Carla Cao

Carla C.

Miami, FL

Lesson Details

See all subjects

Carla teaches



Carla delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
June 2011

As a little girl, music was my first language. I started playing instruments when I was in preschool. I sang, played baroque recorder, and was constantly composing melodies and improvising. In elementary school I developed a fascination with the clarinet, which I believed, at the time, produced the most beautiful sounds in the world. I started taking lessons in 5th grade and continued developing my talent at magnet schools. I received an intensive performance training at New World School of the Arts high school, playing in the wind ensemble and orchestra, and participated in competitions throughout the U.S. Meanwhile, I learned how to play rock on steel string guitar and electric guitar.

Some years later, I was admitted to the music composition program at New World School of the Arts College. This rigorous program requires that all students become well-rounded musicians. Throughout my years in the program, I became skilled not only at composition, but also at piano, classical guitar, music theory, sight-singing, ear-training and music technology, to name a few. Not too long after my arrival at the school, I was designated by my professors as a school tutor for the music department. As a tutor, I gained experience teaching hard-to-grasp concepts and skills to music students.

After my first year at New World, I was one out of two composers to be awarded a full scholarship. My compositions were always among the most ambitious pieces written and have been performed at various venues including the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach. What makes my music unique is its incorporation world music influences and its collaboration with other art forms, such as dance. One of my most exotic pieces and performances to date is an Indian inspired piece called Puriya Dhanashree Fusion, written for the viola, the Indian sitar, the Australian aboriginal didgeridoo, and a Persian drum known as the tombak. Currently, I am composing music for a short film that juxtaposes footage of the Everglades with footage of urban Miami to convey an environmental message.

Apart from school-related projects, I also compose and perform music for live theater. I performed and composed the music for the Florida International University production of the play Arabian Nights in 2011. I have also composed and performed, on the clarinet, music for plays that raise social awareness. In 2012, I composed the music for a play about human trafficking recorded at WLRN studios and a play about the Holocaust, most recently performed at the Biltmore’s stage. I am engaged as well with extracurricular projects that stimulate artistic creativity among young students. For the past two years, I helped organize performances of Miami Dade College musicians and poets working with one another, many of whom had never performed music or recited poetry before.

As you can see my approach to music is holistic and comprehensive. Music can be a hobby, a career, a form of therapy, an agent for social change and awareness, a discipline, a lifestyle, or a combination of any of these things. My job is to find out what music is for you and then help you develop your interest and skills as far as you want to take them. So, let’s begin and enjoy together the beauty of music!

*** Lesson Details ***
All you need to begin with you is the yearning to learn and an instrument. I will provide copies of all the music you will need and will guide you every step of the way so that you feel in control of your progress. I intend to discover the unique way in which you understand music from the technical to the philosophical level. I am here to motivate you and to help you advance at a rate that you are comfortable with. I love teaching music and look forward to teaching whoever is interested in learning regardless of what level they are at, regardless of whether this is the first time they touch their new instrument or whether they have been playing for years.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, metronome, tuner, and music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide copies of music, a music stand, metronome, and tuner. I bring with me an instrument for myself. I expect the students to bring their own instruments.

*** Specialties ***
For the clarinet, I specialize in classical, klezmer (Jewish), Middle-eastern, and Hindustani Indian genres. I also specialize in the general methods of underscoring plays and film for any instrument including the voice.

+ Read More

2 Reviews

Write a Review
Alexander R. Nov 27, 2013
Guitar ·

Delightful and Engaging Teacher...

I've taken about 6 lessons with Carla and notice appreciable improvements with each session. Carla has a lot of personable qualities that make her an exceptional teacher. With her versatile musical background, Carla has a talent in sharing her knowledge in a professional and most importantly friendly manner. She is very patient with me yet has a discerning eye to observe where I stand as a player. She gives me enough material to work with that challenges me as a student to improve my playing abilities but is not burdensome in any manner. I have found my decision to try to learn to play the guitar a great one and feel lucky that I found Carla to help me along that journey. At least for this one student, she is highly recommended.

+ Read More
frank V. Jun 24, 2013
Guitar ·

Sweet and compassionate teacher with much to offer

I started taking lessons with Carla because I was interested in learning how to play the guitar. I really appreciate finding her and I consider myself to be blessed to have found someone with so much knowledge and someone who is very caring. I have taken 5 lessons with Carla till this day and I learn something new every single time. We have improved my guitar sight-reading, picking patterns, guitar theory, and speed. She is an angel in teaching and she really cares about your improvement. What I really admire is Carla's humbleness, she is so sweet. I really recommend her.

+ Read More

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: