Teacher Profiles

Call Stage 1 Music at 805.522.2166 to sign up for lessons with any of these talented instructors.

Jon Bellis

Guitar, Bass and Piano
Jon is a staple in the Simi musical community. With over 40 years of playing and 20 years of teaching guitar and bass, Jon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his craft. He got his start with legendary Hawaiian artist Don Ho, and has done extensive session work for producer/arranger Don Costa on projects ranging from TV commercials to hit singles. A student of the Dick Grove School, Jon specializes in Rock, Blues, R&B and Country. His easygoing style helps students learn in a comfortable environment, while his flexibility allows them to develop musically by playing the songs they love.
Schedule: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Chrys Berri, piano, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, flute and French Horn

Chrys Berri

Piano, Saxophone, Trumpet, Clarinet, Flute and French Horn
Chrys has been a musician since childhood and currently works with several local bands and worship teams. He has been teaching music for more than 30 years, including 10 years running Berri’s Music in Simi Valley. He specializes in group piano classes for children as well as advanced keyboard, woodwinds and recording studio techniques. Receiving his education at Cal State Northridge, he is well versed in classical as well as popular performance, composition and theory. His fun and professional style of teaching helps students feel at ease as they progress toward their musical goals.
Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Monika Bruckner

Monika was born in Munich, a daughter of musicians, and started to play the violin at the age of 7. After high school, she moved to Paris where she studied voice with Yaël Benzaquen. She received a master’s degree in vocal performance from the Conservatory of Boulogne-Billancourt. She participated in various Opera productions at the Theatre du Chatelet, before becoming a permanent member of the Radio France Choir. There she sang under the baton of renowned conductors such as Ricardo Muti, M.-W. Chung, Serge Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Jeffrey Tate and Yutaka Sado. She moved to Los Angeles in 2002 with her husband and 2 children. Since her arrival, she has been performing with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under Grant Gershon, the Los Angeles Chamber Singers and Cappella and other local ensembles. Monika has been teaching voice to students of all ages for 20 years. Singers of all types, from opera to Broadway to pop, have benefited from her expert instruction and ability to help them find their own voice.
Schedule: Thursday

Ken Cox

Ken is a perennial student favorite, having taught drums in Simi Valley for 30 years. Ken studied with renowned drummer Ed Shaughnessy of the Tonight Show. He also published the instructional book ‘Advanced Stick Aerobics’, which was featured in Modern Drummer and is used by classic drum professor, Ed Soph. Ken has a long list of students who have gone on to professional music careers, and teaches varying styles from double bass, rock and country to jazz and funk. Generations of students love Ken for his sense of humor and love of music that comes through in his supportive teaching style.
Schedule: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday

Sepehr Eghdami

Sepehr began his studies in piano at the age of 4. When he relocated to Los Angeles from Iran in 2011, he entered Santa Monica College’s notable Applied Program where he studied under Dr. Sumy Takesue. Sepehr has been selected as a performer in multiple premier program concerts as well as the winner of a Concerto Competition with the Santa Monica College Symphony Orchestra. he is currently a full-time student at CSUN, and is studying under Jason Stroll. Over the years, he has crafted his teaching technique to encompass Alfred Basics and Premier as well as the Bastian techniques.
Schedule: Tuesday


Ric Fierabracci (Visiting Faculty)

Fretted and Fretless Electric Bass
Ric Fierabracci is a graduate of the University of Miami’s prestigious Studio Music And Jazz Program and has performed and recorded for artists like Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Mitchel Forman, Police Guitarist: Andy Summers (with Sting as a special guest), Planet X, Frank Gambale, Eddie Jobson’s UK, to Pop artists: Sir Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Paige, Bill Evans Soulgrass and many others. Ric is also a three time Grammy nominee, including the debut CD from Ric’s band, “Hemispheres” which was nominated in the 51st Grammy as “Best Contemporary Jazz Album” and has also been nominated twice for “Best Instrumental Jazz Solo.” He has performed professionally all over the world for over 30 years from Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden to the Taj Mahal. Bass lessons concentrate on technique, reading, improvisation and all aspects of becoming a professional musician.
If you’re interested in studying with Ric, please email him directly.
Schedule: Contact teacher for openings

