Private Music Lessons

Students in Grades 1 through 8 can take private music lessons during the school day, leaving after-school time free for sports and clubs. The school has six practice studios equipped with Steinway pianos, and lessons are led by experienced musicians and teachers from the Central Coast area. Students put on recitals twice a year.


Meet our instructors

Nancy Bennett — Voice

Mrs. Bennett has had 40 years experience teaching voice. After receiving her M.A. in vocal performance, she taught at the university level in Los Angeles and at Hartnell College. Mrs. Bennett has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Carmel Bach Festival, and the Roger Wagner Chorale.

Madeline Borquist, Ph.D. — Piano

Dr. Borquist has degrees from Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Miami. She has appeared with various orchestras as a piano soloist, given numerous recitals, and been the pianist for chamber music ensembles. Dr. Borquist taught piano and chamber music at Michigan State University, the University of Miami, the Blossom Music Festival, and the New College Musical Festival.

Donna Coletti — Piano

Mrs. Coletti has taught at Santa Catalina since 1987. She holds a B.A. from Creighton University, with additional practical theory from Trinity College. She has been a pastoral musician for 30 years and has prepared piano students for Certificate of Merit exams for 25 years.

Margie Dally — Cello

A founding member of the Monterey String Quartet and a native of Salinas, Ms. Dally studied locally with Louise Vadetsky and joined the Monterey Symphony at the age of 16. She graduated with honors from Mills College, where she studied with Sally Kell, Joan Jeanrenaud, and the Kronos Quartet. Margie maintains an active teaching studio in Carmel Valley and is involved with various educational programs for young musicians.

Rose Marie Dunsford — Violin and Viola

Ms. Dunsford is a professional violinist and violin and viola instructor. She is the Monterey representative of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, teaching the program from the grade school through the college level. She is a violinist with the Monterey County Symphony, the Monterey Bay Symphony, and the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians.

Lucy Faridany — Piano

Ms. Faridany holds a postgraduate diploma in piano accompaniment with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Geoffrey Pratley. She has worked with the Carmel Bach Festival, the Monterey Symphony, the Carmel Opera Project, the Pacific Repertory Theater, and the Western Stage.

Michelle Galindo — Piano and Upright Bass

Mrs. Galindo teaches students of all levels, including those who are preparing for recitals, Youth Music Monterey, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music program, and the Certificate of Merit. She is the principal pianist for the Monterey Bay Symphony and often works in local theaters, both in the orchestra and as a conductor. She has a B.S. from the University of the Pacific, a master's in music technology from the University of Newcastle, and an M.B.A. from National University.

Lynn Jones — Flute

Mrs. Jones has taught at Santa Catalina for more than 20 years and has been a soloist and ensemble member in the Monterey Peninsula area for 30 years. She has extensive musical theater experience and an active private studio.

Arlyn Knapic — violin and viola

Freelance violinist and violist Arlyn Knapic performs frequently in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties as an orchestral, chamber and recording musician. She has performed with the Monterey String Quartet as well as the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus, Western Stage, I Cantori di Carmel, and Ensemble Monterey. Mrs. Knapic holds a BA in English with a minor in music from University of California Santa Barbara, and an MA in Violin Performance from San Jose State University. Her former teachers include Mildred Kline, Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet, Cecily Ward of the Cypress String Quartet, and Diane Nicholeris of the San Francisco Symphony.

Layne Littlepage — Voice

Ms. Littlepage has taught voice at Santa Catalina since 2002. Her teachers in New York were Marion Freschl of the Julliard School, Martin Rich of the Metropolitan Opera, Franco Iglesias, and Dan Marek. She is a member of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association and has achieved their DVP (Distinguished Voice Professional) Certification. Her voice students have been chosen for many honor choirs and have been finalists in the National Classical Singer competition.

Robert McNamara — Guitar, Bass, Ukelele, and Mandolin

Mr. McNamara is the director of the Monterey Peninsula Academy of Music and a faculty member of Monterey Peninsula College. As a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department, he has performed in the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Mr. McNamara has taught guitar at Santa Catalina since 1988.

Hayung Rhee — Piano

Mrs. Rhee has taught piano for 25 years, working with students of all ages, from beginners to advanced musicians. She received a master of music performance from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Dr. Stewart Gorden. Mrs. Rhee prepares students for the Certificate of Merit and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music programs. Her students have been winners of the Music Teachers Association of California scholarship competition and the Paderewski piano competition.

Mike Shannon — Percussion

Mr. Shannon studied drums and percussion at the University of Northern Colorado and at San Jose State University with the renowned classical percussionist Anthony Cirone. Mr. Shannon’s book, The Rudimental Handbook, helps students develop the hand technique, reading ability, and drum set coordination within many styles of music to develop a deep foundation and understanding of the instrument. He has taught in a variety of academic settings, including master classes with Stanford University and University of California, Santa Cruz.

Galina Vinokurov — Piano

Mrs. Vinokurov graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory as a teacher of music, concert performer, accompanist, and soloist with the chamber ensemble. Since then she has performed as a concert pianist and taught students of all skill levels. She has been a piano instructor at Hartnell College since 1994 and at Santa Catalina School since 2002. Mrs. Vinokurov is also an active member of the Music Teachers Association of California and has received a Certificate of Gratitude from Who's Who Among American Teachers.

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