Studio Director, Violin/Viola
Victoria Strochkova studied violin at the R. M. Glier Kiev State Music College under the instruction of L. B. Schuchman from 1984 to 1988. She continued her violin study under the instruction of V.V. Kozin and professor A.N. Gorokhov.”
Victoria started teaching children during her studies and continued her commitment to young musicians throughout her career. After graduation she became a full-time teacher, dedicating herself to exceptional musical instruction in technique, theory, and performance skills. Since emigrating to the United States she has played in local orchestras including the Russian Chamber orchestra under the direction of Aleksandr Verestagin and the Pro-Art Symphony under director James Gardner.
Victoria has been a member of the the Music Teachers Association of California since 1998. Locally she first established her teaching studio in San Ramon in 1997. As part of her curriculum students are successfully prepared for orchestra and college auditions and competitions as well as the MTAC student evaluations. Private instructions allows for a customized approach to attain each student’s goals.
Mae Frank was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended the Cowden School of Music (Berkeley) and was a part of San Domenico’s Virtuoso program in Marin county. She studied under violinist and teacher Eugene Chukhlov. Mae also studied violin performance at the University of San Diego under Eddie Stein and San Francisco State University under Fed Lifsitz, a member of the Alexander String Quartet. She was principal second violin of the SFSU orchestra and has performed with the Solono Symphony and San Francisco Choral Society.
Mae has a BA in Psychology, with an emphasis on child development from San Francisco State University. She has taught at multiple music centers and elementary school music programs. Her main focus is on teaching the discipline and patience it takes to learn a string instrument while fostering the love of music that will last a lifetime.
Joel Nelson is a classical guitarist, improviser, and educator. He began playing at an early age with folk and blues musicians in his community in Alabama. He was later accepted at the University of Montevallo’s classical guitar program. While studying at the university he learned how to compose and interpret music from a highly renowned guitarist, Dr. Alan Goldspiel. His studies promoted the discipline of classical guitar technique and musical education.
In 2015 he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in classical guitar. After graduating from college he focused on composing, performing, and teaching in the Birmingham, Alabama area where he learned about improvisation from Davey Williams, Ledonna Smith, and Jess Marie Walker. Later in 2015 he would join the improvising ensemble flusnoix on tours of the southeast and put out two records with them. In the fall of 2016 Joel is pursued a Master’s degree in musical improvisation at Mills College in Oakland California. He is now an active performer in the bay area.
Joel brings over 5 years of teaching experience to the San Ramon Music & Fine Art School. He strives to provide students with the necessary skills they need to be successful in any musical endeavor. He teaches theory, ear training, site reading, improvisation, and prepares students for ABRSM Royal test. Joel teaches a variety of styles including Classical, Blues, Jazz and Rock. He always welcomes his students to be creative and explore their interest in the guitar. Students are also encouraged to participate in recitals, competitions, and festivals. Music making should be a joyful experience, making this part of the education process is a priority.
With more then 30 years of experience in teaching music, Tatiana Heeb provides award-winning instructions to her students. She is motivated by her love of music and the passion to give her knowledge and skills to others so their creativity and talent can shine.
Tatiana Heeb is a member of MATC and Performing Arts Society Contra Costa County. She has served as a Chair of the Scholarship Committee and as vice president of Contra Costa Branch of MTAC. As a composer, Tatiana Heeb, has received numerous awards for her compositions in the Composer’s Countests of MATC, including first and second prizes. Her sonatinas have been included in Sonata Contest repertoire for Contra Costa Branch.
Violin / Cello
Mirah teaches all ages and levels. Mirah cares about the musical success of her students, but also the mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Starting her career at the age of 5, Mirah began her “string fever” with multiple instruments; the violin, piano, cello, and viola. Throughout her elementary to collegiate years, Mirah has had opportunities to train in special masterclasses with renowned artists and professors such as Giora Schmidt, Dr. Peter Slowik, and Dr. Sang Yhee. She has earned recognition for outstanding performances such as in the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society, has won two Young Artist Music Festival awards for both violin and cello in Northern California, and won in the International Music Festival competition in Los Angeles as principle cellist for the NYSO.
Mirah has toured and performed locally, domestically, and internationally. These places include Disney Hall and Disney Recording Studios in California, Kennedy Hall in Washington DC, Ireland, England, and Wales. As she pursues to continue getting her master's degree in Music Performance or pedagogy, Mirah hopes to study, tour, and perform in Vienna, Austria.
Mirah currently lives in the Bay Area. She loves going on runs, writing songs, reading, and figuring out ways to help her community.
Farida Isayeva graduated the Music College, Music Conservatory, and State University in Russia. She has a Doctorate Degree and speaks English, Russian, Turkish, and Azeri. She has been teaching piano and music theory for all ages and all levels since 1984. Ms. Isayeva was Principal of a music school in Russia, but moved to the US in 1998. Since then, she has continued to teach piano privately, and has taught at music academies and music conservatories.
Ms. Isayeva's style of teaching is creative and challenging. Her teaching methods are geared according to each student's needs. She builds a lesson plan to create success in each of her students, and her students consistently achieve high scores in assessments. She uses a combination of lesson books and individual plans for each student. Ms. Farida encourages preparing students for a variety of performance opportunities such as recitals, competitions, festivals. Many of her students have won awards.