Alejandra Moreno

Alejandra Moreno González

Violin and Viola
Alejandra is a classically trained violinist who has been playing the violin for over 20 years. She graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico with a degree in performance in violin and is currently a master’s degree in performance student at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. She has played as a violinist in the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico) and the Sydney Youth Orchestra (Australia), among other orchestras. Alejandra was the winner of the Soloist Competition of the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey in 2016. Her favorite performance setting is chamber music and orchestra. She is a Suzuki certified teacher and enjoys teaching students of all ages.
See Alejandra perform at www.vimeo.com/alejandramoreno.
Schedule: Monday & Tuesday

Nara Petrosyan, piano teacher

Nara Petrosyan

Nara is a classically trained pianist who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at California State University, Northridge, under the tutelage of Dmitry Rachmanov, and is currently completing her master’s degree in piano performance. She has performed in numerous recitals both as a solo and chamber musician in the US, Armenia, and Germany. She has participated in  masterclasses with numerous piano masters, such as James Giles, Andrew Von  Oeyen, John Perry, and Jay Hershberger, and has performed in a chamber music masterclass with the internationally renowned Szymanowski Quartet.  She also worked as a musical theater pianist, and in 2016, was a musical director for the CSUN Musical Theater Guild. Nara strives to teach her students all the skills and concepts necessary for them to become well-rounded musicians and independent learners, help them to achieve their highest music potential, and develop a lifelong love of music.
Schedule: Thursday

Kevin Pugh, Bass Teacher

Kevin Pugh

Kevin is a Simi Valley native who has played extensively throughout the area since high school. In 2012 he decided to further his musical education by attending the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, California. For two years he studied all aspects of bass playing, gaining a knowledge of all styles of music as well as music theory. Kevin regularly directs the music ministries at Simi Covenant Church in Simi Valley and Freedom Church in Thousand Oaks. He keeps busy recording and playing live for various bands and artists which has earned him a feature in Music Connection Magazine and a nomination at the 2014 SDMAs alongside Switchfoot and Jason Mraz. Kevin has a true passion for music and is excited to share it with his students.
Schedule: Tuesday & Thursday

Dan Shortley

Dan Shortley

Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin and Ukulele
Dan has taught guitar and banjo since earning his music education degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2000. His main guitar styles are Jazz/Fusion and Metal. For banjo, he teaches 3-Finger Bluegrass and Old Time/Clawhammer. He also runs a home recording studio where he produces his own projects as well as recording demos for local artists. Before moving from Las Vegas, his Smooth Jazz band “Forte” played the MGM Garden Arena as well as other events on their properties. He is currently recording and performing his Rap/Metal project as well as his Electronic/Dance music available for free download on his website.
Visit Dan’s website at www.danshortley.com.
Schedule: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday

Steve Skaggs, guitar teacher

Steve Skaggs

Steve received his degree from Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and has been a professional musician for over 30 years. He has also written, recorded and published music for numerous albums and television shows. Steve has been teaching in Simi Valley for more than 20 years to students of all ages. His experience as a professional musician has helped countless students reach their musical goals. As a teacher, he prefers to allow his students to explore those genres that most inspire them. By structuring the curriculum around each student’s own listening preferences and individual goals, he emphasizes fundamental practice techniques designed to minimize frustration and maximize enjoyment and success.
Schedule: Thursday

Sami Zindel, voice teacher

Sami Zindel

Sami brings over 12 years of musical experience to her students. Her musical journey has taken her from the oldest theatre in America, Walnut Street Theatre in historic Philadelphia, to the pursuit of a Vocal Performance/Independent Artist Degree at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. She has had the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the professional stadiums of the New York Mets, the Philadelphia Eagles and for the US Open at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. She has experience in many different genres of music including musical theater, classical, rock, pop and metal. Her strong background in singing and acting professionally offers her students an edge when conquering stage performance skills. Sami has an innate ability to recognize her student’s strengths and weaknesses to help them achieve their full potential with the proper vocal technique. She is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge in all genres of music to inspire her students.
Schedule: Monday and Thursday