>>>PLEASE NOTE: I have reopened my studio to accommodate more students, but my availability is very limited. The listed availability in my calendar is accurate; please do not attempt to book lessons on days I am not available, as I will have to say no. :( I'm sorry for the scarcity of times, I am very busy. Please continue reading to find out more about my teaching. Thanks!
Hello, students and parents!!!
My name is Michelle Packman (yes, kinda like the video game!), and I'm a professional, full-time cellist and music teacher in Southern California.
I have had the opportunity to do so many cool things with music over the years! I get to travel to other states, play in beautiful places like Carnegie Hall, give lectures at music schools, play in music videos with famous rock bands, even record for video games like League of Legends, and cues in prime time televion! Wow, how lucky am I? It all seems surreal. How did I get to do all of those cool things?
It's because I had so many awesome, loving, caring mentors who were there for me all of those times I got down on myself and felt like giving up. Those moments on the road to fulfillment are huge stepping stones, moments I will never forget and always have to lean on when I am filled with doubt. The power of an encouraging word of a mentor is priceless, and I believe the blessings I have are a testament to the presence of compassionate mentors in my life.
I've been teaching music for almost ten years, reaching hundreds of brilliant kids since I started teaching in my parents' house as a high school aged "orchestra member in-training", up through college and now in several teaching studios. I've always tried to be for my students like those mentors who were there for me.
To earn my performance degree, I attended the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and studied with this really scary guy, Dr. David Garrett of the LA Phil. (He was only scary when I didn't practice hehehe). One of the things Dr. Garrett insisted I learned was how to teach the entire Suzuki repertoire for cello. This has come in handy just as much as all of the concertos and sonatas and etudes and hours of practice. Thanks Dr. G! :D
My teaching philosophy is centered around fostering a connection between music and happiness. The necessarily includes loads of encouragement, fun, the occasional happy dance, discovering musical intuition (basic improvisation and listening), a holistic knowledge of music (basic theory and history), anxiety management, and life-long lessons about the value of concentration and hard work. I believe in getting to know my students personally, and usually take some time out of every lesson to catch up on my students' lives. This may seem like a waste of time, but in fact is extremely important for the student to feel as though they belong in my studio and, in a broader sense, the world of music.
I FIRMLY OPPOSE harsh teaching methods like intimidation and over-work. If you're looking for someone to be mean to your child, please look elsewhere. As one of my teaching colleagues says, "students are precious". I believe a child's life is worth every effort, and this includes teaching them that success doesn't have to come at the cost of happiness.
I specialize in a couple instruments, but my most demanded subjects are all levels of cello (ages 7 and up), beginning piano (kids ages 5-12), intermediate viola, violin, bass, and guitar. Also, for students in Certificate of Merit or college level theory courses, I have a very good knowledge of music theory and offer all levels of music theory instruction (happy dances for older students included upon request).
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my life and my teaching. Please ask any questions! I respond quickly and will get back to you asap!
In addition to my private studio, I am also a faculty member of Sunset Learning Studio in Redondo Beach. I love teaching at Sunset because their values are close to my heart. It is a family-run lesson studio which places a huge emphasis on community and student happiness. They don't, nor do I, believe in intimidation or overstraining young students. We have a shared belief in the intrinsic rewards of learning an instrument, and the fun brought out by skilled teachers.
Sunset is so kind and caring to their teachers as well, and I think that speaks volumes about their business. Within the first couple months I was given a raise and more opportunities to teach group classes. It is so wonderful to feel like your hard work is noticed and valued. I have a great relationship with all of the staff here, and it has a great deal to do with the environment.
The students flourish in a place like this, most of my students here are young pianists ages 5-12, not only are they happy, but they all develop real bona-fide (not just adorable) music skills.
I have been blessed to find this studio and will continue to teach here for as long as I live in the south bay area. I model my home studio after their values, they are an inspiration to me. I love them!
Hello, parents and prospective students!
Music with Michelle is my home studio program. When you sign up with me for lessons, you will become a member of my home studio, which includes perks like optional open mic and recital participation, cool videos with practical tips for learning your instrument, lots of love, schedule flexibility, and more!
My most popular subjects to teach are beginning to advanced cello lessons, and beginning piano lessons for young children. I also love teaching young kids the basics of violin, viola, and bass. Let me say that again: I LOVE teaching the little ones!
I have been teaching privately since I was in high school, and have learned a lot over the last ten years about how our minds learn and grow. I've had hundreds of amazing students over the years and I'm amazed by their dedication and creativity. It makes me remember how meaningful my mentors were for me, and I try my best to be there for my students, not just in my lessons, but in life. I love teaching, I love my students, and I can't wait to meet more! I aim to help you not only reach your temporary goals, but also help you or your child gain patience, perseverance, and confidence which can be called upon to help through all of life's trials.
Please feel free to contact me with questions any time, I respond quickly. Take care and take lessons! :)
The was my first teaching studio job, I began it at the end of college. This was the first time I had to make a syllabus and keep serious track of students progress, program recitals, and more. I learned so much from teaching down in Tustin and met many students with whom I will keep a lasting relationship.
Tustin Music demanded a lot from their teachers in terms of excellence, this helped me grow so much and become the encouraging knowledgeable teacher I am today. I am so thankful for their advisement and encouragement.
I left the studio in september 2015 because I moved too far away to make the long drive, but I miss my students and visit often!