesson time which is really helpful as an adult with a limited schedule. – Jennifer

 

My kids, aged 6 and 9, both take lessons at the Conservatory and absolutely love it. Their clarinet teachers, guitar teachers, and piano teachers are excellent. They are talented, inspiring, encouraging, lovely people who really know how to work with kids and keep them engaged and motivated. The conservatory itself is gorgeous, inviting, airy and calm, a very nice place to be. (It also has free parking.)  From Director to the teachers to the front desk staff, everyone is friendly, welcoming and very enthusiastic about music. – Deborah

 

My 10-year-old daughter has been attending the Conservatory for voice for the last year, and she absolutely loves it!  Her instructor is a great teacher and has been very inspiring.  My daughter’s voice has grown so much, as well as her confidence.  Would absolutely recommend! – Diana

 

Our two daughters have been taking various lessons at the conservatory for four years. We have taken violin, piano, and now cello, and every experience has been very positive. The teachers are excellent, and the ambiance is professional, warm, and inspiring. They have also been flexible and accommodating with schedule changes as our busy schedule fluctuates. We look forward to many more years nurturing our children’s musical interests, and are grateful to have so many options for musical instruments and wonderful instructors at the Conservatory! – Eva

 

My daughter has been taking private guitar lessons since the spring, and attended two weeks of camp this summer.  I can easily say each experience has been fantastic.  The conservatory is a lovely creative space where kids can learn and grow into their musical abilities.  Without pretension, they teach kids how to read and write the classics and new standards.  We are so glad to have found Music Camp and the Santa Monica Conservatory. – Colette

 

We discovered the Conservatory this past summer at their summer music camp. My daughter fell in love and we decided to switch teachers. It was the best decision we ever made. She gets tons of attention and has even joined the little orchestra. She’s 4 and is getting great playing experience. Her playing has improved leaps and bounds. We could not be happier with her playing and will not go anywhere else. We highly recommend it. – Leanna

 

My son’s teacher is a wonderful teacher, and has helped my son become an accomplished and confident musician. Cello is a difficult, demanding, but beautiful instrument, and has been a sensitive, patient and most importantly, effective teacher of cello for my son for 4 years. In that time he has improved tremendously. I would wholeheartedly recommend him, and the Conservatory, for superb instruction in music. – Bill

 

I am thrilled to have found the Conservatory! My son’s teacher is a dedicated, compassionate, and passionate role model for my son and his is a terrific motivator and instructor. They have inspired my son to continue playing, to dedicate more time to practicing, and caring about music. They have encouraged his desire to become a composer and to believe in himself. John has even let my son stay after lessons to practice. I can’t say enough how grateful I am to them. – Linda

 

Our son began cello lessons two years ago, when he was seven. For two years, his teacher has inspired our son to not only love to play this very challenging instrument, but also to enjoy his daily practice. His warmth, patience, and sense of humor make him an amazing teacher for kids, and we imagine for students of all ages. He also organizes wonderful summer camps and recitals that truly enrich the music learning experience. We highly recommend him and the Santa Monica Conservatory. – Kristen

 

This is a great School. The teachers are flexible with scheduling. The children gain great confidence with individual instruction. They have fun and learn a lot from their teachers. – Donna

 

My daughter Stephanie has been taking lessons with at the Conservatory for over five years. Her teacher, the director, has a friendly and caring personality. His students feel comfortable in their lessons, and he is always looking for ways to better and improve his school by adding experienced teachers, concerts, and master classes. He has plenty of talents in cello for our kids to take advantage and benefit from. – Nooshin

 

My son, Kyle, has been taking cello lessons for over four years. His teacher is the best teacher I have ever met, always cares about his students, and he teaches the way that works best for the student. When Kyle is having a hard time to improve, his teacher has a lot of patience and brings up a different approach to keep up his motivation. The Conservatory is a great environment for learning music. – Mika

 

