John Ballerino

John B.

Oxnard, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
30 years experience teaching at all levels
Classical Training with a BM, MM and DMA degree
Continuing Lecturer in Collaborative Arts
University of California Santa Barabara since 2005

About John B.

I have been a piano teacher and vocal coach since 1985.

I have a Doctorate in Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California (1992)

I teach Collaborative Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara (since 2005)

I have been on the musical staffs of Opera Santa Barbara, Utah Festival Opera, Sarasota Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Fresno Opera, Opera Academy of California and Opera NEO as a pianist, coach and chorus master.

Reviews

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Jose G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Meeting John was great, very friendly and professional and to the point, which is my cap of tea and he suggested to get a weighted keys piano to strengthen my fingers, I’m looking into one
Thanks John I will recommend you as a teacher
Jose G Garcia

Posted May 14, 2019
Lawrence
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John is a fantastic instructor. He has a love for educating others on musical expression and he is a wellspring of musical knowledge. He provides a depth to the piano that I wouldn't have noticed if I taught myself how to play.

John emphasized how to shape musical phrases to make music as opposed to a collection of notes. He had a good ear for honing in on my weaknesses such as how some notes that I played stuck out or the movement of my arms. Most importantly, he taught me how to approach practicing the piano in an effective way. I learned how to listen to myself and how give each note, phrase, and piece the attention and musicality it needed to sound beautifully.

For an adult learner as myself, he was accommodating with how busy I was. He adjusted to my needs and work schedule and taught at a reasonable pace. However, he also never veered from his expectations and praised what I was doing right and provided methods to fix what I was doing wrong.

Although there were times when John expressed his passion for music by delving into tangents on the broader historical significance of pieces, his mini-lectures were never irrelevant nor inappropriate. For example, he commented on how in waltzes, the rhythm on the left hand would need to emulate how a Romantic era string section would play it. For anyone who is serious about how or why pieces of music are meant to be played in a certain way, John is great about contextualizing pieces to make them sound great.

Most importantly, he made practicing piano something that was both enjoyable and challenging, which is difficult to find in a teacher. I owe a great deal of my musicianship to John and he met my expectations of learning the piano. Thank you!

Posted Jun 4, 2018
Kenny
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

John is really great. He takes the time to understand what your goals are and teaches according to your needs. He is patient and provides constructive comments.

Posted Jan 21, 2017
Burt S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

It's hard to say enough about how happy we are to have found John. My 2 boys love taking lessons with him, but yet still he challenges them and holds them to a high standard. John is a talented and knowledgeable pianist, and a very friendly and approachable person. A top notch instructor.

Posted Jan 13, 2017

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos

Experience

Continuing Lecturer in Collaborative Arts
Mar 2005 - Present

University of California Santa Barbara

Pianist and Chorus Master
Jan 1998 - May 2016

Opera Santa Barbara

Piano Teacher
Jan 2000 - Jun 2003

Pasadena Conservatory

Piano Teacher, Vocal Coach
Jan 1995 - Jun 2003

Chapman University

Drake University Preparatory Department
Jan 1983 - Jan 1986

Drake University

Education

Doctor in Musical Arts Collaborative Arts/Piano
May 1986 - Sep 1992

University of Southern California

Masters Degree in Piano Performance
Sep 1981 - May 1983

Drake University

Bachelors degree in Piano Performance
Sep 1976 - May 1980

University of the Pacific

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

French

Limited Proficiency

German

Limited Proficiency

Italian

Professional Proficiency

Spanish

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

Koldofsky Graduate Scholarship in Accompanying
May 1992

University of Sourpthern California

Scholarship (twice)
Jul 1989

Music Academy of the West

Affiliations

Music Teachers' Association of California
Feb 2017
MTAC aspires to be the recognized leader in (1) Student Programs, which make a positive impact in the quality of music education and in the lives of music students; (2) Member Programs, which inspire quality teaching, the pursuit of ongoing teacher education and member involvement with community outreach; (3) a thriving Foundation, which funds Student Programs and member needs through its investments, donations, and grants.
American Federation of Teachers
Jun 2005
The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.

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