Erland specializes in guitar, ukulele, songwriting development, song production and band consultation.
Erland Wanberg started playing the guitar and writing songs when he was 13 years old. Someone that had trouble calming his mind and sitting still in class, writing lyrics and playing the guitar was the canvas he needed to channel his energy, helping him in all areas of his life. Erland went on to tour the nation and worked with some of the best in the music business including Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness (Cecilia & The Satellite) and grammy award winning recording engineer Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson). After releasing his debut album 'On Our Side,' Erland's songwriting caught the ear of Songs Publishing, a Los Angeles/New York based music publishing company (Lorde, The Weeknd). The publishing deal prompted a move from the California coast to the music city - Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville, Erland continued to grow musically and further developed his songwriting with creative opportunities to write and record many different genres of music for television and motion picture placement.
Joe specializes in sound engineering and profession recording techniques.
Joe Costner is our sound engineer. He will gives our students the magical experience of recording their very first song. Joe also instructs our Protools 101/ 110 Recording Workshops (Click Here To Learn More). Joe started out working as an assistant engineer at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA. He went on to work in Nashville, TN as a freelance Recording Engineer. After returning to California, Joe started his own Mobile Recording business called Spartan Recording. He also works as a freelance Production Sound Mixer for Documentary Films and Commercials. Joe has an Expert Certification in Protools HD12 software (received through the AVID Certification Program).
Shennie specializes in Voice, Ukulele and Beginning Guitar
Shennie has been singing since before she could speak, and music has always been her biggest passion and motivation in life. She has written, recorded and co-produced three solo EP's. Shennie has been fortunate enough to have collaborated with extraordinary artists, bands and vocal coaches over the years. With these experiences, as well as over 1,000 live shows under her belt, she has learned what to do and what not to do when it comes to performing and singing. Her first-hand experience is very valuable when working with new students, because she understands and can relate to their fears, their victories, their setbacks, their emotional roadblocks, and their creativity or creative stagnation.
"I truly believe that singing with correct vocal technique is absolutely essential, but confidence and genuine passion are equally important. The self-confidence that is gained through vocal and performance practice shines through in all areas of life as well, not only in musical endeavors." - Shennie Smith
Eli Specializes in Drums and Percussion.
Eli McDonald began playing percussion at the age of three, and started on the drum kit at age six. His early years were filled with exploration of the instrument, learning new beats and approaches to playing all the time. He studied everything from Rock to Latin, Funk and Jazz as well as many other styles in later years. His passion for the instrument has been consistent through school and all aspects of his life, as he began formal instruction in Concert Band and Jazz Band in sixth grade. In his Junior year of High School he went to New York City and played with the Advanced Concert Band at Carnegie Hall, and went on to perform with the Good Times Big Band at Santa Barbara City College, as well as the B Band directed by Gary Pratt at CSU Northridge. While attending CSU Northridge he played in Jazz Combos directed by Nick Mancini, Gary Fukushima and Gary Pratt. He has been privately instructed by Richard Weller and Jamire Williams, and has been producing and composing music under his label Payload Records since 2014. Following his graduation from Northridge, Eli has been working on musical projects "Polychord Peace Freaks" and "bth1991" which is an independent musical project consisting of experimental soundscapes and percussion. Eli is committed to finding his voice in music and expressing himself as accurately as possible, and his methods of instruction focus on helping the student do the same, while having fun in the process.
Elizabeth Anne Middleton
Elizabeth Specializes in Piano and Choir
Pianist, composer and performing and recording artist, Elizabeth Anne Middleton is also a long-time piano teacher who has gained highest respect from her piano students and music colleagues. She taught piano for seven years in the Amherst-Pelham School District in Amherst, MA, and has taught privately for years now in and around Santa Barbara. She welcomes beginners through advanced piano students, and also teaches keyboard technique and keyboard harmony to musicians whose main instrument is other than piano. Elizabeth is a well-grounded musician who played clarinet in high school band and orchestra, sang in university choirs and choruses, and studied piano from the age of six. She received Highly Superior ratings in clarinet, voice and piano, four years in a row in high school district and state music festivals where she grew up in Kansas; she also performed in all-state band, orchestra and chorus. At the University of Kansas, she studied voice with Meribah Moore and sang in concert choir and in several theater productions under the directorship of Clayton Krehbiel. At the University of Massachusetts, she studied piano with Nigel Coxe. Elizabeth has also served as music director and choir director for churches and children’s theatre, was a pianist at Nordstrom in Seattle and Portland, provides background music and featured entertainment at many events, gives solo concerts, and composes songs, choral works and music for acoustic grand piano.
Lev specializes in Guitar,Voice, Bass, Drums and Piano
Mendeleyev Allan-Blitz (people call him Lev) is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Santa Barbara, playing in different bands, performing in theater companies and making short films. He graduated from Berklee College of music in 2013 with a degree in professional music. Lev took 85 different courses in over 4 years with an emphasis on songwriting and performing. His principle instrument is Guitar but he has over a decade of training in Piano, Bass, Drums, and Voice. He has been teaching music for for almost 10 years. Lev believes that becoming a multi-instrumentalist is one of the most important things for any musician, and he encourages his students to do so. In addition to the primary instruments listed above, Lev offers instruction in theory, songwriting, ear-training, improvisation, and stage performance.
Khasy specializes in Voice & Guitar
Khasy's tremendous vocal range and unique gift for hearing and loving harmonies has landed her gigs supporting amazing artists such as; Sean Hayes, Glen Phillips, The Fruit Bats, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, Omar Velasco, The Easy Leaves, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, AA Bondy, Cotton Jones , Parson's Red Heads, The Danvilles and Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots. She also appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Live show and Rolling Stone, singing back-up vocals for Taylor Hawkins, of The Foo Fighter's side project: The Birds Of Satan. Locally over the years she has she formed a few band projects. The first was called, The Family, with singer/songwriter and musicology Santa Barbara owner Erland Wanberg. The Family soon morphed into a new collaboration with more members called Walking West. Most recently, she fronted and wrote the music for her own band, The Kinds. Khasy continues to perform solo up and down the West Coast and back East.