My son James has had a rewarding experience as a cello student for the last six years. His teacher is an exceptionally talented cellist and a dedicated teacher who inspires his students to excellence. His teaching method through the Popper Etudes has helped James to develop his skills systematically over time. He is engaged in all aspects of the student’s development from personally helping them audition an instrument to creating opportunities for them to perform. Additionally, he has organized workshops with the professional community of musicians in Los Angeles, and personally, he has become a wonderful friend to James and to our family. – Kerry

 

My son Jack has been taking cello lessons for over three years now, and it has been a fantastic and rewarding experience. His teacher has a wonderful way with his students, and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in having their child excel on the cello. His school is a good place for learning, and is a really professional setting. – David

 

Our son Niall is 15 and has taken cello lessons at the Conservatory for 4 years. In that short time, he has become a very accomplished cellist, giving his first solo recital on the Bach Cello Suite #1 within two years of starting on the instrument. We attribute his rapid progress to his teacher’s conscientious and thorough instruction on the instrument. Recently, Niall has become one of his assistant instructors and is passing along his teacher’s methods to beginning and intermediate cello students. He is also deeply connected in the Los Angeles music community and has arranged for master classes with members of the UCLA School of Music where each student receives a performance critique. This kind of exposure to the upper echelons of the music profession is tremendously stimulating to the students and parents alike. As parents of an aspiring musician, we recommend the Santa Monica Conservatory most highly. – Scott

 

The Conservatory provides a great environment to learn music. Our son’s instructor is a skilled teacher who can relate to young people and bring out their best. In the year that our son has been taking lessons he has become passionate about his instrument and his playing has greatly exceeded expectations. Furthermore, he enjoys his sessions at the Conservatory and looks up to his teacher as a mentor in music and beyond. We feel fortunate to have found this gifted and dedicated teacher. – Eric

 

We have found a very dedicated cello instructor. My daughter has been a student of his for 4 years. He is dedicated and yet flexible in motivating students and getting the best out of each student, highly recommend him. – Wei

 

Our son’s instructor is a tremendously skilled and professional cello teacher. In addition, he is passionate about helping nurture and inspire young musicians. My son has studied with him for three years, and his combination of rigor and nurturing has helped my son become an accomplished young musician (and composer, even). My son truly looks to him as a role model. He is always eager to come to his lessons, to learn new music and even to practice. Any parent would be fortunate to have the opportunity for their son or daughter study cello with him. – Rebecca

 

Our daughter has been a student at the Conservatory since the end of 2nd grade and currently is entering 7th grade. Her cello instructor is an outstanding teacher, who since the opening of his first cello studio has had a major impact on the already outstanding musical program in the Santa Monica Malibu School District. Students learn cello by following Popper Cello studies and become highly accomplished cellists by following this rigorous study guide. They also learn Bach’s cello suites, and every year there are two recitals in which students perform solo. The number of enthusiastic and dedicated students that I have observed over the years is the best testimony to the Conservatory teaching style and the abilities of the faculty. I highly, highly recommend this outstanding school for students interested in learning how to play any instrument. – Andrew

 

As a retired professional musician, I know top flight private instruction when I see it, and this is it. The Conservatory and its most capable staff deliver the goods. Our daughter’s instructor is an expert at conveying musical concepts and cello techniques for the very beginner through the most advanced students. His knowledge of the instrument is near unsurpassed. He also offers assistance with instrument selection and offers other recommendations to fit your specific needs. He goes the extra mile and then some. The teaching atmosphere is fun and exciting yet challenging for students of all levels. If you are looking for the very best in private music instruction, I would highly recommend the Santa Monica Conservatory of Music. – Scott

 

