Chris O'Brien
San Diego, CA
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Chris O'Brien

Chris O.

San Diego, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Performance is a key component to being a musician. Some musicians find performance a breeze while others (myself included) experience differing degrees of "stage fright". Know that you are not alone if you've felt shortness of breath, sweaty palms, or light-headedness (or a combination of the above). I've been a performer for over 15 years and I've learned more about myself under those bright lights than anywhere else. Let me show you the way to a more fulfilling experience performing in front of a crowd!

About Chris O.

Today is the perfect time to take up a new instrument! I'm a graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), Penn State (We Are!), and the University of Southern California (Fight On!) Trumpet playing can be broken down into 3 basic principles: TONE, TECHNIQUE, and MUSICALITY. I will work with you to design a program to target each area and push your skills and achieve your goals!

I received my first major experience teaching at the collegiate level while I was a teaching assistant at Penn State University. From 2016-2018 I taught 15 college students ranging from undeclared freshmen to a 3rd year Physics PhD student. Moving to Southern California, I began teaching at LAMUSART, an arts school serving the community of East Los Angeles, providing quality and affordable lessons and opportunities to students in the area. I encourage students to seek out and create their own performance opportunities. Regardless of experience or disposition to perform in front of crowds, I believe everyone can find joy playing their instrument.

I emphasize meeting the student where they are. Teaching is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal and your lessons will be custom tailored to fit your goals and learning style. I start by taking into account the student’s interests and often arrange and write the music that interests them. For more skilled instrumentalists, I will work with you to establish a practice routine to emphasize my “fundamentals-forward” approach in order to help you succeed in all your endeavors. At the core, making music should be a fun experience and an outlet of self-expression.

I am goal oriented in my own career, so I instill the same mindset in my students. At the beginning of each month, we will have a check-in to establish both short-term and long-term goals. The previous month’s goals will be analyzed and our approach going forward will adjust accordingly to continue our trajectory. Musicians need a reason to practice. That is why I encourage my students to seek out performance opportunities in their homes and out in public. Even sharing one short song with your parents or friends can be a fun and fulfilling experience - so no performance opportunity is too small!


Write a Review
4 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have known and worked with Chris for four years. As a trumpeter, Chris is truly exemplary. He is beyond capable in all styles of music, and is an extremely creative and innovative performer. He has experience teaching a wide range of ages and abilities; from young and mature beginners to college level students taking auditions.

I have played with Chris in brass quintet, duo, trio, orchestral and wind ensemble settings, and have never stopped being excited and inspired by his playing. As a soloist, Chris has presented many beautiful solo performances that involve and communicate with audience members. He is not afraid to break down the wall between performer and audience, a refreshing take on the classical artform.

Along with being a fantastic performer and educator, Chris is an advocate for the outreach and sharing of music. He has worked with nursing homes, hospitals, and local school districts to share music with more people.

I highly recommend Chris as a teacher, and believe any student who has the opportunity to work with and learn from him is on the best path to reach their goals.

Posted Apr 28, 2020
Megan Adcock
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Chris is a very talented trumpet player and educator, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a few different occasions. I am the Program Assistant for the USC Thornton Community Engagement Program, and Chris and his brass ensemble were a very valuable member of our program during his time as a graduate music student at USC. He performed outstanding music education brass ensemble assemblies for students ranging from 1st grade to high schoolers in the South and East Los Angeles. During these performances he not only taught and played at the highest level, but also showed great communication skills to students of all ages and adults attending the assemblies.

Posted Apr 22, 2020
Rachel Young
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Apr 14, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Chris is very innovative in his craft and is always looking for ways to improve his methods. He prioritizes making sure his lessons resonate with each student, no matter what level you are. He also makes his lessons fun and engaging for each student - for example playing duets together or playing fun movie theme music. I highly recommend his music teaching services!

Posted Apr 11, 2020

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos


Trumpet Instructor
Mar 2020 - Present

Private company

This site is an online platform for music teachers. I currently maintain a virtual studio there in addition to here!

Trumpet Instructor
Feb 2020 - Present

Key to Joy

I work as a contracted teacher for Key to Joy, a Los Angeles-based company that brings music programing to schools.

Brass Music Presenter
Nov 2019 - Present

Thornton Community Engagement Project

I present children shows with my brass quintet, Two Button Brass in conjunction with TCEP. We cover the history of brass music with live music segments and interactive activities. We cover the physical mechanics of brass instruments with a visual hose demonstration. And we also cover the role of music in cultivating culture and community.

Adjunct Lecturer of Trumpet
Jan 2019 - Present

Pierce College

Teaching Artist
Dec 2018 - Present


LAMusArt is an arts school serving the community of East Los Angeles by providing low cost and tuition-free opportunities for students in the area. I maintain a studio of 6 students there ranging in age from 8-18. I also coach the orchestral wind and brass section every Saturday.

Trumpet Contractor
Oct 2018 - Present

Disneyland Resort

I work on a seasonal basis for the Disneyland Resort as a trumpet musician.

Brass Instructor
Jan 2013 - May 2016

Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra

For 3 years, I volunteered at the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra where I taught individual lessons, sat in with the orchestra, and facilitated brass sectionals.


Graduate Certificate - Trumpet Performance
Aug 2018 - Present

University of Southern California

Master of Music - Trumpet Performance
Aug 2016 - May 2018

Penn State University

Bachelor of Music - Trumpet Performance
Sep 2012 - May 2016

University of Michigan



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Solo Finalist
Jul 2018

Ictus International Solo Competition

Orchestral Musician Fellowship
Jun 2016

Hot Springs Music Festival

Solo Semi-Finalist
Mar 2016

National Trumpet Competition

Orchestral Musician Fellowship
Jun 2015

Hot Springs Music Festival

Artistic Leadership Scholarship
Aug 2012

University of Michigan

DCI World Champion
Aug 2009

Drum Corps International


Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America
Apr 2014
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) is an American collegiate social[1] fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men "who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America."

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