Every child needs to be very good at something. Carol's philosophy is to help find, support and empower student's musical skills. Piano lessons are ideal because playing piano involves the entire brain – you work your fingers, ears and mind at the same time. School is for teaching social skills, getting general knowledge of many subjects. Piano lessons challenge the child to learn in depth; they learns how to learn.
Carol has been teaching piano full time for over 30 years. Her students learn note-reading, rhythm, scales, theory, and when they have a very basic knowledge of music notation, she encourage them to play jazz, classical and popular styles. They participate in Certificate of Merit, Piano Guild, and public recitals. She has been an active member of the California Music Teachers’ Association for 30 years and an active member of American College of Piano Teachers for 25 years.
Melissa Nering has taught piano in the East Bay for the past fourteen years. She graduated from California State University East Bay with a BA in Liberal Studies and a Minor in music. Melissa had a keen interest in piano from the time she was seven years old. When she finally had the opportunity to begin classical piano lessons, it was a dream come true. She believes one is never too old to learn and enjoys teaching children and adults.
Many of Melissa’s students have participated in studio recitals, community events, and Certificate of Merit testing. Melissa successfully auditioned to become a Cal Plan member with the Music Teachers Association of California (Alameda East Branch) and she is currently working towards Active membership. Melissa believes in a well-rounded piano education and incorporates music theory, technique, repertoire, sight reading, and ear training into lessons at the piano.
When she is not at the piano, Melissa can be found hiking, reading a good book, baking, or spending time with her friends and family.
Violin & Piano
Olha Ralduhina studied violin at Dnipropetrovsk State Music College named after M.I. Glinka under the instruction of V.M. Kolodniy. She continued her violin study with L.S. Brusova. Her teaching method is based on the Moscow Violin School. In addition, she is proficient in teaching the piano. She had completed her piano studies under the instruction of I.S. Karznikva.
Olha has been teaching these instruments and directing string ensembles for over 30 years. During the course of her career she has trained multiple number of students, many of whom became winners of national competitions. Many of her students had orchestra auditions and have went to successful professional careers. Olha is an active member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California.
The teaching style of Olha is very personal. She believes that professionalism and inspiration of the teacher play immense role in the success of the students. Her mission is to develop student’s desire to continue to learn these beautiful instruments.
A native of Russia, Olga Chernisheva studied at Moscow's Gnessin Music College from 1992 until 1996, and at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory from 1996 until 2002. Ms. Chernisheva appeared on the stages of the Bolshoi Opera, Kazan Opera Theater (Mimi in La Boheme), Stanislavsky Opera Theater (Micaela in Carmen), and Mälmo Opera Theater in Sweden (Musetta) before emigrating to the U.S.A., where she has appeared with West Bay Opera Illinois Opera Theater and Teatro Lirico d'Europa, with Tampa Opera, with Golden Gate Opera, with Pensacola Opera, Teatro Lirico d'Europa, with Hong Kong Opera and Boheme Opera as Liu in Turandot and with Cedar Rapids Opera Golden Gate Opera, Martinez Opera, Teatro Lirico d'Europa and Gold Coast Opera. She has appeared on the concert stages of Opera Santa Barbara in an evening of music by Giocomo Puccini, DiCapo Opera (Rachmaninoff's Francesca da Rimini), in Russia at the Nizhny Novgorod Concert Hall for Bach'sMass in B-minor, at the Grand Hallof the Moscow State Conservatory for Mahler's Sympony No. 4 and for Orff's Carmina Burana, Moscow's Cathedral Catholic Church for Bach's Easter Oratorio, as a featured soloist for both the Notti Musicali Modenesi Festival and Costa Rica's XIII Festival de Musica Credomatic.
In 1996, Ms. Chernisheva won first prize in the Moscow's 'Bella Voce Vocal Competition' and, in 1999, won their grand prize. In 2000, she received a special award at the International Bulbul Vocal Competition in Baku, and an award at the Moscow art festival Festos. In 2006 she became a first prize and special award winner in Rose Palmai-Tenser Vocal Competition and prize vinner in Opera Index Competition, she participated in BASOTI, where she sung Fiordeligi in Cosi Fan Tutte. In 2002, she participated in San Francisco Opera Center Merola Opera Program for young singers and sang Musetta with Western Opera on tour. Olga Chernisheva studied at Moscow's Gnessin Music College from 1992 until 1996, and at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory from 1996 until 2002. In addition to her vocal studies, Olga has studied piano, dance, figure skating, and acting.
Yukiko Egawa was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and has been a resident of the East Bay since 2000. She studied piano pedagogy at a local college, where she earned certificates in teaching Beginning and Intermediate Piano.
Since January, 2017, she’s been teaching piano at a local music school. The majority of students are beginners, from preschooler up to adult students.
She says that every lesson, she loves seeing the smiles on her students’ faces.
She believes that learning music should be fun and exciting, so she likes to provide well-rounded piano lessons with many hands-on activities: playing theory games, singing solfege (Do, Re, Mi…) with hand signals, and counting rhythm using the Kodaly method.