Our son’s teacher is the no doubt the best cello tutor in the city of Santa Monica. I have seen him teach first-hand and he’s capable of explaining mistakes and errors in such a way that every student will know what they’re doing wrong. He’s also very patient and knows how to teach various types of kids. Also, he has uses a method that not many cello tutors are capable of teaching. That special method is incorporating the Popper 40 studies into a child’s daily practice, and with that, kids will attain great strength in their finger and bowing techniques. Like all the teachers at the Conservatory he teaches beginners to the most advanced students. If anyone out there is interested in learning the arts of cello playing he is exactly who you should consult. – Ivy

 

Our cello instructor is one of the most dedicated and professional music teachers I know. Not only does he work constantly to help his cello students reach their music goals, he has a wonderful ability to connect well with them (as well as with the parents). He sets high standards, and because of his sincerity, his students rise up to the challenge and successfully meet them. My son has progressed tremendously in the relatively short time he has been taking cello lessons, and he enjoys every lesson. I highly recommend the Conservatory to anyone wanting to be inspired by the cello, or any other instrument, and the beautiful music that can be played on it. – Miki

 

My son has been a student at the Conservatory for the past 6 years, and his teacher’s method of teaching is very efficient. He cares about his students and gives every student the opportunity to learn and play the pieces of famous composers. He is very involved with each student and understands the capabilities of each individual. – Ariel

 

Our cello teacher at the Conservatory has been great working with my two boys ages 10 & 8. Neither had ever played any instrument before and within weeks they were playing short songs on the cello. We have now finished 6 months and the progress has been amazing. He has a way of breaking down complicated concepts into small steps and keeping things fun at the same time. – Sean

 

My son has taken Cello lessons here for the past 5 years and my daughter just started voice. If you’re looking for the best music education for your kids this is the place to go. The teachers are really fun and care about the student’s’ progress. Kids come in after school and have desks to do homework, while waiting for their lesson, with water fountain and free wi-fi on site. Camps are amazing and children learn through fun, using imagination and creativity. They recently started an adult choir and many moms are joining, me included! – Sigi

 

My daughter has been taking cello lessons here since 2011 and I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. My daughter thoroughly enjoys coming to her lessons. In 2011 my daughter was a total beginner, met her teacher at her middle school where he mentors cellists, and found him so helpful to her that she pleaded with us to have lessons at his conservatory. The Conservatory itself is a beautifully designed facility for music study as well as student recitals (they also schedule guest performances by world class musicians).  Dear director, thank you for loving and understanding music the way you do and creating an exceptional place where our children can realize the beauty of music and feed their souls and minds.  You’ve created a real gem! – Heather

 

My son’s teacher is a kind and enthusiastic music teacher that goes the extra mile to reach out and inspire his students. He is an asset to the conservatory, and is a great saxophone teacher. – Sophia

 

My 10-year-old has been going to the Conservatory for nearly a year and it’s an ideal place to learn. My son plays Cello and works with an ideal teacher, they have an amazing facility which allows for recitals. The teacher allows my son to learn at his pace while pushing him, gently, to be the best cellist he can, truly a perfect experience. Also, you become part of a larger music community, we’ve been to student recitals which not only offer amazing music but allow my son to see what’s possible if he is willing to work hard and stick with his studies. – Seth

 

My son has been taking lessons for about 4 months now and his teacher has been fantastic, encouraging, and inspires my son to practice more. She writes out notes for him and displays a genuine interest in him, going above and beyond the lessons we pay for. She offered to help with the selection of a viola when we wanted to purchase one. She sent me a link for some minor ancillary equipment we needed so that I only had to click and purchase. She offered to pick out some music books for him, and much more. We are very lucky to have found such a dedicated teacher. – Dale

 

My kids, aged 6 and 9, both take lessons at the Conservatory and absolutely love it. Their clarinet teachers, guitar teachers, and piano teachers are excellent. They are talented, inspiring, encouraging, lovely people who really know how to work with kids and keep them engaged and motivated. The conservatory itself is gorgeous, inviting, airy and calm, a very nice place to be. (It also has free parking.)  From Director to the teachers to the front desk staff, everyone is friendly, welcoming and very enthusiastic about music. – Denise